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
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Every graduate student needs a place to recharge, gather their materials and track the moves of the ever elusive degree. Luckily, IU has just the spot.
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.
Photo courtesy of Indiana University Bloomington
One word that describes my library experience at IU: INTERLIBRARY LOAN!
What is this mysterious word? One might hear it uttered by the librarians once in a while. But interlibrary loan (ILL) is a scholar’s and a casual reader’s best friend. So what the heck is interlibrary loan? Continue reading
Finding one’s niche can be a daunting task. It certainly was for me. As a student who is much older than most of my cohort members AND close in age to many of our professors, I struggled to find my place here at Indiana University. Further complicating things, Continue reading
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
I am a non-traditional doctoral student. I am “dissertating”. Continue reading
Image courtesy of ampathkenya.org
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
Coming to a Carnegie Research 1 institution may seem daunting, especially if you are coming from a small liberal arts college. However, there are many benefits to a large institution. First of all, the resources and facilities are plentiful. It’s easy to find the books and equipment you need. Even if the campus does not have it, one of the other IU campuses may and it will be shipped to you for free! In addition, the diversity of the student body allows you to interact with international students, those with different upbringings and backgrounds, and others in a field of study you may not have ever heard about. Interdisciplinary work can be exciting at a campus like this!
Besides academically, there are plenty of options for extracurricular activities to participate in and get involved with. Whether you are artsy, political, religious, or just plain ol’ wanna chill with your friends there’s something for everyone! Don’t get frightened with the size of the institution. Nothing can be TOO BIG, right? Super size my graduate degree!! Well, maybe not like that, but a place like IU has everything for everyone (except for engineers ;))!
Always reach out with open arms! It is important in academia that you do not get stuck within your bubble. The world does not work that way, so why should we? Interdisciplinary studies and research is critical now more than ever as our world becomes more globalized and disciplines overlap to help solve society’s challenges.
As an academic, your success will be determined on how well you can be creative and innovative with your resources as higher education funding becomes more difficult to come by. As a result, more collaboration and cooperation across departments and disciplines will not only enhance your own overall knowledge of your subject area but also show your ability work with others.
Here’s an example: my research concentration is in higher education policy, specifically in governance, funding, ethics, and diversity. Although I am an education policy studies student, I collaborate with higher education and student affairs (HESA), informatics, and public health masters and doctorate students. This kind of collaboration allows me to learn about other areas of academic interest that touches my area of research.
I encourage you to begin working outside of the box and collaborate with others. Not only will it be helpful in your academic career but also your professional work. It’s always good to be open, helpful, and embracing of others!