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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Fall 2015
Peer Advisor Availability

Writing Peer
Kyle Crocco

Mon, Wed: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Funding Peer
Stephanie Griffin
Mon: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Wed: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Fri: 9-11 a.m.

Diversity Peer
Charles Williams

Tue, Thu: 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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Staying Happy and Healthy in Graduate School

Photo courtesy of LiveScience.comA recent article on discusses Nine DIY Ways to Improve Your Mental Health.

Here are some key takeaways for graduate students:

Use social media wisely. In general, having social connections is linked to better mental health. However, maintaining friendships over Facebook and other social media sites can be fraught with problems. Some research suggests that reading other people's chipper status updates makes people feel worse about themselves.

Time on social networking sites has been linked to depressive symptoms and increased anxiety. The best bet, researchers say, is to take advantage of the connectivity conferred by social media, but to avoid making Facebook or Twitter your entire social life.

Look for meaning, not pleasure. Imagine a life of lounging by the pool, cocktail in hand. Paradise? Not necessarily. A 2007 study found that people are actually happier in life when they take part in meaningful activities rather than focusing on hedonism. Great news for grad students!

Studies have found that when people participated in personally meaningful activities such as helping other people or pursuing big life goals, the happier and more satisfied they felt. Seeking pleasure didn't boost true happiness. So, when you are spending yet another weekend night behind a desk, reminding yourself of your long-term goals may help.

Worry (some), but don't vent. Scheduling your "worry time" to a single, 30-minute block each day can reduce worries over time. Venting about stresses, however, appears to make people feel worse about life, not better.

Learn not to sweat the small stuff. Daily irritations are part of life, but they can also wear us down. "It's important not to let everyday problems ruin your moments," said study researcher Susan Charles, a psychologist at UC Irvine. "After all, moments add up to days, and days add up to years."

For more health tips, see the full LiveScience article here. Also, see this previous GradPost article for UCSB resources available to graduate students.


Finding Your Way Through the Anxiety and Isolation of Graduate School

Credit: Kaitlin GrantThere is a culture problem in graduate school. Granted, earning a doctorate is – and, to many, is supposed to be – tough. But there is a growing awareness at many graduate schools that not only is student well-being crucial to performance and productivity, it is also important in and of itself.

In a recent article on The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vimal Patel reports on a recent survey of graduate students at Berkeley that provides a snapshot of just how heavy the toll of graduate school can be on students' mental health. About 37 percent of master’s students and 47 percent of Ph.D. students scored as depressed. Graduate students in the arts and humanities fared the worst, at 64 percent.

"Graduate student well-being is baked into the whole system," says Galen Panger, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in Berkeley’s School of Information and lead author of the report. While psychiatrists can play an important role in helping students with personal crises, they can’t do much about poor adviser relationships, social isolation, precarious finances – or career prospects, which the report found was the top predictor of graduate students’ levels of both life satisfaction and depression.

The report concluded that academe must change the attitude that doctoral education needs to be a time of anxiety and low morale. Some of the ways that universities can help change their graduate school culture are:

Ensure that students are not overworked in academic appoints by communicating policies to faculty and letting students know that they have recourse if these policies are not upheld.

Resources for UCSB graduate students:

Provide structured support for students facing isolation, particularly in the dissertation-writing phase.

Resources for UCSB graduate students:

Connect graduate students with their campus culture and resources.

Resources for UCSB graduate students:

Address the specific mental health needs of graduate students.

Resources for UCSB graduate students:

Change the culture around what counts as career success.

Resources for UCSB graduate students:

To read Patel's full article on The Chronicle's website, click here.

To get regular updates from The Chronicle, sign up for the newsletter, like it on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter.


Opportunities to Get Involved Locally and Statewide through the Graduate Students Association 

The UC Santa Barbara Graduate Students Association (GSA) would like to invite graduate students to participate in student government at the local and statewide level. Some of these opportunities offer stipends and many offer free food at meetings. 

The GSA is the official graduate student government at UCSB, and the University of California Student Association (UCSA) is the official statewide UC student government.


Each graduate program qualifies to select one graduate student per 50 registered graduate students in their program to be a UCSB GSA Assembly Member, and there are over 70 committees where a graduate student may represent graduate students as a UCSB GSA Committee Representative.

  • Assembly Member: An Assembly Member is a department’s connection to the UCSB graduate student government and is responsible for disseminating important information about services and events to graduate students in their department. Equally important, an Assembly Member is responsible for bringing forth concerns or new ideas shared by fellow graduate students in their program. Additionally, an Assembly Member has authority to vote in official GSA matters.
  • Committee Representative: A Committee Representative is the voice of graduate students on key UCSB committees. Some committees are run by UCSB administration, and others are run by student organizations. There is a committee for almost everything, from search committees for important administrators, to committees on sustainability and student health. Committee participation offers a small stipend for hours worked as an incentive.

To view all committees possible for a UCSB graduate student to join, please click this link.

For more information about what Assembly Members or Committee Representatives do, see this website: free to email questions to the UCSB GSA Office of the Vice President of Committees and Planning, at:

Statewide UCSA

UCSA is the official statewide student government body representing over 200,000 UC students, both undergraduate and graduate. UCSA primarily consists of a Board of Directors comprised of student bodies’ External Affairs delegations from each UC campus. Students can get involved as part of their campus’ delegation, or they may apply to appointments as special officers or members of select UC Regents committees.

This is a very exciting way to be involved and make an impact on important issues that affect all UC students!

For more information about what UCSA does, see this website: Or, email questions to your UCSB GSA Office of External Affairs at:


Enjoy Concert and Comedy Venues in the Santa Barbara Area

Looking for something to fill your remaining summer days? Just 30 miles from campus, you can enjoy concerts and comedy at the Chumash Casino Resort. For those without a car, you can take the convenient shuttle from Goleta. The shuttle leaves twice daily from behind Home Depot.  

