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GPSO E-Newsletter: January 23, 2014

In this Issue:

Upcoming GPSO Events: Grad House Café, Assembly, Social Hour

Recognize: Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Service Opportunity: GPSO Awards Committee

Volunteer Opportunity: The Borgen Project

GPSO plans your weekend!

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Upcoming GPSO Events

Grad House Café - RIGHT NOW!

Stop by the Grad House (803 E. 8th Street) before 10:30am today for FREE coffee and Bloomington Bagels. Check out our Facebook event for directions.

Save a tree, and bring a mug, if possible!


Assembly and Social Hour - tomorrow

The first GPSO Assembly will take place at 3:30 on January 24 in Woodburn Hall 100.

At this meeting, nominations will close for GPSO Executive Committee 2014-2015 elections, and the first vote will take place. Please feel free to meet our prospective leadership for next year!

We will follow up with a January social hour at The Vid with free Aver's Pizza from 7-9pm. Please RSVP via Facebook to help us have plenty of food!

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Recognize: Outstanding Graduate Student Award

The Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO) and The University Graduate School (UGS) have teamed up to formally recognize an outstanding graduate student each semester. Students are nominated by faculty and GPSO representatives from across the university, and a competitive review process decides who will be honored. We strive to recognize students who have contributed to the graduate community in a unique way and are exemplary within their respective academic field.

Because the graduate student body at Indiana University comprises a diverse body of schools and departments, students will be recognized in three different areas: research, community involvement, and teaching.

For more information, please see our nomination criteria and feel free to contact with any questions.

Contact your departmental GPSO representative to recognize your peers!

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Service Opportunity: GPSO Awards Committee

Each spring, GPSO awards grants to IU graduate and professional students who are traveling to present research or participate in extraordinary professional opportunities. These awards are very competitive and the applications are peer-reviewed by IU students on the GPSO Awards Committee.

We welcome you to join the GPSO Awards Committee and review grant applications this semester, improving your own grant-writing skills and distinguishing yourself on the job market by performing valuable professional service for Indiana University. The time committment is approximately 3-5 hours via distance (online, email-based).

Interested students should complete this brief application to join the GPSO Awards Committee. Students who are members of the Awards Committee are ineligible to receive awards during their tenure, but the experience provides invaluable insight into any future applications they may submit after their service.

Please visit GPSO Travel Awards to learn more about the travel award. If you have any questions or would like more information about being a reviewer, please email Josh de Leeuw, GPSO Awards Officer, at

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Volunteer Opportunity: The Borgen Project

Position: Regional Director
Location: Telecommute
Status: Volunteer
Duration: Minimum of 6 months
Hours: 4-6 hours per week
Function: Advocate for the world’s poor


  • Attend one (30-60 minute) conference call every week with the President of The Borgen Project and Regional Directors from across the United States (5PM PDT, 6PM MDT, 7PM CDT, 8PM EDT).
  • Meet with local congressional leaders and lobby for legislation that improves living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.
  • Assist with fundraising efforts.
  • Build a network of people engaged in the cause.
  • Develop and implement strategies for furthering the cause.

DETAILS: Regional Directors operate independently from home and maintain contact with The Borgen Project's Seattle office. Regional Directors sign a 6-month contract. The position is volunteer based and is roughly 4-6 hours per week. Directors attend a conference call every Monday evening.

HOW TO APPLY: Send your resume to

The Borgen Project fights for the underdog. The innovative, national campaign is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy. Learn more at

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Guest Article: The Odds are Never in Your Favor

By Atlas Odinshoot, via The Chronicle for Higher Education

If you're on the faculty job market, or will be soon, you may find yourself explaining the real possibility of failure to well-meaning family and friends. Doctoral students are usually type-A overachievers, and so your loved ones have faith that you'll come out OK because, well, you always have.

But the academic job market is a process that necessitates failure. Your application materials will end up in the slush pile at dozens of departments, regardless of how well suited you are for the position or how carefully you tailor your materials. Outstanding candidates can easily fail to find a position. And that's why, when I can't quite convey that grim reality, I tell my family and friends that if they want to know what the job market is like for Ph.D.'s, they should read (or watch) The Hunger Games. 

Whether you see yourself on the job market as Katniss Everdeen (plucky heroine), Peeta Mellark (sensitive but somewhat clueless), or Cato (ruthless killing machine), only you can say.

The odds are never in your favor. I recently asked a successful job candidate—hired as an assistant professor at a very good college—what he viewed as a good application-response rate. That is, how many interviews should you get in relation to the number of applications you submit? He said, calmly, "Talking with other graduate students, I'd say somewhere in the neighborhood of one in 20 to one in 30."

Those are your odds of even getting to the interview stage. That's not an official statistic, but official statistics don't exist for this sort of thing. The odds of surviving the Hunger Games? One in 24.

Haymitch Abernathy and your Ph.D. adviser have been there, done that.Your adviser in this process—much like Haymitch, who is Katniss and Peeta's guide in The Hunger Games—is someone who has already succeeded at what you're about to do: get an academic appointment (job hunt) or avoid being murdered on live television (Hunger Games). They should, therefore, be ideally placed to help you.

But in both cases, the crucial problem is this: They've already gotten a job/survived. Sure, they'd like to see you employed/alive, but there will always be more students/tributes. In fact, there are so many that it's hard to care about any one in particular.

This has not been true in my case—my adviser is a stellar human being—but I'm also lucky enough to be in a department with a good placement rate. If I were in The Hunger Games universe, I would be from, say, District 4, not from District 12 (the most impoverished district, where Katniss and Peeta lived).

It's all about appearances, but it really isn't...

Read the rest online

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GPSO plans your weekend!

January 24 - 26:

  • January 24, 7-9pm: GPSO Social Hour (The Vid, free)
  • January 25, 10:30pm: PRIDE Film Festival Dance Party (Buskirk-Chumley, $10)
  • January 26, 11am-7pm: Totally Well & Fit in 2014 Expo (Bloomington Convention Center, free)

Nothing look good to you?

Check out the ongoing exhibits featured in the sidebar or visit and for the full on- and off-campus scoop.


Have an event to promote?

Email me at, and I can help you spread the e-word to our fellow grad students.

Go have some fun!

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