Meeting Graduate Communicators Where They Are
June 15 – 17, 2021
Call for Participation
All proposals due on March 31, 2021 11:59pm EST
Graduate students come from and are headed towards increasingly diverse settings.The effects of the global pandemic on higher education are still unfolding, but a year in lockdown, unable to access many campus resources–or even campuses–has profoundly impacted graduate students. Embedded in the CGC mission statement is the recognition that many graduate students study in locations far removed from their home cultures and often in second and additional languages, but this year, much of that study has been forced into remote locations or simply prevented. Increased enrollments among students from historically underserved groups–such as students of color, first-generation graduate students, and students with special needs–have enhanced diversity in the landscape of graduate education. Academic experiences are also expanding; graduate students may be enrolled in academic or professional certificates, or masters or doctoral degrees, and in programs that may be traditionally face-to-face, hybrid, or fully online, and they may be traditional, full-time students supported by graduate assistantships or full-time professionals attending graduate school part-time. Pursuits, too, are evolving, with some graduate students pursuing careers in the academy while many others choose entrepreneurship or careers in industry, government, and non-profit organizations. These shifts occur as the last twelve months have demanded recognition of the inequities among privileged and marginalized student populations and increased the urgency of anti-racist and anti-nationalist efforts.
The 2021 CGC Summer Institute asks graduate communication professionals to consider both the array of contexts in which graduate students must act as communicators and the forms those communications may take. We invite participants to explore what it means to meet graduate students where they are. Such an inquiry might address questions like these:
- How do—and should—changing demographics in graduate education shift our approaches to support?
- What steps and strategies do we take to fight institutional racism and national discrimination? How do we work toward inclusion and equity for all students?
- What assets (from their languages, cultures, previous professions, past education, and home communities, etc.) do graduate students bring with them to their graduate programs, and how can we help them leverage those assets in service of their writing/communication and professional goals?
- What are the roles and potentials of technology for mediating, reshaping, enhancing, and scaling up graduate communication support? In particular, what have we learned from a year of working virtually?
- What do we know about where graduate students are, including when in their graduate careers they need and seek communication support, and how do we (institutionally, programmatically, as a research community) gather information about their communication needs and assets?
- What are the genres, modalities, and media of communication that graduate students use in their current and future educational and professional contexts, and how can we support their diverse communication needs?
- Who should decide what the priorities are for graduate student communication—and who should provide the resources to respond to those priorities?
- What partnerships among various spaces on campus do/could/should exist to enhance graduate communication support, no matter where graduate students are?
To explore these questions or other issues pertaining to meeting your graduate communicators where they are, the Virtual Summer Institute will feature keynotes, workshops, brief “lightning round” style presentations, and special interest networking sessions. Participants are welcome to submit proposals for workshops, brief lightning presentations, or special-interest networking sessions. For this virtual Summer Institute, we are also seeking participants who will act as session moderators without other speaking roles on the program. In addition, any proposers who are not invited to present their proposed idea will be invited to act as a chair or moderator at a session.
Registration will open on April 15.
Workshops will be scheduled from 1:15-2:30pm EST on June 15, 16, and 17
Submit a proposal for a workshop
Experienced practitioners will share nuts-and-bolts approaches to teaching- and administration- related topics in graduate communication support. Workshops will provide professional development opportunities for all, including participants who are new to the field or exploring new graduate communication initiatives or approaches. Workshop leaders are invited to propose 75-minute sessions on an area of expertise in graduate communication support.
Please note that there will be limited slots for workshops, so it is possible that a number of qualified proposals will not be selected. For example, if we receive three proposals for oral communication workshops, we will likely only select one of them in the interest of providing a good range of workshop topics.
Workshop proposals will be reviewed and selected based on the following criteria:
- Proposal quality—Clarity of goals and deliverables, as well as emphasis on hands-on activities, will be considered in the selection process.
- Diversity of topics—We aim to offer workshops focused on topics that are relevant to participants from a wide range of backgrounds. For this reason, it is possible that a high quality proposal will not be chosen if the topic is too similar to one already in the lineup.
