Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Holidays from the University Graduate School

Invitation to join Spring 2012 Dissertation Group

December 13, 2011

Dear Dissertator,

Writing Tutorial Services invites you to participate in our Spring 2012 Dissertation Group! Over the Fall semester, we have piloted a program designed to better address the needs of graduate students as they write their dissertations and dissertation proposals. The program also aims to help introduce students to resources available to them in the library and on the web.

Program Expectations

Participants will:
  • attend an orientation session on Wednesday, January 11 at 7pm
  • commit to regular attendance for the full 14-week session
  • keep a writing log of their goals and progress
  • provide us with ongoing feedback about the program
Dissertation Group Facilitators will:
  • lead a short workshop at the beginning of each session
  • facilitate group discussion of goals, strategies, and long-term writing plans
  • help participants to remain on-task (and away from email, facebook, youtube, or other distractions)
  • be available to offer advice or feedback on the writing process

Writing Group Location and Schedule

Wednesday, January 11 at 7pm (location TBA)
Weekly meetings:
All groups will meet at Writing Tutorial Services, located in the Wells Library Information Commons. These meetings will run from the week of January 16 to the week of April 16.
We will be offering groups at the following times:
Mondays, 5:30pm-8:30pm (Facilitator: Mike Rings)
Tuesdays, 9am-12pm (Facilitator: Holly Schreiber)
Wednesdays, 11am-2pm (Facilitator: Drew Koke)
Fridays, 9am-12pm (Facilitator: Abi Grose)
The structure of each meeting will be as follows:
  • Group work (1 hour). This will be facilitated by a WTS graduate tutor who will discuss writing and motivational strategies, followed by 5-10 minutes for each member of the group to share their progress since the last meeting and set goals for structured writing time.
  • Structured writing time (2 hours). All members of the group will spend the remaining two hours of the session working on their individual projects. While this time will be focused on individual work, the WTS tutor and other members of the writing group will be nearby to answer any questions and offer support.
If you would like to participate in the program, please complete the accompanying application form and email it to Holly Schreiber ( as soon as possible. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

WTS Dissertation Group Application_form.pdf


Abi Grose
Drew Koke
Mike Rings
Holly Schreiber

WTS Dissertation Group Facilitators

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Applications open for the Sara and Albert Reuben Scholarships To Support the Study of the Holocaust

The Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program
at Indiana University

announces the

Sara and Albert Reuben Scholarships
To Support the Study of the Holocaust

Two Scholarships: One up to $3,000 and one up to $10,000.

Application deadlines:
Graduate students: Thursday, March 8, 2012
Undergraduates: Thursday, March 1, 2012

During the academic year 2012c2013, the Sara and Albert Re uben scholarships may support funding to attend Holocaust-related conferences, to do research in archives and libraries, to subsidize Holocaust-related internship, to engage in reseJrch and to support honors theses, master's theses, or a dissertation, and other academic initiatives related to the Holocaust. . The monies can only be awarded in the fall and/or spring when the recipient is a full-time student.

REQUIREMENTS: The scholarships are open to all Indiana University Bloomington undergraduate and
graduate students from any department or college on campus. Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 3.4. Students must be enrolled at Indiana University Bloomington during the Spring 2012 semester (the semester of application) and continue as enrolled students during the semester or year when the scholarship funding is awarded.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Please submit a proposal, budget, (undergraduates - a resume), and letter of reference to Professor Shaul Magid, Associate Director via e-mail: or to Professor Magid at: Borns Jewish Studies Program, Indiana University, Goodbody Hall 326, 1011 E. 3rJ Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-7005; Phone (812) 855-0453; FAX (812) 855-4314.
Note: Jewish Studies major, certificate, and Hebrew minor students should apply using the application forms for continuing jewish Studies student scholarships and internships.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF SCHOLARSHIPS: Recipients will be notified in early April, 2012 and will be recognized at the annual jewish Studies Program Student-Faculty Dinner on Sunday, Aprill5, 2012. These scholarships are a gift from Candice and Larry Reuben in memory of parents and Indianapolis residents Sara and Albert Reuben who were committed to the adva ncement of learning and research about this crucial dimension of modern history.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Congrats to Linda Hostetter on winning the IU Staff Merit Award.

The University Graduate School would like to join IU in recognizing Linda Hostetter, Informatics, who will be receiving an IU Bloomington Staff Merit Award next week!

A celebration of their service to the university at the annual Staff Merit Award ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, December 12, 2011 in the Frangipani Room at the Indiana Memorial Union.

