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GRADReCon: Graduate Research Connections

Build your productivity, research, and writing skills at GRADReCon. October 27. Fenwick Library. See you there!

GRADReCon Fall 2017 Schedule At A Glance

Time Event Room - Fenwick Library
10AM - 5PM GRADReCon Information Table 1st Floor Atrium
10AM - 5PM Concurrent Drop-In Sessions - No Registration Necessary 1014A, 1014B, 2400
10:30AM - 12:00PM

Featured Session: SAGE Research Methods

Presenter: Heather Dray, Senior Library Relations Manager, SAGE Publications

12:00PM - 1:30PM

Plenary Luncheon Session: Keynote Speaker, Dr. Peter Pober - Please Register

Plenary Raffle: Spring 2018 Grad Study Carrel; Finals 2017 Study Room, Amazon Echo Dot, $25 Starbucks Gift Card

Fall 2017 GRADReCon Schedule by Room - Fenwick Library

Time Session Description
12:00PM - 1:30PM Plenary Luncheon Session

Keynote Speaker: Peter Pober, Ph.D, Distinguished Service Professor, Professor and Director of Forensics, Department of Communication, George Mason University

"Walking the Walk AND Talking the Talk"

We will explore both the construction of the research talk and the presentation of the research walk; ie., verbal (structure of discussion, examples, supplemental materials, etc.) and nonverbal communication (tone, gesture, pace, walking transitions, pitch, etc.) strategies.

Fairfax Attendees: REGISTER HERE

Lunch and refreshments are generously sponsored by SAGE Publications


Plenary Session RAFFLES

GRAND PRIZE: Graduate Student Study Carrel @ Fenwick Library for Spring 2018

SECOND PRIZE: Personal Study Room in 24-Hour Area of Fenwick Library During Fall 2017 Finals

THIRD PRIZE: Amazon Echo Dot

FOURTH PRIZE: $25 Starbucks Gift Card


NOTE: Videoconferencing will be available at other locations:

  • Arlington: Founders Hall, Room 332 (Arlington attendees, please register HERE)
  • SciTech: Colgan Hall, Room 110H (SciTech attendees, please register HERE)


Session Moderators: Julie Choe Kim, Director of Graduate Student Life; Austin Deray, Graduate Assistant, Graduate Student Life


Time Session Description Presenter
10:00AM -10:30AM Avoid Paywalls! Keeping Up with Literature in Your Field

Hitting paywalls for scholarly journal articles? Need to know what's new, now? What if you could tell the databases and journals to run searches for you and send the latest information? Learn timesaving automation tools and tips to find what you need to read – and succeed!

Session Presenter: Session Presenter: Michelle Polchow, Electronic Resources Librarian, Fenwick Library, University Libraries

Michelle Polchow
10:30AM - 12:00PM Featured Session: SAGE Research Methods


SAGE Research Methods is an online collection of books and other full-text materials that provide authoritative information and multimedia on how to perform hundreds of research methods. The how-tos for carrying out every step of your research project are here! 

By the end of the session, students will:

  • Understand how to Effectively Search across content types and disciplines to identify the best materials to support their project
  • Understand how to use the Methods Map to help find the best methods for their research
  • Understand how to create Reading Lists of curated content to save and share
  • Understand how to create Custom Video Clips to save and share
  • Understand how the Project Planner and Which Stats Test provide guidance and support as students plan and conduct research.

Session Presenter: Heather Dray, Senior Library Relations Manager, SAGE Publications

Heather Dray
1:30PM - 3:00PM Strategies for Structuring and Writing Reviews of the Literature

Most graduate students must write reviews of the literature, but this genre of writing can be mysterious for students approaching it for the first time. In this workshop, participants will learn about the main purposes and and features of lit reviews, and they will explore methods for analyzing how lit reviews function in their own disciplines and genres of writing. The workshop will then provide participants with tools for generating material and organizing a review of the literature, and strategies for composing a lit review that is driven by the writer and that has a clear point.

Session Presenter, Indigo Eriksen, Graduate Writing Coordinator, University Writing Center

Indigo Eriksen

3:00PM - 4:00PM

Designing and Delivering Effective Briefings and Presentations

The ability to delivering effective briefings and presentations is an essential skill in today’s academic and professional environments. A good presentation is an effective blend of visuals and narrative. This brief primer on presentation skills shows how to rethink and transform your briefing or presentation slides and tell a story that connects to the needs of your audience. This approach to lectures, presentations, and briefings combines an analytical/informative style used at the RAND Corporation and the storytelling approach used in TED Talks. It covers common mistakes, effective principles of presentations, uses of animation and builds that focus attention and illustrate your points, and ways to present your material in online courses or webinars. Whether you intend to submit a proposal to an important conference, are asked to deliver a presentation for a job interview, or are lecturing students, the skills you learn in this workshop will be helpful in creating more engaging presentations.

Session Presenter: John Warren, Head, Mason Publishing Group, Fenwick Library, University Libraries

John Warren
4:00PM - 5:00PM ABCs of Publishing

The publishing process may seem confusing or overwhelming at first. How do you identify potential publications or write a proposal that will catch the attention of a busy editor? This workshop, led by John Warren of Mason Publishing, Jennifer Lebron, Editor-in-Chief, and Carrie Klein, Managing Editor, Journal of Mason Graduate Research (JMGR), will introduce you to the wide range of publishing opportunities, discuss the elements of an effective proposal, and provide steps for preparing academic papers for publication. Participants will learn how to write query letters, work effectively with editors, and participate in the broader academic community.

