Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
TheCOM™ (Community of Minds) takes the concepts of community put forward by Aristotle in 300 B.C., combines them with the “Invisible” community of Boyle in 1650 A.D. and looks for ways to apply this to 21st century science, education and career. In today’s world, the number of people and resources, “Nodes,” we can add to our “Community” is unlimited. It is TheCOM’s™ purpose to innovate and promote new ways to identify and connect the “Nodes” in our community, new and old, into educational and professional development opportunities. SEE: About The COM
The Pub Club experience is where TheCOM™ evolved. The Pub Clubs, or TPCs, consisted of small groups of people (2 to 40) within the educational community who "gathered" together to take ownership of their “Academic Careers.” The “objective” of TPC was to tap into and build our own “Community of Minds” (COM) in order to best serve both the scientist & the science. The structure, meetings and special events were all designed to enable members through active participation to build and hone the “Diverse Skills” necessary to not only be accomplished scientists, but to also turn that into a successful chosen career. SEE: The Mission Going forward TheCOM™ will continue the practice of The Community of Minds "Gatherings" that were known as The Pub Club as "TheCOM™ chats."
A 2014 national study found: “College Doesn’t Prepare Students for Job Search.” The study showed: “the top three attributes that employers are currently looking for are: a positive attitude (84%), communication skills (83%) and an ability to work as a team (74%)” (required skills listed in every job posting, academic and non-academic). The Study also reported “73% of hiring managers felt that colleges are only “somewhat preparing” students for the working world. A 2011 study in BioScience Mag compared the "traditional" PostDoc with PostDocs "that balances both research and teaching.” The study showed: the second group "obtained faculty positions at a threefold greater rate than did a national sample of postdoctoral scholars.” TheCOM™ seeks to find new ways to identify and tap into the world around us, to innovate and support "active learning" environments that will produce whole scientists better prepared to pursue their chosen careers.
From The Founder: The genesis of The Pub Club concept was my observations at a Gordon conference in 2011. I saw firsthand how the conference experience reinvigorated and even excited a friend who had grown frustrated and depressed. The idea came: “How great would it be and how much would our science improve if we could duplicate the excitement, the interactions, the networking, the science discussions - in essence “the conference effect" - back at MSU?” Following a massive “recharge” at the 2014 MPMI conference I visited “Weigel World” and The Sainsbury Lab. These combined experiences made me determined to reach for that original “Pub Club ideal.” When I returned in September 2014, The Pub Club 2.0 was born.
The Pub Club was born of a desire to build a local community of scientists that would strengthen and invigorate the work we do as well as better prepare those of us working towards establishing careers in science. While work at the bench is an essential part of our science, history has shown that an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation not only supports discovery but fosters it. It is our hope that the time we spend at The Pub Club will make our work at the bench more focused, more efficient and more productive. It is also our hope that participating in The Pub Club will inspire new questions, ideas and collaborations resulting in new funding opportunities and stronger science. In addition, we hope that The Pub Club will provide training and professional development opportunities to make us well-rounded, versatile and visible in a highly competitive job market.
Absolutely! I am always happy and even a little excited to talk about our goals, inspiration and direction for The Community of Minds. Just drop me an Email at firstname.lastname@example.org (I do not use your contact info for any other purpose than a response.)