This resource book is designed to help students navigate the challenges of graduate school, taking advantage of the insights of their peers. Each chapter features a corresponding video vignette which briefly dramatizes the topic and is accompanied by group discussion questions. Topics include seeking funding, the challenges of the first year of graduate school, finding a thesis advisor, working with thesis committee members, balancing family and graduate student life, and life after graduate school.

Where these subjects have been treated in an academic style many times, this book conveys its message through personal narratives. It provides readers with a vivid sense of the types of life experiences one can expect to encounter when undertaking a graduate degree and the opportunity to discuss these real-life issues with others.

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About the Contributors

The editor, Mark J. T. Smith, is Dean of the Graduate School at Purdue University and holds the Michael and Katherine Birck Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has co-authored the preface with Lawrence J. Henschen, Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northwestern University. The Foreword is written by James C. Wimbush, Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Indiana and Professor of Business Administration. M. M. Browne is a graduate student in English Literature at Purdue University and the project coordinator. The ten chapters are written by sixteen graduate student authors and two graduate school staff members. Further information about the contributors is available in the book.

Table of Contents

Foreword, James C. Wimbush

Preface, Mark J. T. Smith and Lawrence J. Henschen

Facilitating the Chapter Discussions

Chapter 1. Seeking Funding, Delia S. Shelton

Chapter 2. The First Year: Navigating the Hurdles, Christy L. Erving, Lauren J. Parker, Jamelle Williams, Sean A. Colbert-Kelly

Chapter 3. Choosing a Thesis Adviser: Surprise and Success, Kermin Joel Martinez-Hernández

Chapter 4. Choosing a Thesis Advisor: Familiar Paths and Unexpected Curves, Nayhr D. Rovira-Figueroa

Chapter 5. Working with Committee Members, Charles M. Rubert Pérez

Chapter 6. Balancing Graduate School and Family, Joseph Chaney, Andrew Fiss, Francisco Iacobelli, Paul E. Carey, Jr.

Chapter 7. Collaboration, Catherine F. Whittington, Kiana R. Johnson

Chapter 8. Graduate Student Support Programs, Cyndi Lynch, Kathy Garza Dixon

Chapter 9. Publishing While in Graduate School, G. Leah Davis

Chapter 10. Life Beyond Graduate School, E. Shirl Donaldson

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