Value of the PFF Program

The PFF program taught me how to effectively decode job ads and provided invaluable information regarding the importance of and tips for selecting a college or university that aligned with my career goals. These skills, along with many others, helped me to secure my academic position.

LaTrice Montgomery, PhD

Studies commissioned by the National PFF Organization have shown the effectiveness of PFF. When alumni were asked whether PFF had helped them better understand and make informed choices about the options available for their academic careers, nearly all agreed that the program had been very important (DeNeef, 2002).

In another study (Wested and Abt, 2004), 98 percent of participant respondents said they would recommend PFF to peers interested in academic careers for the following reasons:

  • PFF prepares graduate students for academic careers at diverse types of postsecondary institutions.
  • The program helps graduate students make informed career choices, conduct productive job searches and achieve early career success.
  • It provides professional development that does not negatively extend time-to-degree and encourages degree completion for some participants.

Current Students and Graduates of the UC PFF Programs are similarly enthusiastic!

Portrait of professor Montgomery sitting in her office chair.

The PFF program has been instrumental in both my graduate school experience and academic career. When I interviewed for clinical/research internships as a graduate student, faculty members and administrators at other institutions were extremely impressed by my involvement in the PFF program. In particular, several faculty members and administrators at other institutions were extremely impressed by the electronic teaching and research portfolio I created as part of the PFF program. Five years in as a professor and I am still using an updated version of my e-portfolio to highlight my accomplishments! The PFF program taught me how to effectively decode job ads and provided invaluable information regarding the importance of and tips for selecting a college or university that aligned with my career goals. These skills, along with many others, helped me to secure my academic position. My favorite component of the PFF program at UC was the mentoring experience. My mentor, Dr. Robin Lightner, was amazing and solidified my interest in becoming a professor. She continues to be a valuable colleague and friend. I strongly recommend the PFF program to graduate students who are interested in pursuing an academic career. The PFF program has been invaluable to my career!

LaTrice Montgomery, PhD, Assistant Professor, Addiction Sciences Division, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Casual headshot of Mark Mitchell on the UC campus.

The Preparing Future Faculty Program has helped prepare me for my future career as a faculty member in many ways. It has prepared me as a teacher, exposing me to techniques, pedagogies, and other passionate teachers. It has prepared me as a researcher, teaching me how to communicate my research effectively and arming me with strategies for balancing the many demands of life in academia. And it has prepared me for the job search and interview process which I am currently navigating. I would highly recommend that anyone interested in an academic career participate in this program!

Mark Mitchell, PhD Candidate, Biological Sciences

Casual headshot of Kendra Leahy standing against a brick wall.

PFF played an integral role in shaping my graduate student career. My mentorship experience provided me a new perspective on teaching while I worked with my mentor at Xavier University. I didn't know the difference between a CV and resume until I took Prof. mcclung's class, and the syllabus I created in Teaching Effectiveness got put to actual use later on when I taught my own organic chemistry class. PFF also introduced me to GATE, in which I became involved and even served as Vice President for a year. Overall, I would not feel as prepared to enter the workforce as I do now without my experiences with PFF. I would recommend it to anyone, even if you're not yet sure about entering the academic world after graduation, as it's an invaluable experience no matter your background or career goals.

Kendra Leahy Denlinger, PhD Candidate, Chemistry

Abigail Richard poses outside in a magenta winter coat.

"I know when I first started as a teacher here at UC, on my evaluations I would often score a two, but with the help of the PFF program, I’ve actually increased that to an average between four and five," says Abigail Richard, a PhD candidate in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. "So, I’d say that’s pretty good, a big improvement. I love PFF for that. PFF has opened my eyes to different ways to engage the students." Furthermore, in Academic Job Search, "we practiced giving elevator speeches, so I think that was really useful and great because a lot of students before that class had never really given an elevator speech before. I know I hadn’t. So it’s great to be able to think about your research and try to explain it someone from outside your field. And that actually ended up being useful for me because I got a Taft fellowship right after that semester, and guess what? The people in Taft wanted me to come in and sit down with them and explain my research to them.”

Read more about Abigail Richard's experience with PFF

Informal headshot of Daniele Bologna.

“Pretty much anyone you talk to in my department would say that I’m a raving fan of PFF,” says Daniele Bologna, a doctoral candidate in psychology. He says there’s no substitute for the cross-disciplinary community of support that the program offers for new teachers. “You might share a PFF classroom with a chemistry doctoral student, an English doctoral student and an engineering master’s student. We’re all training to become academics and learning how to stand on our own two feet.”

Read more about Daniele Bologna's experience with PFF