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GradWeek

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is celebrating Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week (GPSAW) March 30 through April 3. Every year, UT’s Graduate School sets aside a week in the spring to recognize graduate and professional students.

This year, the Graduate School is showing that appreciation online.

GPSAW is part of a larger national initiative by the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS). Multiple events planned at UT for the week unfortunately needed to be canceled due to the spread of COVID-19.

The Graduate School and partners across the campus have collaborated to make the events available online, including workshops and Q&A sessions through Zoom video conferencing.

“When we learned that we would have to cancel all of our in-person events, the first thing we did was take a moment to absorb it,” said Sean Hendricks, communications manager for the Graduate School. “Then we got to work to figure out how to make this happen online. No one on our team wanted to let this week, much less our graduate and professional students, go unnoticed.”

Graduate and professional students can view the full GPSAW schedule online and are encouraged to preregister for events. Featured events include a Graduate School Q&A with staff, a poster presentation workshop, a session on equity-minded mentoring, and a graduate research fellowships program planning session. In addition, elections for the Graduate Student Senate will take place during the week.

Undergraduate students can take part in the celebration by submitting messages to graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) and associates who have made a positive impact on their lives. GTA shout-outs can be viewed on the Graduate School’s website.

GPSAW is one of many ways the Graduate School is stepping up to support students.

Resources regarding next steps for research, online instruction, and professional development opportunities are available to students. For thesis, project, and dissertation defenses, graduate students will be able to defend remotely through Zoom, Skype, or any other online video platform.

Graduate teaching assistants in need are eligible to request additional resources to ensure a successful transition to online instruction.

“Our students do great research, serve a critical role in our teaching mission, and engage in our community in numerous ways. They do all these things and more while pursuing their own education,” said Dixie Thompson, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. “Truly, I’m proud to work with and for such a great group of individuals.”

For resources related to working and teaching remotely, visit the Office of Information Technology website.

For tips on online instruction, visit the Teaching and Learning Innovation website.