Summer 2009 Newsletter

IN THIS EDITION

Survival Strategies for Dissertation Writers
15th Annual Graduate Student Research Days
Uganda Offers Key to Africa's Conflict, Says Student Historian
Graduate Students in the Spotlight
Innovative Biostatistics Courses Attract National Attention
Your UAB Email and BlazerID
UAB Wins National Award to Lead Development of New Ethics Models
Important Changes for Commencement
Don't Forget Your Deadlines
FAQs On Teaching Portfolios
Professional Development Courses for Summer and Fall 2009

 

Survival Strategies for Dissertation Writers
Venturing into the dissertation writing process –without information, planning and support – can be as frustrating as driving to an unknown location without using MapQuest, says Dr. Susan Olmstead, who will teach a new graduate elective Read more.

15th Annual Graduate Student Research Days
This year, 150 students participated in UAB’s 15th Annual Graduate Student Research Days on Feb. 25, 26 & 27. Read more.

Uganda Offers Key to Africa's Conflict, Says Student Historian
For a historian, few situations are more compelling than an untold story that that affects thousands, perhaps millions, of lives. UAB graduate student Jennifer Phillips, a budding Africa scholar, has a nagging suspicion that Uganda – and the ongoing wars there – is such a story. Read more.

Graduate Students in the Spotlight
Two graduate students from UAB's Master of Accounting (M.Ac.) Program are featured in the March Student Spotlight. Ian Davey’s research interests include how changes in accounting standards influence firm behavior Stefani Tyler, currently in her second semester in the M.Ac. program, is focusing her research efforts on the audit process of internal controls within organizations to better reduce audit risk. Read more.

Innovative Biostatistics Courses Attract National Attention
Most biostatisticians don’t dream of becoming rock stars. But for Dr. George Howard, Chair and Professor in the Department of Biostatistics in the UAB School of Public Health, a recent story in Amstat News, the monthly membership magazine of the American Statistical Association, was just as exciting. Read more.

Your UAB Email and BlazerID
UAB provides email for every student through the BlazerID, a computer login name that UAB uses across campus. It’s roughly equivalent to the screen name or user name you may have used to access online services such as Yahoo!, America Online, or MSN. Read more.

UAB Wins National Award to Lead Development of New Ethics Models
The UAB Graduate School has won a $50,000 national award from the Councils of Graduate Schools (CGS) to develop new models “for integrating research and scholarly integrity into the graduate school experience,” says Dr. Jeffrey A. Engler, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who co-authored the grant with Dr. Bryan D. Noe, Dean of The Graduate School and Principal Investigator, and Dr. Susan M. Rich, Senior Associate Dean of Life Sciences in the Graduate School. Read more.

Important Changes for Commencement
Ready to graduate? Mark Saturday, May 9, on your calendar for Commencement Day. Read more.

Don't Forget Your Deadlines
While you were working hard to obtain your bachelor’s degree, you probably became aware of how important deadlines are, especially during your last semester. Read more.

FAQs On Teaching Portfolios
For faculty or graduate students who aspire to careers in academia, a teaching portfolio represents an important professional benchmark, advises Nancy Abney, Program Manager in the Professional Development Program (PDP) at the UAB Graduate School. Read more.

Professional Development Courses for Summer and Fall 2009
Professional Development Courses Summer 2009. Read more.

 

 

 

 

Venturing into the dissertation writing process –without information, planning and support – can be as frustrating as driving to an unknown location without using MapQuest, says Dr. Susan Olmstead, who will teach a new graduate elective, GRD 736 Strategies for a Successful Dissertation, this summer. The one-credit hour, pass/no pass course is a series of seminars for graduate students who are preparing to start a dissertation within the next year.

“A main problem many dissertation writers face is imagining, and facing, the seemingly insurmountable task. This includes learning how to get a psychological edge by knowing how and where to break the large task into manageable smaller tasks,” explains Olmstead, who came to UAB in the fall of 2008 and now teaches academic writing for The Graduate School and grammar and second language acquisition for the School of Education.

The GRD 736 seminars cover successful strategies for completing a dissertation, including creating a dissertation committee, crafting the proposal, outlining the text, and managing the writing and reviewing process. Specifically, topics include strategies for setting up a good committee, questions to ask advisors about setting parameters on the written research, and assessing materials (your literature, your study). Skills development includes brainstorming, narrowing, and outlining.

“We address writer's block by learning quick start and quick write techniques,” says Olmstead. “The course will help students set up goals, a time table, and procedural steps. Students will learn how to create accountability for themselves and for colleagues through peer review. In addition, learning specific skills may help students progress more efficiently through early stages of the dissertation process. We hope to offer a follow-up course in the Spring, GRD 737, to work with students during the actual writing process.”

