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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 graduate student (21)


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.


Living and Thriving as Stewards of Peace and Justice Amid World Tragedies

Credit: Kate Ter Haar, Flickr Creative CommonsIn light of the recent violence and terror in the world, I’ve been reflecting on the topic of peace and justice, and how we at UCSB, coming from different cultures, genders, races, religions, and languages, could talk about these topics. We need to go beyond "being aware" of what’s happening in our world and have a conversation. But how do we exactly do it? What should be our discourse when talking about peace and justice? And what should be the context of our conversations?

I am currently a teacher to young immigrant children at a local organization. Last week, I told the kids that we need to pray for world peace and that we need to pray for those who were affected by the Paris attacks. Suddenly, a child asked me, "What is 'peace'?" Another child asked, "How do we create 'peace'?" I responded to them by saying, "GREAT questions! Let me find that out and let you know, OK?" I blurted out my typical teacher feedback whenever I don’t know the answer. I mean, what would you have done differently?

I went home that night and sought Merriam-Webster’s help to understand what "peace" is: "a state in which there is no war or fighting." Upon reading this rather simple definition, I became more devastated. We are not currently in war and no two parties were physically fighting when all these terrorist activities happened … right?

Hala SunOn one fine day, innocent lives were taken. Some of us continue to tremble in fear, as we search and wonder who will be the next target. Children lost their parents and others lost their homes. But why is it that current news is overflowing with political agendas on what to do with people from certain religious, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds, including refugees – those who come not in disguise, but as "refugees" seeking a safe place? Conversations have now shifted from "hashtag Pray for Paris" to how to identify terrorists. Not that the latter topic is less important, but where are our deeper conversations around the topic of peace and justice?

Of course, conversations won’t immediately solve our world problems. However, I believe that talking about peace and justice is where we should start, at least if bringing peace and justice is our ultimate goal. I personally do not know how to talk about these topics; hence, I am writing this article, because I want to learn more and I want to start a conversation here at UCSB.

At the end of the day, in whatever ways, we ALL need to be stewards of peace and justice. We tend to forget, but these issues are not just for the politicians, the United Nations, or the media. We are all stewards of this world, because whether we like it or not, this place is our home, where we need to live and thrive together.

UCSB Education Ph.D. student Hala Sun was previously the Graduate Division’s Diversity and Outreach Peer Advisor and a writer for the GradPost.


Kick Off the Year With These Events

Add in a little fun to the beginning of the school year by checking out some of the welcome events being hosted around campus. Here are a few highlights from the "Week of Welcome" event schedule that graduate students might particularly enjoy! 


Women's Center: Discovery Days Ice Cream Social
1-3 p.m.
Women's Center, First Floor of Student Resource Building

The Women’s Center invites you to stop by for free ice cream and other frozen treats while you check out all of the wonderful resources the space has to offer!

MultiCultural Center (MCC) Kickoff: La Misa Negra
7:30-9 p.m.
MultiCultural Center Courtyard

Kick off with this year’s MCC event calendar with a free concert featuring La Misa Negra! La Misa Negra is a 9-piece band from Oakland, California that plays a unique blend of 1950's and 60's style cumbia and high energy Afro-Colombian dance music.

Swing and Ballroom Dance Club: Discovery Days Swing Dance
8-10 p.m.
Robertson Gym, Room 2320 (upstairs)

This event is free for everyone! They will start with a basic swing dance lesson from 8-9 p.m., followed by the Swing Dance from 9-10 p.m. They will be providing DJ Swing Music for your dancing pleasure, and light refreshments for your eating pleasure. Everyone is invited, no dance partners are needed. “First timers” are especially welcome.


On-Campus Job & Internship Fair
9 a.m.-noon
Santa Rosa and De La Guerra Commons Lawn

The On-Campus Job and Internship Fair hosts a variety of on-campus departments who have part-time, work study, internship and research positions open throughout the year. Co-hosted by UCSB Career Services and Residential Life, this event is open to all students.


Fun Fitness Festival
1-5 p.m.
UCSB Recreation Center

Show up in your best work out gear and learn about the various Intramurals, Sport Clubs, Adventure Programs, and fitness classes that the Recreation Department have to offer! There will also be performances by student groups, sponsor tables, fun games and prizes, music, and much more! See event flyer.

Into the Night Dance Party and Drag Show
9 p.m.-midnight
Student Resource Building, Room 3112

Annual welcome (back) event for all UCSB students featuring music, food, and entertainment. Hosted by the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. See event flyer.


