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Searching for Fertile Ground: The Role of Personal Values in Influencing PhD Career Interests and Diversifying the STEM Workforce

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

Today's STEM workforce offers a plethora of options for graduates to consider upon PhD completion. Interestingly, the declining availability of faculty positions combined with the expansion of viable job opportunities has resulted in a waning interest in academic careers. However, PhD graduates from underrepresented groups are disproportionately choosing to pursue careers outside of academia, and the underlying reasons for these disparate patterns are not well understood. In this workshop, we discuss some of the literature and potential best practices that examine and address these dynamics. Lunch will be provided.


  • Johnna Frierson is the founding director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Pratt School of Engineering. She completed her undergraduate degree in biology at Furman University and earned her PhD in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University.


  • Arlie Petters is the Trinity College dean of academic affairs and associate vice provost for undergraduate education. He also holds Trinity College appointments as professor of mathematics and physics and an appointment at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business as a professor of business administration. Dean Petters earned a B.A. and an M.A. in mathematics and physics from Hunter College in New York, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Lillian Zwemer is the director of biomedical graduate development in the Office of Biomedical Graduate Education in the Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Zwemer obtained her BA in Biochemistry from Vassar College, and earned her PhD at Harvard Medical School in the fields of epigenetics and genomics.

This event is hosted by Teaching IDEAS Series. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Francisco Ramos at

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Perkins Library, Room 217

Event Category

  • General
  • Professional Development