Today: McKeldin 08:00AM - 10:00PM

Upcoming Common Quandaries Workshops and Related Events

The "Common Quandaries" graduate student workshop and event series offers introductions to a variety of skills, tools, and concepts to researchers on campus. 

Interested in an event but can't attend? Hoping to a see a past event run again in the future? Want to request an event specifically for your program or unit? Please contact us with your questions at! Also be sure to check out our growing video resources and our archive of past events!


Archive of Past Events

Video Resources


Calendar of Events

Browse for events and register using the calendar, or scroll down to see full listing with registration links.

"Speed Geeking," Or How I Learned to Love Talking about My Research Interests Outside My Discipline

Date & Time: Monday, January 22 @2:30pm-3:30pm & Wednesday, April 25 @ 12:30pm 2:30pm 

Location: Stamp Student Union (Jan 22) & McKeldin 4123B (Apr 25)

Description: Are you building an academic or professional network? Do you find yourself at conferences and not quite prepared to talk about yourself and your research? Come get some practice with us at Speed Geeking!

By “Speed Geeking” we mean that we’re challenging you to practice talking about your research interests to different audiences—each other! The format is like speed dating where participants rotating around the room and talking to different people, but you’ll be focusing on why you’re here in graduate school and the things you’re working on. This is an important skill to develop for a number of scenarios in which networking will be important to you: conferences, job hunting, explaining to your aunt and uncle what it is that is consuming your life at the University of Maryland. Another way to think of this exercise is as an extended “elevator pitch,” the idea of explaining your research to someone quickly and concisely during an elevator ride.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you're interested in attending but can't make either scheduled session:

Registration: Click to Register for the April 25 event! (registration not required for Jan 22)


Managing Data from Your Research

***New This Semester***

Date & Time: Tuesday, February 6th @1pm-3pm & Tuesday & March 27th @12pm-2pm

Location: McKeldin 6107

Collecting data as you research and need a management plan? Interested in practical tips and resources for curating and preserving data?

Data Services Librarian David Durden will give you an introduction to the research data life cycle, an overview of data preservation concepts and methodology, and for a discussion of what qualifies as research data. Learn how data management applies to your research and hear tips on how to better prepare yourself to meet the challenges required from funding agencies for things like grant writing and research institutions.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you're interested in attending but can't make either scheduled session:

Registration: Click to register for the Feb. 6 workshop! OR, Click to register for the March 27 workshop!


Organizing Your Research and Using Citation Managers

**Grad Student Favorite**

Date & Time: Monday, March 12th @11am-1pm & Wednesday April 18th @1pm-3pm

Location: McKeldin 6107

Description: Still adapting your workflow to graduate school? Starting a new project and worried about staying organized? Need a solution for keeping track of your PDFs and other files?

Learn strategies for organizing your research, hear the experiences of other graduate students, consider the benefits of cloud storage apps, and get introduced to citation managers like EndNote Web, Mendeley, and Zotero.

If you are interested in attending but can't make these sessions, please contact us at

Registration: Click to register for the March 12 workshop! OR, Click to register for the April 18 workshop! 


Creating Your Academic Presence Online

Date & Time: Tuesday, February 13 @10:30am-12:30pm & Tuesday, April 10th @10:30am-12:30pm

Location: McKeldin 6107

Description: Have you considered establishing an online presence for your academic identity? Wondering how to leverage social media to build academic contacts and publicize your own work? Want to learn how open access publication and repositories might benefit you? Did you know there are library resources that could help with these topics and more?

This workshop will help you to think about how to approach social media as a professional, how you might engage in the professional online conversations in your field, and best practices for sharing your own work or others'. You will also learn about how libraries' resources can benefit your scholarly reputation. Bring your laptops to set up accounts or get feedback on the digital presence you've already established! Presenters include Katie Kaczmarek Frew, PhD Candidate in English, Setsuko Yokoyama, PhD Student in English, along with a libraries' representative.

If you are interested in attending but can't make these sessions, please contact us at

Registration: Click to register for the Feb. 13 workshop! OR, Click to register for the April 10 workshop!

Setsuko Yokoyama is a third year PhD student in English, interested in contemporary editorial theories and practices, as well as politics of digital platforms and open access publishing. She is also a project manager of Dickinson Electronic Archives and a coordinator of the Digital Frost Project.

