Professional Life in Academia

Professional Life in Academia

After watching the recorded presentations, join these authors for a live panel discussion on December 5, 2020 at 10:30 am – 11:00 am (CST). Moderator: Ali Garib


Elena Cotos

Associate Professor; Director of the Center for Communication Excellence
Iowa State University

Setting the stage, developing a trajectory, and expanding career boundaries

Continued education and teaching have always been a true calling for me. Looking back, I had a lot to think about when considering a doctorate degree, including what to research and how to teach, but the ultimate question was: What would it mean for my career? When I started the ALT Program in 2005, I knew I was getting on an exciting path towards my calling. The experience I gained over the years and the opportunities this doctoral degree opened for me, however, exceeded my expectations. In this presentation, I will give a brief overview of my career path: how I set the stage with my dissertation, how that 'stage' enabled me to develop a long-term research agenda, how my teaching-oriented scholarship served as a credible factor when pursuing broader initiatives, and how one of those initiatives has become the most impactful and rewarding outcomes of my work. With that, I hope to demonstrate that our doctoral program provides the knowledge and skills that translate across disciplinary boundaries and across research and non-research contexts. Depending on one's goals and interests, a PhD from the ALT Program at ISU can take students much farther than they initially think possible!
Video Recording

Jordan Smith

Assistant Professor
University of North Texas

How Opportunities in Grad School Shaped My Current Research Agenda

As an assistant professor at the University of North Texas, I have worked on several individual and collaborative research projects that have allowed me to draw on the knowledge and skills I gained while I was a graduate student at Iowa State. One project I recently completed grew out of an independent study I took with Jo Mackiewicz and a course paper I wrote during Bethany Gray’s discourse analysis class. Another project I am currently working on stems from my dissertation research. A third project began during a research assistantship I had with Bethany Gray and Elena Cotos during my fourth year. And a fourth project launched after I started my job at UNT. In this presentation, I will describe each of these four projects to offer an overview of my current research and to highlight how the opportunities I had at ISU have continued to play an important role in my research agenda. I will also share general insights I have learned from my work on these projects and during my time as a new assistant professor. Finally, I will offer recommendations that I hope will be useful for current ALT students.
Video Recording