Speaker Bios

Day 1



Doreen Badheka, PhD, currently works as program director for special projects at Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Newark, NJ. In her current position Doreen is involved in developing platforms that enable graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to explore diverse career paths and develop relevant core competencies. In her current role she also serves as a liaison between the graduate school and various external organizations that include nonprofits, educational alliances and industry. She is passionate about the advancement of basic and biomedical research as well as STEM education among younger generation.



Emily Bell, PhD, manages a program of professional and career development for graduate students and postdocs in the health sciences at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. Emily worked in academic health research for the better part of 15 years as a graduate student, postdoc and associate researcher before transitioning into her current position. Still working in a higher education and research context allows her to continue to pursue most of the same activities she enjoyed before such as teaching, collaborating, mentoring and advising students, writing, and working on policy. At the same time, she has found new passions to pursue and focuses increasingly on course design, visual presentation, and educational technology.


Tania Munz

Tania Munz, PhD, is the Vice President for Research and Scholarship at the Linda Hall Library, in Kansas City, MO. She oversees the fellowships program, collections, and public services. She earned her PhD in History of Science from Princeton mUniversity and spent three years as a Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and then was a post-doc and adviser at Northwestern University. Last year, she published her first book, The Dancing Bees: Karl von Frisch and the Discovery of the Honeybee Language (University of Chicago Press). She is the co-founder (with Carin Berkowitz, PhD) of “HSS at Work,” a History of Science Society caucus dedicated to helping graduate students and their mentors think broadly about career options during and after graduate school.



Beth Seltzer, PhD, is the Educational Technology Specialist at Bryn Mawr College. She works on a range of projects and strategic initiatives designed to integrate technology and digital skills development into the small liberal arts college environment. In 2014, she attended a Beyond the Prof conference and got interested in Instructional Design as a career. In her current position, she gets to combine her love of building things online with communications, project management, writing, and consulting work. She earned her PhD in English in 2015. 

Mylynka Kilgore Cardona


Mylynka Kilgore Cardona, PhD, is the Map Curator for the Texas General Land Office (GLO), Archives and Records Department, in Austin, Texas. After earning her doctorate in Transatlantic History in 2015, with a specialty in historical cartography, she taught as an adjunct at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, before making the move to the state capitol. In charge of over 40,000 maps of Texas, dating from 1561 to 2015, she uses skills honed in graduate school to create exhibits from the GLO’s collections and teach workshops on using maps as primary source materials in K-12 classrooms. She also writes weekly map blogs, gives presentations to museums and historical associations, and researches the ever-growing collection.



Jessica Hartshorn, PhD, has been a Forest Health Specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources since completing her PhD in Entomology at the University of Arkansas in June of 2016. While on the job market, she interviewed for private, academia, federal, and state governments positions, which gave her insight into the cultures of each sector. She decided working for state government would give her the freedom, and support, to explore other meaningful work in her life. The structured environment of government lets her build on her community involvement, stay in academia as an adjunct professor, and work on starting a small business.



Chandra Moffat, PhD, earned her doctorate in evolutionary ecology and is a new Research Scientist with the Canadian government. Over the course of her graduate studies, Chandra aspired to leadership roles in her academic/professional society. Getting involved in the running of her society introduced her to new mentors and a close-knit network of colleagues. She attributes the relationships she built within her society as being pivotal in landing a research position in her field shortly after graduation. She now applies her academic background to understand how evolutionary history shapes contemporary interactions between crops, their insect pests and the environment, in an effort to develop more sustainable methods of pest control in agriculture.



Dragos Popa, PhD, is Senior Analyst, Strategic Planning, Performance Measurement, Corporate Reporting, for Health Canada. Born in Romania, he pursued his post-secondary education in Sweden, Switzerland and Canada, and received a MA in European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, and a PhD in International Relations, both from Carleton University in Ottawa, ON. For almost a decade, he taught graduate and post-graduate courses at Carleton University (Ottawa), the Canadian Forces College (Toronto), and the University of Ottawa. Subjects taught ranged from systemic transitions to regional integration to international economic and political relations. In 2012 Dr. Popa launched Parallel 49 Education, a service providing information to international students interested in post-secondary education in Canada.



