English M.A. Graduate Administrative Assistantships (GAAs)

Truman’s Master of Arts in English program offers incoming and current students the opportunity to apply for Graduate Administrative Assistantships (GAAs). These year-long administrative and editorial positions provide funding for 4.5 of the 9 credits needed each semester to be considered a full-time student (defraying the expense of 4.5 credits in the fall semester and 4.5 credits in the spring) as well as a $4,000 stipend, paid in monthly installments, Sept. 15 – June 15.

Yearly administrative and editorial assistantships are renewable on a competitive basis. Current administrative and editorial assistants need to re-apply in January for positions for the following year. Since some administrative and editorial positions will be reserved for incoming students, not all current graduate administrative and editorial assistants will have the chance to renew their assistantships. Therefore, current graduate administrative and editorial assistants are encouraged to apply for a range of administrative, editorial, or teaching assistantships in order to diversify the professional skills they can offer future employers.

Since these positions are awarded on a yearly basis, students entering the program in January will not be able to apply for a teaching assistantship their first semester but can apply for a position for the coming academic year. A student may only hold one administrative, editorial, or teaching assistantship at a time.

Job Descriptions of Available Assistantships

 Undergraduate Advising Coordinator for the English and Linguistics Department: The student awarded this administrative assistantship will work under the supervision of the English and Linguistics Department Chair to:

  • Maintain the English Advising Blackboard site by updating information and making sure all links remain functional and clearly formatted
  • Interview and write profiles of the English and Linguistics “Faculty Member of the Month” and “Student of the Month”
  • Organize and participate in the fall “Majors Welcome”
  • Assist in the departmental process of matching advisees to advisors
  • Participate actively in EASE (the English Advising in Support of Excellence Committee)
  • Plan and host group advising meetings for:
    • new majors
    • majors/minors beginning their grad school search/application process
    • majors/minors beginning their job search process
    • majors/minors feeling lost and disconnected
  • Conduct surveys of English and Linguistics majors and minors about their interests, concerns and suggestions and report the responses
  • Advertise English and Linguistics foundation scholarships and encourage students to apply for them
  • Coordinate with the Center for Academic Excellence, the Office of Student Research and the new Director of Retention on advising initiatives
  • Supervise 2-3 undergraduate scholarship student workers to work on the tasks discussed above

English and Linguistics Department Conference Coordinator: The student awarded this administrative assistantship will assist the English and Linguistics Department chair and/or other faculty conference organizers to:

  • Schedule, coordinate and host the fall semester and spring semester senior seminar conferences
  • Schedule, coordinate and host Ofstad lectures/readings (6-7 each year)
  • Work closely with Publications and the School of Arts and Letters publicity coordinator to publicize these events and promote student attendance
  • Promote student awareness and participation in the Student Research Conference, the conferences listed above, and other conferences on campus
  • Gather information on regional conferences of interest to English graduate students
  • Provide the English and Linguistics Archivist with event information, promotional materials and a record of faculty and student conference participation
  • Explore the potential for an English graduate research conference
  • Supervise 2-3 undergraduate scholarship student workers to assist with the tasks discussed above
  • Provide support, as requested, for the organization of other university conferences (the Women’s and Gender Studies conference, the Truman State University Film Festival, etc.)

English and Linguistics Department Archivist: The student awarded this administrative assistantship will work under the supervision the English and Linguistics Department chair, to:

  • Keep minutes at English and Linguistics department meetings
  • Update a searchable database of English and Linguistics departmental actions and faculty achievements
  • Record statistics about how many seats are offered and filled in different kinds of English and Linguistics courses every semester
  • Maintain a searchable database of student/alumni achievements (honors, award, publications, jobs, grad school admission)
  • Update the Ofstad website (featuring 6-7 visiting scholars each year)
  • Keep in e-mail contact with alumni and update their contact information in a database as needed
  • Create and send out an English and Linguistics digital newsletter to all alumni
  • Keep the digital “ENGLING Presentations” (projected at Showcases) up-to-date with posters of all events
  • Coordinate with the Linguistics club, Sigma Tau Delta, and other English and Linguistics clubs so memberships and achievements can be archived and their events and activities publicized within the department and/or passed on to School of Arts and Letters publicist, as appropriate

Editorial Assistant (2): The student awarded this editorial assistantship will work under the supervision of the editor of the journal, learning every aspect of how scholarly journals are managed and produced. Currently, two such assistantships are available: one with the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, edited by Dr. Sara Day, and one with The McNair Scholarly Review, edited by Dr. Heather Cianciola. Editorial assistants will:

  • Proofread and copyedit texts
  • Check citations
  • Find images and arrange copyright permissions
  • Handle e-mail correspondence related to journal distribution and returning of forms
  • Other editorial duties assigned by the journal editor
GAA Application Instructions