LGBTQ Graduate Student Mixer
5-6:30 p.m.
San Clemente

Hosted by the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity and Graduate Students Association. RSVP to Alex Kulick. See event flier.


Welcome Fair and Emergency Preparedness Event
10 a.m.-noon

Storke Community Center

Save the date for this event that's both fun and informative for all residents! Free lunch, giveaways, firetruck and patrol car for the kids, demonstrations for adults, and so much more!


Finding Your Way Through the Anxiety and Isolation of Graduate School

Credit: Kaitlin GrantThere is a culture problem in graduate school. Granted, earning a doctorate is – and, to many, is supposed to be – tough. But there is a growing awareness at many graduate schools that not only is student well-being crucial to performance and productivity, it is also important in and of itself.

In a recent article on The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vimal Patel reports on a recent survey of graduate students at Berkeley that provides a snapshot of just how heavy the toll of graduate school can be on students' mental health. About 37 percent of master’s students and 47 percent of Ph.D. students scored as depressed. Graduate students in the arts and humanities fared the worst, at 64 percent.

"Graduate student well-being is baked into the whole system," says Galen Panger, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in Berkeley’s School of Information and lead author of the report. While psychiatrists can play an important role in helping students with personal crises, they can’t do much about poor adviser relationships, social isolation, precarious finances – or career prospects, which the report found was the top predictor of graduate students’ levels of both life satisfaction and depression.

The report concluded that academe must change the attitude that doctoral education needs to be a time of anxiety and low morale. Some of the ways that universities can help change their graduate school culture are:

Ensure that students are not overworked in academic appoints by communicating policies to faculty and letting students know that they have recourse if these policies are not upheld.

Resources for UCSB graduate students:

Provide structured support for students facing isolation, particularly in the dissertation-writing phase.

Resources for UCSB graduate students:

Connect graduate students with their campus culture and resources.

Resources for UCSB graduate students:

Address the specific mental health needs of graduate students.

Resources for UCSB graduate students:

Change the culture around what counts as career success.

Resources for UCSB graduate students:

To read Patel's full article on The Chronicle's website, click here.

To get regular updates from The Chronicle, sign up for the newsletter, like it on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter.


Opportunities to Get Involved Locally and Statewide through the Graduate Students Association 

The UC Santa Barbara Graduate Students Association (GSA) would like to invite graduate students to participate in student government at the local and statewide level. Some of these opportunities offer stipends and many offer free food at meetings. 

The GSA is the official graduate student government at UCSB, and the University of California Student Association (UCSA) is the official statewide UC student government.


Each graduate program qualifies to select one graduate student per 50 registered graduate students in their program to be a UCSB GSA Assembly Member, and there are over 70 committees where a graduate student may represent graduate students as a UCSB GSA Committee Representative.

  • Assembly Member: An Assembly Member is a department’s connection to the UCSB graduate student government and is responsible for disseminating important information about services and events to graduate students in their department. Equally important, an Assembly Member is responsible for bringing forth concerns or new ideas shared by fellow graduate students in their program. Additionally, an Assembly Member has authority to vote in official GSA matters.
  • Committee Representative: A Committee Representative is the voice of graduate students on key UCSB committees. Some committees are run by UCSB administration, and others are run by student organizations. There is a committee for almost everything, from search committees for important administrators, to committees on sustainability and student health. Committee participation offers a small stipend for hours worked as an incentive.

To view all committees possible for a UCSB graduate student to join, please click this link.

For more information about what Assembly Members or Committee Representatives do, see this website: free to email questions to the UCSB GSA Office of the Vice President of Committees and Planning, at:

Statewide UCSA

UCSA is the official statewide student government body representing over 200,000 UC students, both undergraduate and graduate. UCSA primarily consists of a Board of Directors comprised of student bodies’ External Affairs delegations from each UC campus. Students can get involved as part of their campus’ delegation, or they may apply to appointments as special officers or members of select UC Regents committees.

This is a very exciting way to be involved and make an impact on important issues that affect all UC students!

For more information about what UCSA does, see this website: Or, email questions to your UCSB GSA Office of External Affairs at:


What If There Were an Official Support Group for Grad Students?

Credit: Got CreditWe all need a little support along the way.

In a recent article on Inside Higher Ed, Robert Greim discusses a group of graduate students that decided to address that need directly by creating an institutionally recognized and supported student organization dedicated to student success, retention, and satisfaction in their doctoral program.

