Event covers transition from grad student to professor

The Center for Excellence in Teaching hosted a seminar Monday to inform graduate students about teaching strategies and time management.

Making the Transition from Graduate Student to Professor, held at Doheny Memorial Library, focused on necessary preparations for graduate students interested in becoming professors.

Prepared · Michal Temkin Martinez, a USC alumna and recently hired professor at Boise State University, spoke about her transition to teaching on Monday. - Priyanka Patel | Daily Trojan

Michal Temkin Martinez, a USC alumna and a newly appointed professor at Boise State University, said her path to success in teaching was knowing her expectations, documenting her progress and making sure she balanced activities in three areas: teaching, research and service.

“Colleges actually have very specific guidelines — make sure you know what is expected of you and be aware of the policies that are going to affect you for tenure and promotion,” Martinez said. “I actually have two friends who were denied tenure because they were promised things but didn’t get it in writing.”

Martinez said some of the challenges of being a professor include whether to accept students’ friend requests on Facebook and applying for tenure

“You’ll need to make a decision about whether or not you add students and colleagues to your social network,” Martinez said. “I was really conflicted about it — I ended up making a second Facebook profile.”

Jeff Laguna, a graduate student and teaching assistant studying gerontology, said the most rewarding part of the presentation was the reassurance that a teaching position isn’t out of reach.

“I’m a little nervous because it’s going to be about a year before I have to make this transition,” Laguna said. “Martinez’s story lets us know that it can be done — she’s a recent USC grad working at her dream job.”