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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Fall 2014
Peer Advisor Availability

Professional Development Peer:
Shawn Warner-Garcia
Tue: 10 a.m. to noon, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Thu: 10 a.m. to noon, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Diversity & Outreach Peer:
Vacant

Funding Peer:
Kyle Crocco
Wed: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thu: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

Communications Peer:
Melissa Rapp
Wed: 9:45 to 11:45 a.m.
Thu: 1 to 5 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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Wednesday
Dec102014

Winter Workshop Series: Funding and Financial Literacy

Don't Be This GuyDon't be this guy. Credit: Funding PeerWant to learn more about how to find funding or increase your financial literacy IQ? Then check out the Winter  workshop series on Finding Funding and Financial Literacy, hosted by the Funding Peer.

All workshops will be held in the Student Resource Building, Room 2154. Attendees are encouraged to bring laptop computers to navigate web resources.

For more information, contact Kyle Crocco at kyle.crocco@graddiv.ucsb.edu

Winter Schedule

Week 3: Finding Funding: Tuesday, Jan. 20, 12-1 p.m.

Learn more about funding resources on campus and how to search for an external scholarship, grant, or  fellowship, using the funding database Pivot.

Week 4: Financial Literacy 102: Taxes: Tuesday, Jan. 27, 12-1 p.m.

Learn about useful tax resources and get tax tips for scholarships and fellowships, international student taxes, and work related taxes just in time for tax season. Note: This is a general informational workshop. The Funding Peer is not a tax professional. For specific issues regarding your tax situation, consult with a tax preparation professional.

Week 5: Finding Funding: Thursday, Feb. 5, 12-1 p.m.

Learn more about funding resources on campus and how to search for an external scholarship, grant, or  fellowship, using the funding database Pivot.

Week 6: Financial Literacy 101: Loans, Credit, and Budgets: Tuesday, Feb. 10, 12-1 p.m.

Learn about student loans, loan repayment plans, credit reports and scores, how to budget your finances, and UCSB resources that can save you dollars.

Week 7: Financial Literacy 103: Insurance and Cars: Tuesday, Feb. 17, 12-1 p.m.

Learn about renter's insurance, car insurance, and useful tips for purchasing a used or new car.

Wednesday
Dec102014

Interested in Languages and Government? Check Out the Boren Fellowship

Boren Logo

A representative from the Boren Fellowship came to campus on Monday, December 8. If you are interested in government service and learning a language in a country important for national security, this fellowship could be for you.

Here is a recap of important information for graduate students interested in applying.

Commitment to Public Service: All Boren Fellows are required to do at least one year of government service upon completion of their fellowship and within two years of their graduation. If you have a longer fellowship, you will be required to do a longer fellowship (up to two years). Boren Fellows are given a hiring preference for the U.S. government, so if you are interested in public service, this fellowship is a great stepping stone for your career.

Eligibility: You must be a U.S. citizen in a Ph.D. program, interested in studying a foreign language, who will not graduate before the end of the Boren Fellowship.

Disciplines: A preference for STEM, law, foreign languages, public policy, business, and social sciences. For a complete list, click here.

Deadline: The application deadline for the 2015-16 academic year is Tuesday, Jan. 27.

Awards: Awards are based on the time you plan to spend abroad. The maximum award is $30,000 for 24 months. You can use this award in conjunction with other fellowships, such as the Fulbright.

Countries: Areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. For a complete list of countries, click here. Note: Some countries are excluded for safety reasons.

Languages: Less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili. For a complete list of languages, click here. Note: For French and Spanish, you must have an advanced level to be funded for your research project.

Application Emphasis:

Reviewers put the most weight on these five areas:

Country choice: Previous experience or knowledge of the region is helpful.

Language choice: You are not required to know or have any knowledge of a language beforehand. However, choosing a critical language for national security is helpful.

Field of study: This is the least weighted of the five categories since most fields are applicable.

Length of study: This is the second most important category. There is a preference for a commitment at least six to twelve months abroad. The longer the better.

Commitment to government service: This is the most important of the five criteria. Explain very clearly why you are committed to serve the government, where you want to work in the government, what department you want to work in, what work you want to do in this department, and what groups you want to serve. (Note: Military service is included as commitment). The four priority departments for service are Defense, State, Homeland Security, and Intelligence. Additional departments include NASA, International Trade Association, Peace Corps, EPA, and DOE.

