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Architecture Masters Theses Collection
Theses from 2022 2022.
Equitable Housing Generation Through Cellular Automata , Molly R. Clark, Architecture
Beneficial Invasive: A Rhizomatic Approach to Utilizing Local Bamboo for COVID Responsive Educational Spaces , Megan Futscher, Architecture
Architectural Activism Through Hip-Hop , Micaela Goodrich, Architecture
Addressing Trauma Through Architecture: Cultivating Well-being For Youth Who Have Experienced Trauma , Megan Itzkowitz, Architecture
Buildings Integrated into Landscape & Making People Care for Them: Exploring Integrated Land-Building Ecosystems and the Lifestyles Needed to Support It , Sara Mallio, Architecture
Reimagining Black Architecture , Esosa Osayamen, Architecture
Prefabricated Homes: Delivery At Your Doorsteps , Obed K. Otabil, Architecture
Memory and Resistance , Cami Quinteros, Architecture
Mycelium: The Building Blocks of Nature and the Nature of Architecture , Carly Regalado, Architecture
IN-BETWEEN SPACES: ATMOSPHERES, MOVEMENT AND NEW NARRATIVES FOR THE CITY , Paul Alexander Stoicheff, Architecture
Theses from 2021 2021
Creating New Cultural Hubs in American Cities: The Syrian Diaspora of Worcester, Massachusetts , Aleesa Asfoura, Architecture
Firesafe: Designing for Fire-Resilient Communities in the American West , Brenden Baitch, Architecture
The Beige Conundrum , Alma Crawford-Mendoza, Architecture
Cultivating Food Justice: Exploring Public Interest Design Process through a Food Security & Sustainability Hub , Madison J. DeHaven, Architecture
Physical to Virtual: A Model for Future Virtual Classroom Environments , Stephen J. Fink, Architecture
Detroit: Revitalizing Urban Communities , David N. Fite, Architecture
The Homestead Helper Handbook , Courtney A. Jurzynski, Architecture
An Architecture of a New Story , Nathan Y. Lumen, Architecture
Border Town: Preserving a 'Living' Cultural Landscape in Harlingen, Texas , Shelby Parrish, Architecture
Housing for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Creating an Integrated Living Community in Salem, MA , Tara Pearce, Architecture
From Sanctuary to Home in the Post-Interstate City , Morgan B. Sawyer, Architecture
Exploring the Use of Grid-Scale Compressed Air Energy Storage in the Urban Landscape , Connor S. Slover, Architecture
Bridging the Gaps in Public Conversation by Fostering Spaces of Activism , Karitikeya Sonker, Architecture
Re-envisioning the American Dream , Elain Tang, Architecture
Tall Timber in Denver: An Exploration of New Forms in Large Scale Timber Architecture , Andrew P. Weuling, Architecture
Theses from 2020 2020
Urban Inter-Space: Convergence of Human Interaction and Form , Clayton Beaudoin, Architecture
The Hues of Hadley Massachusetts: Pioneering Places for Preservation and Growth , Elisha M. Bettencourt, Architecture
Reinvigorating Englewood, Chicago Through New Public Spaces and Mixed-Income Housing , Givan Carrero, Architecture
Architectural Agency Through Real Estate Development , Hitali Gondaliya, Architecture
Multimodal Transit and a New Civic Architecture , Samuel Bruce Hill, Architecture
Rethinking The Suburban Center , Andrew Jones, Architecture
Resilient Urbanism: Bridging Natural Elements & Sustainable Structures in a Post-Industrial Urban Environment , Nicholas McGee, Architecture
Adaptive Airport Architecture , Yash Mehta, Architecture
Rethinking School Design to Promote Safety and Positivity , Emily Moreau, Architecture
The Built Environment and Well-Being: Designing for Well-Being in Post-Industrial Communities During the Age of Urbanization , Tyler O'Neil, Architecture
Brutalism and the Public University: Integrating Conservation into Comprehensive Campus Planning , Shelby Schrank, Architecture
