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 Courses Summer 2012


GRD 712 Research Writing and Style
Wednesdays, 6 to 9pm                                                                       Location: TBA
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 716 Developing a Teaching Portfolio
Two class meetings (June 8 & July 20) 11am-1pm and weekly online assignments     Location: TBA
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.


Academic English for Internationals Summer 2012: Tentative Schedule

Jun. 4 to Aug. 6 (unless otherwise indicated)
*Designed specifically for internationals
**Check Summer Schedule on BlazerNET for changes** 

Speaking & Presentation

*GRD 721 Academic Interactions 
One Section: Tu/Th 5:30 to 7pm                                         Location: TBA
(Prerequisite: OPI advanced-level placement, GRD 720, or permission of instructor) 3 credit hours; Contact Alan Corbin 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. Prerequisite: Advanced-level placement, successful completion of GRD 720, or permission of the instructor. 3 credit hours. Spring, Summer and Fall. Pass/No Pass course.

GRD 730 Developing Your Professional Image
One Section: Mondays 5:30 to 8pm                                          Location: TBA
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.


GRD 711 Advanced Conversation
One Section: Tu/Th 3:30 to 5pm                                          Location: TBA
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 17 to Aug. 9                                                   Location: TBA
One Section: VT—Thursdays, 5:30 to 8:30pm
(Permission of instructor required) 3 credit hours
Contact Jonghee Shadix at
This course is for those students who have completed the individualized instruction or who have the equivalent proficiency of those who have completed. By applying the voice and speech works of actor training, the students will practice speaking in longer stretches of the 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 Writing

GRD 727 Writing & Reviewing Research
Four Sections: 01A and 01B—Wednesdays 6 to 9pm, and QN online (designed specifically for Nursing Students)                                                                         Location:  TBA
(Prerequisite for multilingual writers: English Language Writing Assessment minimum score of 3 or permission of instructor) 
3 credit hours; Contact Jennifer L. Greer at
Designed for individuals writing research and review papers. Offers instruction in 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 736 Dissertation Strategies 
One online section                                     
1 credit hour; Contact Dr. Susan Olmstead-Wang at
For graduate students who are preparing to start a dissertation within the next year; 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).


Preparing Tomorrow’s Professionals