These awards are given to staff members who have exhibited an extraordinary commitment to service, workplace innovation, and job performance. Six staff members receive the award each year. They were nominated by their departments and chosen by a committee of their peers. Linda was among the six chosen this year:

Linda Hostetter, Graduate Admission Coordinator, School of Informatics and Computing
An IU employee of over two decades, Linda has welcomed, nurtured, advised, and taken care of students from all over the world. With tremendous kindness and motherly wisdom, she has helped students (and sometimes faculty) negotiate the challenges of the academic world. In shepherding the many international students through the opportunities and tribulations of studying and living in a foreign country, Linda has not only made many grateful friends, but she has fundamentally contributed to their academic and personal success at IU.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Opportunities for grads/postdocs related to social media, digital media, and the influences of technology.

Microsoft Research Postdocs.
Who: Newly minted/about-to-be-minted PhD students working on social media topics from a social science perspective
Deadline: December 12, 2011
More Information:

Special issue of JOBEM on Socially-Mediated Publicness.
Who: Scholars who want to publish their work on socially-mediated publicness in a fantastic journal experimenting with open-access
Deadline: December 12, 2011 for brief abstracts; January 6, 2012 for complete articles
More Information:

Digital Media & Learning Summer Institute.
Who: Graduate students/young postdocs doing work touching on policy and innovation around digital media & learning
Deadline: January 9, 2012
Application & More Info:

Microsoft Research PhD Internships.
Who: Current PhD students working on social media topics from a social science perspective
Deadline: January 10, 2012
More Information:

Human Trafficking & Technology Research Grants.
Who: Scholars who can research the role of tech in different facets of human trafficking
Deadline: February 17, 2012
Request for Proposals:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fulbright Program Offers New Public-Policy Fellowship

 The U.S. State Department has announced a new Fulbright fellowship focused on public policy. The program, which started accepting applications this month, will support master’s and Ph.D. students who want to serve in professional positions within foreign-government ministries while also conducting research in policy areas like public health, energy, and economic development.

U.S. Embassies, Fulbright Commissions (where applicable), and host country governments will coordinate appropriate professional placements for candidates in public policy areas including, but not limited to, public health, education, agriculture, justice, energy, environment, public finance, economic development, information technology, and communications.

The awards are available in Haiti, Thailand, and nine other countries around the world. Under the Obama administration, the Fulbright Program has put an emphasis on supporting fellowships that help develop ideas that contribute to meeting global challenges, like developing renewable energy or fighting HIV/AIDS.

Deadline for application and all supporting materials: February 1, 2012.

Monday, November 7, 2011

GRE Revised General Test: concordance information

Concordance information for the GRE revised General Test is now available on the ETS website:

You can access concordance tables:  

Review the entire set of GRE Guidelines for the Use of Scores:

Or view revised score scale information using the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools:

We have experts on hand to answer your questions, please contact the GRE Helpline at or 1-609-683-2011.  You may also contact representative Matthew Kadlubowski directly.

Matthew T. Kadlubowski
Associate Director, Global Client Relations
Educational Testing Service
Princeton, New Jersey  08541

Phone: 609-683-2011
Fax: 609-683-2310
Cell: 609-751-6849

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Upcoming workshop: Advanced Strategies for Funding Databases

Advanced Strategies for Funding Databases
A GradGrants Center Workshop

WHAT:    A hands-on workshop on finding graduate school funding in the COS Pivot and IRIS databases
WHO:    All IU graduate students 
WHEN:    Wednesday, November 9, 11am-12pm 
WHERE:    Student Building 230 

Availability is limited to 22 seats, so be sure to come early!

Questions? Contact us at:

This workshop is designed to help IU graduate students become proficient in using the advanced search features of COS Pivot (formerly Community of Science) and IRIS (Illinois Researcher Information Service) databases to identify funding for graduate study and research. Both databases are interdisciplinary and accessible to all IU students and faculty.

Topics to be covered include:
  • how to access the databases on- and off-campus
  • choosing keywords relevant to funding agencies
  • limiting searches by citizenship, deadline, funding type, location, and more
  • setting up funding alerts so the latest results of your searches are automatically sent to you by e-mail
The GradGrants Center
The GGC provides one-on-one assistance with grant proposal writing from our grant-winning consultants and a centralized area to access funding information. Call, email or stop by to schedule a consultation with our consultants to receive assistance with your search for funding opportunities, proposal formulation and grant writing. The GGC is a free service for all Indiana University graduate students.

