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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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Workshop Series on Navigating the Ups and Downs of Grad School

Credit: niall62Grad school can be rough. But you don't have to figure it out all on your own.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will host a series of workshops called "Riding the Wave: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Grad School with Greater Ease." Each session will provide practical information and engaging discussions as well as individualized exercises to personalize your experience.

All sessions will be held on Thursdays from 3:30-5 p.m. in Elings 1605. See below for more information on dates and topics.

February 4: Optimizing Motivation and Well-Being

February 11: Defining Personal Goals and Making an Action Plan

February 18: Effective Communication

February 25: Achieving Work-Life Balance

Sessions build on each other but drop-ins are welcome. These workshops are open to graduate students in all fields of study. You can download the series flyer here.


'Creating Community' Support Space for African-American Students

UC Santa Barbara's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) established Creating Community in 2014 for graduate students of African heritage. Creating Community is designed to help students of African descent cope with challenges of adjusting to UCSB and the greater Santa Barbara community.

Dr. Mario Barfield and Dr. Meridith Merchant coordinate weekly meetings in the MultiCultural Center (MCC).  “It is our goal to allow this to be a grad student space. We therefore do not often have strict agendas regarding how we will spend our time,” says Dr. Barfield. Past groups have covered topics such as self-care, navigating research, dissertation defense, relationships, and departmental support.

In addition to CAPS sponsorship, Zaveeni Marcus-Khan, Director of the MCC, supports Creating Community. Marcus-Kahn has worked with Dr. Barfield and Dr. Merchant to promote Creating Community.

UCSB strives to support students of African heritage. In spring 2014, Chancellor Yang agreed to demands made by UCSB’s Black Student Union. Requests were aimed at improving the entire UCSB experience for both students and faculty, including mental health services culturally sensitive to students of African heritage. Dr. Merchant embraces this philosophy and is willing to “meet students where they are.”

Creating Community: A Support Space for Black Graduate Students

When:  3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on Mondays (Fall Quarter 2015)

Where: MCC (MultiCultural Center) meeting room 

Details: "Join in a discussion of the unique challenges commonly experienced as a graduate student of African Heritage. Relieve stress. Be empowered. Be encouraged. Celebrate successes. Share ideas for maintaining a work-life-school-home balance," from the CAPS group counseling website.

More information: Call 805-893-4411 or email or


See UCSB Students in Need? #saysomething Initiative Aims to Raise Awareness, Prevent Suicides

A mobile app is part of the social media efforts of the #saysomething campaign.

UCSB’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) has launched a suicide prevention initiative whose name describes its call to action: #saysomething. The CAPS outreach campaign seeks to raise awareness and encourage all members of the UCSB community – students, staff, and faculty – to speak up to assist distressed individuals.

Dr. Charles Hoge will speak as part of the #saysomething campaign's free speaker series.Social media plays a big role in this effort, as evidenced by the name, and includes a mobile device app that provides information and resources. A free, yearlong speaker series is also part of the campaign, which is funded through a Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) grant.

Scheduled to speak this month is Dr. Charles Hoge, a retired U.S. Army colonel, former psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and a nationally known expert in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dr. Hoge is the author of “Once a Warrior – Always a Warrior,” which offers insights about mental health issues faced by those returning home from a war zone. Student veterans are among the groups the #saysomething initiative hopes to serve. Dr. Hoge will present a free talk on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. in Mosher Alumni House, and all are welcome.

Officials say suicide is the second most common cause of death on college campuses, making awareness critical.

“Our message is, ‘You don’t have to fix it, you just need to get them — or get yourself — to someone who can help,'" Janet Osimo, Psy.D., an SMHI psychologist at UCSB, said in an Office of Public Affairs and Communications (OPAC) news release. “Bottom line: Say something. Get out there and say something,” she said.

For more information, read the OPAC news release and view the CAPS app.


Counseling Services for Graduate Students

UCSB CAPS logoCounseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is here for you! Don't feel like you have to fight through anxiety, depression, or deal with the overwhelming feeling of stress on your own.

On the CAPS website, you will find a page dedicated entirely to graduate students services. CAPS offers individual appointments and group counseling. There are mental health peers available to help you learn strategies for coping with stress.

CAPS is offering three group counseling opportunities for graduate students this quarter. These groups are lead by the CAPS graduate student specialist, Turi Honegger, Ph.D., and they are held in San Clemente Housing. For more information, visit the group counseling page.