Spring & Fall 2015 F&SI Grants

The following proposals were submitted by a variety of GW staff and faculty and were reviewed and funded by the Development & Philanthropy Project Team of the university's Career Services Council.

Transition to Tomorrow for GW Athletes

Shelby McKay, Life Skills Coordinator, Athletics Department

Project abstract:
The eminent problem for the student-athlete population is the termination of most athletes’ athletic career at the conclusion of the collegiate education. Loss of identity and failure to see transferable skills have been identified as common issues for student-athletes in career transition (Danish et al., 1993). Without the proper preretirement education, the transition from this career to the next will pose difficult. One particular framework of reengagement may help to better conceptualize the Transition to Tomorrow pilot-program. The life-career re-engagement (LCRE) framework rests upon the perspective of forward-looking, being constructive in viewing one’s potential. The Transition to Tomorrow pilot-program will operate from a life-career re-engagement perspective in an attempt to engage and propel students toward a greater career outlook and plan. One focus will be to educate student-athletes in adaptive and career related transferable skills in order to develop the lifelong ability to adapt in times of career transition. Furthermore, the overarching concentration of this program is on career development, reengagement and reframing with the intent to enhance the professional and career development of GW student-athletes.

Funds will be spent on food for students during sessions and honoraria for guest speakers.

Classical Studies Capstone Study Symposium: A Pilot Project—“Washington, DC as a Latin Classroom”

Elise Friedland, Associate Professor of Classics and Art History, CCAS

Project abstract:
Seeking funding to support a mini-symposium, tied to the major in Classical Studies and career/professional development of our majors and students in related majors of archaeology and history; the funding would support a mini-symposium focused on a senior honors project in Classical Studies and, in this case related to Latin pedagogy, that will involve a senior major presenting and receiving feedback on her senior honors project to a panel of four experts (in this case area high school Latin teachers) in front of Classical Studies, Archaeology, and History majors and minors as well as faculty. The program would reach approx. 30-40 students. By demonstrating the real-world applicability of a humanities major often touted as a dead-end in terms of career potential and as lacking relevance to the real-world, the project would benefit our majors in Classical Studies and those in related majors of Archaeology and History. Though this pilot mini-symposium will be focused on Latin pedagogy and the career path of teaching Latin at the secondary level, it could be repeated annually for students who undertake the senior Capstone Study tied to other career paths related to Classical Studies, such as museum curatorship, archival work, library sciences, editorial/publications work, and archaeological conservation. 

Funds will be spent on travel and honoraria for the four Latin teachers, posters to advertise the events, and a reception.

Digital History and Alternative Careers for Majors in History and the Humanities

Diane Cline, Associate Professor of History and Classical Studies, CCAS

Project abstract:
My course, HIST 3001.14 Digital Humanities and the Historian, introduces students to new technologies and practices that professionals inside and outside of academia use to preserve, provide access to, and exhibit primary sources for history digitally. The funding provides expenses for guest speakers who are practitioners in the new occupation tracks in the digital humanities, including archivists, librarians, digital project managers, and internal historians in institutions like the Ford’s Theatre, Smithsonian, and National Archives. Funds will allow students to have dinner with three such professionals. An end-of-semester “unconference” (Symposium) organized by the students brings GWU faculty, grad students, and undergraduates together with 30 or more such practitioners. Fifteen students are registered this year. Our hope is that the students will feel more optimistic about their futures, and see more possibilities for career paths. 

Funds will be spent on expenses for the guest speakers who are practitioners in the new occupation tracks and food and refreshments for the conferences. 

Expanding Networks and Support for Careers in Geography, the Environment, Planning and Geospatial Intelligence

Marie Price, 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. 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 Shenkman Career Service Grant will allow us to expand and formalize several career development efforts by the Department of Geography. In one case, we will take an existing event, the Mapathon, and add a more explicit career focus. In another case, we will convert our Senior Alumni ‘Potluck’ into a ‘Dinner’ and allow us to include Environmental Studies seniors for the first time. The Graduate Panel and Portfolio Review is an entirely new event. In total, five events involving over 350 students, faculty, alumni and employers are proposed for AY 2015-16. Each event offers concrete career guidance and opportunities for students to meet with area employers and alumni. Each event will be assessed with follow-up surveys immediately after the event and six months later.

