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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Summer 2015
Peer Advisor Availability

Professional Development Peer
Shawn Warner-Garcia

Mon-Thu: 10 a.m.-noon

Writing Peer & Funding Peer
Kyle Crocco

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

Communications Peer
Melissa Rapp

Mon: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Wed: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Diversity Peer
Charles Williams

By appointment

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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Grad Student Participants Sought for 'Life after Graduation' Program

The Faculty in Residence program at UCSB's Manzanita Village and San Rafael residence halls invites graduate students to share their experiences with undergraduate students who are interested in graduate school. The program aims to introduce undergraduate students to the grad school application process.

The "Life after Graduation" program will be held on Thursday, April 16, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Loma Pelona Center (LPC). Graduate student guests will be invited to dinner at the Carrillo Dining Commons and then join the discussion at the LPC.

Graduate students who are interested in participating should email the program.  


Applications Now Open for UCSB Grad Student Housing

The application process for continuing students for the San Clemente Villages apartments is now open. (Check out the brochure here.) These apartments are available to all single continuing graduate students. (Students with families should submit an application for Family Student Housing.) The complex offers 2 and 4-bedroom apartments with each bedroom occupied by one person (single occupancy).

2 and 4 bedroom apartments with each bedroom occupied by one person (single occupancy.) First come-first serve availability for the room type of your preference. - See more at:

To find out more and to fill out an application, click here. For more information on campus housing options for grad students, click here.


Banff Mountain Film Festival Inspires 

Banff Mountain Film Festival. Photo Courtesy of UCSB Arts & LecturesOn Thursday, Feb. 26, UCSB Arts & Lectures delivered another sold-out event at the Arlington Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara. It was so popular, there was not a seat to be found and these two reporters had to stand in the back to watch some of these amazing films.

With a stated mission of "Inspiring Creativity," the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour delivered on their promise.

While the event mostly attracted outdoor adventure enthusiasts, even the stereotypical bookish graduate student could find some life inspiration from these films.

The film "Into The Empty Quarter" contrasted the busy city life of Dubai with the emptiness of the Arabian peninsula: In an urban setting, adventure can be found just a few miles away. Moreover, travel is not a science experiment. It is not a replicable event, yet so much can be learned from it.

Other films were technically inventive but not as inspiring. The film "Drawn" tried to sell the spirit of carpe diem, as friends traveled the world and climbed mountains to honor a friend who died in a mountain accident. However, after a good start, the film fell flat, and was only saved by its production value of including creative animated sequences.

That said, all the films made us want to put our books down and get outside, if only for a study break.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour was presented by National Geographic and The North Face and was also sponsored by Deuter, Cushe, Clif Bar & Company, Bergans of Norway, and Icebreaker Merino Clothing with support from Petzl, Kicking Horse Coffee, World Expeditions, The Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola, and Mammut.

 Communications Peer Melissa Rapp wrote a whole lot of this review.


Hashtag Fun for Academics and Grads

Twitter logoNeed some academic amusement? Have a cat? Some bad academic advice? Want to know how to stop an academic conversation dead on a date? Then check out the responses to these academic hashtags on Twitter.

#AcademicsWithCats, #BadAdviceForYoungAcademics, #RuinADateWithAnAcademicinFiveWords, and #FailaPhDinThreeWords.

To learn more about the academic behind these hashags, check out The Chronicle of Higher Education article "Meet the 26-Year-Old Behind Academic Twitter’s Most Popular Hashtags."


GSA's "Moshertime" Happy Hour is a Good Time for Grad Students

Grad Student on the rooftop sky terraceGrad students having a Moshertime. Credit: Kyle CroccoUCSB's Graduate Student Association (GSA) has a new happy hour and it's called "Moshertime."

Once a month, from 5 to 7 p.m., you can enjoy free drinks, tasty snacks, and stimulating conversation with your fellow grad students at the Mosher Alumni House.

Last week's Moshertime provided great atmosphere. From the Rooftop Sky Terrace, grad students enjoyed stunning panoramic views of the UCSB campus and Santa Barbara airport.

There was also something for everyone--three kinds of beers for beer lovers, multiple non-alcoholic drinks, salty and sweet snacks in easy reach, and plenty of grad students to connect with from various departments.

If you haven't Moshertimed yet, your next chance to Mosher is Thursday, March 19.

Please note, in order to attend you must provide a valid government issued ID to show you are 21 or over and a UCSB ID to show you are a graduate student.

Fast Facts:

When: Thursday, March 19, 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: Mosher Alumni House Roofdeck

Who: UCSB graduate students 21+ with valid ID

Cost: FREE



Avett Brothers Put on the Best Concert of the Year

The Avett Brothers lit up the Arlington Theatre on Tuesday night. Credit: UCSB Arts & LecturesIf you haven't seen the Avett Brothers in concert, then put it on your bucket list. This band knows how to put on a show.

The band, formed around the nucleus of brothers Scott Avett (banjo) and Seth Avett (guitar), had the audience on their feet and dancing for most of the UCSB Arts & Lectures concert at the Arlington Theatre on the night of Tuesday, Feb. 10.

The audience loved every minute of it, from the Santa Barbara hipsters, to the barefoot dancers, to our very own Associate Dean of Student Affairs Don Lubach and the Graduate Division's Director of Graduate Student Professional Development Robert Hamm.

The stage show set the bar high for concert entertainment. They had great lighting, a clear sound mix, and a dramatic, yet authentic, stage presence you don't often have a chance to witness.

