Spanish and Portuguese Doctoral Candidate Erin Redmond
Kate and I designed a 13 week curriculum tailored to her need to apply to graduate school this year. Our course included weekly one hour meetings, during which we discussed such topics as teaching in graduate school, the process of researching graduate programs, recommendation letters, the statement of purpose and the mechanics of a good c.v. Kate also attended a graduate level teaching methodology course and observed my Spanish language course. Kate's graded assignments included a report on the teaching observations, a statement of purpose for application to graduate school and a c.v.
Throughout the course Naomi Lindstrom provided invaluable support, from approval of the curriculum to detailed feedback on the statement of purpose and the c.v.
Kate began the course uncertain as to the type of graduate program she was looking for. Our curriculum gave her the strategies to research graduate programs such that she was able to decide on the specific programs to which she now plans to apply. The course also offered Kate the opportunity and ideas to create an excellent statement of purpose and c.v. Kate made the most of this course, linking it to her other courses and her graduate school application work in creative ways. For instance, Kate wrote a final paper whose topic overlaps with and supports her statement of purpose, making it an ideal writing sample for her graduate school applications.
As a graduate student mentor, this course allowed me to co-design a curriculum, an unusual opportunity for an A.I. and one that will assist in job searching as well as in future work. Even more exceptional was the chance to conduct an informal, one-on-one course whose topic allowed me to reflect on my own graduate school career and further refine my goals. Above all, the course gave me the chance to get to know Kate and to experience the gratification of serving as a guide in her transition from undergraduate to graduate student.
I was also fortunate to receive an IE Pre-Grad Travel Grant, which I plan to use to cover costs related to the Women's and Gender Studies Conference to take place in April, 2007. Kate and I plan to round out the course in the spring by attending the conference together.