reshaping (my) graduate education

SLForsburg susan_forsburg at
Wed Jul 12 09:34:22 EST 1995

Mary R Leinhos <leinhosm at> wrote:
>	I am a second year graduate student in a molecular biology 
>department, and have decided that I love teaching a lot more than doing 
>biological research, for various reasons;   After speaking to a faculty 
>member and my department head, I have (with their enthusiastic support)
>decided to redesign my degree program into a biology education program.  
>My career goals are to teach biology at the college level (possibly focusing 
>on teaching biology ed majors), but do research in science _education_ rather 
>than "wet science."

First of all, congratulations for knowing what you like and doing
something about it!  Nothing is sadder than a student who realises they
dont like doing research but feel they can't get off the treadmill.

I can't speak for the small college environment, but certainly a 
research university requires its tenure track faculty to run a 
vigorous research program.  My observation suggests that there
 are few positions for non-practising scientists and they are usually 
non-tenure track, largely organisational and carry the title lecturer or 
instructor).   When I looked for a job
and put together a "teaching experience" section on my cv, one senior
person I showed it to said "that's all very good, but no one will make
a hiring decision that is influenced by teaching ability or promise."
He was speaking of course about the reserach university environment.

I'll be interested to hear what others say, as I think that it is always
good to be aware of your options!

susan_forsburg at

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