Rising Stars workshop hosted at CMU

Monica Cooney

Nov 2, 2023

Group photo of participants on stairs outside

The department of materials science and engineering (MSE) hosted the Rising Stars workshop, a professional development program designed for doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars interested in pursuing academic teaching and research careers in MSE and related interdisciplinary fields.

This year’s program brought 28 scholars from around the country to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for the two-day workshop, held October 27-28, 2023. Organized by CMU, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Stanford University, the workshop aimed to expand inclusivity, access, and preparation for academic careers in MSE. 

In addition to providing practical information and training about the required skill sets to become successful in academic job seeking and career development, participants also had the opportunity to engage with faculty from across the College of Engineering as well as hands-on activities with peers.

The topics highlighted during the course of the program included critical information and skills to enhance job applications such as writing teaching, research, and diversity statements, preparing presentations, as well as identifying keys to success in interview and negotiation processes.

“The program was well-designed and I found it to be incredibly beneficial to me, as I have learned so much about pursuing an academic career including grant writing, interview processes, negotiation, research pitches, mentoring students and searching for mentors,” said workshop participant Louise Chen, a current graduate student at Johns Hopkins University.

These sessions allowed me to think critically and build cohesive research goals for my envisioned program.

Raghav Garg, University of Pennsylvania postdoctoral scholar, CMU materials science alumnus

Participants also had the opportunity to develop and share their envisioned research portfolio.  Through working in small groups moderated by seasoned faculty members, the attendees were able to solicit feedback from both their peers and mentors.  

“These sessions allowed me to think critically and build cohesive research goals for my envisioned program,” said University of Pennsylvania postdoctoral scholar and CMU materials science alumnus, Raghav Garg. “The opportunity to communicate this to my peers and professionals provided crucial feedback on its near-term feasibility, as well as my long-term vision.”

The workshop was planned by CMU MSE department head, Beth Dickey and assistant professor Mohadeseh Taheri-Mousavi, as well as MIT associate professor, Robert Macfarlane and Stanford University MSE department head, Alberto Salleo.

"It was my dream to initiate the Rising Stars workshop for materials science and engineering and I am really thankful to Professor Dickey and all who helped to realize this dream," said Taheri-Mousavi.