Graduate Studies

Success in Graduate Student Research

Grad Student ResearchGraduate Student Research and Scholarship Outcomes

            Research or creative products must be shared for them to have societal value.  One of the success goals for graduate students who conduct research or some form of independent study (e.g., thesis, dissertation, capstone paper, case study, etc.) as part of their degree program is the dissemination of their work to broader audiences through peer-reviewed publication in journals and/or presentation at professional meetings.  Since one of the responsibilities of a faculty mentor is to help prepare students for such endeavors, graduate students are encouraged to seek out mentors who can direct them to strategies that achieve such a goal as an outcome of their graduate studies.  For faculty, having a graduate student or group of students achieve dissemination of their scholarly work in recognized outlets may be the ultimate outcome of effective teaching and mentoring.  A peer-reviewed publication or presentation is a noteworthy accomplishment and gives lasting meaning to the efforts of both students and faculty in graduate studies, regardless of discipline or audience.  Such activity can help socialize graduate students into their profession’s culture, increase their value for employers, and serve as a benchmark of success for graduate program learning outcomes.

            How successful are our graduate programs at GVSU in reaching this goal?  Example reports from graduate programs and faculty about graduate student scholarship dissemination since 2005 reveal both breadth and depth in this outcome, including:

  • Thirty-two co-authored, peer-reviewed publications and 154 co-authored, non-peer-reviewed papers and presentations in state, regional, national, and international journals and meetings by master’s degree students in the biology program, including biology, natural resource management, and the Annis Water Resources Institute, mentored by Drs. Biddanda, Rediske, Ruetz, Steinman, Thum, Uzarski (AWRI) and Ashenbach, Blackman, Dunn, Greer, Griffin, Hollister, Hunt, Jacquot, Keenlance, Lombardo, Luttenton, MacDonald, Menon, Morgan, Nikitin, Nordman, Snyder, Trier, Vigna (BIO).
  • Thirty-six student presentations at conferences, such as the American Literature Association, International Conference on the Short Story in English, National Conference for Teachers of English, Conference on Literature and Culture, the T.S. Eliot Society Conference, and Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, mentored by Drs. Hewitt, Blumreich, Bullock, Lockerd, Rozema, Anderson, and Webster and others in the graduate program in English.
  • Twelve student co-authored, peer-reviewed publications and 12 presentations at annual meetings and conferences in rehabilitation and physical therapy co-authored with DPT program faculty, Drs. Alderink, Hoogenboom, Peck, Shoemaker, Stevenson, Vaughn and Professors Baker and Harro.
  • Co-authored papers in journals for advanced manufacturing and industrial engineering and conference proceedings for international, national, and regional meetings on manufacturing and simulation, hardware platform design, and electro/information technology with Drs. Dunne, Standridge, and Treffitz (Engineering and Computing).

            Some of these same students have been recognized for their scholarly outcomes with Graduate Dean Citations at our fall and winter Graduate Student Celebrations since 2006.  In addition, GVSU has been represented in the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools Outstanding Thesis competition in 2009-10 by Matthew Cooper (MS, Biology).  We will soon select a nominee for the 2010-11 competition.  Also, discussions have started with the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence to create a university-wide graduate student research event, perhaps during Michigan Graduate Education Week, where students and faculty mentors can showcase their scholarship to the Grand Valley community.  The Office of Graduate Studies supports our graduate students with the Graduate Presidential Research Grants program each semester and remind program faculty to encourage their students to apply for funding for their research projects to support their scholarship.  Finally, we congratulate our students, past and present, for their accomplishments and thank all faculty mentors in our degree programs for their commitment to their students’ research, scholarship, and professional development.

Page last modified October 26, 2010