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UC San Diego Launches Initiative to Assist in Starting Careers Outside of Academia

In today’s competitive job market, obtaining a graduate degree is only half the battle. To help students develop the leadership, communication and teamwork skills necessary to excel in the 21st century workplace, the University of California, San Diego is launching an initiative called Gradvantage. The program will offer a variety of professional development resources with a focus on preparing students for careers outside of academia. Read More

New University Center of Exemplary Mentoring Launches this Fall

Program provides fellowships and mentoring for underrepresented students in STEM

Eleven incoming students in the Jacobs School of Engineering and Division of Physical Sciences have been awarded fellowships as part of the new University Center for Exemplary Mentoring, launched by UC San Diego with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Each student will receive $40,000 over four years, as well as participate in professional development activities designed to prepare students for a career in academia. Read More

Acting Dean

Steven Cassedy

September 18, 2015

It has been an exciting couple of months at the Graduate Division. After thirteen years in my position as Associate Dean, I now have the privilege of serving for six months as full-time Acting Dean, while Dean Kim Barrett is on sabbatical. I’d like to touch on a few highlights of my time so far. 

I had two opportunities to speak to groups of undergraduate scholars, from UC San Diego and elsewhere, who are enrolled in summer programs here and many of whom are contemplating graduate education. In both of my talks, as part of a modest personal campaign of mine to get undergraduate students more involved in their education (in this case, so as to enhance their chances of getting into graduate or professional school), I issued a challenge, framed as a “bet.” Read More

Dissertation/Thesis Submission and Formatting Workshop

October 6, 3:00-4:30 PM (Student Services Center: Multi-Purpose Room): Graduate Division Academic Advisers will review the Dissertation/Thesis submission process and give a brief overview of formatting. Click here for information and event flyer.

Fellowship Workshops

October 22, 2:00-4:30 PM Applying for Ford Fellowships: location TBA

November 17, 3:00-5:00 PM  Applying for Boren Fellowships: GPS Building

November 18, 3:30-5:00 PM  Fulbright Information Session: location TBA

For up-to-date information and locations of the workshops, please refer your students to the Graduate Fellowship blog: grad.ucsd.edu/fellowshipblog

Grads and Grub

Friday, October 16, 5:00-7:00 PM (Faculty Club): Don't miss Grads and Grub, a social mixer series for graduate alumni, current students, post-docs and faculty. Connect with each other over a beer and appetizers. Sponsored by the 
Graduate DivisionGraduate Student Association, and UCSD Alumni.

Annual Graduate Coordinators' Meeting

Wednesday, October 28, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Student Services Center: Multi-Purpose Room)

New process to submit dissertation/
thesis drafts for formatting
review appointments

Please share the following with your students: A hard copy of the entire manuscript is no longer required; students may upload a PDF to the electronic submission site prior to their appointment. Click here 
for more information and refer your students to the Preparation and Submission Manual for details.

Ten UC San Diego
Students Receive
Fulbright and Boren
Fellowships for
Research Abroad

In Syria during the late Ottoman Empire through the middle of the 20th century, the writing and circulation of petitions was a practice of citizenship used by a diverse range of individuals and groups. Ben Smuin, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of California, San Diego, is researching this practice with the hope that it will contribute to a better understanding of the complex issue of citizenship in today’s Syrian society. This fall, he will travel to the Middle East as one of 10 UC San Diego scholars to receive funding for research abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and Boren Awards for International Study. Read more.


2015 Graduates 

Click here for profiles of three recent graduates: 

Elizabeth Keenan, of Escondido, Calif., just graduated from the Rady School of Management with a Ph.D. in management with a specialization in behavioral marketing and is one of
the first students to receive a doctoral degree from Rady. 
Soracha Thamphiwatana will be graduating from the
UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering with a Ph.D.
in Nanoengineering. 
Joshua Twisselman graduated from the School of Global Policy and Strategy and has dedicated his studies to helping the developing world. Read more

Music Student Earns
Prestigious Award
for Young Composers

UC San Diego graduate student Anahita Abbasi
started her musical journey at the age of eight. Now, she is beginning her second year as a Ph.D. student in the department of music. Earlier this year, Abbasi received the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation’s Morton Gould Young Composer Award. Established in 1979, the award recognizes gifted young composers who represent exciting musical talent in the United States. Abbasi was one of 28 young composers selected from an application pool of more than 600; the award recipients share prizes of over $45,000.

