PhD+ Future Faculty - Postdoc/Faculty Experiences Panel (STEM)

Virtual (register for Zoom link)

This session is part of the 2023 Future Faculty series, Level 1, Planning Your Search. 

This panel discussion will feature insight from postdocs or faculty members who have recently navigated their own career transitions successfully. Since much has changed in the past two years, come and learn from newly minted PhDs and what their job search experiences look like.

The panelists are UVA alum who are now affiliated with various higher education institutions. They will share their day-to-day professional life as postdocs and faculty members. This panel discussion will be especially helpful for PhD students and postdocs entering the faculty job market to learn more about how expectations, campus culture, and application process may differ from institution to institution. With the information presented, you can better identify the type of institutions and faculty careers most ideal for you and tailor your materials accordingly.

NOTE: This panel features perspectives from Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences fields. Find information on the STEM panel here.


Alice Besterman, PhD – Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Towson University. Dr. Besterman is an ecologist who is generally interested in the role of landscape-scale, physical drivers (e.g., tidal flooding dynamics) on habitat formation in ecosystems, and the resulting organization of biological communities and ecosystem functions. She uses diverse methods integrating theory and techniques from many fields, including ecosystem ecology, geomorphology, hydrology, and population/community ecology. She is interested in socially relevant research and global changes provide the context for much of her work. In both her research and teaching, Alice emphasizes diverse perspectives. Her collaborations include applied scientists, land trusts, and natural resource managers. In order to better understand local ecology and the problems that human communities face, Alice works closely with community organizations.

Bethany Gordon, PhD - Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Washington. Dr. Gordon specializes in applications of behavioral science to improve design processes for a more equitable built environment. Her research also focuses on climate justice and addressing designer positionality (i.e., framing assumptions, stakeholder perspective-taking) in large-scale infrastructure design. She earned her PhD (2022) and her BS (2017) in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia. 

Timothy (Tim) Harrell, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UVA . Dr. Harrell is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Virginia after arriving in 2020. He is a dedicated engineer with a passion for advanced materials, composite structures, and experimental mechanics. He holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Southampton, and holds an MS & BS from Tennessee Tech University. He worked as a structural analyst for 5 years at United Launch Alliance helping launch rockets. His research focuses on the characterization of lightning strike induced damage in CFRP laminates, accident fuel tolerant nuclear fuel rods, and optical techniques to measure strain and displacement during loading. His work contributes significantly to understanding and enhancing the structural integrity of materials subjected to extreme conditions.


UPDATE: Registration is closed for this event.  If you need to register this event, please contact Sam Lake ([email protected]). If you have already registered, please access the Collab link for more information about the event. REGISTER HERE



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