Archive for March, 2012

Classroom Strategies for International Teaching Assistants

Posted on March 30, 2012 in English for Academic Purposes, Uncategorized

If you will have TA duties in the future or are planning on becoming faculty at a US university please consider enrolling in AL 73004: Classroom Strategies for International Teaching Assistants.

The course centers on the cultural and linguistic challenges of the US classroom, focusing primarily on the roles and expectations of teaching assistants and faculty. The course offers international graduate students the opportunity to develop and refine their teaching and communication skills through interactive activities that focus on authentic academic contexts.

From the course text, “Many faculty and graduate students from other countries expect language difficulties when they teach, but are unprepared for other surprises: different cultures make different assumptions about the academic background of college students, how students learn, the appropriate roles of teachers and students, and even the fundamental purpose of a college education.” Sarkisian, E. (2006). Teaching American students: A guide for international faculty and teaching assistants in colleges and universities. Cambridge, Mass: Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.

For more information please contact:
Stew Markel
Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures (CSLC)
Coordinator, English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

Preparing Now for Going on the Job Market

Posted on March 28, 2012 in Career Center, Fellowships and Grants, Graduate School, Kaneb Center, Reilly Center, Research, Writing Center

Are you concerned about what you’ll do after graduate school? It’ll be too late if you wait until after you have your diploma to think seriously about the job market. You need to ask yourself now while you are in graduate school, “What am I doing to guarantee that I’ll get the job I want?” You have probably already heard someone say that bearing down to get your work done is not enough. You need to be presenting, publishing, and networking. With so much to do, you must be calculated in your approach. You must set priorities.

As a starting point, read Karen Kelsky’s article “Graduate School is a Means to a Job” in Chronicle of Higher Education on 27 March 2012 or

If you aren’t reading Chronicle of Higher Education on a regular basis, consider starting. Why? “The Chronicle of Higher Education is the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators.” It has great advice and will keep you abreast of trends and concerns in the world of academia.

Workshop Etiquette

Posted on March 23, 2012 in Career Center, Center for Social Concerns, English for Academic Purposes, Fellowships and Grants, Graduate School, Graduate Student Union, Hesburgh Library, Kaneb Center, Reilly Center, Research, Uncategorized, Writing Center

Your behavior at a workshop or an employer information session can be an indication of your professional behavior after you leave graduate school.  Therefore you want to be sure you are sending a professional, responsible message.  It is extremely important that you remember professional etiquette at these events.  I have listed a few reminders below to think about prior to your attendance at either a workshop or employer sponsored event.

1) If you RSVP for an event, attend.  If you cannot attend, notify the organizer, within 24 hours in advance (if possible).  If you do not know who to contact to withdraw your registration, please contact the Graduate School at 631-1704 or and they will help you withdraw your registration.

2)If food and drink are served, exercise control.  That means take one piece of pizza and one drink.  If there are left overs, you may go back for seconds.  Piling your plate with four pieces of pizza and grabbing a water and a soda are inappropriate.

3)Prepare a few questions ahead of time and ask them when the presenter calls for questions.  Most of the time a presenter will state their preference on answering questions.  Most likely they will call for questions at the end of the presentation while others welcome questions amidst the presentation.  Asking them at these times is most appropriate.  However there are some questions that need to be asked one-on-one versus in front of the entire group (those that are very specific to your situation). This will help alleviate the long line of students after the presentation.

If you have questions about any of these points or would like to know more about workshop and event etiquette please contact the Graduate Career Program at 248 Flanner Hall or 574.631.4058.

Relax and Learn on Lake Michigan

Posted on March 15, 2012 in Kaneb Center

If you enjoy sharing ideas and learning from other people, then consider participating in the Wakonse Conference on College Teaching, a five-day event on the scenic shores of Lake Michigan. Dozens of Notre Dame faculty members and graduate students have attended in past years. The conference will take place over Memorial Day weekend, May 24-29.