Wells Library | East Tower 651 | 812-855-5281 | |

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

GPSO Library Workshop: Issues in Scholarly Communication

Fri, October 28, 12pm – 1pm
Herman B Wells Library E174 (Media Room)

The GPSO and IU Libraries have partnered to bring you information that's incredibly important and helpful to graduate students--information that might not be readily available in publications or websites. Please pass these events on to fellow graduate students.

The GPSO will provide free snacks! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Presenter: Jennifer Laherty, Digital Publishing Librarian and Head of IUScholarWorks

Description: This session introduces key theoretical and practical issues in contemporary scholarly communications. We’ll also suggest strategies for finding digitally archived research outside of traditional library resources. Finally, we’ll discuss how you (as a graduate student or new researcher) can prepare yourself for participating in the global scholarly communication environment.

To view all workshops, see
Questions? Email

MLK Day Celebration Essay Contest

Monday, October 24, 2011

CIC/Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Announcement

Deadline: November 15, 2011 at 5 PM
The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and the Smithsonian Institution (SI) invite fellowship applications for one-year fellowships to support research in residence at Smithsonian Institution facilities. Fellowships carry a stipend of $30,000. All fields of study that are actively pursued by the museums and research organizations of the Smithsonian Institution are eligible.

How it Works
Under this fellowship program, the Smithsonian Institution and the Fellow’s university share the cost of support. Students enrolled at CIC member universities apply through their university graduate school. Each university will nominate one application for the CIC/SI competition; the 13 nominees will be asked to submit their application electronically through the Smithsonian’s Online Application System (SOLAA).

From this pool of 13 nominations, six fellowships will be selected by the Smithsonian Institution for the CIC/SI Fellowship. Applicants will be notified of the award decision by January 1, 2012. 

All unfunded applications will be eligible for consideration in the general Smithsonian Institution competition. Review of applications for the general competition begins on January 15, 2012. 

Students must have completed all course work for their programs, and must have been admitted into doctoral candidacy and satisfied all requirements except completion of the dissertation in order to qualify. These fellowships are restricted to IUB students only.

The stipend is $30,000 for one year, and fellows are eligible for tuition and health insurance benefits in accordance with their university policy. Fellows are eligible to receive allowances for related expenses and for temporary relocation to the Smithsonian.

Application Instructions
To be considered for the CIC/SI Fellowship, applicants must complete the attached CIC/Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Application form. A pdf of the completed application must be submitted electronically by November 15, 2011 at 5 PM to the graduate fellowship office at the student’s home institution.

Contact for Indiana University: 
Maxine Watson, Associate Dean
The University Graduate School
Kirkwood Hall 111
130 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-7104
(812) 855-8853


Note: Rather than also include a PDF list of contacts, we simply listed the IUB contact Maxine Watson (see above).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Free Workshop on Publishing Research & Longer Documents in Word

IT Training Workshops are free for IU graduate students.
Thursday, October 27, 2011, 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Word 2010: Publishing Research & Longer Documents 
Information Commons room IC103
This workshop lasts 3+ hours.

To sign up, go to the IT Training Workshop site and scroll down to find the correct listing.

Intended for experienced users of Word who want to create long documents such as research papers, team project reports, books, and graduate theses or dissertations. This workshop explores the best method for structuring long documents in Word and demonstrates how to reliably assemble long documents from multiple source files. It highlights Word's advanced publishing features and automated functions, so participants will also learn how to create lists of figures and captions, a table of contents and a document index.

What You'll learn:
  • create and edit an outline
  • collapse, expand and relocate sections of an outline
  • create and manage master documents
  • create a table of contents in a master document
  • create captions and lists of figures
  • use advanced search options
  • format and generate an index
  • format footers in a master document
  • print a master document 
What you need to know:
  • how to use templates
  • create and edit headers and footers
  • insert and edit footnotes or endnotes
  • work with multiple documents
  • create and edit styles
  • create tables of contents
  • insert and modify graphics
  • format text using Word shortcuts

Friday, October 14, 2011

2011 Postdoctoral Appreciation Day

The IUB Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is proud to present:
2011 Postdoctoral Appreciation Day 
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 
1:00 – 3:30 pm  

Panel Discussion 
Transitioning from graduate student to postdoc and from postdoc to career
1:00 - 2:00 pm, IMU, State Room East 
Panelists: Stella Aniagyei, Postdoctoral Research Associate; Megan Sullivan, Postdoctoral Fellow; Nikole Miller, Pre-Postdoctoral Research Associate; and, Danilo Dragoni, Previous Postdoctoral Appointment.

