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I'm an adcomm (admissions committee) member for a PhD program. AMAA

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I have no idea how this will go or how much time I'll be able to devote, but I have been on Grad Cafe a long time and have always believed in it as a place where graduate students support other graduate students, even when tensions and anxieties run high in discussion threads. It offered a lot of help to me as a first-generation PhD student and academic, and now that I am a faculty member with responsibilities for doctoral admissions, I want to practice giving frank but kindhearted advice to interested prospective students. I am not nearly as polished as Karen Kelsky in Ramus's recent post, but I have always found her style of communicating helpful in cutting through bullshit to deliver meaningful advice built on her many years of experience in and outside academia. 

So with the caveat that my answers will only represent my experience and that I will probably not be able to answer every question or every part of a question asked given my other personal and professional obligations: What do you want to know from an admissions committee member? What part of the graduate admissions process can I make explicit from the other side? 

I want to privilege questions from non-white, disabled, first-gen, and/or international (i.e., outside the US and Canada) prospective students in this space as well, so I will not be responding to questions chronologically but rather by progressive stacking. If you identify with any of these communities or cultures, consider requesting to have your question added to the stack in your reply. You can do this by writing "add my question to the stack" in any part of your post, or by DMing me.

Edited by rhetoricus aesalon
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