This summer, Olmstead also teaches GRD 712, Research Writing and Style, which is a writer’s workshop designed to allow students to brush up on basic strategies and skills for any academic writing project they are working on. A specialist in medical writing, language pedagogy, and Chinese socio-linguistics, Olmstead is the former coordinator of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies English Department.

 

 


This year, 150 students participated in UAB’s 15th Annual Graduate Student Research Days on Feb. 25, 26 & 27. Of those students, 40 winners were honored on March 6 at the Graduate School’s Annual Awards Luncheon with remarks by UAB Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dr. Richard Marchase, the Graduate School's Senior Associate Dean Dr. Susan Rich and Associate Dean Jeff Engler, and Dr. Steve Watts.

"Research Days has long been a forum for graduate students to present their research among their peers and to glean knowledge from other researchers across campus," says Kellie Carter, the event's coordinator. "Because student interest keeps growing, the Planning Committee continues to work to improves Research Days each year."

Students won cash awards of $200 for first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place awards in most sessions. The list of winners can be found on the Research Days Website, www.uab.edu/graduate/researchday.

Although it took Ms. Carter and others int he Graduate School several weeks to plan the event, many people across campus helped out during the competition. The Graduate Student Association provided timekeepers for each session while a record number of faculty and postdoctoral fellows provided their expertise as judges. Judges included: Jerry Aldridge, Hilal Arnouk, Erika Austin, Purushotham Bangalore, Kathleen Berecek, Amanda Brown, Su Bu, Peter Burrows, David Chaplin, Haiyan Chen, Nikolai Chernov, Herb Cheung, Janelle Chiasera, Yingzi Cong, Carolyn Conley, John Corbett, Lori Cormier, Rita Cowell, Paul Crigler, Maria DeLuca, Alan Druschitz, Peter Eipers, Jose Fernandez, Yuchang Fu, Paul George, Barbara Gower, Joan Grant, Patsy Greenup, Tracy Hamilton, Joe Harrison, Mark Hickson, Bradford Hill, Jeong Hong, Douglas Hurst, Nataliya Ivankova, Jean Ivey, Gregg Janowski, Asta Jurkuvenaite, Natalia Kedishvili, Chris Kyle, Qian Li, John Lowman, Aaron Lucius, Claudiu Lungu, Craig McClure, Lacey McNally, Stephen Miller, Susan Miller, Andres Munoz, Makeba Murphy-Jolly, Haibin Ning, Andrew J. Paterson, Pat Patterson, Ji-Bin Peng, Joe Philips, Brian Pillay, Kirill Popov, Erica Pryor, Firoz Rahemtulla, Changchun Ren, Talat Salama, Nandor Simanyi, Petru-Aurelian Simionescu, Brian Sims, John Sloan, Virginia Whatley Smith, Laura Talbott-Forbes, Vinoy Thomas, Kedar Vaidya, John Van Sant, Sadanandan Velu, Ying Wang, Douglas Weigent, Jianmin Xu, Nabiha Yusuf, Yinfeng Zhang.

 


For a historian, few situations are more compelling than an untold story that that affects thousands, perhaps millions, of lives. UAB graduate student Jennifer Phillips, a budding Africa scholar, has a nagging suspicion that Uganda – and the ongoing wars there – is such a story. Indeed, she thinks this “failed state:” represents the epicenter of conflict on the continent.

And her ideas are garnering wider professional attention, as evidence by her recent award for “Best Student Paper” at the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Regional Conference. Phillips, a graduate assistant in the Department of History, says she was surprised when the paper, titled, Uganda and the Wars of No Purpose, won.

“I was shocked. I had another paper that I thought was stronger, but one of the judges later told me that he liked it because it was an untold story,” recalls Phillips, who wrote the paper in Dr. James F. Tent’s class, and also credits Dr. George O. Liber, Dr. Raymond A. Mohl, and Dr. Harriet E. Amos Doss with their help on the effort.

This is the second year in a row that a UAB history student has won “Best Student Paper,” says Dr. John E. Van Sant, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, who explains that students in the MA program write a minimum of 10 research-based seminar papers, and that 35 percent of them continue on to doctoral programs. “Some students go above and beyond the call of duty with research papers, and Jennifer is an example of one of them. We also had two other students invited to present – John Wiley Boone and Heather Guy, so we were very pleased.”

Phillips has been researching Africa for three years, she adds, explaining that the continent first captured her attention in books like King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch, and Uganda: Tarnished Pearl of Africa by Thomas P. Ofcansky.

Her own award-winning paper references more than 20 sources, many of them primary, and traces the history of Uganda from the time it came under Great British’s rule in 1894 to 1962, when it obtained its independence. In her writing, Phillips explores the tragic legacy of colonialism and the “new racism” it introduced along with a ruthless cast of characters, from the notorious Idi Amin to the relentless modern-day rebel leader Joseph Kony, and spirit medium/warrior Alice Auma/Lakwena.

