Fall 2021 Graduate Student Orientation Schedule

New Student GSO on Thursday, August 19

After you register for Graduate Student Orientation (GSO) you have access to online orientation modules for new graduate students and new teaching assistants within Blackboard Learn. If you have questions about registering for GSO or accessing the course in Blackboard, contact Kyle Reynolds at kreynol3@kent.edu.

Download the schedule for the In Person GSO

Download the links and instructions to join the Virtual GSO sessions.

In-Person Check In: 11:45 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Campus Walking Tour: `11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Breakout Session I: 12:30-1:15 p.m.
Breakout Session II: 1:25-2:10 p.m.
Breakout Session III: 2:20-3:05 p.m.
Breakout Session IV: 3:15-4 p.m.
Resource Fair: 4-5 p.m.
Campus Walking Tour: 4:30-5 p.m.

In Person Breakout Session Schedule on Thursday, August 19

Breakout Sessions 12:30-1:15 p.m. 1:25-2:10 p.m. 2:20-3:05 p.m. 3:15-4 p.m.
Avoiding Burnout x x    
Conferences and Publications   x x  
Diversity Tooklit   x x  
Grad School 101  x   x x
Managing Finances as a Graduate Student x x    
Navigating and Networking in the Academy x     x
A Balancing Act: Graduate School and Family*       x

Virtual Breakout Session Schedule on Thursday, August 19

12:30-1:15 p.m. 1:25-2:10 p.m. 2:20-3:05 p.m. 3:15-4 p.m.
Conferences and Publications Grad School 101 Managing Finances as a Graduate Student Avoiding Burnout
Diversity Tooklit   Navigating and Networking in the Academy  

*A Balancing Act will also be offered virtually on Tuesday, August 17 from 6-6:45 p.m. 

See abstracts for breakout sessions at the bottom of the webpage.

The Resource Fair will feature 40 campus resource and support service units, as well as campus organizations so you can learn more about services available to you as a graduate student at KSU and opportunities to get involved and meet others on campus.

Teaching Assistant GSO on Friday, August 20

In Person Check In: 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.

Ballroom Presentations: 12-1 p.m.
GSO Teaching Fellows: 12-12:20 p.m.
Step Up and Speak Out: 12:20-12:30 p.m.
Title IX: 12:30-12:40 p.m.
Canvas and Blackboard Learning Management Systems: 12:40-12:50 p.m.
Center for Teaching and Learning: 12:50-1 p.m.

Breakout Session I: 1:15-2 p.m.
Breakout Session II: 2:10-2:55 p.m.
Breakout Session III: 3:05-3:50 p.m.
Breakout Session IV: 4-4:45 p.m.

In Person Breakout Session Schedule on Friday, August 20

Breakout Sessions 1:15- 2 p.m. 2:10-2:55 p.m. 3:05-3:50 p.m. 4-4:45 p.m.
Engaging Students in Challenging Conversations x x    
First Time TA x     x
Online Teaching Essentials   x   x
Principles of Effective Teaching   x x  
Syllabus and Grading x   x  
TA in a Science Lab     x  

Virtual Breakout Session Schedule on Friday, August 20

1:15- 2 p.m. 2:10-2:55 p.m. 3:05-3:55 p.m. 4-4:45 p.m.
Online Teaching Essentials Syllabus and Grading First Time TA Engaging Students in Challenging Conversations
Principles of Effective Teaching     TA in a Science Lab

See abstracts for breakout sessions below.

Breakout Session Options for Thursday

Avoiding Burnout 
You may already be feeling overwhelmed with all graduate school has thrown at you, especially as the world transitions back to in-person activities in the wake of COVID-19. 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.

A Balancing Act: Families and Grad School

The responsibilities of being a partner and/or parent can easily conflict with graduate school. However, proactive management of being a graduate student and a parent/partner can help one succeed in both school and personal life. In this panel discussion, we will take questions and offer strategies and resources to help graduate students maintain their family lives in ways that complement the graduate-school experience.

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.

The Diversity Toolkit: A Primer for Graduate Students on Cultivating Inclusivity in a Diverse Campus Community
This interactive session will focus on cultivating and identifying diversity, equity, and inclusion in educational environments. Definitions, types, and issues relevant to diversity will be explored. Next, with a priority to create a culturally responsive environment, we will discuss how KSU graduate students can build diversity and inclusivity into their academic work and their interactions with their colleagues and students. We will also share resources for students who are interested in DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives at Kent State.

Grad School 101
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 to help them succeed and make the most out of their graduate school experience.

Managing Your 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.

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 on how to (i.) present yourself in a professional manner both in-person and online. (ii.) efficiently and respectfully communicate online or in person with advisors, faculty, and peers (iii.) how to problem-solve ethical/professional issues that might arise while in your program.

Breakout Session Options for Friday

Engaging Students in Challenging Conversations
Challenging conversations are a part of teaching. Whether designed as a part of the syllabus, or brought into the classroom through students’ own experiences, instructors should be prepared to facilitate these discussions. This interactive session will provide instructors with proactive strategies and “in-the-moment” tools to effectively engage students in meaningful conversations around topics such as sexual orientation, gender identity, race, political differences, immigration, and cultural misunderstandings.

First Time TA
This session will focus on the common pedagogical concerns of new TA’s including instructor responsibilities, developing a professional first impression, classroom management, maintaining healthy boundaries and managing a challenging ever changing  COVID19 regulations. Additionally, participants will discuss logistical matters such as locating teaching materials, or where to go for technical logistics, especially in this changing teaching & learning environment of synchronous, asynchronous, hybrid and in-person classroom management.

Online Teaching Essentials 
As we transition back to in-person teaching and learning, many graduate assistants will remain teaching in an online environment. There are many resources available to make your online classroom interactive and engaging for both you and your students! This session will serve as an introduction to teaching online both synchronously and asynchronously in both Canvas and BlackBoard. Your leaders have designed this session to provide you with tools and resources to make your online teaching experience smooth and hassle-free!

Principles of Effective Teaching 
This session details some strategies and recommendations for managing your course. In the session, we will discuss creating your teaching philosophy, establishing boundaries and expectations, and creating and managing course content. The second portion of the session involves strategies for engaging with students meaningfully both inside and outside the classroom. We will also talk about campus-wide resources available to you as the instructors and for your students to use outside classroom instruction.

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.

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.