• GradHacker

    A Blog from GradHacker and MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online


Summer Hiatus

The GradHacker team is heading out for the summer!

July 7, 2015



It’s that time of year again, when our hardworking GradHackers step away from the web for the summer and dream up new content for next academic year. The blog will be on hiatus until August. In the meantime, if you’re itching to get prepping for that new course you’re teaching in the autumn or the dissertation prospectus you’re about to tackle or getting started on your graduate degree for the very first time, check out our ever-growing archive of how-to posts and tips.


Here’s what some of our authors are looking forward to accomplishing this summer. If you’re interested in following along with their progress or procrastination, you can check them out on Twitter:



Wendy Robinson: In the last three years, I have had a baby and started a doctoral program. Self-care in the form of exercise and fitness has fallen way down on my list of priorities but I'm determined to do something about that this summer. My goal is to complete a 2.1 mile open water swim race (the Point to LaPointe in Bayfield, Wisconsin) on August 1st. Preparing for the race requires that I make sure I'm getting to the pool, even as I devote the rest of my summer to my dissertation.


Katy Meyers Emery: My summer goal is to get a draft of my dissertation completed!


Lindsay Oden: My goal for this summer is to transition from being a grad student to having a full-time, normal job. In July, I start my contract as an archival collections assistant at UNLV Special Collections. I had been working there as a student intern, and now I will be starting as a full-time employee. As we all probably know, grad school life is dramatically different from the working world, and I've been a student my entire life up until this point. I'm hoping to make a smooth, stable, complete transition that allows me to flourish in a familiar environment under novel conditions.


Jason McSheene: This summer I look forward to developing skills in 3D printing and transitioning into a full-time position in the biopharma industry.


Alex T. Williams: My goal this summer is to write something everyday. I hope to finish two manuscripts that I will submit to academic journals and to publish a few non-academic articles too.


Hanna Peacock: After an intense academic year of lab work and Dutch classes, my summer goal is to read five books not related to work, and one Dutch children’s book.


DeWitt Scott: My goal this summer is to begin conducting interviews for my dissertation and to read 5 academic books and 2 non-academic books.


Kelly Hanson: My summer goals are to finish a complete draft of my dissertation chapter, and to (re)start a daily writing practice that can carry through to the fall.


Travis Grandy: My main project for the summer is to draft my dissertation prospectus, and along the way I'm also hoping to put in practice more supports for my writing process. I've been struggling with being productive and moreover just experiencing a lot of anxiety about my writing, so I'm revising my work process to make writing more social and more sustainable. Some of the things I've been trying include having a set time everyday when I'm writing (it doesn't even have to be research related, just any writing), and going out of my way to write alongside other people (even something as low-key as sharing a table with a friend at a cafe while we both work).


Katie Shives: My summer goals are to get my current manuscript draft in submission by the end of August as well as finishing the major repairs on the house my husband and I bought.


Shira Lurie: My goal is to stick to a schedule. I hope to put in at least thirty hours of work and five hours of exercise each week for most of the summer.


Michelle Lavery: My goal this summer is to network with others in my field, so I can begin thinking outside academia.


Heather VanMouwerik: Although my advisor probably would like me to say that I want to write a chapter of my dissertation this summer, my real goal is to get better at coding. I want my students to be engaged users of digital material, and I have to practice what I preach. I already understand what HTML is and how to do very basic stuff, but I would like to take it to the next level.


Danielle Marias: My summer goals are to finish my data analysis and practice recall training with my dog.


Patrick Bigsby: My summer goal is to finish my application and audition tape for The Bachelor/Bachelorette! Prince Farming shouldn't be the last Iowan people see on television!


Natascha Chtena: My goal is to take better care of my body. Walk a mile a day and start baking my own bread for a start.


Alex Galarza: My goals are to finish two dissertation chapters, restructure my course, and enjoy being outside in western Michigan.


Jonathan D. Fitzgerald: My summer goal is to figure out how to balance being a parent to two children with all the various responsibilities that will return full force in September. If I feel even a little bit prepared by the end of August, I will have succeeded.


Regina Sierra Carter: This summer my goal is to create a feasible timeline for completing my dissertation during the 2015-2016 academic year.  Creating and adhering to realistic timeline will help hold me accountable and enable me to keep track of my progress.



We’re wishing all of our readers a fantastic summer break!

[Image by Flickr user tashwayne and used under a Creative Commons license.]


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