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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Winter 2015
Peer Advisor Availability

Professional Development Peer:
Shawn Warner-Garcia
Mon: 10 a.m. to noon
Wed: 10 a.m. to noon
Fri: 10 a.m. to noon

Diversity & Outreach Peer:

Funding Peer:
Kyle Crocco
Tue: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thu: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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

Communications Peer:
Melissa Rapp
Mon: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thu: 1 to 3 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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Main Library Will Be Closed March 28-30

Construction UpdatesIf you were planning on spending your Spring Break holiday hanging out in the UCSB main library, then think again. Fate, this blog, and the library's renovation plans are sending you a message to go somewhere else.

The main library will be closed March 28-30 in order to complete a power source transfer that will result in a building-wide power outage. However, the online research databases will remain accessible from the library website.

For those needing access to library services such as laptops, computers, and scanners, the Arts Library will have limited hours during those days.

Arts Library Hours:

Friday, March 28: Closed (Cesar Chavez holiday)

Saturday, March 29: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, March 30: 2 to 10 p.m.

The main library will reopen on Monday, March 31, at 8 a.m.


Find Your Quiet Study Space in Corwin Pavilion During Finals Week

Credit: Funding PeerRoommates driving you crazy? Tired of the nightlife ruining your study life? Just need a quiet place to finish that class paper?

Then check out "Late Night Study in Corwin" this Finals Week in Corwin Pavilion. The Pavilion will be open from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. between Saturday, March 15, and Tuesday, March 18.

No need to rough it. Corwin Pavilion is equipped for all your high-tech and study needs with wireless Internet access, rows of study tables, and power strips able to accommodate 216 of your closest friends. There is even a campus safety officer.

“Late Night Study in Corwin” is intended to provide an additional quiet study space during the high-peak Finals Week while the Library undergoes its Addition & Renovation Project.

Other Places to Get Your Study On Include:

The first two floors of the UCSB Library:  open 24/7 for Overnight Study for registered UCSB students, faculty, and staff.

The UCen’s UStudy Center: open 24/7 from Saturday, March 15, at 9 a.m. through Friday, March 21, at 1 a.m.


Grad Slam Advice: How to Design a Winning Presentation

At the 2013 Grad Slam, more than 80 students took the stage to describe the impact and value of their research or big ideas. In the end, only 9 students advanced to the final round; and only one of the 9 finalists won $2,500 (and two runners-up received $1,000).

I attended eight of the nine preliminary rounds. I also presented in the third preliminary round and advanced to the final round. Based on my experiences as a participant and audience member, I put together some tips to help you design a Grad Slam-worthy presentation (Note: the tips are organized by the judging rubric themes to help you score additional points):

Clear and Effective Presentation

Presentation is Geared Toward a General University Audience

  • Avoid jargon, lengthy words, or technical terms
  • KISS (Keep it simple, student)
  • Pretend that you are sharing your research with a family member, friend, or someone who you randomly met in an elevator (e.g., what is your "elevator speech?")
  • Simplify graphs and charts and make sure to explain all of your visuals.
  • Share foundational/basic knowledge before jumping into the advanced content (e.g., what is a semiconductor and why is it important?)

Intellectual Significance

  • Regardless of what topic you are researching, your research matters to society - make that point! (read: Your Research Matters)
  • Share stories to help the judges and audience connect with your research
  • Appeal to emotion (e.g., "This is an example of a student who dropped out of high school due to microaggressions and bullying...what if this was your friend or child?")
  • Describe the broader impact of your research
  • Describe how your research advances your field of study (e.g., How does it build on the literature? What gaps does it address?)

If you are interested in participating in the 2014 Grad Slam, visit:


CARE Connect Training Recap: Supporting Survivors of Dating Violence, Stalking, and Sexual Assault

CARE Connect logo

What does an unhealthy relationship look like?

How do you respond when a friend or student shares that he or she has been sexually assaulted?

How can you help victims of abusive relationships break the cycle of violence?

What can you do to create a safer campus environment for UCSB students?

