October 1, 2015 Meeting Minutes

GCEC Professional Development Committee Meeting

October 1, 2:00-3:00, Student Union #211




Kimberly Barchard

Mary-Ann Winkelmes,

Jessica Word,

Gina Sully,

Ashley Weckesser,

Peter Gray


Absences noted ahead of the meeting: Carolyn Sabo, Eduardo Robleto, Ariel Rosen, Melissa Bowles-Terry, Mary Riddel


We discussed two general topics at today’s meeting: These discussions were informed by the notes compiled and shared ahead of today’s meeting, with those same notes cut and pasted below.


I.                 Grad REBEL Success Center Ideas


·        Journal publication costs are outside the scope of the Grad REBEL Success Center, but warrant consideration in other circles.

·        Maybe address publication considerations somewhere (e.g., acceptable papers: would a student know whether a given journal is of high quality or “predatory”?): Thesis and Diss website or prof dev certificate or maybe link to publication considerations on “skills support and non-academic advising page”

·        Grad College was thinking of doing a newsletter; this is in the works, but just a matter of how to put it out, finishing template (w/ events such as workshops and w/ RSVP link, deadline, featured contents, segments); maybe have link on Grad Rebel Success Center to the Grad newsletter; Lied Library has a regular newsletter that could be a partial model and maybe less than monthly

·        Maybe add “parking” link to transportation and parking…

·        UCF site as a possible addition…

·        Youtube channel is a work in progress…giving professional conference presentations (though covered with writing workshops); Gina notes that library having some videos in progress related to writing center, etc. (and some things videos, something documents, somethings both); library formatting diss guidelines template would ideally be in Word (not PDF)

·        Ashley notes that trying to have more student-to-student interaction…could use for promotion…maybe interview folks who have gone through certificate program, rebel grad slam winners, some fellowship winners

·        A dissertation blog…lots of topics about all kinds of things…recipes for healthy thinks you can make quickly…dissertation survival tips…connecting and finding mentor(s)….a blog kind of format, written by grad students…


II.               Mentorship Certificate Program Models


·        Already are some other mentorship things happening such as RAMP program to be on-boarded (e.g., grad students mentoring undergrads); faculty mentoring grad students; undergrad research opportunities program through NSHE ($4000 program: can mentors be grad students?); in RAMP, the UG/grad pair is required to present somewhere;

·        Cecilia Maldonado in Provost’s Office working on new faculty mentoring, and maybe she would have some ideas and maybe some of that could be applicable to grad students;

·        mentorship services available for-cost online (e.g., could be geared toward under-represented grad students);

·        diversity research and reception—maybe this helps align faculty and grad students; new effort Rainier Spencer leading that provides mentoring for 1st year UG from under-served high schools, but mostly mentors are staff people—could this be open to grad students?

·        Claremont offers paid writing consultations—can also think of this as mentoring; consulting for say 45 minutes whereas mentoring more available (maybe not requiring an appointment) and more of a relationship (needing to set boundaries)

·        Maybe a model for a graduate mentorship certificate program, like at Cornell, could be to have a menu of options, some of which overlap with possible other programming at UNLV, and of which UNLV students must take a minimum number (this is thus akin to the UNLV research certificate program)

·        Also have a one-stop-shopping place that compiles other mentorship-related things for grad students (besides certificate program); maybe also offer tips for effective mentoring such as setting effective boundaries


Conclusion: 2:56 PM


Appendix: Notes compiled prior to today’s meeting:


Ideas received from: Eduardo Robleto, Ariel Rosen, Jessica Word, Melissa Bowles-Terry, Peter Gray, Kim Barchard, Gina Sully


Grad Rebel Success Center Ideas:

UNLV library program that assists with journal publication charges.

Newsletter from the Grad rebel center - maybe once a month describing workshops, funding opps and such


From the Chronicle of higher education. 


From Science Careers.

The top two provide advice to graduate students and postdocs


From NSF 

The bottom one present grants that are eligible grad students. - some of these are already in the grad college website, but not all of them, so maybe these should go to that website.


