GSO Breakout Abstracts

Pre-GSO  Breakout Sessions

Tuesday, August 3 from 2-2:40pm: Housing in and Around Kent
Starting your new journey in grad school might entail moving into a new house and finding your space. This session aims at giving you some guidelines regarding housing including; renting vs. buying, what to consider when renting, moving during COVID-19, helpful services you can utilize, and highlighting some areas in and around Kent.

Tuesday, August 11 from 2-2:40pm: A Happy Struggle: Balancing Family and Graduate School
The responsibilities of being a spouse and or parent can easily hinder progress and add more stress in graduate school. However, management of these responsibilities can help one perform their duties with little stress. In this panel discussion, we will take questions and offer strategies and resources to help graduate students maintain their family lives in ways that complements the graduate-school experience.

Thursday, August 20: Graduate Student Orientation for All New Graduate Students

10-10:40am: Grad 101: Enjoy your New Journey
Starting graduate school can be a daunting experience as one might not be fully aware of what to expect or not. This session aims at providing graduate students with important guidelines and tips that help them succeed and make the most out of their graduate school experience.

11-11:40am: Navigating and Networking in the Academy
This session explores topics related to networking and etiquette while in graduate school. The leaders will discuss the best ways to present yourself in a professional manner, how to efficiently and respectfully communicate with advisors, faculty, and peers, and how to problem-solve ethical/professional issues that might arise while in your program.

1-1:40pm: Conferences and Publications
In this session, we will have a conversation about academic conferences and publications and demystify the process of submitting and presenting your work. In addition to discussing the 'to dos' and potential roadblocks, we will talk about available resources that can be helpful along the way. 

2-2:40pm: Avoiding Burnout
You may already be feeling overwhelmed with all graduate school has thrown at you, especially in the uncertain times we are all currently facing. That’s okay! The transition to graduate school is stressful, at best. Your leaders have been here before, and we have some tips to help! The aim of this session is to provide information to incoming students regarding stress, coping, and resources available to manage their own mental and physical health in the Kent community. 

3-3:40pm: Managing Finances in Graduate School
Graduate school may present financial challenges. A lack of financial preparedness can lead to stress and setbacks. This session will discuss personal finance, budgeting, how to deal with financial setbacks and financial opportunities.

4-4:40pm: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
This session will focus on cultivating conversations regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in educational environments through advocacy, empathy, and information thus creating a culturally responsive environment for the Kent State community.

Friday, August 21: Graduate Student Orientation for All New Teaching Assistants

10-10:40am: First-time TA
This session will focus on the common pedagogical and logistical concerns of new TA’s including instructor responsibilities, developing a pedagogical stance, classroom management, and maintaining healthy boundaries, as well as matters such as locating teaching materials or technical assistance, especially in this changing teaching & learning environment.  

11-11:40am: GSO’s 2020 Guide to Syllabus and Grading
This presentation highlights basic guidelines for developing a successful course syllabus and offers tips for fair grading practices. Resources are provided to assist teaching and graduate assistants in preparing for a successful teaching experience. 

1-1:40pm: Best Practices for Asynchronous Courses
Online courses that are 100 percent online are more prominent now than ever for instructors and students. This session provides information on the differences between synchronous and asynchronous course delivery, challenges and benefits of asynchronous course models, and tips for successfully engaging students in online learning environments. The leaders will present their experience teaching and taking asynchronous courses along with sharing resources available to you to provide an efficient and engaging experience for everyone involved.

2-2:40pm: Creating Engaging Synchronous Courses
In this interactive session, we discuss navigating complex situations and interaction in academia related to college teaching, and possible ways of addressing them effectively.
Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, one of the biggest challenges facing teaching staff was a transition to an online learning environment, especially with synchronous learning (students meeting at the same time, virtually). Thankfully, with more time to prepare for teaching in an online setting, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to managing synchronous teaching to prepare incoming students for teaching assignments utilizing online teaching tools. 

3-3:40pm: TA in a Science Lab
Laboratory courses are meant to provide a hands-on, engaging experience for students. Because of the nature of these courses, science lab TAs must prepare for teaching in ways that are different from other disciplines. In this session, our primary goal will be to provide attendees with actionable advice that they will be able to use for planning and executing their first laboratory class-session. To do this, we will provide an interactive overview about designing appropriate presentations, overseeing laboratory activities/experiments, and evaluating students’ understanding.