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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 provides 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 Development

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


Career Development

Critical thinking and problem solving, Resumes and Transferable skills, Professional competitiveness, Career strategy, Interviewing 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 Well-being

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


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)Time
Women in Film, Literature, and the Arts Discussion Series: Literature Discussion, Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women who Want to Speak up, Create and Lead by Tara MohrLeeann Hunter, AFW FacultyPDI and Association of Faculty Women3/22/1812:00-1:00
Writing Workshop Series: Literature Reviews WSU LibrariesPDI3/23/181:30-3:30
Financial Literacy Series: Loan Repayment Office of the Dean of Students, SALTPDI3/29/1812:00-2:00
Writing Lock InPDIPDI4/10/181:00-4:00
Women in Film, Literature, and the Arts Discussion Series: Literature Discussion, Silent Sky (Play; 6 performances: Mar 30 &31, April 6 & 7)Mary Trotter, AFW FacultyPDI and Association of Faculty Women4/12/1812:00-1:00
The Cheeky Scientist Series: Interviewing and NegotiatingDr. Isaiah HankelPDI4/14/1810:00-12:00
Writing Workshop Series: Reference Management SoftwareGPWC and WSU LibrariesPDI4/20/181:30-3:30
Dialogue about Democratic EngagementDr. Richard Pineda and the Center for Civic EngagementPDI4/25/1812:00-2:30