Program Activities

An effort has been made to form a supportive community atmosphere within the I/O program while the students and faculty pursue their professional goals. Each semester, students and faculty discuss and agree upon both research and administrative objectives. Both first- and second-year students have specific research goals designed to promote their involvement in empirical investigations and the completion of their own theses. Students are invited to collaborate on faculty projects in a partnership which leads both to the students acquiring skills necessary for their own research and to the faculty accomplishing more on their research agendas.

Student Research

Students are also encouraged to publish and present research. In fact, the students have co-authored many peer-reviewed journal publications and conference presentations. Also, each semester, three or four Brown Bag speakers are invited to the Department to discuss I/O topics with students and faculty; other more formal research presentations are also presented occasionally.

Self-Appraisal Faculty Feedback (SAFF)

The SAFF program consists of developmental meetings between I/O faculty and students that occur immediately after each semester. These meetings are designed to stimulate student reflection and facilitate joint problem-solving, and generally ensure that a student's remaining time in the program contributes maximally to his or her professional and career development. Students are provided in advance with a set of “thought questions,” which they use to prepare for their meeting.

Social Activities

The students and faculty within the program come together a few times each semester in order to have a relaxed social gathering. A social committee of both students and faculty plan the social events that occur during the year. Input is considered from everyone involved in the I/O program. Past social activities have included duckpin bowling, pumpkin carving, volleyball/cookout parties, holiday parties and gift exchange, and dessert socials. We also have student-faculty happy hours a couple times each semester.

Administrative Goals

The I/O area also pursues a variety of administrative goals each semester. Examples include reviewing the curriculum, developing an I/O homepage, securing student funding, and liaisoning with other I/O student groups. In addition, the program holds at least one formal social gathering each semester and often more. Many of the program's administrative efforts are devoted to guiding and developing the students. These activities are aimed at refining each graduate student's personal and professional development, assisting in timely completion of the Master's thesis, and helping to effectively socialize new students into the graduate school lifestyle. Example student development activities are a semiannual feedback meeting for each student with faculty and a summer research program and a mentorship program.