She got a teaching faculty position! An interview with Dr. Christine Palmer

Dr. Christine Palmer just got her dream job. It’s a faculty position at a small state college in Vermont, where her primary responsibility will be teaching biology to undergraduates. Since her dream job looks a lot like mine, I asked her if I could pick her brain about her journey.

For those of you who don’t know her:

Dr. Palmer is currently a post-doctoral scholar in the Maloof Lab in the Plant Biology Department at UC Davis. Even though her academic path reads like a who’s who of elite institutions (she has degrees from Williams, Penn, and Dartmouth), she is one of the least pretentious people I’ve met and is well-known in the department for being friendly and upbeat (her one stipulation for doing this interview was that I edit it if she said “Awesome!” too much). You can learn more about Dr. Palmer’s professional history at her snazzy website – I focused my interview on her recent experiences with the job search.

The Interview:

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Community College Teaching: A Closer Look

I recently took a couple of opportunities to learn more about teaching science in the Los Rios Community College District – a group of 4 community colleges that serve the Sacramento area. The first opportunity was the result of an email I sent several weeks ago to a friend of mine who teaches chemistry at Sacramento City College (the oldest and second largest Los Rios campus) asking for suggestions of biology faculty that might be open for an informational interview. He suggested that I contact Dr. Ken Naganuma, who agreed to meet with me and let me sit in on a session of his Cell and Molecular Biology course. Continue reading