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Graduate School News E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

December 2016

Message from the Dean

wallace_mark-2_smallDear graduate students and postdoctoral fellows,

Let me extend my warmest holiday wishes to each of you! I hope you find some rest and rejuvenation with family and friends.

To postdoctoral fellows, it has been a couple of months since the announcement of our newly formed postdoctoral office in the Graduate School. Irene McKirgan, Program Manager for the Postdoctoral Office, has been hard at work gathering resources and developing a robust program to support all fellows and trainees. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to her at irene.mckirgan@vanderbilt.edu. We are also excited to continue working with the Postdoctoral Association (PDA) and hope that you attend their holiday luncheon on Thursday, December 8 at 12pm (see below).

To graduate students, I have personally enjoyed the engaging conversation centered around the graduate reading, Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast & Slow. These discussions have highlighted how connections and contributions can be made across disciplines, and have served to bring together students from a number of different schools and programs. I hope that you’re able to join me for our next discussion on Thursday, January 26 from 4-6pm in the Alumni Hall Lounge. We will cover Part 2 (up to page 195) and look forward to the always lively discourse. Please register to participate as we will provide refreshments.

Safe travels to all.


Dean Mark Wallace


In this issue…

Career & Professional Development

CPT Workshop

Wednesday, December 7, 2-3pm, Student Life Center LL Rooms 1 & 2

Attendance at a CPT and/or OPT workshop will now be required before applying for employment authorization for international students. For those looking to begin OPT or CPT in the Spring 2017 semester, this is your last chance to attend a workshop this fall. Spots are limited! Sponsored by International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS).


LinkedIn Is Your Friend

Wednesday, December 7, 4:30-5:30pm, Alumni Hall 010 

in-2crev-128px-tmLearn how to effectively use LinkedIn for your job search, even for those with advanced degrees. There are many good tools that LinkedIn can provide that makes connecting and finding jobs easier. We will demystify these and highlight its best uses for graduate students and postdocs. Sponsored by Graduate School Career Development.

Register here »


BOLD Fellows Program

Applications are due Monday, December 12

The BOLD Fellows program at the Center for Teaching is designed to help graduate student/faculty teams build expertise in developing online instructional modules grounded in good course design principles and our understanding of how people learn. This two-semester program is divided into a “design and development” semester, in which Fellows receive training and support as they develop their module, and an “implementation and assessment” semester. The Center for Teaching is currently recruiting Fellows to begin the program in January for implementation and assessment in Fall 2017. The Fellowship carries a modest stipend as well as the opportunity to apply for travel funds to share this work at a conference.

Learn more and apply »


CIRTL Evidence-Based Teaching Workshop

January 5-6, 2017, 8am-5pm; application deadline January 3

The Center for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) will be holding its Spring Semester Evidence-based Teaching Workshop on January 5-6, 2017. The free workshop is designed for future faculty in STEM fields with no experience with teaching as research however graduate students, post docs, faculty, and staff are welcome. Workshop topics include how people learn, challenge-based learning, course design, assessment, classroom management, classroom technology, and scholarly resources. Please contact Andrea Gardiner for more information and to submit your application.

Learn more »


Paying Uncle Sam: Understanding Taxes for Stipends, Grants, and Fellowships

January 10, 2017, 6-7:30pm, location TBD

paying-uncle-samSo you have a fellowship that doesn’t take out any federal tax. Do you have to pay it during tax season? What about the other funding that is taxed? What tax credits and deductions should you take advantage of? Back by popular demand, CPAs Briana Mullenax and Cindy Anderson, senior managers of Lattimore, Black, Morgan, & Cain, will answer your tax questions. They will cover issues about how to file taxes for both domestic and international students and postdocs. Sponsored by Graduate School Career Development.

Register here »

Health & Wellness

Stress Less Yoga Event

Wednesday, December 7, 5-6pm, Vanderbilt Recreation Center

Come join Active Minds at Vanderbilt for a yoga session in order to de-stress before you head into studying for finals. Free healthy snacks will be served!

Interdisciplinary Engagements

From Dreams to Realities: Performing History in the Assassin’s Creed® Video Game Series

Friday, December 9, 12-1:30pm, Buttrick Hall 344

Join the Vanderbilt Center for Digital Humanities on as they host Maxime Durand, the Assassin’s Creed series historian, to discuss historical design methods applied at Ubisoft from 2007 to present, including major intellectual, ethical, and design issues that have emerged and how the Assassin’s Creed design team addresses them.

