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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Spring 2015
Peer Advisor Availability

Professional Development Peer, Shawn Warner-Garcia
Monday: 10 a.m. to noon
Wednesday: 10 a.m. to noon
Friday: 10 a.m. to noon

Funding Peer, Kyle Crocco
Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Writing Peer, Ryan Dippre
Monday: 1:30 to 4 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 to 11 a.m., 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Communications Peer, Melissa Rapp
Monday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Thursday: 2 to 4 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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Looking for a Roommate? Join the Graduate Student Roommate Search Facebook Group

FB group screenshot

If you are looking for a roommate or new housing, join the Graduate Student Roommate Search Facebook group.

Browse the group wall to see what types of housing are available. There are many graduate students looking to share a house with other graduate students.

You can also post a request for a roommate and share information about your housing (e.g., if you need to sub-lease your apartment). 

To join the group, visit:


Toastmasters @ UCSB Designates Materials Grad Student Christopher Proctor a Competent Communicator

Chris ProctorPresident Ian Lessing congratulates grad student Christopher Proctor for earning his Competent Communicator designation. Credit: Toastmasters @ UCSB

Toastmasters @ UCSB recently recognized Materials grad student and Grad Slam competitor Christopher Proctor as a Competent Communicator. He is the first among UCSB chapter members to achieve this.

To earn this designation, Christopher had to complete 10 speech projects in the approved Toastmasters Communication Manual. After achieving this level, he may now begin working with advanced manuals to earn more advanced designations in the Toastmasters program.


The mission of a Toastmasters Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.


Meetings are open to all UCSB students, faculty, and staff, and are held from noon to 1 p.m. on the first, second, and fourth Thursdays of each month in the Chumash Room or Goleta Valley Room at the UCen.

You can also visit them on their Facebook Page.

Materials grad student Christopher Proctor competed this month in the 2014 UCSB Grad Slam, presenting his three-minute talk. Credit: Patricia Marroquin


Chancellor Yang Raises Concerns on Isla Vista Safety

On April 9, Chancellor Henry T. Yang sent a message to all UCSB students addressing the unfortunate incidents that happened in Isla Vista on April 6 during the Deltopia event. Chancellor Yang has spoken with many students, public safety officers, and visitors in regards to this event, and he has expressed deep concerns about the safety of our community.

Based on findings from the UCSB Police Department and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, the vast majority of people arrested during the Deltopia celebration were not affiliated with UCSB (376 out of a total of 412). Although these people were unaffiliated with the university, Chancellor Yang reminded our community of the importance of ensuring that our campus and IV are both safe and welcoming places.

Currently, Chancellor Yang is working with representatives from Associated Students, Student Affairs, Administrative Services, Faculty Senate, Governmental Relations, and the Police Department to discuss this recent event, as well as other safety issues, to prevent such incidents in the future. Please send your thoughts and ideas to


Internet Makes Reading Boring

BookCredit: Funding PeerIf you're bored reading this, you can blame the Internet.

The Internet has changed our reading habits, inadvertently training us to skim for gist and scan for details. Right now, you're probably bored and looking for the point of this article and have skipped to the next paragraph.

So what's the point? People no longer have the patience to read novels, which, let's face it, are way too long.

For way more on this topic than you have the patience to read, check out The Washington Post article by Michael S. Rosenwald, "Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say." 


Which Level of Bored Are You?

How Bored Am ICredit: Funding PeerYou may be bored and reading this right now, but do you know what level of bored you are?

If you're like me, you probably didn't know that researchers have studied this and catalogued five levels of boredom.

So which one are you?

Indifferent: calm and withdrawn from one's external world (aka, I'm not interested in what's going on).

Calibrating: characterized by wandering thoughts, not knowing what to do, and a "general openness" to activities unrelated to the present situation (aka, hey, what's going on outside that window).

Searching: a sense of unpleasant restlessness and an active search for ways out of the boredom mindset  (aka, idle hands are the devil's workshop).

Reactant: a strong motivation to escape one's boring situation and avoid those responsible for it, such as teachers or a boss (also known as blowing off class).

Apathetic: a feeling of helplessness or depression (aka, Grad School).

Strangely, none of these is "deathly bored." Perhaps more research needs to be done?

For more information on how to calibrate your boredom level, check out the Fast Company article by Jessica Leber, "There are 5 Types of Boredom. Which Are You Feeling?"