Katie Kaczmarek Frew is a sixth year PhD candidate in English with research interests in immersion, digital media, and transmedia narratives.  She is currently serving as a co-designer and gamerunner of the NSF-funded educational alternate reality game The Tessera, which engages teenagers in computational thinking through an interactive mystery online.


The Ins and Outs of Academic Publishing: A Graduate Student Panel

Date & Time: Monday, February 19 @1pm-3pm

Location: McKeldin 4123B

Description: Are you a grad student trying to wrap your head around the academic publishing process? Not sure if you’re at the right stage to get started? Need to know what to expect? Interested in knowing what publishing is like for grad students in different disciplines? Come ask your questions and hear some answers from other students like you!

The Research Commons in McKeldin Library is hosting a graduate student panel with participants from different disciplines across campus sharing their experiences and discussing your questions. We’ll cover a range of publishing topics like how these grads approached drafting their articles, chose venues for submission, received responses, and dealt with the publishing process from start to finish. Panelists include PhD student in the iSchool Kelly M. Hoffman, PhD Candidate in English Tim Bruno, and recent University of Maryland graduate Dr. Pallavi Guha

If you are interested in attending but can't make these sessions, please contact us at

Kelly Hoffman is a PhD student in the ISchool with a BA in Journalism, French, and Psychology. She earned her MLS from UMD in 2007. Her current research interests include information policy and ethics, Intranets, Social Psychology, E-Government, and organizational problem solving.

Tim Bruno is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying American and African American literatures of the long nineteenth century. His research interests include the literature of revolts, riots, and conspiracies; protest literature; Nat Turner; the Black Radical Tradition; critical race studies; and composition. His dissertation scrutinizes depictions of black rebellion between Nat Turner's uprising and acts of black self-defense in the post-Reconstruction period.

Dr. Pallavi Guha is an adjunct instructor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Pallavi has recently completed the doctoral program from the University of Maryland. Pallavi's research interests include social media communication, gender, politics, and media apart from the challenges of journalism. Pallavi is an experienced journalist and media educator. An alumna of Rutgers University, Presidency College, and Jadavpur University, Pallavi has worked internationally for leading media organizations including BBC News and television, London and The Times of India, Kolkata.


Registration: Click to register!


Getting Started with Poster Design

Date & Time: Tuesday, February 27 @12pm-2pm & Tuesday, April 2 @12pm-2pm

Location: McKeldin 6107

Description: Are you interested in participating in poster sessions at conferences or other events but don’t know how to get started? Want to learn how you might easily include some graphic design into how you communicate about your scholarship? Then come join us to get started with poster design!

Research Commons consultant Erin Durham will introduce you to the process for academic poster design and presentation from start to finish, including tips for using programs such as Powerpoint. Participants are encouraged to bring their own computers to get some hands on practice in creating their own posters or other graphics. Classroom computers will also be provided.. For the second hour of this session, you'll have a chance to practice yourself and ask questions; feel free to attend even if you can't stay for the whole workshop!

If you are interested in attending but can't make these sessions, please contact us at

Registration: Click to register for the Feb. 27 workshop! OR, Click to register for the April 2 workshop!

Erin Durham is currently pursuing a Masters degree in History and an MLIS in Library and Information Science and works as a graduate assistant instructing English 101 information literacy sessions. Erin has pursued oral history projects relating to police brutality, 1960s school desegregation, and immigrants in the United States, and has presented a poster on classroom learning strategies at a library instructional conference this past May. 


All About Conferencing: A Graduate Student Panel

***New this Semester***

Date & Time: Wednesday March 7th @1pm-3pm

Location: McKeldin 4123B

Are you new to conferencing and interested in hearing about graduate students’ conferencing experiences? Have an upcoming conference and not sure what to anticipate? Looking to make the most of your conference experiences? Come ask your questions and hear some answers from graduate students like you! 

Dr. Katie Stanutz earned her PhD in English at the University of Maryland. She specializes in multi-ethnic American literature, and her interests include cultural studies, media studies, and literary reception history. Her book manuscript is entitled Confined Grief: Mourning and Media in 20th Century Multi-Ethnic Literature, and her article on George Jackson's prison writing was published in MELUS. Katie has presented at 6 national conferences, and she has given many panel presentations such as this one. She is currently the Assistant Director of University Honors here at Maryland, where she helps plan and manage academic programming for the Honors College's largest living-learning program.

RegistrationClick to register!