GradCURRENTS News & Features
The Graduate Student Government Excellence Awards celebrate the work and achievements of outstanding members of the graduate student community. The Excellence Awards are given to those who exhibit exceptional scholarship, citizenship, and service. While there’s no GSG Spring Ball this year, we want to take a moment to celebrate the awardees—albeit virtually, instead of on a dance floor.
The end of the semester is near! For those of us who are set to graduate this spring, that means it’s time to jump headfirst into the job market. This can be a very daunting time for many people, and it can seem like there’s a lot at stake—you’ve got this!
Pankaj Desai, PhD—or as his students and research assistants refer to him “Doc” —is the recipient of this year’s Excellence in Mentoring of Doctoral Students award. He has mentored over thirty graduate and doctoral students in his time at UC, and many of his former mentees are leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, including his very first PhD student, Dr. Bharat Damle, who is the clinical pharmacology head at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.
Mariam Elgafy champions empathy as the best way of communicating with and advocating for others. Her teaching philosophy has led her to win the Excellence in Teaching Award from both the Graduate School and the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools, a achievement that will enable her to continue building upon her advocacy work for students.
If you have an idea for the next big innovation, app, service, or product, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (CEC) is providing an opportunity for you to pitch it: the Innovation Quest Elevator Pitch Competition (IQ E-Pitch). The competition is university-wide, with anyone from undergraduates to doctoral students being invited to pitch their business ideas to local start-up leaders, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople.
The Graduate Association for Teaching Enhancement (GATE) was developed for graduate students, by graduate students. GATE is unique because it brings people from all disciplines together in a very low-key, collaborative setting. “People come together all in the shared interest of wanting to learn more about teaching," says GATE's president, PJ Van Camp. "It’s a great way to get to know grad students from outside your department."
Sarah studies ancient Athenian culture from the 3rd century AD, with a particular interest in pottery and dining practices that has taken her on a lifelong journey all over the world. She has worked on archaeological digs in Pylos and Gordion (where King Midas and his golden touch originates), and she also spent two years in Athens working on her current research project, a study of the ancient pottery of Athenian citizens.
Mindfulness and self-care are important aspects of our overall wellbeing. Simply put, if you’re not taking care of yourself, it can be difficult to navigate the many challenges graduate school will throw at you. Self-care will look different for each individual, whether it be finding your center through meditation or binge-watching New Girl, but one thing is certain: everyone needs time to focus on taking care of themselves.
What comes to mind when you read the word “hackathon”? If the word conjures up ideas of cyber security, massive rooms full of supercomputers, and people toiling away at their desktops through the wee hours of the night, then you’re not alone. And while these ideas are not totally off the mark, there is much more to the hackathon picture. UC is set to host the RevolutionUC Hackathon event, and you – regardless of major, programming experience, or preconceived notions of hacking – are invited.
What does it take to be a beekeeper? Brandon Reynolds, a UC alum and local sustainability expert, argues that the key to successful beekeeping is patience. “You have to have patience for the bees to show you their world,” he says. “And also, patience with yourself, because when was the last time you used all five of your senses to do anything?”
The Academic Writing Center (AWC) is hosting another season of workshops to help you with all things related to writing at the graduate level. We as graduate students are required to develop a unique set of literacy skills when navigating graduate-level writing, and this workshop series will take you through all of these topics and more to arm you with the tools to excel at any form of graduate writing.
The Preparing Future Faculty program (PFF) is essential for those with aspirations to one day teach in the college classroom. And whether you’re a formal member of the program or not, PFF's reading groups are open to anyone, which makes them a great gateway to meeting peers who are interested in the topics being discussed. If you’re looking for community in your academic journey, you’ll find it here.
Sakinah Hofler, a PhD candidate in creative writing, once referred to herself as a “former engineer.” Over the past few years, however, she adopted one that is much more appropriate: published author. Sakinah is putting the finishing touches on her first major novel Starshine, Stock, Clay (inspired by Lucille Clifton's poem "won't you celebrate with me").
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