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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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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.)? 

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!