Summer 2014 Newsletter

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IN THIS EDITION
Graduate Student Spotlight
Accelerate Your Dissertation
Get a Professional Upgrade with Summer Electives
Teaching Portfolios Document Teaching Effectiveness
Don’t Forget These Deadlines!

Graduate Student Spotlight

Rachel BrewerThe current Graduate Student Spotlight is Rachel Brewer, a doctoral student in the Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine theme. Rachel’s research involves looking at the interactions between nutrition and longevity, particularly the mechanism in a mouse model by which a drug that inhibits carbohydrate metabolism may work to extend how long the mice live.

This year, Rachel was selected as a top 10 finalist by the American Society for Nutrition Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism-RIS and will be competing for an award at their upcoming scientific sessions.

For more information about Rachel or to access information regarding the research work of other students who have been featured in the Spotlight, visit the Graduate School’s homepage at www.uab.edu/graduate.


Accelerate Your Dissertation at UAB: Free Summer Workshop

Almost 100 doctoral students have attend the UAB Graduate School’s new lunch-time mini-workshops, Accelerate Your Dissertation, since the free series began last fall, according to Jennifer L. Greer, Ph.D., and Kellie R. Carter, Ph.D., developers and instructors for the Accelerate series, who were assisted by Amy Badham and Lori Naramore of the Graduate School.

 “Doctoral students have offered encouraging feedback on the Fall and Spring mini-workshops,” says Greer. “We receive emails with comments like: ‘These sessions have been so helpful [in] getting me ‘unstuck’ these past few times with your advice-- utterly invaluable!”

Another student wrote: “Sometimes an oversight can give the worst writers block.  Happily, [after the workshop], I added more writing, words, sentences, and paragraphs, to one of my chapters I'm getting ready for publication....  Today really helped me, and I'm back on track.”

Student comments and evaluations were important in helping the instructors refine the new curriculum, which is also aimed at helping students start research writing teams and groups to boost their productivity, explains Carter. And, thanks to the initial success of the series, the Graduate School will offer a free, day-long Accelerate Your Dissertation workshop Saturday July 12.

“We know that doctoral students who are employed full-time, like educators, nurses, and business people, cannot make a lunch-time series of mini-workshops during the week,” says Carter. “We want all doctoral students to have access to the Accelerate instruction and group/team writing support, so we are compressing the mini-workshops into one intensive session.”

She adds:  “Although dissertations differ across fields, UAB students share common challenges in managing the overall process and the actual writing project. If writers can commit to this one day in July, we think they can learn essential quality and time-saving strategies, and leave with working tools and text that give them momentum for writing a dissertation in 2014-2015.”

The July 12 workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room 174 of Sterne Library in collaboration with the University Writing Center. It will cover creating a dissertation timeline, analyzing a model dissertation, learning committee diplomacy, planning the writing project, outlining/drafting strategic texts -- abstracts, proposals and literature reviews – getting feedback and revising, and wrapping up a dissertation manuscript. Laptops are provided. Students bring their own lunches.

To register, go to this link at Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/accelerate-your-dissertation-intensive-workshop-tickets-11227893933

For more information, contact Jennifer L. Greer at jlgreer1@uab.edu or Kellie R. Carter at kcarter@uab.edu  at the UAB Graduate School.


Get a Professional Upgrade with Summer Electives

Whether you are out in the field or working in the lab or at home, summer is a perfect time to take an elective course that enables you to upgrade a professional skill before your graduate, according to Julia Austin, PhD, Director of Educational Services for the UAB Graduate School.  “Certain valuable career skills, such as college teaching, research writing, presenting professionally, are not always supported in core courses. To fill this gap, we offer instruction and mentored practice for students who want to improve their experience and CVs before they go on the job market,” explains Austin, who oversees the Graduate School’s Professional Development Program. With summer registration starting this week, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research staff may want to consider:

Presentation and Writing Skills

GRD 701 Presentation & Discussion Skills: Offered in the summer for the first time, this course is designed to develop professional communication skills through instruction and practice presentations for critique and feedback by classmates and the instructor. It meets Wednesdays, May 7 to Aug. 6, 5:30 to 8 p.m. 3 credit hours; contact Dr. Kellie Carter at kcarter@uab.edu.

GRD 728 QL, Professional Writing & Publishing: This online course gives students an introduction to research writing and publication planning (including dissertation publishing), as well as science journalism, academic blogging, and other non-fiction genres. GRD 728 meets virtually from May 12 to Jul. 31. 3 credit hours; contact Dr. Jennifer L. Greer at jlgreer1@uab.edu.

Teaching for Higher Education

GRD 705 Teaching at the College Level and Beyond: Offered in the summer for the first time in a decade, this course offers an overview of teaching at the college level and beyond, covering course design, learning objectives, effective syllabus writing, and other interactive learning strategies. It meets Tuesdays, May 12 to Aug. 5, 5:30 to 8 p.m. 2 or 3 credit hours; contact Dr. Julia Austin at jaustin@uab.edu. Students interested in teaching might also want to check out GRD 716 Developing a Teaching Portfolio to start on this essential new job-hunting tool. There are two class meetings (June 6 & July 18) 1 to 3 pm and weekly online assignments.2 credit hours; contact Nancy Abney at nabney@uab.edu.

GRD 730 Developing Your Professional Image: Offered only in the summer, GRD 730 invites students to acquire communication skills, learning strategies, and interpersonal techniques that prepare them for smooth interactions in academia and the career world. It meets May 5 to Aug. 4 on Mondays 5:30 to 8 p.m. 3 credit hours; Contact Dr. Kellie Carter at kcarter@uab.edu.

