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Dr. Sarah Barks joins CLS

Dr. Sarah Barks began her career mentoring students in science communication and will be working in the CLS this year. Photo by Frank Zhu
Dr. Sarah Barks began her career mentoring students in science communication and will be working in the CLS this year.  Photo by Frank Zhu
Dr. Sarah Barks began her career mentoring students in science communication and will be working in the CLS this year.
Photo by Frank Zhu

Grinnell has hired Dr. Sarah Barks as the new Assistant Director for Graduate and Professional School Advising, and her new role will be to assist students looking to continue their studies after Grinnell.

Before coming to Grinnell, Barks was a post-doctoral scientist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. There, she researched and analyzed comparative neuroanatomy of apes.

Despite an uncommon career background, she was led to her current job by the various aspects of her lab research that allowed her to go out and communicate with colleagues and students. Apart from researching in a lab for many hours of her day, Barks often mentored students in science communication while sharing data and opinions with fellows. This ultimately led her to Grinnell’s Center for Careers, Life, and Services (CLS).

Equipped with experience developed from “data-managing, writing and analyzing and … working with students at the college level in the lab,” Barks successfully transitioned into her position here at Grinnell.

Barks will assist Grinnellians in deciding whether graduate school is something that can benefit them, what graduate school would be the best fit and what is the best path for students to take in order to attend the graduate program of their choice.

“Part of my job is not just to send students to graduate school,” Barks explained. “It’s to assess whether graduate school is the right choice for you as well or refer you to another resource who can help you.”

Barks works closely with all of the CLS staff and is very appreciative of what her colleagues have achieved. She wants to continue their mission to help students “achieve their long term goals and make decisions intentionally.”

To further that mission, Barks has begun working with her colleagues to set up upcoming events and partnerships for students interested in attending graduate school.

“We partner with various institutions and graduate programs to offer students resources and work very closely with our current students as well as alumni,” she said.

The CLS will host the 2014 Graduate and Professional School Fair on October 2, during which various institutions and graduate school representatives will talk with students.

With that said, Barks hopes to remind students that the CLS is a great resource and that students of all ages should drop by and take advantage of the many services offered, such as resume workshops, internship information and general networking skills.

“We all work as a team here and want to do our best to help students in every way we can. We want students to be aware of all the opportunities they have while they are in and out of school. So students of all ages should drop by here at least once, we’re all friendly,” Barks said.

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    Sarah BarksSep 12, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you for this terrific article! I’m really excited to join the Grinnell community and I look forward to getting to know the students here.

    I do want to make one important correction: the Graduate and Professional School Fair is actually coming up, on Thursday, October 2. It will be a great event and we hope to see a lot of you there!