Professional Development Program
                      Spring 2014

    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

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  • 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 Spring 2014
* Designed specifically for internationals
**Jan. 27 to Apr. 10 (unless otherwise indicated)
Check Spring Schedule on BlazerNET for changes

Speaking & Presentation

GRD 701 Presentation & Discussion Skills
Wednesdays, May 7 to Aug. 6, 5:30 to 8pm                            Location: BBRB 263
3 credit hours;  Contact Dr. Kellie Carter at
This course is designed to develop professional communication skills through individual presentations and group evaluations. Topics include the basics of oral presentation, content, organization, and delivery of formal presentations; use of voice and nonverbal communication; and speaking to different audiences. Students’ presentations are videotaped and critiqued by their classmates and the instructor.

*GRD 721 Academic Interactions                                               
Class runs May 19 to July 23                                                                     Location: TBA
One Section: M/W 11:00am to 12:30pm                                                                   
3 credit hours;  Contact Jonghee Shadix at
Speaking and listening course for international graduate students, postdocs, and employees who wish to master the English language skills they need to interact confidently and effectively whether speaking to one person or to a group!  Discover strategies for handling speaking tasks ranging from simple to complex – from one-on-one conversations, to small group discussions and departmental meetings, to presenting at conferences.  Learn how to “hold your own” in sometimes challenging interactions such as expressing your opinion, agreeing and disagreeing or at departmental social events or job interviews.  Interesting, up-to-date online materials promote the development of vocabulary, grammatical accuracy, and pronunciation. 

Pronunciation & Accent Improvement

*GRD 725: Advanced Pronunciation & Intelligibility Workshop
Class begins Jan. 8
One Section: Wednesdays, 5:30 to 8:00pm  (Permission of instructor required) 
3 credit hours;  Contact Jonghee Shadix at  
By applying the voice and speech works of actor training, the students will practice speaking in longer stretches of speech without losing the clarity of the message. This course helps students prepare for thesis and dissertation defenses, lecturing, and talks given at professional conferences and interviews.

Academic & Professional Writing

GRD 727 Writing & Reviewing Research                                     Location: TBA 
Three Sections: 01A—Tuesdays 6 to 9pm, 01B—Wednesdays 6 to 9pm, and one Online section – QL
3 credit hours; Contact Dr. Jennifer L. Greer at
Designed for individuals writing research and review papers. Writers select their own topics. Course offers instruction in essential strategies and techniques, practice, peer review, and instructor feedback.  Instructor approval required for second-language writers. Note: Self motivated? Working from home? Take GRD 727 online. 

GRD 728 Professional Writing & Publishing
Jan. 28 to Apr. 14 (12-week class)                                               Location: TBA
One Section:  QL (online)
3 credit hours; Contact Dr. Jennifer L. Greer at
Designed for advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and researchers seeking to write and publish professionally.  Writers select their own topics.  Course includes writing in field, peer review, self-editing, and coaching.  Instructor approval required for second-language writers. 

GRD 717 Principles of Scientific Integrity
Fridays, Jan. 10 to Apr. 18, 2 to 4:30pm                                     Meets in CEC 140
3 credit hours; Contact Dr. Jeffrey Engler at
This course surveys ethical issues and principles in the practice of science. Among the topics discussed are the nature, extent, and causes of fraud in the sciences; UAB policies on fraud; ideals of good science; the responsibilities of authorship and peer review; potential problems raised by the commercialization of research; scientists as public policy advisors; and ethical issues involved in animal experimentation and in clinical trials.

College Teaching

GRD 705 Teaching at the College Level and Beyond
Mondays, Jan. 6 to Apr. 21, 5:30 to 8pm                                         Location: TBA
2 or 3 credit hours; Contact Dr. Julia Austin at or Nancy Abney at
This course provides an overview of many important aspects of teaching at the college level and beyond. Topics include designing a course and writing an effective syllabus, writing learning objectives, enhancing lectures, testing and grading, dealing with challenging students and difficult situations, learning and the brain, and accessing appropriate active learning strategies.

GRD 716 Developing a Teaching Portfolio
Two class meetings (2/7 & 3/21) 1:00-3:00pm 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 750-01A CIRTL Seminar – Teaching & Learning                 Location: TBA
1 credit hour; Contact Dr. Jeffrey Engler at
Wednesdays 4 to 5pm

GRD 751 CIRTL Teaching and Learning Seminar II               
1 credit hour; Contact Dr. Jeffrey Engler at
This seminar is designed to engage students in advanced topics related to teaching and learning at the university level, particularly as these topics relate to or are implemented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) classes. 

GRD 752 CIRTL Seminar on STEM Teaching                          
1 to 3 credit hours;
Contact Dr. Jeffrey Engler at     
Designed for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who plan to teach undergraduate STEM courses, this seminar addresses a range of topics focused on enhancing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teaching.

GRD 754 CIRTL Effective STEM Teaching Approaches        
1 to 3 credit hours;
Contact Dr. Jeffrey Engler at
This course explores effective research-based teaching approaches to for enhancing learning in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses. Approaches such as collaborative learning, team-based learning, flipped classrooms, inquiry science, case studies, and problem-based learning will be considered.

GRD 755 CIRTL Teaching Practicum                                         
3 credit hours;  
Contact Dr. Jeffrey Engler at   
This course provides students a structured observation and practicum experience in which they shadow a STEM faculty member as s/he teaches a semester-long course and engage in a variety of guided teaching activities.

GRD 758 CIRTL Diversity in the College Classroom              
1 to 3 credit hours;
Contact Dr. Jeffrey Engler at      
This course addresses different aspects of diversity, particularly in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, with the underlying principle of equitable access and enhanced learning of all students. Topics include gender, race, culture, disability, first-generation college students, ethnically diverse students (men of color, Latino/as, and international students), and learning style/environment.

GRD 761 CIRTL Special Topics Course                                     
1 to 5 credit hours;
Contact Dr. Jeffrey Engler at           
This course addresses topics of current interest related to college teaching. See UAB Class Schedule for offerings.

Preparing Tomorrow’s Professionals