GradMENTOR is a publication of the Graduate College designed to provide you with resources as you work with and mentor graduate students and postdocs.
Helping Students Cope with Stress
The end of the semester can be a stressful time for everyone, especially graduate students. In the national conversation, recent studies suggest that the feelings of depression and anxiety can be particularly high among graduate students (see Inside Higher Ed and The Atlantic). We greatly value our graduate students and are committed to their success and wellbeing. As you work with graduate students in your program, please be aware of the following campus resources, if they should ever be of need.
Particularly as the end of the semester approaches, you may come into contact with students who are struggling and/or in need of extra assistance. There are many reasons why students may be struggling or in distress, including relationship difficulties, stress, physical or mental health issues, academic challenges, or financial problems. Students may provide a number of signs that they are having difficulty. Being aware of these signals, as well as resources to help, plays an important role in supporting student success. If you know someone in distress, you may be in a position to offer support or guide the person to an appropriate resource. You are not alone, and the resources discussed on the Community of Care website — the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Assistance Center, Emergency Dean Program, and Behavioral Intervention Team — are here to help. See especially:
Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are a diverse group whose personalities, experiences, activities, and personal goals vary widely. Graduate College staff are experienced in the types of conflicts and problems that can arise in this environment. Staff members are available to assist students with effective problem solving and to help students identify steps that may be taken to resolve problems and help them make academic progress.
If you would like assistance with problem solving, contact email@example.com or (217) 333-4610 to schedule a meeting.
The Counseling Center provides services to help students address many academic, relational, social, and emotional concerns. Staff members are trained and prepared to help students through whatever issues you may need assistance with, whether it be mental health issues like depression and anxiety, or academic issues such as time management and studying skills, or adjustment issues such as transition to college, work-life balance, or homesickness. See the faculty/staff FAQ for information about Counseling Center services and resources.
To ensure that students who are distressed get the support they need, the University of Illinois Counseling Center has parterned with Kognito At-Risk to provide online training simulations. The training helps you better identify, support, and connect distressed students with campus services. Kognito At-Risk has the feel of a video game as you make choices about what to say and do in conversations with students who may be distressed. It takes just 30-40 minutes to complete. Choose from faculty/staff or student modules. There are also additional modules for reaching out to students who are military veterans and those who identify as transgender.
Announcements and Deadlines
Deadline to submit: January 22
Graduate and professional students at Illinois are invited to enter the 2019 Image of Research competition. Entries will be judged by a multidisciplinary panel for connection between image, text, and research; originality; and visual impact.
Finalists compete for the following awards: first prize - $500, second prize - $300, third prize - $200, honorable mention(s) - $100, people’s choice Award - $100.
Please encourage students in your program to submit an entry. Promotional materials are available in U of I Box.
Visit the website for details.
Many of you will participate in ceremonies to celebrate the accomplishments of your graduates this December. The doctoral hooding ceremony on Saturday, December 15 will be livestreamed for friends and family who are unable to attend in person.
Thesis Deposit Deadlines
Dates for students planning to deposit theses or dissertations for December 2018 graduation are:
December 7: Last day to complete a doctoral dissertation deposit
December 14: 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.
Fellowship Opportunities for Your Students
Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowships in Environmental Humanities, 2019–20
Deadline: January 11
The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, seeks to select two Pre-Doctoral Fellows in Environmental Humanities for the 2019–20 academic year. Environmental Humanities pulls the energy of several discipline-centric humanistic and related movements—environmental philosophy, environmental history, ecocriticism, cultural geography, anthropology, and others—into one common conversation about the relationship between humans and non-human nature, past and present. Advanced PhD students from all humanities disciplines at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including the humanities-inflected social sciences, whose research and teaching interests lie in the area of environmental humanities, are encouraged to apply. Special consideration will be given to applicants whose scholarship explores themes of climate or climate change, indigenous studies, place and space, resilience, or technology. Learn more about the Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowships in Environmental Humanities.
Helping Your Students Succeed
Collaborate on Professional Development Events
Graduate College Career Development is available to collaborate with faculty and departments to offer exciting and enriching professional development events for your grad students. Recently, for example, the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Consortium organized a half-day workshop on social media called “Social Media for Scientists: #TweetYourScience” that featured a presentation by Mike Firmand, our Assistant Director for Employer Outreach. We have a variety of workshops—on topics like planning and goal-setting, attending academic conferences, exploring broad career options, and the job search—available for request on our website. And if you’re organizing something special and want some help, feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information Session on NIH National Research Service Awards
Wednesday, December 12, 1-3 p.m., Medical Sciences Building, Auditorium
For students and postdocs (and their advisors) in the life and health-related sciences, the Graduate College will host an information session on the National Institutes of Health’s National Research Service Awards, a.k.a., the Ruth L. Kirschstein Fellowships. These awards provide up to five years of support for PhD students (F31), six years of support for MD/PhD students (F30), and three years of support for postdocs (F32). The session will feature Dr. Jim Slauch, Professor of Microbiology & Director of the Medical Scholars Program; Dr. Anakk Sayeepriyadarshini, Associate Professor of Molecular & Integrative Biology; and Hanna Erickson, NRSA Fellow & MD/PhD student in Molecular & Integrative Physiology. See flyer for details, and please distribute to students and postdocs in your department.
Save the date! Friday, February 15, 2019, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Levis Faculty Center.
The day will include interactive workshops, rountables, and conversations, including:
- Crafting an Effective Proposal
- Building a Relationship with a Univeresity Press
- Series Editors and Journal Editors Roundtable
- Debunking Myths about Publishing
Keynote, Jill Petty, Aquisitions Editor at Northwestern University Press, will speak about issues of diversity and inclusion in publishing.
Cosponsored by University of Illinois Press, OVCR Office of Research and Proposal Development, the Unit for Criticism and Interpretative Theory, the Center for Advanced Study, and the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.
Additional Publications from the Graduate College
A weekly e-bulletin for graduate students
Biweekly e-bulletin with news and highlights for postdoctoral scholars
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.