Addressing Stress and Mental Health in (Chemistry) Graduate Education: SLAM Seminar Series

Seminar | September 30 | 5:30-6:30 p.m. | 106 Stanley Hall

 Phil Buhlmann, Director of Graduate Studies, University of Minnesota

 QB3 - California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences

Graduate school is a great place to gain scientific and research expertise – but that’s hardly the only thing you’ll need in your future as a Ph.D. Are you ready to lead a group? Manage your coworkers? Mentor budding scientists?

To address the many interpersonal issues that arise in a scientific workplace, graduate students from Chemistry, Physics, and Molecular & Cell Biology founded SLAM: Science Leadership and Management.

Phil Buhlmann obtained a PhD degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland, based on research in the field of chemical sensors with Wilhelm Simon. He was a postdoctoral fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (1993–1994) and a research associate (1994–2000) at the Department of Chemistry, School of Science, The University of Tokyo. Since 2000, he has been at the University of Minnesota (UMN), where is now full professor. His research interests focus on molecular recognition, fluorous materials, and nanoporous materials and their use in the development of electrochemical sensors with exceptionally high selectivities, low detection limits, and long-term stabilities suitable for continuous in-situ monitoring. Through his role as director of graduate studies in chemistry at the UMN since 2012, he has made stress and mental health a focal point for his department. His approach is not to lower the bar for the PhD degree. Instead, he strives to eliminate unnecessary sources of stress and create conditions in which students feel engaged, supported, and empowered. The key to this initiative lies in involving students, staff, faculty, and the university health services to address stress and mental health together. While only professionals can provide therapy, Buhlmann is one of three faculty members who serve as Mental Health Advocates for his department.

 Faculty, Students - Graduate

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