AN EFFECTIVE MENTORING RELATIONSHIP passes through phases of development. Early on, your mentor will recognize your unique qualities and your need for special coaching. In turn, this recognition should inspire you to seek out your mentor's support, skills and wisdom. Later, both of you will explore and deepen your working relationship, perhaps collaborating on projects while you develop into a junior colleague. At some point, you may grow in ways that require separation from your mentor, to test your own ideas.
This fall, Graduate Studies implemented a new initiative designed to support prospective and current graduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln: The UNL Graduate Student Ambassadors Program. This exciting new program brings together a diverse cadre of experienced graduate students who support graduate student recruitment and Graduate Studies outreach activities, such as the New Student Welcome, the Campuswide TA Workshops, and the Graduate Student Research Fair, to name just a few.
There’s no perfect formula for negotiating graduate school. However, many people have thought about and written on this topic, and everyone who has gone to graduate school seems to agree on some common themes. Obviously, choosing an adviser, and to a lesser degree a supervisory committee, is pivotal in determining your experience as a graduate student. After you have chosen an adviser, though, what else should you do to start your graduate career out right? We offer the following advice:
Recent headlines about the prevalence of academic dishonesty among graduate students nationwide caught everyone’s attention. I’m convinced that the graduate student body at UNL is unusually ethical and that our students are not typical of those represented in recent studies. Nonetheless, I want to take this opportunity to clarify the expectations for academic integrity that we hold for graduate students at UNL.
Among the most basic academic values are the honest creation of new knowledge, the discovery of new facts, new ways of looking at the known world, and the original analysis of old ideas. The simple repetition of the words and thoughts of someone else does not lead to the level of understanding an educated person is expected to have (Standler, 2000). Those who embrace the intent of the educational experience earn not only the satisfaction of generating new knowledge, but the respect and esteem of their professors, colleagues, and professional peers.
Research on graduate students' experiences with writing a thesis or dissertation suggests many students aren’t always sure what to expect when they begin the process. Dr. Ken Oldfield, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, Springfield, offers these strategies along with some tips on how to manage the process. We’ve included advice from three UNL graduate students who’ve recently completed a thesis or dissertation.
If you're preparing for a career in academia, you might want to learn the lingo. Here is a list of some commonly used terms.
AAUP: The American Association of University Professors. This organization helped to establish rights for university professors to protect their academic freedom and also has a collective-bargaining arm. Job candidates may want to check out the AAUP's annual report on the economic status of the profession, the most reliable information available on faculty salaries.
Attend all new student orientation sessions offered to you. It’s anopportunity to learn more about what’s expected of you, and you’ll meet other new students as well as more advanced students and faculty. For information about orientation activities in your department, contact your adviser. Teaching assistants are welcome to attend the campuswide workshops for teaching assistants on Aug. 18. Also, take full advantage of the new student welcome festivities on Aug. 21 in the City Campus Union.
by Jan Allen, Associate Dean for Ph.D. Programs, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Columbia University (reprinted with permission)
Do you think of yourself as a writer? Or are you just a graduate student who must write to complete the requirements for your degree, to get published, to get a job? Are you a faculty member who must write to keep your job, to get tenured, to get promoted in your job? It might help if you start to think and act like a writer. Here’s how:
One skill that can be critical to the success of a graduate student is the ability to publish. We collected the following tips from experienced faculty who have guided students successfully into the publishing world. If getting published is one of your goals, these bits of advice will give you some insight on how to reach it.