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Aug 14 / Sarah Sheesley

2017 BEST Orientation: Dr. Elizabeth Watkins (UCSF) offers a national perspective on career opportunities and multiple career pathways for Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scientists


by Lauren Tanabe, Ph.D.

The BEST program for 2017-18 will commence with our Orientation on Wednesday, Sept. 27, in Margherio Hall in the School of Medicine. The Orientation will run from 4:30-6:30 pm and will introduce incoming doctoral students and postdoctoral scientists to BEST at Wayne. Current students and former BEST participants are welcome to attend.




Elizabeth Watkins, PhD, Dean of the Graduate Division and Vice

Elizabeth Watkins, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate Division and Vice Chancellor of Student Academic Affairs.

For the final year of the program at Wayne State, we will feature a keynote speaker at the Orientation, Dr. Elizabeth Watkins of University of California, San Francisco. She is the dean of the graduate division, vice chancellor of Student Academic Affairs, and professor in the department of anthropology, history, and social medicine at UCSF.

As dean, Dr. Watkins and her staff conducted career outcome studies of all Ph.Ds graduating from UCSF since 1997. They also created an exit survey to allow graduates to discuss and reflect on their time as a means to improve upon student experiences at that institution. Dr. Watkins has served with the Dean of the Graduate School at Wayne State, Dr. Ambika Mathur, on several conference panels on the topic of Ph.D. career outcomes.  Dr. Watkins’ presentation at the orientation will offer a national perspective on career opportunities and multiple career pathways for Ph.Ds.  She will also address what skills trainees will need to succeed and how they can demonstrate competency in those skills to land diverse job opportunities.

Dr. Watkins earned both her B.A. in biology and Ph.D. in the history of science at Harvard University before joining UCSF in 2004. Her research investigates the relation between medicine, science, commerce, and culture in the US. Dr. Watkins has published many articles on the history of prescription drugs, birth control, estrogen and female aging, testosterone and male aging, and stress and disease. Dr. Watkins is the author of On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives, 1950-1970 and The Estrogen Elixir: A History of Hormone Replacement Therapy in America, both published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Her work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the NIH/National Library of Medicine, the National Academy of Education, and the National Science Foundation.

During the week after the Orientation, the BEST program will hold panel discussions on five different career tracks (research administration, teaching, business, government, and communication), also in Margherio Hall, from 4-6 pm.

These events are all free, but prior to attending attendees should register online.

For more information, email or contact the BEST Program Manager Dr. Heidi Kenaga at 313-577-5499.

Click below to download the Phase I flyer.

BEST Phase I events flyer

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