“Everything I read puts Uganda at the center of the conflict in the Congo, and the Sudanese and Rhawandan genocides. If there had been more stability in Uganda, much of this violence would not have happened,” she says, decrying the country’s inability to climb out of militarism (which attacks its own women and children), brutal civil wars involving more than 30,000 child soldiers, and, inevitably, ethnic genocide.

Phillips wants to obtain her PhD, continue her Africa research, tell the story of what’s happening there, and perhaps work for an NGO like the United Nations one day. “Specifically, I want to focus on the ethnic, and gender conflicts in the Great Lakes region of east Africa,” says the young historian, who counts Samantha Powers and Nicholas Kristof among her heroes.

 

 


 

Two graduate students from UAB's Master of Accounting (M.Ac.) Program are featured in the March Student Spotlight. Ian Davey’s research interests include how changes in accounting standards influence firm behavior. With a background in economics, Ian was impressed with the help he received from Dr. Richard Turpen, director for the M.Ac. program. Turpen helped to ensure that Ian, a nontraditional accounting student, was taking all of the necessary steps and courses to transition into the M.Ac. program.

Stefani Tyler, currently in her second semester in the M.Ac. program, is focusing her research efforts on the audit process of internal controls within organizations to better reduce audit risk. Stefani’s most rewarding experience at UAB so far is working with the diverse group of peers she has encountered in her program.

For more information about Ian and Stefani or to access other students who have been in the Spotlight, you can visit the Graduate School’s homepage at www.uab.edu/graduate.


Most biostatisticians don’t dream of becoming rock stars. But for Dr. George Howard, Chair and Professor in the Department of Biostatistics in the UAB School of Public Health, a recent story in Amstat News, the monthly membership magazine of the American Statistical Association, was just as exciting.

The story, “Demand for Biostatisticians Spurs Advanced Clinical Trials Course”, features a new UAB course sequence that reframes biostatistics in a clinical setting to better prepare students for the workplace. “It’s pretty cool to get this kind of recognition, a bit like making the cover of the Rolling Stone. I’m proud of our faculty,” says Howard. (To link to the article, see http://content.yudu.com/A137e2/YUDUFeb09/resources/12.htm)

The three clinical trials courses were designed by a committee of the Section on Research Methods and Clinical Trials (RMCT), led by Dr. Christopher S. Coffey, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Biostatistics, in an effort to occupy a training gap in university education.

“I don’t know of another program that offers this sequence as it is with the focus on the applied positions that are driving the growth in the industry,” he says, crediting the media attention and success to teamwork with his other committee members: Gary Cutter, Professor and Section Head; David Redden, Associate Professor; Inmaculada Aban, Associate Professor; Leslie McClure, Assistant Professor; and Stacey Cofield, Assistant Professor.

In many universities, Coffey adds, biostatistics course work has moved in the direction of strict theory, which is important, but means students receive relatively little training in tasks such as power calculations and writing statistical analysis plans. As a result, students may experience a one-to-two year learning curve when they confront practical problem solving in medical centers, pharmaceutical companies, or public policy jobs.

“Our course sequence teaches the kinds of things that employers would like for them to do when they set foot in the door on day one,” says Coffey, whose team interviewed industry representatives before designing the curriculum. “In the long run, we hope it will allow biostatisticians to play a more strategic role in a lot of the big issues of the day, such as adaptive designs, as everyone looks for more efficient ways to move studies along.”

The course sequence includes:

BST 625: Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials, an applied survey course for MS biostatistics students or students in other fields with an interest in clinical trials;

BST 725: Advanced Clinical Trials, a more extensive course for Ph.D. students who learn about a variety of topics in statistical analysis as well as current faculty research interests and ongoing clinical trials;

BST 726: Advanced Clinical Trials II, an exhaustive course only for biostatics doctoral students who gain exposure to specific aspects of clinical trials and their underlying mathematics, plus opportunities to research “cutting edge” projects in various areas.

UAB Master’s students like Kiya R. Hamilton are impressed with the breadth and depth of the courses. “This course (BST 726)…makes sure that you understand why something is the way that it is. This is helpful because if you are approached with problems that seem hard, you now have the skills to think them through and come to a solution.”

Another student, John Bentley, who has taken both BST 725 and BST 726, says some of the topics, including areas of current methodological research, “are very useful tools for any biostatistician, not just those interested in careers related to clinical trials.” In addition to being a graduate student, Bentley works as an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Administration at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, and he confirms the practical workplace value of the new sequence for him. “During my professional career, I have been quite involved in trying to understand the practice of pharmacy, the use of medications, and the behavior of the pharmaceutical industry. The BST 725/726 sequence gave me an opportunity to deepen my understanding [in these critical areas].”