Or read the boring study, "Types of boredom: An experience sampling approach."


Research Reveals 12 Ounces of Coffee Will Boost Your Memory

Funding peer boosting his memory for science. Credit: Funding Peer.Researchers have discovered your morning coffee does more than wake you up: It also boosts your memory. 12 ounces, or about 200 mg of caffeine, seems to be the proper amount to enhance memory.

You can also get memory enhancing effects with as little as 100 mg but by 300 mg the effects start to reduce, so don't over do it.

The memory enhancement was only for information learned a day earlier, so while drinking coffee is great for exams, it probably won't help you recapture your childhood memories or what you did that weekend in Vegas.

This discovery was learned as part of a research project led by Daniel Borota at Johns Hopkins University and published in his article "Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory conslidation in humans" in the journal "Nature Neuroscience."  

Borota also noted that it is not known if the enhancing effect works for long-term memory.

To read more about this study, check out the Psychology Today article by Sian Beilock, "Caffeine Boosts Memory-Really."Coffee CoupleIn this simulation, a couple try to enhance their memory of things they learned yesterday. Credit:


How Productive Are You Compared to Creative Genuises

Credit: Funding PeerDid you ever wonder if you are productive enough? Are you working too much or too little? Well, you won't find the answer in this article.

But now you can compare your productivity schedule to the creative routines of geniuses thanks to visualizations created by RJ Andrews at Info We Trust.

RJ Andrews used information from the book "Daily Rituals: How Artists Work" by Mason Currey to show the average amount of time a person spent on a given activity per day, while adding enlightening facts about their personality, such as Honore Balzac's penchant for drinking 50 cups of coffee a day (and you thought you drank a lot of coffee).

As it turns out, there is no magic formula for the best way to be productive and creative in a given day. Each person must find their own best method for getting work done.

For more information on this topic, also check out the Huffington Post article by Kevin Short, "Here's How The World's Most Brilliant People Scheduled Their Days."

Creative routine visualizations. Credit: RJ Andrews


UCSB Campus Community Invited to First Gaucho Wellness Committee Meeting

The following invitation comes from the UCSB Gaucho Wellness Committee to all UC Santa Barbara students, faculty, and staff:

March 25, 2014

TO: The Campus Community

FROM: UCSB Gaucho Wellness Committee

RE:  Invitation to the First Gaucho Wellness Committee Meeting

Wednesday, April 2, noon to 1 p.m., Student Resource Building (SRB) 2154

Dear Colleagues,

Are you an advocate for the overall happiness of staff on campus? Would you like to help promote community and networking across campus?

Do you want to help promote the fantastic resources that exist in our community that staff might not be aware of?

If so, please join the Gaucho Wellness Committee for its very first meeting: Wednesday, April 2, noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Resource Building, Room 2154.

The Gaucho Wellness Committee is a product of a Gaucho U cohort project this year. We strive to serve as a resource for staff and faculty that will share information, resources and events pertaining to the overall wellness of our campus community. This includes, but is not limited to physical, mental, social, environmental and financial wellness.

In the future, we plan to implement our own events and initiatives.  

For more information, please visit or contact us at Please share your ideas with us!

Thank you.

The UCSB Gaucho Wellness Committee


Campaign for Arts & Lectures Receives 2 Gifts for Endowment Totaling $1.25 Million From Towbeses, Fisher

The Campaign for Arts & Lectures recently received two major gifts totaling $1.25 million from generous local philanthropists.

Michael and Anne Towbes pledged $750,000, and Timothy Fisher pledged $500,000 in a planned gift to the Campaign for Arts & Lectures.

The gifts, which will benefit the Campaign for Arts & Lectures’ endowment funds, coincided with a week of events featuring educational outreach activities with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which were attended by more than 2,000 local students, from elementary schools to colleges.

From left, Campaign for Arts & Lectures donors Anne and Michael Towbes; Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, principal concert sponsor; and cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott, during a reception for Arts & Lectures’ endowment donors, following Yo-Yo Ma and Stott’s concert March 13 at The Granada. The Towbes gave $750,000 to UCSB Arts & Lectures’ endowment. Credit: Kimberly Citro

“It’s so gratifying to see successful fundraisers and healthy annual fund numbers,” said Anne Towbes, who together with her husband Michael also fund Towbes Fellowships for UCSB graduate students. “But it’s our support of the endowments, the solid financial footing on which these organizations rest, that is so very important in our ability, long term, to serve the community.”