Lisa Bélanger, PhD, is an award-winning researcher, innovator, and she is CEO of ConsciousWorks, a consulting firm that teaches people how insights from behavioural science can improve their personal and professional lives. Dr. Bélanger holds a PhD in Behavioural Medicine, is a Certified Exercise Physiologist, a published author of Inspire Me Well: Finding Motivation to Take Control of Your Health, a successful entrepreneur and an entertaining keynote speaker. She is also founder of a national charity, Knight’s Cabin, which offers wellness programming to cancer survivors. Her goal is to show individuals, corporate groups and other audiences how seemingly small habit changes can have a profound impact on one’s wellbeing, productivity, and happiness.

Trina Filan

Trina Filan, PhD, (Geography, University of California, Davis) has spent a long time exploring the mesmerizing borderlands between Academia and the “Real World,” always trying to figure out whether she actually fits in either. It turns out, she doesn’t – she wishes neither to publish or perish nor to work 9 to 5 (it’s no way to make a living!). Obstinate. After a two-year stint as a post-doc/visiting assistant professor at the University of Lethbridge, then a nine-month odyssey through the hellscape of temp work as a data entry clerk, she stumbled into a great – if unexpected – career in the non-profit sector using almost all of the skills she acquired in the academy and having few of the limitations (except on salary) one might expect from a traditional job. It’s all very exciting. 

Michelle Seiler-Godfrey


Michelle Seiler-Godfrey, PhD, is the Grant Writer at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon. In this position, she manages roughly 25 grants a year and writes grant proposals for everything from STEM education programs to gallery renovations. This rewarding career makes a difference in her community, uses skills developed during graduate school, and leaves times for hobbies, such as running and reading. She earned her PhD in History in 2016 from the University of Iowa.



Synatra Smith, PhD, is the Education Coordinator and Scholar in Residence at the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center in North Brentwood, Maryland. She discovered her passion for education and exploring African American history and culture with children, youth, and adults while she was volunteering with the museum and was eventually hired to do just that. Synatra earned her PhD in Global and Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from Florida International University in Miami, Florida in 2015.



Erin Arizzi, PhD, works in internal communications at SAS, a software company based in Cary, NC. At SAS, she writes content for various internal communications channels, collaborates on cross-divisional internal employee engagement projects, and works on web governance for the company intranet. Before joining SAS, Erin worked in non-profit communications at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina and the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University. In 2015, she earned her PhD in Media and Technology Studies at The University of North Carolina, where her research concerned the historical relationship between femininity, domesticity, and feminism.


Megan Brown

Megan Brown, PhD, is an experienced Data Scientist within Human Resources at Amazon. Her mission is to make work better using data science. Specifically, she helps HR leaders derive actionable insights from data and statistical models to increase engagement/satisfaction and to reduce attrition. She earned her PhD in Cognitive Experimental Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. Her academic research focused on how language/dialect variation affects language and literacy outcomes in public schools. One of the main themes of her work is using statistics and experimentation to describe and change human behavior in complex organizational settings. 



Simon Landry, PhD, is head of User Experience at Tactai and has a PhD in biomedical sciences (audiology) from the Université de Montréal. He was approached to join the company after he caught their attention with a blog post on a virtual reality prototype he developed. During his graduate studies, Simon led a successful Kickstarter campaign to found Graffmap, a community to share and discover street art. This experience showed him the effectiveness of the research skillset beyond academia as well as the value of networking, self-promotion, and developing cohesive branding. Through extensive outreach, Simon’s personal brand as a scientist and innovator gained recognition, leading to an offer to be scientific advisor on a film. You can connect with Simon on Twitter and see what he’s been up to on his website.



