Orientation information for graduate students new to the program. Includes information on personnel, computing, parking, and library services.
Welcome to the Department of English. All of us are happy to have you join us, and we hope you will soon feel at home among us. The graduate education staff in particular is here to help you. The Director of Graduate Education, John Levis, works continually to keep the graduate program and your study here running as smoothly as possible. The Associate Director of Graduate Education, Linda Shenk, coordinates our graduate student learning community. The Assistant Director of Graduate Education, Gloria Betcher, is here to assist you with your Program of Study (POS) by discussing POS requirements and checking documentation, language requirements, and signatures as well as providing advice on campus resources. The Graduate Secretary, Teresa Smiley, will be happy to direct you to other sources of information.
If you have not already made out a class schedule and been assigned an adviser, go to the Graduate English Office, 227 Ross Hall. The Graduate Secretary will give you the name of your adviser so that you may make contact to receive assistance in preparing your schedule.
Sources of departmental help
Our department has various sources for help with academic, professional, and personal problems. Below is a list of key administrators, committee chairs, and support personnel who handle some of the more frequently occurring problems. If you are not sure where to take a particular problem, several key people are particularly useful for discovering where to go:
These people welcome your input and are willing to work with you to provide the best educational environment possible. Although these people may not be able to satisfy every request, they welcome your suggestions and comments. You are thus encouraged to share your good ideas with the appropriate faculty and staff.
Medical conditions or learning disabilities
1076 Student Services Building; (515) 294-7220; TTY (515) 294-6635
Staff members in Disability Resources coordinate support services that students may need in order to reach their fullest academic potential. The DR staff members provide accommodations and serve as a resource within the university community concerning students who have physical or learning disabilities. DR provides assistance, information, support, counseling, education, referral, and promotes disability awareness in students, faculty, staff, the Ames community, and the state of Iowa. Students with medical or learning disabilities need to identify themselves and to arrange for accommodation through Disability Resources before they can receive departmental accommodation for existing conditions.
Department and university points of interest
Graduate English Office, 227 Ross Hall
The Graduate Secretary keeps records of your progress through the program. It is especially important to notify the Graduate English Office of any changes that should be noted in your records. You should be able to answer most questions regarding your Program of Study (POS) by consulting this Program Manual or one of the Graduate College publications available online at www.grad-college.iastate.edu/publications/homepage.html. Most forms are available online at engl.iastate.edu/resources/graduate-studies/forms/. Please check these resources first. Forms and information not supplied in these resources may be obtained from the Graduate Secretary, who will direct you to appropriate university offices or faculty members.
English Department mailbox
If you have been admitted to one of our degree programs, you have a mailbox in 206 Ross Hall where you will receive important notices about department activities and programmatic matters. For example, copies of completed POS paperwork and paperwork returned for corrections will be paced in your mailbox. Because this mailbox is an important means of communication, you should locate it upon your arrival on campus and check it regularly for notices, handouts, letters, returned POS paperwork, and other messages. A key for 206 Ross Hall may be ordered through the English Department receptionist in 203 Ross Hall.
The department sends most messages by email, including many that will be vitally important to your career as a graduate student. Do not filter out or delete messages from the Graduate Secretary, the Assistant Director of Graduate Education, or the Director of Graduate Education without reading and noting the content first. We regularly send updates regarding impending deadlines and clarifications of policy via email. You will automatically be added to department email list serves, such as those used to send email to all graduate students or all Department of English personnel. All current students are eligible for a university Net-ID and email account. To register for a Net-ID, go to https://asw.iastate.edu and click "Register." You will first need your university ID card (ISUCard http://www.isucard.iastate.edu/. If you have any questions about your Net-ID or email address, contact the Solution Center, 195 Durham Center, (515) 294-4000.
Students may use the English Department's computer classrooms, four of which are in Ross Hall; others are located in the residence halls and across campus. The Instructional Development Lab in 246 Ross Hall, available for use by all graduate students, includes Macintosh computers (both Mac and Windows operating systems), color scanner, laser printer, and various software. Teaching assistants can also use the mini-lab in 6 Landscape Architecture. Access codes for the 246 Ross Hall and 6 Landscape Architecture labs can be obtained through the English Department receptionist in 203 Ross Hall. Neither of these computer labs has a lab monitor. If any repairs are needed, please write an email describing the problem to email@example.com.
Students working on more advanced multimedia projects may want to consider using the Multimedia Lab 420 Ross or Multimedia Suites 424 and 426 Ross. Workstations with video editing software are available, as well as large-scale printing. Reservations can be made through the department's resource reservation system (online at http://reserve.engl.iastate.edu). Students might also consider using the Studio for New Media in 316 Ross, an interdisciplinary research institute organized to support, further, and coordinate work with digital media.
The department requests that food and drink be kept out of all computer facilities. In addition, please make sure the facilities are never left unattended with the door open as this creates a huge security risk. All computers have the latest virus protection, but you should check your portable media for viruses on a regular basis. Students are encouraged to backup their working files regularly and to make duplicates of files after each session to guard against data loss. In addition, the department will provide space on the network for you to save your data. For more information on this service, contact the system administrator (294-0338, 306 Ross).
Graduate student lounge
Students may take advantage of the English Department Lounge in 212 Ross, where there are occasionally scheduled meetings, invited speakers and other events. This lounge is not to be used for classes, except with special permission.
Parks Library privileges
Graduate students may check books out on an extended loan basis until the following May. The ISU library can request books and periodicals from other institutions through an interlibrary loan system; be advised, however, that there is often a lengthy lead-time on interlibrary loan materials, other than journal articles, which now typically arrive in .pdf format within days of request. If you would like to learn how to use Parks Library, voluntary seminars are available. Information concerning schedules and registration is available at the reference desk. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity. The ISU Library Catalog (http://www.lib.iastate.edu) is accessible online, as are various research indexes, which will be invaluable to you as a graduate student. Humanities Librarian Dan Coffey (firstname.lastname@example.org; 294-3672) is also available for consultation and assistance. His Ross Hall office hours are announced each semester.
The ISU Parking Division regulations are strictly enforced. Register your motor vehicle(s) with the Parking Division Office (27 Armory; 294-3388) as soon as possible, and do not park in unauthorized places. Be aware that ISU Parking Division officials issue tickets (and multiple tickets) even on weekends and holidays. Fines are large, and yes, they do tow unauthorized vehicles.
Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) immunization
Following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the university will not let you register for a second semester of classes unless you show proof of your immunity to measles or you are re-immunized. Proof of immunization or immunity consists of something “official,” such as records from a school or your health care provider’s/doctor’s office or from a school, or a photocopy of your immunization records, showing you have had the vaccinations. The record must show that you have received two doses of the measles vaccine, one of which was given after one year of age and the other second in 1980 or later and at least 30 days later after the first dose. If you can find no records, or records only with one measles/rubeola, you will need to obtain further vaccination. Immunizations are available at Student Health; the cost is covered by the ISU Student and Scholar Health Insurance Program or may be put on your university bill if you do not have the insurance. You can also show immunity through a blood test (titer); it costs at least $50. People born before January 1, 1957, are exempt from this requirement. If you have questions about your MMR immunization, please call the Immunization Clerk at 294-9535.
Important sources of information
The sources below have information you will need to know as you progress through your degree program: