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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 gsa (13)


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:


GSA's "Moshertime" Happy Hour is a Good Time for Grad Students

Grad Student on the rooftop sky terraceGrad students having a Moshertime. Credit: Kyle CroccoUCSB's Graduate Student Association (GSA) has a new happy hour and it's called "Moshertime."

Once a month, from 5 to 7 p.m., you can enjoy free drinks, tasty snacks, and stimulating conversation with your fellow grad students at the Mosher Alumni House.

Last week's Moshertime provided great atmosphere. From the Rooftop Sky Terrace, grad students enjoyed stunning panoramic views of the UCSB campus and Santa Barbara airport.

There was also something for everyone--three kinds of beers for beer lovers, multiple non-alcoholic drinks, salty and sweet snacks in easy reach, and plenty of grad students to connect with from various departments.

If you haven't Moshertimed yet, your next chance to Mosher is Thursday, March 19.

Please note, in order to attend you must provide a valid government issued ID to show you are 21 or over and a UCSB ID to show you are a graduate student.

Fast Facts:

When: Thursday, March 19, 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: Mosher Alumni House Roofdeck

Who: UCSB graduate students 21+ with valid ID

Cost: FREE



GSA Recognizes Dixon-Levy Service and Excellence in Teaching Award Winners

Torrey Trust, Dixon-Levy Service Award winner, and Justine Meyr, Excellence in Teaching Award winner, strike a pose. Credit: Kyle Crocco

On Tuesday, June 3, the Graduate Students Association (GSA) recognized the winners of the Dixon-Levy Service Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dixon-Levy Service Award winners

The Dixon-Levy Service Award is given to outstanding members of the university community who have unselfishly devoted themselves to the improvement of graduate student life. The winners are:

Dr. Jeanne Stanford, CAPS

Dr. Jeanne Stanford receives her Dixon-Levy Service award. Credit: Kyle CroccoDr. Jeanne Stanford is the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at UCSB. She has been involved in multiple projects that contribute to improving graduate student life, such as the SaySomething Campaign to prevent suicides on campus and the efforts to have physiological services available in student housing. She has also worked to improve the CAPS office to better serve diverse student populations, and as her nominator wrote, Dr. Stanford “has been vocal in addressing diversity issues at both the campus and UC levels in regards to psychological health, including those specifically related to experiences of oppression (e.g., racial/gender issues in predominantly white/male departments; issues of misused power in advisor relationships) as they operate within student lives.” Dr. Stanford has also been a strong advocate for the Mental Health Peers program on campus.

 Sharalyn Sanders, Comparative Literature

Sharilyn Sanders receives her Dixon-Levy Service award. Credit: Kyle CroccoSharalyn (or Shari) Sanders is a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature. During her time at UCSB, she has been active within the graduate community, helping to organize many conferences and bring major speakers to our campus, co-founding the Humanimality Research Focus Group, and offering training on teaching sensitive issues as a co-lead TA in her department. Shari’s nominator commended her for her unselfish commitment to improving graduate student life, writing, “She doesn't do it for praise. She does it because she cares. It's for these reasons, and many more, that I believe Shari deserves to be recognized for the Dixon-Levy GSA Service Award.”


Torrey Trust, Graduate Division Academic Peer

Torrey Trust shows off her Dixon-Levy Service award. Credit: Kyle Crocco

Torrey Trust recently completed her Ph.D. in Education at UCSB. While at UCSB, Torrey served the graduate student community in many ways, such as being the Academic Peer Advisor in the Graduate Student Resource Center, regularly writing articles for the GradPost, serving on multiple committees within the Graduate Division and her academic department, creating GradSpace, and working to help expand the Graduate Student Showcase, just to name a few. Those who nominated Torrey for this award praised her work, with one of her nominators stating, “Torrey demonstrates a commitment to students, UC Santa Barbara, and the importance of higher education. She is highly dedicated to improving the life of graduate students.”


Excellence in Teaching Award winners

The Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes the contributions of graduate students who have shown excellence in their role as a Teaching Assistant (or Teaching Associate) in the teaching mission of UC Santa Barbara. The winners are:

Humanities and Fine Arts

Brian Griffith (Winner)

Brian GriffithBrian Griffith (right). Credit: Gary Haddow

Silvia Ferreira (Honorable Mention)

Silvia FerreiraSilvia Ferreira (left). Credit: Gary Haddow

Social Sciences

Justine Meyr (Winner)

Justine MeyrJustine Meyr (right) receives the Excellence in Teaching award. Credit: Gary Haddow 

Summer Gray (Honorable Mention)

Summer GraySummer Gray (left). Credit: Gary Haddow 


Molly Metz (Winner)

Molly Metz (right). Credit: Gary Haddow 

Michael Nava (Honorable Mention; not pictured)

Teaching Associate

Angela Holtzmeister (Winner)

Angela Holtzmeister (right). Credit: Gary Haddow

Derek Smith (Honorable Mention)



GSA Limited Bus Pass Lottery

The Gradaute Students Association (GSA) will purchase a limited number of 30-day Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) bus passes that will become effective July 1, 2013. Due to limited availability and exhaustive demand, they will be distributed via lottery.

Over the summer UCSB students not enrolled in courses do not qualify for a university bus pass. UCSB bus passes are financed through student fees and graduate students do not pay fees over the school year or over the summer to subsidize summer passes.

Although we are not enrolled in courses, graduate students often continue visiting the UCSB campus year-round to work on campus, to teach, to conduct research, meet with advisors or committee members, and to work on our writing.

The GSA Bus Pass Lottery was instituted in 2012 as a temporary solution to the summer transportation problem graduate students have. During summer 2012, GSA announced it would give away bus passes on a particular day and time to a first-come, first-serve population. The results were overwhelming. Over 300 students stood in line as early as an hour before the scheduled distribution time. Unfortunately, GSA was only able to purchase 60 monthly passes, at a $55 per pass value. GSA is still working on a more permanent solution.

In the meantime, the lottery will take place next week. To include yourself in the lottery please fill out this form.

Please fill out the form by Monday, June 17 at 11:59 p.m., and those selected will be notified by Wednesday, June 19 at 5 p.m.


40 Grad Students Attend GSRC’s First Friday Breakfast Break

About 40 grad students attended the Graduate Student Resource Center’s inaugural First Friday Breakfast Break on Oct. 5. Students socialized with one another, and met staff members from the Graduate Division and GSRC as well as officers of the Graduate Students Association.

Guests enjoyed free muffins, croissants, bagels, fruit, coffee, and juice while getting a chance to meet other grad students from across disciplines.

Graduate Division Retention Services Director Whitney Winn says the breaks will become a regular event, to be held in the GSRC in the Student Resource Building on the first Friday of each month from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Other GSRC Breakfast Breaks for the remainder of the year will be held on Nov. 2 and Dec. 7. We look forward to seeing you then, but please don’t hesitate to visit us in the GSRC any time during office hours.



Build your CV with University Service

For many academic jobs (and often for tenure) there are university service requirements—where faculty members are asked to contribute to the university by sitting on committees. However, you don't have to wait until you have a faculty position to start taking part in the administrative side of the university and representing your colleagues. As a graduate student, you can begin to build your university service and administration experience by taking part in UC and UCSB committees and organizations. Even aside from building your CV, many of these experiences come with other perks (such as stipends or free food!). The UCSB Graduate Students Association (GSA) has recently advertised three ways in which you can get more involved in the University:

  1. UCSB Campus Committees:The Graduate Students Association (GSA) needs graduate students to serve on various UCSB campus committees, representing graduate student concerns. Committees range in time commitment from a few hours per quarter to weekly meetings throughout the year, and reps are paid for their time based on the hours spent with the committee, up to $200 per quarter. Plus you'll get free dinner when you attend GSA Assembly meetings. Some of the available committees include:
    • Dixon-Levy Service Award Committee
    • Financial Aid Advisory Committee
    • Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (CACSW) {2 GSA reps allowed}
    • Commencement Speaker Selection Committee
    • Getman and Villa Awards Committee
    • Student Fee Advisory Committee (SFAC) [preferably a 3 year commitment] [meets weekly]
    For more information, see: or Contact Dusty Hoesly, GSA VP for Committees and Planning, at

  2. UC Student Association Committee Representative Positions: Two System-wide Committee Representative positions are open NOW! As the official voice of the UC students, UCSA nominates students to sit on UC system-wide committees. The following two committees need graduate student representation:
    • University Committee on Educational Policy
    • University Committee on Research Policy
    The open positions, committee descriptions and application are all on the UCSA website:

  3. Become a GSA Officer: If you'd like the opportunity to represent UCSB graduate students and take on a leadership role, consider becoming a GSA officer. Multiple positions will be opening up for 2012-2013, so check out the Officer Responsibilities on the GSA website. These positions come with a quaterly stipend. If you'd like more information, you can email current president Diana T. Dyste Anzures at Elections will be coming up in the Spring!

