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Summer Bridge Program Schedule

Monday, May 16

  • Staggered arrivals, registration, check in 
  • 5:00 pm: Welcome banquet at student union

 Tuesday, May 17: Introduction to the Profession and to Graduate Study

  • 9:00-9:45: Participant and UTK Faculty Introductions 
  • 9:45-10:45 am: Session 1: What is the history profession?
    [Discussion of essential concepts and competencies]
  • 10:45-10:55 am: Break
  • 10:55-12:35: Session 2: Panel of Historians in the Field (via Zoom)
    [Three history PhDs working in fields outside of academia]
  • 12:35-1:35 pm: Lunch
  • 1:35-2:45 pm: Session 3: What happens in Graduate School?
    [Introduction to curriculum and expectations. Discussion topics will include: the transition from knowledge consumption to knowledge production, how to approach a monograph, preparing for the seminar experience, considerations about funding, how to ask the right kinds of research questions] 
  • 2:45-3:00 pm: Break
  • 3:00-4:30 pm: Session 4: Graduate student panel
    [What do current graduate students in the history department at UTK have to say about the process of applying for, selecting, and enrolling and succeeding in graduate school?]
  • 6:30 pm: Volunteer Princess Sunset Cruise on the Tennessee River 

Day 3: Wednesday, May 18: Doing research, Sharing research

  • 9:30-10:30 am: Session 5: Library Resources: what are they for, how can they help you?
    [At Hodges Library]
  • 10:30-10:45 am: Break
  • 10:45-11:30 am: Session 6: Journey through History
    [UT history faculty discuss their journey from HBCUs to becoming a professor at an R1
  • 11:35-12:35: Session 7: Student Share Outs 1
    [Participants share 5-minute synopsis of what they want to focus on in graduate school; pre-circulated form to help them structure their thoughts; followed by discussion about next steps for reading and research]
  • 12:35-1:45 pm: Lunch
  • 1:45-2:45 pm: Session 8: Student Share Outs 2
    [Participants share 5-minute synopsis of what they want to focus on in graduate school; pre-circulated form to help them structure their thoughts; followed by discussion about next steps for reading and research]
  • 2:45-3:00 pm: Break
  • 3:00-5:00 pm: Session 9: Faculty break out mentoring sessions
    [Four groups consisting of three participants and one faculty member break out to discuss research planning and personal pathways to and through the PhD]
  • 6:10 pm: Graduate Student Dinner & a Movie night. 

Day 4: Thursday, May 19: Demystifying the Application Process

  •  9:30-10:15 am: Session 10: Choosing a Graduate Program
    [How to search for graduate programs; what to look for in history departments; finding and contacting a mentor; how to find funding]
  • 10:15-10:30 am: Break
  • 10:30-11:30 am: Session 11: Review of application materials I: The Statement of Purpose
  • 11:30-12:15: Session 12: Review of application materials II: Selecting & Preparing a Writing Sample
  • 12:15-1:30 pm: Lunch
  • 1:30-2:30 pm: Session 13: Review of application materials III: Asking for Letters of Recommendation and Ensuring that your Letters Reflect your Brilliance! 
  • 2:30-3:30 pm: Session 14: Breakout workshops: Contacting Professors & Statement of Purpose
    [Break into groups for focused writing workshop for letters to potential mentors and statements of purpose]
  • 3:30-3:45 pm: Break
  • 3:45-4:45 pm: Session 15: Breakout workshops: Contacting Professors & Statement of Purpose
    [Break into groups for focused writing workshop for letters to potential mentors and statements of purpose]
  • 4:45-5:15 pm: Synthesis and Next Steps
  • 5:30: Closing Banquet at Beck Center

Thursday night and Friday: Departures