Professional Development

ChemPD, Fall 2021
Front Row:  Greta Koumarianou, Vani Singhania, Shannon Heinrich
Back Row:  Elizabeth Murphy, Kaylaa Gutman, Jacob Blankenship

ChemPD, Winter 2020

Nnamdi Akporji, Aneta Jelowicki, Saejin Oh, Vani Singhania, Allison Abdilla, Karen Tsay, Olivia Hwang, Joseph Kincaid


2020 Virtual Chemistry Career Day Panel Members, Moderators and ChemPD Leadership


Organizers of Career Day 2019

Left to Right: Olivia Hwnag, Jeff Carmichael, Ben Luginbuhl, Prof. Songi Han, India Madden 


CSSS 2019-2020 Committee

Joshua Straub, Jamie Shaum, Aneta Jelowicki, Claire Tran, Kendrick Nguyen, Maša Podunavac, Evan Janzen

Professional Development for Graduate Students

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is dedicated to supporting our students on identifying and meeting academic and career goals during graduate school and for success after. In addition to support from UCSB Career Services and the Graduate Student Resource Center, the department offers additional opportunities to help you assess and improve your skills, values and interests, and explore career options.


Career Day

Chemical Sciences Student Seminar (CSSS)

Graduate Student for Diversity in Science (GSDS)


We encourage our students to communicate their goals to their advisors and peers, and take the time to explore the options available.  

Professional Development Resources

UCSB Career Services  

Graduate Student Resource Center  Technology Management Additional University Resources

GradPost Events 

Graduate Program in Management Practice (GPMP)

Graduate Students Career Counselor/Coordinator
Career Development at the Master of Technology Management
Center for Science and Engineering Parnerships (CSEP)
Career Counselor / Coordinator  
  • Career Discovery & Exploration Process
  • LinkedIn Profile Creation
  • Negotiating Offers
  • Outside Resources
  • Resume Writing





Chemistry Professional Development (ChemPD) is a cohort of senior graduate students in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry (DCB) working together with several faculty members and departmental administrators to provide Professional Development opportunities for students. ChemPD will help generate, and participate in, professional development seminars and other events with industry professionals. We will also host resumé and CV workshops, an annual ChemPD-organized Career Fair, as well as help spread awareness of relevant on-campus career events. Our aim is to build a base of knowledge and support for senior DCB graduate students to answer common questions and to help guide them along their chosen career path, or to help them expand their career options. ChemPD, above all, is a support network and cohort of students with a common goal that will meet regularly to discuss our personal experiences, challenges, and questions we have with the job application process, as well as to plan and organize upcoming ChemPD events. Finally, ChemPD will serve as the point of contact and liaison between industry, DCB graduate students, and career services on campus to maximize both career development opportunities for students as well as recruitment opportunities for industry.

To be added to our email list, send an email to either Vani or Greta


Upcoming Events



Introducing ChemPD Liaisons

To maximize our graduate students' participation and to ensure full dissemination of career development events, co-presidents Vani and Allison created the ChemPD Liaisons. The ChemPD liaisons are comprised of one or two senior graduate students from each research laboratory. The liaisons are an active participant in their own professional development, as well as the go-to person for professional development resources in their respective research labs. The role of the liaison includes spreading the word on events hosted by ChemPD, direct students to professional development resources in the department/on campus, and assist in ChemPD events throughout the year. Below is a list of the 2020 - 2021 ChemPD liaisons.

If you are interested in a ChemPD liaison position, send an email to either Vani or Greta

Organic Inorganic Physical
Name Group Name Group Name Group
Allison Abdilla
Kseniia Karnauk
Read de Alaniz
Gregg Kent
Hayton Xikun (Cici) Liu Bowers
Joseph Kincaid
Alex Wood
Lipshutz Yu-Hsuan Lee Abu-Omar Dezmond Bishop Buratto
Josh Gladfelder Zakarian Aneta Jelowicki Butler Ann Williams de Vries
Kaylaa Gutman Zhang Jiakai Sun Scott
Brian Roehrich
KC Chen
Zhongheng Wang
Karen Tsay
Austin Dubose
Natalia Neris Yang Yang     Greta Koumarianou Patterson
Materials Biochemistry
Name Group Name Group
Allison Abdilla Hawker Mary Lerner Greene
Angelique Scheuermann
Bates  Asish Ninan Chacko Yang Hai
Hiba Wakidi Nguyen    



Purpose of Career Day

The Chemistry Career Day, inaugurated in 2019, is an annual event organized by the Chemistry Professional Development (ChemPD) group of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (DCB) for the purpose of enhancing networking between industry and the DCB graduate students and postdoctoral scholars interested in or seeking employment opportunities outside academia. The inaugural Chemistry Career Day started out with a panel discussion of UCSB Ph.D. alumni on career opportunities in industry, followed by an interactive lunch with industry representatives and students, and concluding with a company recruitment fair, with the company and their representatives staffing a table with promotional material, and inviting students and postdocs to ask about various career opportunities. Over 100 graduate students from all disciplines in the chemical sciences attended and met with representatives of 10 companies. 

