Degree: Ph.D. in Political Science, 2014
Hometown: Kolkata, India
Graduate Student Orientation (GSO) Teaching Fellow: 2013-2014
Current Position: Assistant Professor of International Relations, Cottey College
How did GSO help to prepare you for your faculty position?
Participating in GSO helped me to delve deeper into issues relating to diversity in higher education. The workshop I designed on teaching diverse learners was particularly useful because I could directly apply that knowledge during my interview to answer questions regarding my cultural competence, as well as my ability to fit into an institution that has students from more than 40 states in the U.S. and 15 countries from all over the world. In addition, leading this workshop at GSO helped me to feel prepared to answer questions regarding the unique challenges faced by first generation students, racial minorities, members of the LGBTQ community, and students with special needs.
What makes GSO different from your other experiences in graduate school?
Almost all full-time academic positions entail some kind of service component, and the GSO experience is unique in the sense that it prepares the fellows for such administrative responsibilities. The GSO planning sessions are very similar to administrative committee meetings, and participating in such sessions provides graduate students with valuable interpersonal skills such as equitable sharing of discussion time, verbal and non-verbal communication, listening, problem solving, negotiating, and decision making.
What was your favorite part about being a GSO Teaching Fellow?
My favorite part about GSO was meeting new graduate students on the days of orientation. I truly enjoyed interacting with students from all over the world as they embarked on a very important journey that was meant to define their professional lives for years to come. Sharing my own experiences at Kent State University with the newcomers was always a fulfilling experience.
Why would you encourage graduate students to apply to be a GSO Teaching Fellow?
I would strongly encourage graduate students to apply for a GSO Teaching Fellow position because it provides the rare opportunity of working with a group of highly-motivated and talented individuals across academic disciplines, and it gives you the opportunity to work together toward the common goal of planning and running an event that will have a profound impact on the academic pursuits of hundreds of fresh graduate students.
Learn more about the how you can be a 2016 GSO Teaching Fellow and apply at www.kent.edu/graduatestudies/gso-team-application.