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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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Black Studies Needs Teaching Assistants for 2015-2016 

Department of Black Studies logo

The Department of Black Studies is accepting applications for Teaching Assistants for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Deadline: Friday, April 10

To apply, complete and deliver the following documents:

  • Black Studies Teaching Assistant application
  • Cover letter (one page only)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Writing sample (double-spaced, 3-5 pages only)
  • Unofficial copy of undergraduate transcript(s)
  • Unofficial copy of graduate transcript(s)
  • One letter of reference
  • Copies of previous course evaluations

Send hard copies or hand deliver to:

Teaching Assistant Selection Committee
Department of Black Studies
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3150

Please note: Fax or email submissions will not be accepted. For more information, read the FAQs or contact Joseph Tapiro, Undergraduate Advisor.


Two Year Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship to Israel

The United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF) will award eight grants to American postdoctoral scholars who are beginning a program of research at Israeli institutions of higher education. The fellowships are for research commencing during the 2016/2017 academic year.

Fulbright Postdoc to Israel

Deadline: Saturday, August 1

Stipend: $20,000 each year; $40,000 total

Eligibility: US citizens who have received Ph.D. in any discipline, no earlier than April 2013

For more information: Read program overview or contact Deputy Director Judy Stavsky at

Program flier


Have You Written Your Research Project Description Yet?

PenHave you written your research project description yet? Credit: openclipart.comDo you want to get funded as a graduate student? Then you will need to have a project description written and ready to go. Have you written yours yet?

It doesn't matter what level you are (master's, predoctoral, or doctoral), what you study (STEM, Humanities, or Fine Arts) or even where you apply for funding (on campus or off). Most fellowships, scholarships, and grant applications will require you to submit a description of your research project.

What is a project description? It's a short summary of the objectives and significance of your research. It can be as little as one or two pages.


A typical project description will summarize the research

  • objectives
  • background
  • approach and procedures
  • your qualifications and preparations
  • timeline for completion
  • the anticipated results and significance of them
  • and sometimes a budget is required


To look at examples of winning research project descriptions for fellowships and grants, come visit the Fellowship Library at the Graduate Student Research Center (GSRC) between 9 a.m and 5 p.m, Monday through Friday. The office is located in room 1215 of the Student Resource Building. (Please note that the examples cannot be photocopied or removed from the office).

For links on writing resources, check out the UCSB library grant templates and guides.

For more information, contact the Funding Peer Kyle Crocco at


Increase Your Financial Success: Set Investment Goals

Race winnerAchieve your financial goals. Photo courtesy of WikipediaBefore you start investing, you need to figure out your investment goals.

Make your goals as specific as possible. Instead of just thinking you need to save money for the future, figure out the purpose for investing this money for the future.

Know why you are investing, how much money you need to invest, and how much time you need to invest to reach your goal.

Set Your Goals.

Your goals can be either short, intermediate, or long-term. You can use this worksheet.

  • Short-term goals are for things that can take two or less years to accomplish, such as travel, a wedding, or a car.
  • Intermediate goals are for things that take between two to ten years to accomplish, such as making a down payment for a house, starting a business, or setting up a college tuition fund for your child.
  • Long-term goals are for things that take more than ten years to accomplish, such as retirement or paying off student loans.

Prioritize your goals. You cannot achieve all of them. Pick the most important goals and work on those.

Estimate your goal amount. How much you will need to achieve the goal? For example, how much will the wedding cost? How much do you need to pay off your student loan?

Set a date. When do you need to have this money by? Setting a date will help motivate you to achieve the goal.

Budget your goals. How much will you need to invest each month to achieve the goal? How much can you afford to invest? Remember, automatic deposits are one of the best ways to save.

Make it happen. Follow through with your plan and check on it periodically to make it happen.

For more information, also read

4 Tips for Successful Investment Goals

Set Your Goals

Setting Your Investment Goals

Keown, A. J. (2007). Personal finance: Turning money into wealth. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.


Join the Research Mentorship Program this Summer

The UC Santa Barbara Summer Sessions' Research Mentorship Program is now recruiting graduate students to mentor high-achieving high school students from around the world this summer. Make a difference in someone else's life, while enriching yours.

All applicants must be available for the entire six weeks of the program and have a proposed project with a hands-on component.

For more details, see the summer program description.

Program Dates: June 22 to July 31 (must be available the entire six weeks)

Stipend: $900 plus supplies per project.

Eligibility: Graduate students, post-docs, and faculty, from all disciplines, who have a proposed project with a hands-on component.

To Apply:

  • Fill out the RMP Mentor Application Form.
  • Submit a project description, detailing the general information regarding the project, what student interns will be doing, and a "sample day in the lab" description for student interns. Send as a PDF to

Deadline: June 8.

Questions:  Send all inquiries to

Research Mentorship Program



Best Daily Deal Websites for Savings

If you haven't tried a daily deal website, here are a few of the best ones to get you started.