In 2020, ChemPD hosted the 2nd Chemistry Career Day virtually via Zoom. The event included a panel discussion, a company showcase, and small group networking breakout groups. Over 130 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from all disciplines in the chemical sciences and engineering disciplines, along with 15 companies (33 representatives) attended this virtual event, creating a record breaking participation list. 

The 2021 3rd Annual Chemistry Career Day will once again be hosted virtually via Zoom on September 16th. The event will include a technical talk, a panel discussion, a company showcase, and small group networking breakout groups. 

Beyond the Chemistry Career Day, ChemPD is serving as the point of contact and liaison between industry, DCB graduate students, and career services on campus to maximize both career development opportunities for students as well as recruitment opportunities for industry.


SEPTEMBER 14 & 17, 2021

Please contact Allison Abdilla at or Vani Singhania at if you are interested in attending this event


CSSS Committee: Joshua Straub, Jamie Shaum, Aneta Jelowicki, Claire Tran, Kendrick Nguyen, Maša Podunavac, Evan Janzen


Our mission is to consistently provide a highly-interdisciplinary, well-attended, student-run venue for advanced graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to communicate their excellent chemical science research in partnership with sponsoring institutions.

The 7th annual Chemical Sciences Student Seminar (CS3) series ran from October through December of 2017, supporting 8 seminars with 10 graduate student speakers and 6 postdoc speakers, with great success!

We are deeply committed to fostering diversity in STEM disciplines, especially gender diversity. We are proud to announce that 44% of our 2016 speakers were female: a new CS3 record!

CS3 will continue to hold weekly chemical science general audience seminars on Mondays at noon in Winter and Spring quarter 2019. The seminar includes a sponsorship presentation followed by two 15-minute research talks per week. Sign up and give a talk for a chance to be awarded a scholarship or $500 travel grant- or even spark a collaboration!

To learn more about sponsoring a series or being a speaker, contact Erin Morgan at

2019 Schedule coming soon!

Travel Grant Award

In order to incentivize abstract submissions and reward excellent talks, CS3 awards travel grants to the best speakers. This past year, the generous support of the International Center for Materials Research allowed us to award 3 travel grants for the best graduate student talks, and the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships sponsored an additional 2 awards for the best postdoc presentation. 

Congratulations to our 2017 winners: Julija Vinckeviciute, Anriudha Banerjee, Veronica Laos, Ranajay Saha, and Athina Anastaski.

Best Scientific Presentation Award

Students presenting from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have an opportunity to be awarded with the Best Scientific Presentation Award. This award was created in 2013 to honor students who effectively gave general research presentations during the Chemical Sciences Student Seminar.

Eligibility of this award require the student to be in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, hold graduate standing at the time of voting, and present during the Seminar Series. All of the eligible students are then voted upon at the conclusion of the Seminar Series by their Graduate peers, faculty, and staff members. Voters are encouraged to think of who best presented their research to a general audience for broad understanding. This award is presented during the Spring Graduate Student Symposium.

Scientific Communication Award Recipients:
Year Recipient Presentation Title
2013 Zachary Henson Towards environmentally friendly processing of organic semiconductors
2013 Peter Burks

Quantum dots as sensitizers for photochemical drug delivery

2013 Robert Levenson

The Bacterial Flagellar Motor: Understanding an amazing Nanomachine

The Founding of CS3

The Chemical Sciences Student Seminar (CS3) was founded by Dr. Peter T. Burks in 2011 and officially launched in January of 2012.

Peter received his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry under the supervision of Peter C. Ford in 2013. His research efforts focused on harnessing the properties of nanomaterials to design new light-activated drug delivery platforms. Outside of research, Peter led several science outreach programs and completed a certificate in entrepreneurship. In late 2011, he noticed a communication disconnect between graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. This inspired him to found a new type of seminar series that focused intently on quality communication and presentation of research. An unquestionable result of Peter's drive and initiative, the Chemical Sciences Student Seminar was therefore created. Peter designed the seminar format, recruited talented speakers, and raised the necessary funds to enable the first edition of the CS3 to take place in January 2012. By the second edition in fall 2012, the CS3 was one of the highest regularly attended student seminars on campus. This early success enabled Peter to recruit talented graduate student volunteers to take over leadership upon his graduation and to continue to grow the success of CS3. As a result CS3 has established longevity and status as a highlight and point of pride for the department. The current members of the CS3 Executive Committee continue to uphold Peter's original vision for the series: quality communication and presentation of research.

Photo: Dr. Peter Burks (right) with Department Chair Dr. Rick Dahlquist at the launch of CS3, January 19, 2012