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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 inside higher ed (3)


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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Tips for New Teaching Assistants

Credit: cybrarian77As a graduate student, you will most likely be called upon to be a Teaching Assistant or an Instructor of Record during your time at UC Santa Barbara. In a recent article on Inside Higher Ed, Julie Dodd gives some advice to graduate students who will be teaching for the first time this year.

  • Convey enthusiasm for what you are teaching. Sometimes teaching assistants and new faculty are assigned to entry-level courses or courses that fulfill general education requirements. TAs may consider such teaching assignments not interesting or important. But these courses are mostly taken by freshmen and sophomores, and their experience in them can often determine if they continue in college and even what major they choose.
  • Create a syllabus that provides policies and deadlines. Beginning teachers sometimes think the syllabus is a formality, or even a constraint, on the spontaneity of their teaching. But a well-constructed syllabus can be helpful both to the students and to the instructor. Creating a syllabus makes you consider what is most important for your students to learn during the course. The syllabus also is where you explain the policies for attendance, making up missed work, use of technology, and eating or drinking in class. Then, when a student turns in a late assignment or is using a cell phone during class, you can address that as a course policy issue and not just an “I don’t like you doing that” situation.
  • Connect with your students, but not on too personal a level. College students want teachers who are approachable and responsive, but you need to establish boundaries. That’s especially true for teaching assistants, who typically are close in age to the undergraduate students. New faculty members and TAs should talk with faculty and experienced teaching assistants to seek guidance.

Read the full article on Inside Higher Ed's website here.

Also check out the teaching resources on the UCSB Instructional Development website and be sure to attend New TA Orientation on Tuesday, September22.

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


How to Salvage Your Summer Writing

Credit: Rennett StoweIn a recent article on Inside Higher Ed, Kerry Ann Rockquemore responds to a reader who is concerned that it's already mid-July and the writer hasn't made a dent in big writing projects. Her tips included:

  1. Get real about why you have not been writing.
  2. Create a 30-day writing plan.
  3. Write every day.
  4. Join a supportive community of daily writers. (We suggest such communities as the Intensive Dissertation Writer's Retreat and the Dissertation Writer's Room here at UCSB!)

Read the full article on Inside Higher Ed's website here.

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