Their ingredients for success were a banjo to lift your grad student blues and the kinship of two brothers who were so comfortable with one another that Scott was actually giving Seth a back massage during his guitar solo.

Avett Brothers band. Photo courtesy of the Avett BrothersAdd a cellist (Joe Kwon) who never lets his cello hit the ground, a hot fiddler (Tania Elizabeth) to add enchanting melody lines, a steady rock rhythm beat of a bassist (Bob Crawford) and a drummer (Mike Marsh) to keep you on your feet and dancing, and the keyboard fills (Paul Defiglia), and you have yourself a show you won't forget.

If you were looking for boring, you came to the wrong address. There was always something going on. These musicians never stayed in one place. They bounced and danced around over the entire stage, or even bowed down, in the case of Marsh's drum solo.

As Hamm summed it up, "How great was that concert? I can't recall seeing a better show." My thoughts exactly, Dr. Hamm.

Communications Peer Melissa Rapp contributed a whole bunch of stuff to this review.


Comedian W. Kamau Bell Makes a Statement at Campbell Hall

Comedian W. Kamau Bell discussed racism, among other topics, and took questions from the audience. Credit: Melissa RappUCSB Arts & Lectures delivered an epic performance from one of comedy's rising stars, W. Kamau Bell, last Thursday, February 5. The New York Times has called Bell “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years." And UCSB's audience agreed.

Following a hilarious and rousing performance of his show titled "The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour," Bell treated the audience to a Q&A session. When asked by one student how to best fight racism, Bell responded: "The best way to communicate anything is through humor or art. I set reasonable goals ... just to get people to go out of here and talk about it."

In addition to his insightful anecdotes and PowerPoint slides, Bell shared a recent personal incident of racism. Bell had stopped in at a Berkeley eatery, wearing a hoodie, and a cafe worker assumed he was "selling something" to a customer. The customer was, in fact, his wife (who is white). In reaction, Bell is encouraging a public conversation. He also successfully drew humor from the negative experience: "If I was trying to sell her something, I think it's legal to do that with your wife. In fact, I think she already owns everything I have!" he pointed out.

"You have to maintain a sense of humor about racism or it will drive you crazy," Bell said.

UCSB Arts & Lectures has a full calendar of upcoming events, many with free or discounted tickets for students.


How Funny Is Your Dissertation?

frustated man

Your dissertation topic is probably more humorous than you thought. Or at least it is when you reduce your years of hard work into one brief sentence everyone can understand.

For a little levity and brevity you might want to check out, the dissertation humor site.

Created by Angela Frankel (, a senior at Harvard University, her site is a place for thesis writers to sum up their "years of work in one sentence" with mostly humorous, or sad, results (depending on your level of cynicism).

Here are two recent one line summaries to give you the flavor of the submissions:

"Pain is hard to talk about; poetry, masochism, and opium help."

"19th century Western libraries stole a bunch of shit from other countries and put it in display cases."

For more about Angela and her site, check out the Slate article "College Students' Thesis Topics Are Hilarious, Depressing" by .


Interfaith Leadership Institute Opportunity; Deadline Is February 2

The UCSB Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life is seeking student leaders (with religious or non-religious identities) to assist in establishing an Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) chapter here at UC Santa Barbara. The students selected must attend the Interfaith Leadership Institute for a training workshop on Saturday, February 14; Sunday, February 15; and Monday, February 16, in Los Angeles (all expenses paid).

The following information comes from Student Affairs’ Miles W. Ashlock Burke on behalf of the Capps Center and IFYC:

IFYC and the Capps Center view religious and philosophical traditions as potential bridges of cooperation, and that we are better together.

Better Together helps students build interfaith cooperation on their campuses. The campaign consists of student-led events that create space for people to voice their values, engage with people across lines of religious difference and act together to make a better world.

If you are excited about being a part of interfaith action on your campus and interested being a leader, we invite you to apply. Please write a one-paragraph statement that details why you are interested in or passionate about interfaith action and would like to serve as a student leader. You must submit the paragraph to Kelli Coleman Moore at no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, February 2.

The Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life at UCSB promotes discussion of how ethical teachings and values relate to civic life – at local, national, and global levels. It is committed to the fundamental belief that public dialogue and an informed and engaged citizenry are vital to democratic society. Non-partisan and non-sectarian, the Center seeks to strengthen and extend the principles on which such diverse, modern society rests, namely, tolerance and respect for the views of others, the practice of civility, and efforts at achieving the common good.


UCSB CARE Program Offers Round-the-Clock Support

Jill Dunlap, CARE DirectorUCSB's Advocate Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Misconduct, or CARE program, is being adopted across the UC system as campuses attempt to bolster responses to sexual violence and to combat sexual assault.

In addition to focusing on survivor advocacy, CARE - run by Director Jill Dunlap - also offers education for students, staff, faculty, and the larger community. The program boasts five full-time advocacy positions, a dedicated website, permanent funding for a counseling psychologist with a focus on interpersonal violence.

CARE's increased presence on campus comes at critical time for UCSB, as reports of sexual assault have risen dramatically in the past few years. Reaching out to CARE can provide much needed support, according to Dunlap: "We are your best friends through these processes. Whatever you need. We will get you on the path, going in the right direction." Ricardo Alcaino, director of UCSB's Office of Equal Opportunity & Sexual Harassment / Title IX Compliance, notes that "We depend on CARE a lot to make sure nobody falls through the cracks, because that's the important part - that no one is out there feeling that they have nowhere to go, or feeling helpless."

Read more about the CARE program in the UC Santa Barbara Current