All posts by Tracie Foust

September Graduate Applications due on June 5th

Graduating in September 2020?

If you are planning to graduate in September 2020 (finish all your program requirements and receive your diploma), please go into your DukeHub account and Apply for Graduation by next Friday June 5th. Instructions are provided here. Please make sure when you select your Expected Graduation Term to choose 2020 Summer Term 2. Please take care of this simple task immediately so that you do not forget. It will only take a couple of minutes of your time and will make the graduation preparation process much smoother! If you are a September graduate and have already applied for graduation, thank you very much for completing this process and you do not need to be concerned about this deadline.

Zoom Etiquette, it’s really a thing.

Members of the MEM community will be using Zoom for many meetings in the next few weeks – make the most of these meetings with a few best practices.  Here’s what you need to know.

Good practices can make meetings more efficient, shorter, and more engaging.  We’ll start with some general best practices that everyone can use:

  • Sit facing a light source so you don’t appear back-lit.  A lamp or window behind your monitor will work great;
  • Make sure your name is displayed in the Participants Not your NetID or phone number;
    • In Zoom go to the Participants window, find your name and select Rename to make the change.
  • Think about your background – simple is best without any distracting objects;
  • Do you turn your camera on or keep it off –
    • General rule of thumb – if it’s 10 people or less in the meeting, start with your camera on.  More than 10?  Start with your camera off.
    • BUT – if the meeting host has their camera on, use your camera as well;
    • Shoulders and head, just like what you’d see sitting in a conference room – that’s the best practice;
  • To mute or not to mute –
    • When in doubt, MUTE;
    • If you’re not the host, mute your microphone as soon as you join;
    • After you ask a question or make a comment, mute your microphone;
  • Did your dog, cat or a child walk in?  Mute your microphone and stop your camera (if it’s on);
    • (After showing them off for a minute or so!)
  • Get a phone call you need to take?  Step away from the camera (and make sure you’re muted);

The single most important best practice?  Muting when you aren’t speaking is the best way to be respectful in conference calls;

Best Practices for Meeting Hosts …

Leading a video conference?  Here are some best practices:

  • When scheduling a Zoom or WebEx meeting, provide complete connection information in your meeting invitation;
  • Arrive early – start the meeting 5 minutes early if possible;
  • Clarify meeting expectations first thing.  Attendees need to know:
    • Do you want everyone to turn on their cameras or not?
    • How do you want to handle questions?  Open mic or chat?
    • A list of meeting expectations makes a great first slide that you can share for attendees to view as they arrive
  • Consider how you can make attendee introductions easier:
    • Instead of asking everyone to introduce themselves and risk having several folks talking over one another, ask your attendees by name, one by one, to introduce themselves
    • OR – simply introduce them yourself.  Start at the top of your list and say each attendee’s name, title and organization.
  • If you have a long slideshow (such as a class), stop every four or five slides to check with everyone to see about comments or questions;
  • Having a round robin?  Call on each individual and let them know when it’s their turn;

Best Practices for Attendees …

Here are some best practices when attending meetings:

  • Arrive on time;
    • Did you arrive late? No need to announce it.  The meeting has already started – just mute and settle in.
  • Stay muted unless you’re speaking;
    • Before you speak, make sure you are un-muted;
  • If you need to leave the meeting for a few minutes
    • In meetings with fewer than 20 attendees
      • Put a note in the chat window letting everyone know you’ve stepped away.  When you return, a follow-up in the chat window will let everyone know you’re back;
    • In meetings with more than 20 attendees
      • Just leave and come back when you’re ready;
    • Have a question and the host hasn’t said how they’ll handle questions?
      • Unmute your microphone, turn on your camera and just say “Question” at an appropriate pause;
        • If the host does not acknowledge you, try again;
      • Chat box for questions only
      • Remain engaged
      • Active participant


Welcome to The MEMo!

The MEMo will be sent every Wednesday. Keep an eye out for PDC Announcements/Events, notes or updates from your MEM Staff, or other general tips to help you make the most out of your MEM experience.

Before we even begin with the MEMo information, the MEM Department would like to say thank you! Thank you for adjusting, pivoting, and jumping into this new MEM virtual community. So much has changed in all of our worlds and we would like to take this opportunity to say how truly special it is to be part of such a caring community. We fully recognize how difficult this has been and will continue to be. We ask that you check in with your friends, family, and neighbors. Ask for help when you need it – we are all here for each other! The MEM department and staff care deeply about each of you, the entire community, and keeping everyone healthy by social distancing.

MEM Zoom Office Hours (through Friday, March 20)

You could have a specific question or just want to say hello! Feel free to drop into any of the open offices. We also like to see your smiling faces!

Update from Career Services

  • Career coaching appointments have been converted to Zoom-only and students will receive the log-in information in the location field of the appointment. Students will continue to make these appointments via CareerConnections.
  • We’re adding online Job and Internship Search Office Hourson a daily basis and students can see that information here. Students will see a list of upcoming office hours and that days link since we’re using our personal Zoom meeting rooms for these.
  • Students who are part of a Search Work Team have been notified those will continue. If you interact with students who are active in the job or internship search and want to learn more about having extra support from staff and peers and more structure to their tasks, as them to check this They can apply to be part of the program and as space is available in the groups, we will welcome them in.
  • We will continue to have these online resources custom designed for Engineering Master’s students available on Sakai.

 Update from GCIP

GCIP is offering online communication coaching via their WCO platform. Please use the following link to reach the Graduate Communications Center for appointments or other questions:

 Staying Organized with COVID-19 Updates

If you email inbox is anything like mine, you probably have multiple long emails with lots of links and instructions pertaining to all the changes. You might find it helpful to create a new folder in your outlook and save all these emails in one place. Then when you’re looking for a particular resource (say from DVS or International House) it won’t take so long to find it. You can also bookmark certain websites to your browser to help stay organized too!

Fall 2020 Courses

Bookbagging is scheduled to open on Monday, March 23rd for the Fall 2020 semester. Questions regarding the process or courses, please reach Tracie Foust (

MQM & MEM Game Night – TBD

Stay tuned for a fun cross-campus game night (hosted virtually of course) in the next week or two. We’re all in this new space together so we might as well have some fun!

PDC Club Activities – transitioning to online

PDC clubs will continue with their events as they transition into virtual engagement. As the semester comes to a close, each club will be transition into a new leadership. Keep an eye out for updates from your PDC Presidents.

Stay well my friends! Hand wash, hand wash, hand wash!

Looking for MEMP academic forms? Check MEMP Sakai!

Looking to connect with other MEMers? Check Facebook!

Questions regarding academics – Your MEMP Academic Coordinator is Tracie Foust

Questions regarding student services – Your MEMP Assistant Director is Carolyn Gilbert

Questions regarding clubs or student engagement – Your PDC Board President is Aditya Ganti

Trying to stay organized? Subscribe to the MEMP Student Services & Clubs outlook calendar!