2018 Duke Graduate School Orientation for New Students

2018 Duke Graduate School Orientation for New Students


– Are you ready for Duke? – [Students] Yeah! – Oh, no, no, you’re not ready. Let’s pretend you had a
football or basketball game. Duke is leading. Are you ready for Duke? (students cheering) I think you might be a little ready. Good morning and welcome
to Duke University. My name is Jacqueline Looney and I serve as senior associate dean
in The Graduate School. On behalf of the entire
graduate community, I congratulate you on your
admission to Duke University. (attendees applauding) A signature of The Graduate
School is its intentional effort in building relationships
with students like you. Members of The Graduate School staff have been connecting with you
since the admissions process and throughout the summer as
we were making preparation for you you come to campus. The welcome reception, how many people came to the
welcome reception last night? I think more than that. I can’t see. Yeah, okay. Well, there was a lot of people at the welcome reception last night. So over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to share
communications by email, newsletters and social media
to tell you about future events and the many opportunities
you have to be involved in the campus community
through intellectual and social engagement,
leadership and service. Those of us in The Graduate
School are here to support you and welcome your thoughts
on how we can better meet your needs. Before we proceed with today’s program, kindly take a moment to
silence your cell phones and other electronic devices. Let’s do that now. I’d also like to take the opportunity to welcome those of you joining
us from Griffith Theater, we have the largest class
of graduate students in Duke’s history so some
students may be downstairs. I’ve had the opportunity to
review many of your applications and I am struck by the
diversity of interests, talent backgrounds and professional
and personal experiences you bring to this community. Thank you for giving Duke the
opportunity to accompany you on this journey you’re about to take. How many of you feeling
a little bit overwhelmed and not so sure? You don’t have to raise your hand, you can just feel it inside. Well, we get nervous too if you’re coming, are we doing the right things? So it’s gonna be a very overwhelming week and one thing that you will learn about me as one of your deans is
that I’m very transparent. I’m gonna tell you the truth. So it’s gonna be an overwhelming week but I think you should
just kind of pace yourself, get ready for a lot of
things to come your way and when you have that private moment, go to the Duke Gardens or just sit out in, it’ll be better weather later today or maybe later this week and
just kind of center yourself. The aim of this orientation is to help you in your transition to Duke. Everyone should have
an orientation packet. I know some of you have taken
a moment to go through that. There’s a 20% off coupon
for the Duke stores, a 50% off coupon for the Gothic shop and there’s a lunch coupon. So that’s most important
because we’re gonna keep you for a while here and you will be hungry. If you registered for other
workshops during this week, please give yourself time
to get there so that, so since you don’t know
the campus that well and make sure you show up early. And remember, if you show up
on time, you’re already late. So please show up, and if you
decide that you can’t make it because of other things,
please take a moment to go back online and to cancel so we can open up spots for other people. I’d also like to take, also, now, take out your mobile devices. Allen. And I wanna put up The
Graduate School’s website. That’s the website. You see that? Before you call to ask any questions about The Graduate School, about anything, please visit the website. Okay? All right, thank you, Allen. You will have the
opportunity to ask questions after the faculty and student panels and the students who
are in Griffith Theater will have opportunity to
ask questions as well. Immediately following the orientation, seminar is a resource fair where you learn about the extensive support, services and resources available at Duke and that will be in Penn Pavilion
so just follow the signs. If, you know, so that you
won’t have to wait in line, some of you may wanna
go to the Duke stores to buy some Duke Graduate
School stuff and show it off or you may want to go to the resource fair and come back to pick up your lunch but there are plenty of lunch
is available for everyone. So now, and those of
you who have completed the appropriate forms, you’ll be able to pick up
your DukeCards as well. Now, you will hear
remarks from the provost and Jo Rae Wright University
professor, Dr. Sally Kornbluth followed by the dean of The
Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education and
professor of political science, Dr. Paula McClain. This session will then proceed as printed with time for questions after each panel. Welcome to Duke University. (attendees applauding) – Thanks, Jackie. And welcome to everyone. I wanna warmly welcome you here today for the beginning of your
Duke Graduate School career. So despite the nervousness
that Jackie alluded to, you really are entering
one of the most fun, rewarding, exciting and
intellectually stimulating times of your life. You will make lifelong friends, you will learn all sorts of
things about yourself and others and you will, I’m certain,
come to love Duke. Now that you’re in graduate school, you’re basically done taking classes and subjects that may
not have interested you. And if you look to your
right and to your left, you may actually be
sitting next to someone who revels in one of those subjects. And you are forever done
being the passive recipient of knowledge being generated by others. In graduate school, you
will acquire the tools that will allow you to
create new knowledge to understand things
that nobody before you has ever understood. If you’re doing a PhD
by the end of the PhD, you will understand your topic better than anyone in the world, probably including your advisor. And along the way you
will hopefully produce enduring scholarship
that others will build on in order to understand things that they have never understood. Now, I’m not saying that this
is going to be entirely easy. When you’re doing something new, you often have to go down many tributaries to find the main river. I know from personal
experience in the sciences, though this is, I assume,
true in all fields, hitting dead ends is the norm. I like to tell I’d like to
tell my graduate students that they could do their
entire PhD in three weeks if they had actually known all the answers to all of their experiments up front. Now, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but in the laboratory, the
physical doing of experiments with a known result is
not very time consuming or challenging, though, as an aside, I will say this does not seem to apply to the undergraduate labs
that you may have experienced where experiments have been done literally hundreds of thousands of times
and never seemed to work. But in any event, it’s really the trying of multiple avenues, the
testing of multiple hypotheses and hitting the dead ends that
build your scholarly skills. And this is true in all disciplines. You may have an idea sounds
great but as you play with it, see if your ideas really make sense, as you read and learn more, you may find that the first brilliant idea or the first dozen brilliant
ideas don’t quite hold water but in the process, you are
learning to be a scholar. Now, that may not sound like so much fun. But think about the flip side. When you get that brilliant
idea and it actually pans out, I would have to say that’s probably the best feeling in the world, to have come up with
something, to have tested it or have developed and written about it and to see it become real. When I was in graduate school, we had this arrangement where
our desks sat face-to-face with another graduate student desk but we were separated
by a very high partition so he could hear and talk across it but he couldn’t actually
see the graduate student on the other side. And one day, I was sitting at my desk and I heard a loud shout and an expletive which I won’t repeat but in a good way. If you know what I mean,
which I’m sure was accompanied by a fist pump though I couldn’t see my fellow student graduate
student at the time. He’d been sitting at his computer staring at the DNA sequence
of a new cancer-causing gene that he had discovered
and he suddenly realized that what he thought was
an artifact or an error, it was missing a whole
piece of the DNA sequence that he had expected it to
have was actually an indication that it was a whole new
class of cancer-causing genes and opened the way not only to his PhD but to his whole career. He still works on it and it’s
considered a world expert in this class of genes. And I’m sure that he would
tell you that this moment was one of the most
exciting moments of his life and I hope such moments await all of you. Almost as important is
making great discoveries is the ability to communicate
your findings, your insights and your conclusions to others. You should take every opportunity offered to give talks, to write
papers, monographs, reviews, et cetera, even when
it seems like extra work. This is the currency of scholarship and one of the most important things that you’ll learn in graduate
school is how to convey the excitement of your work
to your peers and colleagues both inside and outside of Duke. I think one of the toughest
things about graduate school as you’re putting your work which often feels like your baby forward is learning to gracefully
accept criticism. A central job of your adviser will be to constructively
criticize your work, to draw out the very best in your analyses and to send you back to the drawing board when things just don’t look right. Now, different advisors
will have different styles. My graduate advisor was
a man of great restraint. He would say, hmm,
perhaps you may wanna go and do that experiment differently. Well, my postdoc advisor
was more prone to say things like Sally, that is really
one of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever heard. Now, one might argue about
the constructive nature of that criticism but upon
reflection, he was often right and he saved me from wandering
down too many dead ends. Another important element
at graduate school is the tight bonds you
will form with others going through graduate school with you. And matter how much you love
your work and your advisor, there will be moments when
you wanna complain about both and your fellow graduate
students will be the ones who understand your woes the best. This may seem in its most extreme, seen in its most extreme
form in fields where groups work into the wee hours of the morning, for instance, in laboratory sciences. But even in the more solitary disciplines, you can’t underestimate
the central importance of discussions with your peers
and the sheer moral support you will receive from others going through the same experiences as you. So take some time to really get to know your fellow students. They are the ones who will make your time in graduate school really
worthwhile and they will put you, they will put up with you
and they will pull you up when you’re having difficulties. Now, it will not always be easy for those outside of academia
or outside of the graduates to go to community to
understand what on earth you’re doing here. Your close friends and
family will likely be proud that you’re undertaking a PhD at Duke but they might not
really understand exactly what that entails. And the more esoteric
or technical your work, the more that will be the case. I recall very vividly when
I was in graduate school trying to explain to my grandmother my work on tumor viruses. At the end of what I
thought was an extremely lucid explanation on my part,
she looked at me quizzically and said, “Now, let me get this straight. “You’re not trying to
cure cancer in humans. “You’re trying to give
cancer to chickens?” And so, there you have it. So be patient with those
who are near and dear and try to share the
excitement of your work and hopefully, you’ll have
better luck than I did. Finally, I wanna you two enjoy the ride. I always consider it a worrisome red flag when a new graduate student wants to know in the first weeks here
when they will finish. I understand that your
being here really means that you want a graduate
degree and that you hope that this leads to fulfilling employment, be it inside or outside academia. But thinking mostly of the endgame will take away the many
pleasures of the ride and worrying about when
or whether you will finish and the time it will take
will definitely spoil it. Instead, focus on what you’re doing here and now as a graduate student
as it really is a golden time to focus singularly and revel
in the work that you love. Well, best of luck and I’m
sure we’ll have the opportunity to cross paths during your
time at Duke so enjoy. (attendees applauding) – Good morning. First, I would like to thank
the provost for taking time out of her incredibly busy
schedule to address us today. Provost Kornbluth has been
involved in graduate education for a very long time at Duke and it’s been a regular participant when she was on the faculty
on the faculty panel of this orientation. She’s also been a tremendous partner in our efforts to support
graduate students. So, Sally, thank you very much. (attendees applauding) It’s indeed my pleasure to
welcome you to Duke University and to The Graduate School. Our major goal today as you have heard is to provide you with
some general information to get you started as graduate students. But as dean, I also wanted
to take the opportunity to personally welcome you
and to tell you a little bit about you as a class of
incoming graduate students and to talk briefly
about The Graduate School and about Duke. First, a few words about you. The entering class of 2018. You are the largest entering
graduate student class in the history of Duke University. 1,031 students. More than 13,000 perspective
students applied to Duke, applied to the Duke
Graduate School last year. Only about 20% of them
