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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Winter 2015
Peer Advisor Availability

Professional Development Peer:
Shawn Warner-Garcia
Mon: 10 a.m. to noon
Wed: 10 a.m. to noon
Fri: 10 a.m. to noon

Diversity & Outreach Peer:

Funding Peer:
Kyle Crocco
Tue: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thu: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Writing Peer:
Ryan Dippre
Mon: 1:30 to 4 p.m.
Tue: 9 to 11 a.m., 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Wed: 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Communications Peer:
Melissa Rapp
Mon: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thu: 1 to 3 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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Versatile Ph.D. Online Panel Discussion Feb. 23-27: Careers in Informal Science Education

Versatile Ph.D. will host a free web-based asynchronous panel discussion on Careers in Informal Science Education (ISE), from February 23-27. All panelists are Ph.D.s or ABDs from STEM fields who have gone into ISE in various different settings, including:

  • Biochemist who is now Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at a major science and industry museum
  • Neurologist who is now Public Outreach Manager at a scientific association
  • Electrical engineer who after a long ISE career in museums and higher ed is now at the Department of Education
  • Oceanographer who is Citizen Science Coordinator at a major national museum
  • Kinesiologist who after a significant research career did a major pivot and now does Science Outreach for the NIH

You can interact with the panelists throughout the week on the site, or follow the discussion via email. All questions welcome, from the most general to the very specific. For more information on this discussion, click here.


FUSE Seeks Science and Engineering Graduate Student Volunteers for Science Education Program

Are you are a science or engineering graduate student who is fluent in either English or Spanish? Are you interested in a fun, rewarding, and easy way to help junior high students gain familiarity with science and understand its importance in education?

If yes, then The Family Ultimate Science Exploration (FUSE) would like to invite you to volunteer for their winter and spring evening programs which kick off on February 24. At these events, you will teach the students and their families about the science of making polymers, audio speakers, and chemical reactions. All the activities are hands-on and allow for a rich dialogue between families and UCSB scientists and engineers.

Volunteer training will be held on Tuesday, February 17, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Elings Hall 1601. Pizza will be provided, so be sure to RSVP. If you cannot make it to the training but are still interested in participating as a volunteer, please e-mail Wendy Ibsen to arrange for an alternate training session.


What: FUSE Volunteer Training
When: Tuesday, February 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Elings Hall 1601
More info: Visit the FUSE website or click here to RSVP for the training


CCST Science and Technology Policy Postdoctoral Fellowship Recap


If you didn't have time to attend the information session by Susan Hackwood, Executive Director of CCST, here is a short recap of what you missed.

The CCST Program

If you have earned a STEM Ph.D. or will earn one by Sept. 1 and also have an interest in public policy, then the CCST Fellowship program might be for you.

The program is designed to enable Fellows to work hands-on with California state policymakers in addressing complex scientific issues as well as to assume all the other legislative responsibilities of full-time legislative staffers.

Each year, ten Fellows are chosen and placed in Legislative and Senate offices.

Opportunities. As a fellow, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain professional development
  • Learn by doing
  • Put your skills to work
  • Make a difference in society
  • Improve translation of science to policy
  • Become a trusted member of a legislative staff

Overall, you will be the go-to science person in a legislative office who will work in a fast paced environment, doing research, giving briefings, and influencing legislation.

Qualities Desired. The program is looking for STEM Ph.D. people who are...

  • Excellent communicators (i.e., your written and oral skills are very important)
  • Effective in fast paced environments
  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Open minded and willing to learn (i.e., have to work across the aisle and parties)
  • Problem solvers
  • Great team members (i.e., working with bright people from different fields)
  • Flexible and adaptable (i.e., prepared when bad things happen, a bill being completely gutted)

Bootcamp Training. As a new fellows, you will get three weeks of training in the following areas:

  • Legislature 101
  • California and its Capitol
  • Committee Staffs and Analyses
  • How a bill becomes a law
  • Preparing for placement
  • When science meets policy
  • The eve of a hearing
  • Committee process in-depth
  • California’s budget battles
  • Mock hearing
  • Interviews and career skills
  • Executive and Third House (i.e., lobbyists)

CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellowship

Deadline: Saturday, Feb. 25.

