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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 csep (55)


Professional Development Events on Tuesday, March 1

CSEP BannerThere are several professional development events taking place on Tuesday, March 1. The first is for all students and the other two are for those interested in the photonics industry.

Promoting Collaboration and Discovery through Extraordinary Leadership     

Tuesday, March 1, 1:30-3 p.m.

Elings 1601

Light Refreshments provided



Led by Miles Ashlock, Assistant Dean, Director of the Office of Student Life, and Katya Armistead, Dean of Student Life, UC Santa Barbara, this interactive workshop will explore the research-based Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership and prepare you to leverage the essential skills of vision and collaboration to maximize productivity and innovation in your current and future scientific pursuits. 


Photonics Industry-Specific Events 

Internship Opportunities in Industry: Breakout Sessions                                             

Tuesday, March 1, 11-noon 

Elings Hall 1601

Meet with photonics industry and government lab leaders and learn about opportunities and strategies to find internships and jobs. 

Speed Networking with Industry & Faculty       

Tuesday, March 1, 12:15-1:15 p.m. 

Elings Hall Lobby

Informal networking opportunity with faculty and industry representatives. Using the speed-dating model over lunch, this event will give you a chance to explore career options and ask career-related questions. 

Register for these events at 


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.


Third Annual Art of Science Competition is Now Open

The Third Annual Art of Science competition is now open. The Art of Science initiative invites UCSB students and postdocs to tell the story of their research through the aesthetic; whether it be striking spectroscopic images of a new material, data from a series of simulations, interesting photos of a device or instrument, or some other aspect of research captured visually.

The last two competitions received over 75 submissions, with winning pieces exhibited at the UCSB Library and Santa Barbara Museum of Art. This year's winners will once again begin their exhibition cycle at the UCSB Library in Spring Quarter. 

The competition is hosted by The Schuller Lab and the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships at the California Nanosystems Institute.

Deadline: Submit by Friday, Jan. 29.

Details: See the website for competition guidelines.

Questions: Contact Arica Lubin, Wendy Ibsen, or Jon Schuller.

Prizes: First place will receive a $250 Amazon gift card. Prizes of smaller amounts will also be awarded to second place, third place, and community vote winners.


Career Talk: From Ph.D. to Picture Books

How do you figure out your ideal post-Ph.D. career? Are you hesitant about a non-traditional route? For Julie Dillemuth, she spent a lot of time researching alternative careers as the end of grad school loomed. Despite all the time she spent with books, articles, personality tests, and informational interviews, it wasn’t until a year after she finished that she stumbled upon the perfect career just when she least expected it. In this talk, Dillemuth will share the story of how, like her picture-book character Lucy, she found her own way, and offer tips to those on the prowl for an alternative career of their own.

Copies of her book will be available for purchase, as well, if anyone needs a gift for a young one!

From Ph.D. to Picture Books: Everything I Needed to Know (for an Alternative Career) I Learned in Grad School

Thursday, Nov. 19, 3-4 p.m.

Elings 1601

Light Refreshments provided

RSVP at to attend this amazing talk.


Julie DillemuthJulie Dillemuth is a children’s author who writes stories with spatial thinking themes. She earned her Ph.D. in Geography with an Emphasis in Cognitive Science from UCSB in 2008. Prior to taking her career in a new path by writing for kids, she worked as an Academic Coordinator, directing education programs for the NSF Center for Nanotechnology in Society at UCSB. In 2012, Julie won the Highlights for Children Fiction Contest, and in August of this year her first picture book was published: Lucy in the City: A Story About Developing Spatial Thinking Skills (Magination Press), a picture book for 4-to-8 year olds. Julie’s work has also appeared in Highlights and Odyssey magazines. For more information, visit


Career Talk on Nov. 3: From Electrical Engineer to CEO

Nancy StaglianoNancy StaglianoCheck out the Career Talk by Nancy Stagliano, CEO at True North Therapeutics, Inc. who used her Ph.D. background in electrical engineering and neuroscience to become the CEO of multiple biotech companies.

From EE to CEO: A case study of a non-linear career path (and not overthinking every decision along the way!)

When: Tuesday, Nov. 3, 4-5 p.m.

Where: Elings 1601

RSVP here

Light refreshments will be provided.

Speaker Bio:

Nancy Stagliano, Ph.D., is currently Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of True North Therapeutics, a rare-disease therapeutics company working in the classical complement pathway. Stagliano has an accomplished career as a biotech leader spanning all aspects of the industry, from company building to discovery research and strategy, to global medical affairs and corporate communications.

