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WSU alumni to return to Pullman for first Cougar Career Conference

Washington State University alumni from the School of Molecular Biosciences and Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience in the College of Veterinary Medicine are returning Friday and Saturday to provide career advice to undergraduates in related fields.

The professional workshop, the Cougar Career Conference, is the first in what is expected to become an annual event and will feature a panel of nearly a dozen alumni, many of whom graduated within the past two years.

Panelists will explain how they found their way after graduation, including during the pandemic; discuss critical experiences that prepared them and set them apart from other job candidates; and share stories and tips from their young careers. The speakers come from several different fields, including lab management, molecular genetics, neuroscience drug development and pulmonary therapy.

Participating undergraduates will get group time for establishing professional networking connections. 

The workshop will be broken into two sessions in Room 402 of the Biotechnology Life Sciences building.

The first session is 3-4 p.m. Friday and the second is 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. Friday’s session will be based on professionalism and will prepare students for Saturday’s session. Saturday’s session will delve into trends in the job market and provide a peek into the next steps of their professional careers.

Speakers include:

  • Cameron Dean (’21 Genetics and Cell Biology)
    Laboratory technologist with Paw Print Genetics
  • Grace Fine (’21 Genetics and Cell Biology, Microbiology)
    Senior research assistant at the Division of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University
  • Jackie Kuyat (’19 Neuroscience)
    Research associate at the Allen Institute, Seattle
  • Kaylene Kuykendall (’21 Neuroscience)
    Medical scribe at Providence Pediatric Pulmonology/Scribe America
  • Chris Reis
    Assistant laboratory technician at the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
  • Katherine (Rempe) Albert (’10 Microbiology)
    Clinical scientist at Calithera Biosciences

“Our goal is to help graduates leave our programs with a competitive edge in the current job market,” associate professor Phil Mixter said. “Our programs provide the best quality science instruction, and we have to additionally fully prepare our students with other skills for their next opportunity, including by helping them to find openings, prepare application materials and nail the interview.”  

Anyone with questions can contact Kat Jackson at kathryn.jackson@wsu.edu or Phil Mixter at  pmixter@wsu.edu.

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