Spatial Design for Behavioral Education , Madeline Szczypinski, Architecture
Theses from 2019 2019
THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY: FOR REFUGEES , Raghad Alrashidi, Architecture
From Archaic To contemporary : Energy Efficient Adaptive Reuse of Historic Building , Nisha Borgohain, Architecture
(RE)Developing Place: The Power of Narrative , Kinsey Diomedi, Architecture
Rethinking Ambulatory Care Delivery , Senada Dushaj, Architecture
Photosynthesizing the Workplace: A Study in Healthy and Holistic Production Spaces , Kaeli Howard, Architecture
Museum Design As A Tool For A City , Cunbei Jiang, Architecture
Architecture and Wilderness: An Exchange of Order , Ashley Lepre, Architecture
Cross-Species Architecture: Developing an Architecture for Rehabilitative Learning Through the Human-Canine Relationship , Jake Porter, Architecture
Intermodal Transit Terminal: Integrating the Future of Transit into the Urban Fabric , Guy Vigneau, Architecture
Theses from 2018 2018
Bangladeshi Cultural Center: for the Bangladeshi Population Living in New York City , Sabrina Afrin, Architecture
THE ENHANCEMENT OF LEARNING THROUGH THE DESIGN PROCCESS: RENOVATING THE FORT RIVER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN AMHERST, MA , Reyhaneh Bassamtabar, Architecture
LEARNING SPACES: DISCOVERING THE SPACES FOR THE FUTURE OF LEARNING , Michael Choudhary, Architecture
ARCHITECTURAL SYNERGY: A FACILITY FOR LIFELONG LEARNING IN ACADEMIA AND PRACTICE , Ryan Rendano, Architecture
Resilient Architecture: Adaptive Community Living in Coastal Locations , Erica Shannon, Architecture
Theses from 2017 2017
New York City 2050: Climate Change and Future of New York | Design for Resilience , Abhinav Bhargava, Architecture
The Performance of Light: Exploring the Impact of Natural Lighting in the New UMass School of Performance , Dylan Brown, Architecture
Regional Expression In The Renovation Of Remote Historic Villages , Jie chen, Architecture
An Incremental Intervention In Jakarta: An Empowering Infrastructural Approach For Upgrading Informal Settlements , Christopher H. Counihan, Architecture
UMASS Dining Hall. A Path to Resiliency , Lukasz Czarniecki, Architecture
LIVING CORE OF THE FUTURE: PROPOSING NEW APPROACH FOR THE FUTURE OF RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX IN METROPOLITAN AREAS , Mahsa G. Zadeh, Architecture
HUMANITY IN A CHILDREN’S CANCER HOSPITAL , Sara Jandaghi Jafari, Architecture
Designing Symbiosis for the New Church Community , Evan Janes, Architecture
A Visible History: A Synthesis of Past, Present and Future Through the Evocation of Memory Within Historic Contexts , Nicholas Jeffway, Architecture
Creating A Community A New Ecological, Economical, and Social Path to Uniting a Community , Andrew Stadnicki, Architecture
Z-Cube: Mobile Living for Feminist Nomads , Zi Ye, Architecture
Theses from 2016 2016
Music and Architecture: An Interpresence , Rachel J. Beesen, Architecture
Intervening in the Lives of Internally Displaced People in Colombia , Amy L. Carbone, Architecture
Designing Waste Creating Space: A Critical Examination Into Waste Reduction Through Building Techniques, Architectural Design, and Systems , Courtney M. Carrier, Architecture
Umass September 11 Intervention , Mohamad Farzinmoghadam, Architecture
Merging Social Science and Neuroscience in Architecture: Creating a Framework to Functionally Re-integrate Ex-Convicts , Kylie A. Landrey, Architecture
From Shelters to Long Living Communities , Yakun Liang, Architecture
Building Hope: A Community + Water Initiative, La Villa de San Francisco, Honduras , Christopher D. Mansfield, Architecture
THE SPATIALITY IN STORYTELLING , Xiang Yu, Architecture
