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Professional Development Initiative Growing Outstanding Academic and Leadership Skills

The Professional Development Initiative

The Professional Development Initiative (PDI) is organized by the Graduate School and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), and has received support through many partnerships and colleges across campus. This initiative aims to provide a range of programs, training opportunities, and resources to graduate and professional students that will help prepare them for academic and career success. The goal of PDI  is to ensure that all graduate and professional students have the skills, knowledge, and mindsets necessary to succeed both professionally and academically.

Through this initiative, we have developed a series of core competencies that are intended to guide students through their programs and help them transition into their future role in academia or industry.  The following core competencies are inclusive of masters and doctoral students across disciplines and applicable to a wide range of professional settings:

Academic and Career Development

Research/scholarship; Effective teaching strategies; Critical thinking and problem solving; Transferable skills; Academic job strategy; Professional competitiveness; Career strategy and negotiating


Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication; Mentoring relationships; Interpersonal understanding; Team-building; Networking; Conflict management


Leadership and Professionalism

Goal and milestone planning; Professional ethics; Leadership styles; Problem solving strategies and solutions; Evaluation and feedback; Applicable presentation skills


Personal Wellbeing

Financial planning; Mindfulness and mental health; Relationship management; Physical wellbeing



Dr. Zach Heiden will discuss Lessons, Hints, and Insights into the Academic Application Process, Thursday February 23, 2017 

PDI Events

Please click on the following link for a full list of PDI events:

PDI Events Calendar


Let us help you reach your goals


Presentation TopicPresenterEvent OrganizerDate(s)
Writing Workshop Series: Writer’s BlockGraduate and Professional Writing CenterPDI2/17
Applying for Academics: Lessons, Hints, and Insights into the Academic Application Process
Dr. Zach Heiden PDI2/23
Preparing for the Academic Job Market in Humanities, Social Sciences and Business: Best PracticesDean Bill Andrefsky and WSU FacultyPDI2/28
VIP Forum with Japan Tobacco Pharmaceutical DivisionJapan Tobacco Pharmaceutical VIP ForumLife Science Washington2/28
Writing Lock InGraduate and Professional Writing CenterPDI3/3
Writing Workshop Series: Submitting Your Thesis and DissertationDaniel Vickoren, Debra Spidal, and Talea AndersonPDI3/9
WSU Symposium: “Pioneering Ideas in Agriculture”Amit Ghingra (WSU), Patrick Schnable (ISU), Nicholas Staroplo (Genetic Literacy Project, and many moreWSU Crop & Spoil Sciences, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, and Entomology Graduate Students3/17
Hacking the Academic Job MarketDr. Karen Kelsky (The Professor Is In)PDI3/24
Family, Career and Fun – Lessons Learned as a Dual Career CouplePresident Kirk Schulz and Professor Noel SchulzPDI3/28
JCATI 2017 SymposiumAnnamarie Askren (Blue Origin), John Hamilton (VP Engineering, Boeing), and
GE Advanced Manufacturing
The Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation4/4
Learning to Liberate, Liberated LearningFisher QuaPDI4/14-4/16
Graduate Writing Workshop: Academic AbstractsElitza KotzevaPDI and The Graduate and Professional Writing Center4/21
Graduate Writing Workshop: How to Write an Introduction
Elitza KotzevaPDI and The Graduate and Professional Writing Center4/25
Life Science Innovation NorthwestTBALife Science Washington5/23-5/24
CleanTech Innovation ShowcaseNetwork with 500+ cleantech industry leaders, investors, policymakers and media from across the U.S., Canada and beyondCleanTech Alliance6/26