Eligibility: U.S. citizen with a Ph.D. or equivalent in a STEM field (see list), earned before Sept. 1, 2015.

Stipend: $45,000 for the one-year appointment with up to $4,000 for relocation costs.

More Info: Read the Fellowship Description.


The Trials and Tribulations of the Campus Visit

If you're on the job market this season, then the time is getting ripe (or already has gotten ripe) to start fielding invitations for campus visits. The advice for campus visits currently available online suggests that the experience of a campus visit is something akin to sprinting a marathon: an exhilarating, but exhausting event. 

While there is a great deal of practical advice for campus visitees out there, a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed is particularly effective in tackling the 7 Hazards of the Campus Visit. Nancy Scott Hanway, the author of the piece, addresses the legitimate concerns of many graduate students, including being asked inappropriate questions, handling odd or random comments, and being offered alcohol. Hanway also provides a short quiz at the end of the article, which lets you put her advice into action. It's worth a read if you are gearing up for campus visits.


Event Recap: Interviews and Negotiating a Job Offer

On Friday, January 16, Professors Karen Myers (Communication) and David Seibold (Technology Management Program) led a workshop on job interviews and negotiating a job offer. The workshop discussed the basics of negotiation with an emphasis on the importance of negotiating job offers in academia and elsewhere. Below, you will find links to resources distributed at the workshop, including PowerPoint slides and handouts.

"Negotiating a Job Offer" PowerPoint Slides

"Negotiating Offers for Faculty Positions" Handout

"What You Can Neogitate in Academic Positions" Handout

"What You Can Negotiate in Industry Positions" Handout

"Job Offer Negotiation Role Plays" Handout


Preparing for Next Week's Career Fair

UCSB Career Services is hosting its Winter Career Fair next Thursday, January 29, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion. This event is open to all students. There will be 53 organizations on hand in areas including engineering, technology, marketing, human resources, business management, sciences, finance, education, government, social services, and sales.  Of this group, 33 have specific interest in talking to graduate students (see the above link).

If you haven’t been to a career fair, or aren’t sure what is involved, it is an event bringing together a variety of employers interested in meeting Gauchos to talk about potential job opportunities.  Especially if you have interest in the industries being represented – and you come prepared – career fairs can be a great way to connect with professionals in your area, learn about organizations and their hiring opportunities, and possibly even land an interview.

So what’s the best way to prepare?  Here are some proven tips:

Credit: Keith WilliamsDo Your Homework

  • Research the employers you are interested in connecting with – website, products/services, company divisions, current events, competitors, etc.
  • Find out what specific opportunities the organizations have available – website, GauchoLink,, Google, etc.
  • Plan a strategy for which organizations you’d like to meet with
  • Create a list of questions you’d like to ask them

Put Together 30- to 60-Second Intro or ”Elevator Speech”

  • For use in answering the “tell me about yourself”-related questions
  • It should include information about who you are, what you’re looking for, what you have to offer (education, skills, experience, etc.), and why you are interested in the company
  • Write, edit, get feedback, and practice, practice, practice your speech

Credit: Woodley WonderworksTailor Your Resume/CV

  • A resume (as opposed to a CV) is appropriate for most industry positions
  • Your resume should be distinctive, easy to read, error-free, and relevant to the research you did about the company
  • If necessary, have different versions for different employers
  • Get your resume critiqued by at least two knowledgeable people beforehand
  • Bring several hard copies of your resume in a portfolio or something professional-looking

Make an Effort Towards Your Dress and Appearance

  • Err on the side of over-dressing vs. under-dressing
  • Wear a suit or business casual dress, depending on the industry

Credit: Kyle SteedArrive Early

  • Long lines often form and some employers leave early
  • Note: If you get your resume/CV critiqued in drop-in counseling at Career Services (Career Resource Room, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday-Friday), you will receive a pass to enter the fair one hour early

Follow Up

  • Ask for cards/contact information from employers you meet
  • Send them an email within 24 hours, thanking them for their time and interest, reiterating your interest in their organization/opportunity (if applicable), and following up with any action steps or other pertinent discussion points
  • Follow-up further, as appropriate

UCSB Career Services offers an effective array of resources, programming, coaching, and other services. For more details, visit the Career Services website.

