The Professional Development Initiative


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

Core Competencies

We have developed a series of core competencies intended to guide students through their programs and help them make the transition into their future roles in academia or industry. The following core competencies apply to masters and doctoral students across disciplines and a wide range of professional settings:

  • Academic Development
  • Career Development
  • Professional Skill Development
  • Personal Growth

Upcoming PDI Events

Presentation TopicSpeaker Date(s)TimeEvent Format
Time Management for Graduate and Professional StudentsPriya Panday Shukla02/01/20241:00pm-2:30pmVirtual
Financial Literacy with Cougar Money MattersMaja Gillespie
Nancy Deringer
Mid-Year Insurance Recap: Know Your Benefits!Cody Tornow
Beckey Meyer
Kayla Hamilton
Amy Chadwick
02/08/2024*Event Canceled* Virtual
Finding Funding: How The Office of Research WorksEmily Brashear02/20/20241:00pm-3:00pmVirtual
Professional Headshots PhotoshootProvided by PDI/GPSA and Student Affairs 02/22/202412:00pm-2:00pmIn-Person, Pullman Only
Writing the Conclusion for a Research Article: A Graduate Writing Center CollaborationMelanie Thongs, GWC Consultant02/27/20242:00pm-4:00pmVirtual
Keynote Event: Formatting Your Thesis or DissertationThe Graduate School's Programs Team:
Daniel Vickoren,
Maria Kobets,
Megan Konkle, and
Lori Sweet
Secrets to Successful Public Speaking and CommunicationsCindy Hollenbeck, MFA MA03/06/202410:00am-12:00pmIn-Person & Zoom
Graduate Writing Center CollaborationGWC03/20/202411:00am-1:00pmVirtual
Writing Steps & Tips for a Literature Review: A Graduate Writing Center CollaborationHaixia He &
GWC Consultants
Association of Faculty Women Collaboration: Making Strategic Decisions for Your Academic CareerAFW04/02/202412:00pm-2:00pmVirtual
Graduate Writing Center CollaborationGWC04/11/202411:00am-1:00pmVirtual
How To Network When You Hate Networking: A PDI and Physics & Astronomy Department Collaborative EventDr. David Giltner04/16/20241:00pm-3:00pmIn-Person & Zoom