received offers of admission and it was even more selective
for PhD students, only 13%. You’re entering class is a
highly diverse group of students. 52% of you are studying for the masters and 46% for the PhD. 12% of you are in the humanities, 26% in the social sciences,
14% in basic medical sciences and 47% in the natural
sciences and engineering. About 48% of the entering class are women and you are a racially and
ethnically diverse class. More than half of you are
international students and you represent 54 different countries. And among the US citizens
and permanent residents, about 16% are from underrepresented
groups and ethnicities. Also in addition to being diverse, you are truly a very select
group of individuals. You are the cream of the
crop when we have great hopes and expectations for you and believe that you can really do this. I believe that you will find you have made a very wise choice to attend graduate school
at Duke echoing Dr. Looney. As you embark on your
intellectual journey at Duke, you are not only members
of your department but also members of The Graduate School just as undergraduates are
part of Trinity College, graduate students college
is The Graduate School. So what exactly is The Graduate School? We are one of Duke’s
10 schools and colleges and we were established in 1926. We are a school of more
than 3,500 students including about 2,500 PhDs and
a thousand master students. We are a staff of about 40 people who are dedicated to your
education and well-being. We were the ones who
shepherded your applications through the admissions process
and we will be the ones issuing your diploma when
you complete your degree and your diploma will read The Graduate School of Duke University. In between those two
points, we are your college, your community, your advocates and part of your support system. We are also the definitive
accurate source of information related to graduate study at Duke. Now, I want to reiterate that. The Graduate School is the
definitive accurate source of information related to
graduate study at Duke. Lots of people will tell
you lots of different things about what the rules and regulations are but if you really wanna
know what they are, come to The Graduate School. So once the dust settles
and you have questions about a policy or some aspect
of graduate student support, come ask us. If we don’t know the answer
to a particular question, we will connect you
with the people who do. The Graduate School has a mission to train the next generation of leaders in a wide variety of professions
that can effectively use the analytical skills that are gained from research-based training. As we do that we are also
supporting the research and educational missions of a 115 programs and more than 1,200 graduate faculty. We also serve as a check on
the quality of your experience, both by reviewing our programs and by setting guidelines and policies. I’ll mention one specific
set of guidelines that you definitely should
check out in a moment. We also work hard to
provide financial support that allows you to devote
as much time as possible to your research and education. As I mentioned earlier,
we are your advocates and one of the things we
advocate most strongly for is the need for graduate
students to be students and the resources to make that possible. We also make sure you are
staying on track academically and we provide many programs and resources related to graduate student needs, everything from professional development, to mental physical and social well-being. So I hope you can see
that The Graduate School is devoted to both your
academic and personal welfare and to support the research
and educational missions of Duke University. We are all here to help
you in any way we can and I encourage you to contact us when and if you need anything. Next I want to introduce you to the staff of The Graduate School. These are the people who will
be answering your questions when you contact us and
they are also the ones supporting you throughout
your time at Duke. As I mentioned, we are a staff of about 40 and we are organized into five offices within The Graduate School. First office is the Office
of Graduate Student Affairs led by senior associate
dean, Dr. Jacqueline Looney. This office is responsible for organizing this orientation session,
the hooding ceremony and lots of other things that happen and works in many, many ways to enhance the quality of graduate student life by working with individual students, student organizations and faculty. Graduate Student Affairs provides
a broad array of programs on issues related to graduate student life such as health, safety, housing, mentoring and professional development. They also work with the graduate and professional student council which is the official graduate student organization at Duke and you will hear from GPSC president, Travis Dauwalter in a few minutes. One part of Graduate student affairs is the English for
International Students program headed by assistant dean, Dr. Brad Teague. Many of our international students will interact with Dr. Teague
and the program instructors. Shown in this side are members
of the Office of Admissions led by associate dean Anneli Richter. These are the folks who
processed your applications, sent you the good news that
you were accepted into Duke and basically shepherd
you through the process until you actually set
foot on Duke’s campus. The Office of Finance and Administration led by associate dean, Shanna Fitzpatrick who is also the CFO of The Graduate School manages all the money and financial aid for graduate students. We give out more than 24 million
in financial aid every year and these folks are in
control of the money. So even if you’ve had a bad day, these are the people you
really want to be nice to all the time. The Office of Academic Affairs headed by associate dean,
Dr. John Klingensmith is responsible for all issues academic and for establishing and
implementing policies and houses the preparing future faculty and the certificate in
college teaching programs along with 22 other certificate programs. That’s something, I mean we just have a lot of things going on. And finally, is my office,
the Office of the Dean which is staffed by my outstanding
assistant, Carlus Walters as well as folks who oversee
The Graduate School’s HR, IT, communications and development needs. I mentioned earlier that
one of the ways we ensure that you have a great experience
is by establishing policies and guidelines. And I wanna just take a minute to highlight one set of
important guidelines. They are the core expectations
of graduate education at Duke University. Just go to The Graduate School website, search for core expectations
and you will find the booklet. Frequently, students
will say to me say to me that they are not sure what they should do or what they should expect of faculty. This document answers that question. It outlines the expectations
of students, faculty, the university and The Graduate School. It was developed by a
group of dedicated faculty, students and staff and I
encourage you to review it now at the beginning of your
time of graduate school and to look back on it as
your career progresses. Now, I’ve been at Duke since 2000. I’ve been dean of The
Graduate School since 2012 but as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science, I’ve graduated eight,
maybe nine PhD students now and currently have two
that are working with me. One that is currently
writing her dissertation and I also have about nine former and current graduate
students who work with me on my research still. So there’s a broad network. In fact, my husband and I were
just in Petersburg, Virginia this weekend for the
wedding of one of my former PhD students and there were
three in the bridal party that were also part of her
graduate school cohort. So I found that Duke is a wonderful place for my students and for me
and it has so many educational and social opportunities. There are so many enriching activities that you can participate in here and I encourage you to
take advantage of them. In particular, I want
to draw your attention to a couple of groups that we maintain in The Graduate School. If you ever wonder about
how you can give input about the graduate
student experience at Duke or help make it even better, there are several ways to do it. One is our Graduate Student
Affairs Advisory Committee. This is a group of graduate
faculty, students and staff that meet twice a year and
communicate over email as needed. They advise The Graduate School
on student support services, community building between
students and faculty, recruitment and program development. The other group is the Graduate
Student Affairs Liaisons. This is a group of graduate
students from across programs who help us strengthen our
relationship with departments. They help communicate
about graduate student resources and events
through word-of-mouth. They also bring back
to The Graduate School the needs and concerns of
students in their departments. This group also volunteers for our events like this orientation, recruitment, graduate student appreciation
week and graduation. And of course, if you just
have an idea or suggestion about your experience that
you can share with us, feel free to drop us a line. A number of the programs that
we’ve developed over the years have come directly out
of students talking to us to say I think we need
something like this. That’s exactly how our
childcare subsidies came about. Beyond The Graduate School, there are over a hundred student groups that exist at Duke that
have a mission related to graduate students. Take advantage of them and
all that Duke has to offer. If you wanna get involved
and you do not know how, visit The Graduate School website or contact The Graduate School
about how to get involved. Check out the Duke website for
a calendar of daily events, the choices are endless. Take time to explore
what Duke has to offer. It will enrich your experience
as graduate students. I also encourage you to venture
beyond the walls of Duke and to get to know Durham. This is a fabulous city
with a diverse population that is filled with academics, artists, multiple theater and music performances. Number of venues, a New York
Times recognized foodie town. We have a wonderful
Triple-A baseball team, the Durham Bulls. If you’ve never seen Triple-A ball, it really is an experience. I think it’s the Marlins, it’s
a farm team for the Marlins. I think that’s who our team is. And other sports events. So there’s more than just basketball for you to enjoy of terms of sports and like I say, Durham is just
an amazing, an amazing town. In closing, I should say that all of you, no matter what your discipline will be asked to think in new ways, to be creative and to participate
in a community of scholars that will inevitably open
your mind to new ideas. The opportunities,
challenges and fun times that you will have here will be unique and defining in your life. I would like to wrap up by thanking the Office of Graduate Student Affairs and then all the staff
of The Graduate School for organizing all of our
welcoming events for you. But finally, let me reiterate
that we at The Graduate School are here to help you and to provide you with the highest quality education. Do not hesitate to let
us know how we can help. And I want to leave you
with something I heard a couple of years ago
about Duke University from Michael Schoenfeld, he’s vice president for communications. And what Michael said at
that time is that every day, somewhere on campus,
someone knows something that they did not know the day before. This is the essence of the beauty of the intellectual environment
in which you are entering. On behalf of everyone
in The Graduate School, I wish to extend our most sincere welcome to each and every one of you. Thank you for your
attention and I wish you the very best of luck. (attendees applauding) – Good morning. My name is John Klingensmith. I’m the academic dean
in The Graduate School. And I wanna reiterate what
Deans Looney and McClain and Provost Kornbluth said. We’re really absolutely
thrilled that you’re here. we’ve been looking forward
to this day for a while. I also wanna say that I
know that what you’re about to confront is difficult. You don’t know what exactly to expect and that’s kind of what
I wanna talk to you about for the next 15 minutes or so. What to expect and how to behave. Now, kind of what we’re expecting from you and what you need to do to be successful. But I wanna first point out that I know that you can be successful
because literally, I have been involved in
the review of applications for every single
department, master’s and PhD in The Graduate School and I know that the
decisions that were made by the admissions committee,
and by The Graduate School were taken very seriously. Every one of you is absolutely
qualified to be here. We’re truly confident that
you can be very successful. I know that there’s a phenomenon
called impostor syndrome that many of you might feel that hmm, I’m not really sure I belong here. I look around, the people in
my program, they also seems, they seem so smart and accomplished. I’m not sure I’m in that league. We know that you are in that league. Every one of you belong here
and you can be successful. And that’s why I wanna
give you a little bit of operating parameters
to help you get there. And mostly, I wanna talk
about the three areas where as the academic
dean, I see that students, if they’re gonna have a problem
that it most likely occurs, namely research expectations,
the academic expectations and the behavioral expectations
that we have for you. And there we go. So Dean McClain already
alluded to a document which I would reiterate is
really useful for you to look at. The website is here for this. It’s our core expectations document and it outlines the
expectations that you can have and that we can have of graduate faculty, so faculty members. Also, the expectations
for graduate programs. The programs in which you are a student as well as the expectations
of The Graduate School itself. But the most relevant, arguably, the most important part of that document, certainly, for our purposes today is the expectations of you as students. So I would really spend