I think under "Skills Support and Non-Academic Advising" it would be good to mention parking information, that with a student pass you can park in Staff spots after 5 pm. Along with other parking information, it would also be useful to link to Computer Lab information so students can see which labs have which different software installed.

The link below has some resources we may want to model from University of Central Florida for graduate students.  In particular, I thought it was great that they had some web based resources on things such as CVs, job search, and formatting.  These are things that often students need and there may not be time to wait for the next workshop to come around.  


The only thing I can think of adding right now is the Grad Commons in Lied Library as a campus resource. 

It would be helpful to provide more information concerning graduate student housing, parking, transportation and other services. What might non-local prospective and incoming graduate students want to see (e.g., housing list serve?) that would help them onboard at UNLV? Maybe provide some pointers.

Given that the UNLV Career Services website offers little content oriented toward graduate and professional students, could more career-oriented content (opportunities to meet with employers? Events fostering networking?) be offered?

Please offer short, dynamic bios of successful UNLV current and past graduate students. These might be recordings of a Fulbright scholar, a UNLV Presidential Scholar, a student whose patent application was submitted, a student who landed a faculty position after graduation. This could help raise the profile and presence of grad students on the website, making this feel more like students are communicating with students.

On the page: https://www.unlv.edu/graduatecollege/gradrebel

It says

Link/Like/Follow … to keep Grad Rebel Alumni in touch with the Graduate College and build a lifelong relationship with you.

Suggestion: Replace the word “you” with “these alumni” or “them”.

I was on the page https://www.unlv.edu/graduatecollege/gradrebel

What happened: I clicked on one of the links on the left hand side.  I think I clicked on “Future Students”. I wanted to go BACK to the original page.  But no matter where I clicked, I couldn’t find the Grad Rebel

Success Center again. 

Suggestion: Put a link to this page on the navigation menu on the left hand side.  Put another link on the page for Current Students.

On the page: https://www.unlv.edu/graduatecollege/gradrebel

Currently It starts by talking about the PURPOSE of the Grad REBEL Success Center.  The actual links to

content that the students will use are at the bottom of the screen and are off the bottom of the screen.  So, it LOOKS like this is just an information page.  It doesn’t look like students will actually DO anything here.

Suggestion: Reformat the first page so that the purpose of the Grad REBEL Success Center is given on a separate page, that is LINKED to this page.  Don’t make the purpose of the page the main content.  This could be given in an “about” link. 

Make the main content of the page the four boxes.  Reformat the boxes so that the entire boxes fit on

one screen, when viewed at 100% on a typical sized monitor (such as the ones in the library).  If you  can’t get them all to fit, then put the smaller boxes on top, so that when the larger boxes fall off the

bottom of the screen, it’s obvious that there are a total of four boxes.

On the page: https://www.unlv.edu/graduatecollege/gradrebel

There is a link called

Fall 2015 Workshop Schedule


The links in this box are under the title “Attend the many workshop and training sessions hosted

by”.  This link doesn’t say WHO is hosting these workshops.  When I clicked on the link, it took

me to the page:


Fall2015.pdf and THAT  page didn’t tell me who was hosting the workshops either.  From the URL I see it is the graduate college who is hosting these workshops.  But there was a link to workshops being

hosted by the graduate college higher up in the list. This link will need to be updated every semester.  I recommend that THESE links always go to the same place.  If at all possible, you should link to a page that will be updated every semester, so that the LINK stays the same.

1. Add audio files for DRC students

2. Add a printable map of the university area 

3. Add a printable "Local Resources" guide (grocery stores, laundromats, etc.)


Writing Certificate Program Models/Ideas:

I also looked for graduate writing certificates and came up empty except for credit based programs. I am not certain this is something we want to create given the resources available to support these programs.  Instead, I think we need to consider including writing elements into the research certificate or general professional development.

