Spring 2016 F&SI Grants

The Shenkman Career Services Fund (SCSF) Faculty and Staff Innovation grants provide funding for GW faculty and staff to create professional and career development activities for GW undergraduate and graduate students. The Fund provides funding to offset costs associated with infusing career-related materials into existing or new class curricula and/or departmental, program or school-based initiatives. Applications are reviewed and allocated by the Development and Philanthropy Project Team of the university-wide Career Services Council.

Life After College Athletics

Shelby McKay, Academic Support Assistant, Athletics Department

Project abstract:
With most student-athletes “going pro” in something other than athletics, it is important to prepare student-athletes for life after athletics. Student-athletes are faced with challenges when transitioning from college athletics to the working field. In college athletics, student-athletes are accustomed to a life where every second of the day is scheduled and most tasks are assigned by coaches. When graduating from college, student-athletes enter a new professional environment they are not accustomed to, and must learn to adapt on their own. The goal of this program is to bridge the gap between student-athletes' athletic experience and their careers when they graduate. As higher education professionals, our goal is to prepare our students for life after college. All GW senior student-athletes will participate in a 2 hour seminar that covers the information and resources they need to succeed post-graduation. The seminar will give student-athletes insight into their career fields, professional development and work expectations and provide a platform for them to receive answers to important life adjusting questions.

Funds will be spent on reference guides and catering.


Conversational English for International Students

Yuxuan Shen, Graduate Fellow, GWSPH

Project abstract:
The Conversational English for International Students program will tackle one major difficulty faced by many international students: the struggle to fully achieve English language proficiency. Despite GW offers excellent academic-related English programs, international students are still challenged by everyday English conversations. First of all, there is no formal education focused on conversational English. Secondly, daily conversations include many socio-cultural references that further increase the difficulty. Lastly, mastering daily English requires a lot of practice. This program will teach international students essential words/expressions/slangs in conversations through topic-based workshops (topics that our pilot workshops have covered included self-introduction, food & shopping, health, and team work); this program will enhance international students’ confidence in English conversation through casual Conversation Time sessions; this program will help international students to overcome difficulties in English conversation and help them become more successful.

Funds will be spent on printing costs, tutors, volunteer incentives, and refreshments.


Engaging Students, Faculty and Professionals to Get Our Students Jobs, While Bettering the Community

Lauren Fishkin, Adjunct Faculty Member, GWSPH

Project abstract:
In the spirit of the Faculty and Staff Innovation Grants, here is my innovative idea: use funds to enhance students’ professionalism and comfort interacting with leaders, increase networking and job placement, provide professionals the opportunity to mentor students, increase GW’s brand recognition, and improve our community… all for a few hundred dollars!

Funds will be spent on food supplies.


2016 ASCE Virginias’ Conference

Samer Hamdar, PhD, Assistant Professor, SEAS

Project abstract:
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) GWU Student Chapter strives to develop interest, among undergraduate students, in the various fields of civil engineering through hands-on applications of academic and professional nature. Through our activities, members take advantage of concepts they learn in the classroom and apply it to real-life situations. Additionally, students gain a better understanding of life after undergraduate studies through professional development and networking events. Membership and involvement in GWU ASCE also affords students multiple scholarship opportunities and resume advancement. Each year, student chapters in each of the 18 regional ASCE student conferences gather for a professional Student Conference in the spring. The conferences include a technical paper presentation competition, a business meeting, as well as other activities such as networking events, social activities, and civil engineering competitions including concrete canoe and/or steel bridge competitions. In the spring, GWU's chapter of ASCE will be hosting the 2016 Virginias' Conference in the Foggy Bottom area of Washington, DC. GWU ASCE will host 14 universities from DC, VA and WV for a three-day conference.

Funds will be spent on materials and reservation expenses.


