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
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!
Last Friday morning, I began the first weekend for my qualifying exams. As a third year student in my program, it is now my time to work towards completion of my degree. The qualifying exams for the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program consists of two questions spread over two weekends. I received the first prompt at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. My 20 page response (minus appendices and bibliography in APA format) was due on Monday afternoon by 4:30 pm. (Which means that in less than 9 hours, round 2 will begin!!!!!!!!)
Qualifying exams are designed for doctoral students to demonstrate the wealth of knowledge that they have received during their academic tenure. The purpose is to respond to an issue or problem using the tools that I am supposed to have gained in 2.5-ish years. As my second weekend approaches, I am certain that I have written wwwwaaaaaaayyyyyyyy better papers than that. However, I am confident that I demonstrated that I have learned and can apply the knowledge of my field.
I am so excited to finish this last semester of coursework. As I contemplate the next year or so of my life, where I will be writing my dissertation, I am confident that I have gained tools and have had experienced here at Indiana University that has laid a foundation for me to become a leader in my field.
When applying for graduate school, scholarships, fellowships, or internships, it is important to have strong letters of recommendation because this is one of the methods that application reviewers get to know you. Many times, you will not able to impress them in an interview as there just isn’t time to interview everyone; as such, the letter of recommendation should portray what you have done and what others think about you professionally.
In order to have a strong letter of recommendation, consider these ideas:1. find someone who has known you for a while because you want someone who can speak to the depth of your abilities; plus someone who has known you for a while is a more credible recommender than one who has only known you for a limited amount of time; 2. find someone who has some clout; as much as it is important to find someone who knows you well, reach out in your connections someone who has some clout in the community, either academic, professional, or otherwise; 3. find recommenders that provide variety in your application; if you have one academic recommendation, then find another one who can speak to your professional abilities, etc.
Being able to place your foot forward through your recommendations is key, and your recommendations can serve to be the one big push to get you accepted or awarded. Good luck!
Mentorship is important to being successful in all that we do. It is no different in graduate school. It is important to find good and compatible faculty mentors to help you succeed and progress through graduate school. I have been very fortunate. Both of my mentors have been very involved in my academic work and development to enter the professoriate. I have been able to collaborate on scholarly research with my professors, and I have been introduced to academic and scholarly conferences through them also. While attending a conference where I presented, my professor was very gracious to introduce me to other colleagues, get me involved in the association’s activities, and she helped me feel welcome. These activities and opportunities have helped me get closer to the professoriate, and I attribute it to my faculty mentors!
Knowing that IU is a very big university, I was still very surprised to find out IU offers more than 750 student organizations. Can you believe it? 750 student organizations—nearly 1000 options to choose from! These student organizations all founded and led by students. Each student organization works in a different areas but their common goal is to connect those who of the same interests for experience sharing and mutual development. On a campus of 40,000 students, involving in a student organization is a great way to feel connected and improve yourself in multiple ways. And yes, like IU, these organizations are very diverse. Their activities are categorized into 15 groups including:
- Academic and Professional
- Advocacy and Political
- Arts and Entertainment
- Fraternity and Sorority
- International & Multi-Cultural
- Religious & Spiritual
- Sport and Recreation
- Service and Philanthropy
So why joining in a student organization matters? Here are the analyses by IU Student Life and Learning Center:
- Joining in a student organization provides students with real-life opportunities to practice problem solving, teamwork, ethical decision-making, and responsible engagement with the local and global communities in which they live.
- Participating in a student organization can help you gain experience in a particular field of interest, find an outlet for recreation, or learn about something completely new to you.
- Getting involved outside of the classroom not only supplements your traditional education, but also helps to prepare you for life after graduation.
- Joining an organization will enhance your college experience.
Student organizations have their own bank account provided by IU and they can request a specialized office for meetings or group activities. IU also has lots of support services for student organizations especially when they want to organize events. Those services include venue, security, stage light, projectors…Almost everything you need to organize an event is supported by IU as long as your student organization hosts the event. Every year, Office of International Students (OIS), Asian Center, International Center, etc organize programs like IU World Fair, Mr & Ms. Asia…to connect these student organizations together. Those are great events that student organizations gather to do cultural exhibitions or cook their traditional food to offer to visitors. I attend these events every year and they are all GREAT!!! You should DEFINITELY not miss these events.
For those who are interested in establishing your own student organization, that is easy! IU encourages you to do that! All you need to do is following the instructions given by Student Life and Learning Center. Regarding the funding for student organizations, IU has its own grants targeted specifically to student organizations. Other than the funding from IU, you can also look for funding from other sources like banks, community organizations, foundations based in Bloomington. For instance, Chase Bank provides us (the Vietnamese Student Association) funding annually to organize Lunar New Year (we call it “Tet”). As long as you want to get involved, there are unlimited resources around for you to mobilize and support your group. Application procedure to get funding is very convenient and easy: You need to submit a proposal and a financial budget for your group activities (please make sure to submit at least 03-04 months before the date of the event). The grant officer will review your proposal and make decision. Very often you will get the grant, as IU wants to spend money on you and your group’s development
For further information about student organizations, here is the link: https://myinvolvement.indiana.edu/sissastd-prd/p/organization.do?methodToCall=orgSearch#p