For more information about the clinical trials course sequence, contact UAB’s Coffey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Howard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit the Department of Biostatistics Web site at https://www.soph.uab.edu/bst

 


UAB provides email for every student through the BlazerID, a computer login name that UAB uses across campus. It’s roughly equivalent to the screen name or user name you may have used to access online services such as Yahoo!, America Online, or MSN. If you are not using your UAB email account as your primary email, you need to check your UAB email regularly because you will receive information from the Graduate School, your department, and other UAB support areas at that address. All email communication from the Graduate School will be sent to your UAB email account, including important announcements, and details concerning candidacy and graduation.

It’s essential that you obtain a BlazerID as soon as you are admitted because a number of computer services around UAB currently require a BlazerID for login. A few other services that your BlazerID provides is access to most departmental computer labs, WebCT online courses, class mailing lists, online registration, and tuition payment. The goal is to have your BlazerID serve as the sole identifier that allows you to access all of UAB’s online information services and portals securely.

You may obtain a BlazerID by completing the request form online at www.uab.edu/blazerid.

 


The UAB Graduate School has won a $50,000 national award from the Councils of Graduate Schools (CGS) to develop new models “for integrating research and scholarly integrity into the graduate school experience,” says Dr. Jeffrey A. Engler, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who co-authored the grant with Dr. Bryan D. Noe, Dean of The Graduate School and Principal Investigator, and Dr. Susan M. Rich, Senior Associate Dean of Life Sciences in the Graduate School.

“We were one of five recipients in the country to earn the CGS award, which is part of its national Project for Scholarly Integrity,” says Engler, explaining that The UAB Graduate School has been a leader in the area of scholarly integrity since establishing an introductory course in research ethics, GRD 717, in 1991. “Today’s environment is even more challenging. With the increased competition for extramural funding, we are all concerned about the pressures felt by faculty and students to state competitive could lead to ethical conflicts.”

Specifically, the two-year project will address newly-revealed concerns on the part of Alabama graduate students – at UAB, and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville -- about a host of issues surrounding mentorship, intellectual property rights, lab management and data integrity, says Engler.

“We recently completed a survey of 471 graduate students and 213 faculty who rated the mentorship relationship and everything that revolves around it as their number one concern. Our goal is to engage students and faculty in this discussion, provide workshops, training materials, and web-based sites that allow them to access the information they need whenever they need it.”

Noe says the award builds on UAB’s ongoing efforts through The Center for Ethics and Values in the Sciences (established in 1998) and a CGS and National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in 2006 to extend ethics education to graduate students in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

“Obviously, this is not a topic that you just address once in a course and are done with. We believe that a broader more sustained exposure to issues of scholarly integrity is needed… We want to develop a broad cadre of faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, and administrators who can provide ongoing opportunities for discussion of integrity issues.”

For online video case studies about thesis plagiarism and cheating, visit the UAB Graduate School Web site. 

For more information about the CGS’s Project for Scholarly Integrity, visit http://www.scholarlyintegrity.org

 


Ready to graduate? Mark Saturday, May 9, on your calendar for Commencement Day. The Doctoral Hooding and Commencement Ceremony is the graduation ceremony for doctoral candidates receiving PhD, DrPH, EdD, and DScPT degrees. If you are a doctoral candidate who will be graduating in May 2009, you must fill out the commencement form no later than April 27 at 5:00 p.m. in order to participate in this ceremony. Simply showing up for the ceremony is not an option. This ceremony will be held in the Alys Stephens Centre at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 9. Students and the faculty member hooding them should arrive by 10:30 a.m. for registration and instructions.

The commencement ceremony for master's and undergraduate students will be held in Bartow Arena as a split ceremony on Saturday, May 9. All master's graduates who would like to attend commencement should read the graduation information located online at http://students.uab.edu/academics/show.asp?durki=49764&site=3048&return=5303 to determine the time at which your school’s ceremony will take place.

Full regalia (caps, gowns, hoods) are required for both events. For information regarding graduation regalia, contact the Barnes and Noble at UAB Bookstore at 996-2665.

 


While you were working hard to obtain your bachelor’s degree, you probably became aware of how important deadlines are, especially during your last semester. In graduate school, 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/graduate-school-quicklinks/deadline-dates. Important dates include the following Summer and Fall semester deadlines:

Summer 2009 deadlines

  • Application for Degree              June 5
  • Defense Deadline                      July 6
  • Admission to Candidacy           May 8/May 29
  • Change of Residency                May 8/May 29

Fall 2009 deadlines

  • Application for Degree              September 4
  • Defense Deadline                      November 6
  • Admission to Candidacy           August 17
  • Change of Residency                August 17 

Completing all paper work and final payments by the posted deadlines will ensure that a candidate will graduate by the expected date.


