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Professional Development Resources

Graduate School-Wide Required Course in Professional Skills for all first year graduate students meets Monday evenings from 5:30-7pm in B2 DuBois Hall. This ‘course’ ( non-credit) focuses on achieving success in success in the graduate program,  and is coordinated by Paula Hemphill, MA, Physics,  The professional skills discussed include, but are not limited to: time management; ethics, honesty, and plagiarism; electronic bibliographic tools; introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research; career opportunities in the sciences outside of academia; the importance of oral and written communication, and detailed introduction to poster presentations . Each graduate student presents a poster at the end of the course that outlines the overall research objectives of their research supervisor’s program, and the specific project/project area in which they will do their individual thesis research.

Writing Workshops
A thesis writers’ ‘bootcamp’ will be held each Spring, in partnership with the Fisk University Writing Center, to facilitate second year students’ completion of their MA thesis document.

Resources to improve Writing Skill
The Fisk University Writing Center  is a resource for all students in the Fisk family, from freshmen to graduate students.  Students are encouraged to visit and meet with a tutor at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming a topic to making final revisions. The Writing Center offers specific services just for graduate students, including working with graduate seminar papers and presentations, reviews of conference proposals and papers, and long-term tutoring for theses, including beginning research and literature reviews.  While the tutors will not proofread papers for students, they will help students acquire the skills they need to create, revise, and edit their own writing in a friendly, pressure-free atmosphere.   For more information, please contact the Writing Center Director, Prof. Holly Hamby, at or 615-329-8823.

Kaplan courses for the GRE
Many students who enter the Fisk Master’s program have the goal of ultimately obtaining the PhD. Though GREs are required for consideration for admission to Fisk’ s Master’s programs, some students find that their scores would not be competitive for admission directly to a PhD program. To maximize the career opportunities of our trainees, Master’s students are encouraged to participate in the Kaplan preparation programs funded by Fisk University.

Personal Counseling
Fisk University supports a Counseling Center.  Students will be able to schedule a consult within this Center within 48 hours and, in emergencies, within 24 hours.  The current EMERGENCY CONTACT is Dr Sheila Peters, 615-497-2963, a licensed clinical psychologist who will identify the most appropriate clinical professional to meet a particular student’s needs.

Other Workshops
In response to student requests, additional workshops will also be made available, including: resume and CV preparation; learning about, applying and interviewing for PhD programs or for career positions (with mock interviews).