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Professional Development Workshops

Professional development activities are aimed at providing REU participants with effective skill sets in scientific communication, professional ethics, and importance of diversity and inclusion. These activities will also help prepare participants to transfer to a four-year institution. 

Examples of these professional development workshops include:

  • Diversity and Inclusion workshop to promote awareness on aspects of inclusion, privilege, micro-aggression and implicit bias in the STEM field as well as the aspects of our culture that inhibit equity and inclusiveness, and the role of personal behavior.
  • Ethical conduct of research to train the students with ethical aspects of human and animal research and other issues related to the ethical conduct of research, such as sexual harassment, scientific authorship and fraud.
  • Transferring to a Four-Year Institution. This workshop will provide guidance on the transfer process, suggestions for preparing successful applications, and an opportunity to ask questions
  • Four-Year Institutions: Regional Options this workshop will introduce REU participants to these regional institutions so that students can appreciate their distinctive strengths.
  • Career Opportunities in Biology and Data Science. Diverse faculty in Biology will share their experiences and knowledge on academic and career opportunities, focusing on the role and value of data science.
  • Workshop on oral presentation to train the students to deliver an effective scientific talk that will supplement guidance from research mentors.
  • Final Symposium. A Biology REU Summer Research Symposium will be held on the last day of the program, in conjunction with the other REUs on JMU campus. Each student will deliver their final project presentation and the Symposium will conclude with a banquet for all attendees.
Peer Mentoring and Social Events

REU participants will have the opportunity to meet and work with current JMU undergraduates in a peer mentorship capacity, both socially and scientifically. This peer mentorship program will foster meaningful relationships between current students and REU participants. 

Activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Welcome Reception
  • Brown Bag Lunch on Fridays either outdoors or indoors
  • Weekend outings like a hike in Shenandoah National Park, partaking in a Shakespearean play at nearby Blackfrairs Playhouse, a canoe trip down the Shenandoah River, a visit to Virginia Safari Park, visit to the JMU planetarium, and a day-long trip to the National Mall and Smithsonian Institute with the other 3 REU programs. 
  • Final Banquet to celebrate the summer program.

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