 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

 
For faculty or graduate students who aspire to careers in academia, a teaching portfolio represents an important professional benchmark, advises Nancy Abney, Program Manager in the Professional Development Program (PDP) at the UAB Graduate School. “As an instructor for the PDP, I first developed a course on Teaching Portfolios in 2002,” explains Ms. Abney. “They grew out of my own teaching with graduate students and research on reflection as a tool for student engagement. Since then we’ve witnessed a growing emphasis on teaching as a scholarly activity.”

 

In response to faculty and student requests, Ms. Abney and Program Director, Dr. Julia Austin, have created GRD 716, a new one hour hybrid course offered this spring and again this summer. “We guide participants in developing a Teaching Portfolio for improving teaching practices and enhancing job search potential,” says Ms. Abney, who specializes in instruction for teaching assistants and researchers learning to teach at the college level. “Once people get started, they see that it’s a powerful tool for self-reflection, professional growth, and documenting performance.”

J. Tyson DeAngelis, a former teaching assistant, cancer researcher, and NIH fellow in UAB’s Department of Biology, says creating a teaching portfolio in GRD 716 has opened up his eyes to the importance of professional storytelling. “It’s one of the best things I’ve done to capture everything that I’ve been doing, not just in teaching, but in volunteer work, leadership, and training.”

He then offers a virtual tour of his sophisticated Adobe-based portfolio, which he carries on a laptop in his backpack. The digital archive includes everything from lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations to organizational materials for his recent work with local events such as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “The portfolio allows you to paint a more holistic picture of yourself to future employers, which is helpful to me because I’m interested in continuing my work as a cancer researcher outside of academia, working in the areas of industry or public health research and policy."

GRD 716 involves two class meetings and weekly online assignments, says Ms. Abney who shares some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below about teaching portfolios and the new course. GRD 716 meets from June 6 to July 16. Assigned registration starts March 16 and Open Registration starts March 23. For information, contact Ms. Abney at 934-8129 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Question: I’ve heard about teaching portfolios. Who pioneered them and why?

Answer: In the early 1990s, a movement toward a “Scholarship of Teaching” grew out of the work of Ernst Boyer, then President of the Carnegie Foundation (Scholarship Revisited, 1990), who argued that scholarship can encompass more than traditional bench research. Course and teaching portfolios were designed to document teaching scholarship, share it with colleagues, and submit it to peer review. The next year, Peter Seldin released his how-to guidebook,“The Teaching Portfolio,” and by the mid-90s, universities were adopting such portfolios to evaluate faculty for promotion and tenure decisions. With the recognition that good teachers make excellent faculty and effective leaders in industry, employers began to ask applicants for CVs that do more than outline a list of courses.

Question: What does a teaching portfolio look like? I mean, what exactly goes into one?

Answer: A portfolio is more than a collection of syllabi and student ratings. Just as an artist presents a portfolio of his best work, an educator wants to illustrate that he’s an effective teacher. So you put in examples of what you do, descriptions of how you do it, and explanations of why you do it. It’s the tangible evidence of all the intellectual work that goes into planning and delivering a course. It also documents your efforts to ensure that learning takes place, that you can deal with the challenges of teaching individuals, and that you improve educational outcomes—i.e., learning, grades, jobs. The beginning of the portfolio is a personal statement of your beliefs about teaching and learning—the Teaching Philosophy. Everything else is built on that.

Question: When would I use a teaching portfolio and what advantages would it offer me?

Answer: The teaching portfolio is an important tool for your job search. This month (February) alone, the Chronicle of Higher Education ran over 120 ads requesting a teaching philosophy from applicants, and teaching portfolios were requested in such diverse fields as business, criminal justice, and global health. A teaching portfolio can also help your job search outside academia. It effectively illustrates the skills of planning, problem-solving, and training others—skills valued by all employers. In addition to being a job search tool, the process of reflecting on your teaching is good preparation for discussing teaching and leadership during job interviews.

Question: I’m only a teaching assistant, and I don’t have much experience. Is it too soon for me to start developing a teaching portfolio?

Answer: Because compiling a teaching portfolio involves reflecting on your teaching, it will help you to identify areas to develop, thus helping you to become a better instructor. The time to start compiling a teaching portfolio is early in your graduate program so that you will have substantial documentation of your teaching philosophy and successes when you begin the interview process. Start now.

 Question: How long does it take to develop a teaching portfolio? And is there a specific style or format for a teaching portfolio?

Answer: Experts recommend about 15 hours total to prepare your portfolio. It can be the old-fashioned paper kind that you’d carry with you on an interview, or can be presented in an electronic or web-based format, which allows for multi-media such as PowerPoint and videos. The design can be highly personal and will vary across disciplines. But most important, a portfolio is dynamic—always a work in process. In GRD 716, we look at lots of examples so students can find a format to suit individual personalities and career objectives.

