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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Winter 2016
Peer Advisor Availability

Writing Peer
Kyle Crocco

Mon: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tue: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thu: 10 a.m.-noon

Funding Peer
Stephanie Griffin
Mon: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: noon-2 p.m.

Diversity Peer
Ana Romero

Mon: noon-2 p.m.
Wed: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

The peers sometimes hold events or attend meetings during their regular office hours. To assure you connect with your Graduate Peer Advisor, we encourage you to contact them by email and make an appointment.



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Entries in stem (13)


STEM Outreach Program in México: Call for Instructors 

Clubes de Ciencia México is looking for instructors to teach Clubes de Ciencia (Science Clubs) in México this summer. They are looking for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. 

The Clubes de Ciencia México will take place in six cities: Ensenada, Guanajuato, Monterrey, Xalapa, Oaxaca, and Merida. Each Club is a week long with two dates to choose from: Week 1 (July 23-31) and Week 2 (July 30-August 7).

Not fluent in Spanish? No problem. Clubes can be taught in English and language barriers can be tackled with the help of their local instructors. 

Application Deadline: February 15, 2016 

For more information:

Check out what previous instructors say about the program: 



Versatile Ph.D. STEM Online Panel Discussion: 'Careers in Technology Transfer'

Versatile Ph.D. will host a free web-based asynchronous panel discussion on "Careers in Technology Transfer" beginning Sept. 14. All panelists are Ph.D.s from STEM fields, including:

  • A Microbiologist who is a Technology Licensing Officer at a U.S. university
  • A Biochemist who is a Technology Commercialization Manager at a national lab
  • A Pathologist with extensive technology transfer experience in both university and hospital settings
  • A Physical Chemist who is the Director of Research Partnerships at a Canadian university
  • A Chemist who is a Technology Commercialization Manager at a multi-national corporation

You can interact with panelists throughout the week on the site, or follow the discussion via email. All questions welcome, from the most general to the very specific. As a UCSB graduate student, you have free access to the information and resources on the Versatile Ph.D. website. To learn more about accessing its premium content, such as the panel discussions, follow these simple instructions provided by the Graduate Division.


UCSB's STEMposium 2015 in Pictures

For those of you who missed the inaugural 2015 STEMposium on May 22, below you can find a pictorial tale of seminar awards, keynote speakers, and undergraduate poster session winners.

STEMposium was created to promote quality scientific presentation and interdisciplinary collaboration. The event seeks to bring together members from various science and engineering departments in the presence of academic and industry sponsors.

STEMposium 2015 was co-hosted by three student-founded seminars: the Chemical Sciences Student Seminar (CSSS), the Graduate Simulation Seminar Series (GSSS), and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).


Hovik Gukasyan, Ph.D., presented the keynote talk on personalized-chemotherapy drug development at Pfizer.

Hovik GukasyanHovik Gukasyan giving his keynote at STEMposium. Photo courtesy of STEMposium

Founding Talk

Peter Burks (UCSB Chemistry and Biochemistry Ph.D., 2013) founded CSSS in 2012. He came back to give the CSSS Founding Talk.

Peter BurksPeter Burks giving the CSSS Founding Talk. Photo courtesy of STEMposium

Undergraduate Poster Winner

Michael Abramovitch (undergraduate, Chemical Engineering) won the best poster award at the STEMPosium plus an all-expense-paid travel grant by CSEP (Center for Science and Engineering Partners) to present his work at a conference of his choosing.

Michael Abramovitch (left) explaining his work to Brian Lynch (right) during the undergraduate poster session judging. Photo courtesy of STEMposium

CSSS Winners

There were three winners for the Chemical Science Student Seminar: third prize, Saemi Poelma; second prize, Oleksandr (Alex) Mikhnenko; and first prize, Peter Mage. Awards were based on audience votes over the course of 12 weeks and 24 speakers, in the fall and winter quarters.

