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APRIL 2018

GradMENTOR is a monthly publication of the Graduate College designed to provide you with resources as you work with and mentor graduate students and postdocs.

Announcements from the Grad College

Annual Meeting of the Graduate Faculty

You are invited to Annual Meeting of the Graduate Faculty on Wednesday, May 2, from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. in the Illini Union, room 407. The Annual Meeting of the Faculty provides Graduate Faculty with an opportunity to learn about the many different resources, services, and roles of the Graduate College and to provide input. Please mark your calendars, we look forward to seeing you there.


Sloan Foundation Grant Continuation to Help Improve Minority Representation in STEM 

The University of Illinois has received a three-year, $1 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to continue funding for the Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring at Illinois. The program, started in 2015, supports underrepresented minority doctoral students in science, technology, engineering and math fields and is one of nine UCEMs throughout the country. Read more.


Congratulations to the Winner of the Graduate Student Leadership Award

The Graduate College is proud to announce that Stephanie Brown, a PhD student in Media and Communications, has won the Graduate Student Leadership Award this year. Stephanie founded Broad Comedy, an organization that organizes inclusive stand-up comedy events in Champaign-Urbana and provides workshops to help potential performers develop their skills in a welcoming environment.

Two graduate students also received special recognition. They are: 

Rachel Storm, PhD student in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership who founded Four Walls and a Roof, an NGO which partnered with a women’s organization in Cotacachi, Ecuador to provide research and fundraising support to develop the first battered women’s shelter in the area. Rachel also runs Girl Radio, a local media training program for 9-13 year old girls.

Ashley Armstrong, PhD student in Mechanical Engineering, who founded a graduate student outreach organization called ENVISION, which plans and organizes STEM activities at local schools and other Champaign-Urbana locations.

This award is sponsored by The Graduate College and its student advisory group, SAGE (Students Advising on Graduate Education). It was created to recognize graduate students who have exhibited outstanding service that has positively impacted the campus or wider Urbana-Champaign community.

 Image of Research semi-finalists in Instagram
 Instagram #imageofresearch18

Congratulations to the Winners of the Image of Research 

1st Prize: “Exploring how growth changes the way horse bones handle stress” by Sara G. Moshage (Mechanical Science and Engineering)

2nd Prize: “Kinetic Structures” by Yuan Liao (Architecture)

3rd Prize: “The ivory poaching crisis: which way forward?” by Alida de Flamingh (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology)

Honorable Mention: “Observation” by Robin L. Holland (Veterinary Medical Scholars)

People's Choice: “Visibility and the Disappeared: Exploring War, Memory and Family during El Salvador’s Civil War” by Beatriz Maldonado (Anthropology).

The Image of Research is a multidisciplinary competition celebrating the diversity and breadth of graduate student research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Entries were judged by a multidisciplinary panel for connection between image, text, and research; originality, and visual impact. The winners were announced at a reception on Wednesday, April 4, where the entries of twenty-five semi-finalists were on display. Attendees voted for the People’s Choice Award. See all of the images on Instagram.

Thesis and Dissertation Deposit
May 2018 Thesis and Dissertation Deadlines

Students planning to deposit theses or dissertations for May 2018 graduation are reminded of the following deadlines:

April 20: Last day to complete a doctoral dissertation deposit

April 27: Last day to complete a master’s thesis deposit

Because all corrections and all required deposit materials must be received by the Graduate College no later than 5 p.m. on the day of the deposit deadline, the Thesis Office strongly encourages students to submit the thesis for review several days before the deadline. For further information about the deposit process and links to downloadable deposit checklists, visit the Thesis Office web page.

PDF of May 2018 Graduation Checklist 
Download a copy of the May 2018 Graduation Checklist 

May Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

Have your students registered for the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony?
PhD students must deposit their dissertations by no later than April 20 and register for the ceremony by April 30.
For more details please visit the Doctoral Hooding website.
Helping Your Students Succeed

Save the Date: Faculty Job Search Retreat

Tuesday, July 10, 12:30 – 1 p.m., Illini Union

Remind your students that this year’s Faculty Job Search Retreat will take place on July 10. This special, half-day event is designed to get your students ready for next year’s faculty job search. The program will include a panel with faculty from a range of institutions, a chance to dissect and evaluate cover letters, and opportunities to get started on your research and teaching statements. Get more information and register online. 


