Building a Better CV

Let’s talk about CVs. Two little letters, but they are hugely important. I don’t know about you, but I’m always trying to build a better curriculum vitae. I don’t just mean through participating in professional development activities, although that’s certainly true.

Instead, I mean agonizing over the most minute details of formatting and layout. I’m constantly trying to assess the most current, “correct” conventions of the genre (specific to my discipline) to make sure I meet that standard. However, while there are definitely some obligatory genre conventions, I’m learning that maybe there is more flexibility in terms of formatting than I had previously thought. So lately I’ve been trying to structure my CV so that it reads not only as correct, but maybe also a smidge personal to me.

Here are a few of the many, MANY permutations my CV has been subject to over the past few years.

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Writing as a Graduate Student

One of my major projects at my graduate assistantship this year has been researching and designing supportive writing programs for graduate students across the disciplines. In order to determine what students at SSU want and need in terms of their writing, I started by doing some research on best practices at other comparable universities, and then conducted surveys of both SSU students and faculty. I wanted to share some of the results of my research here, since it’s quite fascinating, and at times surprising.

Let's make some space to talk about writing. Source: Creative Commons

Let’s make some space to talk about writing. Source: Creative Commons

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Tips from an Actor on Public Speaking

My partner is a professional actor. There are many perks to this. We get to see lots of live theatre together. Sometimes I see him naked on TV (true story). And recently, when I presented at my first conference, I learned yet another benefit to dating an actor: he has great insight into what makes effective public speaking.

In some ways, giving an academic presentation, whether at a conference or in class, is not so different from a staged performance. The speaker is definitely “acting” in some ways. She is probably highly conscious of her posture, her diction, her volume, her gestures, all the same things that an actor onstage must think about.

To be, or not to be... a public speaker. Source: Creative Commons

To be, or not to be… a public speaker. Source: Creative Commons

With that in mind, here are some of the insider tips and tricks from Paul, a professional actor, on how to deliver an engaging presentation.

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Top 5 Grad Student Procrastination Activities

Like many of you, I suspect, I am an excellent procrastinator. Today, for example, is definitely a Lazy Sunday (think: “the Chronic – what – cles of Narnia”). But time wasting, especially when homework awaits, is more than, well, just a way to pass the time. It’s an art form. You have to put yourself in the right frame of mind to ignore your other responsibilities. With that said, below are my top 5 techniques for procrastination.

Too true. Courtesy of Creative Commons

Too true. Courtesy of Creative Commons

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Happy World Book Day!

In honor of World Book Day (which was technically yesterday), I thought I’d share a few shelfies… aka, photos of the books that are currently on my shelf. My books are among my most treasured possessions and dearest friends, and I hoard them hopelessly. Hope you enjoy getting a sneak peek at what I’m reading.


This was my quote in my high school yearbook… not much has changed. Source:

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