These are a few of the thought-provoking questions we explored during a recent CARE Connect training. CARE Connect is a free two-hour workshop offered four times every quarter for all students. The goal of the workshop is to empower students to become change agents in creating a safer campus community.

Did you know that one in four women experiences sexual assault during college and one in six men experience sexual assault during their lifetime? Students of all ages, genders, sizes, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses may be the victim of stalking, sexual assault, or dating violence. UCSB is not immune to these statistics. It is essential for all students to work together to reduce these instances of violence and to support the survivors.

During the CARE Connect Training, we learned how to respond to and empower the survivors of stalking, sexual assault, or dating violence. I learned that as a CARE Connect Trainee, it is not my responsibility to take on the weight of the world and figure out how to address these types of situations or try to counsel the individual on my own. Instead, I should try to connect the individual with resources and help (e.g., walking the individual to the CARE office) and lend an ear for listening or a shoulder for crying on.

UCSB students are fortunate to have 24/7 access to the highly trained CARE (Campus Advocacy Resources & Education) staff. These individuals can provide resources, support, confidential meetings, information about medical and legal options, and even accompaniments with police reports. The CARE staff are located in the Women’s Center in the Student Resource Building and you can walk in anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can call 805-893-4613 to talk to a CARE staff member at anytime. Also, you can visit the CARE website to find resources, get advice, make an appointment, or make an anonymous report.

After completing the two-hour CARE Connect Training, I felt that I had the knowledge and support that I needed to assist survivors of dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault. I highly recommend taking two hours out of your busy schedule to attend a CARE Connect Training. You never know when you may need to use the skills and knowledge that you gain from this training. It is also a great opportunity to connect with some incredible campus staff.

For more information about CARE Connect and to sign up for a training, visit:


Show Your Artistic Side in Isla Vista this Spring Quarter

Art ExhibitCredit: The BoxThe Box at I.V. Theater is looking for a few good artists.

Students from all disciplines and majors are invited to submit photographs, sculptures, paintings, and drawings for an exhibit that will have an opening reception and then be displayed for three weeks.

As long as your art can fit into The Box's 70 inches wide by 44 inches high by 7 inches deep space, it can be shown. Shelving and lighting are also available for use, if needed.

Three artists will be chosen to display their work.

To submit:  Email Yuning Yang,, with the following information:

1. Name, major and year, discipline.

2. Contact information (email and phone number).

3. Brief summary about yourself and your art (i.e., medium, focus of your art, or your interest in art).

4. Sample(s) of your work in a JPEG file (does not have to be work you plan on exhibiting).

Deadline: Wednesday, March 5, if you wish to be considered for spring quarter.

The Box is a student-curated student art exhibition space co-sponsored by Isla Vista Arts and the Art, Design & Architecture Museum UC Santa Barbara.


Dates Announced for Meningitis B Vaccine Clinic

In response to the FDA’s approval for the use of serogroup B meningococcal vaccine on UCSB’s campus, the CDC, state, and local officials have teamed up to offer a two-week vaccination clinic from Feb. 24 to March 7, at no cost to recipients. 

Although there have been no reported cases of meningitis since late November, the CDC has recommended the implementation of the vaccine to protect the community against further cases, particularly community members who are at increased risk of getting the disease. 

The serogroup B vaccine is administered in two doses for maximum effect. The second dose will be available during spring quarter.

What: Serogroup B meningococcal vaccine

Who: All undergraduate students; faculty, staff, and graduate students with the following conditions: functional and anatomic asplenia or persistent complement component deficiencies. 

When:  Monday, Feb. 24, noon to 6 p.m.

            Tuesday, Feb. 25, to Friday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

            Monday, March 3 to Friday, March 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: The Multi-Activity Court (MAC) at the Recreation Center (RecCen)

The serogroup B vaccine is licensed in Europe, Australia, and Canada. The CDC recommended the use of this vaccine at both Princeton University and UCSB, and the FDA has allowed for the use of it. Frequently asked questions about both the vaccine and bacterial meningitis can be found at the CDC’s meningitis information website. Notices and updates about the clinic can be found on the Student Health Services page. Parents, faculty, and staff questions can be addressed to the Student Health Office Manager at 805-893-5339. Student questions can be directed to Advice Nurses at 805-893-7129.


