2014-15 Innovations in Graduate Education

The following proposals, selected through a competitive process in spring 2014, began in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Track 1: During the 2014-2015 academic year the Graduate School provided support for four innovative graduate student professional development opportunities.

Proposal 1: Interdisciplinary Graduate Music Research Conference

Principal Faculty: Stephen Rodgers, Music Theory; Lori Kruckenberg, Musicology; Frank Diaz, Music Education; David Crumb, Music Composition & Theory; Loren Kajikawa, Ethnomusicology.

Summary: Many graduate programs involve or require regular public presentations of graduate student research. At the time of proposal, the UO School of Music and Dance had no formal forum for music students to engage in these opportunities. The proposed event will allow music graduate students to organize a music-focused, peer-reviewed interdisciplinary conference open to students across the nation. They will gain leadership skills while practicing research excellence through engaging with peers outside their specialization, key factors for success in the job market.

Proposal 2: From Graduate Students to Language Teacher: Online Materials to Help You Get a Job

Principal Faculty: Keli Yerian, Linguistics

Summary: Language teaching is a profession that requires different forms of teaching statements and interview answers than many other disciplines. Common career development resources are limited in their application to this specific profession. This interdepartmental project will develop multi-media, interactive web-based materials to help graduate students in Linguistics and other language departments successfully apply for positions in language teaching. The materials will be designed in modules with multiple user paths on a user-friendly web-based platform and will include sample application materials and filmed interviews.

Proposal 3: Outside the Box: Careers After Your Doctorate

Principal Faculty: Linda Hansen, Innovation Partnership Services; Vidusha Devasthali, Research Development Services

Summary: While the number of graduate students obtaining doctoral degrees in the U.S. is rapidly growing, the number of tenure-track faculty at colleges and universities continues to decrease. It is becoming more apparent that careers outside of academia are an increasingly important, exciting, and rewarding option for PhD graduates. This monthly seminar for graduate students will focus on non-academic careers paths from patent law and technology transfer to public policy development and higher education administration. Each seminar will feature a PhD graduate that entered a non-academic career, who will discuss their field, position, and steps to making it outside of academia.

Proposal 4: Using “Big Data” to Understand Human Behavior

Principal Faculty: Sara Hodges, Psychology

Summary: Traditional research methods in psychology don’t address how to mine information from digital records and social computing using big data (large data sets that are difficult to manipulate and analyze using traditional data processing tools and methods). Much can be learned about human behavior through big data, but not without the proper training. A series of workshops will provide this training by hosting researchers who are actively using big data and providing the opportunity for graduate students to learn and think about human behavior in a novel way. Gaining this experience will allow graduate students to expand their research methodologies along with their career opportunities.

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