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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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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


Gregory Porter Kicks Off UCSB Arts & Lectures' Winter Jazz Series 

Blue Note Records artist Gregory Porter graced the stage of UCSB's Campbell Hall on Thursday, January 15, for a rambunctious, invigorating set. Weaving elements of jazz, gospel, R&B, soul, and folk, Porter offered a solid set of original songs. On his popular tune "Liquid Spirit," he had the audience clapping and singing along from beginning to end. Porter seemed pleased by the audience participation, commenting, "I like your spirit!"

Gregory Porter

Porter's band was top-notch, featuring many a rousing solo from one of his four band members (including piano, saxophone, drum, and upright bass). The musicians were arranged in a tight semicircle around Porter, which allowed each player to shine.

A song highlight included "No Love Dying," track one off his 2013 album. See Porter perform the tune live on CBS here. I will leave you with this excerpt of lyrics ... a little inspiration as you push through that coursework or dissertation writing this week!

There will be no love that's dying here
The bird that flew in through my window
Simply lost his way.
He broke his wing, I helped him heal and then he flew away
Well the death of love is everywhere
But I won't let it be,
There will be no love dying here for me

There will be no love that's dying here.

–Gregory Porter, "No Love Dying"

Buy tickets to other upcoming Arts & Lectures jazz series shows here.


UCSB Arts & Lectures Receives $25,000 National Endowment for the Arts Grant

UCSB Arts & Lectures has been selected to receive an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is one of 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive the prestigious grant.

Arts & Lectures will receive $25,000 to support innovative programming in 2015. It has previously received NEA Art Works grants in each of the past three years.

Said NEA Chairman Jane Chu, who announced the grant recipients December 2: “I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works, including the award to UCSB Arts & Lectures. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

Rep. Lois Capps (Santa Barbara) said: “Congratulations to UCSB Arts & Lectures for receiving this highly competitive grant. NEA grants benefit our Central Coast community through public engagement, while also boosting our local economy. I am proud of the Arts & Lectures program for receiving this award, which will continue to support their outstanding programming.”

Said Celesta Billeci, Miller McCune executive director of UCSB Arts & Lectures: “We’re thrilled and honored to be recognized by the NEA with this grant. The NEA stamp of approval is deeply meaningful to us – it puts Arts & Lectures on par with some of the greatest arts and cultural institutions in the nation. We are grateful for this support, which will enable us to continue to present innovative new works and programming of the highest caliber.”

Art Works grants support the creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. In this funding cycle, the NEA received 1,474 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 919 were recommended for grants for a total of $26.6 million.

Founded in 1959, UCSB Arts & Lectures is the largest arts and lectures presenting organization between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now in its 55th season, Arts & Lectures annually presents more than a hundred events featuring world-renowned performing artists and speakers at UCSB and Santa Barbara-area venues. With a mission to “educate, entertain and inspire,” A&L also oversees award-winning education and outreach programs.


UCSB Grad Students Protest on State Street in Solidarity with Ferguson

Sign held during Santa Barbara's November 25 protests. Credit: Aviva Milner-Brage

UCSB graduate students joined with roughly 500 Santa Barbara community members on Tuesday to rally in protest of Monday's news that a white police officer from Ferguson, Missouri, would not be indicted for killing unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

A grand jury determined that Darren Wilson would face no criminal charges for shooting Brown, although Wilson shot him six times, including a fatal shot to the forehead. Some witnesses testified that Brown, who was African American, had his hands up in an attempt to surrender, but Wilson fired additional shots. Numerous demonstrations have been staged throughout the country following the verdict.

Aviva Milner-BrageHere is a personal recap of last night's events from ethnomusicology graduate student and unit chair of UCSB's UAW2865 Aviva Milner-Brage:

"I thought our peaceful Santa Barbara Ferguson protest was very successful. We gathered at the courthouse around 6 p.m. and from there walked through the streets around downtown chanting 'Black lives matter. ... No justice, no peace. ... No racist police,' and 'While you are here shopping, our bodies are dropping.' There were so many familiar faces from our UCSB graduate, undergraduate, and faculty community. It was also great to see onlookers pumping their fists in solidarity and in a few cases joining us! The police were there watching and waiting for us to give them a reason to retaliate, but we did not! Our protest remained peaceful and powerful. At the conclusion of the march, we gathered at the corner of Santa Barbara and Figueroa streets to hear individuals from the UCSB Black Student Union and the Santa Barbara Black Community speak about the verdict."

"As we go back to our homes and families over the Thanksgiving holiday, we cannot forget about the injustices committed against our Black and Brown fellows. We all need to continue to speak out against racially motivated injustice and enact change in our juries, police forces, and institutions. This is an American problem," said Aviva.
 Last night's rally on State Street. Credit: Aviva Milner-Brage
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