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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



President Kirk Schulz and wife, Professor Noel Schulz discuss lessons learned as a dual career couple.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 

Register HERE

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)
Family, Career and Fun – Lessons Learned as a Dual Career CouplePresident Kirk Schulz and Professor Noel SchulzPDI3/28/17
JCATI 2017 SymposiumAnnamarie Askren (Blue Origin), John Hamilton (VP Engineering, Boeing), and
GE Advanced Manufacturing
The Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation4/4/17
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories: Engineering and more!Dave Dolezilek and SEL Employee Panel Schweitzer Engineering and PDI4/6/17
Prestigious Fellowships WorkshopTBAGraduate School4/10/17
Learning to Liberate, Liberated LearningFisher QuaPDI4/14/17-4/16/17
Graduate Writing Workshop: Academic AbstractsElitza KotzevaPDI and The Graduate and Professional Writing Center4/21/17
Graduate Writing Workshop: How to Write an Introduction
Elitza KotzevaPDI and The Graduate and Professional Writing Center4/25/17
FullCon Tech ConferenceTBAWashington Technology5/22/17
Life Science Innovation NorthwestTBALife Science Washington5/23/17-5/24/17
CleanTech Innovation ShowcaseNetwork with 500+ cleantech industry leaders, investors, policymakers and media from across the U.S., Canada and beyondCleanTech Alliance6/26/17