some time looking at this because this is what we’re
expecting you to be able to do. And in particular I wanna
highlight research expectations. The research expectations
are a little bit less clear than the academic expectations that we’ll talk about in a moment because things like grades
are pretty straightforward. It’s more difficult to
know if you’re performing adequately with research. So here’s just three bullet points of kinda what we’re expecting. Namely, that you work responsibly toward the completion of your degree, whatever degree it is,
in a timely fashion. And so there are time limits for all of the degrees that we have. Typically, a master’s degree
is completed within two years. The maximum possible is four. Typically, a PhD has various milestones, the preliminary exam must happen by the end of the third year, the dissertation exams expected
within two years after that and the absolute max is eight years. So we would expect you to make
progress on that schedule. And one of the best ways
to know how you’re doing is to be in regular communication with the director of graduate
studies in your program and with the faculty
with whom you’re working. They’re the people on the ground who are gonna be determining whether you’re meeting
expectations or not. And so it’s really useful to
be in discussion with them just to kind of help you get feedback about how you’re doing. And finally, we truly hold all students to exercise the highest level of integrity in their research activities
as well as other activities that they undertake here. And I would especially emphasize that this relates to research in a way that’s a little
bit different from academics because as I say and
we’ll see in a moment, with academics, it’s a
little bit easier to evaluate whether a student’s had a
violation of integrity standards. With research, we’re
talking about issues such as collecting, analyzing,
presenting research data. So a lot of this has to be
at the level of your own diligent vigilance to make sure that what you’re doing really
is of the highest standards, and consulting with
your group your advisor, other faculty in your program
to make sure that they agree. Now, in addition to research expectations, all of you are involved
in one way or another in research whether you’re
a master’s or a PhD. All of you also will be involved in more straightforward academics such as taking courses and
various other activities. Let me tell you what some
of the operating guidelines are there. First of all, it’s very important
that you do not get an F because if you get an F, then we’ll probably be
having an awkward discussion about your pending
dismissal which is never fun but just be aware that you
need to get a passing grade in all the courses that you undertake. In many programs, you can’t
get less than a B minus to be in good academic standing. In all programs, you have to
maintain a grade point average, accumulated grade point
average of at least a 3.0 which is a B average, to be
in good academic standing. If you have a semester
where you go below that, it doesn’t mean that you’re dismissed but it does mean that you would then be on what we call academic probation which means that you’re kind of on notice that your performance has to improve to be off of academic probation. And then once your GPA comes back up and your performance
overall comes back up, then you’re free and clear to continue. All the programs have requirements
in addition to coursework and you are required to
participate effectively in those. For example, many
programs for PhD students have teaching as part of the education and training that you’re getting as emerging scholar in the area. And so, in that case,
it would be important that you take your teaching
assistantships seriously. Similarly, for PhD students
and many master’s students, you’ll perform as research assistants, you’ll be working with
professors on research projects. It’s similarly important that you take your research assistantship
responsibilities very seriously. If there’s required seminars or seminars that you’re expected
to attend then similarly, it’s necessary that you do so. As I mentioned, there are
schedules for master’s as well as PhDs. I already alluded to
these but it’s important that you meet these
requirements on schedule. In addition, in many programs,
you might be expected to take a certain course
by a certain time. So for example, maybe all
students have to have taken an introductory economics course by the end of the first year. Those kinds of requirements
are very important to be clear about and there again, it’s a great example of
how if you’re not clear, then check with your faculty advisers or director of graduate studies
to make sure you understand. And finally, and this
is the most difficult to assess on your own
is that you have to make satisfactory progress toward the degree. That’s not only in terms
of things like courses but it’s also in terms
of research projects. So making progress on your
master’s thesis, for example, or making progress on
your dissertation project if you’re a PhD student. Again, it’s difficult for you to know what satisfactory
progress is, so therefore, it’s really important to get
faculty feedback on this. The other thing that’s
critical that you do is to uphold the do community standard. All of you have already
agreed by the very act of accepting admission to Duke, you’ve already agreed to do this and so in case you didn’t
actually read the fine print, I’ll take you through that now. Duke University is a community
dedicated to scholarship, leadership and service and to the principles of honesty fairness, respect and accountability. Citizens of this community
students as well as others commit to reflect upon and
uphold these principles in all academic and
non-academic endeavors. I would emphasize and
non-academic endeavors. And to protect and promote
a culture of integrity. To uphold the community standard, you’ll not lie cheat or steal in any of your academic endeavors. You’ll conduct yourself
honorably in all your endeavors and you’ll act if the
standards compromised. Just to give you some
more specific examples of prohibited activities,
really just illustrations of what I’ve just said
with specific examples. I won’t read you what these things are but just to point out, that we expressly
prohibit lying, cheating, theft, harassment, sexual misconduct, assault, trespassing. I’m not done yet. Possession of illicit drugs
on university property or as part of any university activity whether on campus or not. Possession of explosives,
incendiary devices or firearms on university property. Refusal to comply with the directions of a university police officer. I know that these things seem like a lot of forbidden activities and surely, you, as a fantastic
graduate student prospect would never do any of these
things but I do have to say, I’ve had cases of violations of every single one of these. So bad things do happen to good people. Please just try hard to avoid them. I also need to make you aware of some university-wide
policies about activities. I’ll just mention this website here, web.duke.edu/policies for
students that are university-wide. You can look at these yourself
but if you have any questions about for example, pickets
protests demonstrations, what’s allowed, what’s
not, that’s a good example. You might wanna refer
to a website like this. And as you probably guessed,
there are some consequences to violations of these things. I hate to be too heavy-handed
but I do need to tell you what the consequences would be. First, among academic
consequences, grade reduction, failing grades, probation,
I mentioned that. Suspension, dismissal,
working on one of those today. Withholding of the degree,
even retraction of the degree, retrospectively if necessary. There’s also non-academic consequences of violating these things. Such as required training,
restitution, restrictions, probation again, suspension,
dismissal, civil prosecution and if you’re an international student, deportation from the US. So there’s a lot to consider here but why focus on the negative? Let’s spin that a little
bit more positively. Because yes, some bad things could happen if you violate these
but you’re not going to, I’m sure that you have no intention to and almost all of you won’t and so let’s think about the rewards. First of all, if you’re successful, you’re gonna get a graduate school degree from Duke University and
you’re sitting here today because you know how valuable
and important that is or you wouldn’t be here. And you are right so congratulations for making a wise choice. There’ll also be the perception among the people in your
field and really, the world that you’re a person of integrity and that you have deep
skills and expertise in the area in which you’re trained. And that’s something that
we work very hard to ensure that all of our graduates have. And all that’s great because it leads to the respect of your peers. Here’s a student with a
couple of her advisers. You can see they’re just
proudest punch that she got her, that’s a student who got her PhD last May. Very happy going on to a great job. She’s got the respect of
her advisers, the peers, everyone in her field and
these things lead to jobs. And just to illustrate that a little bit, I wanna draw your attention to, this is my last slide, a project
that we worked very hard on to illustrate to you in the world how successful Duke
students are at getting jobs when they are graduates
of The Graduate School. This is just one little snapshot
from a website that we have on program statistics that
you might wanna look at. We have various ways of looking at what the career outcomes are for jobs. This one illustrates
PhDs and where those jobs are located currently around the globe and you can see that
we have successful PhDs who have gotten jobs
literally all over the world, especially in North America. And a few big focuses in
the United States as well. You can look at what kind of jobs they get like by employment sector. You can look at an
academia what sort of jobs do academics get, anything you want and these data will be
available for master’s students within the next couple weeks as well. So I want you, in a few years
to be one of the data points that’s on a slide like this
and I want for Dean McClain and Dean Looney and I
to be congratulating you of your PhD student as you cross the stage to get your hooding or if
you’re a thesis student that we’re certifying you for graduation in the academic affairs
office at The Graduate School. So here’s to your success. Thank you very much. (attendees applauding) – Thank you so much, Dean
Klingensmith and Dean McClain. And now, your leader, the Graduate and Professional
Students Council president, Travis Dauwalter. Travis is a PhD student in public policy. (attendees applauding) – I thought for sure I was
gonna fall of those stairs this morning. Good morning. Thanks, Dean Looney. I’m Travis Dauwalter and this year, I’ll serve you as the president of the Graduate and
Professional Students Council. I’ve only have five minutes with you today and there’s no way that
I can cover everything. So if you have questions
or you want to learn more, we’ll have a table at the resource fair. We’ll be there all day, I think
the times are 12:30 to two. So GPSC is your representative body. We work with the administration to improve our student experience and we also, as an organization, provide services that will make your time
here more enjoyable. This includes hosting student life events like bar crawls and tailgates and hikes through nearby national parks. And we also set up volunteer events so that you can give back
to our local community. Camp out for basketball
tickets starts September 14th and this is an amazing
event in the one time when all of the graduate
professional students, all of them come together as one big and kind of smelly community. If you are interested in learning more about how you can go to
a Duke basketball game, then stop by the
basketball committee table which will also be at
the resource fair today. And I wanna briefly talk
about this newsletter bullet that’s up on the screen there. We send out a weekly newsletter which is meant to share with you the services that GPSC provides as well as advertise the upcoming events. There is going to be a time in September where you feel like this newsletter is cluttering up your inbox
and you’re going to unsubscribe but you should know that
for whatever reason, the system we use to
send out the newsletter simply resubscribes you
and sends out the email so you’re gonna get it no matter what. (students laughing) Instead of immediately deleting it, treat it like a two-minute drill. Take two minutes, familiarize yourself with events that are coming up, remind yourself for the
services that GPSC provides and then delete it. Another one will be hitting
your inbox in a week and you can do the same thing. Now, where I want you to spend
the meat of this presentation is on these underlined
bullets you see on the screen. Advocacy and resources. And let’s start with advocacy. I think part of advocating
on local and national issues starts with activating the electorate. And the GPSC advocacy
committee collaborates closely with the nonprofit You Can Vote. If you aren’t registered
to vote in North Carolina or you want to learn how
or you want to understand what issues are on the ballot in November, then please see that You Can Vote booth at the resource fair this afternoon. You can also go to the website
sites.duke.edu/dukevotes. And now let’s talk about resources. GPSC offers three major resources that I want you all to know about and these resources are here
to make your lives easier so please use them. The first is the community pantry which we have located at the
GPSC house in central campus. There might be a time
in the next few years where you wonder where
you’re gonna get the money to pay for your next meal. GPSC has your back. Come to the community pantry
and pick up whatever you need. If you’d like to get in
and out of there quicker, consider signing up for
a weekly bag program. You’ll go online to our survey, you’ll order the things that you want, we build a bag for you and then