Innovation of the Residential Buildings and Community in the Emerging City Rongcheng , Xing Yu, Architecture
Art and Life - Make invisible visible in Cao changdi village, Beijing, China , peng zhang, Architecture
Theses from 2015 2015
The Dialogue of Craft and Architecture , Thomas J. Forker, Architecture
MOSQUE IN THE VALLEY: A SPACE FOR SPIRITUAL GATHERING & CULTURAL LEARNING , Nabila Iqbal, Architecture
EXPLORATION OF CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN URBAN PLAZA AND MIXED USE BUILDINGS , Youngduk Kim, Architecture
Design Of A Housing For Urban Artisan-Living Work , Fahim Mahmud, Architecture
Membranes and Matrices: Architecture as an Interface , Nayef Mudawar, Architecture
Building for the Future: Revitalization through Architecture , Rebecca N. Perry, Architecture
Developing Maker Economies in Post-Industrial Cities: Applying Commons Based Peer Production to Mycelium Biomaterials , Grant R. Rocco, Architecture
Design of Children's Event and Cutural Center in Osu, Accra, Ghana , Rudi Somuah, Architecture
Sustainable Design of Student Centers Retrofitting and Adaptive Reuse of UMass Student Union , Tianye Song, Architecture
Design/Build in Architectural Education: studying community-focused curriculum , Matthew K. Sutter, Architecture
Landform Architecture As Reconnecting Presence For Campus Complex Design , Yi Wang, Architecture
Architecture for Housing: Multi-Function Transitional Space of Housing in China , zhaoqing zhang, Architecture
Theses from 2014 2014
New as Renewal: A Framework for Adaptive Reuse in the Sustainable Paradigm , Luke A. Beck, Architecture
Reconnecting Mill Communities: An Architectural Intervention in Fitchburg, Massachusetts , Ronald Bujold, Architecture
Greening Greenpoint: Investigating Technology and Environment-based Design , Adam Castelli, Architecture
Sustaining Community: A New Social, Economic, and Environmental Path for Ware, MA , Aviva J. Galaski, Architecture
Reconsidering the Community Center - Restorative Strategies Within Existing Frameworks , John Gilbert III, Architecture
From Vacant to Vibrant: Proposing a New Approach to the Anchor Store Typology , Samantha L. Greenberg, Architecture
The Under Wing Home , David Harrington, Architecture
Bridging the Gap: Community-Oriented Transit Development , Matthew C. Jones, Architecture
The Community Cohesion Trail of Brattleboro, Vermont , Patrick C. Kitzmiller, Architecture
Parametric Tools in the Design Process , Robert B. Marcalow, Architecture
Architecture for Science: Space as an Incubator to Nurture Research , Maryam Mohammad Shafiee, Architecture
ARCHITECTURE FOR THE REVITALIZATION OF COMMUNITY , Erin Riley, Architecture
Community Development in Emerging Cities: A Case for Lagos,Nigeria , Olaoluwa Olakunle Silva, Architecture
Utopia In The Apocalypse: Creating A Framework Of Survival Systems , Bryan E. Toepfer, Architecture
Mount Tom Self-Transformation Retreat: Designing Experiential Architecture to Provoke Stimulatory, Expressive and Sensory Self-Exploration , Kyle B. Young, Architecture
Investigation of Historical Area in Xi'an, China , Zhaoxiong Yu, Architecture
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Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Selected architecture thesis projects: fall 2020.
Clockwise from top left: “Citing the Native Genius” by Taylor Cook, “Pair of Dice, Para-Dice, Paradise: A Counter-Memorial to Victims of Police Brutality” by Calvin Boyd, “The Magic Carpet” by Goli Jalali, “Stacked Daydreams: Ceiling-Scape for the Neglected” by Zai Xi Jeffrey Wong, and “Up from the Past: Housing as Reparations on Chicago’s South Side” by Isabel Strauss
Five films showcase a selection of Fall 2020 thesis projects from the Department of Architecture.