For a link to the complete list of summer electives, see http://www.uab.edu/graduate/summer-2014-schedule


Teaching Portfolios Document Teaching Effectiveness

With the growing recognition of the Scholarship of Teaching, graduate students, post-docs, and faculty must stay abreast of developments not only in their research fields, but in teaching within those fields as well. To meet this need, the Professional Development offers an on-line Portfolio Development course to guide both beginning and experienced instructors through the process of developing a professional Teaching Portfolio.

The Portfolio is an invaluable tool for self-reflection and for demonstrating teaching excellence for hiring or promotion.

GRD 716—Developing a Teaching Portfolio  introduces the process of developing a portfolio and guides participants step-by-step in putting together the various components. During this 2-credit, 6-week course, participants are exposed to various scholarly resources on teaching, draft a Teaching Statement, gather evidence of teaching effectiveness, and get both instructor and peer feedback on each step of the process. Further support is offered for those who wish to create a dynamic electronic version of their Teaching Portfolio.

Examples of student-developed e-portfolios can be viewed at: http://nancyabneyteachingportfolio.weebly.com/index.html

Limited Enrollment. See course schedule for meeting dates and times.


CIRTL @ UAB
As part of your professional development, it can be useful to develop skills and experiences that will prepare you for your next stage of your career.  One way to develop your ability as a future teacher is through the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), a national consortium of 22 Research Universities from across the US. As a member of CIRTL, UAB provides courses and activities to prepare future teachers for success as STEM educators.  The other 21 CIRTL institutions also provide courses online that students may take for UAB credit.

CIRTL Awardees
Nicholars Galt (Biology) and Reza Farasat (Chemistry)
Awardees in December 2013

CIRTL also provides one hour webinars on a series of topics of interest to graduate students.  Some upcoming webinars are:

Apr 14, 2014
5-6ET/4-5CT/3-4MT/2-3PT 
Join the Session

Coffee Hour
Series: Career Development for Post-docs

Networking

Apr 16, 2014
1-2ET/12-1CT/
11-12MT/10-11PT
Join the Session

Coffee Hour
Series: Teaching and Learning in the American System: A Forum for International Graduate Students and Post-docs

Student-Teacher Interactions: What to Expect

Apr 17, 2014
2-3:30ET/1-2:30CT/12-1:30MT/11-12:303PT 
Join the Session

CIRTLCast
Series: Teaching Scientific Literacy to Undergraduate Students

Using Primary Literature and Writing Intensive Format to Increase Student Engagement and Learning

Apr 23, 2014
2-3ET/1-2CT/12-1MT/11-12PT
Join the Session

CIRTLCast
Series: Large Undergraduate STEM Classroom

Formative Assessment in Larger Enrollment Classes

Apr 23, 2014
Posted by 1:00 CT
View the CIRTLCast

CIRTLCast
Series: Inclusive Design for Learning

Implementation of Inclusive Design for Learning

Apr 24, 2014
1-2ET/12-1CT/11-12MT/10-11PT
Join the Session

Coffee Hour
Series: Leveraging Diversity 

Diverse Students' Views on Leveraging Diversity in STEM

Apr 25, 2014
2-3ET/1-2CT/12-1MT/11-12PT
Join the Session

Coffee Hour
Series: Inclusive Design for Learning

Implementation of Inclusive Design for Learning

May 1, 2014
2-3:30ET/1-2:30CT/12-1:30MT/11-12:303PT 
Join the Session

CIRTLCast
Series: Teaching Scientific Literacy to Undergraduate Students

Proposal Writing in Ecology: Quantitative Literacy, Scientific Inquiry, and Critical Thinking

May 12, 2014
5-6ET/4-5CT/3-4MT/2-3PT
Join the Session

Coffee Hour
Series: Career Development for Post-docs

The Voice of Experience

May 21, 2014
Posted by 1:00 CT
View the CIRTLCast

CIRTLCast
Series: Inclusive Design for Learning

Impairment Investigation

May 22, 2014
1-2ET/12-1CT/11-12MT/10-11PT
Join the Session

Coffee Hour
Series: Leveraging Diversity 

Creating an Inclusive Classroom III: What our African American Students Have to Say

May 22, 2014
2-3:30ET/1-2:30CT/12-1:30MT/11-12:303PT 
Join the Session

CIRTLCast
Series: Teaching Scientific Literacy to Undergraduate Students

Team-based Writing for Wikipedia about Animal Behavior

May 23, 2014
2-3ET/1-2CT/12-1MT/11-12PT
Join the Session

Coffee Hour
Series: Inclusive Design for Learning

Impairment Investigation

A complete listing is available at http://www.cirtl.net/events

More information on CIRTL activities is available at www.uab.edu/cirtl and www.cirtl.net.


Don’t Forget These Deadlines!

When a candidate is near graduation, she or he must pay close attention to Graduate School deadlines, which are posted online at http://www.uab.edu/graduate/deadline-dates. Important dates include the following Summer and Fall semester deadlines:

Summer 2014 deadlines

 

Application for Degree

May 16, 2014

Last Day for Final Defense

July 11, 2014

Admission to Candidacy

Summer 14 week – May 2, 2014
Summer 10 week – May 30, 2014

Change of Residency 

May 1, 2014 

Fall 2014 deadlines

 

Application for Degree

September 5, 2014

Last Day for Final Defense

October 31, 2014

Admission to Candidacy

August 22, 2014

Change of Residency

August 1, 2014

Detailed information regarding Completing a Graduate Degree is also available at http://www.uab.edu/graduate/current-students/completing-a-graduate-degree. Completing all paperwork and final payments by the posted deadlines will ensure that a candidate will graduate by the expected date.