you just swing by the house to pick it up. You’re in and out, it’s very easy. We also have something called
the Lawyer Assistance Program starting August 27th and for every Monday for the rest of the school year, there is a lawyer that
will be sitting in a room for three hours from
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and all he wants to do is help
solve your legal problems. Maybe you’re trying to
understand if you’ve been wronged or you need help pleading
down a speeding ticket, these are barns that are
distracting to our studies and we need, or and
this program is designed to move you past that. So please, if you need help with the Lawyer Assistance Program or you’d like a legal counsel to look over one of your situations, go
to our website and sign up for one of those 15-minute time slots in his office hours on Mondays. Finally, even when you
budget for everything, unexpected emergencies can still turn your finances upside down. The emergency travel fund was designed to help you get to where
ever you need to be during times of medical
emergencies or bereavement. We can’t pay for all of your travel but we hope we can make it just
a little bit easier for you. Check out the website for
more details on this program and how you can apply. And many of you might be wondering how you can get involved with the graduate
professional student council. Whether you want to
represent your department as a voting member of the general assembly or you’d like to join us at one of our community service events, find what works for you. And if you have any interests, come by our table at
the resource fair today and talk to me about it
and we’ll find a good way to get you engaged with GPSC and with your graduate
professional community. You can also go to our
website, sites.duke.edu/gpsc, also available by email. Let me know how I can help you. Thank you very much for your time. Good luck this year and welcome to Duke. (attendees applauding) – My name is Melissa Bostrom
and I am assistant dean for Graduate Student
Professional Development. Today marks a new segment in your professional development journey. You may have come to graduate school to develop technical skills
or disciplinary mastery or gain a credential
that would qualify you for an advanced career path. Perhaps, you were driven
here by your motivation to contribute new knowledge
to the world store. Your graduate school experience at Duke can undoubtedly help you meet those goals. What you will also find is a rich environment for
professional development that complements the disciplinary
knowledge you’ll gain and better prepare you
to launch your career after graduation. Whether you’re a master’s student
or entering a PhD program, the opportunities for employment
you face after you graduate are many and broad. If you’re a master’s student, you’ll find an employment market that increasingly seeks
the specialized knowledge of a graduate degree. For doctoral students,
research has demonstrated that increasing numbers of PhDs find employment opportunities outside the traditional tenure track. From around 80% for
biomedical sciences PhDs to about 50% among humanities PhDs. The Graduate School follows and publishes the PhD career outcomes on our website as Dean Klingensmith showed you. So if you’re interested,
you might be able to learn that the top employer of PhD alumni outside the academy is Google. And as Dean Klingensmith
mentioned, master’s students, you’ll be able to see data for our master’s alumni in September. The Graduate School supports
you in pursuing career paths whether in academia or
in government industry, nonprofit or as an entrepreneur
starting your own business. We want you to find a
satisfying professional life in which your job responsibilities align not only with your
knowledge and skills but also with your
interests and your values. You’ll find that at The Graduate School, we celebrate our alumni success stories and all the ways that our alumni and leverage the research
skills they developed in their graduate programs
to create knowledge in the service of society. In your time at Duke, whether
that’s one year or five, you’ll have the opportunity
to take advantage of outstanding resources
to grow and practice your transferable skills. You’ll find event sponsored
by The Graduate School and our campus partners
including the Duke Career Center conveniently located in one place on The Graduate School’s
professional development calendar. You’ll receive an email
from my office each week highlighting upcoming
professional development events and opportunities. So a quick note, if you
forward your Duke email to another address like a Gmail address, please make sure to
mark that email address [email protected] a trusted sender so that you will find out
about these opportunities. No matter what your degree
program or career goals, you will find opportunities to grow in professional development here. Master’s students, you
will find a workshop series focused on communication,
self-awareness and leadership. Transferable skills that will be in demand whether you plan to launch
a professional career immediately upon graduation
or pursue further education. PhD students, you will be
the first incoming class to use Duke OPTIONS, an online professional
development planning tool that helps you identify ways to develop six important competencies and map out your professional
development activities over your five years at Duke. So you can actually use this
tool to identify opportunities and create a plan
throughout your PhD program. Research suggests that graduate students who engage in professional development may speed their time to degree. So speaking of Provost Kornbluth’s remark, students who ask how long
will it be before I graduate, well you can make that timeline faster by engaging in professional development. So PhD students, you can start
planning your future today at options.duke.edu. In addition to opportunities
tailored to your degree goal, you’ll find discipline specific
opportunities on campus. Students in STEM disciplines
will find a number of events of interest offered
through our partnership with the Office of Postdoctoral Services. Students in the humanities and
interpretive social sciences can take advantage of a unique initiative called Versatile Humanists at Duke. For more, I’m gonna turn things over to Dr. Maria LaMonaca Wisdom who was director of
Graduate Student Advising and Engagement for the Humanities. (attendees applauding) You’re not– – Yeah, at one side. Good morning and welcome
to Duke Graduate School. My name is Maria LaMonaca Wisdom and my role as director of
Graduate Student Advising and Engagement in the Humanities, I provide customized
advising and coaching support to humanities doctoral
students at all stages of their PhD programs. I also run an NEH funded program, Versatile Humanists at Duke
that provides internships and other funding opportunities for humanities doctoral students and works to build a vibrant
interdisciplinary community of emerging scholars,
teachers and professionals. There are well over 400
doctoral students across Duke who identify as scholars of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences which we include history, culture, anthropology and so forth. If you are enrolled in a PhD program such as English, romance
studies, literature, classics, history, religion, hang on, I’m coming to your department to speak with you shortly and, in fact, perhaps I may already have. However, you may be a qualitative
scholar working in a field not normally associated
with the humanities. Perhaps, you are in sociology, psychology, public policy or another field. Your research grapples
with how human beings make sense of their existence, perhaps, you even call
yourself a humanist. If this sounds like
you, you’ll want to know about versatile humanists at Duke and how we can help support your academic and professional growth. Look for me at the resource fair immediately after orientation and I’ll be delighted to speak with you. Thanks and best of luck as you
launch your doctoral studies. (attendees applauding) – Thank you, Maria. No matter what your discipline, you can start your
professional development today by using powerful networking
and career research tools like LinkedIn and the Duke Alumni Network. I encourage you to take
advantage of this week to create or enhance your LinkedIn profile so that you can add new connections as you meet them here in
Durham and around The Triangle building your professional network. I also encourage you to leverage Duke’s tens of thousands of engaged alumni who really want to connect
with students and help them engage them through
the Duke Alumni Network as you explore your career options and look for ways to gain experience. In your folders, you’ll find a handout with a guide to The Graduate School’s professional development opportunities where you can learn
more about the programs and resources we provide. The Graduate School and our partners are committed to helping you
identify your career goals and achieve them through our professional
development offerings. I look forward to seeing you often through the next year or five as you take advantage of all
that Duke University offers. But rather than telling you about those opportunities myself, I’d like to turn things
over to your colleagues to share their perspectives. Many different professional development opportunities here in The Graduate School were a little bit of an alphabet soup in terms of our offerings. – [Announcer] This is Duke University. – I’m in a CCT program
which is Certificate in College Teaching. – The Preparing Future Faculty program – Behind the Scenes with the Search Committee.
– When I was in undergrad, I didn’t take advantage–
– Responsible Conduct of Research.
– At all career services, any of that and I thought getting a job–
– The Emerging Leaders Institute or ELI.
– Was easy. I thought you just have degree,
you like the job and get– – Mock interview, how
to read cover letters. ♪ Oh, what a place ♪ – I mean the horrible
thing for me when I write is that blank page where there’s nothing. I mean how will I go from
nothing to something? – The Certificate in College Teaching is for graduate students who
either wanna pursue a career that involves teaching
like a faculty position or some other career
path where those skills will be useful and
transferable to their career. – We first started out
just doing an introduction and then eventually, you
build to a 30 minutes group presentation where
you’re teaching the class. – That’s not really
time-intensive but I gained a lot from these programs. ♪ Move plane, he flies ♪ ♪ It goes overhead with wings ♪ (mellow music) – We want to do a little
bit of an investigation into this idea of the culture of academia and specifically kind of the
realities of graduate students and postdocs thinking about
options in non-academic versus the traditional academic careers. – One of the unique things about Duke, we attract a wide range of students, some of whom want to be
in a research environment, others who may want to return to a small liberal arts college. – I think one of the common
mistakes that I see people doing is that there get sort of
in a single-minded mindset where they’re not sure exactly
how to explore other options or what the process is or who to talk to. – Given the realities of
the academic job market, given the realities of today’s economy, you need to start thinking ahead and you need to take advantage of the myriad of resources that Duke has. – We have to be ahead of the curve and we have to think about
are those opportunities for our students just in teaching? Are those opportunities just in research? – As a career counselor,
I always tell folks that I’m working with for me, it doesn’t matter where you go. You can go into an academic career field, you can go outside of academia. I just want you to find something
that is meaningful to you. – We understand that students
may come into graduate school with one idea of what they want that professional career to be. But over the two to five to
seven years that they’re here, that idea is gonna change and evolve as they change and evolve and mature. (mellow music) – Okay, so for advice,
don’t be that grad student with your nose stuck to the grindstone. Take a moment to look around,
remember why you’re there. – Try not to lose the
forest for the trees. – Find a balance in your
life as soon as you get here. – It’s not enough just to do a
PhD and write a dissertation. – Try to figure out why you’re here. – Lift your head from
the bench every so often. – Be more open and make
more contacts with people. – If you allow it to change
you, it will do so radically. – Everybody’s in this process together. – Just meet with them and talk with them. – Start early, start as soon as you can. – As early as possible. – From day one. – Your professional development
for you must begin today. (exciting orchestral music) – As soon as possible. ♪ Mrs. Jones was washing up ♪ ♪ On Sunday afternoon ♪ ♪ While the father and son ♪ ♪ Playing with the video
in the other room ♪ ♪ Things that went when she was younger ♪ ♪ And the dreams that she forgot ♪ ♪ Like changing the
world and living a life ♪ ♪ But it isn’t the one she got ♪ – [Announcer] This is Duke University. (mellow music) – When I was in undergrad, I didn’t take advantage
at all of career services, any of that and I thought
getting a job was easy. I thought you just, you have a degree, you apply for the job and then you get it. – So many of us like PhD students were just like stuck in the grind and we just kind of say okay, I’m in it, I got to finish my doctorate and then you finish your
doctorate and you look around and you’re like oh, now what? Well, I guess I go to a postdoc, right? Because that’s the next
step, the next line. – We actually have. – Okay, can you hear me? Yes? Yes, great. So now, we’ve got the first of two panels. I’m not sure why we’re
getting feedback here. We got the first of two panels. This one’s a faculty panel
then we’ll have a student panel and in both cases, it’s
an opportunity for people who have been around Duke for a few years, whether as a faculty member
or as a graduate student, to give you their perspectives on how to be successful
