Date(s) - 04/05/2021 - 04/08/2021
5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
2021 THEME: “Ghost work:” The Unseen Contributions of Graduate and Professional Students to Institutions of Higher Education
Partnerships: National Association of Graduate/Professional Students (NAGPS) & Ohio University’s Graduate Student Senate (GSS)More information: https://www.uky.edu/gsc/nagps-midwestern-regional-conference Zoom recordings available on UKY GSC Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UKYGSC
The University of Kentucky (UK) Graduate Student Congress (GSC) is a member of the Midwestern Region of the National Association of Graduate/Professional Students (NAGPS). In partnership with the Ohio University (OU) Graduate Student Senate (GSS), the GSC will be virtually co-hosting the 2020 – 2021 NAGPS Midwestern Regional Conference. The purpose of the NAGPS Midwestern Regional Conference is to provide graduate and professional students in the Midwestern region of the United States, along with their affiliate Graduate/Professional Student Organizations (GPSOs), the opportunity to meet and interact one another, while also learning about and discussing important topics related to graduate and professional student education. The annual NAGPS Midwestern Region Membership Meeting is scheduled in conjunction with the NAGPS Midwestern Regional Conference.
The theme of the 2021 NAGPS Midwestern Regional Conference – “Ghost Work”: The Unseen Contributions of Graduate and Professional Students to Institutions of Higher Education – was selected because, across the country, graduate and professional students frequently conduct research, teach undergraduates, secure grant funding, offer support services, and help maintain the prestige of institutions of higher education. However, the duties and responsibilities expected of most graduate assistantships are way above and beyond the 20-hours-per-week stated in their assistantship contract, if they even get one; and graduate and professional students are not usually awarded or commended for the extra time and effort they must put in to get this work done, in addition to completing their coursework. Graduate assistantship stipends are also unreasonably low and force many graduate and professional students below the poverty line for several years, as their stipend barely covers housing and food costs, let alone the other professional costs associated with graduate school. What’s more, many graduate and professional students are systematically discouraged from seeking additional or outside employment, even if it is to meet basic needs, so they can maintain “progress toward degree.”
The purpose of this year’s conference is to give a voice to those graduate and professional students whose hard work and dedication often goes unnoticed and underappreciated. Attendees will get to hear directly from current graduate and professional students across the Midwestern region of the country about their experiences at institutions of higher education and the “ghost work” they do that needs to be recognized. Attendees will also have the opportunity to engage with the two authors of the recently published and acclaimed book, “The New PhD” – Dr. Leonard Cassuto and Dr. Robert Weisbuch – about some of the issues plaguing graduate education (e.g., advising, teaching, the degree itself) and how we can all work together to reform and reimagine graduate education for the 21st century.