Inspired by the Doctoral Advising Conversation Guide, I have posted below my responses to some frequently asked advising questions. I hope you will feel free to ask me additional questions!
How should I get in touch with you about setting up a meeting?
Start by checking for available advising meeting times here. If those times don’t work for you, email Lisa Albert (email@example.com) to find a time on my schedule. If you would prefer to have a standing meeting time, please let me know.
What should I do if I need to reach you urgently?
If your question/request is time-sensitive, you can indicate that in your email subject line. If my office door is open, it’s also OK to stop by.
Will you advise me?
If you are a Sociology, Social Policy, or Organizational Behavior PhD student, or you have taken a graduate course with me, probably yes! I love learning about students’ research projects and reading their papers. I am happy to work with you regardless of your methodological approach and substantive topic. If I think I can’t provide the expertise that you want or need, I will tell you that and may suggest other faculty members as additional or alternative advisors and mentors.
What can I expect of you as an advisor?
As your advisor, I work to support your academic growth and professional development. I also seek to affirm the importance of caring for your own health and well-being and that of your loved ones.
I strive to be responsive to students over email and accessible for meetings. I think one of my strengths as an advisor is providing timely and detailed written feedback on paper drafts. If I’m your advisor / committee member and you send me a paper to read, I will ordinarily return it to you with comments within two weeks. If you have not heard from me within two weeks, don’t hesitate to send a follow-up email.
I typically invite students to see me for a general check-in at the beginning of each semester, separate from other meetings we might have on something specific you’re working on. In these semester check-ins, I will typically ask you to walk me through the full list of what’s on your plate — classes, teaching, RA projects, independent research, etc. These meetings are also a good time to raise big-picture questions, talk about how things are going for you overall, share your goals for the coming months, and discuss how I can best support you.
During the semester, I host optional weekly advisee roundtables, which provide a forum for students to share their in-progress research. We also occasionally discuss professional development topics.
What differs if you’re a committee member but not my primary advisor/ committee chair?
If I am not your advisor/chair, I will read your draft papers and other written work once for every time your advisor/chair has already read it. This allows your main advisor to have the first round of input on each iteration. If I am not your advisor/chair, I may also not provide line-by-line edits on every iteration of a given paper.
If I am your chair/primary advisor, standing advising meetings can be as frequently as weekly. If I am a committee member/secondary advisor, standing advising meetings can be as frequently as twice a month.
Is it OK to change advisors?
Absolutely. If at any point you want to change advisors or shift my role (e.g., from chair to committee member), just let me know. I want you to have the best advising team for you, and I know that can change during your time in graduate school.