Published: Oct. 6, 2020 By

Banner image: Director of Graduate Community and Program Development Leslie Blood leads an in-person seminar for graduate students pre-COVID.

The Graduate School offers a variety of resources to assist graduate students through the research and writing phases of their master’s or doctorate degree. In partnership with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Career Services, Grad+ seminars provide tools students can use to set goals and maintain good writing habits, while fostering relationships with their peers across disciplines. Grad+ is open to all graduate students working on masters and doctorate degrees.

The robust programming of Grad+ is not meant just for students. It’s designed to help faculty, too. 

“Grad students come into graduate school with the idea that an advisor is also a mentor and a research director, an endless list,” said Leslie Blood, director of Graduate Community and Program Development for the Graduate School. “In reality, it’s not possible for an advisor to be everything for students. The Graduate School is trying to help take some of the pressure off faculty by providing them with resources that hopefully their grad students can also use.”

Grad+ provides support, a road map, plans and accountability at all stages of a grad student’s transition from student to scholar.

“Graduate school is not always equitable,” Blood said. “A lot of it is cultural. Both my parents had advanced degrees, so I wasn’t confused about what to do when it was time for me to go. But not everyone has that. A student comes into graduate school, they’re getting ready to do a PhD and potentially write the biggest thing they’ve ever written in their entire life, but they don’t know how to structure their time, what their peak productivity hours are. I give them all those tools, and hopefully that helps the faculty, because now they have students who are less stressed and more productive.” 

What workshops are available in the Grad+ program?

The Grad+ program features:

  • Workshops
  • Intakes and placement interviews
  • Endurance PhD intensive
  • Holistic advising
  • Digital badges

The program also holds a wide variety of professional development workshops throughout the year. They include: imposter syndrome, advising agreement, time management, networking, finding your fit in industry, writing your academic CV and much more.

What is Endurance PhD?

Grad+ offers programming to help grad students navigate their time at the Graduate School, broken into four sections: 

  • Build Your Base focuses on time-management skills, habits, personal accountability style and how to build productivity blocks.
  • Fuel seminar focuses on the importance of feeding positive habits into the graduate school experience and how to lessen resistance to tasks that are essential to research and academic success.
  • Climb focuses on graduate student mental health, building grit, understanding motivations and value-base goal setting.
  • Belt Buckle gets students across the finish line when they’re lacking motivation, losing passion and fearing the job hunt. It can be taken as many times as they need until they graduate.             

What professional development opportunities are available?

Digital badges are online microcredentials that allows students to highlight skills or achievements they’ve gained through learning experiences in four categories: professionalism, communication, leadership and mentorship.

The Graduate School and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs invite all graduate students and postdocs to join a publication bootcamprun by Sarah Tynen, graduate program manager. The 12-week publication bootcamp is for students wanting to write journal articles or converting a conference or course paper into a publishable journal article. Working with grad students’ peers to brainstorm and edit their work also helps with the isolation of working alone.

How does Grad+ address the occasional feeling of isolation? 

The Graduate School recognizes that students can feel isolated, and that it takes a caring village to support successful graduate students. Grad+ offers community building programs to support our students, no matter where they are in their degrees. Holistic advising offers support and opportunities to help faculty and future faculty.