Grad Connections


Grad Connections supports graduate students’

academic success  •  sense of community  •  professionalization

Fall 2021 Events 

Grad Connections/CCE Grant Writing Workshop

October 8th 1:00-2:00pm

Join us for a CCE led grant writing workshop. Gain valuable skills and insights into the grant writing process. This session will count as one of the grant writing opportunities you can take in order to be eligible to submit your application for the Departmental Research Grant Award.


Grad Connections PART Peer Mentoring Lunch

October 20th 12:50-2:00pm

Ross 120

All PART mentors and first year graduate students are invited to meet up for lunch and conversation. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP so we know how many people to expect. Feel free to come and go but please communicate with your mentor/mentee so you can be sure to connect!


Grad Connections Writing Retreat

November 5th 9am-2:00pm

Ross 212

 Feel free to come and go as your schedule allows throughout the day. We will do periodic check-ins to help with accountability. Join us to get things done, get support, and have some fun as we move toward finals week! Lunch will be provided so please RSVP if you will be joining us for lunch!


Grad Connections Research Grant Award Winner Showcase

December 1st 1:00-2:00pm

Webex —

Join us to hear the winners of the 2021 Research Grants present their research.

  • “Say that again?” An exploratory study of face coverings and speech perception for native and nonnative speakers of English.

Agata Guskaroska, Erik Goodale, Sebnum Kurt, Emily Dux Speltz, April Tan

  • Extending our Understanding of Unpublished Academic Writing: The Creation of a Corpus of Graduate Student Coursework Papers

 Kimberly Becker

  • Second Language Teacher Cognition Development in an Online English Pronunciation Pedagogy Course: A Quasi-Experimental Study

 Tim Kochem



Ongoing Resources

Mock Interviews

Are you entering the job market soon? Take some of the stress out of the interview process by setting up a mock interview session. Contact Stacy Tye-Williams ( to sign up for a time.

Lending Library

Grad Connections maintains a small library of both sample documents and books related to research, teaching, and job searches. These materials are available in 203 Ross for 3-week check out. <<Click here to see list of books>>

Our Partner Student Organizations

Phorum (RPC PhD and RCPC MA students)

Phorum is the student organization for students of Rhetoric and Professional Communication (RPC—our PhD program) and Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication (RCPC—our MA program). We host a variety of events throughout the year, including our Speaker Series where we hear from scholars in the field, and fun social activities. Check out our news page to see what’s been happening recently!

ALT Brown Bag Sessions (ALT PhD and MA students)

Each semester, the ALT program hosts a series of informative brown bag sessions on a variety of topics related to applied linguistics and technology. Presentations may be works-in-progress or completed projects by students, faculty, and special guests. This is an opportunity for ALT researchers to present their ideas and get helpful suggestions for moving ahead.

PART (All Grad Students)

In our department we believe that excellent mentoring is a crucial element of graduate student success and well-being. In additional to a faculty advisor new graduate students will be paired with a peer mentor for support and advice.


Our Department & University Committee Student Representatives

English Department: Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)

GSC Student Representatives 2021-22

PhD   Nergis Danis (ALT);
MFA  Alana Jones (CWE);
MA    Katheryn Anderson (LIT);

ISU’s Larger Graduate Student Community: 
Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS)

GPSS English Senators 2021-22

Ryan Everett (PhD RPC);

Kelsey Zimmerman (MFA CWE);