Technical Interviewing for SEAS Undergraduate Students

Elizabeth Kang, Professional Advisor, SEAS

Project abstract:
This project proposal will address the knowledge gap around the technical interview process for undergraduate SEAS students through an information session including an industry panel with recruiters, hiring managers, and SEAS alumni. With input from the SEAS alumni office, development, faculty, and staff, we will identify 4-5 panelists to talk with students. The information session will provide key insights to technical interviewing skills and will offer sample questions and examples for students. There will be a facilitator to provide an overview of technical interviewing and the panel will share their experiences across various stages of the interview process. Various industries and departments will be represented in the panel and examples provided afterwards. Additionally, students will receive a resource packet with industry-specific information, sample technical questions, and tips/advice to preparing for a technical interview. The GW SEAS Undergraduate Student Services & Advising office works closely with undergraduate SEAS students, and we believe that provided with the appropriate information, resources, and support regarding Technical Interviewing, SEAS undergraduate students will be more successful in obtaining job and internship offers.

Funds will be spent on travel, padfolios, printing, a student worker and refreshments.


Investigating 21st Century Skills & Fostering Networking among Educational Technology Leadership Students and Alumni

Natalie Milman, PhD, Associate Professor of Educational Technology, GSHED

Project abstract:
Although ETL faculty have identified numerous career skills students should demonstrate before completing the ETL master’s degree, the ETL faculty recognize we work in a field that is constantly changing. Consequently, we need to investigate what skills are currently needed to be successful in the workforce. With this information, we will also be able to connect ETL students interested in a particular field or leadership role(s) with ETL alumni already working in the field and/or who have leadership roles. We will also be able to design ETL course content that will match with workforce needs, as well as provide real-world data supporting skills we already incorporate in our courses or aim to incorporate. Moreover, ETL courses are taught 100% online, the opportunity to network and learn about career skills and opportunities with fellow ETL students and alumni will foster stronger connection to GW, the ETL program, students, and alumni, as well as potentially build a life-long, professional relationships and mentoring opportunities.

Funds will be spent on survey monkey, transcriptions and refreshments.


Professional Development Workshops for Experiential Education & Jewish Cultural Arts Master’s Students

Benjamin Jacobs, PhD, Senior Research Scientist/Visiting Scholar, GSEHD

Project abstract:
The Master’s Program in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts (EE/JCA) aims to offer workshops to enhance our students’ professional development skills. The EE/JCA program is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. In an effort to give the students ample opportunity to delve into both Jewish cultural arts and experiential education during class time, EE/JCA faculty have been unable to dedicate sufficient time to impart professional workplace skills that will serve our students in their job searches and advance their future careers. The EE/JCA faculty and students have identified three workshop topics in which our students would benefit from specialized attention during the 2015-2016 academic year. These hour-and-a-half long workshops will cover the following topics: Grant Writing, Developing and Maintaining Budgets, and Supervision/Collaboration in the Workplace. In an effort to ensure these workshops are topical, we plan to invite experts and practitioners from Jewish organizations in the Washington, DC metro area to facilitate the sessions. Calling upon these local experts in the Jewish non-profit world offers the added benefit of introducing EE/JCA students to local practitioners and expanding their professional networks.

Funds will be spent on panel speakers and catering.


ACS Career Development Workshop for Graduate Students

Martin Zysmilich, PhD, Associate Professor, CCAS

Project abstract:
We propose to host a 2-day career development workshop primarily geared towards graduate (Ph.D. and MS) students, but also open to interested undergraduates of the Chemistry department. The current career resources available to Chemistry graduate students are vastly inadequate to prepare them for securing a job in the changing landscape of science careers. The workshop will address this issue and guide students to explore a variety of careers opportunities in industry, academia and government, especially relevant to those seeking opportunities locally. The workshop will be hosted by our department but organized by the American Chemical Society, and will consist of interactive exploration guided by leaders in the field. The learning objectives of the workshop will include: application of scientific method to challenges in government and non-science sectors; persuasive memo writing; networking and strategies for targeting the job market. The effectiveness of the workshop will be assessed internally, and follow-up sessions will be organized by the department to ensure continuity.

Funds will be spent on the ACS workshop administration fee.


Discussing Gender Inequality in the Arts Workplace; DC NOW!