Application Parts:

  • Transcripts
  • 3 letters of recommendation: Ask professors as early as possible. One should be from an advisor or mentor in your research.
  • Budget: This is just an estimate. A more detailed budget will be worked out once you are accepted.
  • Language proficiency form: Optional. But for French and Spanish, an advanced proficiency is required.
  • Letter of overseas affiliation: If you have an affiliation with a research institution, you must have a letter. However, it is not required at time of the application.
  • 3 essays

Application Essays:

National security/future career: This is where you provide your own definition of national security and how you will apply your skills in your country of choice. National security can be traditional, such as protecting U.S. interests, or could be something like water security, food security, women’s rights, or environmental concerns.

Study plan: This is where you detail the internship you would like to do in the country you would like to do it in, such as research, classroom study, etc.

Language goals: The proficiency level you would like to attain and how you will attain it.

 

Wednesday
Dec102014

Take Note of Upcoming Funding Deadlines for January 2015

You Have FundingMaxed out your budget at Black Friday? Don't despair. Check out the scholarships and grants that graduate students and postdoctoral scholars can apply for with January deadlines. Many of the grants help out those who are ABD and working on their dissertations.

All information comes through the UCLA GRAPES database. Click on the individual links for more details.

Open To All (no citizenship or residency requirements):

Jan. 30: California Architectural Foundation, Mel Ferris Scholarship (Architecture)

Jan. 31: Boston College, African and African Diaspora Studies Program (AADS) Dissertation Fellowship (ABD: Humanities, Social Sciences)

Jan. 31: Chateaubriand Fellowship - Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (ABD: STEM, Health, Education)

Jan. 31: Chateaubriand Scholarship Program for the Humanities & Social Sciences (ABD: Humanities, Social Sciences)

Jan. 31: Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), Humane Studies Fellowships (HSF) (Humanities, Social Sciences, Public Affairs)

Jan. 31: Josephine De Karman Fellowship Trust (ABD: All Fields)

U.S. Citizens and Residents Only:

Jan. 30: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Early Independence Award (Postdoc: Life Sciences, Health Sciences)

Jan. 31: American Sociological Association (ASA), Minority Fellowship Program (Sociology, Mental Health Issues)

Jan. 31: Boston College, African & African Diaspora Studies Program Dissertation Fellowship (Humanities, Social Sciences)

Jan. 31: Council of American Overseas Research Center Fellowships for Advanced Multi-Country Research (ABD & Postdoc: Humanities, Social Sciences, Life and Physical Sciences)

Jan. 31: Morris K. Udall Foundation, Native American Congressional Internships (All Fields interested in tribal government and policy)

Monday
Dec082014

International Students: Tax Requirements and Deadlines

Tax time is coming up in winter quarter and if you an international student, you might be wondering, does this concern me?

Yes it does. 

All international student and their dependents are required to file tax forms by the filing date of April 15 as part of their visa requirements. If you have a F, J, M, or Q visa, you must file tax forms even if you earned no income.

SprintTax logoFortunately, there is help for you to understand the tax process. The Office of International Students & Scholars provides personal assistance in preparation of federal and California state tax returns. You can contact OISS to make an appointment.

Or, you can seek professional assistance with an online Non-Resident tax prep company, such as Sprintax or NR Tax Return.

Why File?

  • You might get a refund.
  • Protect taxation of your worldwide income.
  • Fulfill your visa obligations.

What Federal forms to file?

Freefile logoIf you have a F, J, M, or Q visa, you are considered a non-resident for Federal tax purposes and must file one or both of these forms.

  • Form 8843: Each year you must file a Form 8843, even if you did not have a job and earned no income. In fact, if you have dependents, they will also have to file a tax form.
  • 1040NR and 1040NR-EZ. If you earned taxable income from U.S. sources, you must file a non-resident tax form, such as the 1040NR or the 1040NR-EZ.

File your taxes to the IRS for free with FreeFile, if you earn less than $58,000.

What State forms to file?

Cal FileIf you are an international student, you may also have to file California State taxes. This depends on three things: have you earned enough money to file, is the money from California sources, and are you a resident or non-resident for California tax purposes?

File your taxes for free online with CalFile.