as a graduate student, specifically at Duke. And I’ll just introduce the faculty panel after just saying a few words about myself just so you have a sense of the diversity of faculty members we
have here on the stage. I’m a professor in the medical school specifically in cell
biology and in pediatrics. I’m interested in developmental genetics of mammalian organisms including humans and how that knowledge can be
used for therapeutic purposes. I’ll introduce my colleagues
here in order as much as I can. Fan Li, she’s here somewhere. There she is. She’s an associate
professor of statistics. All of my colleagues have
multiple appointments. I’ll just give you their
primary appointment because we’d be here all
day reading the titles. Fan’s interest is, her main research interest
is in statistical methodology and causal inference. She also has a strong interest
in statistical methods for big and complex data. And one of the things I
liked is she also works on missing data. You should have worked with
some of my former students. Yeah, so, statistics. We also have John Dolbow
sitting here to Fan’s right. He’s a professor in the Department
of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. John’s research concerns the development of computational methods
for nonlinear problems and solid mechanics. Then we have Kerry Haynie from the Department of Political Science where he’s an associate professor. Professor Haynie’s research
and teaching interests are in race and ethnic politics, intersections of race and gender, legislative processes,
state-level politics, Southern politics and
comparative urban politics. Sounds like he’s a busy guy. And then finally, we have Joseph Winters who’s an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies. And his interests lie in
African-American religious thought, religion and critical theory,
African-American literature and continental philosophy. So you can see that we
have quite a spectrum of academic perspectives
represented on the stage. And we’re providing that
so that collectively, we’ll be able to answer a lot
of your questions, we hope. And we’ve asked each one of the panelists to just spend a few minutes giving their sort of points
of wisdom, words of advice on how you might approach
graduate school to be successful. Fan, would you like to start? – Sure. – Please. – Do I need to stand? – No. – Hi, everyone. I was here last year and I
already forgot what I said. So I actually have five minutes, I think two minutes will do. So I think the first thing is work hard. So you hear all I’m saying, you see all this videos, it look all nice. So you will get nice jobs
and all that kind of thing. The most important thing in
graduate school is work hard, because as you start
with work, you realize graduate school is really,
the time is really, almost a prestige. It probably would be the
last time in your life you can have really allocate
two years to five years you really sit down and
study a subject or field. And this is very precious
as you get a job. What your seeing in academia industry, you will get very busy. You will not have that time. Even though I try to sit
in some classes still but it’s very hard to do. So that’s the first thing. And the second thing is, yeah, have fun. So study is, there’s no conflict between these two. I think that have fun at
the same time being open, I think one of the video. Particularly if you’re
international student, I feel that you, one important thing is ready
to be open to the culture and to the new, the campus or university, the student and then putting it to the new culture and again, if this is
your first time in US, first time studying in US, I recommend you immediately to go buy a TV and then, you know, watch politics, so watch news even though it’s a little bit depressing these days. But I think it’s important
actually to know what’s going on in this country, what is
going on in the society. It’s not just your books. I mean I say work hard but also, you also need to play harder. So I think the last thing
is be your own advocate. Again, there’s a lot of
resource in this campus, a lot of people willing to help
but I see a lot of students, they are so immersed in their study, they just forget to seek
help particularly if you, when you have trouble,
all sorts of troubles. It can be in academia,
it can be a social life and you will run into some roadblocks and in this kind of situation, you should know that there
are always people there in The Graduate School,
also in your department who are helpful. So don’t be hesitant to seek help and also be your own advocate essentially. You also need to make sure that you seek all the opportunities
that are available to you. So I think that’s my perspective. (attendees applauding) – So my name is John Dolbow and it’s really a pleasure to be here in front of all of you today. So when I was in grad school,
I was sitting where you were where all of you are in
front of a faculty panel but it was that towards the
end of my graduate career instead of the beginning. And one of the members
of the faculty said that, you know, there are many
people who would like to stay in graduate school forever. And I found that comment very curious because I certainly
didn’t know any of them. Now over time, I’ve come
to appreciate that in fact, that faculty member was correct. There are people who
would like to have stayed in graduate school forever,
they’re known as faculty. And part of that is certainly nostalgia but there is a grain of truth to that that I think is very important and it’s been mentioned
by several people today and it’s really the luxury of time. Okay, this is really the only time that you’re going to have, really, after your time
in graduate school, you’re not going to have an opportunity to really fully immerse
yourself in a subject and I hope that you’ll
appreciate it sometime before you leave just
what a luxury that is and that you’ll take advantage of it. So I just have a few other
nuggets of wisdom to share that I think other people
have commented on as well. Over the course of your time
here, you’ll have mentors and you’ll have professional relationships and I hope that you’ll have, most of you will have many mentors. And like any professional, like any relationship, professional relationships that you have with your mentors take work. So make sure that you invest the time in developing those
relationships and fostering them. In my experience, when
students in the programs have difficulties, it’s often due to a communication breakdown
between them and their advisor. So to the extent that you can
get to know your advisers, get to know your mentors. I think that will make
a tremendous difference in your success in graduate school. So you have an opportunity here
to genuinely become scholars during your time in graduate school. And I would just encourage
you to think about that in slightly different ways. When you have, for example,
a class that you’re taking and you’re looking at the course syllabus, to view that as a
suggestion and not a recipe, to take the opportunity to
explore the topic broadly, to seek out texts that are different from the ones the faculty
member is recommending or the instructor is recommending and to really immerse
yourself in the subject. To go beyond the syllabus. So I’d also encourage
you to stretch yourself. So I think a lot of you can look at the range of opportunities that have been presented this morning and just be overwhelmed and decide that you’re
going to commit yourself fully and completely
to working in your lab or your research group in your courses, fully immersed in those and
never really stray beyond and you can do that and
you’ll be successful but you’ll have missed out on
a lot that Duke has to offer, in Durham as well. So even if you just take
an hour or two each week to do something a little bit different outside of the ordinary. It’s not much time but I think
you’ll get a lot out of that. So it could be attending a seminar that’s outside of your area, picking up a journal
that’s outside of your area or just one that’s in your area that you just haven’t
had a chance to read, attending a play in this theater. Okay, something a little bit different. Just take that opportunity, I think it’ll enhance your
experience significantly. Finally, I’ll say for those
of students in the STEM areas. The irony of your career
after you leave Duke is that your success is
largely going be great limited by your ability to
effectively communicate. So you have an opportunity
while you’re here. writing is a skill, it’s a
muscle, it needs to be exercised to work effectively. Make sure that even though you’re working on very technical areas,
that you take the time to really become as proficient a writer as a communicator that you can be. That’s all I have. Thank you. (attendees applauding) – Hello, I’m Kerry Haynie. Professor in political science in African and African-American studies. The first thing I want to
offer and suggest to you is that you take care of yourself. Self-care is extremely
important for whatever you do and especially in this business. Self-care. So whatever that is for you,
please, take care of yourself. If it’s music, sports,
quiet time, friends, cooking like me, I cook. Self-care is extremely important. And take care of one another. Duke has a wide range of
services and facilities in this regard. You saw some of those in
the slides this morning. Please, please, take
advantage of these services. Your studies are important,
your career is important but you have to take care of yourself for those other things
too then fall in place. So self-care, self-care, self-care. Do something every day, every week and take care of yourself. Second, I would like to
offer this suggestion. Networking. You heard a quite a bit about networking. I like Dean Klingensmith’s
maps that he put up. Traveling around the globe, I almost always run
into a Dukie somewhere. And that’s important when
you are in faraway places in terms of connections to ease
the transition into a place or to make one’s experience in that place much more beneficial. And you will soon be depicted on the map and a place that we can suggest others were travelling
about as a person of contact for our students and alums. So network, get to know one another. Step outside of your own
department, your own schools and meet other graduate
students and undergraduate and faculty for that
matter in other areas. The Duke family is a
rich and growing family, quite generous and hospitable family and you now are a part
of the Duke network. Another bit of advice and
this may sound a bit odd given that this is the
first couple of days that you’re a Duke, start thinking about how
you’re gonna give back. How you wanna give back? One of the things that we’re all lucky to be doing what we do as faculty members and when I think and I often think about that someone paid for
me to do this, right? I had some fellowship or
some aid for me to do this. And that’s a luxury. My friends who are my contemporaries were working real labor as I called it even though we get into these debates what we do is hard labor is will not put it what we
do, I guess, anything else. But think about how to give
back and start thinking now and you can give back in a number of ways. But someone made it possible
for all of us to do what we do and for you to be in this
room in this situation. So it’s not too soon to start thinking about how to contribute
back to The Graduate School and to Duke University
as you plot your career using the wonderful services
now that Duke has to offer. A broad range of planning services. And finally, I will say explore Durham and North Carolina. Durham is a wonderful community and we’re lucky to be situated
in a place like Durham. Durham is often studied
by social scientists and folks in the medical
and biological sciences. One of the unique things about Durham, distinctive things about Durham, the Durham has a stratification, a racial and ethnic stratification
of class stratification that many of us pay a
lot of money for samples to sort of fit models. So Durham is a quite an interesting place of deep rich history. The Duke family’s history
in Durham is interesting. Durham is a wonderful place to explore. So get out outside of campus,
get into the community to get to know Durham and
folks who live in Durham and in the wider region. Thank you. (attendees applauding) – My name is Joseph Winters. Assistant professor of Religious Studies in African-American Studies. I guess because of my last name, I always have a dubious
advantage of going last on these panels. So I’m gonna try to just sum
up what’s already been said. First, I wanna say congratulations. I might be the last
person to tell you this. No, I’m just kidding. Right, but first I wanna say
congratulations on being here. As you face obstacles,
these first couple years and you will, right? Remember that you’ve been selected from from a wide talented
pool of individuals. So congratulations on being accepted into the various departments and programs. So I guess I just wanna kind of sum up kind of recurring theme which is balance, which I think is really important. One type of balance is the balance between being situated in your
particular department which is obviously really important, getting to know the
people in your department, professors, fellow students
but also venturing out. Taking classes in other departments, meeting people in other departments. I think one of the things about Duke is, one of the possibilities
at Duke is richness, part of its richness is a possibility of interdisciplinary kind of classes. Second, I know most of us, we
when you come into a program, you have a certain
research project in mind. I mean that’s good. You wanna have some kind of structure but you also wanna be
open to possibilities. You wanna be open to other
research possibilities, other ideas, maybe expanding on what you thought your
research project was. Another balance, another side of balance is again, the relationship
between work and play. Don’t spend all your
time in the university doing the academic work. Find rituals outside, right
outside of the university, spiritual, religious exercise. You mentioned food, right? The Raleigh-Durham areas. Like surprisingly for some people, has a rich food culture,