 


 

Professional Development Courses Summer 2009

June 1 to Aug. 6 (unless otherwise indicated)

 

 

GRD 712 Research Writing and Style

One Section: Tuesdays, 5:30 to 9:40 pm                                                                  Location: TBA

3 credit hours

Contact Dr. Susan Olmstead-Wang at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Designed for graduate students and professionals whose first language is English, and who are currently working on a writing project (e.g., paper for class, journal article for publication, or dissertation), this course teaches effective strategies for research writers. Students explore scientific thought, structures and style, the creative process, planning and completing a writing project, IMRD organization (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, etc.), submitting to journals and publishing.

 

GRD 716 Developing a Teaching Portfolio

1 credit hour                                                                                                              Location: TBA

Contact Nancy Abney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  

This hybrid course guides participants in developing a Teaching Portfolio for improving teaching practices and enhancing job search potential. The web-based curriculum introduces essential elements of the portfolio, provides tools for gathering necessary documentation, and through individual feedback from the instructor, assists participants in drafting a personal Philosophy of Teaching, upon which the Portfolio is built. 2 class meetings, and weekly online assignments.

 

GRD 728 Advanced Academic Writing      

June 2 to August 6                                                                                                      Location: TBA

One Section:  VT—T/Th 4:00 to 5:30 pm

3 credit hours

Contact Jennifer L. Greer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Created for students who seek to publish professionally, GRD 728 reviews academic writing genres, standards, and conventions. Fast-paced with text analysis and guided practice, this course covers the writing of biographic statements, conference abstracts & posters, review articles, critiques, and empirical research articles. Embedded language instruction addresses key grammatical issues for second language writers. (Pre-requisite for second language English writers: Writing Assessment Level 3 or GRD 727)

 

GRD 736 Dissertation Strategies               

One SectionClass meets 6:00 to 8:00 pm on July 8, July 15 and July 22             Location: TBA

1 credit hour

Contact Dr. Susan Olmstead-Wang at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

A series of seminars for graduate students who are preparing to start a dissertation within the next year; seminar topics include creating a dissertation committee, crafting the proposal, outlining the text, and managing the writing and reviewing process.

 

 

Academic English for Internationals Summer 2009: Tentative Schedule

June 1 to Aug. 6 (unless otherwise indicated)

**Check Summer Schedule on BlazerNET for changes**

 

To enroll in the following courses, second language speakers must have completed the

ESL Assessments offered at no cost through the UAB Graduate School.

 

 

Oral Communication

 

GRD 720 Oral Communication I                                                                               

June 1 to August 5

One section: VT—M/W 4:30 to 6 pm                                                                              Location: TBA

(Prerequisite: OPI Level 2—Low or Mid)  3 credit hours

Contact Alan Corbin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Designed for students who score Level 2 on the UAB Oral Proficiency Assessment, this interactive speaking and listening course is the first of a 2-part sequence to prepare students to participate actively in discussions by clearly, confidently, and accurately expressing their ideas. In this blended-learning course, students listen to presentations and interviews on current topics, then summarize, paraphrase and discuss issues.

 

GRD 721 Oral Communication II

June 2 to August 6

One Section: VT—Tu/Th 3:30 to 5 pm                                                                            Location: TBA

(Prerequisite: OPI Level 2 High or GRD 720)  3 credit hours

Contact Alan Corbin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

In the second of a 2-part sequence designed to enhance grammatical and pronunciation accuracy as well as fluency and pragmatic and sociolinguistic competence, students in this web-enhanced course discuss ethical and global issues, prepare group reports, and learn to give impromptu, problem-solution, informative, and persuasive talks.

 

GRD 730 Advanced Oral Communication

June 1 to August 5

One Section: VT—M/W 10:30 am to 12:00 noon                                                           Location: TBA

(Prerequisite: OPI Level 3.0 or higher or GRD 721)  3 credit hours

Contact Alan Corbin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This Level 3 course prepares students for the kinds of communication they are expected to perform as part of their graduate studies or professional duties—articulating and supporting one’s ideas in academic discussions; sharing and debating scholarly projects with colleagues; and delivering formal talks at professional meetings.

 

 

Pronunciation and Accent Improvement

 

GRD 714: Individualized Pronunciation Instruction                                           

Class meets May 11 to Aug. 6                                                                                         Location: TBA

(Permission of instructor required)  3 to 5 credit hours per semester (maximum 4 semesters)

Contact Jonghee Shadix at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Students in Individualized Instruction have acquired basic speaking skills in group instruction and are now ready for fine-tuning their language abilities with an experienced instructor, who tailors lessons to their particular pronunciation needs. The course includes a thorough diagnostic and goal-setting session, followed by one-to-one instruction in the sounds and rhythms of English, including computer-assisted language mapping and techniques used by professional actors.

 

GRD 724: Pronunciation/Accent Workshop                                             

Class meets May 13 to Aug. 5                                                                                         Location: TBA

One Section: VTWednesdays, 5:30 to 8:30 pm

(Permission of instructor required)  3 to 5 credit hours per semester (maximum 4 semesters)

Contact Jonghee Shadix at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Conversation groups in which second language students practice conversation skills with peers and with native English speakers. Students also attend lectures given by invited speakers and participate in a variety of cultural events.