Tax Tips for Scholarships and Fellowships

Man Worried About BillCredit: Open Clip Art


Neither the Graduate Post nor this funding peer is qualified to advise you on your taxes.

For professional help, we suggest you consult a paid or free volunteer tax preparer.

The following tax tips were adapted from the page on Tax Benefits for Education and from information found on H&R Block Scholarship Income.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Determining how much of your scholarship or fellowship is tax free depends on the type of expenses you used it for.

Your scholarship or fellowship is tax free only if you meet the following conditions:

  • You were enrolled for a graduate degree at UCSB (or an eligible institution).
  • You used the scholarship or fellowship funds to pay for qualified education expenses.
  • The funds did not represent payment for teaching, research, or other services required as a condition for receiving the scholarship.

Qualified Education Expenses

For purposes of tax-free scholarships and fellowships, qualified expenses are the following:

  • Your UCSB tuition and fees (required for enrollment).
  • Other course-related expenses, such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment that are required for your UCSB courses. However, these items must be required of all students in your course and not just you.

NOTE: To qualify, the terms of your scholarship or fellowship cannot require that it be used for other purposes, such as room and board, or specify that it cannot be used for tuition or course-related expenses. 

Expenses You Pay Taxes On For Your Scholarship or Fellowship

These education expenses do not qualify:

  • Room and board.
  • Travel.
  • Research.
  • Clerical help.
  • Equipment and other expenses that are not required for enrollment at UCSB.

NOTE: This is true even if the fee must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance. Scholarship or fellowship amounts used to pay these costs are taxable.

Where to Report Your Scholarship or Fellowship on Your Tax Form

Report your taxable scholarship amount on one of these:

  • Form 1040, line 7.
  • Form 1040A, line 7.
  • Form 1040EZ, line 1.

If you did not receive a Form W-2 listing the taxable amount, write “SCH” and the taxable amount on the dotted line to the left of line 7 or line 1.

To learn more, see the publications page at

For other tax tips and resources.


Free Tax Preparation Service for Grad Students Starts Feb. 2

The Volunteer Income Tax Service (VITA) is offering free tax preparation for anyone making less than $58,000 a year starting this Sunday, Feb. 2.

Tax site hours are every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

The VITA volunteers are all IRS-certified tax preparers and can provide basic tax services and amended returns. However, they do not provide tax consulting or advising services.

Make an appointment now by emailing and include the following information:

  • Full name, and
  • Phone number, or
  • Email address

Or be a walk-in at Phelps Building, Room 1529.

For more information on their tax services and what to bring, go to the UCSB VITA website.

VITA volunteersCredit: UCSB VITA


Help Reduce the Cost of Summer MTD Passes and Recreation Center Memberships

Santa Barbara MTD logoThe Graduate Students Association (GSA) is interested in hearing from you. Do you use the MTD bus service during summer? Do you want to use the Recreation Center over summer for a discounted price?

Fill out the following form to share your opinion (it takes less than a minute):

Your response will help the GSA determine how graduate students can be supported during summer.

If you have any questions, please contact GSA President Gary Haddow:


UCSB Recreation Winter Classes and Activities

UCSB recreation logo

Looking to fit more exercise time in your schedule, but not sure where to start?

UCSB Recreation offers many fitness classes, outdoor trips, sports, and activities that will motivate you to get active. This quarter, UCSB Recreation is offering five new Living Arts classes:

  • Jump Rope Fitness
  • Kung Fu
  • Samba
  • Synergy Outdoor Training
  • Brazilian Batucada Drumming

Check out the Winter Quarter Digital Leisure Review to learn more about these classes and other Living Arts programs.

If you can't find any recreation classes that pique your interest, you can sign up to play intramural sports or go on hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and backpacking outings with UCSB Adventure Programs.

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