Graduate School News

Discoveries: The sweet science behind mending muscle

IMG 0174Rylie Hightower, a third-year graduate student in the Graduate Biomedial Sciences neuroscience program, studies proteins and other factors that contribute to the progression of muscular dystrophy. 

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Link to Leadership: Dr. Lisa Schwiebert, Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

GRAD logo without taglineEmbarking on the graduate school journey can be a challenging experience, but it helps if you understand the major players involved in that experience. This new series, "Link to Leadership," features Q&As with UAB's Graduate School leaders and an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to get to know these leaders on a deeper level.
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Graduate Student Organization Spotlight: Graduate Student Government

Grad Student Organization Spotlight graphicThe University of Alabama at Birmingham offers numerous ways for graduate students to enhance their leadership skills, one of which is joining a student organization. But how do you decide which organization is the right fit for you? This Spotlight series will highlight all of UAB's graduate student organizations, as well as the benefits of joining each one.  Read more ...

Upcoming Events

Blazer Spotlights

Hisham Abdelmotilib

Hisham Abdelmotilib

Jacqueline Vo

Jacqueline Vo

Kendra Royston

Kendra Royston

Samir Rana

Samir Rana

Professional Development Program
Summer 2012

Prepared for Success?

Position yourself for a career in research, academia, or science with the support of the UAB Graduate School.

Acquire Research Writing Strategies  Explore Ethics in Science
Participate in Scholarly Debate  Write for Grants & Fellowships
Develop Effective Presentations   Discover the Teacher in You


  • Under the direction of Dr. Julia Austin,, the Professional Development Program’s courses offer graduate, academic credit, and are designed to support students through master’s and Ph.D. programs, as well as careers as research or post-doctoral fellows at UAB.
  • GRD courses are ideal for students and employees in looking to enhance their professional and work skills beyond their specialty with an eye toward presenting, publishing, teaching, and working on inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural teams.
  • GRD courses are Pass/Fail, and strategically scheduled to begin after the start of the regular semester and finish before finals so as not to interfere with students’ core curriculum.
  • Registration for Academic English for Internationals (*) courses requires current language assessment scores from the UAB Graduate School. Our research-based testing program is free, with scores provided, along with course recommendations, to students and their advisors. To arrange an assessment appointment, contact Lori Naramore at
  • Check our Web site for updates!

See details on course offerings below.

Professional Development Offerings Summer 2012
* Designed specifically for internationals   ** Jun. 4 to Aug. 6 (unless otherwise indicated)
Check Summer Schedule on BlazerNet for changes


GRD 716 Developing a Teaching Portfolio                                                           Location: TBA
Two class meetings (June 8 & July 20) 11am to 1pm and weekly online assignments                      
2 credit hours; Contact Nancy Abney at
This hybrid course guides participants in developing a Teaching Portfolio for improving teaching practices and enhancing job search potential.  The web-based curriculum introduces essential elements of the portfolio, provides tools for gathering necessary documentation, and through individual feedback from the instructor, assists participants in drafting a personal Philosophy of Teaching, upon which the Portfolio is built. 

GRD 736 Dissertation Strategies               
One Online SectionLocation: TBA
1 credit hour; Contact Dr. Susan Olmstead-Wang at
For graduate students who are preparing to start a dissertation within the next year; seminar topics include creating a dissertation committee, crafting the proposal, outlining the text, and managing the writing and reviewing process. GRD 736 is the pre-requisite for GRD 737 Successful Dissertation Process (offered Spring Semester).

Speaking & Presentation

GRD 730 Developing Your Professional Image
Two Sections: Mondays 5:30 to 8:00pm and Wednesdays, 5:30 to 8:00pmLocation: SHEL 515
3 credit hours
Contact Alan Corbin at
Build communication skills and learning strategies while exploring cultural values. Through small-group interaction, students learn to effectively discuss their opinions, organize effective talks, and analyze complex problems. This Level 3 course prepares students for the kinds of communication expected in graduate school —participating in academic discussions; debating scholarly projects with colleagues; and delivering formal talks at professional meetings.

New Course!

*GRD 711 Advanced Conversation             
One Section: Tu/Th 3:30 to 5:00pm                                                                            Location: TBA
(Prerequisite: GRD 730 or permission of the instructor)  3 credit hours
Contact Alan Corbin at
Polish your conversation skills while discussing an array of contemporary issues and timeless themes.

Pronunciation and Accent Improvement

*GRD 714: Individualized Pronunciation Instruction                                                   
Class meets May 14 to Aug. 6
(Prerequisite: GRD 724 or permission of instructor) 3 to 5 credit hours per semester  
Contact Jonghee Shadix at .
Students in Individualized Instruction have acquired basic speaking skills in group instruction and are now ready for fine-tuning their language abilities with an experienced instructor, who tailors lessons to their particular pronunciation needs. The course includes a thorough diagnostic and goal-setting session, followed by one-to-one instruction in the sounds and rhythms of English, including computer-assisted language mapping and techniques used by professional actors.

GRD 724: Pronunciation/Accent Workshop                                            
Class meets May 14 to Aug. 6                                                                                       Location: TBA
One Section: Thursdays, 5:30 to 8:30pm
3 to 5 credit hours per semester (maximum 4 semesters)
Contact Jonghee Shadix at
Conversation groups in which second language students practice conversation skills with peers and with native English speakers. Students also attend lectures given by invited speakers and participate in a variety of cultural events.

Academic Writing

GRD 712 Research Writing and Style                                                                    Location: TBA
One Section: Wednesdays, 6:00 to 9:00pm                                                               
3 credit hours; Contact Jennifer Greer at
Designed for graduate students and professionals who are currently working on a writing project (e.g., paper for class, journal article for publication, or dissertation), this course teaches effective strategies for research writers. Students explore scientific thought, structures and style, the creative process, planning and completing a writing project, IMRD organization (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, etc.), submitting to journals and publishing.

GRD 727 Writing & Reviewing Research                                                              Location:TBA
Four Sections: 01A-Wednesdays 6:00 to 9:00pm, 01B-Tuesdays 6:00 to 9:00pm, QL-Online, and          QN-Online for Nursing Students    
(Prerequisite for multilingual writers: ESL Writing Assessment minimum score of 3 or permission of instructor)  3 credit hours
Contact Jennifer L. Greer at
Designed for individuals constructing research projects, preparing literature reviews, writing summaries and critiques, GRD 727 offers essential strategies and techniques for working more effectively, ethically, and efficiently; assignments include practice, feedback, peer review, and self-editing. Special emphasis is placed on analysis of research texts, outlining, drafting, and citing for more productive and independent writing.

Preparing Tomorrow’s Professionals