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The Office of Graduate Student Life



The purpose of the Grad Talks Spark Series is to expand upon the Grad Talks program by providing a forum for graduate students to develop as individuals through engaging in thoughtful, open conversations with one another about topics that touch their lives in some way.  Students will grow by learning from others and by reflecting on their own values, knowledge, and experiences.  The Sparks Series also aims to empower graduate students as leaders by creating an outlet through which to lead a conversation and facilitate the growth of peers.

Check out this short video for an intro to the Spark Series.


The Grad Talks Spark Series is a conversation series composed of 1-hour Spark Series Conversations, each of which is led by a graduate student or a Boston College staff member. Each Conversation can be viewed as a workshop-discussion hybrid; in the typical format, the Conversation Leader begins with a short talk or presentation that introduces the topic. This introduction may be a 15 minute PowerPoint about the leader’s own research, a brief overview of a current event with the sharing of various news sources (e.g. printed articles, editorials), or any other basic starting basis off of which all attendees have a common point of reference from which to begin discussion. The Conversation should then for the remainder of its time consist of discussion and reflection, directed or facilitated in some manner by the Leader.


We have concluded Spark Series conversations for the Spring 2014 semester. Please check back in the Fall for our schedule!

Recent Spark Series topics:

Stress-Less: The Mind-Body Connection
Facilitated by Natalie Young, CSON

Bridging Cultures: Perspectives from American and Chinese Students
Facilitated by Dean "Rocky" Rockwell & Isabelle Ren, CSOM

Franciscan Spirituality: A Vision for Joy & Creation
Facilitated by Erik Lenhart, STM

Facilitated by Emilie Dubois, A&S


Do you have something to talk about? Do you want to take an active leadership role and help your peers grow through participating in a healthy discussion?

Apply to be a Conversation Facilitator!

Step 1:  Check out this Call For Facilitators to learn more about what being a Facilitator means.

Step 2: Think about your Conversation topic!  Make sure it is something that would be relevant and interesting to a broad audience-- meaning, you are not targeting one specific group of students whom you would want to participate. Remember that this Series is for ALL grad students.

Step 3:  Apply! You can find the Facilitator Application here. Decisions about applications will be made on the basis of the proposed topic's alignment with the purpose of the Spark Series, and schedule availability. Note that Spark Series facilitator applications are closed for the 2013-2014 academic year. If you would like to participate as a speaker in Grad Talks, please visit this page.

Do you have any questions about the Spark Series? Please contact