From left, Campaign for Arts & Lectures donor Timothy Fisher with Wynton Marsalis during a concert fundraiser for Arts & Lectures’ education and outreach programs March 18 in Montecito. Timothy and Audrey Fisher gave $500,000 to UCSB Arts & Lectures’ endowment. Credit: Isaac HernandezSaid Timothy Fisher of his gift: “I feel humbled and privileged to be a founding donor of UCSB Arts & Lectures’ planned giving program. This bequeathed gift will boost the Arts & Lectures endowment, and I am so pleased that other UCSB Arts & Lectures Council members have followed my lead.” (Both Timothy Fisher and Anne Towbes are members of the Council for Arts & Lectures, the Campaign’s leadership group.)

“Arts & Lectures, under the leadership of Celesta Billeci and her capable staff, bring world-class performing artists and lecturers to Santa Barbara," Fisher said. "We are so fortunate that UCSB’s community outreach program is among the most successful in the country and has so enriched the culture of our community.”

The Towbeses’ and Timothy Fisher’s donations bring total contributions to the Campaign for Arts & Lectures to $12.8 million. The five-year campaign, which began in the summer of 2011, seeks to raise $20 million, to be split evenly between a permanent endowment and annual support.

“The generosity of Tim Fisher and the Towbeses represents a kind of targeted and effective philanthropy that can truly change a community,” said Celesta M. Billeci, Miller McCune Executive Director of UCSB Arts & Lectures. “These patrons work tirelessly, challenging others to fulfill their own philanthropic goals, further multiplying the fruits of their own generosity. We’re grateful to have Tim Fisher and Anne Towbes serving on the Campaign Council; it’s difficult to imagine a successful Campaign for Arts & Lectures without their constant support.”

For more information about the Campaign for Arts & Lectures, contact Arts & Lectures’ development office at 805-893-2174 or visit UCSB Arts & Lectures thanks for its major corporate support of the 2013-14 season.

For information on how to give to UCSB graduate education, please visit the Graduate Division’s Giving page, “Why You Should Support Graduate Education at UC Santa Barbara.”


Campus Climate Report Findings: UCSB Climate Mostly Comfortable

UCSB from the airFor those of you with no time to read the full 311 page Campus Climate Project Final Report, here is a summary of some of its key findings.

As you may recall, the UCSB community-- undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff--was asked to participate in a UC system-wide survey to evaluate a variety of issues relating to campus climate on the learning, living, and working environments. UCSB had a relatively high response rate of 30%.

The report was divided into areas of strength and areas to improve.


Campus Climate

84% of all survey respondents were “comfortable”/“very comfortable” with the campus climate at UC Santa Barbara.

Class Climate

82% of Graduate/Professional Students were “comfortable” or “very comfortable” with the climate in their classes.

Academic Experience

79% of Graduate/Professional Students were satisfied with their academic experience at UC Santa Barbara.


96% of Graduate/Professional Students intended to graduate from UC Santa Barbara.

Intellectual Stimulation

69% of Graduate/Professional Students felt many of their courses this year had been intellectually stimulating.


Areas to Improve

Exclusion and Hostile Conduct

23% of all respondents believed that they had personally experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive and/or hostile conduct.

7% of all respondents indicated that this conduct interfered with their ability to work or learn on campus.

A higher percentage of racial, gender, and sexual minorities reported experiencing this conduct as compared to non-minorities. Likewise, a higher percentage of Undocumented Residents than Non-U.S. Citizens, and U.S. Citizens experienced this conduct.

Climate for People With Disabilities

Respondents with disabilities were less comfortable with the overall climate, with the workplace climate, and with the climate in their classes than were respondents without disabilities.

Unwanted Sexual Contact

8% of all respondents believed they had experienced unwanted sexual contact while at UC Santa Barbara within the last five years

However, only 2% of all Graduate/Professional Students reported this experience.


Most Non-Surprising Climate Report Fact

Dominate culture feels okay

White, heterosexual men with no disabilities felt the most comfortable of all groups on campus. (Strangely, this last fact was actually in areas of strength in the original report).

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