What. SICSFLAGS is the Seminar In Career Skills For Life After Graduate School, a professional development seminar.

Who. In Fall, 2021, SICSFLAGS is organized by Marie Coppola and Betsy McCoach. SICSFLAGS serves trainees in the SLAC, NBL and CNC-CT training programs at UConn. Anyone affiliated with these programs is welcome to drop in for sessions they are interested in.

Where. Gentry 142 or ONLINE, your choice -- see your email for the WebEx link, not posting here for security.

When. Mondays, 9-10am

Course objectives:

1. To learn about post-PhD career opportunities both inside and outside academia

2. To develop professional and soft skills that are infrequently explicitly addressed in academic classes, but which are crucial for research and career success.


08/30: Introductions, Organization; Development/Updating of Individual Development Plans (IDPs) Part I – Marie Coppola & Betsy McCoach


09/13: IDPs Part II: Individual review of Individual Development Plans (IDPs) with faculty – Marie Coppola, Betsy McCoach, & Inge-Marie Eigsti

09/27: Sarah Asinari, Co-Chair of the SLAC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee – Introduction to DEI at UConn

Sarah will review community expectations for accessibility in SLAC and adjacent training programs, with a broader discussion on what DEI is and what our community does to work towards being a forward-thinking, inclusive, and accessible trainee program. This will be a jumpstart course in DEI with some broad and important suggestions for action items that can be implemented sooner rather than later to foster DEI goals.

10/04: Dr. Emily Tarconish – Understanding and supporting the needs of students with disabilities

10/11: Dr. Tadarrayl Starke, Associate Vice Provost of the Institute for Student Success – First-Generation college students

10/18: Dr. D. Betsy McCoach – Brainstorming and conversation about Outreach options for the spring

11/01: Dr. Rachel Theodore, UConn Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences – Primer on Preregistration

11/08: Dr. Kay Gruder – Non-academic careers and career searches for PhDs

11/15: Karen Wadams, Merck (Pharmaceuticals) – Non-academic careers: Project Management


11/29: Dr. Teresa Girolamo, new Cognitive Neuroscience of Communication - Connecticut (CNC-CT) postdoctoral fellow

Title: Community-based approaches to language research: Rethinking the how and why

This talk will discuss an instantiated example of community-based approaches to language research with autistic young adults. The broader aim is to rethink how and why we should meaningfully engage and partner with participants and their communities.

Background: Dr. Girolamo has worked with Black and Hispanic/Latinx autistic young adults with language impairment and varying non-verbal IQ (NVIQ) over the past 4 years. She has found that working with them and their families on their terms, in their communities, while being transparent about the “why” of her research, has been very effective at working with participants who many researchers think are “difficult to engage.”

12/06: Wrap up and generate topics for Spring 2022