Interested in staying up to date on the latest news for UCSB graduate students? Subscribe to the UCSB GradPost.

University of California Santa Barbara
Campaign for the University of California Santa Barbara

Translate the GradPost:

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.



Campus Map


View UCSB Graduate Student Resources in a larger map


'Creating Community' Support Space for African-American Students

UC Santa Barbara's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) established Creating Community in 2014 for graduate students of African heritage. Creating Community is designed to help students of African descent cope with challenges of adjusting to UCSB and the greater Santa Barbara community.

Dr. Mario Barfield and Dr. Meridith Merchant coordinate weekly meetings in the MultiCultural Center (MCC).  “It is our goal to allow this to be a grad student space. We therefore do not often have strict agendas regarding how we will spend our time,” says Dr. Barfield. Past groups have covered topics such as self-care, navigating research, dissertation defense, relationships, and departmental support.

In addition to CAPS sponsorship, Zaveeni Marcus-Khan, Director of the MCC, supports Creating Community. Marcus-Kahn has worked with Dr. Barfield and Dr. Merchant to promote Creating Community.

UCSB strives to support students of African heritage. In spring 2014, Chancellor Yang agreed to demands made by UCSB’s Black Student Union. Requests were aimed at improving the entire UCSB experience for both students and faculty, including mental health services culturally sensitive to students of African heritage. Dr. Merchant embraces this philosophy and is willing to “meet students where they are.”

Creating Community: A Support Space for Black Graduate Students

When:  3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on Mondays (Fall Quarter 2015)

Where: MCC (MultiCultural Center) meeting room 

Details: "Join in a discussion of the unique challenges commonly experienced as a graduate student of African Heritage. Relieve stress. Be empowered. Be encouraged. Celebrate successes. Share ideas for maintaining a work-life-school-home balance," from the CAPS group counseling website.

More information: Call 805-893-4411 or email or


Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian David McCullough to Speak at Granada Oct. 1

Historian David McCullough. Photo courtesy of UCSB Arts & LecturesUC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures continues to bring top quality programming to campus and to Santa Barbara. Even better, as a student, you can buy show tickets at discounted prices. On Oct. 1, Arts & Lectures presents renowned historian David McCullough.

Author of the New York Times best-sellers "1776," "John Adams" and "The Path Between the Seas," David McCullough has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history.” He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and in 2006, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

His latest book, "The Wright Brothers," tells the dramatic story of flight pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright. Drawing from private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than 1,000 letters, McCullough tells the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine.

Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

David McCullough: Lessons in Leadership from the Pioneers of Flight

When: Thursday, Oct. 1, 8 p.m.

Where: The Granada Theatre, Santa Barbara

Cost:  UCSB students: $16 (current student ID required). Buy here


Kick Off the Year With These Events

Add in a little fun to the beginning of the school year by checking out some of the welcome events being hosted around campus. Here are a few highlights from the "Week of Welcome" event schedule that graduate students might particularly enjoy! 


Women's Center: Discovery Days Ice Cream Social
1-3 p.m.
Women's Center, First Floor of Student Resource Building

The Women’s Center invites you to stop by for free ice cream and other frozen treats while you check out all of the wonderful resources the space has to offer!

MultiCultural Center (MCC) Kickoff: La Misa Negra
7:30-9 p.m.
MultiCultural Center Courtyard

Kick off with this year’s MCC event calendar with a free concert featuring La Misa Negra! La Misa Negra is a 9-piece band from Oakland, California that plays a unique blend of 1950's and 60's style cumbia and high energy Afro-Colombian dance music.

Swing and Ballroom Dance Club: Discovery Days Swing Dance
8-10 p.m.
Robertson Gym, Room 2320 (upstairs)

This event is free for everyone! They will start with a basic swing dance lesson from 8-9 p.m., followed by the Swing Dance from 9-10 p.m. They will be providing DJ Swing Music for your dancing pleasure, and light refreshments for your eating pleasure. Everyone is invited, no dance partners are needed. “First timers” are especially welcome.


On-Campus Job & Internship Fair
9 a.m.-noon
Santa Rosa and De La Guerra Commons Lawn

The On-Campus Job and Internship Fair hosts a variety of on-campus departments who have part-time, work study, internship and research positions open throughout the year. Co-hosted by UCSB Career Services and Residential Life, this event is open to all students.


Fun Fitness Festival
1-5 p.m.
UCSB Recreation Center

Show up in your best work out gear and learn about the various Intramurals, Sport Clubs, Adventure Programs, and fitness classes that the Recreation Department have to offer! There will also be performances by student groups, sponsor tables, fun games and prizes, music, and much more! See event flyer.

Into the Night Dance Party and Drag Show
9 p.m.-midnight
Student Resource Building, Room 3112

Annual welcome (back) event for all UCSB students featuring music, food, and entertainment. Hosted by the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. See event flyer.


LGBTQ Graduate Student Mixer
5-6:30 p.m.
San Clemente

Hosted by the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity and Graduate Students Association. RSVP to Alex Kulick. See event flier.


Welcome Fair and Emergency Preparedness Event
10 a.m.-noon

Storke Community Center

Save the date for this event that's both fun and informative for all residents! Free lunch, giveaways, firetruck and patrol car for the kids, demonstrations for adults, and so much more!


Affordable Fall Events Near Campus for Student Families

Photo courtesy of Lane FarmsWith the start of the quarter, graduate students can look forward to some wonderful local fall events. This month, try visiting the Lemon Festival, Pumpkin Patch, or Depot Day.

Lane Farms Pumpkin Patch

Be a part of this fall holiday tradition. The pumpkin patch offers hayrides, farm animals, tractors, scarecrows, a corn maze and educational displays. Kids will love the loads of pumpkins, from extra small to extra large, in every shape.

When: Sept. 26-Oct. 31, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Halloween: until 5 p.m.

Where: Lane Farms, 308 S. Walnut Lane, Santa Barbara

Cost: Free

The 24th Annual California Lemon Festival

Celebrate modern Goleta at the local Lemon Fest, less than a mile from campus. The Lemon Fest features music, carnival rides, pie eating, and more.

When: Sept. 26-27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Girsh Park, 7050 Phelps Rd., Goleta

Cost: Free

33rd Annual Depot Day Celebration

Depot Day is held each fall to commemorate and celebrate the preservation of Goleta Depot. The event will feature live music, a silent auction, and food.

When: Sept. 27, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: South Coast Railroad Museum, 300 N. Los Carneros Rd., Goleta (next to the Stow House)

Cost: Free admission for children under 34 inches; $1 donation is requested for others. Unlimited train rides for $3


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