MCB Alumni Q & A
Brooke Jude, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology at Bard College
Program Director of Citizen Science
Did you end up at the job you envisioned yourself at when you graduated from the MCB program?
I began my position as a visiting assistant professor at Colby College two weeks following my Ph.D. defense. I was always interested in teaching in a small liberal arts college (SLAC) - as I had attended one (Colby!) as an undergraduate. As an undergraduate, I enjoyed the ability to work directly with faculty during the academic year as well as in the summer and intersessions, and do primary research throughout my college career. I was lucky enough to return to my alma mater, and land a full time teaching position that would also give me research space, students, funding, and a strong mentor to guide me through the first year in this new position. It was this experience that helped me to get my current position as a tenure track assistant professor at Bard College.
What parts of your MCB education, besides the science, did you feel was most important?
Two things really stand out. The first is the opportunity to constantly present your work in front of a group. Research In Progress presentations, journal clubs, program meetings, lab meetings, and conferences all helped prepare me to speak in public (skills I now need when I am lecturing to students). The second were the opportunities to mentor students in the lab- whether they were undergraduates, SURF students or rotation students in the MCB program, this experience taught me an enormous amount about teaching others how to do scientific research.
Do you have any words of wisdom for current students to help them fulfill their career goals?
If you want to teach following graduate school, I would get involved in teaching as much as possible! I did this by serving as a TA in microbiology my second year of MCB, but also by grading as much as possible for undergraduate courses (this allows you to learn about different types of exams and questions on exams, a key component to any course you'll have to develop as a professor), giving guest lectures in courses when you can, and taking as many workshops on teaching through Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL).
Is there anything about the program you would like to see changed or modified?
I would have loved to be able to teach more within the undergraduate college at Dartmouth!