Interested in staying up to date on the latest news for UCSB graduate students? Subscribe to the UCSB GradPost.

University of California Santa Barbara
Campaign for the University of California Santa Barbara

Translate the GradPost:

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.


Campus Map


View UCSB Graduate Student Resources in a larger map


Workshop on Feb. 23: Writing an Effective Cover letter

DeathWriting a cover letter shouldn't be this hard. Credit: WikimediaThe Graduate Student Resource Center is hosting a workshop on writing an effective cover letter for an academic position on Feb. 23. The workshop is open to all UCSB graduate students and postdocs, but enrollment is limited to 15 per workshop, so please RSVP.

If you wish to have feedback on your cover letter, please bring at least two copies for individual and peer feedback, or have a copy on your computer to read.

Writing an Effective Cover Letter

Time: Tuesday, Feb. 23, noon-1 p.m.

Place: Student Resource Building, Room 2154

Food: Snack materials will be provided.

RSVP: Writing Peer Kyle Crocco at so we have the right amount of snackage.


Career Talk: How I Started Worrying About Bugs on the Spacecraft

In this career talk, Dr. Vaishampayan will share advances in the field of astrobiology and career opportunities within the field, especially in government labs. 

Friday, Feb. 19, 2-3 p.m.

Elings 1601

*Light Refreshments provided*

*RSVP* at:


Parag VaishampayanAs  a  staff  scientist,  Dr.  Parag  Vaishampayan  manages  a  multifunctional, multidisciplinary, biotechnology–based laboratory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. At the core of his role as a Planetary Protection scientist at JPL and experience working on Mars missions is a passion for solving some of the key questions of mankind that astrobiology aims to answer: “ Are we alone in this universe?” “ How did life originate on Earth?” “ Does life exist on other planets?" Dr. Vaishampayan’s career-long quest to decipher these complex riddles has taken him on a journey to some of the most extreme environments on Earth.

His current research focus is on development and implementation of advance molecular techniques to detect and characterize the microbial diversity of extreme environmental niches on earth and in space, encompassing Icelandic hot springs, stratospheric air samples, high altitude caves, hydrothermal vents and International Space Station (ISS) to name a few. He is also interested in applying the unique technologies he has developed at JPL for solving challenging problems in health care (specifically breast cancer) and medicine through JPL’s Medical Engineering Forum initiative. Results of his research have appeared in more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and several international presentations.


Sign Up for Feb. 25 Dissertation and Thesis Filing Workshop

Whether you are just beginning to write your dissertation/thesis and wondering about formatting, or you are close to filing and need to know about policies such as copyrighting and embargoing, the Graduate Division has you covered. Rickie Smith, Graduate Division's Director of Academic Services, will offer an expanded and redesigned workshop on formatting and filing your dissertation/thesis on Thursday, Feb. 25, from 9-11 a.m. in the Student Resource Building Multipurpose Room.

The workshop will consist of three parts:

  1. Formatting Pre-Checks (9-9:30 a.m.). Graduate Division Academic Advisors will be available to do pre-checks and to answer your filing questions one-on-one. To take advantage of this portion of the workshop, bring a printed copy of your dissertation/thesis preliminary pages (e.g., title page, signature page, abstract) as well as a few pages of the body.
  2. The Filing Process (9:30-10 a.m.). This portion of the workshop will cover the ins and outs of the electronic filing process including deadlines, leaves of absence, embargos, copyrights, and document distribution. Rickie will also familiarize participants with additional online resources and tutorials.
  3. Formatting Information and Q&A (10-11 a.m.). This part of the workshop will explain the formatting requirements for filing your dissertation/thesis and how to use the online templates. Rickie will also answer questions and troubleshoot formatting issues that participants are experiencing.

If you plan to attend one or several parts of the workshop, please RSVP by filling out this form.

Did you know? The Graduate Division also offers information and advising on dissertation/thesis filing both online and on a walk-in basis at their office in Cheadle Hall.

Check out these online resources:

You may also contact Rickie Smith to set up an advising appointment.


Arts & Lectures: An Afternoon With Conan O'Brien

Conan O'BrienConan O'BrienUCSB Arts & Lectures presents An Afternoon with Conan O’Brien, one of the most original and best-loved personalities in comedy today.

Conan O’Brien wields “a comic identity as distinctive as his name” (The New York Times). His quirky humor and award-winning writing have entertained audiences for decades, from Saturday Night Live to all-time favorite The Simpsons to banter with Hollywood A-listers as a popular late-night television host, including the current series Conan on TBS. Late night’s “king of cool” (Entertainment Weekly) brings his Harvard smarts and wry, laugh-out-loud repartee to this rare conversation followed by an audience Q&A.

An Afternoon with Conan O'Brien (in conversation with television producer Dick Wolf)

Time: Saturday, April 16, 4 p.m.

Place: Arlington Theatre

Tickets: $23 for students with UCSB ID; $53-$123 for general public


Eco Nerd Night at Gio's

Join UCSB Sustainability's Eco Nerd Night at Gio's as they present: Did the UN Climate Summit in Paris [COP21] change anything? The first round of pizza will be on them!

