Season 10: Career Devlopment

Season 10, hosted by Adrianna Spindle-Jackson and Alexa Friedman, is the sixth season in a series of seven seasons focused on the PhD Core Capacities. Through conversations with their guests, Alexa and Adrianna explore the ways to outline professional goals and identify ways to achieve them, while remaining true to your own personal values in your career planning.

Transition Episode: Meet the Hosts

In this first episode, we are introduced to our new hosts, Alexa and Adrianna. They will give a little background on themselves and what this upcoming season will be about.


Season 10, Episode 1: Career Development and Social Media

In this episode, our hosts speak with Dr. Gertrude Nonterah, the founder of The Bold PhD and speaker, expert panelist, and workshop facilitator. They discuss the meaning behind a personal brand and how to use social media to facilitate career development. 

Dr. Gertrude Nonterah is the founder of The Bold PhD, a platform that supports graduate students and early-career PhD’s enter and navigate non-academic professional spaces. The Bold PhD offers a blog, biweekly newsletter, course offerings, and a YouTube channel where a wide range of topics are presented and discussed, including navigating graduate school, career development, how to build a professional network, and applying for non-academic job opportunities. 

Dr. Nonterah has extensive experience as a speaker, expert panelist, and workshop facilitator. Some of her past speaking engagements include the Genetics Society of America – Career Panel on Medical Communications, University of Oxford – Careers Beyond Academia: Scientific and Medical Communications Panel, Johns Hopkins University Horizons Conference – Rethinking Networking in 2021: Shining a Spotlight on Relationship Building, and University of California, Irvine (STEM-GPS program) – Personal Branding for PhDs, among others.

Season 10, Episode 2: Decolonizing the Academy

For this episode, hosts Alexa and Adrianna speak with Dr.  Autumn Asher BlackDeer, a queer decolonial scholar-activist from the Southern Cheyenne Nation who currently serves as an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. They discuss the idea of decolonizing the academy and  considerations for professional development. 

Dr. Autumn Asher BlackDeer graduated with her PhD in Social Work from the Washington University in St. Louis, Brown School of Social Work. She received her MSW from the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa, Zarrow School of Social Work. Dr. BlackDeer’s scholarship focuses on the impact of structural violence on American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and she is deeply committed to decolonizing the academy and achieving Indigenous health equity.

As described on her website, Dr. BlackDeer is a queer decolonial scholar-activist from the Southern Cheyenne Nation and currently serves as an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver.

Season 10, Episode 3: Career Development: Not a One-Size Fits All With Maria Erb

Today, the hosts speak with Maria Erb, Director of the Newbury Center for First Generation students at Boston University, about supporting students, especially first generation students and students from underrepresented groups,  in navigating career opportunities and education.

Maria Erb is the Director of the Newbury Center for First Generation students at Boston University. As listed at the Newbury Center’s site, “…she joined the Newbury Center as its inaugural director in December 2020, bringing nearly three decades of experience in diversity and inclusion work, student recruitment and retention, academic and student affairs. 

Maria received her MEd in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Vermont and her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. 

Maria was the first person in her family to have gone to college and the only one to have completed a four-year degree. Since then, she has dedicated her work to helping students navigate education and helping other first generation students find their way.



Newbury Center at BU:

Season 10, Episode 4: Moving from Academia to a Non-Academic Position with Dr. Lindsey Butler

On this episode, our hosts speak with Dr. Lindsey Butler, Director of Climate and Health Resilience at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, about deciding to take a non-academic path after getting a PhD.

Dr. Lindsey Butler, PhD, MSc is an environmental epidemiologist, science communicator, and thought leader specializing in the intersection of climate change and human health. She serves as the Director of Climate and Health Resilience at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) where her core priorities include reducing the organization’s environmental impact and moving towards carbon neutrality, empowering Blue Cross associates, clinicians, and members with accurate, accessible information about climate change and environmental health, and advancing environmental justice and climate resilience in the communities served by BCBSMA.

Prior to joining Blue Cross, she served as the Deputy Chief of Policy to the Mayor of the City of Boston. Her work in City Hall spanned environmental policy, public health policy, food security, language access, and data driven governance. She holds a Master of Science and PhD in environmental health from the Boston University School of Public Health and an undergraduate degree in environmental science from Simmons University.

Dr. Butler is an environmental optimist, dedicated to harnessing the power of the private sector to advance climate action and protect human health. With a passion for scientific communication, she is currently penning a series of children’s books on solutions to the climate crisis.




Season 10, Episode 5: Academic Path From a PhD with Dr. Patricia Fabian

On the final episode of season 10, the hosts are talking with Dr. Patricia Fabian about taking an academic career path after getting a PhD. We hope you have enjoyed this season of Vitamin PhD on career development!

Dr. M. Patricia Fabian is an Associate Professor of the Department of Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health and Associate Director at the Institute for Global Sustainability at BU. Her research is focused on health and environmental health disparities in the built environment. Much of her work is interdisciplinary and leverages large data at many scales, including electronic health records, remote sensing, and geospatial databases of social and environmental determinants of health (SDOH). 

Dr. M. Patricia Fabian recieved her ScD from the Harvard T. Chen School of Public Health and has both a M.S and B.S in engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder and Tecnológico de Monterrey, in Mexico, respectively.

Dr. M. Patricia Fabian was the first in her family to pursue a graduate education. As an associate professor at BUSPH, has served as a mentor to many students from a wide range of disciplines. 




@ PatriciaFabianS