Topics to be discussed include: appropriate postdoctoral appointments and details associated with pursing professional placements.

This session is co-sponsored by the IUB Chapter of the NSF-funded Midwest AGEP Alliance. 

Poster Session 
For postdoctoral scholars in the sciences 
2:30 - 3:30 pm, IMU, State Room West 
Set-up from 2:00 - 2:30 pm 
Come share your latest research and network with other postdocs. Light refreshments will be served.

Call for Poster Titles 
Send your name, lab affiliation, and poster title to by Wednesday October 26, 2011.

Questions? Please contact Dean Maxine Watson,, 855-5697.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall 2011 Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop - Collaborative Research

All interested graduate students and postdocs are welcome to attend. 

Date: October 17, 2011: 
Time: 4 - 6 pm 
Location: IMU Maple Room


The University Graduate School, The Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics & American Institutions, and the Office of Research Ethics, Education and Policy (REEP) will be conducting two panel-style workshops this semester on the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).

This series is designed to introduce and explore the principles and practices of RCR. RCR constitutes the integration of research ethics, best practices, and adherence to professional and regulatory standards.
Panel Participants:
  • Kevin Guidry, Graduate student in the School of Education and the Awards Officer in the Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO).
  • Dr. Bernice Pescosolido, Distinguished Professor and Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology.
  • Dr. Kimberly Rosvall, Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Biology. 

For more information regarding this workshop, contact REEP at or visit

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October 2011 Graduate Student of the Month: Ishani Banerji

Ishani Banerji 
Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences 

Ishani Banerji
IU graduate student Ishani Banerji is enamored with the academic lifestyle.

“To me it seems like the perfect life, which probably makes me a huge nerd,” Banerji said. “But my favorite part of America is academic campuses. I feel the most at home on academic campuses; they’re familiar to me, comfortable. I know what is expected of me, I know the culture and I love that to some extent everyone here is engaged in the pursuit of knowledge. I just love it.”

“[For my undergraduate degree,] I went to this tiny liberal arts college called Denison University [in Granville, Ohio] where you simply have to form relationships with the people on campus. The faculty was so supportive, they were always there for me and became like a second family. For me, I really loved that idea of having that relationship and being embedded in this network of people who all really, really care about education.”

“At Denison, I was able to do a lot of research as an undergraduate because there aren’t any grad students. So I knew I loved doing research and [when I was working on my master’s degree] at Wake Forest I got to do a lot more research, particularly cross-cultural research, which I had become interested in my senior year of college.” she said.

At the big social psychology conference in January the year Banerji was looking for a doctoral program to join, she met a lot of graduate students from the places she would be interviewing with later that semester.

“As I was applying to Ph.D. programs, IU wasn’t my top choice. I thought who wants to be in the Midwest surrounded by cornfields? Then at this conference, I met a lot of students who barely gave me the time of day. But the IU students—I mean, the entire department—came to my poster presentation. They were all there and making that effort to make me feel welcome and I hadn’t even decided where I was going to go yet.”

It was at this same conference where she first met her current advisor Dr. Eliot Smith.

“Until that point, I felt that there were two kinds of faculty; the super-brilliant, super-productive, big names in their fields, but kind of [arrogant], and the faculty who are understanding and friendly, but haven’t done as much with their careers. The faculty I had met who were well-known in the field were just not people who I could look up to socially and personally. Dr. Smith is brilliant, but is totally un-egotistical about it,” she said.

“That brought me to IU.”

“I struggled a lot [with the decision] because I had other highly-ranked options, but because of my experience at Denison, that kind of colored it. I knew I wanted a place where I would be comfortable because you don’t want to be in a Ph.D. program that is highly ranked, but then hate yourself every day for three or four or five or six or however many years you’re going to be there [because you don’t feel like you belong]. It’s not worth it.”

Banerji is currently at the start of her fourth year. She took her qualifying exams last year.

“The social psychology program within the psychology department is the only one that has exams, like actual exams, whereas all the other programs do papers. It’s a two-day exam with three or four questions to answer each day, and about four hours a day to do so. It’s a summer of reading as much as you can and memorizing as much as you can because you can’t bring anything into the room when you take the exam,” she said.

“All the more senior students will tell you that the faculty aren’t interested in setting you up to fail—they want you to succeed, you’re going to be fine. So look at it as an opportunity to read a lot, and learn a lot and really get embedded in the literature; that all sounds fine, but before you take the exam it’s still really, really scary. But now, post-exam, that’s exactly what I’m telling the students who are taking it this year.”