 

Academic Writing

 

*GRD 726 Academic Writing I                                                                                 

June 1 to August 5                                                                                                           Location: TBA

One Section: VT—M/W 4:00 to 5:30 pm

(Prerequisite: Writing Assessment Level 2)  3 credit hours

Contact Jennifer L. Greer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This hands-on course introduces international students to the writing process, the elements of effective writing, common academic texts, ethics, peer review, and techniques for efficient editing. Based on guided activities, independent practice, and small-group work with instructor feedback, it is the first of two courses on writing academic journal-style articles. *Instruction also addresses key grammatical issues for second language writers.

 

*GRD 727 Academic Writing II

June 2 to August 6                                                                                                           Location: TBA

One Section: VT—T/Th 8:00 to 9:30am        

(Prerequisite: GRD 726 or permission of instructor)  3 credit hours

Contact Jennifer L. Greer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

In the second of a 2-part series, international writers build on their knowledge of the academic writing process and standards, while learning to write effective summaries, critiques, and review articles as well as how to construct empirical research papers. Activities include text analysis, writing practice, peer review, and revision as students model professional strategies. *Instruction addresses key grammar issues for second language writers.

 

GRD 728 Advanced Academic Writing      

June 2 to August 6                                                                                                         Location: TBA

One Section:  VT—T/Th 4:00 to 5:30 pm

(Prerequisite: Writing Assessment Level 3 or GRD 727)   3 credit hours

Contact Jennifer L. Greer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Created for students who seek to publish professionally, GRD 728 reviews academic writing genres, standards, and conventions. Fast-paced with text analysis and guided practice, this course covers the writing of biographic statements, conference abstracts & posters, review articles, critiques, and empirical research articles. Embedded language instruction addresses key grammatical issues for second language writers. (Pre-requisite for second language English writers: Writing Assessment Level 3 or GRD 727)

 

 

 

 

Professional Development Courses Fall 2009

 

 

 

GRD 701 Presentation & Discussion Skills

Wednesdays, Aug.19 to Dec. 2, 5:30 to 8 p.m.                                                         Location: BBRB 263

3 credit hours;  Contact Alan Corbin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This course is designed to develop professional communication skills through individual presentations and group evaluations. Topics include the basics of oral presentation, content, organization, and delivery of formal presentations; use of voice and nonverbal communication; and speaking to different audiences. Students’ presentations are videotaped and critiqued by their classmates and the instructor.

 

GRD 706 Grants and Fellowships 101: How to Obtain Funding

Saturday, Sept. 12, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.                                                                          Location: CH 204

1 credit hour; Contact Dr. Julia Austin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This workshop provides an introduction to writing grant proposals and fellowship applications. Topics include funding sources, electronic databases, organization and format of proposals and applications, submission and review processes, use of secondary sources, and guidelines for effective proposal writing.

 

GRD 707 Giving Professional Presentations

Saturday, Nov. 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.                                                                           Location: CH 204

1 credit hour; Contact Dr. Julia Austin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This workshop examines elements necessary for giving effective professional presentations. Topics include analyzing audience and purpose, assessing environment, language choices, differences between speaking and writing, nonverbal communication, characteristics of effective delivery, controlling nervousness, poster presentations, visual aids, and handling questions.

 

GRD 717 Principles of Scientific Integrity.
Fridays, Aug. 21 to Dec. 4, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.                                                    Location: BBRB 170

3 credit hours; Contact Dr. Harold Kincaid at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This course surveys ethical issues and principles in the practice of science. Among the topics discussed are the nature, extent, and causes of fraud in the sciences; UAB policies on fraud; ideals of good science; the responsibilities of authorship and peer review; potential problems raised by the commercialization of research; scientists as public policy advisors; and ethical issues involved in animal experimentation and in clinical trials.

 

GRD 728 Advanced Academic Writing      

Sept. 15 to Nov. 19                                                                                                     Location: TBA

One Section:  VTB—Tu/Th 4 to 5:30 p.m.

