Presenter(s) Information

Michael HarrisFollow

Start Date

17-3-2020 10:30 AM

End Date

17-3-2020 11:00 AM

Author(s) Bio

Michael W. Harris is a librarian, archivist, and musicologist, whose research looks at information history and theory, along with film and popular music. He currently works as assistant professor, research and instructional services librarian, at the University of Memphis in Tennessee.

Presenter Status

Academic Librarian

Keywords

dissertation completion, graduate students, library collaboration, writing centers

Presentation Type

30 minutes (e.g. Individual)

Description of Proposal

The University of Memphis promotes itself as a major, urban, research institution, but it lacks one thing: Carnegie Research 1 classification. Recently, the University has set a goal to achieve such designation by the year 2023 and has created and supported numerous programs to assist with the success, recruitment, and retention of graduate students. In support of these efforts, the offices of the Graduate School, the Center for Writing and Communication, and the University Libraries have an important role to play. Separately, each represents a phase in process towards graduation, but together, they can serve as a powerful, holistic tool for dissertation completion.

Such thinking is at the heart of a new program being led by these three departments: a multi-day dissertation writing retreat, held within McWherter Library. While this event is still in the planning stages (to be in January 2020), it is our goal to offer PhD students in the final semester both space and programming to get a head start on that final stretch, including: discussions sessions, distraction-free work space, and food.

While many Universities support “dissertation boot camps,” or a workshop series on dissertation competition, this program is intended to be a true writer’s retreat, in the vein of similar programs that have been held at some universities, but usually for faculty. It is our hope that, supported by student feedback and success, such a program can be extended to multiple times per semester and become a fixture of the University calendar.

What takeaways will attendees learn from your session?

Ideas for a new type of dissertation workshop for grad students that goes beyond the typical dissertation boot camp or writing workshop. Also provides a model for collaboration between multiple units on campus.

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Mar 17th, 10:30 AM Mar 17th, 11:00 AM

Big Ideas, Individual Effort: Graduate Student Writing Retreats as Accelerator for Dissertation Completion

The University of Memphis promotes itself as a major, urban, research institution, but it lacks one thing: Carnegie Research 1 classification. Recently, the University has set a goal to achieve such designation by the year 2023 and has created and supported numerous programs to assist with the success, recruitment, and retention of graduate students. In support of these efforts, the offices of the Graduate School, the Center for Writing and Communication, and the University Libraries have an important role to play. Separately, each represents a phase in process towards graduation, but together, they can serve as a powerful, holistic tool for dissertation completion.

Such thinking is at the heart of a new program being led by these three departments: a multi-day dissertation writing retreat, held within McWherter Library. While this event is still in the planning stages (to be in January 2020), it is our goal to offer PhD students in the final semester both space and programming to get a head start on that final stretch, including: discussions sessions, distraction-free work space, and food.

While many Universities support “dissertation boot camps,” or a workshop series on dissertation competition, this program is intended to be a true writer’s retreat, in the vein of similar programs that have been held at some universities, but usually for faculty. It is our hope that, supported by student feedback and success, such a program can be extended to multiple times per semester and become a fixture of the University calendar.