SHCY 2013: Graduate Student Digest

Susan Eckelmann, the Graduate Student Representative for SHCY, provides this recap of the executive meeting and ideas for expanding opportunities for graduate students below.

The job market, writing a dissertation, and funding dissertation research can be challenging and produce frustrating moments at times. But to most of us, this is hardly any news. As SHCY’s graduate student representative, I’m committed to developing professional workshops, creating more funding opportunities, promoting more awards for graduate students, and expanding pedagogical resources on SCHY’s website, among other important developments necessary to succeed as a budding scholar.

During this year’s executive meeting, I have raised and pushed for a number of important changes that I hope will further professional development, increase the visibility of grad students’ intellectual contributions, and cultivate institutional and funding support for dissertation research and conference participation.

To advance grad students’ professional profile, I have supported the establishment of an annual “Best Dissertation Prize.” Apart from the much needed intellectual recognition, I hope that such an award will highlight the importance of the study of childhood and youth more generally in academia.

For SHCY 2015, along with the program committee, discussions on pedagogical and professional workshops have already begun. After talking to fellow graduate students and faculty mentors, I see a need for the following workshops (in no particular order):

1) From the Dissertation to the Book Manuscript
2) How to Succeed on the Job Market
3) Getting Started: Practical Tips on Grant Writing, Managing Research, and Writing a Dissertation
4) The Dynamic Classroom: Developing Syllabi on Fresh Topics
5) The History of Childhood & Youth in the Age of the Digital Humanities, etc.

I also believe that a week-long Summer School for graduate students and faculty during the “off years” of SHCY’s Biennial Meeting would offer an ideal space to network, to share and workshop ideas, and discuss publications-in-progress. The planning has begun. Look for more news on this topic in the coming months.

Attendance at the biennial meeting of SCHY remains a financial challenge, especially for graduate students. Technology offers opportunities to participate even in absentia as doctoral candidate Julie Stein’s presentation demonstrated so effectively. Julie had taped her presentation prior to the conference which allowed her to share her work this past week. Through Twitter, a fruitful discussion continued. However, the meeting has always been more than simply showcasing our most recent work. It’s always been a platform to get to know one another, to discuss and collaborate on current and future projects, to share tips on innovative technological and pedagogical resources, and much more. Graduate students’ fresh research and invigorating participation remains vital to the conference’s success. The Executive Board shares this view and is invested in providing more financial assistance to graduate students in the future.

As your representative, I encourage your feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to contact me at seckelma@umail.iu.edu. I look forward to hearing from you.

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