‘The PHD Movie’ Very Relatable for College Students
As part of OU’s Science Café series financed by the 1804 Fund, the OU Graduate College, Sigma Xi and Campus Involvement brought the live-action film to the university. This was the beginning of an effort to convey more professional development programs for graduate students.
“There are not too many activities targeting graduate students across campus. This film enhances the sharing experience. It’s a way they can relate their own experiences,” said Joe Shields, dean of the Graduate College and vice president for Research and Creative Activity.
The PHD Movie is based on the online comic strip “Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD)” by Jorge Cham. A California Tech graduate, Cham’s focus of the strips and movie were to hilariously portray the juggling amongst research, teaching and personal lives and the all- around anxiety of academia.
Shields said he believed everyone, including undergraduates, could relate to the film because everyone is in the stressful time in their academic careers where they are trying to prove themselves.
“Finding the balance is something many people struggle with. It is finding that common thread and taking a step back,” said Shields.
Director of the Office of Research Communication Andrea Gibson, who previewed the film, said the two main characters, “Cecilia” and “Winston,” were very relatable. She said Cecilia was optimistic, yet in touch with reality while Winston represented the everyday man.
“Overall the film was enjoyable and well packaged,” said Gibson.
Joe also said he hopes to bring more programs that are niche and uniquely opportunistic for graduate students in order to build community.