Week of Events Appeals to Needs of Graduate Students
Sept. 28, 2016
Dr. Marion Underwood, dean of graduate studies and associate provost.
UT Dallas has about 9,450 graduate and doctoral students, or 35 percent of the fall 2016 enrollment. They need their own events because their social, academic and professional needs are unique on a university campus, said Dr. Marion Underwood, dean of graduate studies and associate provost.
“They are not just older undergraduates. They are diverse and are at different ages and stages of their training,” said Underwood, who was named dean last year. “Many have families. About 65 percent are international. They are here for focused reasons, to further their academic training and advance their careers. It’s important for us to support their goals and also to help them feel part of the UT Dallas community.”
Underwood, the Ashbel Smith Professor of Psychological Sciences in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, came up with the idea when she noticed how Welcome Week and Undergraduate Research Week had expanded in recent years.
Graduate Professional Week will kick off with a Social and Taco Bar with the University’s mascot Temoc from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, on the North Mall (rain site: Founders Building atrium).
Throughout the week, various schools and centers on campus will contribute to seminars on publishing journal articles, dealing with difficult people, work-life balance, cross-cultural communication tips, professionalism in teaching, interviewing excellence and dissertation formatting.
UT Dallas also will collaborate with UT Southwestern Medical Center in hosting a social mixer for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Center for Vital Longevity (CVL), 1600 Viceroy Drive, Suite 800, Dallas.
The Office of Graduate Studies will present more than 20 events over five days. For the full lineup and details, visit the website.
“Many of our graduate and postdoctoral students are based at research centers near UT Southwestern, so we wanted to do something for students at the centers there, including the Callier Center for Communication Disorders in Dallas, the Center for BrainHealth and CVL,” Underwood said.
Keynote speakers for the week include author and corporate recruiter Dan Beaudry and Dr. Jean-luc Doumont, a scientist and communications consultant. Beaudry will discuss how international students can be successful in the U.S. workplace at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Edith O'Donnell Arts and Technology Building Lecture Hall. Doumont will speak about creating one’s own career at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, in the Jonsson Performance Hall.
The week will conclude with a faculty version of the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7. The capsule presentation of faculty's academic research is designed to inspire students on ways to share their own work with colleagues, and a wine and cheese reception will follow.
Brittany Boyer, a psychological sciences doctoral student, said she appreciates the University’s commitment to providing the resources she needs to be successful.
“Graduate Professional Week offers informative sessions related to academic success and professional development along with social events to help us get to know graduate students from other departments,” Boyer said. “The work put into planning and organizing these events makes it clear that the Office of Graduate Studies is truly invested in improving the lives of graduate students.”
Lila Foroutan, a longtime staff member who builds technology applications for graduate studies while working on her master’s degree — her fourth — in healthcare management, said Graduate Professional Week will boost the social and academic experience for graduate students at UT Dallas.
“These are things that I wish I knew when I started out — the professional development and the networking, and of course, the social mixer,” Foroutan said. “It will help in every way possible."