binge watching, right? Don’t be ashamed about it. Like binge watching, like
Insecure or This Is Us, whatever. I mean don’t, that time is important. And I would suggest as a spiritual ritual, we can talk about that
another time, right? I think as other people’s talk about me, the RTP area itself. I mean Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, there’s just rich possibilities. Arts, politics, activism, music, Art of Cool Festival is
coming here in about a month. I think there’s just
a lot of possibilities so I would definitely
encourage you to check that out but also we encourage you
to like leave this area if you can. Go to other places, with family, friends. So I just think that the
key theme here is balance. And again congratulations
and I wish you the best as you embark in your first year. Thank you. (attendees applauding) – So we have a few minutes for questions. Maybe about 10 or so. And this is an opportunity for you to ask before you get too deep into your studies. Very knowledgeable faculty. One thing I didn’t say is
that all of these people have deep experience
in graduate education. Some of them have been
directors of graduate studies in their departments for their programs. So there’s a lot of expertise here and this is a chance to
ask questions of faculty in a sort of an anonymous way because we don’t even know your names yet. – We also can’t really see
any of you, by the way, so. – We can’t see anyway. Any questions? Free t-shirt to the first
person to ask a question. It says Duke Graduate School
so it’s a good t-shirt. (student speaking off mike) Favorite part of graduate school. Joseph’s the most recent. – Oh, yeah, yeah, well. Yeah, I think my favorite
part of grad school is also something that
I regret in some way. I mean, I’ll explain it, right? My favorite part of grad school was that I was around
so many amazing people, but I think because I got so, sometimes, so caught up in a tunnel
vision, I didn’t take the time to learn more about those people around me and develop those relationships. But I mean I think just I met, not just meeting the people, not just were really smart and brilliant but just the experience that they had even before they came to grad school. And many of them I stay in touch with. Usually through our academic conferences. But I would just say the
kind of lasting relationships that I made. – Quickly, for me it was
building relationships with faculty and mentors. The program I attended and just like, I think it’s the philosophy at Duke that we see you as faculty
and colleagues to be. So that building those relationships and learning how to
become a faculty member and to act and present
myself as a faculty member. So those relationships
were extremely important and when I look back, one
of my most favorite times was building those relationships
and engaging with faculty. – It’s not a lot different for me. I was very fortunate to
be in a research group that was very productive. We had a tremendous amount of success and I was very fortunate to work with some exceptionally talented people and to develop relationships with them that have carried on to the present day. And so looking back for me,
it was a very special time. I’m really not sure I really appreciated how special it was at the
time but in retrospect, I really value at that
time as a PhD student. – Well, I echo all what’s
said, what has been said that for me is really the
fellowship of the ring. It’s facing my fellow friends,
fellow students and I really, many of them are really brilliant people and I made lifelong friends
with them and till today and I think some of you might get lucky and even find your future
spouses, I think, in school and that’s not bad. – I don’t think I can top that, so. It is true, a number of
my graduate students, I’ve had about 15 PhD
students graduate for my lab and literally, there were several pairs that found each other
during orientation week. So cross your fingers. (attendees laughing) Okay, any other questions? You can see that this this panel
is quite happy to speak up. (student speaking off mike) – Oh, that’s a good one for me. So the question is one
sort of shaking experience. In the first semester
of my graduate program, I came with a master’s to my PhD program and I wrote a paper for this class and the professor passed the paper back after a couple of days and
it said worse to the effect, this is the best you can do, you should think about
doing something else. That was quite shaking in to get in the first couple of
weeks of a graduate program. And I mentioned earlier
about building relations with faculty and I stayed in contact with that faculty member who recently, he sort
of followed me to Duke, had a career, another university, retired, came back to the area here, it was in political
science for several years. And he heard me tell
that story and he said, “Was that me?” Damn right, you know it was you. But he said to me and this is the story. He said to me, “I’m glad
you took the message “as I intended it when
I wrote those comments.” That the step back, take a look that I didn’t fold up and go home. I was harsh and it shook
me as you say, was shaking but he and I engaged on
that topic in that paper and here I am. – I guess I’ll suggest one. So in my case, it’s a little bit related to what Provost Kornbluth
was talking about. So I also was a biological
scientists as a graduate student. In my case, I remember working
really, really long hours when I was maybe a second
or third year student to try to get a particular
experimental system going and being extremely frustrated because it seemed like no
matter how diligent I was, no matter how many hours I
work, just kept banging at it, the experiment didn’t seem to be working. And I got very frustrated, I even thought, do I belong in graduate school? I can’t even get this experiment to work. I’m so frustrated and I met
with my advisor about it and we pored over the data. We’re trying to figure
out what’s going wrong and he realized before I did that what I thought was a
failure was actually a success. It just was not at all
what we were expecting and it’s because it has to do
with the experimental system but knowing retrospectively, retroactively what was going on, the results should have been variable in exactly the way they were because we were dealing
with a kind of mutation that depended on the circumstances
that the organism was in. And so that, once we figured that out
and really it was my advisor more than me who did, that very quickly led
to my first publication. So I was able to have a paper after 2 1/2 years in graduate school from what I thought was a failure. It actually really turned
out to be a great thing and then I realized that,
especially in research, failure is not always what it seems to be. Sometimes, understanding
what the failure is leads to the insights that you need to move your field forward. Any other comments? Oh, we have another question. – [Student] Hi, so you
mentioned looking into areas outside of your field. So what’s the best way to approach people in those other areas
or how as faculty members do you like to be approached
about your research? – So, it might depend on the
department that you’re in, the field you’re in but
one thing to think about is a lot of courses are cross listed, at least in the humanities, a lot of courses are cross listed. So you might think, you might
see a course in your field but the professor’s kind of main location, position is in another department. So if it’s a course that’s
maybe not cross listed but that resonates with some
of your research interests, sometimes, it’s just good
to just email, right? Sometimes, it’s just good to email or even just kind of go to the first class and talk to the professor
about like your interests in the possibility of working
with them in the future and so forth. – And I would add the Graduate and Professional Students Association. You’re also association. The newsletter that you will
get that you won’t delete. Take advantage of opportunities and things that you’ll see announced there and social events, right? So chatting with someone and associate, you may realize that you
have some intersecting and complementary interests
that may not meet the eye but in the course of
conversation that could pop out. – I would like to mention
that Professor Dolbow in particular is a professor
of five different things. So I wanna hear his perspective
on related to this question. How do you bridge
departments if your interests don’t fit neatly into a
particular department? – So I will say that I think one of the really
special things about Duke is just how open the faculty here are about talking about their
research to just about anyone, whether it’s people in
their own department, their research group or
people outside of that. And so it sounds a little bit contrived but I really do think
that if you spend the time trying to learn about what a
faculty member here is doing, what a research group is doing, invest some time on your
own to come up to speed and then just email that
person and tell them that hey, you read the
this paper you thought it was really interesting you
saw something on their website that kind of captivated your imagination. My guess is that actually that
the vast majority of people are gonna be interested
in speaking with you and just hearing what your thoughts are on what they’re doing. So I think by and large, I
mean I’m very happy here, it’s very difficult for me to
imagine working anyplace else and I hope that you start to appreciate that you really are in a special place and the environment here
is a very healthy one and encouraging one around
students, around scholarship, around interdisciplinary discussions and I don’t think you should
be shy about approaching faculty that are outside
of your department, outside of your area. I think you’ll be surprised by how open the response you’ll typically get. – [John] Time for a couple more questions. One way back there. – [Student] Hi, I want to ask, would you recommend developing
personal relationships with your advisor and a faculties in addition to the
professional relationships or do you think it’s a horrible
idea that should be avoided? – Well, I just wanna say
it depends on how personal. (attendees laughing) So maybe this is a good time to say that there is specific prohibition against romantic relationships
between faculty and students. But certainly, it’s good
to know your advisor on a level more than just a
completely formal relationship in the context of advising. It’s nice to know a little bit about the person’s
background and thinking. It will help you understand
their perspectives more and also bring richness
to your interactions. Most faculty are open to that as long as we keep it professional. – [Woman] We have question here. – [Student] What do you say
the most challenging aspect of graduate school? – I will say time management. So and that skill, certainly for me and I see it with some of my students that you’re your own boss in many respects as to deciding when to work
and how much time to put in. So figuring out how to help to balance and to work at on a pace and at a schedule that’s productive and effective. – I think related to that
is the reality that you, as a graduate student here whether you’re a master’s
or a PhD student, you’re going to have some choices and it can be difficult at the time to try to to have confidence in yourself that the choices that you’re making are the right ones at the time. But I would just try to reassure you that they probably are. The choices that you make are probably the right ones at the time but the challenge is to
get through that process, to make choices and have
confidence in your decisions. – Time for one more question and then we’ll let the students take over. – I think the question was what
made us pursue a PhD degree. – So for me, I mean, and I still say this when I talk to prospective
graduate students and undergraduates about what we do. I know of no other
profession that allows me to pick and choose my work. And so I choose the things I
think about and write about. I choose pretty much
the classes that I teach and I even get to choose
pretty much when I teach them. What days and what hours
of the day that I teach so I’ll get to organize my work life in a way that works for me and suits my personality and my life. And that’s a tremendous luxury and I realized that in graduate school that I had this opportunity and this was the path I wanted
to be only worked for me. – I ended up being a PhD in, I had a PhD in biostatistics. It was accident but… No, no, it’s accident that
I ended up in biostatistics versus statistics of mathematics. But that was the only
way I knew, I liked it. I really like doing research. I liked it and I still like it and I think that’s the random pass. Worked out really well for
me and I hope that you, one day, you find something
that always fascinates you as much as my subjects fascinate me. So it’s real luxury and I still enjoy it. – Pretty much the same for me. I caught the research
bug as an undergraduate. I was very fortunate to
have had that opportunity and it just stuck and it is
stuck for quite some time. – [John] Thank you so much. Thank you, faculty panelists. (attendees applauding) – So I do promise that lunch cometh but it is so comforting
to look out this morning to see some already familiar
faces from the welcome event. They don’t let me, all the time, have all the hot dogs and
hamburgers that I can eat so I look forward to this time, each and every year or
we can pull out the grill and you and I can eat together. Let me take this opportunity
to personally welcome you to your newest citizenship,
The Graduate School and to your new extended
family, those seated around you. Our task this morning is to start you off with tools and information for
success in graduate school. Now, this morning, five of
your graduate school colleagues will share her or his wisdom
as Duke graduate students. First, we have Sophie Wolfe Galson. What an humble soul. Now, Sophie was lurking in our coffers as a master’s student but
let me tell you something. She wrote me and said,
“Look, Dean Kendrick, “I graduated from The
Graduate School in May “but I would love to be on the panel.” I couldn’t turn that down. Sophie has earned both an
