M. E. John Seminar Series

Date 12/15/17 11:00am to 12:00pm
Presenter(s) Kristal Jones, PhD and Brandn Green, PhD
Location 214 Ferguson Building

"Hard tomatoes, hard job market: Reflections on five years of work as early-career rural sociologists"

Many rural sociology graduates are interested in exploring careers both within and outside of academic institutions. However, it is not always im- mediately clear how to successfully translate the skills, experiences and in- terests of academic training into positions that are not tenure track, such as those in government, non-profits, as consultants, and as non-tenure track university employees. In this seminar, we will offer reflections on, and examples of, five years of post-PhD work as applied researchers. Our experiences suggest that there is demand for our rural sociological training in a variety of topical areas and organizational settings, and that it is also often incumbent on us to add additional areas of expertise and to translate our academic training for these professional audiences.

Kristal Jones received her PhD in Rural Sociology with a dual-title in International Agricul- ture and Development from Penn State in 2014. She has spent the past three years as a research scientist at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) at the University of Maryland, where she has focused on building educational and technical tools for data-driven interdisciplinary research. Trying to keep open as many future professional paths as possible, Kristal has also worked as an independent contractor with international development NGOs and federal agencies, and as an outside evaluator for national agricul- tural and health non-profits.

Brandn Green graduated with a PhD from the Penn State Rural Sociology program in 2013 with a dual title in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment. Since graduating, he has been the director of an applied research initiative at a liberal arts uni- versity, a lecturer, a research fellow at a federal health agency, the director of a state- wide health survey, and a research scientist and program director for a DC-based consult- ing and research firm. While bouncing around the post-graduation employment landscape, Brandn has continued to publish in the areas of human dimensions of natural resources, community-based research, and public health.

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