In December 2015, nearly 200 nations from around the world gathered in Paris to answer one of the biggest questions our world is asking today: “What are we going to do about climate change?” John Foran, professor of Sociology, Mariah Brennan Clegg, incoming graduate student in Sociology, and other members of the Santa Barbara-based Climate Justice Project traveled to Paris and walked the same grounds as our world leaders did during those two weeks. Come to find out what they heard, what went down, and what it means for the rest of the world. UCSB Sustainability

Where: Gio's in IV

When: Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. 

Food Situation: Free first round of pizza!

RSVP on Facebook. There will be a Q&A session so feel free to come prepared to share ideas and ask questions!


Grad Students' Guide to a Successful Resume


The scope and content of a resume may be something that is unfamiliar to most grad students, and CVs and resumes often focus on vastly different types of information. In a workshop next Tuesday, Graduate Career Consultant Lana Smith-Hale will cover the ins and outs of how to create an effective resume that properly accounts for students' academic training and that highlights transferable skills and relevant experience. Come learn more about the mechanics and content of a great resume and how to avoid common pitfalls that often plague graduate students seeking non-academic jobs.

Grad Students' Guide to a Successful Resume

Tuesday, February 16

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

SRB 2154

*As space is limited, please RSVP here*


Anthropology Department to Host 1st Annual Grad Slam Event on Feb. 19

The UCSB Department of Anthropology will host its inaugural Grad Slam competition next Friday, February 19, from 4-5 p.m. in HSSB 2001A. The event will feature 10 Anthropology graduate students competing for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes. If you are curious about what makes for a great Grad Slam talk, or if you just want to hear about some interesting anthropological research, be sure to mark your calendar for this event!


Captivate an Audience with Your Research Story: Presentation Workshop on February 17

Is it possible to explain your research in a way that even a general audience can understand and appreciate—and in just a few minutes if necessary? You may already realize the related challenges if you have watched others make the attempt or done so yourself. It isn’t easy.

This workshop will focus on a story-based approach to presenting that works with virtually any research topic or discipline. While this approach is adaptable for nearly any audience, purpose, and time frame, we will focus most of our attention on shorter presentations for general (non-specialist) audiences (e.g, Grad Slam, job interview, etc.). Join us for a hands-on experience and step-by-step perspective to crafting your presentation. 

The workshop leader, Jeffrey Hanson, has been teaching various forms of written and oral communication to grads and undergrads at UCSB and universities abroad for the past 25 years. He has also given hundreds of presentations in 8 countries during that time and struggled mightily early on. Now, after many hours of presentation research, observation, and practice, he recommends a relatively simple approach that draws upon key elements of effective communication going back thousands of years. His mentors include contemporary pathfinders like Nancy Duarte (Resonate) and Garr Reynolds (Presentation Zen) and Jean-luc Doumont (Trees, Map, and Theorems).

Jeffrey Hanson

Captivating an Audience with Your Research Story

Wednesday, February 17

1-2:30 p.m.

Elings 1605

*RSVP here*

This event open to all UCSB graduate students and postdocs, but space is limited. To RSVP for the workshop, please follow the link above. Participants should bring a presentation topic (real or potential) to the workshop and be prepared for pen-on-paper effort in an interactive environment. Writing materials will be provided, and follow-up resources will be available via a workshop-dedicated website. Light refreshments will be provided.

Interested but can't make it to this workshop? Jeff Hanson will reprise the workshop on Monday, March 7. Stay tuned to The GradPost for more details on that event.


Bren Ph.D. Student Symposium


bren school of environmental science and management

Bren Ph.D. Student Symposium is held annually to highlight the diverse and cutting-edge research being conducted by Ph.D. students at the Bren School. Ph.D. students will present posters, short talks, and long talks on their work. The event is open to everyone in our UCSB and Santa Barbara community. Research topics at this year's symposium range from climate change, to fisheries, to life cycle assessment. This year's list of presenters can be found on the event's web page.

Bren Ph.D. Student Symposium

Feb. 19, Noon-4 p.m.

Bren 1414

Reception and poster session to follow in Michael J. Connell Memorial Courtyard.


Participate in the Black Grad Slam

Afrikan Black Coalition Logo

Calling all Black Graduate students! The 12th Annual Afrikan Black Coalition Conference will be hosting a Black Grad Slam in effort to celebrate and invest in research done by black graduate students.

Sign Up Today!

The slam will take place Saturday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. Participants will have 3-5 minutes to present their research. Professors will judge the presentations and select a winner.

A monetary prize will be given to the winner in support of their research. All participants must be a registered conference delegate to participate. The last day to sign up for the Black Grad Slam is Feb. 6 at 11:59 p.m.

The Conference will bring approximately 300 students of African descent to UCSB to engage in critical conversations about the future of Black students in higher education.  This year's theme is "Planting the Seeds of the Future, Defining Our Next Steps."  

Conference's Website

Conference Registration