Bibiana Obler, PhD, Associate Professor of Art History and Undergraduate Advisor, CCAS

Project abstract:
Due to the disproportionate number of women compared to men graduating in the arts and that of women in high tier positions in the arts, this panel will focus on this issue and how upcoming graduates can navigate the field. The Association of Graduate Arts Students (AGAST) will be hosting the panel discussion. Miriam Deaver, a second year MA candidate, will work with Professor Bibiana Obler to organize and moderate the panel discussion. The panelists will receive the questions prior to the event, in order to facilitate the best possible discussion. A panel of five local professional women from different departments of museums and non-traditional careers in the arts will discuss relevant gender issues in the arts workplace. The discussion will include at least one alumna from GWU as a panelist. The panel discussion will introduce the important topic and allow students to hear first-hand from those in the field. Due to the department's numerous connections in the area art world and thus will not have a problem putting together a diverse and excellent panel. The varied panelists will represent diverse approaches and backgrounds.

Funds will be spent on panel speakers and catering.


Expanding Networks and Support for Careers in Geography, the Environment, Planning and Geo-spatial Intelligence

Marie Price, PhD,  Professor of Geography and International Affairs, CCAS

Project abstract:
The Department of Geography is the institutional home of Geography, Environmental Studies and the new GIS Certificate program. Currently, we have over 150 undergraduate majors, 30 graduate students and 30 certificate students. Many of our students have specialized skills that are not readily served by the GWU career center structure, hence the importance of developing these more focused opportunities and networks. Funds from a Shenkman Career Service Grant in the Spring of 2016 will allow us to develop several new career development efforts by the Department of Geography. In one case, we will take an existing event, the student-led “Mapathon:, and add a more explicit career focus by asking several of the community partners involved in this project to participate in a networking event prior to the start of the Mapathon. We have planned for the first time a ‘Dinner’ with Seniors and Alumni from the Environmental Studies program. Another new professional development opportunity is for our MA students, The Graduate Panel and Portfolio Review. Here, we will invite several MA alumni to meet with current second-year MA students and provide feedback and critique of their digital portfolios. These events contribute to the University’s strategic plan by building cross-disciplinary linkages and increasing our students’ engagement in governance and policy.

Funds will be spent on parking, a graduate intern and refreshments/catering.


Museum Career Workshop

Martha Morris, Associate Professor of Museum Studies, CCAS

Project abstract:
GW is known for its exemplary museum training programs. The CCAS Museum Studies program has graduated over 1000 individuals who are now leaders in the profession. Our sister program in Museum Education (GSHED) also has a strong reputation. Each year we graduate around 50 to 60 students who are well prepared to enter the workforce. However, the museum field has limited opportunities due to the popularity of working in places such as the Smithsonian Institution. Therefore our graduates often compete with hundreds of others for positions. According to surveys we have conducted over the past 10 years, it can take up to one year for a graduate to secure a position. In order to assist our students in being ready for the challenge of seeking work, we propose to conduct a Museum Career Workshop in the spring term of 2016. This one-day workshop will be an opportunity to bring in experienced consultants in HR recruitment and training for nonprofits and museums. We also intend to invite museum professionals to work with our students on introducing them to the various positions in museums. We have an active network of MSTD alums in DC who are more than happy to help us mentor the emerging professionals graduating from our program. The workshop will serve to train our graduating students in resume writing, interviewing, and networking.

Funds will be spent on office supplies, co-facilitators and catering/refreshments.


Entrepreneurship and Management Speaker Series

Neil Ruiz, PhD, Executive Director, Center for Law, Economics and Finance, GW Law

Project abstract:
The Center for Law, Economics and Finance (C-LEAF) at GW Law School is creating a brand-new Entrepreneurship and Management Program in the Fall of 2016. As part of this effort, C-LEAF is creating an Entrepreneurship Speaker Series to spark interest among law students to think of alternative careers for the legal profession as well as to network with students and professionals across various disciplines. For the Spring 2016 semester, the speaker series will help law students engage in a free flow of ideas for launching new company concepts, prepare business plans, understand the role of trained-lawyers in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and network with professionals in a variety of careers so that law students understand how to build a career in entrepreneurship. This series will help spark interest among law students to enter the newly established Falk Academy of Management and Entrepreneurship (FAME) that will be a new, innovative certificate program for J.D. students.

Funds will be spent on videography.


Disability Perspectives Beyond the Classroom

Jeremy Wood, Direct Services Coordinator, Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Project abstract:
The purpose of the workshop series Disability Perspectives Beyond the Classroom is to bring knowledge, awareness and skills to students with disabilities about how to navigate the workforce successfully. Statistics show that only one-third (32.0%) of working-age people with disabilities were employed on average in the 2010-2012 period, compared to over two-thirds (72.7%) of people without disabilities. Statistics also show that only 31% of persons with disabilities, who were college graduates were employed, compared to 81% of those without a disability. Disability Support Services through its strategic partnership with the Center for Career Services is determined to prepare our students to defy the odds and pioneer a new course toward s great equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Recent laws under section 503 of the Rehabilitation act have mandated that all federal agencies and federal contractors must take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote and retain individuals with disabilities. It is our hope that through this series of programs we can take advantage of this moment in history to prepare our students to pioneer a new more diverse workforce that recognizes the unique contributions and talents of persons with disabilities.

Funds will be spent on printing, refreshments, and technology equipment.


Networking: An Integral Leadership Skill

Carly Jordan, PhD, Program Coordinator, Women’s Leadership Program

Project abstract:
The ability to network effectively is an essential skill. The students of the Women’s Leadership Program meet women each week who are potential contacts for scholarships, internships, and employment, and in order to capitalize on those meetings, they must be able to make meaningful connections. We have already taken steps to include networking as part of the leadership training we provide to WLP students during our pre-term orientation; this grant seeks to improve and expand upon that essential component of our leadership curriculum. An important part of our program structure is the inclusion of dedicated graduate teaching assistants assigned to each of the 4 WLP cohorts. The GTAs provide close mentorship, both academically and personally, in their roles as live-in, year-round teaching assistants. We believe the GTAs are in an excellent position to take on the networking portion of our leadership curriculum. This project will have 3 components: 1) Current GTAs and faculty will participate in a day of training about networking, including a lecture by an outside expert (Amy Millman, of Springboard Enterprises) and a workshop facilitated by Sara Melita, Senior Advisor for the GW Presidential Administrative Fellowship program. 2) Following the workshop, current GTAs will use what they learned to create curriculum materials (lesson plans, activities, reading guides) to lead a networking training session for incoming WLP students at orientation; 3) The lecture and workshop will be recorded and made available (along with the curriculum materials) for future GTAs to facilitate networking training each year.

Funds will be spent on video production, office supplies, catering and honorarium.


Careers in Women’s Empowerment Seminar

Chelsea Ullman, Policy Associate, Global Women’s Institute

Project abstract:
To provide a vision of potential career opportunities for women as leaders, the Global Women' s Institute (GWI) will convene GWU students together with high-level women in senior leadership positions across a wide spectrum of professions. This one-day seminar will focus on professional development opportunities for women interested in integrating a gender perspective into their professional career and will provide unique opportunities for networking with other students and professionals actively engaged in their fields. The day will begin with a keynote address from a woman known for her advocacy and leadership. This address will be followed by a panel discussion with women champions, including senior and youth leaders. During lunch, students will sit at tables with leaders in their professional areas of interest. In the afternoon, students and leaders will break into small groups in which they will discuss the challenges women face, domestically and internationally. Each group will be facilitated by a woman leader/champion. During the discussion, each member of a group will identify a leadership characteristic and will contribute to a common portrait of a women leader. These common narratives will be read aloud at the conclusion of the activity. The formal event will conclude with a Spoken Word performance and networking reception. Proposed speakers include Terry O’Neill, NOW or Erin Matson, Tina Tchen, White House Council on Women and Girls; female politicians such as Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC representative and Gabby Giffords, D-Arizona; Christine Lagarde of the IMF; Keli Goff, young African American journalist; Anna Phillips, a young GW grad (and former PAF) who collects sportswear for a women’s soccer program she runs in Uganda called Girls Kick It! and Sumera Haque from the Medical Faculty Associates.

Funds will be spent on technology costs, catering, and honorarium.


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