CLAS awards eight graduate assistantships in writing, editing, engagement

Graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will gain valuable experience in writing, editing, communications, and community engagement.
Monday, June 5, 2023

By Charlotte Brookins 

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has awarded eight assistantships to graduate students in the areas of writing, editing, community engagement, and marketing and community in the performing arts.  

These positions, part of a pilot project, provide doctoral students unique opportunities to participate in the college’s outreach, engagement, and writing missions in ways designed to diversify and transform graduate career preparation. 

Seven graduate students who were awarded CLAS assistantships for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Hailey Kingsbury (top left), Jacob Payne, Briante Najev, Adare Smith, Bronwyn Stewart (bottom left), Emily Wieder, Derick Juptner

Iowa Summer Writing Festival  

Hailey Kingsbury, a third year Doctor of Audiology candidate and incoming president of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association for the 2023-2024 school year, received the 2023 Iowa Summer Writing Festival graduate assistantship. In this position, Kingsbury will support the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, which is administered by the UI Magid Center for Writing.  

“I am passionate about my field [audiology], but I am excited to diversify my graduate experience,” says Kingsbury in her application. “I am confident in my ability to create a collaborative and memorable Iowa Summer Writing Festival and would be honored to work with such a renowned writing program and community.” 

Iowa Sciences Academy 

CLAS awarded two new Iowa Sciences Academy assistantships for the coming term, in addition to renewing one graduate student for a second year. These assistantships will take place during the 2023-2024 academic year.  

Kingsbury, listed above, received one assistantship, and will join second-year physics and astronomy PhD candidate Jacob Payne and third-year PhD candidate in biology, evolution, and ecology Briante Najev, who was renewed for the position.  

Payne is highly experienced in physics, engineering, and astronomy and says he looks forward to providing other students with opportunities to put their shared passion to work.  

“With the Iowa Sciences Academy courses, I hope to empower students and to learn mentorship skills through practice. This assistantship will allow me to hear from students with different backgrounds, dreams, and career goals,” Payne explains in his application.  

Returning to the position for the second year is Najev, who specializes in ecology and evolution. Having published several works in various journals over the years, Najev is especially excited about the writing experience this position will continue to provide.  

“I believe that this graduate assistantship will provide major benefits for my future. Creating seminars, editing scientific articles, and polishing my (and others’) professional development skills are powerful ways of internalizing and teaching a suite of important tools,” Najev says.  

Magid Center for Writing  

Alyssa “Adare” Smith, a second-year PhD candidate in English was renewed for her assistantship with the Magid Center for Writing. Smith will continue with promotional and outreach work for the center.   

“I am passionate about providing and advocating for accessibility, and this assistantship is in line with those values. This opportunity is uniquely positioned to teach me more about the services of the university and will allow me to easily network with like-minded individuals who are dedicated to positively impacting our campus community,” Smith explains.  

Performing arts marketing and communications 

Bronwyn Stewart, a second-year English PhD candidate, received an assistantship working in marketing and communications for the performing arts units in the college. Stewart, who is experienced in marketing, communications, and theatre, hopes to continue working in performing arts post-graduation.  

“After finishing my dissertation, I hope to continue with performance, whether that be in academic settings or at a performance venue,” Stewart says. “I thoroughly enjoy writing and developing new ways to engage people and invite them to participate in the performing arts.” 

Academic editing 

Two graduate students received editing assistantships to help faculty in their work with highly prestigious academic journals.  

Emily Wieder, a third-year PhD candidate in French and francophone world studies, received an editorial assistantship with Dance Research Journal, a peer-reviewed journal of scholarly articles and book reviews published by Cambridge University and co-edited by UI Department of Dance Director Rebekah Kowal

“For Dance Research Journal, I look forward to performing more of the reviewing and corresponding tasks that my supervisors have done,” Wieder says. “Those skills will be necessary when I become a professor, as I will write articles and eventually serve on editorial boards.” 

Derick Juptner, a second-year PhD candidate in anthropology, will assist Margaret Beck, professor of anthropology, in her work with the leading publication Journal of Archeological Method and Theory.  

“Overall, I believe the assistantship is a great opportunity for me to improve my skills related to research and publishing, and one that will allow me to support my students and peers during future academic endeavors,” Juptner explains.  

Each assistantship is a 50 percent award, or 20-hours per week, and is available only to graduate students pursuing a doctorate in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.