Introducing the Graduate Student Research Series at Alden Library

For graduate students, learning the research process is both exciting and challenging. Now, thanks to a partnership between the Ohio University Libraries and the Graduate Student Senate (GSS), grad students have the chance to share their own research process and discoveries and learn from each other in a new research series called the Graduate Research Series @ Alden.

Graduate students from all disciplines are invited to propose presentations on their research process, and if selected, will be able to present in a professional conference-like setting at Alden Library. In addition to the chance to practice their presentation skills, each speaker will be helping fellow graduate students learn about the various research methods and resources available to them.

After a Ph.D. student from journalism presented on how he used the archives for research last year, Alden Librarians Lorraine Wochna and Diana Nichols decided to try to create a forum for graduate students to talk about the process of research with each other. “Grad students do such amazing research and it really blows me away, but some [when it comes to research] don’t even know where to start” said Wochna.

The two worked with Tracy Kelly, president of Graduate Student Senate, to develop the program, with the idea that in addition to learning about how to do research, graduate students need valuable presentation experience. “This forum will provide OU graduate students from all disciplines with an opportunity to develop their presentation experience through engagement with fellow students, faculty and community members in a comfortable and supportive environment,” said Kelly.

The Series is designed to be a competitive honor, with the highest consideration given to presentation proposals that address the interrelationship between libraries, archives, or historical or cultural institutions and research.  Panel presentations centered on current graduate research and scholarly issues are also encouraged. Presenters will be asked to speak for 30-35 min. about the research process used for a particular project, and allow 15 additional minutes to answer questions from the audience.

Any graduate student from any discipline is eligible and encouraged to apply. Presenters will be selected by a committee consisting of members from Ohio University Libraries, the Graduate Student Senate and Faculty Senate.  Presentations will be held at Alden Library.

Application forms are available at the GSS website and in various graduate offices on campus. The application deadline for spring quarter presentation proposals is March 1,2012. Selected presenters will be scheduled to speak in Spring Quarter 2012.

The first presenter in the Graduate Research Series @ Alden is scheduled for February 17, 2012. Kelly Kathleen Ferguson, a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing, will be presenting on the research she did for her book “My Life as Laura” in which Ferguson tells of self-discovery as she retraces author Laura Ingalls Wilder’s pioneer journey. More details about Ferguson’s presentation will be available soon.