Student Spotlight with April Watson

April Watson is an FAU alumna who graduated with her Ph.D. in Summer 2016. Dr.Watson is an Assistant Professor of Natural and Applied Sciences at Lynn University as well as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geosciences at FAU.

What are some of your core responsibilities?

I teach "science for non-science majors" at Lynn. I also teach GIS courses and the capstone course for the environmental science majors.

How did FAU help prepare you for this role?

As a teaching assistant in the graduate program, I gained a lot of experience as a professor/instructor of record. This was a big selling point for my current position at Lynn, which is a teaching-focused university.

What did you enjoy about your experience at FAU?

The thing I enjoyed the most at FAU was my relationship with my mentors, Dr, Maria Fadiman, Dr. Cliff Brown, and Dr. Charles Roberts. They all helped me in so many ways. Even now if I have a question, I know I can reach out to them for help. It is easy to feel confident in your career when you have such a strong support network!

What research did you perform while at FAU? And how did the faculty help you through your thesis or dissertation?

At the Ph.D. level, I used social network analysis and diffusion analysis to examine the booming craft brewery industry in Florida. My mentors helped with the quantitative and qualitative aspects of this research. I am now using these methods and helping my students apply them in the environmental science capstone course.

What tips would you give to current students in the College of Science looking to pursue a career in your field?

First, don't be afraid to apply for jobs that you feel are not a "perfect match." Sometimes the perfect match is not the one you think it is! Second, create and strengthen your network. As I learned in my dissertation research, "weak ties matter." That is, you never know who in your circle of friends and acquaintances will have a job opportunity or a strategy you can use!