Funds will be spent on a Graduate Intern, parking and refreshments.

GW Women in STEM - Next Step Preparation Seminar

Shannon McFarlin, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, CCAS

Project abstract:
The Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology (Department of Anthropology), together with the Department of Computer Science, Department of Biological Sciences, GW Engineers’ Council, GW Women in Computer Science, and GW Association for Women in Mathematics have collaborated to plan and host a skills-building seminar for aspiring women scientists at The George Washington University. Our goal is to provide a series of informational panels and workshops that will prepare undergraduate women for the next steps in their careers. These events will focus on generating skills that will foster success in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), as well as more intensive programming that speaks to the struggles that women of all backgrounds face in STEM fields. Through the lens of the graduate school and career experiences of a diverse group of panelists, the seminar will help aspiring women scientists build skills in the effective communication of their interests and research, how to speak assertively and promote themselves, and it will provide attendees with the tools to find and secure mentors. We plan to hold the day-long seminar in the Lehman Auditorium in the Science and Engineering Hall so as to fully take advantage of the collaborative nature of this event and this new building. Furthermore, this event will promote the visibility and inclusion of an underrepresented population in STEM, facilitate interdepartmental partnership, and foster leadership both within and beyond the GW community.

Funds will be spent on food, honoraria for guest speakers, and printing.

Take a Professor to Lunch

LaKeisha McClary, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, CCAS

Project abstract:
The goal of this project is to lower perceived barriers to and deepen the impact of student-faculty interactions among chemistry majors and minors and chemistry faculty and graduate teaching assistants. The events will be catered (boxed lunches) and take place on the Foggy Bottom campus in the Science and Engineering hall. By providing a structured opportunity for students to engage with faculty, students can learn more about undergraduate research, graduate school, career pathways in chemistry, and alternative careers that chemistry majors and minors can pursue.

Funds will be spent on food for lunches.

LinkedIn and Linked Up: Employer Incentives for Developing a Professional Digital Profile

Ethel Badawi, Adjunct Professor and Assistant Director, Paralegal Studies Program, CPS
Derek Haseltine, Director of Career Services, CPS

Project abstract:
Digital profiles play a key role in today’s professional marketplace. From entry-level professionals to top-level executives, a professional online profile, with an emphasis on LinkedIn, is the gold standard across all sectors. Yet, too often students fail to connect their online presence with in person connections. This project will raise student awareness of digital profiles, guide students in the development of professional LinkedIn profiles, and assist students in developing interviewing skills to ensure students are positioned for professional success. The proposed project targets over 130 students in the online and face-to-face paralegal program. 

Funds will be spent on travel awards for students, travel expenses and tokens of appreciation for the judges, materials for the competition, and food and drinks.

Holocaust Memory

Walter Reich, Professor of International Affairs, Ethics and Human Behavior, ESIA

Project abstract:
Support an exhibition by undergraduate GW students in my Spring 2015 course on "Holocaust Memory" based on the experiences of Holocaust survivors who wrote a memoir of those experiences and collected artifacts that are absolutely unique. One of the survivors, Norman Salsitz, died in 2006; he used to visit the class each year. Amalie Salsitz died a few years earlier. Their daughter has already agreed to provide the materials for the exhibition. The exhibition hall is in GW’s Gelman Library, across from the Kiev Collection, and was dedicated for exactly this purpose by the donors, one of whom was a Holocaust survivor. This project is unique in American higher education; no other course on the Holocaust, to the knowledge of the instructor, who is a former Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, uses this method. The entire class, the survivor’s children and grandchildren and GW students and faculty will attend the exhibition’s opening in April 2015; the GW president or provost will address the audience. The exhibition will be up for several months. This will help keep the memory of this Holocaust survivor alive, help the class’s students, as well as others in the GW community, learn about the event, and provide the students with the skills needed to create museum exhibitions.

