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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 accountability (2)


What's Keeping You from Finishing Your Dissertation?

There are probably as many answers to that question as there are dissertation writers. But no matter the reason, one thing is likely true: there’s often a large, unspoken disconnect between faculty advisers and graduate students when it comes to writing a dissertation.

In a recent article on Inside Higher Ed, Kerry Ann Rockquemore writes, "Advisers imagine that delays are due to the content of the project, while graduate students are most often struggling with writing and resistance. Because of that disconnect, advisers’ efforts don’t meet students where they are stuck, and the students’ impostor syndrome can be so intense (and the power differential so great) that it keeps them from asking for the type of help they need."

While Rockquemore's article is targeted at faculty advisers, graduate students can glean some good advice that they can start using right away:

  1. Ask yourself, "What is a dissertation?" Let's face it, most graduate students have never written a dissertation before, and the genre is wildly different from the types of papers they've been writing (e.g. binge-and-bust seminar papers) and reading (e.g. closely critiqued seminal works in their field) thus far in grad school. Have a detailed discussion with your advisor about the scope and quality requirements of a dissertation, and ask for a rubric, guidebook, or successful sample.
  2. Get into a daily writing habit. As Rockquemore writes, "It’s well documented that the most productive academics write every day - Monday through Friday - in short periods of time. (And by “writing” I mean anything that moves a manuscript out the door.) However, that’s the opposite of how most graduate students write, or imagine they should write, their dissertations. This emerges from a combination of past binge-and-bust writing habits, the flawed assumption that nothing can get done in 30 minutes a day, and the idea that they must have everything figured out before they start writing." So, if your current strategy isn't working for you, try out a new one!
  3. Figure out what type of support you need and where you can get it. Dissertation writers thrive in a supportive community of active daily writers. This might look like an in-person writing space like the Graduate Writers' Room or an online community of peers that can provide built-in and regular accountability.

To read Rockquemore's full article, click here.

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Take the Two-Week Writing Challenge

ClockDid you resolve to spend more time writing this year?  Do you have a thesis or dissertation chapter that desperately needs your attention yet all of your other academic and personal responsibilities are competing fiercely for your time?  You might be surprised at how much you can accomplish with just a 30-minute commitment to daily writing, Monday through Friday.

As a former binge writer, I know how easy it is to let things pile up for marathon writing sessions over precious three-day weekends. You just might be able to turn all of that around with a little bit of encouragement and accountability.

For two weeks, I'll be offering a writing challenge as a pilot project that we're hoping to run regularly here at UCSB for graduate students.  For this pilot study, all you need is a Gmail account and a commitment to write for at least 30 minutes every day.  If you want to be anonymous, you can create a Gmail account just for this challenge. When you have completed your writing for each day, you'll log your minutes, fill out a brief survey, read the survey data from your fellow participants, and offer words of encouragement. You'll never need to submit your actual writing for critique. We will all just be here to provide a supportive environment for one another.  

Are you up for the challenge? The challenge will start on Tuesday, Jan. 17, right after our first three-day holiday weekend of the calendar year. The first 12 graduate students to sign up are guaranteed a spot in this pilot.  

Update:  Sign ups are now closed for this pilot, but if you are interested in this type of supportive writing environment, leave us a comment below to help us plan for future challenges!