Pair of Dice, Para-Dice, Paradise: A Counter-Memorial to Victims of Police Brutality
This thesis is a proposal for a counter-memorial to victims of police brutality. The counter-memorial addresses scale by being both local and national, addresses materiality by privileging black aesthetics over politeness, addresses presence/absence by being more transient than permanent, and lastly, addresses site by being collective rather than singular. The result is an architecture that plays itself out over 18,000 police stations across America and the Washington Monument at the National Mall, two sites that are intrinsically linked through the architecture itself: negative “voids” at police stations whose positive counterparts aggregate at the Mall.
The critical question here is whether or not the system in which police brutality takes place can be reformed from within, or if people of color need to seek their utopia outside of these too-ironclad structures. This counter-memorial, when understood as an instrument of accountability (and therefore a real-time beacon that measures America’s capacity to either change or otherwise repeat the same violent patterns), ultimately provides us with an eventual answer.
Author: Calvin Boyd, MArch I 2020 Advisor: Jon Lott , Assistant Professor of Architecture Duration: 11 min, 2 sec
Thesis Helpers: Shaina Yang (MArch I 2021), Rachel Coulomb (MArch I 2022)
The Magic Carpet
The Persian Carpet and the Persian Miniature painting have served as representation tools for the Persian Garden and the idea of paradise in Persian culture since antiquity. The word paradise derives from the Persian word pari-daeza meaning “walled enclosure.” The garden is always walled and stands in opposition to its landscape. This thesis investigates the idea of a contemporary image of paradise in the Iranian imagination by using carpets and miniature paintings as a tool for designing architecture. The garden, with its profound associations, provided a world of metaphor for the classical mystic poets. One of the manuscripts describing the Persian garden is called Haft Paykar – known as the Seven Domes – written by the 12th century Persian poet called Nizami. These types of manuscripts were made for Persian kings and contain within them miniature paintings and poetry describing battles, romances, tragedies, and triumphs that compromise Iran’s mythical and pre-Islamic history. The carpet is the repeating object in the miniature paintings of the manuscript. This thesis deconstructs the carpet in seven ways in order to digitally reconstruct the miniature paintings of the Seven Domes and the image of paradise with new techniques.
Author: Goli Jalali, MArch I 2021 Advisor: Jennifer Bonner , Associate Professor of Architecture Duration: 8min, 28 sec
Up from the Past: Housing as Reparations on Chicago’s South Side
Do people know what the Illinois Institute of Technology and the South Side Planning Board and the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois and the United States government did to the Black Metropolis? If they know, do they care? Is it too hard to hold these entities accountable? If we held them accountable, could we find justice for those that were displaced? What would justice look like? What comes after Mecca? What types of spaces come after Mecca? Are they different than what was there before? Are they already there? What defines them? Can Reparations be housing? How many people are already doing this work? How many people are doing this work in academia? On the ground? Is the word “Reparations” dead? What do we draw from? Who is this for? Do white men own the legacy of the architecture that defined the Black Metropolis? How personal should this work be? How anecdotal? How quantitative? Does the design need to be inherently spatial? Or atmospheric? What should it feel like? How do I draw a feeling in Rhino? What are radical ways of looking? How do we reclaim racialized architecture? Do we? Should we even talk about these things?