3 credit hours; Contact Jennifer L. Greer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Created for students who seek to publish professionally, GRD 728 reviews academic writing genres, standards, and conventions. Fast-paced with text analysis and guided practice, this course covers the writing of biographic statements, conference abstracts & posters, review articles, critiques, and empirical research articles. Embedded language instruction addresses key grammatical issues for second language writers. (Pre-requisite for second language English writers: Writing Assessment Level 3 or GRD 727)

 

Academic English for Internationals Fall 2009: Tentative Schedule

Sept. 14 to Nov. 19 (unless otherwise indicated)

**Check Fall Schedule on BlazerNET for changes**

 

Oral Communication

 

GRD 720 Oral Communication I                                                                             

Sept. 15 to Nov. 19

One section: VTA—Tu/Th 5:30 to 7 p.m.                                                                   Location: TBA

(Prerequisite: OPI Level 2—Low or Mid)  3 credit hours

Contact Alan Corbin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Learn strategies for clearly and accurately expressing your ideas while building your confidence. On-line lectures allow students to practice listening to presentations and interviews on current topics. In-class discussions build fluency, grammar, and pronunciation. This interactive speaking and listening course prepares students to participate actively in discussions with Americans in both academic and social settings. (First class in a 2-part sequence)

 

GRD 721 Oral Communication II

Sept. 15 to Nov. 19

One Section: VT—Tu/Th 3:30 to 5 p.m.                                                                     Location: TBA

(Prerequisite: OPI Level 2 High or GRD 720)  3 credit hours

Contact Alan Corbin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Build academic vocabulary and knowledge of American culture. Improve listening and speaking accuracy, and practice effective language learning strategies. Students in this dynamic, web-enhanced course discuss ethical and global issues while learning to speak and listen effectively in small groups. Class size is limited to ensure maximum participation.

 

GRD 730 Advanced Oral Communication

Sept. 14 to Nov. 18                                                                                                     Location: TBA

One Section: VTA—M/W 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.

(Prerequisite: OPI Level 2 High or GRD 721)  3 credit hours

Contact Alan Corbin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Build communication skills and learning strategies while exploring cultural values. Through small-group interaction, students learn to effectively discuss their opinions, organize effective talks, and analyze complex problems. This Level 3 course prepares students for the kinds of communication expected in graduate school —participating in academic discussions; debating scholarly projects with colleagues; and delivering formal talks

at professional meetings.

 

 

Pronunciation and Accent Improvement

 

GRD 714: Individualized Pronunciation Instruction                                                     

Aug. 18 to Dec. 4

(Permission of instructor required) 3 to 5 credit hours per semester (maximum 4 semesters)

Contact Jonghee Shadix at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Students in Individualized Instruction have acquired basic speaking skills in group instruction and are now ready for fine-tuning their language abilities with an experienced instructor, who tailors lessons to their particular pronunciation needs. The course includes a thorough diagnostic and goal-setting session, followed by one-to-one instruction in the sounds and rhythms of English, including computer-assisted language mapping and techniques used by professional actors.

 

GRD 724 First-timers’ Pronunciation Workshop                                                 Location: TBA

Wednesdays, Aug. 19 to Dec. 2, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

(Permission of instructor required) 3 to 5 credit hours per semester (maximum 4 semesters)

Contact Jonghee Shadix at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Conversation groups in which second language students practice conversation skills with peers and with native English speakers. Students also attend lectures given by invited speakers and participate in a variety of cultural events

 

 

Academic Writing

 

*GRD 726 Academic Writing I                                                                                 

Sept. 14 to Nov. 19                                                                                                     Location: TBA

Two Sections: VTA—M/W 4 to 5:30 p.m. or VTB—Tu/Th 8 to 9:30 a.m.

(Prerequisite: Writing Assessment Level 2)  3 credit hours

Contact Jennifer L. Greer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This hands-on course introduces students to the writing process, the elements of effective writing, common academic texts, ethics, peer review, and techniques for efficient editing. Based on guided activities, independent practice, and small-group work with instructor feedback, it is the first of two courses on writing academic journal-style articles. *Instruction also addresses key grammatical issues for second language writers.

 

*GRD 727 Academic Writing II

Sept. 14 to Nov. 18                                                                                                     Location: TBA

One Section: VTA—M/W 4 to 5:30 p.m.

(Prerequisite: GRD 726 or permission of instructor)  3 credit hours

Contact Jennifer L. Greer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

In the second of a 2-part series, international writers build on their knowledge of the academic writing process and standards, while learning to write effective summaries, critiques, and review articles as well as how to construct empirical research papers. Activities include text analysis, writing practice, peer review, and revision as students model professional strategies. *Instruction addresses key grammar issues for second language writers.

 

GRD 728 Advanced Academic Writing      

Sept. 15 to Nov. 19                                                                                                    Location: TBA

One SectionVTB—Tu/Th 4 to 5:30 p.m.

(Prerequisite: Writing Assessment Level 3 or GRD 727)   3 credit hours

Contact Jennifer L. Greer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Created for students who seek to publish professionally, GRD 728 reviews academic writing genres, standards, and conventions. Fast-paced with text analysis and guided practice, this course covers the writing of biographic statements, conference abstracts & posters, review articles, critiques, and empirical research articles. Embedded language instruction addresses key grammatical issues for second language writers. (Pre-requisite for second language English writers: Writing Assessment Level 3 or GRD 727)

 

 

 

Preparing Tomorrow’s Professionals