CSSS winnersSaemi Poelma (left), Oleksandr (Alex) Mikhnenko (middle) and Peter Mage (right). Photo courtesy of STEMposium


The UCSB STEMPosium was organized by an enterprising group of graduate students from the three student-founded seminars: Tawny Lim (Math, SIAM), Derek Smith (Math, SIAM), Dayton Horvath (Chemistry, CSSS), Izzy Jarvis (Chemistry, CSSS), Nate Kirchhofer (Materials, CSSS), Brian Lynch (Chemical Engineering, GSSS), David Smith (Chemical Engineering, GSSS), and Jon Lin (SIAM, Math Ph.D.).

STEMposium organizersFrom left, Tawny Lim, Derek Smith, Dayton Horvath, Izzy Jarvis, Nate Kirchhofer, Brian Lynch, David Smith, Jon Lin. Photo courtesy of STEMposium

For more photos of STEMposium 2015, click here.


Versatile Ph.D. Online Panel Discussion Feb. 23-27: Careers in Informal Science Education

Versatile Ph.D. will host a free web-based asynchronous panel discussion on Careers in Informal Science Education (ISE), from February 23-27. All panelists are Ph.D.s or ABDs from STEM fields who have gone into ISE in various different settings, including:

  • Biochemist who is now Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at a major science and industry museum
  • Neurologist who is now Public Outreach Manager at a scientific association
  • Electrical engineer who after a long ISE career in museums and higher ed is now at the Department of Education
  • Oceanographer who is Citizen Science Coordinator at a major national museum
  • Kinesiologist who after a significant research career did a major pivot and now does Science Outreach for the NIH

You can interact with the panelists throughout the week on the site, or follow the discussion via email. All questions welcome, from the most general to the very specific. For more information on this discussion, click here.


CCST Science and Technology Policy Postdoctoral Fellowship Recap


If you didn't have time to attend the information session by Susan Hackwood, Executive Director of CCST, here is a short recap of what you missed.

The CCST Program

If you have earned a STEM Ph.D. or will earn one by Sept. 1 and also have an interest in public policy, then the CCST Fellowship program might be for you.

The program is designed to enable Fellows to work hands-on with California state policymakers in addressing complex scientific issues as well as to assume all the other legislative responsibilities of full-time legislative staffers.

Each year, ten Fellows are chosen and placed in Legislative and Senate offices.

Opportunities. As a fellow, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain professional development
  • Learn by doing
  • Put your skills to work
  • Make a difference in society
  • Improve translation of science to policy
  • Become a trusted member of a legislative staff

Overall, you will be the go-to science person in a legislative office who will work in a fast paced environment, doing research, giving briefings, and influencing legislation.

Qualities Desired. The program is looking for STEM Ph.D. people who are...

  • Excellent communicators (i.e., your written and oral skills are very important)
  • Effective in fast paced environments
  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Open minded and willing to learn (i.e., have to work across the aisle and parties)
  • Problem solvers
  • Great team members (i.e., working with bright people from different fields)
  • Flexible and adaptable (i.e., prepared when bad things happen, a bill being completely gutted)

Bootcamp Training. As a new fellows, you will get three weeks of training in the following areas:

  • Legislature 101
  • California and its Capitol
  • Committee Staffs and Analyses
  • How a bill becomes a law
  • Preparing for placement
  • When science meets policy
  • The eve of a hearing
  • Committee process in-depth
  • California’s budget battles
  • Mock hearing
  • Interviews and career skills
  • Executive and Third House (i.e., lobbyists)

CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellowship

Deadline: Saturday, Feb. 25.

Eligibility: U.S. citizen with a Ph.D. or equivalent in a STEM field (see list), earned before Sept. 1, 2015.

Stipend: $45,000 for the one-year appointment with up to $4,000 for relocation costs.

More Info: Read the Fellowship Description.


Apply Now for ComSciCon15: The Communicating Science Workshop

ComSciCon logoComSciCon: The Communicating Science workshop for graduate students.Apply now for ComSciCon 15, the Communication Science workshop for STEM graduate students.

This unique professional development experience will bring students together in Cambridge, MA. Attendees will meet young leaders in the field and interact with a remarkable group of invited experts. Participants will also produce an original work focused on communicating complex technical concepts from science and engineering to a new audience.

ComSciCon applications are competitive and applicants are encouraged to prepare their responses carefully.

ComSciCon 15

Deadline: Mar. 1.