Author: Isabel Strauss, MArch I 2021 Advisor: Oana Stanescu , Design Critic in Architecture Duration: 4 min, 4 sec
Soundtrack Created By: Edward Davis (@DJ Eway) Production Support: Adam Maserow , Evan Orf , Glen Marquardt Collaborators: Rekha Auguste Nelson , Farnoosh Rafaie , Zena Mariem Mengesha , Edward Davis (DJ Eway) Special Thanks: Caleb Negash , Tara Oluwafemi , Maggie Janik , Ann Whiteside , Dana McKinney Guidance: Stephen Gray , John Peterson , Chris Herbert , Cecilia Conrad , Lawrence J. Vale , Ilan Strauss , Mark Lee , Iman Fayyad , Jennifer Bonner , Mindy Pugh , Peter Martinez Collage Credits: Adler and Sullivan , Bisa Butler , Carrie Mae Weems , Dawoud Bey , Deborah Roberts , Ebony G Patterson , Ellen Gallagher , Frank Lloyd Wright , Howardena Pindell , Jordan Casteel , Kerry James Marshall , Latoya Ruby Frazier , Lelaine Foster , Lorna Simpson , Mark Bradford , Mickalene Thomas , Mies van der Rohe , Nick Cave , Njideka Akunyili Crosby , Romare Bearden , Sadie Barnette More Information: architectureofreparations.cargo.site
Stacked Daydreams: Ceiling‐Scape for the Neglected
Elderly Care Adaptive Reuse of Hong Kong’s Vertical Factory
This thesis operates at the intersection of three domains of neglect:
- In the realm of building elements, the ceiling is often considered as an afterthought in the design process.
- Across building types, the vertical factory sits abandoned and anachronistic to its surroundings. It spiraled into disuse due to Hong Kong’s shifting economic focus.
- In society, the elderly are often subjected to social neglect, seen as a financial burden, and forced toward the fringes of society.
These parts experience obsolescence that led to indifference, and subsequently to boredom. I intend to draw the parallel of deterioration between the body of the elderly and the body of the vertical factory. Using a set of ceiling parts in the manner of prosthetics to reactivate the spaces into elderly care facilities, revert boredom to daydreams, and reimagine the concept of elderhood as an experimental second stage of life.
Author: Zai Xi Jeffrey Wong, MArch I AP 2021 Advisor: Eric Höweler , Associate Professor of Architecture & Architecture Thesis Coordinator Duration: 4 min, 53 sec
Citing the Native Genius
Reconstructing vernacular architecture in Hawai’i
For over 120 years, Americanization has tried to demean and erase Hawaiian language, culture, and architecture. In contemporary discourse, the vernacular architecture of Hawai’i is mostly referred to as ancient and vague. As with many Indigenous cultures, Western perspectives tend to fetishize or patronize the Hawaiian design aesthetic. Within this hierarchy of knowledge is a systemic assumption that Hawaiian vernacular architecture cannot effectively serve as a precedent resource for contemporary architects. Those who do reference the original vernacular will often classify it as utilitarian or resourceful. Regardless of intent, this narrative takes design agency away from the people involved. As a corrective, a respectful use of vernacular domestic form would benefit designers that are struggling to connect with Hawai’i’s cultural and architectural traditions.
Mining the European gaze and influence out of revivalist publications, archeological surveys and historic images reveal unique characteristics of Hawaiian domestic space. Geometric quotation and symbolic referencing are the foundational instruments in applying the discrete components, form, and organizational logic of the vernacular. The result is a design process that creates an amalgamation of decolonized form and contemporary technique. This residential project intends to revive Hawai’i’s erased domestic experience by revisiting the precolonial vernacular form and plan.
Author: Taylor Cook, MArch I 2021 Advisor: Jeffry Burchard , Assistant Professor in Practice of Architecture Duration: 5 min, 13 sec
Special Thanks: Jeffry Burchard, Cameron Wu, Kanoa Chung, Nik Butterbaugh, Carly Yong, Vernacular Pacific LLC More Information: www.vernacularhawaii.com
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the galleries in Gund Hall have been turned ‘inside out,’ with exhibitions shown through a series of exterior projections on the building’s facade. View some images from the screening of these films below:
James Edward So
Renders and details of design 10 thesis
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This thesis explores architecture 's role as host and its relationship with guest through the research and design of a new youth hostel for Washington, D.C. The etymological duality of host is confronted in the project's structure, as well as its liminal spaces.
My thesis addresses the many issues that today’s youth face and aims to rethink the youth centre as a place that combines youth culture and architecture to create a space that not only provides adequate recreational and vocational opportunities but which is also representative of youth.