Here are some of the upcoming shows:

  • Thursday, Aug. 27, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
  • Thursday, Sept. 3, Face to Face: Elton John and Billy Joel Tributes
  • Thursday, Sept. 17, Last Comic Standing Live Tour
  • Thursday, Oct. 1, Thunder from Down Under
  • Thursday, Oct. 22, Gloria Gaynor and Maxine Nightingale

The full lineup is listed here.

Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "Without music, life would be a mistake." Adopt his wisdom and treat yourself to some live music!

Other great local options for live music are the Santa Barbara Bowl, SOhO, and the Lobero Theatre.


What If There Were an Official Support Group for Grad Students?

Credit: Got CreditWe all need a little support along the way.

In a recent article on Inside Higher Ed, Robert Greim discusses a group of graduate students that decided to address that need directly by creating an institutionally recognized and supported student organization dedicated to student success, retention, and satisfaction in their doctoral program.

The group sought to address many of the all-too-common problems that graduate students face: overworked and unavailable faculty members, heavy courseloads, and personal challenges, resulting in a great deal of uncertainty, confusion, and isolation. They found that by forming an official student group, they were able to:

  • develop a collective identity
  • give formal feedback on their program's structure and effectiveness
  • serve as informal academic advisors and peer mentors
  • provide organized emotional support for new cohorts

Additionally, the group contributed to increasing the graduate student retention rate in their department to 100 percent over the course of three years.

To read more about the benefits of creating a graduate student support group, read the full article here.

To get regular updates from Inside Higher Ed, sign up for the newsletter, or connect via Facebook or Twitter.


Get Farm Fresh with the Farmers Market Summer Schedule

Photo courtesy of sbfarmersmarket.orgLooking to get your farm fresh food on? Check out the summer schedule for the Farmers Markets in Santa Barbara and the local region.

If you want more information about the Farmers Markets, check out the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market website.

Farmers Market Schedule (times for summer only)

Tuesday: 4-7:30 p.m.

Downtown Santa Barbara between the 500 and 600 blocks of State Street

Wednesday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

UCSB Campus: between North and Campbell Halls

Thursday: 3-6:30 p.m.

Goleta: on the corner of Storke and Hollister; 7004 Marketplace Dr., inside the Camino Real Shopping Center

Friday: 8-11:15 a.m.

Montecito: Between the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Coast Village Road

Saturday 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Downtown Santa Barbara: On the corner of Santa Barbara and Cota Streets

Sunday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Goleta: On the corner of Storke and Hollister; 7004 Marketplace Dr., inside the Camino Real Shopping Center


What's Happening at UCSB and in Santa Barbara

Guy with bullhornCredit: openclipart.comLooking for something to do in Santa Barbara? There are many sites that can fill you in on what's happening here on campus, downtown and in the region.

Be in the know. Bookmark these sites and always have something to do.

Santa Barbara Events

Big City Buzz (Santa Barbara News-Press): Events listed by venue and county.

Downtown Santa Barbara: Get the low down on what's happening downtown.

Event Calendar ( Daily events, plus links to calendars around town, like Santa Barbara Bowl and Chumash Casino.

Local Event Guide (Santa Barbara Independent): Events everywhere, big and small.

Santa Barbara Events Calendar ( Santa Barbara Events and Festivals.

Upcoming Local Events ( An easy listing of local events.

UCSB Events

Highlighted Events (UCSB Current): The best of what's going on at UCSB.

UCSB Events and Tickets: The rest of what's going on at UCSB.


Get in the Swim of Things with a Campus Pool Swim Card

Credit: openclipart.comIf you're looking to get fit this summer, but don't want to buy the Recreation Center summer pass, then try out the 20-swim punch card. The card will grant you access to the Rec Cen and Campus pools during specified hours. You can also participate in Fitness Swim.

Cost: $40 for a 20-swim punch card

Purchase: Rec Cen Cashier's Office or at the Campus Pool (Checks only – no cash is accepted at the Campus Pool).

This is a great opportunity to work out or just relax in the water; kick boards and pull buoys are available. 

Fitness Swim Hours

  • Rec Cen Pools: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Campus Pool: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Not available on weekends or campus holidays. 


Free Summer Concert Series at Chase Palm Park

Find out what brings up to 5,000 people to downtown Santa Barbara's Chase Palm Park on Thursday nights during the summer! Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy free Concerts in the Park right across from the ocean.

Photo courtesy of Concerts in the Park2015 Concerts in the Park Lineup

July 9: Lost Dog Found
Roots Swing

July 16: Captain Cardiac & The Coronaries
'50s and '60s Rock 'n' Roll

July 23: Rainbow Girls
Americana, Soul, Rock

July 30: Fortunate Son  
A Tribute to John Fogerty
& Creedence Clearwater Revival

Time: 6-8:30 p.m. 

Location: Cabrillo Boulevard along the Santa Barbara waterfront.

Details: Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets. You can stake out spots with chairs and other items anytime after noon on the day of event. Dogs on leash are allowed. 

Cost: Free.


Get in Shape this Summer with a Recreation Center Summer Pass

Exercise bikeCredit: openclipart.comSearching for your summer body? It might just be hiding at the UCSB Recreation Center.

If you're taking summer classes, you can find that body at no extra cost. Otherwise, you will have to buy an inexpensive summer pass to find your form. Please note, you will have to provide proof of spring and fall enrollment before purchasing.

For more information and summer hours, read the Summer 2015 guide.

UCSB Student Summer Membership Passes

$60: June 15 to Sept. 13 

$30: Aug. 4 to Sept. 13