Category Archives: Academic Development

Student Parenting Rights

Researchers found that leaving academe to have a family accounts for the largest “leak” in the STEM pipeline for women, from graduate school to tenure. A common reason is the absence of resources like paid leave, childcare or staff support. Inside Higher Ed follows grad students who started a campaign for parental rights to help temper the difficulties of raising kids while studying. Read it here.

Worst Writing Advice Ever

There’s no doubt that the academic world is tough. It requires rigor and sacrifice of time, sleep, and sometimes relationships. What do you do when you need to fit in yet another project? Conventional advice says: Wake up earlier! Work more! Sacrifice more! This is terrible advice. Commonly given about writing, it applies to other projects as well. Rebecca Schuman at the Chronicle of Higher Education talks about why–and what to do instead. Read it here.

The Magic Email

Keeping students motivated during the semester can be a challenge when the going gets tough and the realities of an engineering education set in, and midterms and finals come around. But one email from you, the TA, AI, or professor, can help keep students in the pipeline. The Chronicle of Higher Education talks about how. Read it here.

Prism magazine also has useful coverage on how to use this technique to keep students engaged. Read Mary Lord’s article here.

Tinker Toys

As a busy engineering student, you probably don’t have all the time in the world to take on side projects–even though these types of projects can help you better grasp material and help you find your passion in the field (not to mention put you ahead of some other students in internship applications). Click through to find some small side projects you can tinker with in your dorm in your spare time, courtesy of Make: magazine. Even better, see if you can’t improve on some of the designs!

Continue reading Tinker Toys

De-constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism is a great way to learn and grow in your field–be it in the form of grades, performance reviews, or difficult conversations. Yes, it can be awkward and hard to swallow, but many times it’s something you need to hear. If you can learn to take it gracefully and implement it into your life, in the long run, it builds you up. Destructive criticism, however, tears you down. It’s “being critical of others in a demeaning, unconstructive way or seeking to control others’ behavior through intimidation.” Whether at school or in the workplace, it’s a terrible abuse of power. Inside Higher Ed has a great article on how to deal with it. If you can do it well, you may go far–or at least save your sanity. Read it here.