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2018 LEAD Award Goes to Penny Beuning of Northeastern University

Research Corporation for Science Advancement has designated Penny Beuning (CS 2009), Northeastern University, the recipient of the 2018 LEAD Award supporting unique leadership advancement opportunities of potential high impact for Cottrell Scholars.

Beuning said she was motivated to apply for the competitive career advancement award, one of three available to Cottrell Scholars, because she is assuming the role of director of graduate studies for the Northeastern Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

 “I will be assuming the role of Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for my department beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year,’ Beuning said. “I am excited by the opportunity to serve as DGS because I believe there is great potential for wide-ranging, positive impacts on our students in the program as well as our faculty.”

She said the $25,000 LEAD Award will help her to develop programming to maximize her effectiveness in her new role as she aims to come up with ways to:

  • train faculty and graduate students as mentors;
  • support TA and professional development;
  • establish an outreach program to encourage students to consider graduate school;
  • establish a Boston-area network of graduate directors and others concerned about graduate education.

In preparation for her new duties, Beuning said she will undertake training as a Master Trainer at a Facilitating Mentor Training Workshop from the National Research Mentoring Network.

Beuning said she has already received some training through this program, which she said is effective in prompting faculty advisors to consider the mentoring needs of students as well as coaching faculty through difficult conversations about a range of topics, from careers to performance issues to conflict resolution. “Completing Master Training will enable me to act as a facilitator for mentoring workshops with our faculty, postdocs, and graduate students,” she said.

In August 2017, Beuning helped to organize a Future Faculty Workshop for graduate students and postdocs. “For our intended 80 participants, we received over 220 applications,” she said. ”Clearly there is great demand for such programming.” She noted that funding from LEAD should help ensure the success of the next two planned workshops. 

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