To Go? Or Not To Go? Departmental Seminars

Let’s face it – as graduate students, we are saddled with juggling the classes we’re taking, the research we’re conducting, the classes we’re teaching, and then all the other things we’re involved in (voluntarily of course, since we are choosing to be here!).  Time is clearly a precious commodity in the life of a graduate student.  So when your home School or Department hosts a seminar, lecture, or other event, the debate is always whether or not it’s worth your time to attend.  Most students consider such things as:

1) Is the topic of direct interest to me or does it impact my area of study?

2) How long is the seminar/lecture?

3) Does it fit in my current schedule?

4) Who else will be there?  Will I be expected to be in attendance?

and most importantly 5) IS THERE FREE FOOD?!?!?!?!?

It’s kind of like betting in a poker game…


To go, or not to go? To check, call, bet, or fold? See the analogy?

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2013 was a banner year for challenges.  There were losses:  first, in February, the unexpected death of the husband of one of my best friends; and second, in July, the sudden and unexpected death of my own sister.

Of course, there were the additional challenges associated with these deaths – supporting my friend as she reeled from her loss and the stress resulting from my own family’s struggle with decisions regarding the withdrawal of life support measures after my sister’s catastrophic injury.  Continue reading

…from the comfort of your home

As a graduate student, the IU library is your best friend.  Did you know that you could download journal articles directly to your computer even when you are at home?  Here’s how you do it.  First, install the IU VPN on your computer.  Then use your search engine of choice (PubMed, Ovid, Google Scholar) to search for journal articles.  When you find an article you would like to download, click on the IU-Link and you’ll be prompted to save.  This will allow you to save it directly to your computer…in your pajamas…from your apartment.

There are many other reasons why libraries are great.  Katie Birkwood, a librarian at the Royal College of Physicians in London, gives a few of them in this talk from 2011.

Grad Life Advice:Late Night Study Grind!

The late night study grind is indeed no stranger to graduate students. Most nights will be filled with tons of reading material and note taking that you need read for the next days classes. Although reading ahead of time is strongly suggested, often times you won’t have time to do so, so you must submit to the late night study grind. So here are a few tips to get you through the night! Continue reading

Why IU?


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AMPATH is one of the main reasons that I chose a doctoral program in Epidemiology at IU.  AMPATH, the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare, was established in 2001 as a partnership between Indiana University School of Medicine, Moi University School of Medicine, and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH). Continue reading