Expanding on our regular webinar series, the ERN team is presented a webinar on non-traditional careers in STEM in order to enhance participants awareness of opportunities outside of Academia and the lab bench. We aimed for participants to learn about the various pathways that lead to these careers and how to identify and craft competitive resumes and applications for such positions. Over the course of the webinar, panelists shared tips and advice regarding steps that STEM majors and STEM professionals interested in transitioning can take now to prepare for these opportunities.

This webinar highlighted career options from the following areas:

  • Patent Law
  • Science Communications
  • Science Policy
  • Regulatory Science

The webinar took place Tuesday, October 9, 2018 from 2:00PM to 3:15PM EDT.

The event was moderated by Mary Ann Leung featuring four member panel.

You can see the webinar VOD on YouTube with captions or on our GoToStage channel.

The slides used during the webinar can be downloaded here.

The webinar is NOT exclusive to ERN Conference participants and we welcome all students who are interested in the subject matter to join the webinar.

Presentation Team


Mary Ann Leung, Sustainable Horizons Institute
Dr. Leung is a nationally acclaimed leader in the design and implementation of innovative programs aimed at developing the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) leaders. As an accomplished scientist, Mary Ann honors and treasures the process of scientific discovery. As the director of major STEM-focused educational programs, Dr. Leung nurtured her passion for connecting students and science by developing and implementing novel and measurably impactful initiatives. At Sustainable Horizons, her combined experience base in science and education formulates the presence that is shaping STEM futures.
A computational chemist by training, Dr. Leung is an experienced author and researcher. Her research interests include the development of scalable, parallel, scientific codes for the investigation of quantum mechanical phenomena as well as science and technology education, workforce development, diversity and inclusion. Her research is published in several peer-reviewed journals and she remains in-demand as a speaker and contributor at national STEM-based initiatives. She graduated with honors from Mills College, earning a B.A. in Chemistry with a Math minor. Dr. Leung holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Computational Physical Chemistry from the University of Washington.


Tiphany Dickerson, USPTO
Tiphany Dickerson serves as a primary patent examiner in the Operations Research and Analysis Art Unit at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She renders patentability decisions on inventions related to resource allocation and planning, workflow analysis, market forecasting, analysis and modeling and strategic management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Mississippi State University and a Juris Doctor from The University of Mississippi, School of Law. She is registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office (inactive during employment), and is also a member of the Maryland Bar.

Rafael Luna, Boston College

Dr. Luna serves three leadership roles at Boston College: 1.) Associate Dean, Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences, 2.) Director, Pre-Health Program, and 3.) Director, Gateway Scholars Program for STEM. The Pre-Health Program is the largest program at Boston College with approximately 2,000 current students and alumni. The Gateway Scholars Program for STEM supports first generation students and students of color at Boston College through the foundational courses in biology and chemistry that are required for success in the sciences.
Dr. Luna earned his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Southern University (Historically Black College and University) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During his junior year at Southern, he was one of six individuals selected from a nationwide competition to participate in the inaugural Minority Biomedical Research Training Program at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at NIH, which ignited a passion for biomedical research. Dr. Luna subsequently earned his doctorate at Louisiana State University.
Dr. Luna performed his postdoctorate biomedical research at Harvard Medical School, which centered on elucidating the sequence of protein-protein interactions leading to the decoding of the initial start codons of messenger RNAs. At Harvard Medical School, Dr. Luna held two roles: Instructor, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Program Director for Senior Faculty Promotions in the Office for Faculty Affairs. As the previous Executive Director of the National Research Mentoring Network, Dr. Luna utilized data analytics to strategically grow NRMN and effectively reach all 50 states, including Hawaii, Alaska & Puerto Rico.

Angela Whatley, FDA

Angela Whatley received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Missouri and has a strong record of leading the next generation of scientist and increasing diversity in STEM. She is the DMV director for Black Women in Science and Engineering, an organization focused on bridging the leadership gap for Black women in STEM and she mentors scientist at many career levels and paths. Additionally, she was a Peer Mentor for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), and while in graduate school, she started a minority graduate student organization.
Angela is a Biologist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) and serves as a product reviewer in the Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies. She reviews Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) for various Gene Therapy submissions and advises industry and academic sponsors on how they can improve manufacturing and testing to be compliant with FDA regulations.
Prior to joining FDA in 2016, Angela was a Program Specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and managed scientific merit review, regulatory compliance, budget analysis, and strategic planning for the $23 million dollar a year Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) program. In 2012 Angela became a Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of Research and Development at the VA where she analyzed scoring variations between scientific review committees, how academic rank and gender impact merit review success rates and health disparities in comparative effectiveness research.

Elizabeth (Beth) Zeitler, NASEM

Beth is a globally-experienced energy and transportation analyst, providing science-informed, actionable advice to private and public sector decision makers. As a Senior Program Officer of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, she leads studies on key areas of domestic and global energy policy for the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems. She currently leads two consensus studies: one on light-duty vehicle fuel economy technologies and another on carbon utilization, and a workshop on data, modeling and simulation for urban sustainability. She has previously supported studies on vehicle technologies, electric vehicle deployment and energy resource potential on Department of Energy lands. Trained as a chemist, Beth earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2014, where she examined electrochemical reactions for carbon dioxide reduction. After completing her Ph.D., Beth served as a Christine Mirzayan Fellow of the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems at the National Academies. To understand how the growing world is being built, from 2015-2017 Beth served as a data advisor and AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. foreign assistance agency.