mentoring/women grads

Caroline J. Walker walkerc at CLEMSON.EDU
Sat Nov 14 21:06:00 EST 1998

I think that one of the major problems faced by grad students can be
getting the thesis comittee/advisor to agree on when there is enough work
to graduate.  The trend that I have noticed here is for the female student
this tends to be more of an ordeal, dragging out the time it takes to
graduate.  I suspect that whats going on is that the female's careers are
not taken as seriously and so there is a trend for the supervisor to
suggest that maybe another set of experiments would "make the thesis
stronger" even although there is really enough there to graduate.  In many
cases I would not say that it is a case of purposely using the female grad
students as cheap labor, rather an unconsious feeling that it is not so
important for them to move on with all due speed.

	Mentoring can really help here.  If students are told from day one
to get things in writing and are made to understand that they need to
protect themsleves e.g.  if they have a comittee meeting where it is
generally agreed that completing X, Y and Z is all they need to do to
graduate, the student should write this up and get the comittee members to
sign it.  This may be a general policy at other institutions (?) but it is
not here. I think that it is a good recommnedation for all grad students
and should also help to cut back on general abuses of cheap labour which
are also a factor contributing to grad student misery.

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