- Suitability to the online environment—We look forward to workshops that effectively use online delivery, conversation, and participant collaboration.
- Experience—Because the workshops are meant to give participants who are newer to graduate communication support the opportunity to learn from those with more experience, professional experience will be considered. We are not looking for “stars” in the field so much as perspective on the topic gained through trial and error.
Workshop proposals should provide the following information:
- Workshop title
- Workshop topic
- Names and institutional affiliations for all workshop speakers/ organizers
- A brief description of your qualifications for leading a workshop on this topic
- Intended audience
- Is your workshop suitable for participants who work with students from a wide variety of backgrounds (L1, L2, international, domestic), or is it designed for participants who work with a specific student population?
- A brief description of the workshop that answers the following questions in no more than 500 words:
- What questions or issues will the workshop raise and address
- What (if anything) should participants bring to the workshop?
- How will the workshop make effective use of the online environment?
- What is the goal, outcome, or deliverable of the workshop?
Note: If you proposed a workshop for the canceled 2020 SI, you are welcome to resubmit that proposal. (Proposals will not “roll-over” into 2021.)
Special Interest Networking Proposals
Special Interest Networking Sessions will be scheduled for 3:45-4:45 on June 15 and 16
Submit a proposal for a Special Interest Networking Session
Many people attend the Summer Institute in order to interact with and learn from other practitioners who are engaged in similar projects. While the workshops and lightning presentation sessions offer the opportunity for interactions focused on specific topics, there is also a need for less structured conversations. The purpose of these sessions is to fill this gap and allow for explicit time to network around issues and topics.
Participants who are interested in exploring a relevant topic in an informal setting are invited to propose a session of 60 minutes and to serve as the facilitator of the discussion.
Please note that these forums should not include formal presentations. Instead, they should provide an opportunity for open discussion.
Special Interest Networking proposals should provide the following information:
- Names of facilitators (limited to four)
- Session title
- A brief description of the session that answers the following questions in no more than 250 words
- What topic do you hope to discuss?
- What is the exigency for this discussion, and what do you hope to accomplish?
- Which other participants do you encourage to participate? (Information you might discuss here includes but is not limited to job descriptions, goals, and research, teaching, and or administrative interests.) In what ways might these participants benefit from the discussion?
- A brief list of questions that you’ll invite participants to explore
- Strategies you might use to create an interactive discussion in an online environment
Lightning Presentations will scheduled 2:45-3:30pm EST on June 15, 16, 17
Submit a proposal for a Lightning Presentation
Present a five minute synopsis or overview of your work or work in progress in graduate communication program administration, course design, pedagogy, tutoring, materials development, or research. Presenters will be organized thematically in groups of four presentations and sessions will allow for discussion (approximately 20 minutes). The ideal lightning presentation sparks an idea with a delivery style that is more like teaching, less like reading a paper. At the Summer Institute, the five-minute time limit will be enforced to allow all speakers to share their ideas equitably while also allowing for vigorous discussion following the brief presentations.
Enter a short abstract (limit: 250 words) of your presentation on the registration form. Ideas for presentations might include:
- Research—share work-in-progress reporting scholarly and/or institutional research
- Pedagogy—share course designs, writing assignment designs, and pedagogical approaches
- Theory—what does theory look like in the context of graduate communication support?
- Tutoring Approaches/Communication support outside the classroom
- Negotiating Campus Politics—working conditions, finding campus allies, arguing for budgets
- Materials Development—textbooks, professional development materials, materials for courses and tutoring programs
- Co-curricular support
Submitting multiple proposals:
Participants may submit a maximum of two proposals (no more than one in any one category type) as a presenter or co-presenter in a workshop, lightning presentation, or special interest networking session. Anyone submitting more than one proposal will be asked to prioritize their proposals.
The Summer Institute will be $55 or free with CGC membership at any level.
You can learn more about the CGC through our website: www.gradconsortium.org.