Wakonse brings together academics from around the country to learn effective practices, reflect on teaching, and enjoy the beauty of nature. The word wakonse is Lakota for “teach” or “inspire.” During your time at this retreat-like event, dunes and woodland will surround you in a truly inspirational setting.

Sessions take a variety of forms. Some presenters will model teaching techniques to inspire attendees. At other times, participants informally share personal observations on teaching. Wakonse is also an opportunity to get to know colleagues from a variety of disciplines at diverse institutions.

Food, lodging, and attire are camp-style, and one never knows what the weather will bring — but such apparent obstacles only serve to intensify the experience. There’s even an optional challenge to move out of your comfort zone and tackle a high ropes course!

Registration includes lodging, meals and materials. The Kaneb Center will subsidize the cost down to $200 for a limited number of faculty members, and we have two full scholarships for graduate students. A carpool will be set up to keep travel costs down.

If all this sounds interesting then go ahead and apply online. To learn more, contact the Kaneb Center (631-9146, or visit our website for information on past attendees, photos, and more. Come and spend time with people who are passionate about teaching. Get away from computers, email, phones, meetings, television, and the refrigerator. Join us at Wakonse!

Planning Ahead for Funding Opportunities

Posted on March 9, 2012 in Fellowships and Grants

One of the most important ways to increase your chances of success is to be prepared – especially when it comes to external funding! Don’t miss out on valuable opportunities because you don’t know what’s available. This semester the Grants and Fellowships office is offering a series of workshops to help you plan ahead for funding applications:

3/21 2:00PM  Planning Ahead for Study Abroad and International Research

4/5 2:00PM    Planning Ahead for Multi-year Fellowships

4/16 2:00PM  Planning Ahead for Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Each workshop will give an overview of the major opportunities available, and offer strategies to maximize your potential before you apply. There will be a special focus on what you can do this summer to gear up for the big award deadlines coming up in the fall.

Please register for these events at the Professional Development Registration website. In the meantime, browse through the Graduate Fellowships Database and start to familiarize yourself with what’s open to students in your discipline! Contact me to schedule an appointment to create a personalized Research Action Plan and discuss the opportunities best suited for you.

Call for 2012-2013 Kaneb Graduate Associates

Posted on March 5, 2012 in Kaneb Center

Interested in an opportunity to deepen your pedagogical knowledge and strengthen the teaching skills of your graduate student colleagues?  If so, The Kaneb Center graduate associate position could be an ideal fit for you.  According to Carrie Rodak, current Kaneb graduate associate, “My interactions with the Kaneb Center have forced me to sit down and focus on myself as a teacher and learner in a deeper and more reflective manner than I ever could have done on my own.  Being the Kaneb Center Graduate Associate has been an incredible experience that will no doubt payoff down the road!”

Kaneb graduate associates facilitate workshops on effective teaching, develop teaching resources, and contribute to other activities to help graduate students develop as teachers.

Graduate associates will receive training (required) to prepare them to serve as workshop leaders and mentors.  In addition, they attend weekly meetings with Dr. Amanda McKendree, assistant director of the Kaneb Center, during which they contribute content and ideas for Kaneb Center program planning.  Throughout the semester, Kaneb graduate associates contribute 6-10 hours per week, depending upon availability, and receive a stipend commensurate with hours worked ($3600-$6000 per academic year).

Applicants should be at least in their 4th year of graduate study while holding this position and have Notre Dame teaching experience.

To apply, please submit the information below to by April 6, 2012.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Department
  • Current year in Graduate School
  • Teaching statement describing your teaching experiences, including your teaching philosophy, teaching style, teaching strengths, and a summary of your teaching evaluations.
  • Description of professional development activities (teaching workshops, panel discussions, reading groups, etc…).
  • Description of workshops or seminars you would like to implement.  These may be current programs that you will revise or programs that are brand new to the Kaneb Center.