Learn more »



Wednesday, December 7, 7:30pm, Sarratt Cinema

An American circus artist who, after giving birth to a black baby, immediately becomes a victim of racism and is forced to stay in the circus. She finds refuge, love and happiness in the USSR. Her black son is embraced by friendly Soviet people. Presented in collaboration with the Department of German and Slavic Languages by Jason Strudler, Mellon Assistant Professor of Russian. Sponsored by iLENS.

Learn more »


State of the Word

Saturday, December 10, 7pm, Ingram Hall

The Blair School welcomes the Ninth Annual State of the Word, featuring the region’s top college and high school writers, poets, emcees, and spoken-word artists. Participating writers have received standing ovations at TEDxNashville, MNPS School Board, Leadership Nashville, and Child Advocacy Day. Tickets: $10 general admission, $3 students  with ID, available through southernword.org.

Learn more »

Community & Social Events

Postdoctoral Association Holiday Luncheon

Thursday, December 8, 12-2pm, Alumni Hall 202

All Vanderbilt postdocs are invited to join the Postdoctoral Association (PDA) for their Holiday Luncheon! Please RSVP to let them know you plan on attending.

RSVP here »


OBGAPS Annual Holiday Soiree

Friday, December 9, 7:30pm, Bourbon Street Boogie & Blues Bar

obgaps-holiday-soireeJoin OBGAPS for their Annual Holiday Soiree for friends, food and fun. Attire is grown and sexy. Featuring live performances by Brian James & the Revival and Al Green & the Hard Times. Dinner will be served.

RSVP here »


Welcome Back Brunch

Monday, January 9, 11am-1pm, KC Potter Center

welcome-backJoin LGBTQI Life, International Student and Scholar Services, and the Center for Student Wellbeing for a pancake bar and mocktails on the first day of the Spring semester! All are welcome and encouraged to attend. We will have all sorts of pancake toppings and yummy mocktail creations. Don’t miss out!

Register here »

Winter Break Office Hours

We hope everyone enjoys a wonderful winter break! Please note that our offices will be closed from December 23, 2016 to January 2, 2017. Regular office hours will resume on January 3, 2017.

Academic Deadlines

calendar-icon (002)

  • December 8: Fall classes end
  • December 17: Deadline for submission of Fall 2016 final grades and degree conferral for December graduates
  • January 3: Deadline for students to pay Spring tuition and fee charges or make payment arrangements with the Office of Student Accounts
  • January 9: First day of Spring classes

Help the Graduate School Decorate!

The Graduate School would like to expand our holiday decorating to include celebrations from multiple religions/cultures. We know that Hanukkah begins on Dec. 24, Kwanzaa begins on Dec. 26, and Diwali fell on Oct. 30, so if you have knowledge of those holidays and would like to contribute your expertise to making the Graduate School a more welcoming place for all, please contact Ruth Schemmer. Happy Holidays to all!

Featured Graduate School Staff Member

9-14-2016 - Photos of the Dollars and Sense for Broke Grads discussion at BCC. (Vanderbilt University / Steve Green) .

Meet Assistant Dean Don Brunson:

I moved from my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland in August 2009 to join the Graduate School and lead our efforts to recruit PhD students from diverse backgrounds, particularly those that have been historically underrepresented in graduate education. My direct and indirect recruitment efforts employ graduate students because their insights and input allow recruits to truly understand the wealth of resources available at Vanderbilt. I am proudest of the wealth of connections that the Graduate School now has regarding resources to recruit and support our growing diverse graduate student population. I enjoy exercising and reading in my spare time.

PDA & Shared Resources Symposium

Save the date! The annual Postdoctoral Association (PDA) & Shared Resources Symposium is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Center for Teaching 2017-2018 Positions

Are you interested in educational development in the classroom? Learn more about how to become a Graduate Teaching Fellow or a Teaching Affiliate with the Center for Teaching for the next academic year. Applications will be open soon!

Learn more »

Nashville Highlight

Enjoy an outdoor skating rink in downtown Nashville, complete with everything from public skating sessions, three-on-three hockey, learn to skate classes and more! Public skate sessions will be priced at $15 for adults and $10 for children, including skate rental.

Learn more »


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