Year Degree Awarded 2022 Month Degree Awarded May Abstract The aim of this thesis is to create an architectural design for youth that is informed by and in response to current trauma informed healthcare guidelines and research about wellness, with a focus on safety, trustworthiness, and empowerment.
ABSTRACT This master thesis embraces the design of The Artistic Youth Center, located in Miami. It is a solution, to the missing opportunities for the youth to seek and explore knowledge in...
THESIS PROJECT: BARCELONA YOUTH HOSTEL By: Malene HÃ¸yer Pedersen Studio M.A.D.; Spring 2016 Aarhus School of Architecture 2 3 CONTENT: 6 INTRODUCTION 8 ACADEMIC RELEVANCE 9 12 SYNTHESIZING...
Addressing Trauma Through Architecture : Cultivating Well-being For Youth Who Have Experienced Trauma, Megan Itzkowitz, Architecture PDF Buildings Integrated into Landscape & Making People Care for Them: Exploring Integrated Land-Building Ecosystems and the Lifestyles Needed to Support It , Sara Mallio, Architecture
This thesis investigates the idea of a contemporary image of paradise in the Iranian imagination by using carpets and miniature paintings as a tool for designing architecture . The garden, with its profound associations, provided a world of metaphor for the classical mystic poets.
Marikina Youth Center (Design 10 Thesis ) Marikina Youth Center (Design 10 Thesis ... Renders and details of design 10 thesis Architecture ; Share. R; 7; n;
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Dissertation advisor hates me
Sep 23, · It could be there is a miscommunication somewhere, it could be your advisor thinks you have different goals than you actually do, it could be you and your advisor just . PhD advisor hates me, but only me. Advise? the project is very much in line with my dissertation work, 2) I would be of value to the project, and 3) she has not yet assigned anyone as a student researcher (GSR). She blatantly told me . Jan 22, · “Halfway through my PhD my dad was in jail, my girlfriend left me and started dating the guy in the lab next door. I felt isolated, stopped eating, and lost a lot of weight,” he .
PhD advisor hates me, but only me. Advise? the project is very much in line with my dissertation work, 2) I would be of value to the project, and 3) she has not yet assigned anyone as a student researcher (GSR). She blatantly told me . Sep 23, · It could be there is a miscommunication somewhere, it could be your advisor thinks you have different goals than you actually do, it could be you and your advisor just . Jun 15, · My advisor is hostile to me having an independent opinion. Your advisor becomes angry with you if you have an opinion about your project or other university-related Author: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein.
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Jan 22, · “Halfway through my PhD my dad was in jail, my girlfriend left me and started dating the guy in the lab next door. I felt isolated, stopped eating, and lost a lot of weight,” he . Jun 15, · My advisor is hostile to me having an independent opinion. Your advisor becomes angry with you if you have an opinion about your project or other university-related Author: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein. PhD advisor hates me, but only me. Advise? the project is very much in line with my dissertation work, 2) I would be of value to the project, and 3) she has not yet assigned anyone as a student researcher (GSR). She blatantly told me .
Jun 15, · My advisor is hostile to me having an independent opinion. Your advisor becomes angry with you if you have an opinion about your project or other university-related Author: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein. Sep 23, · It could be there is a miscommunication somewhere, it could be your advisor thinks you have different goals than you actually do, it could be you and your advisor just . Nov 18, · If your advisor starts treating you like dirt, don’t just work harder and harder in the false hope that he will be nice to you or respect for it. The hard truth is that some advisors will treat you like dirt simply because they think it will make you work harder. Stop chasing the approval of an advisor .
