Graduate Student Life

GradShare — Where graduate students help each other succeed.
Phinished — A discussion and support group for people trying to finish their dissertations or theses, and those who have been there.

“All I needed to know to survive (and succeed) in grad school, I learned from…”  The editors of this project emphasize that succeeding in graduate school, particularly a doctoral program, requires all kinds of skills. “Some are obvious, and related to ‘book smarts’ and research skills. Others are less obvious, like persistence, grit, and generosity. Some of these essays articulate lessons that apply to particular parts of graduate school, such as ‘working with my adviser,’ ‘writing my dissertation,’ or ‘preparing for qualifying exams.’ Others focus on experiences that remained important throughout the writers’ entire graduate school career.” Read for inspiration, or consider submitting your own response!

GradHacker – A blog featured on Inside Higher Ed – Inside Higher Ed is the free daily news Web site for people who work in higher education. Breaking news, lively commentary and thousands of job postings bring more than 800,000 people to the site each month. See GradHacker’s  entry on Thriving in a Pressure Cooker: Building Strong Support Networks (Nov. 6, 2012).

Stress Management: How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

Productive Writer – Do you have writing goals for your thesis or dissertation in the new year? Have you resolved to be a more productive writer in 2015? If so, join our community of writers by subscribing to the Productive Writer listserv to receive emails twice a month with advice and strategies for becoming a more productive writer.  Sponsored by the Cornell Graduate School, the Productive Writer is free and open to all, especially graduate students writing papers, proposals, theses, and dissertations. It’s easy to join; just click on this link.

Later this month you will begin receiving messages, every other week, about managing your time for greater writing productivity, reducing distractions, staying motivated, revising and editing, binge writing, communicating with your advisor, dealing with writer’s block , and managing procrastination and perfectionistic tendencies.

We hope you will join us to become a more productive writer.

Professional Development for UNCG Graduate Students

 Graduate School Workshops

Registration information for most workshops (unless otherwise specified below) can be found by visiting:

Graduate School – Upcoming Workshops in calendar format

 Recorded Workshops

  •   To Borrow or Not To Borrow? Student Loans and You

Panel discussion with:

Dora Gicheva     (Economics, UNC Greensboro) –

William Harden (Accounting and Finance, UNC Greensboro) –

John Lucas         (Financial Aid Office, UNC Greensboro) –

Ken Snowden     (Economics, UNC Greensboro) –

 Earlier this year total student loan debt grew to more than $1 trillion in the U.S. and is now larger than the nation’s total credit card debt!  With tuition rising and family finances strained, the volume of debt is likely to continue growing.  This panel discussion will cover several basic themes graduate students should consider when using student loans, including:

  • How does student loan debt affect future income, employment and marriage prospects? (for an example of this, read NPR’s July 16th story here)
  • How should a student assess the “true cost” of a student loan?
  • How are student loans different from other types of debt?
  • Is it possible to take out “too little” as well as “too much” student loan debt?

The panel is composed of faculty and staff who teach, do research, and lecture on topics related to debt in general and student loan debt in particular.  The session is not designed to provide individual counseling, but to inform all students about the questions and issues you need to confront before taking out a student loan with a counselor or on your own.

Recorded Session

The recorded session may be downloaded here. Please note that you will need to download the Oracle program in order to open this recorded session to hear audio and view the presentation. The session will open in Blackboard Collaborate.



  • Practical Strategies for Writing a Thesis or Dissertation

The Graduate School organized a panel discussion with three faculty writing experts to discuss writing a thesis or dissertation. Topics include: qualities of effective advisors and how to select helpful, qualified advisors; the role and importance of an effective mentoring relationship; the value of academic peers and social networks; knowing what good writing and scholarly habits are and learning how to develop them; distinguishing a good academic topic of research or inquiry from a less fruitful one; deciding what to include in your writing and what to leave out; how not to get bogged down, etc.

The panelists for this workshop were Dr. Kelly Ritter, Department of English; Dr. Paul Silvia, Department of Psychology; and Dr. Carol Mullen, Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations.

Practical Strategies panel

Practical Strategies for Writing a Thesis or Dissertation – audio recording

Kelly Ritter:

At the time of recording, Kelly Ritter was an associate professor of English at UNCG, where she also directed the first-year composition program. She has been the editor for College English, the flagship journal of the National Council of Teachers of English. Kelly’s books include Before Shaughnessy: Basic Writing at Yale and Harvard, 1920-1960 (SIU Press, 2009), Who Owns School? Authority, Students, and Online Discourse (Hampton Press, 2010) and To Know Her Own History: Writing at the Woman’s College, 1943-1963 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012). Currently she administers the Writing Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Carol A. Mullen:

At the time of recording, Carol A. Mullen was professor and chair of Educational Leadership & Cultural Foundations at UNCG. She specializes in mentoring, diversity, and innovations in learning and professional development within the leadership field across higher education and K–12 settings. Her doctoral courses focus on academic writing using a studio approach. Carol was editor of the Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning journal. She has authored more than 200 refereed journal articles and book chapters and 15 books. Her edited and authored books include Write to the Top and The SAGE Handbook of Mentoring and Coaching in Education.  Currently she directs the School of Education at Virginia Tech and is the associate dean for professional education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Paul Silvia:

Paul Silvia is an associate professor of Psychology. He received his PhD in Psychology from the University of Kansas and taught at the University of Hamburg in Germany before joining UNCG. He is the author of How to Write A Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing, published in 2007 by the American Psychological Association, as well as four other books.

 Career Services for Graduate Students

Marketable, Practiced, Networked

We help all UNCG students, including graduate students, make critical decisions about their academic and life path and prepare students to translate their UNCG success to post-graduation success.   We do this by providing services and resources that will help them create a strong career brand and develop a plan of action to reach those career goals.  These services and resources help develop job search skills that can be used throughout one’s lifetime. In addition, the office maintains a robust series of events and connections to employers from a variety of industries, as well as graduate programs, for our students to build strong professional networks.

Career Team Access: we have a group of 14 Career Team members who are available Mondays – Fridays, 10am – 5pm, to assist you with career readiness topics such as resume development, industry information, cover letters, interview skills, job and internship search planning, and more.  No appointment needed – just walk in! We also have an electronic resume drop box. You can now send your resume to Please allow 5-7 days for revision and feedback. The resume drop box is for basic resume review only, not CVs or other lengthy documents.

Individual Career Advising:  as a UNCG student you are entitled to 1:1 career advising sessions to provide more personalized assistance in defining your personal brand and developing the appropriate marketing materials to support it. Our professionally trained career staff members have specific educational background in career development processes and strategies, have over 40+ years of combined experience in the field, and are in constant contact with employers. Feel free to call the front desk (334-5454) to set up an appointment with a career adviser. 

Career Branding: we work with you on this concept to guide you in defining and managing your career goals by assisting you to articulate your personal brand, and then translate your brand into all facets of professional life, including job search strategies.

Special Programming: Throughout the semester, our office sponsors a number of special workshops and events that are for all students.  Please visit our newly revised website for events and other helpful information: