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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 holidays (3)


Here for the Holidays? December in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara typically seems a little less crowded over the winter holiday break, with so many students from UCSB and other local schools leaving town for their families’ home and to enjoy a change of scenery. If you’re not part of the crowd who’s leaving town, congratulations! You’ll get to enjoy a relaxing time in “The American Riviera” without the pressures of classes, research, thesis writing, or TAing. In between sleeping in, getting fresh air, and cooking delicious food, check out the following local holiday events: Snow angels are unlikely in Santa Barbara, but these activities will still put you in a holiday mood. Credit: collegecandy.comSnow angels are unlikely in Santa Barbara, but these activities will still put you in a holiday mood. Credit:

  • "Una Noche de Las Posadas"
     Fri., Dec. 11, 7 p.m., starts at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, 123 E. Canon Perdido St.

Experience one of Santa Barbara’s oldest holiday traditions during “Una Noche de Las Posadas,” presented by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. The evening begins with a performance of holiday songs in the candlelit Presidio Chapel, followed by a procession that reenacts Mary and Joseph’s nine-day journey to Bethlehem in search of lodging. Stroll to historic Casa de la Guerra, where festivities continue with more singing, traditional refreshments, and piñatas. FREE. Click here for more information.

  • Christmas at the Casa
    Holiday tour
    s throughout December, Casa del Herrero, 1387 E. Valley Road, Montecito

There’s nothing like enjoying Casa del Herrero (the “house of the blacksmith”), a historic 11-acre estate in Montecito, when it’s decked out in finery for the holidays. During a special tour, get a glimpse of what Christmas in 1930s Montecito might have looked like. Visitors are invited to enjoy a cup of hot spiced cider while touring the splendid gardens and rooms. A limited number of holiday tours in December are available by advance registration. Click here for more information.

  • “The Christmas Revels”
    Sat., Dec. 19 and Sun., Dec. 20, shows both days at 2 and 7 p.m., Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St.

Santa Barbara Revels presents “The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice.” Subtitled “The Treasures of Spain,” this year’s engaging performance transports audiences to the crossroads of Andalusia in southern Spain, where indigenous Iberian, Moorish and Sephardic traditions converge. The costumed company performs lively dances and glorious music from more than four centuries of Spanish culture, accompanied by a brass ensemble and a troupe of traditional string and wind instruments. Tickets start at $15. Click here for more information.

  • A Sky Full of Holiday Stars on Ice”
  • Sat., Dec. 19, 12:30 and 5 p.m., Ice in Paradise, 6985 Santa Felicia Drive, Goleta

Ice in Paradise, the brand new 46,500-square-foot recreational ice rink that opened in October, presents its inaugural holiday ice show. The seasonal spectacular features ice skating champions from around the U.S. and the world, including Olympian Brendan Kerry, plus members of the rink’s Figure Skating Club. A VIP Dessert Party follows at the Bacara Resort & Spa. Tickets start at $15. Click here for more information.

  • Two “Nutcrackers”!
    1.) Santa Barbara Festival Ballet: Sat., Dec. 12 at 2:30 and 7 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St.
    2.) State Street Ballet: Sat., Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m., The Granada Theatre, 1214 State St.

Santa Barbara Festival Ballet’s production includes a cast of more than 100, including guest artist Russell Janzen of the New York City Ballet (as Cavalier), and live music by the Santa Barbara Symphony. State Street Ballet’s performance features Gustafson Dance students with live accompaniment by Opera San Luis Obispo Orchestra. Ticket prices vary.
Click here for more information on Santa Barbara Festival Ballet.
Click here for more information State Street Ballet.

  • Holiday Lights Photography Tour
    Tues.-Sat. through Dec. 19, 5 to 7:30 p.m., downtown Santa Barbara
      Credit: Hotel Milo Santa BarbaraCredit: Hotel Milo Santa Barbara

Take a walking tour of downtown Santa Barbara focusing on the holiday splendor of State Street, starting at La Arcada Plaza, and learn to take successful photos at night with your cellphone or camera. Night photography can be challenging, but Eye See Santa Barbara will teach you to use flash, proper exposure and already illuminated subjects in a scene to reduce blurry images, as well as other techniques you can use year-round. Capture festive portraits while learning about iconic Santa Barbara landmarks, including theaters in the Historic Theatre District. $55. Click here for more information.

  • Santa Barbara Trolley Tours
    Daily, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., from 1 Garden St. 

Offering 90-minute, fully-narrated tours, Santa Barbara Trolley is a fun and affordable excursion that packs in a lot of local color. Tour guides share their knowledge about popular landmarks, like the Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf. Click here for ticket information.


Santa Barbara Holiday Lights Tour

SB Holiday Lights tour

Every year during the holidays, the Santa Barbara Trolley and Rockstar Trolley companies take hundreds of passengers through the local neighborhoods in downtown Santa Barbara to enjoy the beautiful decorations and shiny lights. Houses along the trolley route compete for the "most lights" and "biggest blow-up decorations" titles.

SB Holiday lights tour

Since funding is always tight for graduate students, there is an alternative "graduate-style" option: Drive your own car along the trolley route. Here are the step-by-step directions for the trolley route:

If you want to get the full trolley experience without the trolley, start the tour around 7 p.m. from State Street. You'll catch up to the trolleys in no time and you can follow along behind them or make your own route.

Happy Holidays!


Travel Tips: Surviving Airports

Airplane wingBetween the holiday crowds and airport delays, flying home for winter break can be stressful. Here are some tips, resources, and apps to help you better navigate your holiday travels.


TSA Security Checkpoints & Baggage Requirements

  • Check the latest TSA requirements to make sure you do not have any prohibited items in your carry-on luggage.
  • Pack all of your carry-on liquids in a ziplock bag (make sure the liquids are 3 ounces or less) and remember to pull out the bag of liquids when going through the security checkpoint.
  • If you are carrying-on a laptop, pack it in an easily accessible spot so you can quickly pull it out of your bag at the checkpoint.
  • Wear sandals, uggs, or other shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
  • Also, check with your airline, but these typically don't count toward your carry-on baggage restrictions: jackets, umbrellas, food or drink purchased after clearing the security checkpoint, duty-free merchandise, and special items like strollers, child restraint seats or assistive devices such as wheelchairs or crutches.

Airlines & Airports

Expect delays. Bring extra reading material. Make sure your electronic devices are fully charged before you leave. Pack extra snacks. Use a travel app to track your flight, find good seats, and explore airports:

  • Flight Tracker ($9.99): Track flights, check on flight delays, view the seat map of your airplane, and browse the maps of airports around the world.
  • TripIt: Organize all your trips and host all of your confirmation emails in this app.
  • SeatGuru: Find the best seat on the airplane, view real-time flight alerts, and use the extensive flight search engine to book tickets.


Stay hydrated. The dry air on planes can cause sore throats and dehydrate you. Make sure to drink water at the airport and often during your flight. To save money, bring an empty water bottle and fill it up once you get past airport security.

Get moving. Sitting for long periods of time is not good for your health. Walk around airports during your layovers. Get up and move around on the airplane. Do some calf stretches and neck and shoulder rolls while you are waiting in line to board the plane.

Eat healthy. Being in an airport does not give you permission to find the greasiest, unhealthiest item to gorge on. Here are some apps to help you find nearby restaurants and amenities in the airport:

  • Airport Guide - Airport maps, amenities, and details. 
  • Gate Guru -  Import your trip itinerary, check out airport weather, terminal maps, and flight departure time, and find all of the amenities at the airport
  • Restaurant Nutrition - If you are in an airport during mealtime, browse this app to find the healthiest food and drink options

If you have any dietary restrictions, it might be helpful to pack your snacks and meals ahead of time.