GSA Excellence in Teaching Award Nominations

The Graduate Students Association is currently seeking nominations for the 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award. This award recognizes the contributions of graduate students who have shown excellence in their role as a Teaching Assistant in the teaching mission of UC Santa Barbara.


  • The TA must have taught at least one quarter, during Spring 2011, Summer 2011, Fall 2011, or Winter 2012.
  • Former winners of the award and current GSA officers are not eligible.

Important Dates

  • Nomination Deadline: Friday, March 23, 2012 at 5 p.m.
  • Nominees notified: Monday, March 26, 2012
  • Request for ESCI report due: Friday, April 6, 2012
  • Supporting materials deadline: Friday, April 27, 2012 (only electronic submissions will be accepted)
  • Award recipients will be announced: June 5th, 2012 (during the GSA Assembly Meeting)

To nominate please submit by March 23, 2012 at 5 p.m.:

For questions please contact Lily Anne Yumi Welty, GSA Vice President, Academic Affairs.


Featured GSA Executive Committee Member: Malaphone Phommasa

Malaphone PhommasaMalaphone PhommasaGSA Executive Committee Member: Malaphone Phommasa

Research Focus: Laotian American educational experiences; educational aspirations; ethnic identity

Program: Ph.D. in Education

Favorite Place to Hang Out at UCSB: The GSA Lounge =)

Favorite Thing to Do in the Local Community: Eat, eat, and eat

As the GSA Vice President for Budget & Finance, Malaphone Phommasa oversees the GSA budget, handles all financial matters related to GSA, and manages applications for GSA awards, grants, and co-sponsorships. Malaphone described the core of her job as “making sure people are paid.” Malaphone took some time to respond to a few interview questions about her life as a graduate student. Here is what she has to say about the value of yoga, planning ahead, and getting involved:

How do you manage your work-life-academics balance?

Making sure there's somewhat of a balance of all three in my day planner! Though it tends to lean heavily on the work/academics side.

Malaphone PhommasaWhat have you learned by being part of the GSA Executive Committee?

I've learned so much more about campus and how it runs than if I hadn't been in GSA. It's been pretty wonderful to see graduate students influence change.

What is one thing you do to keep your sanity as a graduate student?

Power yoga 3 to 4 times a week. It's probably the only time my mind stops running.

What advice do you have for graduate students?

Get involved! People really do listen to your comments and concerns.


Featured GSA Executive Committee Member: Lily Anne Welty 

Lily Anne WeltyLily Anne Welty

GSA Executive Committee Member: Lily Anne Welty

Research Focus: History, Mixed Race Studies, Oral History

Program: Ph.D. in History

Favorite Place to Hangout at UCSB: GSA Lounge and the HSSB Courtyard

Favorite Thing to Do in the Local Community: Eat

As the GSA Vice President for Academic Affairs, Lily Anne Welty works hard to make sure that the best interests of graduate students are met by sitting on campus-wide committees that are involved in developing graduate education policy.

Lily took some time to respond to a few interview questions about her life as a graduate student. Here is what she has to say about getting involved, finding stress relief in chopping up vegetables, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle:

How do you manage your work-life-academics balance?

I manage my work-life balance by compartmentalizing my time. I try to have a Monday through Friday schedule and a weekend schedule so it doesn't seem like I'm "on" 24/7.

What have you learned by being part of the GSA Executive Committee?

I have learned that the university operates and does the most work in committees. I have also learned that scholarship and excellence is key.

What is one thing you do to keep your sanity as a graduate student?

I meditate, and go to yoga class and ballet class. I walk my dog. To decompress, I cook so I can chop vegetables with my sharp knives.

What advice do you have for graduate students?

I think graduate students should sit on one committee sometime during their graduate career to see how the university works behind closed doors.


Some More Details about UC SHIP Health Insurance

UCSB Student HealthFor Grad Students who may have missed the October Graduate Student Association Assembly meeting, the GradPost has obtained the slides that Dr. Ferris used to describe the plan. We will keep posting information about the plan as well as hosting as many handouts and documents as we can cram onto our servers.  

Do you have concerns that you would like to have the Graduate Student Association address?  Attend the next assembly meeting on November 1st.  For more details, jump to our latest post about the assembly meeting on our Events Page