Reflections Newsletter

Issue 13, April 2022

This newsletter is distributed the last Thursday of the month and contains a variety of resources, links, and reflections on graduate-level career & professional development, higher education, and an occasional detour into neuroscience topics, the area I formally trained in as a graduate student and postdoc. 

Missed the inaugural newsletter from January 2021?

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Reflections Blog: April 2022 


Making it Work? Navigating the Difficult Decision to Leave an Employer

In part two of my series on navigating the difficult decision to leave my previous employer, I discuss my 2021 job search which featured a need to really prioritize what I wanted from another position. I struggled with a sense of loyalty to my former employer and need to "make it work", which I think led to me exiting gracefully and on good terms. I also weighed multiple career options and was denied what I thought at the time was my "dream job" only to be presented with a unique opportunity that was, unbeknownst to me, a few years in the making.  

On Measuring University Quality

Several pieces from The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed this month highlighted the immense challenge in using metrics to assess the quality of an institution of higher education.    

The Rankings Farce: U.S. News and its ilk embrace faux-precise formulas riven with statistical misconceptions 

From the president of Reed College, which stopped submitting data to U.S. News as part of its annual Best Colleges Rankings. 

Do the U.S. News Rankings Rely on Dubious Data?

Researchers who submit to the publication say survey answers are subject to errors, ambiguity, and pressure to look good.

Are Rankings Being Rigged Again?

Two lawsuits charge that the Rutgers Business School inflated its rank by hiring its own students through a placement company.

Iowa State Leaves AAU

The Association of American Universities (AAU) is perhaps the most prestigious and coveted invite in all of North American higher education. Its members are leading research universities in the United States and Canada and it extends membership invites to only a very select group of highly-productive institutions based on a variety of research indicators. Iowa State's exit from the organization (see the university's press release) calls into question whether these indicators are missing key aspects one would want to see from a leading university including affordability, student engagement, student retention, post-graduation employment, and accessibility. 

See also:

Programs Worth Promoting


2022 Graduate Career Consortium (GCC) Online Conference

The conference, taking place June 24th, is open to GCC members and anyone else who would like to attend and participate in our lively and supportive community. The online conference features a keynote address by Jonathan Malesic, Ph.D., author of The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives, a variety of member-generated sessions on topics related to providing career and professional development programming and support for graduate students and postdocs, and opportunities to learn more about the GCC and interact with our collegial community of professionals. 


SmartSkills Series

Revisiting Past Blog Posts

Planning to go on the faculty job market this fall? I share some resources and tips in this post. 

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Highlighting important research on the factors that affect postdoctoral scholars' decision to pursue an academic research career and how these choice factors differ by gender and race/ethnicity. 

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From last month. I reflect on my challenges in my first post-postdoc job, coming to grips with a dysfunctional work environment, and navigating the conflicting emotions of sticking it out or moving on. 

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More to Explore - Resources for Trainees & Those Supporting Them

Explore Job Search & Funding Resources On My Website

For Further Reading & Exploration

More About Me
Carpe Careers Column
National Science Foundation Data
Data on PhD & Postdoc Training: NGLS 
GCC Professional Development Webinars
Career & Professional Development Research

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