Funds will be spent on a stipend and travel for the graduate student coordinating the exhibit.

Enhancing Women's Access to Careers in Security

Joanna Spear, Director, Security Policy Studies Program & Associate Professor, ESIA

Project abstract:
This program of activities is designed to bring women into focus as an important source of talent for the security field. Working with the student organization Women in International Security (WIIS GW) and coordinating with career units across campus, the aim is to stage three large career development events at GW focused on women in security. Each one will involve 200 students. The events will highlight three different employment realms: the CIA and Intelligence Community, the Federal Government, and non-state organizations that work on security (encompassing Think Tanks, NGOs and Private Firms). These sectors are all aware of their need to increase the recruitment of women into their organizations and the events are designed to facilitate this and also ensure that women students at GW understand that security is a field in which they can make a successful and satisfying career. This series of events would be open to graduate and undergraduate students from across the campus. 

Funds will be spent on a graduate student and refreshments for the three events.

Salary Negotiation and Mentoring for GW Women

Maggie New, Associate Director of Career Counseling, ESIA

Project Abstract:
Salary Negotiation and Mentoring for GWU Women is a pilot project offered for 8-12 international and U.S. students, undergraduate or graduate, entering into the job market in May 2015. Through six sessions, women will learn employment history and be taught negotiating skills so they can personally benefit in the job search process. Location at the Elliott School of International Affairs is to be determined. Establishing a mentoring agreement among participants will encourage them to make these new skills useful for a lifetime. An alumnae cohort can be drawn upon to help future generations of GWU women job seekers. 

Funds will be spent on materials for the sessions and refreshments and snacks.

Graduate Class (Strategic PR) Trip to NYC for Industry Visits

Lawrence Parnell, Associate Professor and Program Director, Strategic Public Relations Program, GSPM/CPS

Project abstract:
This project was successfully completed on a trial basis this past year (2015) and we are anxious to make it a key part of our Graduate curriculum for Masters in Strategic PR students (GSPM/CPS). The purpose is to spend a day in NYC meeting with PR Firm leadership, HR staff and peers for our students. We also visited and met with PR Professionals at several organizations (this year) including The Federal Reserve Bank of NY; NASDAQ and toured Bloomberg HQ and TV studios all in one day. As a result of the visit in March, several of our students got internships, job interviews and scheduled follow up visits with potential employers this summer. At a recent meeting with our graduating students several remarked that it was one of the most memorable and useful activities they participated in while at GW! Our goal is to make this an annual activity for our students, with a special focus on those about to graduate.

Funds will be spent on bus transportation in NYC, travel expenses for faculty and staff, and office supplies.

Launching a Career on Capitol Hill: A Roadmap for Success

Steven Billet, Director, Legislative Affairs Master’s Degree and PAC Management Graduate Certificate, GSPM

Project abstract:
Capitol Hill is a launch pad for aspiring politicos, public affairs and communications professionals. Anyone familiar with the ways of Washington will tell you the same thing: “Start by getting a job on the Hill.” To that end, we propose to assemble a panel composed of senior Hill staffers to relate their experiences in finding a position and building a career on Capitol Hill and beyond. The overarching goal of the activity is straightforward to provide a roadmap to students interested in Capitol Hill jobs and careers. GWU students have been named the “most politically active” by Princeton Review for several years and students from many GW Schools are interested in working on Capitol Hill. The panel will be held on Capitol Hill in a committee hearing room. The 90 minute panel will be followed by a career networking reception for panelists and attendees. The audience for the program will be GWU undergraduate and graduate students as well as alumni. The target disciplines within GW include students in many disciplines, including, but not limited to: political science, law, communications, political management, legislative affairs, international relations and business.

Funds will be spent on catering for a networking reception, video film and production.

