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.


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The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) and the Professional Development Initiative (PDI) provide FREE memberships per semester to graduate and professional students to aid in their academic careers. 

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
Keynote Event: Congrats! You're a TA - Now What?
Paul Buckley09/07/202311:30am-1:00pmVirtual
Keynote Event: Formatting Your Thesis or Dissertation
The Graduate School's Programs Team:
Daniel Vickoren,
Maria Kobets,
Megan Konkle
Resources for International StudentsJennifer Gerardi09/26/202310:00am-12:00pmVirtual
Graduate Writing 101: What Does “Graduate-Level Writing” Mean?Amy Whitcomb, Graduate Writing Center Coordinator10/05/202312:00pm-2:00pmVirtual
Professional Headshot Photoshoot 10/10/20233:00pm-5:00pmIn-Person, Pullman Only
Zotero Trainer

Lorena O'English10/18/20231:00pm-3:00pmIn-Person & Zoom
Reading Introductions to Write IntroductionsMelanie Thongs, Graduate Writing Center Consultant10/24/20232:00pm-4:00pmVirtual
Keynote Event: Social Learning LeadershipJessica Perone11/07/202310:00am-12:00pmIn-Person & Zoom
Note Taking and AnnotationLorena O'English11/16/20231:00pm-3:00pmVirtual
Time Management for Graduate and Professional StudentsPriya Panday Shukla02/01/20241:00pm-2:30pmVirtual
Financial Literacy with Cougar Money MattersMaja Gillespie
Nancy Deringer
Keynote Event: Formatting Your Thesis or DissertationThe Graduate School's Programs Team:
Daniel Vickoren,
Maria Kobets,
Megan Konkle, and
Lori Sweet
Finding Funding: How The Office of Research WorksEmily Brashear02/20/20241:00pm-3:00pmVirtual
Graduate Writing Center CollaborationGWC02/27/20241:00pm-3:00pmVirtual
Secrets to Successful Public Speaking and Communications Cindy Hollenbeck03/06/202410:00am-12:00pmIn-Person & Zoom
Graduate Writing Center CollaborationGWC03/20/202411:00am-1:00pmVirtual
Graduate Writing Center CollaborationGWC03/28/202410:00am-12:00pmVirtual
Association of Faculty Women Collaboration: Making Strategic Decisions for Your Academic CareerAFW04/02/202412:00p,-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
Professional Headshots PhotoshootTBDTBDIn-Person, Pullman Only