At IU, Banerji’s research has taken a lot of different lines. She studies group emotions, an interest she picked up from working with her advisor, but Banerji gives it a cross-cultural twist.

“[Group emotions are] the emotions you experience when you think of yourself as a member of a certain group. So the emotions you would feel as a woman, or as an American, as opposed to the emotions you feel just as yourself,” she said. “My first project, which has now become this monster of a project that has taken me three years to get done is looking at American, Chinese and Germans [participants]. I have collaborators in both of those countries—it was actually amazing how I found those collaborators because nobody in my department does cross-cultural work,” she said.

The German collaborator was a graduate student from the University of Hamburg that she met at the annual social psychology conference. The Chinese collaborator is a more round-about story.

“We had a speaker from the University of Chicago come to the department to give a talk. I met her over lunch and was talking to her about my project and how I really wanted to collect some data from Asia. She said she knew this professor who teaches in New Zealand who happened to be going to China to give some talks. She put me in touch with him and he found two students in China who were interested in collaborating with the project.”

“It’s wonderful to me that the faculty in my department are so supportive of students doing work with other people. Right now I’m collaborating with three of the four faculty members in my department, including my advisor. This year I’ll be at Santa Barbara to work with my advisor’s collaborator, Diane Mackie. Santa Barbara has a much more diverse population so some of the research I’m interested in doing—looking at some of these various racial differences, stereotypes and prejudices, I can do over there a little bit more easily than at IU,” she said.

“It feels great to know that you have multiple lines of research and that there are multiple people out there that you can turn to for feedback and advice and just work with,” Banerji said. For example, in another line of Banerji’s research, she is working with another of her advisor’s students, Dr. Charles Seger, who recently graduated and is currently teaching in the UK.

“There has been a lot of research that suggests that when you have contact with the members of an out-group, so say white people interacting with African-Americans, that your prejudice towards that out-group goes down and you have a more positive outlook. So, research in this area has come up with lots of different versions of this main idea of contact. What I became interested in is the idea of physical contact, but not with the people of the out-group, but with the products of the out-group,” she said. This resulted in Banerji teaming up with Dr. B J Rydell on a project involving turbans.

“In the first study I did, we gave people turbans and we either had them look at the turban, or look and touch the turban if they wanted to, or they got no exposure to the turban. Then we measured their prejudice towards Muslims.” They are now repeating this study with do-rags and measuring prejudice against African-Americans.

“For the turban study we found that seeing the turban had some prejudice-reducing effect, but it was touching the turban that really seemed to make a difference. We’re hoping to see the same thing with the do-rag,” she said.

“I’m also going to be doing a study with Charlie in the UK where we’re going to be giving people hummus either labeled Nigel’s Bean Dip or call it something in Arabic with Arabic writing all over it. We’ll ask the subjects to taste it and we’ll measure their attitudes towards Muslims.”

“So that is the basic idea—that a lot of the time, when you’re interacting with a different culture, it’s not with the people, it’s seeing CNN’s coverage of terrorists or going to an ethnic food restaurant,” she said. “It’s all exciting.”

Media Contacts:
Erika Lee, Director of Communications, The University Graduate School,
Ana Saraceno, The IU Graduate and Professional Student Organization,

The Graduate and Professional Student Organization and the University Graduate School would like to congratulate Ishani Banerji on receiving the GPSO/UGS Recognition Award. Students selected for this award were nominated by a faculty member from within their department, and selected by the GPSO and UGS for excellence in their graduate studies at Indiana University. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Winter 2011 Commencement Ceremony and GradFair

Winter 2011 Ceremony 
 December Commencement exercises are open to candidates for graduate and undergraduate degrees. The ceremony typically runs 90 minutes and includes the procession of degree candidates, an address by a Commencement speaker, induction into the IU Alumni Association, the hooding of Ph.D. and doctoral candidates, and the conferral of degrees.

Saturday, December 17, 2011
Assembly Hall, 1001 E. 17th Street
Bloomington, IN 47408

The 2011 Winter Commencement Handbook is now online at:

Fall GradFair for Winter Commencement:  

October 11-12, 2011, 
State Rooms East and West, 
Indiana Memorial Union. 
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

At GradFair, students may rent caps and gowns, purchase graduate announcements, class rings, and diploma frames, and have formal pictures taken in academic regalia. They may also visit information tables hosted by University Ceremonies and Commencement Services and the Indiana University Alumni Association.

