Thursday, March 19, 2015

Finding an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Summer Experience

It’s Spring Break!  Are you thinking how you’ll spend the summer?  Here are some useful tips to help you design a summer work experience that will sharpen your skills, build your CV, and broaden your horizons.

Your first task is to figure out what posting is right for you.  Consider these questions: Where do you want to go?  What skills do you want to build?  What kind of income do you need?  How much time do you have?

And most importantly, what do you love to do?

A summer internship, research position, or job can lay the groundwork for a career, so be creative – and proactive.  Mentors in your program can help you search and may have contacts to pass along.  Many program websites have resources for summer internships and work-study opportunities. 

Try to start your search early, so that you can cast a wide net and develop a finished cover letter and CV.  You may need transcripts and reference letters, so reach out to your professors as soon as possible.   A simple spreadsheet in Excel or Word can help you keep track of deadlines and materials. 

Your CV and cover letter should include basic information, including updated contact details.  Follow the three C’s: Concise, Clear, and Consistent.  Think of your CV and cover letter as a presentation of your skills and abilities.  Open your cover letter with a formal solicitation, and close with a thank you.  Remember: proofread, proofread, proofread!  Nothing derails an application faster than spelling and grammatical errors.  

When you interview, be sure to dress the part – no jeans or sneakers.  Arrive on time or a few minutes early.  If you can, research the organization and job ahead of time, so you know what questions you will likely be asked.  The more prepared you are, the more professional you’ll seem.  And don’t forget to smile! 

Check out these sites for more tips and leads.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Disability Awareness at Wyoming EPSCoR

How do you define inclusion?

At Wyoming EPSCoR, disability awareness is taking shape within the Wyoming Center for Experimental Hydrology and Geophysics through recruitment.  As Wyoming EPSCoR Project Director and WyCEHG PI Brent Ewers says, "We don't want to just pay lip service to this goal; we will actively recruit potential graduate students for the academic year 2016-2017 from known centers of disabled undergraduate research across EPSCoR jurisdictions and the United States. Our recruiting efforts will be focused on such centers based on the advice of our recent disability speaker Dr. Cheri Blauwet."

Dr. Blauwet visited UW this February as part of Wyoming EPSCoR’s disability awareness speaker series, designed to give UW scientists a dedicated forum for learning about disability inclusion.  Dr. Blauwet was able to share her insights as a student, professor, and physician—and as the first wheelchair user at Stanford Medical School.  

In her presentation, Dr. Blauwet highlighted the vital importance of active partnership and open dialogue between university administrators and students with disabilities.  Access and accommodation should begin with the popular disability-rights slogan, "Nothing about us without us!"  Wyoming EPSCoR is committed to realizing that inclusive ideal.  

Dr. Blauwet in conversation with Laramie residents

The Disability Awareness Program through Wyoming EPSCoR recognizes that students with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM fields, and seeks to balance the disparity with a proactive approach.  Wyoming EPSCoR’s partnership with the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) has resulted in the use of creative curriculum to teach participants about disability issues.  Learning objectives include background knowledge, sensitivity training, and awareness of people with disabilities and specialized needs.  

The Summer Research Apprenticeship Program (SRAP) includes specialized training with Dr. Michelle Jarman from the Disability Studies program.  Past topics have included conscious word use and ‘invisible’ disabilities. 

Through conferences, workshops, and open platforms for discussion, Wyoming EPSCoR aims to facilitate a multidimensional learning environment, giving students the chance to bring newly acquired knowledge into their communities upon graduation.  

To learn more about disability awareness at Wyoming EPSCoR and our partnership with WIND, contact Sarah Konrad at

By: Jessica White

Monday, March 2, 2015

A UW graduate student uses her passion to support students

Teddi Hofmann started working with the recognized student organization, Multicultural Association of Student Scientists (MASS ) in the fall of 2014 as a part of her joint Graduate Assistantship with EPSCoR and the Haub School.  In this role, Teddi acts as a peer mentor to the group and works to support and encourage diversity in STEM disciplines. Her latest project is promoting the Wyoming State Science Fair, coming up on campus March 1-3, through MASS.

“The idea of MASS is to serve as a network and support system for students pursuing science, and the science fair is the perfect venue,” says Teddi. 

This semester is brimming with activities and events to encourage diversity in the  sciences. Most recently, MASS brought José Gonzalez, founder of Latino Outdoors, to UW to talk about encouraging Latino participation in outdoor education.  Teddi has a connection with this group as a Wyoming Ambassador for the California-based nonprofit, and was excited about the opportunity to bring José to campus.

Teddi (third on right) with student and Jose Gonzalez (third on left) last week.
In addition to the science fair and José’s visit, MASS will be involved with the Shepard Symposium, taking place in Laramie from April 8-11 2015.  The group is partnering with the Latino Studies Department to screen Even the Rain, a 2010 Spanish film about a water war in Bolivia.  It will be shown on April 7th at 7pm in the Berry Center Auditorium, and Wyoming EPSCoR  will provide refreshments before the film. The screening is part of a three-part series from the Latino Studies Department this semester.  Precious Knowledge was shown on February 17th, and  Mi Familia, a 1995 film depicting three generations of Mexican-American families in Los Angeles, will show this week on March 3rd at 7pm. 

Teddi’s interest in building stronger connections between Latino communities in Wyoming through science and outdoor education comes from volunteering with Pura Vida, a leadership and learning program at the Teton National Park.  She is currently building a research project evaluating Pura Vida’s impact on program participants.  Luckily, many Pura Vida alumni are now students at the University of Wyoming, allowing Teddi to continue mentoring them in MASS and other student multicultural groups.  

Teddi values the support she has encountered at the University of Wyoming to pursue her passion, “I feel like if you want an opportunity, people are willing to make it happen.”

Go here to like MASS on Facebook!  

By: Jessica White