Winter 2022 Newsletter


Grad Slam open to all graduate students, preliminary video round judging open to all postdoctoral scholars

Grad Slam registration is open! Register to participate in the preliminary round! The first 30 graduate students to enter and complete their registration by uploading and sharing their presentation videos will receive $50 e-gift certificates to one of the vendors who offer these to UCSC! (E-gift certificate vendors include e-tailers, restaurants and coffee sellers, clothiers, movie theaters and ticket sellers, home supply stores, office supply stores, and cooking supply stores.) Deadline to enter is January 28, 2022, midnight Pacific Time. Postdocs interested in judging preliminary-round videos from January 29 to February 3 should contact Sonya Newlyn at


Grad Slam returns after a 2021 COVID-19 hiatus as a live hybrid—in-person and livestreamed—event!

Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Saturday, March 5, 2022
7:00–8:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Free and open to the public!
COVID-19 safety protocols in effect: Masks must be worn inside.

john-raedeke.png Schedule a 15-minute Grad Slam Video-Recording Session
John Raedeke
Video Producer/Director
ITS-Learning Technologies
Thursdays, January 6 and 13
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., 1:00–4:30 p.m.
Studio 145A, Kerr Hall
Appointments still available for January 6. To schedule one, contact Sonya Newlyn at and rank your three best 15-minute time slots on the date or dates you want. You may make a video on both dates. (You’ll receive the video you create on the 6th in time to make adjustments for recording on the 13th.

Graduate Division Welcomes New Staff


Donald Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Affairs
Professor, Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology

Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in biology at UC Santa Cruz in 1991 and started as an assistant professor at UCSC in 1996. He is currently a distinguished professor of microbiology and environmental toxicology. He has worked extensively in extramurally funded research programs and has been mentoring and training graduate students and postdoctoral scholars across a wide array of fields and disciplines.

In administrative leadership roles, he has served as chair of the Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology Department and as chair of the Academic Senate Graduate Council. He has also served on the UC Systemwide Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs and as co-chair of both the Senate-Administration Working Group on Graduate Education and the Master’s Incentive Program (MIP) Working Group.


Lorato Anderson
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Ms. Anderson graduated with a B.A. in literature and writing from UC San Diego and received her M.S. in higher education administration and policy from Northwestern University, where she researched and developed assessment models for English language learners and created multiple DEI programs that are still active today. She has extensive experience in grant writing, teaching, advising, assessment, and creating long-lasting research-backed programs to promote minoritized undergraduate and graduate student success.

She has worked on campus for five years and received the 2020 Outstanding Staff Achievement Award in Social Sciences. She is currently the graduate program advisor and coordinator for the Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) Department. Previously she worked as the graduate program coordinator for LALS and the Politics Department, and before then as an undergraduate advisor for the Psychology Department. She has also been involved in multiple campus-wide projects focused on minoritized student support.

Ms. Anderson takes pride in incorporating social justice, as well as empathetic advising strategies and teaching pedagogies, in her work in advising, administration, and grant and program development. She starts work in the Graduate Division on February 7, 2022.

Life Design

Remy Franklin, a career and personal coach and college educator, works at the intersection of personal transformation and social change. His workshops use ontological coaching principles to empower graduate students with skills for greater resilience, focus, and success in academia.

remy-franklin.png Graduate Student Life Design
Tuesdays, January 11 through March 1
11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Graduate Student Commons
Study Lounge 204 (except January 11, which will be Zoom only for all participants)
Complimentary lunch for in-person participants (arrive by 11:00 a.m. if possible)
Zoom for remote participants

Mindset Shift: Managing Your Thoughts for Success in Graduate School and Beyond
January 11 (Zoom for all participants)
REGISTER for Mindset Shift
Gain awareness of dysfunctional beliefs about life and work that limit your ability to think creatively about your career. Learn design thinking mindsets and divergent thinking techniques to help you overcome imposter syndrome, get unstuck, and see new possibilities.

Building Your Compass: The Meaning of Life and Work
January 18 (hybrid)
REGISTER for Building Your Compass
Successful life design requires the ability to clearly articulate your values and beliefs. Learn to use coherence as a guide in life and begin to articulate your aspirations for growth as an Individual Development Plan.

Wayfinding with Work You Enjoy
January 25 (hybrid)
REGISTER for Wayfinding with Work You Enjoy
What energizes and engages you? What helps you be resilient in challenging times? Learn the five elements of wellbeing and begin to identify the work settings you thrive in.

Planning the Creative Way
February 1 (hybrid)
REGISTER for Planning the Creative Way
Learn to use ideation techniques like mind mapping and brainstorming to see your career from a new angle. You will develop three versions of your five-year plan— including professional and personal milestones—and use those to guide your life design going forward.

Authentic Networking
February 8 (hybrid)
REGISTER for Authentic Networking
Most people search for jobs on the internet, but they forget that people are a better version of the world wide web. Learn how to use authentic networking to develop your career vision and find jobs that didn’t exist.

Leveraging Your Strengths
February 15 (hybrid)
REGISTER for Leveraging Your Strengths
Paragons of success applied skills and knowledge to turn their natural talents into strengths. Learn a strengths-based approach to personal and professional development.

Building Your Team
February 22 (hybrid)
REGISTER for Building Your Team
Who are your supporters and mentors? Learn how to build your life design team through radical collaboration and effective menteeship.

Strategies for Happy Decision-Making
March 1 (hybrid)
REGISTER for Strategies for Happy Decision-Making
Understanding basic facts about human cognition can help you avoid common decision-making pitfalls. After you’ve explored all your options, learn how to decide and how to be happy with the decision you’ve made.

Library Research Support

Need to organize your research? Got questions about copyright for your dissertation or thesis? Sign up for the library’s workshops in winter quarter. If you have questions, email librarians at or schedule a consultation to meet on Zoom.

Writing Support

Visit the Graduate Division Writing Support page for several resources to aid with any writing assignment.


VOCES Graduate Student Writing Center

VOCES offers one-on-one writing coaching by highly trained graduate student coaches. Make an appointment with one of them.


Grammarly Premium

The Graduate Division subscribes to Grammarly Premium. All graduate students and postdoctoral scholars have free access to this resource. If you are not already using this service, check your UCSC email inbox for a Grammarly invitation. If you need to be re-invited, contact Sonya Newlyn.

alison-miller.png Becoming a Writer
Alison Miller
Founder, Writing Coach
The Dissertation Coach
Embedded video of Miller’s fall 2021 workshop about the psychology of writing
To access the video, log in with your UCSC CruzID and Gold Password.

Teaching as an Ethical Practice

If you are a first-time teaching assistant (TA) winter quarter, you are required to take Teaching as an Ethical Practice (TA Ethics) on the Canvas online learning platform. Developed by the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning and informed by educational research, this training provides a foundational introduction to key pedagogical principles applicable across disciplines. TA Ethics also introduces campus resources that TAs should be familiar with. The videos feature campus resource staff and experienced TAs, and content includes case scenarios, personal reflection questions, and quizzes.

If you are a first-time TA winter quarter and have not received an invitation from Canvas to enroll in TA Ethics, contact Sonya Newlyn and copy your graduate student staff adviser.




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