More information on GradFair:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Preparing Future Faculty Conference 2012

The 17th Annual Preparing Future Faculty Conference
Not A Zero-Sum Game: Moving Forward with Research, Service, and Teaching
Friday, February 24, 2012
IMU Solarium
8:30am - 4:30pm

FREE for graduate students

RSVP for free lunch with name, department, and year in program to

This conference is sponsored by the University Graduate School and other participating departments and is FREE to all IU graduate students.

Department of English Professor Stephen Watt discusses academic publishing at the 15th Annual Preparing Future Faculty Graduate Student Conference held at the IMU on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010.
This one day conference, open to all IUB graduate students, regardless of discipline, addresses the professional steps necessary for future faculty. The PFF is funded by the University Graduate School, and is organized by Sociology graduate students and their advisers.
Indiana University’s 17th Annual Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Graduate Conference is a one-day event designed to provide graduate students from all disciplines and at all phases of their educations with important information about preparing for their future academic careers. The conference consists of four sessions addressing issues, such as graduate student concerns as they progress toward the Ph.D., building a professional record, navigating the job market, acclimating to a new faculty position, and professional opportunities within and outside of academia. Each year the conference is organized by a committee of graduate students, lead by a PFF fellow who is appointed and funded by the Sociology department and the University Graduate School.

Funding for the conference is provided by the Graduate School and other participating departments. Panelists are typically professors from IUB and surrounding universities. Special care is made to invite panelists from a diverse array of disciplines and institutions.

Contact: Deidre Redmond (

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CIC Offers Shared Access to Courses - FELP No Longer Available

Sharing Access to Courses CIC institutions have a long history of sharing faculty expertise by making specialized courses available to students from member universities.

CourseShare: CourseShare allows students to take specialized courses offered at other CIC institutions from a distance, eliminating the need to temporarily relocate. The CourseShare framework allows students to register for inter-institutionally shared courses at the same time and in the same way as regular courses.

Traveling Scholar Program: This program allows doctoral students to spend up to a full academic year pursuing specialized courses of study, researching unique library collections, and working in advanced laboratories and facilities at other CIC institutions —with no change in registration procedures from their home university or additional tuition.

The popular Foreign Language Enhancement Program (FLEP) is no longer offered as of 2011. The CIC Foreign Language Enhancement Program (FLEP) provided scholarships to help graduate students take advantage of less commonly taught languages not available at their home university, but offered at another participating CIC member university.

More information on these programs

Friday, September 16, 2011

Former FFTF Fellow Keith Erekson Receives Prestigious ‘Outstanding Teaching Award’ from the University of Texas

Dr. Keith Erekson

The IU Future Faculty Teaching Fellowships Program is run through the The University Graduate School at Indiana University. Deadline for the next round of fellowships is October 14, 2011.

Once an IU Future Faculty Teaching Fellowship (FFTF) recipient, Keith Erekson is now a faculty member in the history department at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He recently received the prestigious Outstanding Teaching Award given to only 72 faculty out of a UT system of nearly 19,000.

After receiving his Ph.D. from IU in 2008, Erekson joined the UTEP faculty and founded the Center for History Teaching & Learning (, which is devoted to improving history teaching in his department and among current and future secondary-level history teachers.

He credits his experiences in the IU FFTF Program with getting him to this point.

“I don’t remember when I first heard about the program,” he said. “I think it was early on, but I remember thinking I wanted to do that. [FFTF] was always on my radar as I was going through coursework and exams.”

In 2007-08, Erekson was accepted into the FFTF program and three campuses contacted him, but two regarded him as inexpensive labor, he said.

“I would have been teaching an introductory survey history class and had a 2-2 load. One campus said straight out that’s all they expected. The other said, well, if you’re good we might let you teach an upper level class in the second semester,” he said. “Contrast that to the offer I got from IU Kokomo where I met students, took a campus tour, talked with faculty. They were really collegial. They treated me like one of their faculty members.”

At IUK, Erekson taught two upper-level history courses, attended faculty meetings, and worked in his own office space complete with printing resources. He was essentially faculty.

“It was huge, I don’t know if I can begin to quantify all the ways that helped,” he said. “The big things were that I was on campus and coded as a visiting professor even though I was in the last year of my PhD program, and also that they let me teach and design my own classes.”

“At the time IUK was pushing hybrid courses offered half in the classroom and half online. It was really enjoyable. In the History department at IUB, I had worked for the Journal of Indiana History, so I knew a lot about the topic, so I taught Indiana history as a hybrid upper-level course. The students were also really excited because although [the Indiana History course] had been listed in the catalogue, it had never been taught at IUK.”