I volunteered to look at writing programs for graduate students, and started by checking out the list Valarie shared (very useful information already compiled there!). It actually reminded me that I've heard from other librarians around the country about library boot camps they offer for graduate students, to help students get going on a major research/writing project. I don't think these are actually part of a certificate program, but are often part of a larger series of workshops or support for research/writing. They are usually offered during the summer or over winter break, and are co-sponsored by the graduate college and/or writing center. A few examples follow.


1. George Washington University: http://library.gwu.edu/news-events/posts/lit-review-how-holiday-boot-camps-grad-students

workshops on topics like citation chasing, citation management, staying current in your field (setting up RSS feeds, notifications of new publications), and advanced search strategies.

2. University of Utah: https://gradschool.utah.edu/dissertation-writing-boot-camps/

big idea is to provide quiet space, peer motivation and support, expert help, and a writing regiment for five days (over spring break) to get a lot of writing done

3. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: http://writingcenter.unc.edu/about/dissertation-boot-camp/

sponsored by writing center, includes workshops, snacks, drinks, lunch. offers daily writing strategies and a massage chair.


Ed Nagelhout gave a terrific, recent presentation on UNLV graduate student writing needs and wishes based on a spring 2015 graduate student survey. We should invite him to an upcoming committee meeting to give this presentation and share input on the potential structure of a writing certificate program (or related writing content).


Claremont Graduate College

Writing Center


The center has one director and one administrative assistant.

Individual appointments – in person or online videoconferences

These are appointments with the consultants, who are graduate students.

Email documents and get comments from a consultant via email

These consultants are graduate students from this university, who are excellent writers.  They’ve received training in tutoring methods.

There are 18 consultants listed.


11 workshops are listed right now

Online resources

Quite a few different resources

Dissertation Boot Camps

Weekend Boot Camps

Four boot camps offered this fall

Each is two days (one weekend), 8:40am – 4:30pm

Writing Center offers light breakfast, lunch, and snacks

Available to any student who is ABD

Refundable deposit of $50. Returned when the student attends or cancels in advance.

Week-long boot camp during summer

One week (I’m guessing 5 days)

35 hours of quiet writing time

Includes faculty and peer speakers, group discussions, and a reward for your effort

Students must APPLY to participate, saying how they think they will benefit.

Refundable deposit of $100. Returned when the student attends or cancels in advance.

Dissertation Blog

Includes sections on


Research and Writing

Boot Camp Recipes (nutritious foods that are easy to make)

Links to university resources


Graduate Writing Courses


Two courses:

Foundations in Graduate Writing and Presenting Course, $2864

Graduate Writing Course, $1,431

International students may be automatically enrolled in the “Foundations in Graduate Writing and Presenting Course” based upon their TOEFL scores.


University of British Columbia



21 workshops listed right now, including 4 that on writing and 6 on specific statistical techniques

Online resources

Guide to Executive Writing

Hot tips for scholarship applications, including tips for writing

Getting started with your thesis or dissertation

Checklists and materials for thesis preparation, focused on formatting

Suggestions for how to write a thesis and thesis proposal

Writing Center

Drop-in writing support, but nothing geared to graduate students

Online resources

Continuing education courses

64 courses, about half online and half in person

See enclosed Table: “ I've attached a very rough draft of a table. It contains data about the 78 public universities ranked top-tier by Carnegie.” 


Mentorship Certificate Program Models/Ideas:

UC Irvine offers mentoring through specific programs (Pedagogical Fellows Program, Associated Graduate Student representative, DECADE Program, etc). They seem like clubs rather than certificates. MLC has a 9-credit certificate program for their Science Education students. There are many teaching certificate programs that include mentoring classes, or have a mentoring session as one step towards an overall teaching certificate. Cornell offers a certificate for 5 of 6 sessions, their model is the best I found, although doing what most other schools do (including mentoring in their overall teaching certificate) makes a lot of sense as well.

UC Irvine has this webpage listing various campus mentoring resources, including a Mentorship Excellence Program, for which participants can receive a certificate of completion: http://www.grad.uci.edu/academics/mentoring/index.html

Cornell University has a mentorship research certificate program requiring attending 5 of 6 workshop offerings: http://gradschool.cornell.edu/cu-cirtl/mentoring-program