MD and a master of science in global health from Duke. She is currently faculty in the Department of
Surgery Division of Medicine and her research focuses on hypertension and linkage to care in Moshi, Tanzania. Now, by show of hands, how many of you are master of science and
global health students? Here, take advantage. I want you to meet Sophie
because she is a great resource. Her favorite movie is The
Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Dr. Sophie Wolfe Galson. Next, we have Sinja Kuppers
who will begin her second year as a PhD student in classical studies. Her research focuses on
the blending of genres and literary styles in
Greek and Latin poetry. Another show of hands. How many of you are
first-generation graduate students? Awesome. Sinja will be establishing
a graduate student group for first-generation graduate students so be on the lookout for that. And The Graduate School looks forward to assisting you with this effort. We will meet soon, Sinja, so thank you. Sinja’s favorite movie, The Intouchables. That’s I-N-T-O-U-C-H-A-B-L-E-S. Renzi Arthur Mah. Now, Arthur is his English given name. Renzi is a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Chemistry. He studies analytical chemistry in drug mode of action discovery. Most recently, Renzi was president of the Duke University Chinese Students and Scholars Association which is one of our most
active student groups supported by The Graduate School. They meet international
students at the airport and escort them to campus. Now, if I were going to study abroad, I would surely want a group like this to be at the institution
that I was attending. They do so much more than that and I encourage you all
to keep up the good work. Renzi’s favorite movie, The
Good, the Bad and the Ugly. A third year PhD student
in political science, my discipline, Elliott Mamet. Elliott’s interests
are in political theory as well as American political development. Delving deeper, Elliott researches American political thought,
prisons and democratic judgment. Now, if you have strong
feelings this morning about the US judicial
system, talk to Elliot. If you like musicals, his
favorite movie is West Side Story. Elliot Mamet. And we have Melyssa Minto, a second year PhD student
in computational biology and bioinformatics. She recently joined the
West Lab in neurobiology and her research focuses on
exploring the epigenetic changes that occur during neuronal development. Did I get that right? – Yes. – Awesome. Her favorite movie, Finding Nemo. Her words, don’t judge me. Melyssa Minto. Now, as your peers come to
you to offer wonderful advice, let me leave you with a thought attributed to personal
coach, Cheryl Richardson. Quote, “The possibility
for rich relationships “exists all around you. “You simply have to open
your eyes, open your mouth “and most importantly, open your heart.” I encourage you to be open to learning, to be open to shifting your location to get another perspective. Be open to the resources
available to you and around you so that you can turn
those times of uncertainty into the times of assurance. Best wishes to you this academic year and in the years to come. Take it away, Sophie. (attendees applauding) – Thank you, Dean Kendrick. I’m honored to be here today to give you a few bits of wisdom and I hope you can learn
from my experiences and my mistakes. I remember sitting in this
auditorium two years ago when I was starting the master’s program. I looked around me at the
faces of my fellow students and I had a feeling that
I had never had before. It was completely new sensation. I looked in my fellow students I felt old. So if anyone is having that sentiment, know that you’re not alone. I have three pieces of advice
to share with you today. The first is socialize, the
second is to use your resources and the third is basketball. I’m gonna go through each of them. So in terms of socializing, I
was reading the New York Times the Sunday, had the day off,
part of the whole balance thing and I was reading an article actually about thriving in college and there was a quote
from a guidance counselor at the other institution
in The Triangle, UNC, and he said to paraphrase, one of the greatest
purposes higher education is to increase the number of human souls that knows you and cares about you. And some of you may have more lofty, less egotistical ambitions
for your time here but I do think there’s
a great deal of truth to that statement. So make an effort to connect with students especially those who
are different from you. In my case, those students who I felt were from a whole different generation. They actually ended up teaching me a lot about how to use social media, how to give visually
appealing presentations and how to have a more
idealistic worldview. Secondly, use your resources here at Duke. If you’re into research, this includes things
like statistical support, database management, dictation software if you hate to type like me and there are a multitude
of grants available to you for any idea or skills
that you want to obtain, there’s an internal Duke
grant, they can meet that need. Personally, I do research in Tanzania and I always having trouble communicating with my research team so I
applied for a small grant to learn Swahili. It has greatly enhanced my
experience and honestly, the quality of my data was
much improved after this. On a more somber note, I
work, as Dean Kendrick said, in the emergency department here at Duke and I unfortunately see
many graduate students who are having difficulties
coping with realities of life. It’s normal to feel anxious and depressed at some point during your
graduate school career. There are many free
resources available to you through the GAPs program so
please take advantage of those early and often. Finally, basketball. I hope I’m not the first one to say this but as a graduate student,
you can go to games for free. You will not be able to sit, you probably will not be
able to move your arms but you will have an amazing time and this is what truly
made me feel at home in a Duke community. So thank you all for having me. I wish you the best of luck. I hope to meet some of you on campus and hopefully see none of you
in the emergency department. (attendees applauding) – Also from me, a warm welcome
to all new graduate students to Duke University. I first of all wanna say
I really had a hard time settling in last year
when I came to Durham because I’m an international student and had to set up things like internet and getting the energy running
and getting a mobile number which is really hard being in the US without having a mobile number. So if you’re still struggling with this or that’s in the back of your head, go and reach out to the
International House. They’re a lovely team and
they’re happy to help you and assist you with settling
in successfully at Durham. So I wanna share some of my experiences with professional development on campus that I really benefited from. My first experience was
going to lunches and dinners with students from diverse disciplines and just learning how they
organize the daily work, what their plans for the
coming academic year are. So you’re going spend a lot of time in your departmental bubble
and it’s a great idea to reach out and do a little
bit of social networking and getting idea what
interdisciplinary projects are there and just making bonds with
people outside your department. The other kinds of events I
went to during the last year were designed by The Graduate School to advance your research specifically. Like how to be a strategic dissipator, how to commence writing your thesis and keep the ball rolling? So these were really helpful
for me to hear people speak about their experiences, people who are about to
complete their dissertation or have already done so and
what challenges they ran into and when it’s your time
to write your thesis up, you might find that you’re
equipped with a set of skills that help you navigate these situations. So I do recommend gonna these events and you find them
advertised in the newsletter like the Versatile Humanist newsletter we already heard about. And you also find in this newsletter, internships, grants and fellowships advertise you can apply for. One of these internships
I took advantage of was an internship already established at the National Humanities Center that’s also located here in North Carolina and I really prospered
there and felt blessed to get to know to the people
there that are working there, faculty and students and
was working in a group with students from four
different universities and college teachers on
space, time and movement and looking at how to apply
geographic information systems to teaching classical studies, in my case, and see how other people,
what their ideas were and how they approached the matter. It was, again, very helpful
doing some social networking in this case and reaching
out in my studies and with my research. And what I surely
benefited from most of all was to have the professional
development grant with another student of mine
in the classical studies because we both had a
vision for quite a while and we wanted to get all PhD
students and masters students who are the first in their
families to go to graduate school and see that there is
some resource for them. We wanted to have
first-generation graduate students gather at a symposium
that take place last April and share their experiences,
their common experiences. And also we invited a professor from the University of Alabama
to talk about her research in higher education, a social scientists, and give a little career session in how to be a successful academic and also how to be successful
outside of academia if you’re a first generation student. How to be a strategic
planner, for example, that many students struggle with when they’re from
first-generation background. We were very much struck by
the positive feedback we got and we were already trying to get a second a follow-up
symposium running with UNC with the neighboring university next April and you’re very much
welcome to sign up for that. One of the panelists I invited to talk about her personal experiences
during that symposium and I decided to move forward and take this beautiful
experience we have there by creating a student
organization called Duke F1RSTS. And you might have already
seen a flyer lying outside. We’re having our kickoff lunch next week at about the same time
at The Graduate School at the 11:30 to 12:30 in room 102. You just need to sign up
and register for it online. If you Google Duke F1RSTS,
you will find our website. We’re also on Facebook
and we have a website connected, affiliated with
a Duke Graduate School. Our guest will be Dr. Melissa Bostrom and she will also tell
you a little bit more about how to get involved
with the Duke Graduate School. Some of our events will also target the issue of how to communicate
your research successfully. How to survive Thanksgiving, for example, when you’re seeing your family and as Provost Sally
Kornbluth pointed out, you try to convey the
message and what you’re doing and trying to get the idea
across the table, right? Or how to communicate your research to people outside of your discipline. How to do small talk we are hoping to get a speed dating with advisors and faculty running this academic year. And this will certainly also
help you with interviews when you’re going to conduct interviews or be in an interview situation later on. You can also talk to Natalie and me at the Duke resource fair. We’re at table 17 and I hope to see you at some of the events of Duke F1RSTS. Thank you. (attendees applauding) – Hello, everyone. I’m Renzi. Known for my friends as Arthur and I’m a fourth-year chemistry student. I welcome you guys to the Duke community and when I was thinking about
what I should talk about today last night, the first
question coming to my mind is that you may also have this question is that what’s the difference between the undergraduate
school and the graduate school. My PI also always answer this question by the undergraduate school
is somewhere you learn the knowledge generated by others and the graduate school is somewhere you generate new knowledge. I thought he made it up himself but today, I finally realize it’s
echoing of our Provost Sally in her speech. So speaking of generating new knowledge, there’s one thing that you
cannot avoid, that is failure. Believe me, The Graduate School, the Duke Graduate School
is somewhere that failure does not make some big consequences
as in some other places. So you should embrace this
opportunity to failure and also success. And sometimes the failure and success, there is a blur border between this two as mentioned, actually,
in Dr. Klingensmith in his story that sometimes,
failure is actually a success but you actually don’t know it. It actually happened a lot
of times in my research too. So the one thing, when
you’re trying to get familiar with graduate school is that
there’s a lot of failure and there’s more, and more occasionally, there’s a success for your academic study. And speaking a part of that study, speaking of your life at Duke, there’s also new knowledge generated in this community to yourself. There are a lot of
opportunities that you can take. For me, I was never actually
taking any opportunities to be as some like our
jury in the class or some, in the China you’re familiar
with something called the class monitor or something like that. A (speaking in foreign
language) kind of thing. But then the opportunity come to me that there is the president of the Duke Chinese Students
and Scholars Association. I think to myself that the
president, oh whoa, that’s cool. So why not take the opportunity
to learn how to do it? So then I was then I
actually finished my term as the president of Duke Chinese Students and Scholars Association, known to all many of you as
DCSSA today for last year. And speaking of DCSSA, like
we provide a lot of service to our Chinese students also
non-Chinese students at Duke. We picked up actually 400 students from the airport last year. We haven’t got any
statistics back for this year but I believe we have same
similar number of students picked up from the RDU
Airport to Duke this year. And we cannot thank enough
