UND School of Graduate Studies Blog

Happenings at The School of Graduate Studies at the University of North Dakota

Posts Tagged ‘new students

Graduate Student wins award for art, and showcases many talents

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I like my job. For many reasons. Maybe the biggest reason is that I get to meet graduate students, and graduate students are some of the most interesting and talented people around.

For example, Xavier Pastrano is a Master’s student in our English department. Not only is he a great English student, he’s also a musician. He plays solo shows, has released CDs, and he’s in one of the region’s best bands, The North River Ramblers. The Ramblers play amazing bluegrass music – floorboard-stomping, harmonizing, banjo-picking, smile-on-your-face-making bluegrass music.

Xavier’s also an accomplished artist and photographer. (Does this guy ever sleep?)  On a recent trip to Norway and Denmark, he took a series of photographs. These photographs, along with his artwork, are now on display in the Grand Forks City Hall, because Xavier is the first recipient of the Grand Forks Mayor’s Choice Artist Award.

Yesterday, along with the Northern Valley Arts Council, the Mayor held a reception to celebrate Xavier’s work. As the Ramblers played, I admired Xavier’s photographs and artwork while I tapped toes with a big grin.

Xavier’s artwork is funny, thoughtful, and on display at Grand Forks City Hall for the next three months

Xavier’s a great talent. Both The Graduate School and the city are lucky to have him.

The Grand Forks Herald also published a story about Xavier today.


Written by evannelson

July 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Posted in Events, people

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Getting Oriented

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Twice a year, The Graduate School hosts an orientation for new students to provide them with critical information about policies, services and what to expect as they become senior members of our student body. Several new campus-wide initiatives currently in discussion have given a reason to pause and consider what it is that prospective students  might wish to learn about the University of North Dakota. This is a topic we frequently discussed in our recruitment conversations. Yet the focus now changes to helping students learn critical information they will need before they even step into a classroom. Now that they have committed much of time over the next several years to advancing their knowledge, there is an obligation to provide all the tools they’ll need.

Typically, our orientation for new students includes a welcome to the university-at-large, policies and procedures of The Graduate School, some student life and services talks and an information fair showcasing many of the great student support units around campus. We also give them an opportunity to hear from current grad students about their experiences – good and bad. At the end of a fairly lengthy day, we invite them to join us, meet our staff, and faculty members for an informal picnic in the park.

A second day of orientation is designed for students who will work as Graduate Teaching or Research Assistants – topics such as intellectual property, time management and learning how to navigate the semester as both student and a teacher. Our agenda is meant to provide a big picture  view of graduate life and provide resources for new and current students. Many departments offer an introduction with more of a program emphasis, and we believe that both are important.

So, now is the time for us to review our plans from previous years, revise the agenda based on feedback and design some sessions that will help our incoming students ease into graduate school. If you are joining us this Fall, mark your calendars for August 18 & 19. Details will be coming to you very soon. And if you are a distance student, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Written by School of Graduate Studies

June 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Events

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Some Reflections on a Great Travel Season for our Recruiters

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Morning against the mountains in Logan, Utah

Evan Nelson here, and on behalf of everyone who hit the road for The Graduate School this autumn on recruitment visits, I want to let you know how great our travel season was. We visited schools near the beaches of Southern California and Lake Superior, in the cities of St. Louis and Missoula, during snow sprinkles in Salt Lake City and sunshine in South Dakota. All counted, in eight weeks and eleven states, we visited more than 40 schools.

I didn’t find a great burger —although I managed to find a couple of okay ones, but I did meet some great students:

  • the aspiring novelist in Spearfish, South Dakota;
  • the social worker who took time from her lunch break for coffee with me in Duluth, Minnesota;
  • the history buff in Mayille, North Dakota whose dream is to someday work for the National Baseball Hall of Fame;
  • the self-professed lab geek in Ogden, Utah—you know you want to live behind a microscope and you know how to get from Weber State’s campus back to the interstate (thanks!);

and many others. I can’t wait to get on the road again next year. Maybe I’ll run into some of you again!

Now, I’m back in the office and back home in Grand Forks. We’re getting ready for a new group of students coming in January. Never a moment’s rest!

Written by School of Graduate Studies

November 24, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Share your best winter tips for our new students

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Graduate students at UND come from places far afield including every state in US and over 40 countries. Each year, we have questions from students who ask about our winters and the best places to find clothing, tips for traveling and getting around town. We decided to put together a “Winter Survival Guide” for newcomers. On this web site, students can learn more about the challenges and opportunities for living in our region.

Yes, winters are cold, but this also provides some “You can’t do THAT in California!” moments, too. Public ice skating, cross-country skiing, building snowmen…you get the idea. We have also provided some winter weather health and safety tips, as well as places to consult in case of a winter storm.

We would like to hear from you, too. Do you have a great winter tip? Leave a comment and we’ll add it to our Winter Survival Guide web site.

Winter Survival Guide

Written by School of Graduate Studies

November 20, 2009 at 8:05 pm