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Release: Oct. 16, 2000

Workshop will help graduate students prepare for academic careers

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Faculty members at the University of Iowa have joined together to sponsor "Transitions: Graduate Studies and Preparing for a Profession," a free workshop designed to inform UI graduate students about the teaching demands in academia and how to balance work and personal life issues. The Friday, Oct. 20 workshop will be at 3:30 p.m. in Room 304 of the English-Philosophy Building.

The workshop's agenda includes position statements on topics about expectations for tenure-track positions, led by Judith Aikin, professor of German; another on how to work with colleagues, led by Downing Thomas, professor of French and Italian, and a panel made up of recent Ph.D. recipients. Aletha Stahl, assistant professor of French at Earlham College, and Elizabeth Dietz, visiting assistant professor of English at the UI, will offer comments on transitioning from student to professor.

Steve Ungar, professor and chair of cinema and comparative literature, says a workshop goal is to create a forum for students and faculty to discuss common concerns.

"Too often, students completing degree programs realize that they should have started preparing for the job market earlier. With competition especially high in the humanities, graduates need information about the best ways to consider their options and maximize their opportunities. This workshop will focus on the changing demands of the job market and what students can do to compete successfully for jobs within and outside academia," Ungar said.

Ann Donadey, associate professor of women's studies and a member of Modern Language Association Task Force to explore issues of professionalism, will also address the gathering.

Sandra Barkan, assistant dean of the Graduate College, says the college enthusiastically supports this workshop.

"The workshop consists of pragmatic topics which we have an obligation to introduce to students. The workshop will give students and faculty a chance to connect and openly discuss issues related to both groups, " Barkan says.