GSO Teaching Fellow: Enoch Caswell Eshun
Meet Enoch Caswell Eshun, a graduate student orientation (GSO) teaching fellow and master's student in the Geography program. Read on to learn more about his favorite places in Kent, what he enjoys doing in his free time and what advice he has for incoming graduate students.
Where is your hometown?
I am from Ghana, Africa.
Why did you choose Kent State University?
The dynamic and well-structured nature of the Geography program here was a big factor in my decision. The flexibility of the course requirements meant that I could tailor my coursework more to my academic interests and career goals. However, I’d say the allure of the opportunity to work with and benefit from the extensive expertise of faculty members whose research and regional interests strongly align with mine was more crucial for me.
What do you like most about living in/near Kent? Do you have a favorite local spot or activity?
I like the urban-suburban mix feel of the city. It’s not so bustling, yet somewhat vibrant—in my opinion, an ideal environment for learning as a grad student and having a little fun. Its close proximity to big cities like Cleveland and Akron also ensures that there are many options for big weekends and holiday activities. Speaking of activities, I love participating in the Global Village conversation and trivia nights, going on road trips with friends, and playing soccer at Fairchild.
What is your favorite KSU memory?
My favorite KSU memory would have to be last year's International Homecoming Celebration.
What are some differences you've noticed in being a graduate student (expectations, pressures, visibility, etc.) than those of an undergraduate student?
I see it as a transition from building a broad knowledge base of concepts in a field/combination of fields to profoundly understanding and developing the ability to critique and make scholarly contributions—through teaching and research—to specific areas (including theories, models, and methods) in a chosen field. The reality, as a result, is that the larger chunk of your time will be dedicated to researching, writing, and teaching (if you’re a Teaching Assistant). This means less time to binge-watch all your favorite TV shows, play video games, and party. Also, I have realized that the professors treat graduate students more like peers than students and expect their active participation in class and discussions.
What advice do you have for incoming graduate students?
Effective time management and self-discipline are of essence. While it is important to take care of yourself—engage in social and fun activities to boost your mental and physical health—it’s imperative not to lose track of the time, as far as your academic life goes. Try to maintain a balance! Also, when the imposter syndrome kicks in, don’t be shy or afraid to seek help. Remember you’re not in competition with anyone, and that, everyone experiences it at some point in their graduate career. Be open and talk to your peers, mentors, grad school community, and faculty members about it. You’ll be fine!
Fun Facts About Me:
Music is like a basic need for me. Listening to music (and writing my own sometimes) is my go-to form of relaxation. I also like recommending songs I love to friends. It might sound goofy, but when I was in college, there was a weird sense of fulfillment I got anytime I introduced someone to new music/artiste, and they became a fan of them.