The group sought to address many of the all-too-common problems that graduate students face: overworked and unavailable faculty members, heavy courseloads, and personal challenges, resulting in a great deal of uncertainty, confusion, and isolation. They found that by forming an official student group, they were able to:

  • develop a collective identity
  • give formal feedback on their program's structure and effectiveness
  • serve as informal academic advisors and peer mentors
  • provide organized emotional support for new cohorts

Additionally, the group contributed to increasing the graduate student retention rate in their department to 100 percent over the course of three years.

To read more about the benefits of creating a graduate student support group, read the full article here.

To get regular updates from Inside Higher Ed, sign up for the newsletter, or connect via Facebook or Twitter.


Applications Now Open for UCSB Grad Student Housing

The application process for continuing students for the San Clemente Villages apartments is now open. (Check out the brochure here.) These apartments are available to all single continuing graduate students. (Students with families should submit an application for Family Student Housing.) The complex offers 2 and 4-bedroom apartments with each bedroom occupied by one person (single occupancy).

2 and 4 bedroom apartments with each bedroom occupied by one person (single occupancy.) First come-first serve availability for the room type of your preference. - See more at:

To find out more and to fill out an application, click here. For more information on campus housing options for grad students, click here.


Interfaith Leadership Institute Opportunity; Deadline Is February 2

The UCSB Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life is seeking student leaders (with religious or non-religious identities) to assist in establishing an Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) chapter here at UC Santa Barbara. The students selected must attend the Interfaith Leadership Institute for a training workshop on Saturday, February 14; Sunday, February 15; and Monday, February 16, in Los Angeles (all expenses paid).

The following information comes from Student Affairs’ Miles W. Ashlock Burke on behalf of the Capps Center and IFYC:

IFYC and the Capps Center view religious and philosophical traditions as potential bridges of cooperation, and that we are better together.

Better Together helps students build interfaith cooperation on their campuses. The campaign consists of student-led events that create space for people to voice their values, engage with people across lines of religious difference and act together to make a better world.

If you are excited about being a part of interfaith action on your campus and interested being a leader, we invite you to apply. Please write a one-paragraph statement that details why you are interested in or passionate about interfaith action and would like to serve as a student leader. You must submit the paragraph to Kelli Coleman Moore at no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, February 2.

The Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life at UCSB promotes discussion of how ethical teachings and values relate to civic life – at local, national, and global levels. It is committed to the fundamental belief that public dialogue and an informed and engaged citizenry are vital to democratic society. Non-partisan and non-sectarian, the Center seeks to strengthen and extend the principles on which such diverse, modern society rests, namely, tolerance and respect for the views of others, the practice of civility, and efforts at achieving the common good.


New Resources for Family Students

If you are a grad student with children, the Graduate Division has developed two new resources for you!

Resource #1: GradSpace Page

GradSpace is a resource site for graduate students at UCSB. Currently, it is hosted on GauchoSpace. You'll find information about campus resources for students with children, parent support and education in the community, and childcare resources. Follow these steps to access GradSpace:

  1. Make sure that you have activated your UCSB NetID.
  2. Click here to enroll in the GradSpace community.
  3. Click on the "Family Students" tab.

Resource #2: Facebook Page

For more information, contact Shawn Warner-Garcia, Graduate Division's professional development peer advisor.


UCSB Campus Community Invited to First Gaucho Wellness Committee Meeting

The following invitation comes from the UCSB Gaucho Wellness Committee to all UC Santa Barbara students, faculty, and staff:

March 25, 2014

TO: The Campus Community

FROM: UCSB Gaucho Wellness Committee

RE:  Invitation to the First Gaucho Wellness Committee Meeting

Wednesday, April 2, noon to 1 p.m., Student Resource Building (SRB) 2154

Dear Colleagues,

Are you an advocate for the overall happiness of staff on campus? Would you like to help promote community and networking across campus?

Do you want to help promote the fantastic resources that exist in our community that staff might not be aware of?

If so, please join the Gaucho Wellness Committee for its very first meeting: Wednesday, April 2, noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Resource Building, Room 2154.

The Gaucho Wellness Committee is a product of a Gaucho U cohort project this year. We strive to serve as a resource for staff and faculty that will share information, resources and events pertaining to the overall wellness of our campus community. This includes, but is not limited to physical, mental, social, environmental and financial wellness.

In the future, we plan to implement our own events and initiatives.  

For more information, please visit or contact us at Please share your ideas with us!

Thank you.

The UCSB Gaucho Wellness Committee