John Warren has previously worked in publishing at the RAND Corporation and Georgetown University Press, and brings a wealth of publishing knowledge to this session.

Session Presenters:

  • John Warren, Head, Mason Publishing Group, Fenwick Library, University Libraries
  • Jennifer Lebron, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Mason Graduate Research
  • Carrie Klein, Managing Editor, Journal of Mason Graduate Research
John Warren, Jennifer Lebron, Carrie Klein
Time Session Description Presenter
10:00AM - 11:00AM Searching for Fellowships and Funding for Graduate Research

Plan your future - ahead of time! Discover how and where to locate information for research fellowships and grants. The presenter will discuss sources and offer tips on planning and pursuing funding for research both in graduate school and beyond.    

Session Presenter: Dr. Kay Ágoston, Director of Graduate Fellowships, George Mason University

Dr. Kay Ágoston
11:00AM - 12:00PM How to Up Your Odds: 10 Basic Tips for Developing a Fundable Proposal

Developing a grant proposal can be overwhelming. In this workshop, you will learn ten strategies that will help you write a stronger proposal for any potential funder, including federal agencies and private foundations. Participants are encouraged to come with questions.

Session Presenter: Kathleen Bell, Grants, Planning & Assessment Analytics Officer, Fenwick Library, University Libraries

Kathleen Bell
1:30PM - 2:30PM Institutional Review Board (IRB) Overview

This session will provide an overview of human subjects research regulations and the types of research projects that require Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and approval. It will also provide general information about the IRB submission and review process at Mason.

Session Presenter: Bess Dieffenbach, Senior Institutional Review Board Compliance Specialist, Office of Research Integrity & Assurance, George Mason University

Bess Dieffenbach
2:30PM - 3:30PM Best Practices for Managing Research Data


Working on a research project but not sure how to begin to organize and manage your data? Wendy Mann, Head, Data Services, and Margaret Lam, Physical Sciences & STEM Data Librarian, will present this introductory workshop. Designed to be a quick overview of major data management topics, you will get an overview of research data management basics, including data formats; best practices for organizing, storing and backing up your files; documenting your research data (readme files, codebooks, etc.), and useful tools for cleaning and organizing your data. One tool that will be highlighted is the Open Science Framework, which provides free and open source project management support for researchers across the entire research lifecycle.

Data Services provides help with finding, getting and using statistical, geospatial and qualitative data.

Session Presenters:

  • Wendy Mann, Head, Data Services Group, Fenwick Library, University Libraries
  • Margaret Lam, Physical Sciences & STEM Data Librarian, University Libraries
Wendy Mann & Margaret Lam
3:30PM - 5:00PM Summarizing & Displaying Data in Excel


Discover the tools for effectively and efficiently working with data in Excel. Learn how to create Pivot Tables and apply conditional formatting. Best practices and rules for data visualization will be emphasized. Sample data and exercises will be available for those who choose to bring a laptop. Intended for those who are already comfortable in Excel.

Data Services provides help with finding, getting and using statistical, geospatial and qualitative data.

Session Presenter: Debby Kermer, Data Services Research Consultant, Fenwick Library, University Libraries

Debby Kermer
Time Session Description Presenter
10:00AM - 11:00AM Research Refresher

Learn basic research skills that will help you navigate the library website. Learn how to find articles, books, and other types of sources that will make your research projects stronger and easier to complete.

Session Presenter: Chris Magee, Research & Instruction Specialist, University Libraries

Chris Magee
11:00AM - 12:00PM

Researching with Primary Sources

Discover rare books and archives available for research at the George Mason University Libraries Special Collections Research Center! Workshop participants will learn about researching with rare books and archival material, including: how to find relevant sources (here and at other institutions) and how to analyze your source. Participants will practice primary source analysis using examples from the Special Collections Research Center.

Session Presenter: Rebecca Bramlett, Research Services Coordinator, Special Collections Research Center, Fenwick Library, University Libraries

Rebecca Bramlett
1:30PM - 2:30PM Managing Large Projects

For many students, graduate school is the first time they have had to develop a large project such as a thesis, dissertation, or capstone project. This session will provide an overview of the project management process, using Gantt charts to develop timelines and monitor progress, and strategies for staying on track with the project.

Session Presenter: Vicki Dominick, Associate Director of Learning Services, George Mason University

Vicki Dominick
2:30PM - 3:30PM Research Poster Design

Learn the basics of research poster design. Topics include: getting started turning your research into a poster presentation, layout and design tips, using PowerPoint vs. InDesign to create your poster.

Session Presenter: Hannah McLaughlin, Scholarly Production Lab Coordinator, SP@RC (Scholarly Productions at the Research Commons), Fenwick Library, University Libraries

Hannah McLaughlin
3:30PM - 5:00PM University Dissertation & Thesis Services Overview

Sally Evans, UDTS Coordinator, will walk you through the Interactive Template, which can be found here: Many of our graduate students who are writing theses and dissertations find this template useful when preparing their documents for the mandatory Format Review. You are not required to use this template, but if you are interested in learning more about it, please attend this workshop. 

Session Presenter: Sally Evans, University Dissertation & Thesis Services (UDTS) Coordinator, Fenwick Library, University Libraries

Sally Evans


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