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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 motivation (4)


Optimizing Motivation and Well Being Workshop Recap

Motivation word chart

"Why am I in grad school!?"

If you have ever asked yourself that question, you are not alone. Dr. Jennifer LaGuardia from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) has some helpful information about how we can find ways to "reboot our motivation" and optimize our well being. 

Here are some things to consider

  • What got you interested in graduate school? and What keeps you going? Reflecting on these questions will help you identify what is driving your motivation. 
  • According to Self-Determination Therapy (SDI), motivation is a psychological energy that is directed towards a goal. It is not the quantity, but the quality of motivation that is important because it influences persistance and well-being. Quality of motivation is determined by one's experience of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. 

What can you do?

Begin by reflecting on the ways your own psychological needs are being met or not, make an action plan, and enlist social support. "CARES" Self-Assessment is one way of doing this:

  • Competence: What are the areas you feel most confident about in your work? 
  • Autonomy: Are you able to pursue your interests and valued goals?  
  • Relatedness: How connected do you feel with others in your department? 
  • Extrinsic Compensation & Equity: Are you given enough resources and training to do your work? Are they enough to support your work? 
  • Structure: Are you given clear expectations and details about how to achieve your goals (graduate degree, research, etc.)? 

Dissertation Writing Retreat: Day Four

Any resemblance to people you know is entirely coincidental. Credit: openclipart.comWhen you're feeling like a pawn in some ridiculous academic game, the cure is some sound advice to keep you writing. The theme of the final Writing Retreat session was the three steps to maintaining motivation.

Step One: Review your writing process.

After writing for a week, compare your process to your writing goals for that same period. What took longer or shorter than you thought? What could be broken down into subtasks?

Step Two: Time Management

Now that you understand how you work, organize your tasks and plan for an entire week. First start with "must complete" tasks (e.g., job, family, working out); then add in "want-to-do" tasks (e.g., happy hour, Netflix, etc.). With the time slots remaining on your schedule, plan your dissertation writing time.

Tips for planning: Don't plan too much and set yourself up for failure. Remember to include a variety of tasks. Knowing yourself and your work habits, what can you reasonable accomplish in that time?

Step Three: Accountability

Find a writing partner: someone who is also writing a dissertation or thesis so you can compare progress, share your writing process, and keep on track.

For more tips on how to maintain your motivation, read the article "Motivate Yourself to Write", or make an appointment with someone who understands your pain, Writing Peer Kyle Crocco


Motivate Yourself to Write

Now that you’ve found a time to write and a place to write, how do you get started and stay motivated when writing? Here are a few tips from former Writing Peer Ryan Dippre to get your writing mojo working. Click on the links for more advice.

Convince yourself to write: Celebrate small accomplishments and use periodic reflection to help you stay on track.

Get in the writing zone: Make a plan and write on a daily basis to get in the zone.

Your writing process: Analyze your writing process to help you maximize your results.

No-fail secret to writing a dissertation: Spoiler alert: it's daily writing at a set time.

Fresh approaches to writing: Wake up earlier and use other methods than just a keyboard.

For more help with writing, all graduate students are encouraged to book an appointment with the Graduate Division's new writing peer, Kyle Crocco. Kyle can be reached at:

Writing Peer Kyle Crocco. Credit: Patricia Marroquin


The Secrets to Finding Time to Write


Want to learn the secrets to finding time to write? Check out the wisdom of former Writing Peer Ryan Dippre. He coveres developing a motivating schedule to using twenty or thirty minutes a day to make progress.

20 minutes: Get work done by writing and revising in small bursts.

30 minutes: Schedule thirty minutes a day when you can get words down.

Finding time to write: How to balance writing with a heavy teaching load.

Motivating schedule: Learn how to craft a schedule that motivates you to complete tasks.