Professional Development

Preparing Future Faculty & Professionals (PFFP)
Workshop Series

The UWM Graduate School organizes seminars, workshops, and discussion forums to help you get acquainted with the expectations associated with graduate studies, move successfully through degree milestones, acquire a variety of transferable core skills, and also understand the “big picture” of higher education and academic life.

Faculty and staff from units across campus contribute to this ongoing series, supporting graduate student success as you envision and pursue your own future in and beyond the university. All students enrolled in a UWM graduate program are invited to attend these events on campus, free of charge.

Fall events are eligible for credit to students enrolled in GRAD 801: Introduction to Academic Life.

All events will be live streamed via Microsoft Teams live events. Click on the link below each program description to join, UWM log-in required.

Preparing Future Faculty & Professionals topics

▪ February ▪

Working Productively with Your Advisor

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021: 12pm – 1pm (virtual)
Panelists: Jen Doering, Professor of Nursing, Associate Dean, College of Nursing; Adam Jussel, Dean of Students; Amanda Seligman, Professor of History

Writing a successful thesis or dissertation requires more than just academic excellence. Students also have to manage a long-term relationship with their advisors and committees. Usually these are warm and collegial relationships, but even the best ones still involve occasional conflicts, misunderstandings, and even fundamental disagreements about goals and values. These panelists will share advice for making your advising relationship work. How do you establish expectations? What role do students have in determining the structure of advising? And what happens when one side doesn’t live up to the bargain? You’ll come away from this panel with a better understanding of the nature of the advising relationship, and with some practical ideas for making yours more successful.
Watch the February “Working Productively with Your Advisor” recorded video here.

▪ March ▪

Anti-Racism and Graduate Student Life

Thursday March 11, 10am – 11am (virtual)
Presenters: Khrys FuQua’, Director of Graduate Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate School; Derek Handley, Assistant Professor, English; Sarah MacDonald, Teaching, Learning and Technology Consultant, CETL.

Since widespread anti-racist demonstrations took to the streets last year, many have begun to think about how they can translate that energy into practical changes in their own professional settings. In this panel, we look specifically at the distinctive challenges and opportunities for graduate education. Where does racism persist most in graduate education, and how can those least affected by it learn to perceive it? What can graduate teaching assistants do to foster more race-conscious pedagogy? And what are productive ways of addressing racist conduct, either for bystanders who might witness it or for those who actually endure it? Three expert panelists will address these questions and more for all graduate students eager to contribute to our campus’s role in this national movement.
Watch the March “Anti-Racism and Graduate Student Life” recorded video here.

▪ April ▪

Virtual Skills for the Long Haul

Friday, April 23, 2021, 11am – 12 pm (virtual)
Presenters: Anne Basting, Professor of English and founder and President of TimeSlips; Kamara Jackson, Director of Employer Relations, Career Planning & Resource Center; Nicole Green Powley, Program Manager, Lubar Entrepreneurship Center.

Over the last year, most of us have learned how to work in online environments, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. But many of these changes will stay with us long after the current pandemic is over. In our changed world, many job interviews, academic conferences, dissertation defenses, public lectures, and more, will all remain online. What skills will you need to succeed in this virtual world? How can you learn to speak as comfortably and confidently into a camera as you now do in person? And how will expectations for you and your work change as a result? These expert panelists will go beyond the basics to talk about how to manage your technology and your own self-presentation for the virtual world ahead.
Watch the April “Virtual Skills for the Long Haul” recorded video here.

PLEASE NOTE: All Spring 2021 events will be live streamed via Microsoft Teams live events. UWM log-in required. Watching from a tablet or phone may require you to download the Microsoft Teams app. You may watch directly in your computer’s web browser. Captions are available in Teams live events. Past events can be viewed under the Preparing Future Faculty & Professionals (PFFP) Workshop Series Video Archives card below. For more information please email Renee Scampini (

Other professional development opportunities