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2016 Phd Pathways Program

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Program Schedule

Conference Program

Keynote Lecture

Workshop Descriptions



conference program






Keynote Lecture by Dr. Peter Fiske

  McCaw Hall Lodato Room Cranston Room Barnes Room Lane Room


Session 1




Research Outside Academia: STEM


Data Science


Research Outside Academia: Humanities & Social Sciences


University Administration


Negotiating Your Job Offer


Session 2




Scientific & Technical Consulting


Non-Tech Positions in the Tech Industry


Policy & Government


Startups & Entrepreneurs


Transferrable Skills


Networking Lunch


Session 3




Beyond Research in Industry


Foundations & Non-Profits


The Recruiter's Perspective


StartX Accelerator


Media & Communication


Session 4




Management Consulting


Resumes & Cover Letters




Patent Law


Arts & Entertainment


Networking Reception

Keynote Lecture

Peter Fiske, CEO of Pax Water Technologies and author of 'Put Your Science to WORK!'

Putting your PhD to WORK!

Today, Dr. Peter S. Fiske is a successful entrepreneur, Tech CEO, and internationally-recognized author and lecturer on the subject of careers and career development for PhDs. But in 1993, Fiske was a panicking, anxious PhD student at Stanford: uncertain if he wanted to even embark on an academic job search and totally clueless about what other opportunities existed for him. His journey (thanks in no small part to Stanford’s Career Planning and Placement Center) led him to research PhD career pathways, start a lecturing and counseling practice, and eventually publish numerous articles in Science and Nature and the PhD career guide Put Your Science to WORK! Dr. Fiske’s humorous and insightful keynote address will discuss some of the key findings of his 22-year quest to understand the true potential of the PhD degree in the wider world and what you should look forward to in your career search.

Dr. Peter S. Fiske is both a seasoned executive and an accomplished scientist, with two decades of experience across industries such as Defense, Natural Resources, Renewable Energy, Water and other utilities, and entrepreneurial technological development. Fiske is also a nationally-recognized author and lecturer on the subject of career development, leadership and entrepreneurship for scientists and engineers. He is a regular contributor to Nature and a past columnist for Science. Fiske is the author of Put Your Science to WORK!, the career development book for early-career scientists and engineers and he has given workshops to over 20,000 scientists and engineers in the US, the UK and Belgium. Fiske received his PhD in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University in 1993 and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in 2002.

Workshop Descriptions

Negotiating Your Job Offer

Nereyda Salinas - Director of Stanford EdCareers

In Negotiating Your Job Offer, Nereyda Salinas, the Director of Stanford EdCareers, will discuss how to evaluate your “entire compensation package,” the components of a job offer, and the common mistakes that people often make in job negotiations. We’ll create space to reflect on what matters most to you in this next job offer negotiation, and we will also share useful frameworks, resources, and language to help you in your future negotiations.

Transferrable Skills

Peter Fiske - CEO of Pax Water Technologies and author of 'Put Your Science to WORK!'

Most PhDs assume that their years of training have prepared them for only a special and specific type of academic research. In reality, your PhD has given you the opportunity to develop a range of transferrable skills that are highly valuable in a wide range of career fields. In this 1-hour workshop, PhD scientist and entrepreneur Peter Fiske will discuss the practical skills and personal qualities you have developed in the course of your PhD that are highly valued in industry and the public sector, and how to “recast” your PhD experience in terms that will resonate with a broad range of potential employers. Dr. Fiske will also discuss some key skills that you may NOT be developing in graduate school, and how to seek out opportunities to develop them while maintaining productivity on your thesis.

StartX Accelerator

Nicolas Kokkalis - CTO at StartX

StartX is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate the development of top Stanford entrepreneurs. The StartX program oversees each individual founders experience, their learning goals and the type of mentorship they receive at StartX. StartX charges no fees and takes zero equity. Join this workshop to learn what is takes to start your own company, how to apply for the StartX program, and what StartX is looking for in founders to join the community!

Resumes & Cover Letters

Stephanie Eberle - Director of Stanford School of Medicine Career Center

A good resume and cover letter show a fit between your skills & interests and those of your employers. Through interactive activities, this workshop provides the opportunity to see applications the way recruiters see them and to begin to tell your story through your own application documents. We will end with a discussion and examples of ways to adapt your materials to various sectors and environments.