John Coate is the Assistant Director and Coordinator of Graduate Student Services for UCSB's Career Services. He periodically writes post on career and professional development issues for The GradPost.


Versatile Ph.D. Online Panel Discussion Jan. 26-30: Careers in Technology for Humanities and Social Science Fields

Versatile Ph.D. will host a free web-based asynchronous panel discussion on Careers in Technology from January 26-30. All panelists are Ph.D.s or ABDs from humanities or social science fields employed in technology-centered roles in a wide variety of organizations, including:

  • Web Developer for a major business publication
  • Director of User Experience at a health care communications agency
  • Software Programmer/Analyst in an insurance company
  • Director of Technology at an urban newspaper
  • Director of Digital Experience at an art museum

You can interact with panelists throughout the week on the site or follow the discussion via email. All questions welcome, from the most general to the very specific. Click here for more information on the panel discussion.


Call for Lightning Talk Presentations

Do you have an intriguing idea, unusual side project, crazy travel story, or anything else you'd like to share in a bite-sized presentation? Spatial@UCSB is looking for intrepid presenters – students, faculty, staff, and friends – to give inspirational, educational, or just plain entertaining talks related to geography or space (i.e., just about anything). The talks can be serious or funny, as long as presenteres follow the mantra: "Enlighten us, but make it quick." For inspiration, watch videos of past years' talks. Participants from all departments and disciplines are welcome.

To present in the 2015 Spatial Lightning Talks, contact Kitty Currier by February 18 (preferably sooner).

What: 4th Annual Lightning Talks presented by spatial@ucsb
When: Wednesday, February 25 (lunch provided starting at 11:45 a.m., presentations begin at noon)
Where: Mosher Alumni House
More Information: View the call for presentations

Check out this 2014 Lightning Talk from graduate student Crystal Bae, who bicycled cross-country from Washington, D.C., to UCSB last year:


UC Humanities Research Institute Invites Proposals for Grad Student Advisory Committee

The University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) invites proposals from humanities graduate students interested in participating in a new UC-wide initiative regarding careers alongside/outside the academy. UCHRI is seeking 3-5 humanities graduate students to serve as the Humanists@Work advisory committee for its annual workshop series.

The term for the advisory committee is one year, from Summer 2015 to Spring 2016. Working alongside UCHRI’s Assistant Director, advisory committee members will be expected to attend workshops and participate in virtual meetings, including the collective development and production of two to four webinars on alt-ac topics each year. This is an opportunity for graduate students interested in professional development to shape the future of alt-ac programs across the UC system while gaining valuable logistical work experience.

Who Can Apply: Currently enrolled UC Humanities graduate students
Level of Award: $1,000 stipend, plus travel and lodging for twice-yearly professional development workshops and a convening meeting at UCHRI
Application Deadline: March 18, 2015 (11:59 pm PST).
How to Apply: Online via FastApps
Funding Decision: It is expected that awards will be announced in Spring quarter
More Information: Visit UCHRI's call for applications


Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity Seeks Graduate Assistant

The UCSB Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity (RCSGD) is seeking a Graduate Assistant for the 2014-2015 academic year. The RCSGD Graduate Assistant will support the Center, gain practical/hands-on experience, and collaborate with a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff. The Graduate Assistant will aim to increase student involvement and to enhance students’ collegiate experience by supporting the initiatives of the RCSGD and is expected to work 15-20 hours a week, which may include some evenings and weekend hours. Click here to download a full job description as well as information on qualifications and compensation.

To apply, send an electronic letter of interest, current resume or CV, and the names and contact information of three references to David Whitman, RCSGD Director of LGBT Services. The application deadline is Friday, January 30, by 5 p.m.