Diana Ross had the Supremes, Tina Turner had the Ikettes, Britney Spears has her voice synthesiser, every great artist has to have back up and Claire Gallop is no different. Today we talk with Sarah McGregor and Mel Adams, Claire’s backup for the blog:
So why are you doing a blog and why now?
Sarah: GRS wants to reach the graduate research community far and wide. With the ever-increasing interest in, and use of, social media what better way than to start up a blog network where we can provide that community with all sorts of relevant information and entertaining ramblings!
Mel: We are wanting to build more of a community spirit within the graduate student community and using social media is one of the ways we can do this.
What is the purpose of the blog?
Sarah: To provide another avenue of heads-up for those who aren’t privy to the Facebook or Twitter worlds. Disseminating information to the graduate research community about what’s going on both in this little corner of the Clocktower and every other corner of the Uni that might be of relevance! Events, workshops, ideas, experiences, people of interest – you name it, we’ll blog it (probably).
Mel: We have Facebook, Twitter, a newsletter and view the blog as a space to share slightly more in-depth stories about folk involved in different aspects of the postgrad life.
Who contributes to the blog?
Sarah: The team in GRS will play a big role in providing posts for the blog. We’re also hoping for input from sources around the Uni, so hit us up!
Mel: We do! We are lining up an awesome collection of stories but are happy to hear from folk who have a story to share. If you are keen drop Claire, Sarah or myself an email and we will see if it is a good one.
What is your involvement in the blog?
Mel: I am a wrangler of the blog. Wrangle folk to write some stuff for the blog and try to keep Claire under her word limit (No Chance: Claire).
Sarah: Ditto! Deputy Wrangler.
What is your theme tune or what do you think the theme tune for the blog should be?
Sarah: Full House theme tune… the milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV! (Lame alert: it’s all about coming together as one big happy postgraduate family!)
Mel: I would have to go with the Muppets theme tune!
Mel Adams and Sarah McGregor
Welcome to the Graduate Research School’s Blog-With-No-Name. This blog is an opportunity for the University of Otago graduate research community and the people supporting that community to share insights and information about the thesis journey.
I am the Manager of the Graduate Research School and the School’s Chief Bloggerating Officer. I am ably supported by my Blog-of-Directors, Sarah McGregor from the Doctoral Office and Mel Adams from the Scholarships Office. Our mission is to share the ups and downs and the ins and outs of writing a thesis.
There is loads of support available across the University for thesis candidates but it isn’t always easy to find it at the exact moment you need it. This blog is a place where we can share resources and initiate new responses to the challenges thrown up by writing a thesis in our current environment. Check out our weekly post to see if there is something going on in your community that would help support you. If you have an idea for an amazing graduate research initiative, give us the word; you may be just one blog post away from glory.
Graduate Research should involve more than just slaving over books and Bunsen burners. We want to hear from thesis candidates not simply about their research, but also about their passions, and projects. If you are managing some amazing work-life balance, let us know and share how you managed it in our Life Beyond posts.
If you are barely managing a work-work balance, then look out for our posts on managing your greedy thesis. We will grab experts and pin them down about how to have the best possible thesis experience. Amongst other things, tips for dealing with writing woes, managing your supervisor, finding work in the current economic climate, and overcoming our own psychological foibles will be shared and discussed in our Conquer Your Thesis posts.
In our Behind Departmental Doors posts we will explore how various areas of the University support and develop graduate research. Ever wondered what a Postgraduate Coordinator does? Interested in what resources a thesis candidate can reasonably expect during candidature? We are here to blow those mysteries wide open. Want to know why there are goat noises coming from the department down the hall? Keen to know where to buy those instant-intellectual-look leather (or pleather) arm patches for your jerseys? Wonder no more! We are here to ask our departments the hard questions, the good questions, and the very-silly-indeed questions.
If you would like to write a post for the Blog-With-No-Name, then contact Claire Gallop. We have a few guidelines to prevent Blogageddon; we prefer not to slander people, be disrespectful, become the next WikiLeaks, or get embroiled in intellectual property disputes. We like our contributors to focus on positive solutions to issues rather than simply having a bleat and in the age of the sound-bite, short is good too, so aim for no more than 500 words. But beyond these rules, we want this to be your voice as well as ours.
Finally, do you know how many blogs there are that are called a Blog-With-No-Name? If you can come up with a great name for our blog there is a $50 supermarket voucher and a chocolate fish with your name on it; so get your thinking caps on and either email me or leave us a comment.
Claire Gallop, Manager, Graduate Research School