for The Graduate School especially Dr. Kendrick and also the GPSC, thanks for you service. So there’s opportunities for you to try many different things
like you’ve never tried before in the Duke Graduate School
apart from academic life. As one of our Duke alumni, Tim Cook speak in the graduate
commence in this year. He said be fearless and that’s actually what mindset that you want
to have in graduate school that you can try a lot of different things and forget about the success
and forget about failure, forget about the good life,
bad life and ugly life. It’s always your life in Duke. Thanks. (attendees applauding) – Welcome to Duke. I have a few, I have three pieces of
advice to offer today. First, you’re about to
embark on an adventure of exciting proportion. If I could give one word of advice for you as you begin your
voyage, it would be this. Know that your worth as a person is more than the vicissitudes
of life as a graduate student. You are more, much more than your identity as a Duke graduate student. You’re also a partner or
sibling, child or parent, musician or volunteer,
a person with talents, hopes, experiences and
passions outside what can, at times feel like the
narrow paths of academia. Know yourself. Your graduate student status at Duke is but a piece of the person you are and compartmentalizing
your graduate training versus all the other parts of your life can be a useful tool for
success in graduate school. Second, graduate school can
strain your mental health. I found my time in graduate
school to be exhilarating and full of intellectual pleasure but at other times,
grueling, extremely stressful and unexpectedly, much
more mentally taxing than anything I’ve gone through before. The evidence bears this out. A recent study in the
journal Nature Biotechnology found that graduate students
are more than six times as likely to experience
depression and anxiety as compared to the general population. Let that sink in. Echoing Sophie, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to pay
attention to your mental health and to seek out help when needed. Duke has a terrific counseling center located in the Student Wellness Center which is available for graduate students. It offers individual and
group counseling sessions as well classes like mindfulness, yoga, guided meditation and more. As well, do things outside
of graduate school. Picnic in the Duke Gardens
or walk the Al Buehler Trail. If you have a car, visit the extraordinary North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh or drive to the beach in Wilmington. If you don’t have a car, take the free bus to visit our neighbors at UNC Chapel Hill, go on a Durham history walking tour. Visit the farmers market or
echoing Dean McClain’s advice, cheer on the Durham Bulls. Learn how to swim, read poetry,
cook, join a sports team or attending arts class. Do things that bring you joy. Unrelated extracurriculars
allow you to feel valued outside of your graduate student life and they’re crucially
important for success in graduate school. Thirdly, to echo Professor
Haynie, be a force for good. In a 1968 sermon delivered only
two months before his death, Martin Luther King spoke of what he called the Drum Major Instinct. An ambition to lead, to
be first, to find success ahead of others. This instinct, King thought,
was an inevitable part of our being but he also
thought that each of us could harness that instinct for good. Each of us here in this room, I suspect, have a bit of a drum major
instinct inside of ourselves. Aspirations, goals, and aim to succeed. My last piece of advice then
is to think about the ways in which your ambitions and talents can be used not only in the
pursuit of truth for truth sake but also to seek justice, to do right, to bind the wounds of your communities. Speak out about inequity, improve the institution’s around you, volunteer, vote, be a
good and informed citizen. Use your graduate training to
be a drum major for justice. Thank you. (attendees applauding) – Hi, everyone. I am Melyssa Minto. As he mentioned, I am a
second-year PhD student in computational biology
and let me tell you, this first year flew by. Like I remember when I was starting and I had all these concepts that I wanted to get a good grasp on that I had said to myself, there’s no way I’m gonna learn this. I cannot grasp these concepts. But standing here today saying that I moderately know these concepts now. It’s only my first year. Things like Monte Carlo
Markov chain modeling, computer networking and chromatin
accessibility sequencing. I’ve gained quite a bit of
knowledge on those things. I’m saying this to say that
the knowledge, it will come. It’s a part of The
Graduate School experience and the design of your
programs to get the knowledge. But what takes more effort and more work is building up your confidence, building up the relationships around you and just improving yourself personally outside of the knowledge of grad school. So I want to give some advice to you guys. Firstly, take advantage
of all the social events that your program has to offer. I didn’t do this my first semester and I felt myself having impostor syndrome or feeling kind of isolated but once I started getting out there more, I noticed that making friends and regularly talking about my issues or what I’m working on with my
peers was very helpful to me, not only just gaining their knowledge but sharing my knowledge and feeling like I’m on
the same playing field as everyone else. Also, the people around
you in your cohort, they’re gonna be your
colleagues for 20, 30, 40 years. So you should probably get to know them, make good with them,
don’t be mean to them. Next, I wanna add that you
should probably step outside of your comfort zone and explore things way outside of your field. For me, I did this with art. I’m not an artist, I’m not good at art. Maybe it looks like
abstract art a little bit. But art is something
for me that I completely have to focus on and kind of lose my focus around everything else and just to put my effort into it and it helps me to break
my hamster wheel back here, always thinking about my project or how can I fix my analysis and it helps me just delve into something that is completely different from what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis. So find something that
could help distract you from, your wheels always
turning in your brain and to just help you to have a
more well-rounded perspective and also to just take a break. Studies have shown that
that will actually help you to be more focus and
driven in your studies. Lastly, I wanna say that yourself best. If you feel uncomfortable or you know, something
seems off in a situation, maybe there’s a
requirement in your program that you don’t feel that
is quite applicable to you, be your own advocate. Go to your professors,
go to your advisors, the top people in your program
and speak to them about it. Tell them how you feel. Most often than not,
they’re gonna be willing to make changes and be
amenable to how you’re feeling and it will be more rewarding to go and advocate for yourself and fight for what you
think is best for you and your PhD journey rather than to suffer through something that doesn’t seem to fit what you need to be doing. So y’all made it here, y’all at Duke. I know that y’all are
gonna do well academically but please put in the effort
to do some self-improvement. During your time here, focus
on building your soft skills, finding a hobby that’s
distracting but too distracting and be your strongest advocate. Thank you. (attendees applauding) – I’m grinning ear-to-ear
because I am impressed. Give it up for your
colleagues one more time. (attendees applauding) Lunch are covered but we
want to take questions from the audience, from you. So if there are question at this time. – [Woman] We actually have a question from the Griffith Theater,
our remote viewing location. So, if panel, if you wanna give
them a wave so they see you. You’re on camera. Great. This is the question. Given the recent anniversary of the violence at Charlottesville and the defacement and removal
of the Robert Lee statue from the chapel plaza, this person’s interested to
know how you feel Duke has begun investigating its historical roots and how, we, as graduate students can learn about that history and begin to participate
in the conversation? – I think each of us here
are attending a school in a region and in a
country at a time of flux. If you all have been
paying attention the news just last night, UNC
made international news for the removal of the Confederate statue that was at the middle of that campus. There’s a lot happening here at Duke regarding these issues of race and history and our own responsibility. There was a symposium in
the spring on this topic. There was a campus-wide committee that issued a report on this topic and there’s gonna be
more ways to be involved. So, I would say from my perspective, it’s something that you
should keep your eyes open about for opportunities to get involved that Duke from the top
leadership all the way down is interested in addressing this question and that as a citizen of the
university and of this region, it’s incumbent upon us to
think about these questions and to act about them. So they’ll so keep your
eyes open for opportunities to engage on these issues and it’s certainly gonna be a
feature of your time at Duke that this is the place you live and work and a member of the community and these are issues that
the campus is facing. – I would like to add that
the new president of Duke, he sends out emails. Sometimes, you should read
those and you will see from those emails that there are actions that are being taken for these issues and also ways to be involved. But it also sends a good tone
of how much they’re willing and open to listen to
the students concerns and if you have an issue
similar to that or not similar, it seems very easy to
make your voice heard and have that issue being taken seriously. So as a Duke student and
as a black Duke student, I have yet to feel that
I can’t voice my opinion about something about race
or discrimination, my gender. So just keep that in mind
that this is a very open and welcoming environment
in terms of that. – [Alan] Other questions? – [Woman] One right here, Maria. – [Student] Okay, do you hear me? Okay, how do all personally ensure that you’re being good
citizens of this region, of this city and not
just a graduate student? – You wanna say something? – So for me, the most important thing is registering and voting. Anyone can do that with very
minimal amount of free time. I also engaged a great
deal with a community through my clinical work
and the emergency department and I get to meet citizens
from all aspects of life. So that’s personally how I do it with a minimal amount of time but it’s something
everyone needs to come up with on their own. – For me, I’m more of an introvert so finding those opportunities can seem a little bit
harder for introverts but there are meetups and group meets and different Duke clubs and organizations that just take the time
to look at things around the community that you
might be interested in and it’ll be worth your while to at least check some
of those things out once and yeah, like someone was saying, being involved in Durham
things and not just do things really helped me to feel
more valued as a person because it kind of gave my identity, or broaden my identity from
just being a Duke grad student. So I definitely recommend
doing something like that. – For me, I think it’s
more of like going out to meet other community and
listen to how other people feel and how lots of people think of things. If you stay in your own
community for a long time, you’re like kind of
restricted of your feeling that because everybody have
the same feeling with you so it’s more about talking
to different people and hear from them. – For me it was partly seeing which events are offered in the region. For example, I went to a great
puppet show in Saxapahaw. Location I could never have
pronounced last year, certainly. Also to see what
institutions are around here like the National Humanities Center or to reach out to people at UNC and try to do projects
together with other students at other institutions or, for example, in the CCT program and the
certificate for college teaching. You go and visit other institutions and see how other people teach and learn and meet other people
around the university. – All I would add is that
the history of Durham and this region and this
state is so fascinating and these great questions
about race and class and the American ideal and
immigration and industry are all reflected in that history. And so any ways in which you
can learn about this place whether it’s through scholarship, some of which is being done here at Duke or whether it’s visiting museums or going Greensboro Civil Rights Museum or there’s the Durham History Museum, very fine North Carolina History Museum. I think learning about the history is one way of being a good citizen and something I’ve
enjoyed as I’ve been here. – [Alan] I think we have
time for one more question. – [Student] Hi, looking
back on your experience, I guess either inside or
outside of The Graduate School, is there anything you’d regret or something you do differently? – For me, I would say I regret I didn’t go to the gym more often. (attendees laughing) – For me, I think learning
how to gracefully exit a mentorship relationship
that was not going well is something that I learned
slowly over the last two years. It’s important to have that
skill and think about it as an option during your time here. – Yeah, I joined the
Duke table tennis team pretty late last year and I
would have done that earlier had I known about it. Certainly that you came to this event, you already did something
right because I missed it and I regret deeply not
being here last year. So yeah. – For me, it’s just going
on being more social. – You only regret those
events you didn’t go to so do take advantage
of all the great events that are advertised on the
Duke Graduate School homepage or in the newsletter as you find. I never regretted any event
I actually did go to, so. (attendees applauding)

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