About This is Grad School


The idea of the podcast began…

…When Emma and Emily realized that there was a lack of resources available for graduate students by graduate students where they could decompress, process, and talk about graduate school in a relatively informal way.

This is Grad School takes a casual and light-hearted approach to discussing the real experiences graduate students have, both positive and negative. Emma and Emily aim to support you, their listeners and fellow graduate students, to increase feelings of camaraderie in a potentially isolating period of life.

While the hosts both come from an Applied Social Psychology graduate program, they hope to make the podcast relevant and helpful for graduate students in any field.

Our Team

Meet the team of graduate students and collaborators that make This is Grad School a reality!


Emma O’Connor: Co-host + Social Media Manager

Emma is a second year graduate student studying applied social psychology. Emma earned her M.A. in Experimental Psychology prior to attending her doctoral program, as well as a B.A. in Psychology. Emma’s research interests focus predominantly on how the social construction of masculinity has contributed to the perpetration of intimate partner and peer-to-peer violence, and potential mediating factors within this relationship.


Emily Denning: Co-host + Sound Editor

Emily is a second year graduate student studying applied social psychology. She graduated with a BS in Psychology and BA in American Sign Language Studies in 2017. Emily’s research interests focus on interpersonal relationships and the intersection of physical and mental health. Currently she is working on writing her thesis, which is investigating suicide risk in a sample of veterans.


Chris Denning: Music + Chief Technology Officer

Chris has experience recording music and oversees the sound, website, theme music, and transition music for the podcast. He also has the unique experience of watching his wife (Emily) go through graduate school, thus he has useful insights into the process. Stay tuned for Chris being featured as a guest on the podcast.

James Lee: Twitter

James is also an applied social psychology graduate student who helps manage the twitter account, as well as makes guest appearances on the podcast. You can hear James talk about his experience transitioning to grad school from the Army in episode 2, “Welcome to Grad School.”

Shanna Roast: Official Podcast Photographer

Shanna recently graduated with a degree in photography and is our official podcast photographer. She has over five years of professional photography experience and is responsible for all of the photos you see on our website. Check out her website for more of her work.