Lectures, Workshops

Based on research, teaching, and service work that I do at the intersection of writing in the disciplines and teaching writing to nonnative English speakers, I have been doing workshops, lectures, and consultation for international graduate students, their teachers, and staff and administrators of academic units serving these students. Below are some of the topics and areas in which I’ve shared my expertise at universities across the US, including my own:

Writing Workshops for Int’l Graduate Students

  • Strategic reading in grad school (or “Did you really read 20 articles in 4 hours?”)
  • Developing your research agenda: Making the research-to-writing connection
  • Avoiding plagiarism: Understanding knowledge cross-culturally
  • Academic publication: Navigating the process and politics behind the product

Professional Development Workshops for Int’l Graduate Students

  • Communicating specialized knowledge (“It’s NOT just dumbing down”)
  • Effective presentation skills for international graduate students
  • US classroom culture and effective teaching strategies
  • Teaching effectively with emerging technology
  • On the job search with a “status”: Hurdles and solutions
  • Communication skills for the US workplace

Writing in the Disciplines: Teaching Int’l Graduate Students

  • Supporting international students in mixed-group classrooms
  • Addressing complex identities, proficiencies, and demands: Remediation of language and writing skills at the graduate level

Supporting Int’l Graduate Students (for faculty, staff)

  • Supporting international graduate students with their academic transition
  • Advising, mentoring, and collaborating with international graduate students

I’ve been doing the talks and workshops pro bono while traveling for research. Here is a brief description of the study, and I can be contacted via this form for talks and workshops.

The vision behind my research and service

International graduate students are often idealized as the “cream of the crop” from around the world, but unfortunately, many of them struggle to translate their prior knowledge and skills to be successful in a new academic and professional environment in the US. Universities and their graduate programs tend to have insufficient support/resources to help these students successfully adapt to and meet the demands of graduate-level work in the US. What is more, even for those who adapt well and start being “cream of the crop” here, the demand to develop professional skills for the next step (whether they plan to stay in academe or enter related professions outside) starts mounting very quickly. Few international students find the opportunity to understand the social, cultural, economic, and professional contexts beyond the university—or those forces that shape academic work even if they stay within academe—when they graduate. Thus, in order to address these challenges and prepare international graduate students for the increasingly competitive and challenging workplace, many universities are going beyond curricular frameworks. While I study the challenges, opportunities, and strategies at institutions across the US, I also share what I know.

I started studying academic transition and success among international graduate students early on in graduate school, at the University of Louisville. At UofL, I eventually assisted the Graduate Dean to develop and implement a highly effective support program for all graduate students, called the PLAN initiative, which included many opportunities for academic and professional development of international graduate students. At my current institution, Stony Brook University, I support international graduate students–as well as collaborating with their faculty and relevant university service units–through courses, workshops, grant projects, and consultations.

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