At the end of his FFTF year, Erekson was able to say he had taught survey courses, upper-level courses, online courses and courses he had designed himself. “I had taught all these different things. So, in job interviews when they asked ‘have you taught an upper-level course?’ I could say yes.”

IUK also supported the fact that he was on the job market. He wrote his dissertation that year while teaching, but he also spent time applying for positions. “How do you prepare for sending out 55 job applications? That year I typed them up on the computer they gave me to use and printed them out on university letterhead. They really supported me in sending them out.”

In March of 2008, Erekson received an offer for his position at UTEP, he defended his dissertation in April, graduated in May, and moved to El Paso in July at which point he started fulltime without a hitch.

“I really felt like I had a lot of help when I was starting to teach and that was huge. It’s funny. After I got here, we hired a hotshot postdoc from Yale. He came into my office the second week of the semester and said 'I don’t know how to teach, please help me.' My experience was just the opposite. I felt the FFTF summer retreat and FFTF Kokomo Program was a real advantage. I had gone to the SOTL workshops at IUB, but that summer retreat was really important.”

The FFTF Program not only gave him needed experiences, Erekson said, but the edge needed to land his first position.

“I really think this fellowship gave me the ability to make the leap [into the professoriate] before the economy crashed—it was a real turning point. Instead of one more paper, one more postdoc, I was able to find a tenure-track position and get started with my career,” he said.

Erekson’s new position came with an advising component because UTEP had discovered that nearly half the students in history wanted to be high school teachers.

“They had all these pre-law and pre-grad school workshops, but then realized that many wanted to teach. So the position was designed with an open specialty, and along the way it seemed to make sense to make it a more formal path,” he said.

That’s when he started the Center for History Teaching & Learning at UTEP to help students become teachers and help the faculty become better teachers.

“Teaching was something I wanted to do. I knew it was part of the job of academic life, but I look forward to teaching. I’d worked for the auto industry before and I knew that didn’t make me feel better, but working with people did,” Erekson said. “When I was a grad student, I thought I would do things [in the classroom] differently, so it’s good to be able to put my ideas into practice and see what happens. Those classes you teach again and again are never the same, always a little different; it’s always exciting.”

Erekson offers this advice to graduate students at IU Bloomington. “Pay attention to teaching,” he said. “In every campus interview I had, and I did 12 campus interviews, teaching came up and it came up not just as what do you do in your classroom, but in a ‘our university is up for accreditation this year and we have to demonstrate outcomes, or our dean is asking us to create a senior level rubric.’ It wasn’t the questions I’d heard before. Faculty are now accountable for teaching in many ways. So in each campus visit, faculty were talking about teaching in a ‘oh boy, we-have-this-problem-we have-to-solve’ way.”

“If you know how to design a learning outcome and show students accomplished it or made an improvement in a course and showed it worked, that’s a valuable skill in the industry,” he said. “It’s not just about teaching a course. The students have to learn something and you have to prove they learned something and prove to their parents they learned something. Every time tuition is raised, the more clarity is expected about what a university is teaching. Is it specific and concrete and can you show me what it looks like if they can’t do that or better if they can?”

“It’s a myth that we do teaching by ourselves,” he said. “Teaching requires students, good timing, administration, the right course offering—all of these factors that come into play—it’s really a community activity. And it feels really good to be part of a responsive community.”

 More Information on the Teaching Award 

Wimbush Selected for New Commission to Study Graduate Student Pathways

James C. Wimbush, Dean of the Indiana University Graduate School
Dean of the University Graduate School, James C. Wimbush, has been selected for a new commission to study the educational and career pathways graduate students take and recommend ways to help students move more easily from their studies into careers.

The Commission on Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers, is being created by the Council of Graduate Schools and the Educational Testing Service. In addition to Dean Wimbush, the commission includes leadership from academia and business. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the commission is tasked with examining how much graduate students know about their career options once they obtain their degrees, and how students learn about their professional opportunities after graduation and the role of graduate programs in guiding students in their transition to a career.

The findings will be disclosed in a report next spring.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

McNair Director Cathi Eagan Retires After 34 Years of Service to IU

In August of 2011, Cathi Eagan, long-time Director of Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program and Assistant Dean at the University Graduate School, retired from IU, but from what we hear she will continue to be busy! The staff at the University Graduate School would like to wish her the best. Here is her story of the time spent with us and a peak into her new endeavors. 

