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How to Apply

In addition to submitting your application through the UM Careers site, please email the following information to: rackpublicscholarship@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: rackpublicscholarship@umich.edu

Course Description

This is for a 50% GSSA position; no course is associated with this position.

Responsibilities*

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • 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.
  • Create evaluation questions and metrics for public scholarship programs including Engaged Pedagogy Initiative, Public Scholarship Grants, and Institute for Social Change.
  • 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 the 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 program data, including conducting interviews and focus groups with current students and alumni to shape future programming directions.
  • Assist with strategic planning for RPPS.  
  • 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.

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

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

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

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 rackpublicscholarship@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, Manager of Graduate Student Programs in Public Scholarship and Laura Schram, Director of Professional and Academic Development are leading this search.

Every effort will be made to have a hiring decision by July 1, 2021.

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, Manager of Graduate Student Programs in Public Scholarship and Laura Schram, Director of Professional and Academic Development are leading this search.

Every effort will be made to have a hiring decision by July 1, 2021.

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.