The First-Ever Friday Forum 
for Future Female Faculty

Responding to a need for networking among female doctoral students, Dr. Kara Kockelman sponsored this informative event held in the informal & relaxed setting of the Posse East Bar & Grill, just north of campus.  With the help of the COE's Women in Engineering Program & CNS's Women in Science Program, the word went out to female doctoral candidates & female faculty to come together for an afternoon of sharing information on issues faced by women pursing a PhD & aiming for academia.  The result was a standing- room-only crowd that listened, laughed, learned, shared and bonded. 

F6: A fun forum featuring the following female faculty presenters...

Dr. Kara Kockelman (Host & Emcee)

Dr. Jenny Brodbelt 
Dr. Hillary Hart
Dr. Elaine Rich
Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum
Dr. Sherry Woods

along with
female doctoral candidates
from UT's College of Engineering
and College of Natural Sciences

Kara Kockelman introduces Rebecca Richards-Kortum and the topic of most interest to female doctoral students, "Balancing family, research and other interests."

* Some comments from those in attendance are 
located below. *

Women from both the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences came together for food, fun and serious discussion of the issues they face while pursing a PhD.

Dr. Elaine Rich (far right) addressed the issue of "How to Survive a PhD Program" and then joined the students for more one-on-one discussion of the topic.

Topics Addressed:

How to survive a PhD program

Making your academic years more productive and fruitful

How to set up a research plan

How to balance family, research and other interests

How to write successful papers and grants

Academia vs. Industry: How to decide


Dr. Sherry Woods, Director of Special Projects for UT's College of Engineering and former director of the Women in Engineering Program lead a lively discussion titled "Academia vs. Industry."

Click here for a view of  F6 participants' perceptions on the subject of Academia vs. Industry.

Of interest to everyone in attendance was Dr. Hillary Hart's information on writing successful papers. 

The event was attended by almost 40 students (and 11 faculty
members), and all came away with new knowledge & new friends.

Student Comments:

"I found this (event) very interesting and helpful....  (Dr. Woods) made me realize how similar the two choices are in a lot of ways that I'd never considered.   I also found it helpful to learn that it is probably easier to go from academia to industry, because one of my main concerns is that I wouldn't like the choice I made but wouldn't be able to change it."

"Reminding ourselves of the phrase 'Just do it' should prove useful in completing doctoral writing requirements. I learned from Dr. Hillary Hart that drafting and rewriting are key to producing good academic work."

"I found Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum's advice on balancing family and an academic career very sincere and pragmatic....  I found almost everything she said to be useful, and encouraging as well!  It was also good to hear a bit from the audience about having children while still in grad school.  I wish the topic could have been discussed further as it is rapidly becoming a big issue for me. "

"The most important part of this experience was the chance to interact with others."