Fulbright Grants for Overseas Research

The Fulbright program supports US citizens in all disciplines who wish to study or conduct research abroad in approximately 140 countries. Grants provide up to one year of support, and students at any level of graduate study are eligible. Past Illinois recipients have come from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities, sciences, engineering, and social sciences. Whether your students are developing new technologies for water re-use, researching musical diplomacy during the Cold War, or pursuing any topic that could benefit from an overseas field or lab experience, a Fulbright Grant can be the ticket for enhancing their research and building their international network. 

Encourage your students to register for the following Fulbright events, hosted by the Graduate College. All will take place in 308 Coble Hall.   

  • Workshop: Writing Personal Statements for Graduate Fulbright Grants: Tuesday, April 24, 3:30 - 5.  Register.
  • Workshop: Writing Research Statements for Graduate Fulbright Grants: Thursday, April 26, 3:30 - 5. Register

The campus priority deadline for early feedback is June 1.The required campus application deadline is July 16. Note that the campus application procedure for Fulbright grants has been altered significantly for 2018. As part of the campus endorsement process, applicants are interviewed by a faculty committee. Starting this year, applicants will assemble their own committees. Find full details on the fellowship and the application and interview processes in the Fulbright listing in the Fellowship Finder database.


The Survey Research Laboratory Dissertation Awards

Application Deadline: Tuesday, May 29

The Survey Research Laboratory (SRL) is pleased to announce the annual Robert Ferber Dissertation Award and the Seymour Sudman Dissertation Award, both for excellence in survey research as part of a doctoral dissertation. “Excellence in survey research” is construed broadly and many areas and topics will be eligible. An award of up to $2,000 will be given to the winner of each of these two awards.

Opportunties and Resources

Create Your Own Online Course Spring Workshop Series

RSVP by April 12

Interested in offering an online course but not sure where to start? Want to learn how to build lecture videos or how to assess your online students? Need some help with the basic tools of Moodle or Compass? CITL’s Create Your Own Online Course Workshop is designed to help you identify what is involved in creating an online course, help you get started, and provide resources for getting additional help.

The format of this workshop is flexible to your needs and availability. The entire workshop runs Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, April 16, 17, and 19, from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. each day. The workshop will be held in Armory, room 428. 

The workshop is comprised of 15 sessions, most of which are 30 minutes long. You are welcome to come to as many or as few as you would like. Sign-up for all three mornings of the workshop (13.5 hours in total) in order to have an intensive experience, covering all of the bases. Alternatively, you can also pick and choose which topics are of interest to you and attend just for those sessions. The workshop is open to all Illinois faculty, staff, and TAs.

Data Purchase Opportunities Available

Do you need “small data” for your research? The Library will explore purchasing data (costing $5,000 or less) for your use and the use of others on campus if you apply via the Data Purchase Program. Details and a link to the application form are available online. The deadline for first consideration is May 28, 2018. If you have questions, please contact Carissa Phillips at

 Council of Graduate Schools logo

CGS invites Feedback on the April 15 Resolution

The Council of Graduate Schools invites feedback on the April 15 Resolution. The resolution, which was last renewed by the CGS Board of Directors in October 2014, provides that prospective master’s and doctoral students admitted for the fall semester are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15. The CGS Board reviews this resolution for renewal every five years. Please take a brief moment and share your insights by no later than May 14.

Additional Publications from the Graduate College

A weekly e-bulletin for graduate students


Grad Life Blog
A behind-the-scenes look at the graduate experience


Postdoc Post
Biweekly e-bulletin with news and highlights for postdoctoral scholars


Biweekly job postings for graduate students.


GradMENTOR is distributed monthly to graduate faculty and department contacts who work with graduate students. Please see our website for submission information

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate in any of the programs or events listed in GradMENTOR, please email the contact person for the event. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.