Sites can be divided into two basic categories: one for local area savings and one for buying products online.


Groupon LogoIf you want to go to restaurants or have an experience, try these sites out.

Groupon. Savings can run between 50 to 90 percent. They have more Santa Barbara deals than LivingSocial.

LivingSocial. Savings can be just as good, but they have far fewer Santa Barbara deals. Better for regional activities.

For more things to try in Santa Barbara, check out Visit Santa Barbara.


Woot LogoIf you are looking for a good deal on a product, try these sites. (Note, most deals are for 24 hours only).

Woot. The original deal a day site and the largest.

1 Sale. (1 Sale A Day). Not as large as Woot, but just as worthy.

Ebay Deals. Get great deals on new and used products. Includes free shipping!


Are You Investing or Speculating?

New York Stock ExchangeAre you investing or speculating? Photo courtesy of WikipediaBefore starting to invest your money, you should know what constitutes investing versus speculating.


Investing is when you purchase an asset with the intent of receiving a return (i.e., money). Investment assets could be a stock or a bond. A return is the income generated from this asset: real estate generates rent, stocks pay dividends, and bonds pay interest.

While it is true that an investment can lose money, they have less risk than speculating.


Speculating is when you purchase an asset and either get no return or a big return (i.e., you could lose all your money or make a significantly large amount of money). Speculation is different than gambling (e.g., buying a lottery ticket) because it is based on supply and demand.

Baseball CardIf you bought this baseball card, you're speculating. Photo courtesy of WikipediaGold coins, baseball cards, and non-income producing real estate are just three examples of speculating. If no one is willing to buy your baseball card, you will not make any money. Or you could make large sums off that rare card. Some also consider graduate degrees a form of speculation.

Futures contracts can also be a type of speculation if you don't know what you are doing. With futures contracts you are betting on the future supply and demand of a product. You may agree to pay a certain price for oil (say $100 a barrel) on a certain date only to find the price of oil has dropped (to $50) and you have overpaid and lost your kid's college fund (so sad), or the price of oil has increased (to $150), and you have made a small fortune to buy a yacht (hurrah).

For more information on investing and speculating, read

Investing vs. Speculating and Trading

What is the difference between investing and speculating?

Keown, A. J. (2007). Personal finance: Turning money into wealth. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.



The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Daily Deal Websites

MonkeysDon't be a monkey: learn the good, the bad, and the ugly of daily deal websites. Credit: openclipart.comDo you use a daily deal website (e.g., Groupon, Living Social, or Woot) or would like to but you want to know more?

Then consider the good, the bad, and the ugly before you use one.

The Good:

Save Money

You can find some great deals on all types of products and services, local and not-so-local.

Make Money

You can buy things at low prices and then resell them for a profit, if you're savvy.

Carpe Diem

You can often try out new things (restaurants, spas, balloon trips) at low prices, exploring things you would not have done ordinarily.

Buy Gifts

You can often find great gift ideas on these sites.

The Bad:

Needless Spending

You end up spending more money to "save" money.

Customer Service (Not)

Sometimes it is difficult to get a refund or return on an item.

The Ugly

Expiration Dates

Some deals expire before you can use them.


Using daily deal sites can become obsessive, so you are always online, searching to find a deal, and posting annoying things about them to your friends.

For more information, see

Cashcourse: Daily Deal Websites: The Good and The Bad

The Pros and Cons of Daily Deals

The Pros and Cons of Daily Deal Websites


Tips to Get Started Investing

Warren BuffettRich investor guy, Warren Buffett. Photo courtesy of wikipediaAre you interested in investing your money? If you are getting the investing itch, then there are three things you should do before you start scratching that itch like Warren Buffett:

  1. Make a budget
  2. Establish an emergency fund
  3. Set your investment goals

Make a budget

Before you start reading the finance pages for stock tips, figure out how much money you are earning and spending a month. This will help you figure out how much you have leftover that you can invest.

Suze Orman's website has an expense tracker that can help you do your budget.

Establish an emergency fund

You need to save money before you invest money. Investing money doesn't prepare you for a financial emergency. You should have between three to six months of savings in low risk accounts (savings, certificates of deposit (CDs), and money market accounts), so that you can access it quickly for an emergency.

If you do not have an emergency fund, start one today with the extra money you have available now that you have made a budget.

Set your investment goals

If you want to invest wisely, you need to figure out why you are investing. Do you have short-term or long-term goals? Are you investing for your retirement, to buy a house, send children to college, or to buy a car?

Once you figure out why you are investing, it will help you decide where you should invest your money. For example, if you want to retire, you will look into 401K and Roth IRAs. If you are investing short-term, you might get into real estate.

For my next article, I will look at where you can invest your money.


UCSB VITA Can Do Your Taxes for Free

Are you a student? Make less than $53,000? Then get your taxes done for free by UCSB VITA.

Write to make an appointment. See the flyer below for details or visit the UCSB VITA website.

UCSB Vita flyer