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Stories, blog posts, and more illuminating the experiences of graduate life and highlighting the impact of our students’ critical research.

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2017 Gameful Summer Institute

What Does It Mean to Go Gameful? A GSI's Perspective

As graduate students at the University of Michigan, most of us (whether we’ll admit it around our imposter-syndrome or not) are pretty darn good at navigating the system that is modern education. But despite our own comfort within this infrastructure, it turns out that school as it exists is often poorly designed when it comes to supporting and improving student learning. My Ph.D. work has been dedicated to investigating what we can change about how courses operate that would address this–we call our approach gameful pedagogy, as it’s inspired by the way that excellent games are profound and transformative learning experiences.

kayak on water

Weekend Activities in Ann Arbor

Last spring, I wrote a post about slightly odd things to do in Ann Arbor – special thanks to commenters who added to the list! This summer has been my first one spent in Ann Arbor, so I want to continue the series with some fun summer-time activities in town. Please add your own favorites in the comments – Ann Arbor is a summer city, and there is loads to do!

Pete and Rachel standing in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Making the CASE for Science

The week of April 2, we (Pete Ehrett and Rachel Merzel) found ourselves headed to Washington, DC for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s CASE workshop – Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering. The four-day program was designed to give Ph.D. students in science and engineering a view into how science and technology governance is conducted through the legislative process and executive-branch agencies, with a particular focus on appropriations and budgetary issues. In short: Science and Technology Policy Boot Camp.

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