When Cathi Eagan joined the University Graduate School staff in 1993 as an Assistant Dean, the first thing she noticed was that there weren’t a lot of programs at IU to groom undergraduates for graduate school.

Eagan at her retirement party in August 2011.
 “I became interested in finding funds,” Eagan said, “an external grant, to be able to create a program. One year I went to the CGS (Council of Graduate Schools) meeting and sat next to someone who had a McNair Grant. It was the first competition that McNair had had and she had had her program for a couple of years. It was Vicki Kirby from the University of Missouri in Columbia.”

Inspired by that conversation, Cathi arranged to go to a grant writing session in Washington D.C., spoke with a lot of the McNair programs that existed at that time, and then wrote a proposal to create a McNair Scholars program at IU. The purpose of the program would be to help prepare students from diverse backgrounds for doctoral programs.

“So I took what I learned from the other McNair programs and what I knew from the Biology program (where she had worked previously on The Hughes Grant) and I wrote the grant,” Eagan said. “We were funding in 1995 and I’ve been working with the program ever since.”

“I think the strength of the program is that it’s an academic year program where we can get to know 25 undergraduate students very well—their personal, financial and academic background—and we can groom them into mini graduate students by the time they reach their senior year,” she said. “At that point, the students have had an undergraduate research experience, and they’ve had teaching training and teaching internships, so when they apply for graduate school their funding comes from either an AI or TA, or a fellowship of some type.”

“Over the years, perhaps the first eight years of the program, we had difficulty in learning how exactly we could prepare these students for graduate school so it didn’t interfere with their senior year. What we used to do was hold a lot of the workshops that we now hold in the summer in the fall—workshops to get them ready to apply to graduate programs. It was really getting in the middle of their academic work,” Eagan said.

“One day I was driving into work—and I still remember it—I thought what if we took one week in the summertime and we just compiled everything to help the students learn about fellowships, write the draft of their personal statements, get GRE training? And what if to pay for this, we had programs from around the country come and we could bring in the best and the brightest lecturers for these students—that’s how the senior summer camp was born,” she said. “It’s a very effective tool—we can prep our students in the summertime and they can have everything done so in the fall so they’re ready to submit applications for fellowships and graduate school.”

The senior summer camp is now in its eleventh year and it’s been duplicated in California, Chicago and by several institutions in the South. The camp lasts five days and is held in a remote location to limit distractions. Students learn about life as a graduate student, from how to be successful in their programs, to what to do if they run into complications within their departments and how to solve these situations, to how to strategically take the GRE. There is also a push to develop grant and fellowship writing skills.

Eagan is an integral part of the The Canine Express,
a group that transports shelter dogs from Indiana
to areas of the country where spay and neuter laws
have limited the number of animals for adoption,
giving the Indiana dogs a better chance at being adopted.
“They learn about fellowships, where the money is and that they need to apply for these things,” Eagan said. “Last year we had the Rhodes Scholarship recipient and the runner-up, we’ve had people who’ve gotten a Mellon Fellowship, Jacob Javits Fellowship, and so on. And I think it’s because we’ve forced them to apply to these fellowships. Even if they’re turned down, the student now has a better understanding for how to write a grant proposal and they can apply to other grants even as a graduate student.”

Even before the idea for the senior summer camp, Eagan had been invited to be part of the Penn State TRIO training team.

“I would go around the country; I did this each month for 5 years. At first I was doing GRE training and then it got so I was preparing staff for how to write fellowships and identify where the money was,” Eagan said. “And that’s where I met Orlando Taylor, Don Asher, so many of the TRIO people who are really heavy hitters. Those are the people that I invited to come to the senior summer camp. And that’s how we have so many dynamos who help us prepare our students.”

Eagan said she is looking forward to retirement, and although she’ll miss the students greatly, “it’s time to move on after 34 years.”

Over the last 25 years, when she wasn’t on campus working with students, Eagan has been working on issues of animal welfare. For the last seven years, she has taken her vacation days once a month to drive to New England with the CanINE Express; an organization that has transported more than 7100 shelter dogs to partner shelters in New England. 

“In New England, the spay-and-neuter message has been heard. So the shelters there are sitting virtually empty of well-socialized, healthy dogs ready to be adopted,” she said. 

Eagan is currently working to introduce better spay-and-neuter legislation in Indiana, writing grants for shelters, and taking care of her 88-year-old mother and her home. “For me, as long as I’m in Indiana, I’ll be devoted to stopping the killing of companion animals. It’s atrocious what’s happening, not only in IN, but also the Midwest and the South.”