Before moving to California, she joined the Cambridge, Massachusetts, biotechnology industry in the late 1990s, where she had an eight-year tenure at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and served as consultant with several local startups. She earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Miami, followed by three years as an independently funded research fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where she studied mechanisms of brain injury after stroke.


Learn How to Effectively Mentor Summer Interns at June 19 Workshop

What: Summer Mentor Training: A workshop for those mentoring research interns this summer

Who: Professor Jens-Uwe Kuhn (Chemistry Department, Santa Barbara City College)

When: Friday, June 19, noon-2 p.m.

Where: Elings 1601

More Information: This workshop is open to anyone who will be mentoring a summer research intern. In this training session, Dr. Kuhn will provide a brief introduction to mentoring goals and strategies for managing a summer research intern project. Then participants will break up in small groups and share ideas, tips, and thoughts on mentoring based on your summer project. Lunch is provided!

RSVP: Space is limited. RSVP by June 17 to attend. Participants will receive a 1-page worksheet to review in order to come prepared for a fruitful discussion.


'Pop Science' Series Wraps Up with Article Preparation Workshop

What: Pop Science, Session D: “Wrapping Up and Sending Off: Preparing Your Article”

Who: Matt Kettmann (Editor, Santa Barbara's The Independent newspaper) and Karen Lunsford (UCSB Writing Program)

When: Wednesday, June 3, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Elings 3001

More Information: Join us for a small group session where you will discuss your article ideas with Karen Lunsford and Matt Kettmann. Matt will discuss expectations for publishing in The Independent and general advice for publishing science pieces for the public. Bring a draft for review if you have it (not required though). Download the Pop Science series flier here.

RSVP: Click here to register for the event.


CSEP Presents Career Talk on Building a Biotech Startup

What: "From Bench to Biotech: Growing a Career and a Company in Biopharmaceuticals from the Ground Up," co-sponsored by CSEP, Institutional Achievement, Graduate Students for Diversity in Science, Women in Science and Engineering, the Center for Bioengineering"

Kevin Gorman

Who: Kevin C. Gorman, Ph.D. (President and Chief Executive Officer, Neurocrine Biosciences)

When: Friday, May 29, 2-3 p.m.

Where: MRL 2053

Food: Light refreshments provided

More Information: Kevin C. Gorman, Ph.D., President & Chief Executive Officer, is a founder and previously served as Chief Operating Officer after having served as Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President of Business Development of Neurocrine Biosciences.  From 1990 until joining Neurocrine in 1993, Dr. Gorman was a principal of Avalon Medical Partners, L.P. where he was responsible for the early stage founding of Neurocrine and several other biotechnology companies such as Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Metra Biosystems, IDUN and ARIAD Pharmaceuticals.  Dr. Gorman received his Ph.D. in immunology from the University of California, Los Angeles and did further post-doctoral training at The Rockefeller University.

RSVP: Click here to register for the event.


CSEP Workshop: The Ethics of Authorship

What: "The Ethics of Authorship: A Workshop on Understanding and Addressing Problems of Credit in Research"

Who: Olivia Walling (UCSB College of Engineering and Writing Program)

When: Tuesday, May 26, 3-4:30 p.m.

Where: Elings 1601

Food: Pizza will be provided!

More Information: Olivia is a lecturer in the College of Engineering and the Writing Program, and her research focus is practical ethics. As a former lawyer, she is knowledgeable about the legal aspects of ethical compliance and negotiation strategies. Olivia will discuss how disputes over authorship and credit are addressed by funding agencies and publications through an examination of typical cases.  In addition, she will share practical skills for difficult conversations about credit and strategies to help you avoid conflicts over credit.

RSVP: Click here to register for the event.


CSEP Workshop: Story and Structure, 'The Foundation for Successful Grant Writing'


Story and Structure: The Foundation for Successful Grant Writing

by Joshua Schimel (Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology)

Good scientific writing tells a story about nature and how it works, and about how you discovered, or hope to discover, those workings. The most critical aspect to making a story work is getting the story structure right. Readers expect particular information in particular places and you must know what they are and how to use them to make a proposal compelling. Prof. Josh Schimel delivers effective suggestions to accomplish this.

When: Tuesday, April 28, 3-5 p.m.

Where: Elings Hall 1601

Food: Light refreshments provided

RSVP: Click here to register for the event.