Eligibility: Graduate students from all fields of science and engineering at all US institutions.

Cost: Application, registration, and attendance to the workshop are free of charge for accepted applicants.

More Information: See website description.

Application: Apply now.


Versatile PhD Online Panel Discussion Nov. 17-21: 'Careers in Government Research' (STEM Fields)

Are you a STEM graduate student or postdoc interested in a career in government research? Versatile Ph.D. will be hosting a free web-based asynchronous panel discussion on Careers in Government Research from November 17-21. All panelists are Ph.D.s or ABDs in STEM fields, working in agencies such as NASA, EPA, US Air Force, US Geological Survey, California Department of Water and Resources, and Health Canada.

You can interact with panelists throughout the week on the site or follow the discussion via email. All questions welcome, from the most general to the very specific.

For more information on the panel, click here.


STEM Program Evaluation Consultant

AAUW logoThe American Association of University Women (AAUW) is looking for an individual to help them evaluate their Tech Trek camp. Tech Trek is a science and math camp for girls entering the eighth grade. The goal of the camp is to inspire girls to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career paths.

The AAUW would like to hire an evaluation consultant who will design, implement, and analyze pre- and post-surveys to better understand the effectiveness of the program.

Required skills include:

  • Knowledge of gender equity
  • Knowledge of STEM education
  • Strong background in design, implementation, and analysis of evaluation tools
  • Ability to tailor data to meet funders' requirements

The deadline to apply to this position is Monday, April 26.

For more information, read the following document: Request for Proposal – STEM Program Evaluation Consultant


STEM Diversity Career Expo

Interested in a career in science, technology, engineering, or math? Meet with recruiters from NASA, The Boeing Company, Aerospace Corporation, Intel, Raytheon, and more at the STEM Diversity Career Expo. The expo will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Los Angeles Convention Center. To pre-register for the event, visit Don't forget to bring your resume!

STEM Career Expo flier


Create an Individual Development Plan with myIDP

With the start of the new year comes time for personal reflection and goal-setting for the months ahead. Whether or not you already have resolutions in mind, it may be the perfect time to think about your career goals in both the short and long term by crafting an individual development plan. An individual development plan, or IDP, helps you map out your goals and serves as a tool to discuss them with your mentors and others.

MyIDP, a new tool from Science Careers, simplifies and delineates the process for those in the science fields. This interactive web-based tool consists of four steps:

  1. Self-evaluating your skills, values, and interests
  2. Matching and exploring 20 diverse career paths
  3. Creating goals
  4. Implementing the plan

The tool includes exercises, tips, examples, and resources to guide you through the process of creating your own IDP.

One of the myIDP creators, Dr. Cynthia Furhmann, visited campus recently to talk about how to use this new tool. She shared a lot of great tips to help students as they work through each of the four steps, which are outlined below.


  • It’s never too early or too late to start thinking about your career goals
  • Confidently discuss your career plans and goals with others – you never know what opportunities and connections might arise


  • Consider what is most important and most rewarding in a job. What do you enjoy? What are you good at? If these all overlap, you will be more satisfied in your work
  • Not everything can be most important to you. Be honest with yourself about what you need to enjoy your work. What are the deal breakers?

Career Exploration

  • Learn as much as you can about different careers, especially those that match up with your skills, values, and interests
  • Consider the skills you dislike or are weak in – can you work on those to better fit into a desired career?
  • Read articles, join professional associations (many have student discounts), attend events
  • Most importantly, talk to people! The myIDP site has lots of helpful information about conducting informational interviews
  • Remember, no career will be perfect one hundred percent of the time


  • Career advancement and skills development goals often get set aside for more urgent project or research related goals – schedule time and make yourself accountable for these important, but not urgent tasks
  • Write down your goals and tell someone about them to make yourself accountable
  • Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound). The myIDP site has some great examples of these for different types of goals.
  • Don’t try to do too much at once – focus on one or two skills to work on at a time


  • Share your plan with peers and mentors
  • Schedule a meeting with your advisor or other mentors to discuss the plan
    • Speak with confidence – explain why this is important
    • Think about what concerns your mentor may have
    • What outcome do you want? What can your mentor help you achieve?

Have you tried myIDP? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!