College of Science

SciencePREP: Pathways to the Workforce speaker series gives students insight into career possibilities

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What do a staff scientist at an advanced materials company, a laboratory manager at an Army hospital, a policy analyst for a nonprofit working to ensure cancer patients have access to life-saving treatments, an executive in charge of compliance for a specialty pharmaceutical company and an attorney have in common?

They all have STEM degrees from Clemson University. 

They are also the featured guests in the College of Science’s free seminar series, SciencePREP: Pathways to the Workforce. SciencePREP — Science Promoting Research, Engagement and Professionalism — informs students how a STEM education leads to many career opportunities and pathways. 

“Our graduates go on to successful careers in a wide variety of professions, including some nontraditional science roles,” said Jennie LaMonte, director of scholar development for the College of Science. “SciencePREP introduces our students to some of those possibilities.”

About half of College of Science graduates go onto medical school or M.S. or Ph.D. graduate programs. The other half go directly into the workforce.

“At Clemson, we are preparing the next generation of leading scientists. This new Pathways to the Workforce initiative is enhancing the relevance of our academic programs in science by engaging SCIENCE alumni who are illuminating career paths in industry for many of our students,” College of Science Dean Cynthia Y. Young said. “In the true spirit of the Clemson Family, these alumni are carving out time to help current Clemson students navigate to a great career.”

The first seminar is at 1 p.m. Sept. 17 in G100 in the Biosystems Research Complex.

The speaker is Rebecca Stratford ‘10, laboratory manager at the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Rebecca Stratford
Rebecca Stratford

Stratford graduated from Clemson with a bachelor’s degree in genetics and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army via the Army ROTC program. She served as an ambulance platoon leader at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and was deployed to Afghanistan as a medical company executive officer. While overseas, Stratford was in charge of medical logistics and operations for a 1,500-person brigade combat team. She later became a board-certified medical laboratory scientist and earned a Master of Science in clinical laboratory science from Augusta University. 

The lineups for the rest of the series are:

Oct. 22

  • Eric Graben ’86 is a shareholder and attorney for Wyche P.A., a law firm in Greenville. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Clemson. 
  • Chris Pappas ’12 holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson. He is a staff scientist at Momentive in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Nov. 16

  • Brittany McKelvey ’15 earned degrees in genetics and biochemistry from Clemson. She is a science policy analyst for Friends of Cancer Research, a nonprofit organization. 
  • Alan Roberts ’88 is senior vice president for scientific affairs and compliance officer for Chiesi USA in Cary, North Carolina. He holds a microbiology degree from Clemson.

“I am so excited that we can give our current students this opportunity to hear from alumni for whom a Clemson degree was a ticket to professional success,” said Stephen Creager, associate dean for the College of Science. “The range of experience of our alumni and their multiple pathways to success are things undergraduate students rarely get to see close up. I am excited for what our students will learn.”

For more information about SciencePREP, contact LaMonte at jlamont@clemson.edu.

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