For more information, see:

International Student: Student Tax Return

IRS: Foreign Students and Scholars

Tax Information for International Students and Scholars

Note: The author is not a tax expert. Use the above information as the basis of your own research. Seek qualified professional tax preparers to answer your specific questions.

Thursday
Dec042014

Best Gift Cards and Gift Card Exchanges

It's gift time of the year again and if you're like my family, that means gift cards. But we're not alone. According to CNN Money in 2011, almost 60 percent of people prefer a gift card for a holiday present and about 80 percent will purchase one for another person. That person could be you.

American Express Gift CardSo what gift cards should you buy and where can you get the best deals?

What To Buy?

General Purpose Gift Card. Visa and American Express both offer prepaid gift cards that are good deals. You only pay one small fee up front, load it with the amount you want, and your giftee can use the card without paying any other fees. Unlike cash, these cards can be replaced when lost or stolen.

General-Merchandise Retailer Card. Amazon, Target, and Walmart are among the most popular general-merchandise retailer cards. I prefer Amazon, if you're buying.

Business District Gift Cards. You can support your local business district (e.g., mall, downtown) and the giftee can use the card at a variety of shops.

For the best gift cards for men, women, boy, girls teachers, and grandparents, read "The 10 Best Gift Cards to Give Your Friends and Family."

Best Deals and Exchanges.

Card Hub LogoIf you want a good deal on a gift card or just want to exchange or sell a card you don't like, then you should check out a Gift Card Exchange. There you can sell a card for cash, exchange it for a card you like, or even purchase a gift card at a discount as a holiday present.

You can get about 10 to 15 percent off when purchasing a card and sometimes more if no one really wants that type of gift card. Or you can be paid up to 90 percent of the value of a gift card you didn't like.

Check out Card Pool, Raise, and Card Hub for good deals.

There is also a gift exchange review site that rates all sites to help you pick the right one to use.

For more gift card advice, read:

5 Tips for Purchasing the Best Gift Card

10 Best Gift Cards You Can Give Without Guilt in 2014

Kiplinger: Best Gift Cards to Give for the Holidays

Wednesday
Dec032014

CCST Science and Technology Policy Postdoctoral Fellowship

CCST LogoIf you have a STEM PhD and an interest in public policy, then you should check out the CCST Fellowship program. The program is designed to enable Fellows to work hands-on with policymakers in addressing complex scientific issues as well as to assume all the other legislative responsibilities of full-time legislative staffers.

The Legislature benefits from having the expertise of a trained Ph.D.-level scientist, who brings significant analytical, problem solving, research, and communication skills applied through the lens of the scientific method, and the Fellows gain an invaluable, hands-on learning experience about the intersection of science, technology, and policy.

CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellowship

Deadline: Saturday, Feb. 25

Eligibility: U.S. citizen with a PhD 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.

Monday
Dec012014

Boren Fellowship Workshop on Dec. 8

Boren LogoA representative from the Boren Scholarship/Fellowship will be on campus on Monday Dec. 8, to give an informational session on the awards for graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in applying. The information session will be followed by a Q&A.

Boren Fellowships provide up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students to support study and research in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.  For a complete list of countries, click here.

Boren Fellows represent a variety of academic and professional disciplines, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili. For a complete list of languages, click here.

The application deadline for the 2015-16 academic year is Tuesday, Jan. 27.

Boren Fellowship Workshop

When: Monday, Dec. 8, from 4-6 p.m.

Where: Student Resource Building, Multipurpose Room

Food: Light refreshments will be provided.

More info: Contact Robert Hamm, Director of Graduate Student Professional Development, at Robert.Hamm@graddiv.ucsb.edu

Monday
Nov242014

When to Use Cashier's Checks and Money Orders

So what's the deal with cashier's checks and money orders, anyway? Can't I just pay with my phone app?

Not for everything. Even in this age of phone app payments, paper checks still have a place in our financial lives.

So what's the difference beween them and and why should you care?

Cashier's checks

Hello Kitty checkNot a cashier's check. Credit: costco.comCashier's checks are considered a secure form of payment because the issuing bank gurantees the money, not you. This is why many businesses and landlords insist on them. They are normally used for large financial transactions ($1,000 and above).

They work like this.

