What I expect from my
What You can expect
Ball State University
Dept of Biology
YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ME
- Assistantships – funding
- Before you agree to join my lab, we should be very clear on
what you are or are not being offered. Here are some of the
assistantships options available at Ball State University.
Teaching Assistantship (TA or GA). Teaching
assistantships are very common. With this method the student is paid by
the Department to assist with or teach the lab portion(s) of some
class(es). In some cases you would teach 2-4 lab sections a week
of a lower level biology course or you
may be responsible for helping to set-up and run the lab of an upper
level course with the
instructor. In return you would get a stipend (salary) and get tuition
waved (you will still have to pay student fees). The catch to this
method is that there are a limited number of openings each semester and
often there are very few or no positions for Summer semesters, leaving
most TAs without work (or pay) during the summer. There are annual
deadlines for applying for these positions.
B. Research Assistantship (RA).
These are very
similar to TA but instead of teaching the student does research. The
money that is used to pay your salary and for classes must come from a
grant that you or I have obtained. The research work that you would be
doing may or may not be associated with your own research that you must
conduct as part of your degree.
general, it is my desire for each of my MS students to be on a teaching
assistantship (TA/GA) for fall and spring semesters and on a research
assistantship (RA) during the summer. However, this is not always
possible, especially the RA because it is dependant on funding.
Additionally, Ball State University limits TA support of Masters
Students to two years (4 semesters) – though that may change. Tenure
past that time would require funding from a RA – which is not always
Supplies and Research Materials - Over the
years I have acquired a wide variety of research equipment that is
available for you to use. Additionally, I have a good working
relationship with my colleagues here at Ball State University and at
other Universities and there is always the possibility of borrowing
equipment. I have always identified with the famous motto “have
done so much with so little for so long that we can now do anything
with nothing!” As part of your education we will work together to
figure out ways of getting things done within the budget we have to
work with. Since budgets are often limited you probably will be
required to use your personal vehicle for your research. This may
be as little as to and from the field, but depending on the project
may include transporting traps or other equipment. I will never ask
you to do anything that would damage your vehicle, but you will be
expected to use your vehicle as needed. When available I will
reimburse you for your mileage.
- Moral support – As a
member of my lab you can expect my complete support. Once a member
of my lab your job is not to worry about impressing me but to learn and grow
long as you try your best and continue to progress, you can always
count on my encouragement. I am most impressed by those that take
initiative and get things done with little or no reminding from me.
- Your research project -
Part of my goal is to work closely with you to develop an
interesting and exciting project that you can take ownership in.
While we often are constrained by the requirements of a grant that
is funding a project, we can always find unique and interesting
aspects for you to research for your thesis. Science does not have
to be monotonous and boring, on the contrary the best science is
usually exciting and motivating.
- Gaining experience and
confidence - I encourage and expect my graduate students to
partake in any and all activities that I do. Some of the best
learning comes from witnessing and doing. When I give talks, be it
educational talks at a grade school or an oral paper presentation at
a professional meeting, I expect my students to come along and learn
from the process. And when you are ready for you to give it a try.
I struggle to walk the fine line between letting you learn the “hard
way” and showing you the right way the first time. There will be
ample opportunities for you gain valuable experiences involving
everything from field methodologies to classroom lecturing. It is
up to each student to take advantage of these opportunities, I will
not force them on you.
- Assistance in getting
jobs or further educational opportunities - As your advisor I
feel that your future success in part reflects back on me and my
lab. As such, you can expect me provide all my connections and
contacts to help you in your future endeavors. You can also expect
me to provide a supportive but honest reference for all future
mentors and or employers. Our relationship should not stop after
you graduate, but rather should simple enter into a different phase.
However make no mistake, your future is in your hands. You will be
judged on your credentials and aptitude. I good reference for me can
carry only so much weight. It is still your responsibility to
get everything you can out of your time in graduate school. Simply
showing up is not enough.