Past Events

Event TitleAdditional Details
Department Social HoursA couple of times each semester, snacks and appetizers will be provided at a local off-campus establishment.
CV WorkshopGC partnered with Phorum and the Center for Communication Excellence to offer a workshop where graduate students at any level to develop and/or spruce up their CV.
Academic Writing WorkshopIntroduction to the Center for Communication Excellence (CCE) programs and how you can receive support as you develop as a scholar. Sharing common struggles graduate students face in their academic writing.
Graduate Student Writing RetreatAn all-day writing retreat for graduate students to join their peers for a productive day of writing.
Inclusion Workshop (for graduate students)A diversity and inclusion event developed specifically for graduate students to explore the inclusion-related issues graduate students face in the classroom and beyond. GC partnered with the ISU Graduate College.
Inclusion Workshop I (for faculty)Part I workshop on fostering the climate of inclusion in our department: This workshop provided opportunities to discuss both the issue of microaggressions and scenarios that have occurred on campus as ways to help identify concrete steps for fostering inclusive departmental culture and interactions. GC partnered with Phorum, GPSS, Multicultural Student Affairs, Sloss Women’s Center, and the Graduate College.
Inclusion Workshop II (for faculty)Part II workshop on fostering the climate of inclusion in our department. This workshop provided opportunities to quickly review the last workshop before diving into a discussion of how to address microaggressions when we encounter them. GC partnered with Phorum, GPSS, Multicultural Student Affairs, Sloss Women’s Center, and the Graduate College.
Inclusion Workshop III (for faculty)Part III workshop on fostering the climate of inclusion in our department. This workshop provided the opportunity to learn about creating an inclusive environment in a research group
Insiders' Advice: Success in the First Few Years of Grad SchoolAdvanced graduate students will share advice they wish they would have been given (or the best advice they did get) early in their degree programs. This session will cover such topics as how to: choose a major professor and committee, adjust to the dual roles of being both a teacher and grad student, find even a semblance of work-life balance, and use coursework to develop topics for the thesis/dissertation/creative component. Coffee and snacks provided!
PhD Students Annual Review: Open ForumGC partnered with the TESL Brown Bag series to host this open forum on the annual review process for PhD students. Faculty members Carol Chapelle and David Russell, DOGE John Levis, and Grad Studies Staff Teresa Smiley described the annual review process and requirements before opening the floor to questions from attendees. Responses on a survey indicated an interest in learning more about departmental and Graduate College policies; since annual reviews are required for all PhD students , we thought this policy-related panel would be especially useful!
Don’t Set Yourself on Fire to Keep Everyone Else Warm! Student Counseling ServicesGC partnered with Student Counseling Services to host this discussion about the impact of burnout, strategies for coping, creating a culture of wellness and self-care in your life, and services available to students at ISU.
Navigating the Dissertation/Thesis ProcessThis session covered
everything from forming a POS committee to understanding timelines via advice from faculty and current graduate students at the late stages of their writing.
Surviving the Academic Hiring ProcessRecently hired faculty members in a variety of areas shared tips and advice for navigating the academic job market and presenters took questions from the audience. They discussed the entire process from developing your job materials to interviewing and everything in between.
The Academic Job Search IPart I of a series on the academic job market, GC partnered with the TESL Brown Bag series to offer a panel of faculty members, graduate students, and alumni who talked about these topics related to the academic job search: finding job listings, writing the cover letter, assembling the dossier, and establishing a professional digital presence.
The Academic Job Search IIPart II of a series on the academic job market, GC partnered with the TESL Brown Bag series to offer a panel of faculty members, graduate students, and alumni who talked about how to generate these crucial job documents: CVs, research statements, and teaching philosophies.
The Academic Job Search IIIPart III of a series on the academic job market, GC partnered with the TESL Brown Bag series to offer a panel of faculty members, graduate students, and alumni who talked about interviewing and negotiating such as what questions are typically asked at interviews; special strategies for Skype and telephone interviews; useful tips for answering questions well; preparing a teaching demonstration and research talk; and professional conduct with the department pre-, during, and post-interview.
The Academic Job Search IVPart IV of a series on the academic job search focuses on the on-campus portion of the process. A panel of faculty and graduate students talked about preparing for not only the job talk, the teaching demonstration, and meetings with administration but also those other, less scripted moments such as meals with members of the department, walks around campus, etc.
The Non-Academic Job SearchGC partnered with the TESL Brown Bag series and Phorum to host this panel discussion about how a graduate degree in English can translate to jobs in industry. Survey responses showed an interest in discussions on getting jobs and hearing from alumni, so we first heard from recent alumni about their work in non-academic fields and then took time for attendees to ask questions.