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June 21-27, 2015
University of Connecticut


Registration has begun for the 2015 GFDA workshop for graduate students and faculty who are beginning their careers in higher education — instructors, lecturers, assistant professors, and other untenured faculty.  The workshop is open to faculty from all types of teaching and research institutions inside and outside the US.  The workshop, sponsored by the Association of American Geographers, focuses on topics which are frequently the greatest sources of stress in the first years of a faculty appointment, including:

  • Developing significant learning experiences for your students
  • Career planning
  • Time management
  • Getting the most out of academic conferences
  • Ethics in research, teaching, and advising
  • Nuts-and-bolts issues about writing and publishing
  • Preparing a CV, job search and interviewing
  • Promoting collegiality
  • Preparing for the tenure process
  • Balancing personal and professional life

The workshop touches on issues of teaching and learning, particularly those revolving around designing effective courses, issues of diversity and inclusion, and active pedagogy.  The goal of the workshop is to help participants balance the many responsibilities of academic life and to understand how their teaching, research, service, outreach, and personal lives intersect and interconnect.  The workshop also provides excellent networking opportunities.

Graduate students and faculty from all institutions and departments are invited to attend.  Some teaching experience is useful. Readings and exercises will include selections from Michael Solem, Ken Foote & Janice Monk (eds.), Aspiring Academics: A Resource Book for Graduate Students and Early Career Faculty(Prentice-Hall, 2009) and Robert Boice, Advice for New Faculty Members (Allyn and Bacon, 2000).

The workshop begins at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 21, and ends at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, June 27. An optional, free fieldtrip to the Connecticut coast on Long Island Sound will be available on Saturday afternoon for those wishing to stay until June 28. 


Follow this link to “Register Now.” You do not need to be a member of the Association of American Geographers to register for the workshop and enter the website.  Follow the instructions to “Sign Up” for a temporary password if you are not an AAG member. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis starting first with the waiting list from last year.

The registration fee of $1,150 includes a single dorm room, breakfasts, lunches & refreshments, three dinners, supplies, meeting rooms, computer network and printing access, graduate student support staff, and support for the workshops and teaching staff leaders. Often participants’ home departments or colleges pay all or part of the workshop cost, so please check with your chair, advisor, or dean about fellowship opportunities.

For participants wishing to make their own housing arrangements in Storrs, the registration fee is $700 excluding dorm room and breakfast, but including all other activities.  Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.

Spouses, partners and children are also welcome to attend. Accommodations are available at the following rates: 1) $350 for spouse, to cover double room, including meals; and 2) $200 for each child over 7 years of age for room, including meals, but no additional room or meal charge of children under 7.

A minimum of 25 participants are needed to meet the costs of the workshop.  If fewer are enrolled as of May 31, the workshop may be cancelled and all funds returned to participants. If you need help finding daycare, please contact Ken Foote. Although you should pay your workshop registration through the AAG website, you will be billed separately for family members in June through the University of Connecticut.

The AAG’s Department Leadership Workshop will also be held in Storrs from June 24-27.  Participants in both workshops will meet and work together in some sessions.

More Information

For further information about the workshop please contact either of the co-leaders: Professor James W. Harrington, Jr. (jwh [at] u [dot] washington [dot] edu), University of Washington, or Professor Ken Foote (ken [dot] foote [at] uconn [dot] edu), University of Connecticut. The workshops were begun in 2002 with the support of the US National Science Foundation. See for more information.

Storrs is located in east central Connecticut about 30 miles from Hartford and the beautiful Connecticut River Valley. Boston, New York City, and Providence are all within easy driving distance of the University of Connecticut, as are scenic areas of New England. Bradley International Airport is the closest to campus and a shuttle is available from the airport to the university. Many participants arrange to spend a few extra days in New England before or after the conference. Visitor information is available from,, and