Data Science Panel

  • Jake Klamka (Moderator) - M.S. in Physics - Founder & CEO at Insight Data Science
  • Sarah Aemi - PhD in Biomedical Informatics - Principal Data Scientist at Pivotal
  • George Roumeliotis - PhD in Astrophysics - Data Scientist at Walmart
  • Krystal St. Julien - PhD in Biochemistry - Operations Analyst at Facebook
  • Grace Tang – PhD in Bioengineering – Data Scientist at LinkedIn

University Administration Panel

  • Brett Alpert (Moderator) - PhD in Higher Education - Assistant Dean of Career Education & Associate Director of Career Ventures at Stanford University
  • Raymond Chen - PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology - Academic Advising Director at Stanford University
  • Jeff Jackanicz - PhD in English - Executive Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations & Leadership Gifts at UC Berkeley
  • Sofie Kleppner - PhD in Neuroscience - Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs at Stanford University
  • Beth Ponder - PhD in Microbiology and Immunology - Associate Director of Stanford ChEM-H at Stanford University

Research Outside Academia: Humanities & Social Sciences Panel

  • Jeffrey Schwegman (Moderator) - PhD in History - Humanities and Arts Initiatives Coordinator at Stanford University
  • Caren Arbeit - PhD in Sociology - Research Analyst at RTI International
  • Asha Dektor - PhD in Cognitive Psychology - Human Factors Engineer at Intuitive Surgical, Inc
  • Rachel Schwartz - PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders - Delivery System Science Fellow at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute

Research Outside Academia: STEM Panel

  • Rolando Yanes (Moderator) - PhD in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics - Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University and Co-President of the Association of Industry-Minded Stanford Professionals (AIMS)
  • Jonathan Ajo-Franklin - PhD in Geophysics - Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Griffin Barbula - PhD in Biophysical Chemistry - Research Scientist II at Gilead Sciences
  • Dean Carson - PhD in Neuropharmacology - Director, Scientific & Clinical Operations at Trigemina
  • Jennifer Dawson - PhD in Mechanical Engineering - Product Assurance Program Manager at Space Systems Loral

Scientific & Technical Consulting Panel

  • Jenny Irwin (Moderator) - BS in Biology - University Recruiting Manager at Exponent
  • Alissa M. Fitzgerald - PhD in Aero/Astro Engineering - Founder & Managing Member at A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates
  • Jennifer Nyman - PhD in Environmental Engineering and Science - Senior Consultant at Geosyntec Consultants
  • Hernan Sanchez - PhD in Chemistry - Scientist at Exponent
  • Susan E. Vleck - PhD in Microbiology and Immunology - Biosafety Specialist at Stanford University

Policy & Government Panel

  • Amy Brierley (Moderator) - MA in Counseling - Assistant Director of Career Communities at Stanford Career Education
  • Anh Thang Dao-Shah - PhD in American Studies - Policy & Evaluation Manager at San Francisco Arts Commission
  • Vivian Ericson - PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology - Legislative Aid at California State Assembly
  • Vicki Johnson - PhD in Emergency Management - Policy & Government Affairs Manager at San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • Nicole Meyer-Morse - PhD in Microbiology and Immunology - CCST/ASME Science and Technology Policy Fellow at California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
  • Dena Vallano - PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - Physical Scientist at US Environmental Protection Agency

Startups & Entrepreneurs Panel

  • Andrew Maas (Moderator) - PhD in Computer Science - Founder & CTO at Roam Analytics
  • John Feland - PhD in Mechanical Engineering - Founder & CEO at Argus Insights
  • Andrew Lee - PhD in Chemical and Systems Biology - Co-Founder and Managing Director StartX-QB3
  • Eric Mayefsky - PhD in Economics - Founder & CEO at WeFinance
  • May Wang - PhD in Electrical Engineering - Founder & CTO at ZingBox

Non-Tech Positions in the Tech Industry Panel

  • Anais Saint-Jude (Moderator) - PhD in French - Program & Engagement Manager at Stanford Technology Ventures Program
  • Curtiss Cobb - PhD in Sociology - Manager of Growth Population and Survey Sciences Group at Facebook
  • Chris Kark - PhD in Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures - Former Content Specialist at Twitter
  • Katie Malczyk - PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures - Communications Manager at Google
  • Jessica Weare - PhD in English - Philanthropy and Civic Engagement Manager at Microsoft

