This program packed a lot of great opportunities for professional development. From ethics to presentation skills, all of the workshops have been very beneficial to me. One of the workshops that was I really benefited and that I really enjoyed was the “Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). This workshop was presented by Dr. David Changnon, Professor in the Geography, Shannon McCarragher, geography graduate student and Dr. Lesley Riggs, Vice President of Research and Innovation Partnerships. This workshop explained all the nitty gritty details involved in conducting fair, responsible and proper research. I learned the role an advisor should play for students who work on a research project with them and the role an advisor should play when a student is struggling. We also learned some of the criteria of authorship as well as how a student or faculty should properly react when they notice misconduct. I really liked the way the workshop was delivered. There was role playing skits acted out by Dr. David and Shannon that showed how misconduct is carried out.
During the past few weeks, I learned a lot of key skills through participating in the numerous workshops. I believe I improved my technical writing skills because the proposal writing workshops helped correct a lot of mistakes I frequently made. The elevator pitch workshops and the other social activities we had this summer aided me with my public speaking skills as I had to briefly give an pitch about my research and often explain it in layman terms. This helped me also gain a deeper understanding of my research myself.
Furthermore, a career in engineering is deeply grounded on the principles of ethics. The ethics workshops were very informative and thought-provoking. The workshops challenged us to not only make better and more ethical decisions as researchers but as scholars and future professionals. This summer I realized that I wanted to continue my academic career in the field of law. I gained a keen interest in the field of patent and corporate law and I found out that that NIU offers LSAT review and prep courses. I am looking forward to taking those courses in hopes it will assist in me in taking the next step in my academic career.
Thanks for reading,