Questions for Professors

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Questions for Professors

Post by Kelly_Simonton on Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:49 pm

Dr. Gaudreault and Dr. Richards,

I thought this may by a good place to establish a comment area for any questions that Angela and I may have about our educational/professional endeavors. This platform seemed more appropriate then texting, calling, or emailing just for the fact there is no urgency in replying. My hope is that we can leave some open ended or personal related questions on this topic within the forum that you both would be open to answering. I know that Angela and I are both motivated by your insight, stories and guidance in our process and this is another way for us to keep our eye on the future. The other day when I was completing the latest forum post I had a few questions just pop in to my head and I was curious about your responses. So, here is my first question and it is kind of a two part questions:

If you could describe an event, story, or any "thing" that you did or occurred during your time in graduate school that you wish you would have taken advantage of and didn't. This could relate to your education, professional path that eventually occurred, or anything that may have happened and you learned from and you thought I really should have done this project,t or gone to this place, or learned more of this. Just in general what ever comes to mind that maybe you missed out on wanted back?

The second part of that question being the opposite thought process. What major event, story, or "thing" happened during your graduate experience that you view as very or the most significant. This could be something that affected your school or eventual future in the profession or maybe the significance would be its affect on you, that you would want to pass along to us?

I hope those questions make sense, I can't say I am a qualitative researcher or even a beginning researcher at this point. But, I would like to hear your thoughts.
Thank you and I hope both of your summers are going well. I know Karen is busy with the new baby and I'm sure Kevin is about to be busy with a big move.

Kelly

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Re: Questions for Professors

Post by Karen on Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:22 am

Kelly,
Creating a space for questions and discussion is a fantastic idea and certainly very appropriate. There is much that Kevin and I can learn from what types of things you both and curious about. I really like your first questions that you've posted here. Here are my responses:

Something that I wish I'd taken advantage of...
While I was at UGA during my doctoral program, I said 'yes' to EVERYTHING. Any opportunity that Dr. Schempp or Dr. McCullick provided to me, I did it and got on board. So my response here isn't centered around something that I said 'no' to or declined...its more of something that wasn't offered to us that I wish had been. Two things come to mind. First, I wish I had more experience in my doctoral program related to the entire grant writing process. I worked on one very small grant in the last few months of my time there, but this did not prepare me for the reality of working in higher ed where applying for grants is pretty much essential. Second, I wish that I had attended AERA at least once during my graduate work. While SHAPE is certainly more appropriate in some ways for new researchers, AERA has a higher level of scholarship within PETE and most of the 'heavy hitters' and big names present there...and many of these people don't attend SHAPE.

Something that was really significant...
Delivering an oral presentation at AIESEP in Sapporo, Japan during my second year of my doctoral program. This was my first experience with international travel, my first oral research presentation, and my first time attending AIESEP. All very significant in a variety of ways. AIESEP is a small international organization and in many ways, my favorite conferences.

Now, my question for you, Kelly: Why these two questions? Where did they come from? Why did you pose these?
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My responses

Post by KevinAndrewRRichards on Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:00 pm

Kelly

Thank you for the questions! I definitely think that the forum is a good place for you to post any questions or comments that come to mind! Karen and I are delighted that you have agreed to participate in this project with us and want you to get as much out of it as possible! Your questions are really good ones and I have done my best to give some detailed responses below. Let me know if you have any follow-ups:

1. This may seem like an odd responses, but the one things that I regret most about my graduate student experience is a semi-professional, but mostly personal experience that I missed out on. Since my time in undergrad, I have been fascinated with literature related to the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I have read numerous pieces of Arthurian literature and my first tattoo was a reference to Arthur. As a graduate student, I learned that there was an immerse scholarly literature based related to Arthur, and I started to read journal articles, and even wrote my own take on the impact that the Arthurian legends have had on society. Through this process, I learned that one of the leading Arthurian academics was on the faculty at Purdue University, and she was teaching a graduate-level course on the subject. I signed up for it, but my advisor talked me out of taking in favor of another class that was more related to my degree program and career trajectory. On a professional level, this was probably the right decision. While Arthur interests me, I don't see it as something that would advance my career. However, this would have been the one class that I took purely and only for myself - because I wanted to take it and for no other reason. I regret letting that pass me by. I guess my message here is that while graduate school and your professional development should be first in your mind, don't forget to take the time to do some things just because you want to do them. It doesn't have to be a class - it could be a trip, going to a ballgame, or meeting up with friends a few times a week. And you don't have to do everything, but do make sure you take some time for yourself.

2. The thing that I am really glad that I took advantage of was the work I did in my university's center for teaching and learning. The benefits were numerous. I gave me exposure to other disciplines, taught me more about how the university functions, and helped me to become a better teacher. More than anything though, it was a huge boost for me professionally because it introduced me to quantitative research methods at a time when I thought I would be purely qualitative, and led me to meet the woman who would go on to be a dissertation committee member and my post-doc advisor. However, it was not an easy decision initially to go to work with them because it meant giving up part of my teaching assistantship in health and kinesiology, which did not sit well with me. I still taught a course per semester in the department, but I was stressed about not having the opportunity to teach two, particularly because I did not have prior teaching experience and wanted more practice. Fortunately for me, things worked out really well. I guess my lesson learned here was that it is a good thing to take calculated risks, and to get outside of the walls of your own building. Universities are large and have a lot of resources beyond what we have in our departments. You may even go on to meet some people who end up being very influential in your lives.

I hope those responses are along the lines of what you are looking for - thank you again for posting and I am looking forward to responding to some of your future questions as well!

Sincerely

KARR

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Re: Questions for Professors

Post by Kelly_Simonton on Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:06 pm

Dr. Gaudreault & Dr. Richards,

Thank you for replying and I feel that your advice/perspective can only help us in our endeavor. Karen, you know by asking those questions you open a Pandora's Box of explanation. I am sorry but you know that is a lot about who I am and you have always been as much as a mentor as a psychiatrist for me. When I read your questions, I had two thoughts, one being give the short answer to my thoughts or better yet give you the long, elaborate explanation. Hopefully, this doesn't become more of your analysis because it most likely isn't relevant. The reason I asked, as you can imagine, is more complex than straight forward. I have always had an obsession with entrepreneurism, law, and overall successful people. In the mean time I have spent a lot of time reading and studying what makes successful people. During that time I have typically found that I participate in about fifty percent of surveyed results. I believe this is partially due to how I was brought up and the values I have held for a long time. But, the more time I have spent trying to educate myself or become more self aware I have tried to be a more open and overall better at being me. The fact that I know very successful people in my field I felt it was appropriate to find our what is common among them. You only know what you experience and I realize there are many experiences I could miss out on by simply not being aware of utilizing opportunities. Much like receiving an education from a variety of institutions I have the chance to receive professional counsel from a variety of sources and find it critical to my overall ability to be great.
These questions are my naïve ability to try and become exceptional. I strive for the day that I am actually an expert in a particular area. I want to have an impact on the research, my institution, and my students. I really want to show others how important our area is and in order to do that you need to be well respected. From what I understand that respect is earned through hard work but also who you know. Time has gone by fast this first year and I think time in graduate school is particularly critical for finding a job in today's market. Any advantage I can have as well as maintaining traits of great people in our field, I would assume will lead to success.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer and read my inquiry.

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