The GSPM Digital Platform Expo

Lara Brown, Associate Professor and Program Director, Political Management Program, GSPM

Project abstract:
The GSPM Digital Platform Expo is an opportunity for all GSPM students (Political Management, Legislative Affairs, Strategic Public Relations, and Advocacy in the Global Environment) to gain exposure to the various digital platforms that are used by those working in politics and public affairs. Through this daylong event, we would like to showcase the variety of digital platforms and teach our students some basic navigating skills with the help of the vendors and companies who have developed these tools and technologies (e.g., Google, Twitter, NGP-Van, Zignal Labs, Aristotle, Catalist, Meltwater, Phone-to-Action, and Nationbuilder). These information sessions would be designed to help students become familiar with the digital platforms that connect people, track and analyze media coverage, account for donations, and encourage civic engagement. This day would also provide our students with access to as well as some informal mentoring from those professionals (many of whom are GW alumni) who are working in the fields of politics and public affairs.

Funds will be spent on food for the program. 

Integrating Career Services into Student Recruitment

Anthony Spatola, Graduate Counselor, SEAS
Adina Lav, Director of Graduate Enrollment Management, SEAS

Project abstract:
The Office of Graduate Admissions and Student Services (OGA) in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) is looking for ways to incorporate career services into its international and domestic graduate student recruitment efforts in innovative ways. Incorporating career services into the graduate student recruitment process involves on-the-ground events and meetings while SEAS grad staff are recruiting as well as educational programming for matriculated students. The SEAS OGA is seeking funds to develop and implement an interactive online student module to educate prospective and current students about career opportunities in engineering and computer science and the career services model at GW. 

Funds will be spent on a graduate student, a video camera, and editing software.

SMPA Alumni Career Panels

Samara Sit. Director of Administration and Special Projects, SMPA
Molly Hogan, SMPA

Project abstract:
Before students graduate, they don’t know what to expect. We want to host events that help students learn a little bit more about “what’s next.” We would do this by getting together groups of alumni who are working in various fields, and having them discuss their experiences with students. In the fall, SMPA, co-hosted with the Center for Career Services an event with five SMPA alumni who discussed their roles covering the 2014 Midterm elections. The event was held in the Jack Morton Auditorium, and drew a crowd of about 125 students. We want to expand upon events like this one so more young professionals can candidly discuss what helped them as students, where they went after graduating, and what they would do differently given the chance. We want to expand this offering by hosting several events this semester which would be open to the GW community rather than just SMPA students. Panel topics would include: NGO and non-profit communication, entering the world of academia and research, as well as political management.

Funds will be spent on food and refreshments for the three panels and related costs for space for events.

SMPA Student Alumni Mentorship Program

Samara Sit, Director of Administration and Special Projects, SMPA

Project abstract:
This fall, SMPA hopes to pilot a student-alumni mentorship program targeting sophomore and junior students. From September through December, students will meet with their mentors, get career advice from them, and hopefully make lasting connections that will help them throughout their undergraduate and professional careers. By working one on one with professionals in DC, students are going to gain invaluable experience that they may not get through an internship or job. In this mentoring program, the entire focus is on teaching students about professionalism and what it takes to start a solid career after graduation. There is no one better to do that than a professional mentor who has graduated from SMPA. This program will be modeled after the highly successful mentorship program at the GW School of Business. Having multiple student-alumni mentorship programs at GW will help current GW students connect with alumni and show them what the school is doing, and bring alumni back to campus to help make lasting connections with a younger generation of GW students.

Funds will be spent on a Graduate Intern.

SMPA Master Class Workshops

Samara Sit, Director of Administration and Special Projects, SMPA
Molly Hogan, SMPA

Project abstract:
These workshops would serve as a way to help students gain skills applicable to their careers that they may not receive in a traditional classroom setting. Depending on the amount of money we receive to pay for honorarium fees, we are hoping to have up to four classes this semester: Photoshop, TweetDeck, Microsoft Excel, and basics of audio editing. We would arrange for experts to come in for several weekend workshops and teach students the basics of these skills. This intensive workshop style would allow students to get hands on experience with new skills, and do so in an environment that allows for a lot of one-on-one interaction without the pressure of being graded. By providing basic workshops for students to utilize, we can ensure even undergraduates are receiving relevant professional development to supplement what they receive in the classrooms, their internships, and part-time jobs. 

Funds will be spent on lunches and refreshments, honoraria for four speakers.

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