Foundations & Non-Profits Panel

  • Chris Golde (Moderator) - PhD in Education - Special Projects Lead at Stanford Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education
  • Jennifer Bryson - PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies - Director at the Zephyr Institute
  • Plavi Jain Mittal - PhD in Biology - President & CEO at the Jain Foundation
  • Karen Poiani - PhD in Ecology - Director Evaluation & Learning at the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation
  • Rob Schoenbeck - PhD in Digital Humanities (English) - Partnerships Evaluation Manager at

Beyond Research in Industry Panel

  • Marjoke Debets (Moderator) - PhD in Chemistry - Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University
  • Sterling Anderson - PhD in Mechanical Engineering - Senior Product Manager at Tesla Motors
  • Adi Aron-Gilat - JSD in Environmental Law - Head of Business Innovation Strategy at Google [X]
  • Carrie Northover - PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology - Manager, Research Partnerships at 23andMe
  • Jay Parrish - PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry - Associate Director, Corporate Development at Gilead Sciences

Media & Communication Panel

  • Sheetal Patel (Moderator) - PhD in Strategic Communication - Director of Branding and Digital Communities at Stanford Career Education
  • Michelle Dohm - PhD in Chemistry - Senior Editor at PLOS ONE
  • Sarah Goodwin - PhD in Cell Biology - Director of iBiology at the American Society for Cell Biology
  • Kristin Sainani - PhD in Epidemiology - Associate Professor at Stanford University and Health and Science Writer
  • Suzanne Scala - PhD in Comparative Literature - Technical Writer at Mesosphere, Inc

The Recruiter's Perspective Panel

  • Jeffrey D'Andria (Moderator) - MS in Student Affairs Counseling - Assistant Director of Career Ventures at Stanford Career Education and former Recruiter for Microsoft
  • Luke Beseda - BA in Psychology - Talent at Lightspeed Ventures and former Startup Recruiting Manager
  • Jenny Irwin - BS in Biology - University Recruiting Manager at Exponent
  • Lee Anne Masetti-Martin - BA in Sociology - Patent Attorney Recruiting Manager at Morrison & Foerster

Management Consulting Panel

  • Arne Bakker (Moderator) - PhD in Immunology - Assistant Director of Career Communities for PhDs and Postdocs at Stanford Career Education
  • Jake Ginsbach - PhD in Chemistry - Business Associate Consultant at ZS Associates
  • Ingrid Lawhorn Olasov - PhD in Chemical Engineering - Consultant at Bain & Company
  • Matt Smith - PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology - Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company
  • Will Stork - PhD in Biology - Life Sciences Specialist at L.E.K. Consulting


  • Chris Gonzalez Clarke (Moderator) - PhD in Education - Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Stanford University
  • Michael Carter - PhD in History - Principal at Twin Learning
  • Janet Coffey - PhD in Science Education - Program Officer, Science and Learning at the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation
  • Amy Hale - PhD in Folklore and Mythology - Director of Academic Programs and Instructional Design at Helix Education
  • Kate Mattison - PhD in Mathematics - Director of Products at IXL Learning
  • June Yoshii - PhD in English Literature - Curriculum Developer at IBM

Patent Law Panel

  • Courtney Yeager (Moderator) - BA in English - Patent Recruiter at Morrison & Foerster
  • Otis Littlefield - PhD in Molecular & Cellular Biology - Partner at Morrison & Foerster
  • Julia Minitti - PhD in Organic Chemistry - Associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Erica Pascal - PhD in Biochemistry - Partner at DLA Piper
  • Rachel Senturia - PhD in Biological Chemistry - Patent Agent at Cellular Research

Arts & Entertainment Panel

  • Olivia Martinez-Stewart (Moderator) - MA in Career Counseling - Assistant Director of Career Communities at Stanford Career Education
  • Luigi Anzivino - PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience - Science content developer for the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium
  • Matthew Tiews - PhD in Comparative Literature - Associate Dean for the Advancement of the Arts at Stanford University
  • Indre Viskontas - PhD in Neuroscience - Podcast host of Inquiring Minds, TV host, and Opera Singer