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How to Apply

In addition to submitting your application through http://careers.umich.edu/, please email the following information to joescia@umich.edu:

  • A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and must be attached as the first page of your resume. The letter should address your specific interest in and fit with this GSSA position. Please include your University Department/Program affiliation and year in graduate studies.
  • Contact information (email and phone) for three to five professional references
  • A letter or email from your academic advisor confirming that: 
  • You are in good academic standing
  • You are not on fellowship support
  • The work described below fulfills your degree requirement or is considered academically relevant to the degree you are pursuing
  • You are approved for a 50% appointment (PLEASE NOTE: this letter may be submitted separately to: joescia@umich.edu

Job Summary

This position works with Rackham’s Professional and Academic Development Team, and specifically with the Academic Program Manager for Public Scholarship,to develop, implement, facilitate, and evaluate programs for graduate students related to public scholarship, experiential learning, and community engagement. The individual in this role also assists with coordinating various aspect of the planning and evaluation of all of Rackham’s current public scholarship programs including Public Scholarship Grants, Mellon Public Engagement and the Humanities, the Engaged Pedagogy Initiative, and internship program. The GSSA will also play a central role in designing the structure and content of a symposium to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Rackham Program in Public Scholarship. They will also have a central role in planning the 2021 Institute for Social Change. To learn more about our programs and mission, visit: www.rackham.umich.edu/publicscholarship.

This GSSA position is ideal for those who are interested program administration, public engagement and higher education, community-based learning and research, outreach, career diversity for Ph.D. programs, and the civic responsibility of public higher education.

Because we are committed to diversity, we aspire to develop and nurture the individual and collective skills to recognize, celebrate, and deploy difference as a path to engagement, innovation, and the generation of new ideas and knowledge.

Appointment Period:  Winter 2021 (This position is for one term with renewal contingent upon completion of performance expectations and available funding).

Estimated FTE: 50% (20 hours per week)

Compensation: This appointment provides tuition, required fees, stipend (at the GEO negotiated GSSA monthly rate), GradCare health insurance, and dental insurance (Option 1).

Course Description

This is a GSSA position - no course is affiliated with it.

Responsibilities*

The list of responsibilities below are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed and are not an exhaustive list of all associated responsibilities:

  • Use knowledge and expertise related to public scholarship, community-based learning, and professional development to review program applications, review student work, and participate in program planning meetings.
  • Update and create evaluation questions and metrics for Institute for Social Change, Public Engagement Fellows, and Public Scholarship Grants.
  • Assist with developing content, facilitating sessions, and evaluating student work for the Engaged Pedagogy Initiative.
  • Plan and implement public scholarship events for graduate students, such as Institute for Social Change, public scholarship Career Treks, public engagement fellows meetings, etc.
  • Research faculty and practitioners for participation in programs and panels (examine research and areas interest to assess alignment with RPPS mission, goals, and scholarly content).
  • Stay up to date on trends and best practices in the field of Public Scholarship at U-M and other institutions to inform program strategy and content.
  • Create and facilitate sessions for 2021 Institute for Social Change, and develop new program and workshop ideas where the GSSA’s interests overlap with the mission and vision of the Rackham Program in Public Scholarship and Professional and Academic Development Team.
  • Contribute to on-going qualitative research, evaluation, and analysis of Public Engagement Internship program data, including conducting interviews with RPPS alumni.
  • Assist with planning and implementing Rackham Program in Public Scholarship 10th Anniversary event in Fall 2020.
  • Solicit updates from RPPS alums to update program data. Assist with writing, updating, and organizing website content to better communicate our work, mission, and programs for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Other duties as assigned and aligned with GSSA’s interests and skills.

NOTE: SOME FLEXIBILITY OF SCHEDULED WORK HOURS IS REQUIRED, INCLUDING EVENINGS OR WEEKENDS ON A PRIOR SCHEDULED BASIS.

Required Qualifications*

Applicants must be currently registered in a Rackham graduate program. Preference will be given to doctoral students who have reached candidacy. Students who are unsure if they are in a Rackham graduate program should check their graduate program listing in http://www.rackham.umich.edu/programs-of-study.

  • The work described above for this position must be considered academically relevant by the department or degree program in which the student is enrolled.
  • Strong background knowledge of public scholarship
  • Experience with publicly engaged scholarship (research, teaching or service)
  • Ability to handle multiple, overlapping projects and tasks
  • Ability to collaborate effectively on a team
  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, prioritization, and follow-through
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work and communicate effectively and professionally with the University community as well as external community partners
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently, as the task requires
  • Strong preference for availability through the Spring Term 2021. Possibility of renewal through summer 2021 Half-Term (July 1 through August 31 with flexibility for travel as needed) dependent upon performance and available funding.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Familiarity and experience with Rackham Program in Public Scholarship programs
  • Experience with issues in graduate education, student development, leadership development, and diversity issues in higher education
  • An understanding of the challenges faced by underrepresented populations in higher education
  • Project and program management experience
  • Previous experience developing resource materials
  • Experience facilitating professional development programs and group conversations.

How You'll Grow

Expected Outcomes:

The GSSA position will strengthen professional competencies in the following areas:

  • Develop and manage innovative public scholarship programs in a higher education setting.
  • Develop knowledge of career outcomes, needs, and paths of graduate students interested in public engagement.
  • Gain experience facilitating workshops.
  • Communicating across fields and managing campus-community partnerships.
  • Best practices in graduate student success
  • Community-building in higher education environments
  • Student should be able to present a proposal/paper regarding their experience at a local/regional conference in their field.

Contact Information

Questions regarding this position may be emailed to joescia@umich.edu. Applicants may request the status of their application from the appointing unit.

Decision Making Process

Applications will be reviewed following the posting deadline and selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. References will be contacted for finalists.

Joseph Cialdella, Academic Program Manager and Laura Schram, Director of Professional and Academic Development are leading this search.

Every effort will be made to have a hiring decision by December 18, 2020.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed following the posting deadline and selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. References will be contacted for finalists.

Joseph Cialdella, Academic Program Manager and Laura Schram, Director of Professional and Academic Development are leading this search.

Every effort will be made to have a hiring decision by May 1, 2020.

GEO Contract Information

The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression (whether actual or perceived), sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, medical conditions including those related to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, arrest record, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Information for the Office for Institutional Equity may be found at oie.umich.edu/ and for the University Ombuds at ombuds.umich.edu/


Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an employee does not receive their preferred assignment, they can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agents(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.


This position, as posted, is subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.


Standard Practice Guide 601.38, Required Disclosure of Felony Charges and/or Felony Convictions applies to all Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs). SPG 601.38 may be accessed online at spg.umich.edu/policy/601.38 , and its relation to your employment can be found in MOU 10 of your employment contract.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.