Darek Moreau, PhD, is a Senior Aquatic Scientist with Stantec Consulting Ltd based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. In 2011, he received his PhD in biology from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Prior to joining Stantec, Darek worked as a Policy Analyst for both the Canadian Federal Government and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Still early in his professional journey, Darek’s varied experiences may provide a unique perspective to those looking beyond the professoriate.

Day 2 

Catherine circle


Catherine Maybrey, PhD, CDP, is an experienced career coach specializing in career development and higher education, and is the owner of CM Coaching Services. A longstanding advocate of the need for career services developed specifically for graduate students and the post-academic job search, Catherine has spoken at numerous conferences and events to educate graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on the realities of and opportunities in the post-academic market, and has worked with universities and research organizations in her private practice to develop career programs and services for graduate students. She blogs on her website, and contributes to the Academica Forum.



Kristine Funch Lodge holds a PhD in English from the University of Oregon. She specialized in medieval literature and wrote her dissertation on Anglo-Saxon hagiography. In her first non-academic position, Kristi spent ten years as a an assistant director for the University of Oregon Career Center, coordinating multiple programs and providing career counseling for undergraduate, graduate students and alumni. She currently supports highly-educated and highly-skilled professionals in career direction, transition, and job searches as a career coach and founder of her firm, IncipitCareer. She also serves as an HR Assistant for Alvord Taylor, a non-profit which provides support to individuals with disabilities in Eugene OR. She also supports the PhD and #altac communities as a co-host of the bi-monthly #withaphd chat on Twitter.



Jared Wesley, PhD, is a “pracademic” – a practicing political scientist – whose career path has spanned government boardrooms and university classrooms. At present, he serves as Director of Learning and Development Policy in the Alberta Public Service Commission (based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), having spent five years in senior management roles in several Alberta government central agencies, including Executive Council and Intergovernmental Relations. In July 2017, Jared will assume a new role as Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta, where he will research and teach Canadian politics, and help set up a new graduate program in public policy. He is an active member of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), and his team has launched several pracademic initiatives including the Public Sector Graduate Internship Program and the award-winning Café Pracademique initiative.

Rachel circle


Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, PhD, is the Data Engagement Specialist at the Connecticut Data Collaborative, a public-private partnership advancing the use of open data to drive program and policy decisions. An educator, advocate and researcher, Rachel runs the CT Data Academy, a public education initiative designed to increase data literacy and expand data capacity in nonprofit organizations, state agencies and community groups. Before leaving the academy to work in a think tank, she worked for nearly a decade in higher education as an administrator, professor, and advisor. Rachel earned her PhD from the Department of Sociology at the University of Connecticut and her Master’s degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. She writes about faculty and family life for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae, blogs at www.roguecheerios.com, and co-hosts a weekly podcast on gender and gender stereotypes, Boy vs. Girl

Heidi circle


Heidi Scott Giusto, PhD, of Career Path Writing Solutions, helps individuals and businesses succeed when the stakes are high. Whether that’s people who are in a job search and need help with their resumes or interview skills, or businesses looking to publish high-quality website or marketing copy, Heidi offers a wealth of experience though her 1-on-1 and small group coaching.  Heidi earned her PhD from Duke University and holds certifications in resume writing, interview preparation, and empowerment coaching. She has been featured in publications including US News & World Report and Vitae and writes for organizations including MFGJobs, FBI-LEEDA, and BitesizeBio. She delights in empowering job seekers to present their best selves to potential employers—on paper and in person. Heidi proudly serves as an Advisory Board member at Duke for an NEH Next Generation PhD Implementation grant.

Josh circle


Josh Magsam, PhD, is Director of Community Success at Discogs, an open-source, community-built discography of audio recordings with a collector-oriented public marketplace. A passionate advocate for adjunct and non-tenured instructor rights, Josh is also an active member of the Portland area VersatilePhD group. He also blogs at The Cognitive Turn and can be found on Twitter, @MercenaryInk. Josh holds a PhD in Renaissance Drama from the University of Oregon.