Graduate Student Emissaries at Work

Along with blogging, giving student tours and being successful Graduate Students the Emissaries for Graduate Student Diversity also give presentations. Three emissaries gave a presentation on “graduate school preparedness” at the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program LEAD Conference on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the Bloomington Convention Center.

Carl D., Zelideh M-H., and Alfonse P presented two workshops on “Graduate School Preparedness” at the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program LEAD Conference on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the Bloomington Convention Center.

~ Photo taken by David N.

Meet the 2011-12 Emissaries!


Meet the 2011-12 Emissaries. These students are from different backgrounds, different departments, and different stages of their degree programs, but they all share the experience of being a graduate student. Ask them what it's like, ask them how they got here, ask them how they came to be a student at Indiana University.

About the Emissaries for Graduate Student Diversity for 2011-12

The University Graduate School, in partnership with the Graduate and Professional Student Organization, established the Emissary for Graduate Student Diversity program in 2007-08. The goal of the Emissaries for Graduate Student Diversity program is to informally recruit diverse prospective graduate students by providing information about graduate recruitment and selection practices, funding, community and other support resources. Each cohort of emissaries provide information and referrals on campus resources; in addition to building community and networking with prospective graduate students.

Note that the Emissary Program is active while classes are in session, and has limited accessibility during campus breaks.

Other Resources for Potential IU Graduate Students


Summer Plans

The summer is fast approaching! Although, many of my friends and fellow grad students are preparing to go on to an industry (or research lab) summer internship, where they can gain professional experience, as well as earn some extra money, my summer plans are quite straightforward: I will be alternating between preparing for my Qualifying exams and working on my research projects. It will not be until after the quals that I will have time to enjoy Bloomington’s weather, as well as visit nearby cities and go to some baseball games.

Second Year … DONE!

The spring semester is coming to an end! One presentation and one exam will sealed my second year as a doctoral student at IU. Furthermore, I am really excited to conclude this semester because it marks the fulfillment of all course requirements of my PhD program! Although courses have been fundamental in my development as a student and researcher, I am looking forward to move closer to the “holy grail” for a PhD student: full-time research! This semester I had the opportunity to spend most of the time working on my research projects and it was terrific and very rewarding. There is no substitute to being able to do what one loves every day. However, there is one more hurdle in my PhD journey: Qualifying Examination. Therefore, starting next week, I will focus all my energy on preparing for the Qualifying Examination. The Quals will be in about a month, thus, all fun is postponed until further notice.

Closing out the first year

One more test. That’s it. One more exam and I can conclude my first year as a doctoral student at IU. This has been far the most challenging semester of my graduate experience. My doctoral classes have literally forced me to think outside of the box and challenge myself to take charge of my learning. Throughout this year, I do believe I have a greater understanding of the higher education as a field of study and what is required to be a successful contributor through research and practice. Statistics has been the most challenging class of my entire collegiate career. (haha..) There have been days when I have questioned if challenging myself to grasp quantitative analysis is really worth the stretching of my brain. As as a lover of qualitative research, I chose statistics this semester as a way for me to expand my ability to be effective in future research. I think that I have achieved a wonderful appreciation for the impact of quantitative analysis in my field. What I will be taking away from this statistics experience, is a new challenge to take harder classes. I do not want to continue just to take classes and conduct research in the areas I am most comfortable with. Rather, I look forward to taking boundaries away from the preconceived notions of where I have thought my research topics should be. Reflecting over the past 18 credits of this year, I made the right choice in coming to IU. Professionally, I can acknowledge the qualities that I bring to my job and what I am able to offer the students I work with. Academically, I can’t wait to start an independent research project this summer!! And, I do believe that it will be quantitative. The next few years will continue to be more challenging, but I find comfort in my support system at IU. There are endless opportunities to succeed at this university, I am very blessed to be here.

Commencement Ceremony, 2011

On May 6, 2011, Indiana University’s Bloomington campus will hold its graduate commencement ceremony, which I plan to attend. And, yes, I will be wearing a cap and gown.

I am happy to have reached this crucial stage in my academic career and I look forward to embarking on the next chapter of life.I am greatly appreciative of the support I received over the years from my colleagues, professors, Deans at IU.

I’m truly going to miss IU.

End of the semester… already?

Time has really flown by this semester. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that winter break was over and the ground was covered in snow. Now we are getting bombarded with April showers, and getting (almost) beautiful spring weather (the reason I say almost is because it is currently 40 degrees outside, which is a little bit annoying).

Because I am no longer taking courses, the end of the semester has taken me by surprise. The only real end-of-semester responsibilities that I have is making sure that my students (three research assistants that are receiving credit for helping me with my research, and a senior honors thesis student) end their semester well. I actually very much enjoy mentoring undergraduates, especially in something that I love to do. Its really good to see how they have grown (and how much I have helped them grow) during the past year that we have worked together. I also like to think that the experience they received by working in the lab) will stick with them through their professional careers, whatever those may be.

So I think for this semester, the actual hard part about wrapping up will be preparing for a productive summer!!

On procrastination…

The semester is ending in two weeks. [Insert surprised exclamation of choice here such as “Egad!”, “Wha?” or “Whoa!”] Point being that I have a final paper, a manuscript revision, data analyses, and TA duties looming in the next few weeks. Some of you might be thinking, “Pssshh! That’s nothing!” And I am almost inclined to agree with you.

I say almost because I have a serious obstacle in my path. Something that makes the hill-ish pile of work ahead appear to be more akin to a mountain. Not quite Mt. Everest, but definitely up there. So what is this obstacle? It’s a game that some of you might know as Bejewelled Blitz. It’s a fairly popular game on Facebook. According to their Facebook page, there are currently 11,463,184 monthly active users. Sadly, I am one of them. Every Tuesday, when the weekly scores have been cleared, my need to establish an ever higher high score manifests itself. Scratch that. It’s a compulsion at this point. I have to play, and keep playing, till I have a high score that I can be satisfied with. Sigh.

So the next few weeks are going to be tough. Not only do I have a lot of work to do, but I also have to find a way to beat the game quickly enough each week that I will actually have the time to get the work done! So yeah. Egad! However, after five years in graduate school, I have a few tricks up my sleeve such as restricting my access to the internet, going to my favorite spot to work, and imagining how great the summer will be after all the work is completed. But in the meantime I still have some time, right? Enough to play just one game? ;)

Little 500 "Little Five"

Today my sons and I attended our first “Little Five” race in Bloomington and I loved it! Although it was freezing I still enjoyed watching the cyclists power around the field in what seemed to be a never-ending endurance race.

Below is some background information about Little Five (

The Little 500 (also known popularly as the “Little Five”), is a bicycle race held annually at Bill Armstrong Stadium on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The race was founded in 1951 by Howdy Wilcox Jr., Executive Director of the Indiana University Student Foundation, who modeled the race after the Indianapolis 500, which his father had participated in and won in 1919. Racers compete in teams of four, racing relay-style for 200 laps (50 miles) along a quarter-mile (440 yards) cinder track. Thirty-three teams are selected in qualifications trials to compete in the main race. Money raised by the event goes towards a scholarship fund for working IU students.

Little Five is a unique part of Indiana’s history, as the events surrounding the race “were dramatized in the 1979 Academy Award-winning movie Breaking Away, which depicts a group of Bloomington townies who enter the race as the “Cutters” (from the local Indiana limestone stonecutters) to defeat the favored fraternity team” (

Useful Link: