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Grad school isn’t easy. It is a marathon and a test of will. As grad students, we are expected to get perfect grades, teach, publish, apply for grants, and somehow find time to work on our dissertations. Many of us balance these demands with our roles as parents, spouses, and significant others. Trapped between the worlds of students and faculty, we face a number of unique challenges. Gradhacker was created in the spirit of drawing support from our fellow graduate students.
GradHacker began as an idea generated by the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative fellows at Michigan State University. Hosted and supported by the MSU Department of Anthropology, the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative is a platform for interdisciplinary scholarly collaboration, communication, and training in the domain of Cultural Heritage Informatics at Michigan State University. In the spring of 2011, we ran a bootcamp to educate our peers on using social media to develop an academic identity. The bootcamp included workshops on Twitter, Gravatar, WordPress, and Zotero. After a positive and productive experience, we wanted to develop a platform that would help graduate students connect and share advice. Thus, GradHacker was born.
GradHacker is a collaborative blog for grad students, by grad students. Our contributing authors hail from a variety of universities and disciplines. The posts aim to share experiences, identify problems and solutions, and inspire discussion about our fields and academia. We take the term ‘hacking’ beyond technology, analyzing the process of graduate school to better navigate its challenges and reach our goals. Our topics are as varied as the individuals who write about them; they include parenting, pedagogy, health advice, using social media, and proposing a digital dissertation to your committee.
Since launching in June 2011, GradHacker has reached nearly a hundred excellent posts written by a crack squad of permanent authors and guests. Gradhacker was incubated at MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online; we are thrilled and privileged to combine their support with that of Inside Higher Ed.
The following week will feature a selection of the best GradHacker posts in technology, professional development and personal life as an introduction to our new readers. We are always searching for new authors who are passionate about topics relating to grad school. You can follow us on twitter @GradHacker, or through email at Gradhacker.org [at] gmail [dot] com.
We are proud to be the newest member of the Inside Higher Ed blogging community, and look forward to providing an arena for open grad school discussion.