Breakout Sessions | Kent State University

Breakout Sessions

Avoiding Burnout: Self-Care and Wellness 

This session will focus on the importance of mindfulness, self-assessment of stressors, reflection on coping mechanisms, and striving for a healthy balance between academic and personal responsibilities. Students will be provided with useful resources, both on- and off-campus. Students will have the opportunity to participate in stress-relieving exercises, including having access to KSU therapy dogs.

Avoding Burnout Presentation (PDF)


Being a Teaching Assistant (TA) in a Science Lab

This session will provide attendees with actionable advice that they will be able to use for planning and executing their first laboratory class-session. It will focus on an interactive ways of designing presentations, overseeing laboratory activities and experiments, and checking evaluating students’ understanding.

Being a TA in a Science Lab Presentation (PDF)


Complex Conversations

This session will continue the conversation started in the Ballroom. The presenters will focus on working together to navigate complex situations that students may face in graduate school, and will discuss possible ways of effectively handling complex academic interactions.

Resource Guide and Scenario Videos


Conferences & Publications 

This session will provide new graduate students with information about navigating two important aspects of graduate student life. Understanding conference attendance and the publication process are vital steps for building a graduate student's professional reputation and for developing skills for future employment. This session will offer students an introduction to preparing for success in both of these areas.

Conferences & Publications Presentation (PDF)


First Time Teaching Assistants 

This session will focus on pedagogical concerns of new TA’s, including classroom management, lesson planning, classroom presence, and lesson preparation. In addition, participants will discuss logistical concerns, such as where to locate teaching materials or technical support. Any questions or concerns about first-time teaching or teaching in general are welcome and encouraged.

First Time Teaching Assistants (PDF)


Grading and Creating a Syllabus

This session will provide strategies and available technologies for grading and evaluating student work, dealing with grade disputes, and countering plagiarism. Additionally, this session will go over the components of creating a syllabus. Attendees will be provided with valuable information about university policies, important dates, and resources.


Graduate Student Panels 

This panel will feature graduate students from a variety of backgrounds. Master's and doctoral student panelists will discuss and answer your questions regarding topics ranging from graduate student life and thriving at Kent State, to Graduate Student Senate and adapting to the academic rigor of graduate school


Leader Lounge 

At the Leader Lounge, students can drop in with any questions they have as they transition to graduate study at Kent State or they simply may come to have a conversation with their fellow graduate students while enjoying a stress-free atmosphere and some delicious refreshments.


Personal Branding: The Need for a Digital Identity

Developing and maintaining a personal brand as part of your digital identity is an essential step in achieving your career aspirations. This session will focus on defining personal branding and how it can be applied to the graduate student experience. As an extension of personal branding, digital identity is a valuable tool and an appropriate platform for establishing a digital presence within the academic community. Students will have the opportunity to participate in interactive discussions as they consider possible ways to brand themselves.  

Personal Branding: The Quest for Digital Identity Presentation (PDF


Preparing, Presenting, Interacting, and Engaging: The Fundamental Principles of Effective Teaching

This session will outline four fundamental principles of effective teaching: preparing for the course, presenting the course content and materials, interacting and engaging with students. This session will provide tips and strategies for effectiveness, as well as provide graduate students with necessary literature and university resources to aid in the development of one’s own teaching practice. 


Teaching Assistant Panel

This panel will provide answers based on the knowledge and personal experiences of returning teaching assistants. No questions are too daunting or too trivial. Take advantage of the opportunity to discuss what it takes to be a successful teaching assistant at Kent State University.


Technology Tools for Graduate Students 

This session will introduce students to various technology tools to help them improve their productivity and increase their work efficiency. These tools are handpicked to support graduate students in their diverse roles as students, assistants, teachers, and researchers. Participants are introduced to resources that will improve their skills in: time management, collaborative projects, presentations, academic support, and writing.

Technology Tools for Graduate Students Presentation (Prezi)


Technology Tools for Teaching Assistants 

This session is a high-level overview of the technology tools and resources that will help students in their new role as a Teaching Assistant. These tools include file sharing, cloud storage, real-time collaboration, and e-learning tools like Blackboard. The presenters will review tech support and tech training options available on campus, as well as the Teaching Assistant Training Program, and will address best practices for online teaching.

Teaching Tools for Teaching Assistants Presentation (PDF)