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I got fired by my advisor as a first-year PhD student
I am an international PhD student in the US and my advisor is an assistant professor. I got fired by my advisor not because I don't work but because she thought "ability matters"
I worked very hard in my research during the first year while I was doing TA for both semesters. I was her only PhD student and she had nothing in the lab but the funding to establish the lab. So I began working on the project right from the start of the first year. I was feeling grateful for her because she brought me here so I was committed to her lab. The first thing I did is to design and assemble a physical measurement system she wanted and I was fully working on this project the whole year. I made plans, designing every component in the system and purchased/made these components. In this process I encountered many problems where I came to the lab on weekends to fix them. I came to the lab early in the morning while left the lab at night. Now there has been great progress and the system is working now (which I am really excited about because it was made with my hands, my brain, and my labor work). I had published a conference paper in the first semester.
But I have to admit that I was not paying much attention to the coursework where I finished a 3.0 GPA for the first semester. In January, when the second semester started I ended up dropping two courses she advised me to take because I was still working on finalizing the system, which takes much of my concentration, and I felt overloaded to do TA+research and three courses in a single semester. Also because I was fully concentrated on the research and not paying much attention to other stuff, I failed my first PhD qualifying (I had a master's degree from another school so I wanted to pass qual as soon as possible after I entered PhD program). I attended my second Qualifying last Friday and I did much better despite no result comes out.
So probably due to not doing good enough in the courses and qual and upset by my decision to drop here recommended courses, she wrote me an email in March indicating she wanted me out of her lab. I wrote back an email saying there could be miscommunication between us and I asked a second chance and I will follow her guidance and be more careful but she still insisted on kicking me out. She even said "it took her 40 minutes to write this email" to her only PhD student. She said to me "ability matters" and she overlooked all my efforts and progress in research but pointed out how I failed to meet her expectations. She compared me with her master students where they could find problems by themselves and solved them (didn't I???). I was so upset that I just left her such an impression after I worked hard in the lab for nearly a whole year.
I do think she is somehow abusive and indifferent to me in this case. As time went by she began less responsive to my emails and didn't reply to my emails either about research updates or greeting on holidays. We have one post-doc and two master students in the lab and I was the person who knows the least amount of information and updates in the lab. In group meetings, she even asked our postdoc in front of all of us how much contribution I made to the slides I presented (of course I did all those work mentioned in the slides)
I was working hard, I was not doing anything violating school policies and I was spending much more time than other people on one thing which she hardly keeps her eyes on but is the most important to her lab to do experiments with and write papers from in the future. And all because I was not being good in one aspect she decided to fire me from the group.
I don't know what I can do correctly and wisely to help myself right now. I don't know if she can interfere with qual to fail me so I will have to leave school "legitimately". At this time if I leave school then it's gonna be very hard to secure another program from other schools by the application. My TA contract ends by the end of the month and then I will have no funding to support myself with rents and life expenses. I was trying to contact other professors in my department but in the meantime, I wrote her emails requesting if she could help me find another advisor (considering her words as a professor are more sounded) but she replied that I had to do that by myself.
This is how I messed up my PhD while I worked hard in one aspect but she still decided to fire me. I don't think this is 100% my fault. Any suggestions and opinions will be appreciated and I wish you all be safe in the pandemic period.
Set a meeting with the department head to discuss your options. Maybe transfer to another lab or take a Masters and move on.
Thank you! That’s something I need to do when my second qual has a result
Your advisor sounds like an a**hole, ditch her. Contact the department head or whoever is in charge of overseeing graduate students, and find out what your options are. Don't wait for your funding to run out- you have a much better chance of finding a new, better lab while you're still funded. Ask your Masters advisor to write reference letters for you.
Many people have switched PhD labs and have been very successful ever since. Here's one inspirational story for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd1-I55fwek Message me if you want to hear about my own.
Edit: your advisor will very likely sabotage you on your qual by complaining about you to your qual committee and other faculty in the department. Don't let it faze it if you find their questions and attitudes more difficult than expected.
Wow that’s an inspiring story! I’m thinking of doing a PhD transfer to another school as an option. Thanks so much for the words and video. These people try to judge you based on what you look like but not on what paths you have gone through. That’s not uncommon. Btw here is something similar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yitang_Zhang
Some people are not good managers, regardless of how good they are as scientists. And good managers are good communicators - this should not have been the first conversation she had with you about your performance in her lab, and her expectations.