Instead of you writing one of your Hello Kitty checks, the bank issues an official check addressed to the person you wish to pay. Once the check is made, funds are withdrawn from your personal account and deposited into the bank's escrow account. Therefore, you cannot even be issued a cashier's check unless you have enough funds to cover the check, which is why they are considered a safe and secure payment.

The good thing about cashier's checks is they normally have no fees. The downside is you must have an account with a bank or credit union to get one.

Money Orders

Money OrderSample USPS money order. Credit. usps.comMoney orders (or money grams) are also considered a safe and secure payment because they must be purchased with cash. You can buy them at the post office, money transfer businesses, and some retail stores. They are considered secure because the money is guaranteed by the business that issues them.

You may want to use a money order for many reasons: you do not have a bank account, you happen to use a lot of cash you don't want to declare, or you want to protect your check account information from identity theft, which appears on your personal check.

The upside to money orders is they are convenient to use and can be purchased almost anywhere without a bank account. The downside is you must pay a fee per check (about a dollar or so per check) and the individual checks are for a $1,000 or less, depending on the institution who issues it. Therefore, it's difficult to do high dollar transactions with them.

For more information on checks, see

About Money: Cashier's Checks Overview

About Money: Money Order Basics

Monday
Nov242014

Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar Awards: Upcoming Application Cycle

Fulbright logoPostdocs rejoice!

In order to better accommodate the interests and commitments of early career scholars, the Fulbright Program is now offering an additional application cycle for a select number of 2015-2016 postdoctoral awards. Check out the catalog of awards for these select opportunities.

Scholars who win the Fulbright will be expected to engage with graduate students in the host country and to be involved with host university training in cutting edge research in their specializations. In addition to their primary research or teaching activities, Fulbright winners will be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host country academic community.

Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar Awards

Deadline: Thursday, Jan. 15

Eligibility: U.S. citizens who have completed their doctoral degrees within the past five years in the fields of STEM, arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Support: Stipend amounts vary, but all awards cover travel and living costs for the award winner and their dependents.

Duration: Between 3 to 12 months.

For more information: Read the program description.

STEM fields, the arts, humanities and social sciences - See more at: http://www.cies.org/whats-new#sthash.TsIx6IH6.dpuf
Fulbright Arctic Initiative
The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will bring together a network of scholars, professionals and applied researchers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden for a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange experience - See more at: http://www.cies.org/program/fulbright-arctic-initiative#sthash.7ts44uok.dpuf
WanThe Fulbright Arctic Initiative will bring together a network of scholars, professionals and applied researchers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden for a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange experience - See more at: http://www.cies.org/program/fulbright-arctic-initiative#sthash.7ts44uok.dpuf
The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will bring together a network of scholars, professionals and applied researchers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden for a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange experience - See more at: http://www.cies.org/program/fulbright-arctic-initiative#sthash.7ts44uok.dpuf
The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will bring together a network of scholars, professionals and applied researchers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden for a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange experience - See more at: http://www.cies.org/program/fulbright-arctic-initiative#sthash.7ts44uok.dpuf
The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will bring together a network of scholars, professionals and applied researchers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden for a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange experience - See more at: http://www.cies.org/program/fulbright-arctic-initiative#sthash.7ts44uok.dpuf
Thursday
Nov202014

Chicano Studies Needs TAs for Winter Quarter

Chicano Studies LogoThe Chicano Studies department is looking for a few good TAs this Winter Quarter.

If you have applied before, simply reapply by submitting an updated  employment form and CV.

For all new applicants, submit the following items:

  1. Application for employment form (contact Shariq Hashmi for form; see information below).
  2. CV.
  3. One letter of recommendation.
  4. Teaching evaluations (from 3 most recent quarters).

Deadline: Monday, Dec. 1, by 8 a.m.

Eligibility: All graduate students.

Funding: 50% appointment.

Questions: Call Shariq Hashmi at 805-893-5269 or email shashmi@chicst.ucsb.edu.

To apply: Submit all items as a hard copy to Shariq Hashmi, South Hall 1722, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m, or by email to shashmi@chicst.ucsb.edu.

TA Vacancies:

CHST 1B Introduction to Chicana/o Studies: Introduction to the historical and contemporary development of the Chicano/a community. Course is interdisciplinary in nature. Focuses by quarter on A. history, B. gender, and C. culture.

Professor Edwina Barvosa.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 3:15 p.m. (lecture).

See Gold for section times.