Gurveer Bains: Gradifying Guest Post & Promotions Coordinator
It’s our pleasure this week to welcome our new Guest Post & Promotions Coordinator, Gurveer Bains. She’ll be identifying an event every month or so that’s of relevance to grad students and either asking the event lead to write us a short guest post, doing a short Q&A with someone involved with the event, or or offering coverage from her own perspective. Think of her like an agent of graduate symbiosis–she’s looking to connect Gradifying with wider audiences by putting our link in, for instance, your newsletters or other information aggregators, and she’s also looking to help you get the word out to other grad students about your event, organization, or project. So get in touch (email@example.com) with your inquiries and ideas and look for Gurveer’s first post coming soon, which may include some reflections on the value of a departmental retreat, and further thoughts about what it means to become a TA.
Gurveer’s full profile is available on our “Profiles” page, here.
Queen’s Enrichment Studies Unit (ESU)
Have you heard of the ESU? In their own words:
The Enrichment Studies Unit (ESU) at Queen’s University offers enrichment courses primarily during the month of May for upper elementary and secondary school students. These programs give gifted and highly motivated young people the opportunity to study a subject at an advanced level for up to one week on Queen’s campus, and get a glimpse into the life of a post-secondary student. Courses are typically developed and taught by Queen’s graduate students, who get a chance to expand their teaching experience in this paid position.
A couple of years ago I actually took them up on the offer and, with a colleague, drafted a gender studies course syllabus for submission. Our proposal was accepted, but low enrollment ultimately prevented the course from running. It’s a fantastic opportunity–one which I’d shoot for again–because the ESU accepts proposals from all academic disciplines, including interdisciplinary approaches, which means you can truly design your ideal course, so long as it’s level appropriate. Have you ever thought: “If it were up to me, high school students wouldn’t leave without knowing about…”? Well, here’s a chance to at least make a small dent. It’s also good for your teaching dossier (do you have one? If not, check out Queen’s Centre for Teaching and Learning to find out how to create yours, and perhaps even work toward a CTL Certificate by doing so).
This year, the ESU is particularly interested in proposals from the following areas to address gaps in their course offerings:
- Architecture/ Planning
- Creative Writing/ Literature
- Commerce/ Finance/ Marketing
- Languages/ Culture
- Health Sciences
The info sessions happened last week, but you can still submit proposals until Friday November 1, 2013. Detailed Guidelines and Proposal Forms can be found on the ESU website, at: http://esu.queensu.ca/instructor-forms/. (Instructors who taught in previous years are still required to submit a proposal for their course to be considered for renewal.) If you have questions, get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 613-533-3181.
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? On “Topic” vs. “Contribution”
While compiling resources for an upcoming grant workshop that I’m co-facilitating, I came across this gem of a blog post about how to distinguish your research topic from the contribution your research intends to make. (It’s from The Professor is In, a fascinating blog by a former tenured professor and department head who left academia to help coach others on how to get into it.) Using the classic “why did the chicken cross the road” groaner, this tongue-in-cheek post makes the difference strikingly clear while making a tacit point about how pretty much anything at all can be academicized. For those currently mired in Tri-Council, OGS, and other award applications while you’d rather be mired in, say, a vat of thanksgiving sweet potato mash, it may be both useful and a little comforting.