After my own traumatizing experience, I met with the Department Chair and others to sort out where I could work next. They guided me, and also commented on the previous person's history of suddenly kicking people out. I went into my next lab with a clearer understanding of communicating expectations and checking in to ensure I was meeting them.
Your PI may have been short on funding and panicked. Unlike her master's students, who she probably doesn't pay for, you posed a cost and if this person is new to the university, the stress of establishing oneself is enormous. Especially if you aren't able to work during the pandemic (as you shouldn't), she might be trying to cut costs.
Overall, try to take this as an experiment in a lab; your first attempt at this approach (balancing TAing and research, communication level) and using these new variables (PI, qualifying exam, etc) did not turn out how you wanted it to. Changing your variables and approach the next time and not taking this as a personal reflection of yourself as a scientist is important.
Advocate for yourself to those who admitted you to the program, and let them help you too. This isn't the first time they've encountered this.
Thanks! I don't know what I can comment with on your post but your words are fairly helpful. Appreciate that!
It is a very sad and frustrating history. Definitely, your supervisor might not be very simpathetic about your efforts. However, I think that you took some bad decisions as well.
IMO, you should not have TAed, if your workload was so heavy. I mean among the different things to do, there are priorities and definitely TAing is not one of them. I mean, TAing is not a requirement for graduating, so you should have definitely prioritize your tasks. Definitely, dropping the courses your supervisor recommend didn't look good at her eyes. You should not have done that. Also, passing your qualifying was important and apparently after the second chance, you didn't pass it. Unfortunately, this is considered as a reason to be withdrawn from a program in many schools, so I wouldn't be surprised at all, if she plays this card.
My best advice is to learn from this experience. Try to get a position elsewhere and start again. It is not the end of the world.
Best of lucks
Edit: lots of typos
Thanks! That’s the truth I have to face. I will see how my qual will turn out.
Maybe it just wasn't a good fit. Try to learn from your mistakes but don't dwell on it and don't feel too bad about it. Can you go talk to other professors in your department? Or, I know this is an extreme measure, even switch departments to somebody that is doing something similar?
Thanks, that’s what I’m gonna trying to do in the next few days!
Do not stay silent. She is abusive and an absolute ass. Arrange a meeting with the responsible academic officer, even the dean himself, and tell them everything you just told us. Expose her as much as necessary to get your point across. Ask them to help you find a replacement.
I'm speaking as someone who was also "fired" by my advisor. He was also abusive and indifferent, generally not doing his job. I became vocal, exposed him for the shit he was, and replaced him. Doing very well now. Take it from me, and push forward. This is YOUR PhD, she's not taking it from you.
Thank you! I appreciate it you shared your experience!
update: I found a new school willing to take me. It’s gonna be another new start and I will learn from this past year in my old school. Thank you guys all for your opinions and suggestions! Starting to leave this school and this city...
I’m sorry this happened to you. You must feel very betrayed right now. I don’t have good advice other then what others have suggested, but best of luck to you finding another advisor
Thanks! Anyways your words are warm-hearted and mentally curing!
I am so sorry to hear this. You should find another advisor, do talk to the head of the program. As for the quals, in my school these "exams" are usually gates where advisors can legitimately kick students out.
I really have no idea what they are gonna do behind this. My advisor said she had no involvement into the qual as she was not a member of the committee, but who knows?
I disagree- maybe it just wasn't a good relationship fit between them and their adviser.
This is a little dramatic imho
Well, getting a job as an international student is still hard though as the employer have to deal with getting you a working visa. Thanks for your words!
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Hi everyone, I am an international PhD student in the US and my advisor is an assistant professor. I got fired by my advisor not because I don't work but because she thought "ability matters"
Answer (1 of 3): Do you want some quick and easy advice that might yield mediocre results at best, or unpredictable potentially harmful outcomes at worst, or do you want to take matters into your own hands