“I’m very lucky to be studying at such an amazing
university,” Abbasi said.  “Receiving this award is
only the beginning of greater things to come.”
Read more

These Microscopic Fish are 3D-Printed to do More Than Swim

Nanoengineers at UC San Diego used an innovative 3D printing technology to manufacture fish-shaped microrobots that are self-propelled, chemically powered and magnetically steered. These microfish could one day be used for detoxification or targeted drug delivery, explain nanoengineering doctoral students Wei Zhu and Jinxing Li, co-first authors of the study. And microfish are just the beginning. “With our 3D printing technology, we are not limited to just fish shapes,” said Zhu. “We can rapidly build microrobots inspired by other biological organisms such as birds.” Read more

Michael Tiboris,
Ph.D., named
ACLS Public Fellow

Alumnus Michael Tiboris, who earned his doctorate in philosophy in 2012, has been named a 2015 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Public Fellow. The fellowship program places recent humanities Ph.D. graduates in staff positions at nonprofit and government organizations for two-year appointments, with the goal of fostering career development opportunities outside of the academy. Tiboris will serve at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to educate the public on current global issues. The fellowship provides an annual stipend of $65,000. Read more

Fall 2015


Last day to file
paperwork for a Fall degree is Friday,
December 11

Friday, October 9 is the
deadline to submit:

Half-time Study requests
Leave of Absence forms
In Absentia petitions
Applications to
for the
  Master’s degree

Click here for other Fall quarter deadlines.

Isela Brijandez

joined the Financial Support unit in August in the new position of Visiting Graduate Student Coordinator; she also handles third party billing. Isela has previous experience working at CILAS and will continue there in the afternoons. Her hours at the Graduate Division are 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. She can be reached at 
for visiting grad issues, or
for third party billing issues,
or at 858-822-2938. 

Mara Lopez

joined the Financial Support unit in July as the Graduate Fellowship Adviser. Mara comes from the San Diego Research Foundation where she worked for 8 years. Her background includes project and budget management, clinical research, and working with social networking sites.
Mara is also a certified
Yoga instructor. She can be
reached at 858-822-2938 or
m1lopez@ucsd.edu. Mara
also maintains a funding opportunities blog:

Shana Slebioda

joined the Student Affairs unit in July as the coordinator of professional development and retention programs and activities such as the newly funded Sloan Scholars Program and the Gradvantage Program. Shana has more than 5 years of experience at UC San Diego working with
graduate students in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. She can be reached at
858-534-4310 or

Kevin Waldrop

joined the Administrative Services unit in June as the Management Services Officer. He comes from the Salk Institute where he was the manager for a large group of laboratory PI’s and their affiliated staff, students and post-doctoral scholars. He has experience managing multiple budgets, providing strategic direction and advice, and overseeing HR issues and policies. Kevin can be reached at 858-534-7735 or

Graduate Division Staff Profile

Rossana Durmiendo has been with UC San Diego since 2007. She started as a temporary employee and was hired by the Graduate Admissions Unit as an admissions assistant in 2008. A year later, she moved into the position of admissions credential evaluator and has been faithfully serving as such since then.

As an evaluator, Rossana processes both domestic and international admissions. She finds doing the latter more challenging since it involves research, especially if the documents submitted do not provide all the information needed to determine the equivalency of the degree, or if there is limited access to information about a specific institution or educational system.  

Rossana was born and raised in the Philippines. However, since most of her family had already migrated to the U.S., she joined them in 2001.  Her previous work experience as a cultural orientation teacher with an international organization helped her greatly in adapting quickly to her new life in the U.S.  

When not working, Rossana enjoys strolling on the beach, biking, or simply hanging out with her husband.
For graduate admissions
and application information, please
go to Admissions, or email gradadmissions

For general information, contact the Graduate Division's main office
at 858-534-3555.

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