PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

PROMISE Fall Harvest Dinner Welcomes Dr. Erica Corral, winner of Hispanic award for STEM, Nov. 19

In PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP on November 17, 2010 at 9:24 PM

Join us for the annual PROMISE Fall Harvest Dinner! This is our “Thanksgiving Dinner” for graduate students!

Friday, November 19, 2010

6:30 PM

Adele’s Restaurant

Stamp Student Union, UM College Park’s Campus

You must RSVP via the official registration page:  (This RSVP serves as your “free” ticket.)

Dr. Erica Corral will be our special guest at this year’s Fall Harvest Dinner. Professor Corral was a member of the Rice University AGEP when she was a graduate student. Some of our PROMISE students met Dr. Corral at this year’s SREB conference in Florida. Dr. Corral was a member of the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists and is a member of the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Dr. Corral is the winner of the 2010 Most Promising Doctoral Engineer or Scientist award by the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference, or HENAAC.

This will not be a technical talk. She will share her journey and tips for success from grad school to postdoc to professor. However, you can read about Professor Corral’s research and ask her questions when you meet her in person.,

Information here is mirrored under “Events” on

TRANSPORTATION for students from the Baltimore area: UMBC will sponsor a free bus that will leave from the Administration Building around 5:30 PM on Friday, November 19 and return at 9:00 PM.  Both UMBC and UMB students are welcome to take the bus.  If you need a ride, please email with the subject “Bus for Fall Harvest.”

  1. These are some of Dr. Corral’s tips for obtaining a faculty position:
    • Do great science/research
    • Do a Post-Doc with a GREAT mentor
    • Invitation to give a seminar is an interview: be prepared!
    • Faculty positions are not always publicly posted: Have a good network!

  2. Dr. Erica Corral provided a nice presentation regarding her journey and tips for entering the professoriate. The following are a few tips from her presentation:

    * Don’t assume that all available jobs are posted. What she means by this is, if you interact with faculty at an institution of interest, they may interview you despite not actively conducting a job search.

    * When giving a seminar, treat it as an interview. Professors are not only interested in your research but they are also interested in the way you speak and possibly are looking for you to fill a faculty position.

    *Make sure you conduct good science. Good science can help you earn credibility and respect in the professor world.

    * Take time to find a good post-doc mentor. This relationship can make or break your career.

  3. Dr. Corral was our speaker for the event, she mainly spoke about her experience growing up as a Mexican-American and embarking in new areas that did not seem interesting to the community around her. The career path she took is She also gave shared some key tips along the way that Mycah and Brittny already introduced. One of the biggest takeaways that I retained is giving talks and seminars are a common way for interview. If the department is giving several talks there are most likely positions in the department that need to be filled. This advice will help me evaluate seminars in the future. Another indirect advice that I received is to always make the most out of your opportunities given to you, which can create avenues for mentoring opportunities.

  4. Dr. Corral is an extremely successful professor at a Tier 1 university who has generously offered her advice on how to become a professor. Here are some highlights:

    -Take advantage of the research opportunities at all levels of your education to prepare yourself for life as a researcher.

    -Don’t be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone in order to pursue your higher education and career goals.

    -Remember that looking for a faculty position is not as cut and dry as looking for an industry or government position. For instance, an interview for a faculty position may be that institution inviting you to give a seminar. Always be prepared.

    -Faculty life can be fun and rewarding. There are many opportunities for research, collaboration, presentations and travels that may not be afforded to you in other lines of work. Keep in mind your ultimate goals as a researcher when making the decision to go into academia. “Good science’ is what got Dr. Corral to where she is at now.

    Natasha P. Wilson, 12/6/2010 7:02 pm

  5. From Dr. Corral’s talk a few important tips she gave about obtaining a faculty position are listed below.

    – It was mentioned that if you are “Invited” to give a lecture a you should treat it as an interview even if a opening for a position is not posted.
    – Have a great post-doc mentor that will help you progress professionally.
    -Always take advantage of every opportunity

  6. A few of Dr. Corral’s tips for obtaining a faculty position:

    -Take advantage of every opportunity to improve your knowledge base and do research
    -Do great research
    -Do a Dost-Doc and find the best mentor for you
    -Faculty jobs usually are not advertised, so treat any lectures you’re invited to give as an interview

  7. The main tips I obtained from Dr. Corral’s talk are as follows:

    – Seize opportunities to conduct research, they will always help you become better!
    – Remember your roots, I felt greatly identified with this one regarding family.
    – Find an outstanding mentor when doing research, especially a Post-Doc!

  8. From Dr. Corral’s talk a few important tips she gave about obtaining a faculty position are listed below.

    – Try to find a post-doc with a great supporting mentor
    – If invited as a guest lecturer, treat these events as mini-interviews
    – Practice good science

  9. Dr. Corral’s presentation was very informative in regards to how to pursue faculty position. She talked about the importance of having a good network in academia, having a good relationship with the mentor and doing research. Presenting your research at other university could be treated as a part of interview process.

  10. Dr. Erica Corral presentation was very refreshing and enlightening. Her presentation gave an overview of her journey to the professoriate. Some tips that she gave were:
    • Always try to make a good impression – Many positions in academia do not have a formal application process. In order to gain access to these jobs one must build relationships with other individuals that are a part of the institution.
    • Always have an open mind and make the decision that is best for you when applying to graduate school – Keep your options open. Do not limit yourself to the decisions that your family and friends feel will work best for you.
    • Treat all public speaking events seriously – Whenever you are participating in a public speaking event in an academic environment always main a high level of professionalism. Some institutions consider public speaking a part of their interview process.

  11. […] PROMISE Fall Harvest Dinner Welcomes Dr. Erica Corral, winner of Hispanic award for STEM, Nov. 19 […]

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