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Gradstravaganza 2020

Friday, August 21, 2020

9:00am – 4:00pm

This page describes Gradstravaganza 2020; please visit this page for information about this year’s Gradstravaganza event

All new and continuing Mason graduate students are invited to Gradstravaganza, Mason’s annual graduate student welcome event! Join us for a virtual version of Gradstravaganza, featuring a keynote address, mini-workshops highlighting strategies for success in graduate school, special sessions for Graduate Assistants (GRAs, GTAs, and GPAs), opportunities to meet and connect with fellow Mason graduate students, and more! Brought to you by Graduate Student Life, the Office of the Provost, the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA). To register for these workshops, head to our Gradstravaganza page on Mason360, or click on the individual links in the schedule below.

Graduate students attend Gradstravaganza on the Fairfax Campus. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

Graduate students attend Gradstravaganza 2014. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University


Please note: Registration is required in order to receive the Zoom links for each session. Click on individual session links below, or visit our Gradstravaganza page on Mason360.


Opening Session and Welcome (plenary session)

Welcome Remarks

  • Dr. Julie Choe Kim, Director of Graduate Student Life
  • Dr. Laurence Bray, Associate Provost for Graduate Education
  • Lili Deveneau, President of the Graduate and Professional Student Association and master’s student in Sociology

Keynote Address by Dr. Fatimah Williams: “How to Stay on Track, Meet Your Deadlines & Have a Life While in Graduate School”
Make this a winning semester! Set goals and create a semester plan so you can achieve success in graduate school and beyond. In this session, you will learn:

  • To prioritize work, school, and home responsibilities so that productivity is not sacrificed.
  • The 7 Domains of Professional Development — that all students must balance for holistic success.
  • To make time to enjoy yourself while working toward your goals.

Ten attendees of the Opening Session will be randomly selected to receive a copy of Dr. Williams’ Professional Pathways Planner!

Fatimah Williams, Ph.D. is the CEO & Founder of Beyond the Tenure Track, a professional development and career-planning firm that prepares graduate students, faculty, and PhDs for leadership roles and high-quality careers. Her professional development guidance has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, Scientific American, and University Affairs. She has been an invited speaker at leading national conferences such as the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools and the 69th Annual Meeting of the AAU’s Association of Graduation Schools. Fatimah is the host of GradSchooled podcast and author of two books: Professional Pathways Planner and Be Bold: Launch Your Job Search or Career Change with Confidence.


Mini-Workshops for Graduate Student Success (concurrent sessions)

Please register for each session of interest in order to receive the Zoom links.


How to Get On-Campus Employment as a Graduate Student


Pathway through the PhD


Making the Commitment to Writing


Building an Effective Relationship with Your Mentor/Advisor


University Libraries: We’re Here for You!


Building Your Network Now for Your Job Search Later

11:00-11:15am Break



Creating a Professional Development Plan



Resilience in Graduate School: Strategies to Support Your Thriving


Time Management: Managing Limited Time and Multiple Demands


What Can TV’s “The Good Place” Teach Graduate Students about Positive Change?


Strategies for Success in Your Master’s Degree Program




Lunch Connections

Join fellow graduate and professional students for an informal bring-your-own lunch to form connections and start building your Mason community.




Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mason: Through the Eyes of Graduate Students (plenary session)

Mason rightfully takes pride in claiming its status as Virginia’s largest and most diverse public university. However, what does that look like in terms of the graduate student experience? We invite all members of the Mason graduate student community to join us for this conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Mason through the unique perspective of our graduate students. Moderated by Dr. Van Bailey, Assistant Dean and Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education, a panel of Mason graduate students from a range of backgrounds and identities will address navigating graduate school, finding community, mentoring, self-care, the current climate for racial justice, and more.




Sessions for Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs), Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), and Graduate Professional Assistants (GPAs) (concurrent sessions)

These sessions are intended for Mason graduate students who currently hold Graduate Research, Teaching, or Professional Assistant positions. These sessions will not address how to apply for or get a GRA, GTA, or GPA position.


Graduate Research Assistants as Researchers, Mentors, and Professionals Starting Strong: Planning for the First Two Weeks as a GTA Building Professionalism through Your Graduate Professional Assistantship