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Graduate School News E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

January 2017

Message from the Dean

wallace_mark-2_smallDear graduate students and postdoctoral fellows,

The beginning of the new year is usually a time of celebration and hope as we look toward new adventures with a clean slate—a time to begin or begin anew. With a new incoming administration, 2017 promises to be a year of substantive change. In less than two weeks, we will celebrate the birth and life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 16. I encourage you to take full advantage of Vanderbilt’s weekend of events in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr as we prepare ourselves for the work of justice ahead while maintaining hope and health.

From weekend service projects to the annual Freedom March to attending a teach-in and the candlelight vigil, I hope that you connect with the community, scholars, and each other so that what you begin this year will be sustained. In particular, Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw will be delivering the keynote address on Monday, January 16 at 7pm in Langford Auditorium (tickets are available at no cost from Sarratt box office). Her work has been foundational to the development of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality, and I expect that her address will be rich in context and value as we explore this year’s theme, “Justice and Democracy? Revolutionizing Our American Myths.” For a full schedule of events, go to https://www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk/.


Dr. Mark Wallace, Dean of the Graduate School

In this issue…

Academic Enhancements

Scholarly Communications Workshop Series: Open Source Collaborations

All workshops meet at 11am on Fridays in 418a of the Central Library

The purpose of these workshops is to introduce students, postdocs, faculty, and staff members at Vanderbilt University to new tools and techniques in the field of scholarly communications and digital scholarship. All are welcome! No need to RSVP. If you have questions, please contact clifford.anderson@vanderbilt.edu.

  • Gists, January 20: Learn three accessible, (re)usable, and visually-appealing ways to share your data and research online.
  • Github, January 27: GitHub is a resource-rich, version-controlled repository for code and digital initiatives. Learn how GitHub can help you organize individual and group projects from beginning to end.
  • Github Pages, February 3: GitHub Pages hosts personal, organizational, and project websites. Learn how freely to publish your own website and show off your digital scholarship.

Learn more »


English Language Center Dissertation Workshops

Spring 2017, English Language Center (ELC), 1208 18th Ave. South

The ELC will offer free dissertation workshops for individuals who have a first language other than English in Spring 2017. The workshops will cover a variety of topics that are essential for PhD students:

  • Improving speaking and writing skills for communication with advisers and committees.
  • Recognizing and replicating organizational patterns in writing dissertations for your discipline.
  • Improving skills, such as summarizing, paraphrasing, and editing.

Final class time will be selected based on student enrollment. Placement is first-come, first served and is based on schedule availability.

Learn more and register »

Career & Professional Development

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

Tuesday, January 10, 6-7:30pm, Wilson Hall 103

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 »


LinkedIn Is Your Friend

Wednesday, January 18, 5-6:30pm, Alumni Hall 201 

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 »


Crafting an Effective Teaching Statement

Monday, January 30, 3-4:30pm, CFT Classroom

In this workshop we will address best practices for writing a teaching statement/philosophy for the academic job market. This workshop is open to Vanderbilt graduate students & postdocs from across disciplines who want to improve their teaching portfolio materials. All teaching experience levels are welcome. Facilitators will be Lydia Bentley and Alexis McBride, Graduate Teaching Fellows. Sponsored by the Center for Teaching.

Register here »


From CV to Resume

Wednesday, February 1, 5-6:30pm, Alumni Hall 201

You’ve created a great CV for academic jobs–but what is this résumé thing? Learn how to create an effective resume for jobs in business, non-profits, industry or government. Open to graduate students and postdocs. Sponsored by Graduate School Career Development.

Learn more »


Versatile PhD: STEM Careers in Conservation

February 6-10, online panel discussion

STEM PhDs can make a positive impact on the planet by working in Conservation – the protection and preservation of biodiversity, the environment, and natural resources toward sustainable use for future generations. Versatile PhD will host a free AMA-style panel discussion on PhD Careers in Conservation, Feb. 6-10, 2017. All panelists are PhDs or ABD in STEM disciplines and all are currently working in conservation in a variety of settings.

If you already have an account, start here. If not, sign up for free as a Vanderbilt member (graduate students and postdocs).

Health & Wellness

Weekly Wellbeing Practices

Well BeingThe Center for Student Wellbeing (CSW) building is across from Student Health and offers weekly wellbeing practices:

  • Grad Student Silent Meditation: Fridays, 10-10:30am starting January 13 in the CSW Meditation Room.
  • Recovery Support Meeting: Tuesdays, 12-1pm in Sarratt 208


Resilience 101

Tuesday, January 10, 3-4pm, Center for Student Wellbeing

Resilience 101 focuses on the development and application of real-world skills that students can use during times of challenge and personal growth. Students will learn what resilience is, be given the opportunity to begin crafting a personal narrative that demonstrates their ability to thrive, and examine resilience-based strategies and skills. The central themes of these skills will revolve around internal and external gratitude as well as developing meaningful relationships.

Learn more »


Introduction to Mindfulness

Wednesday, January 18, 4-5pm, Center for Student Wellbeing

Do you ever find your thoughts wandering to your never-ending to do list and five minutes later to that time two weeks ago when you said something embarrassing?  Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, and non-judgmentally in a present moment. Students will become more knowledgeable about mindfulness practices, the science of and research related to mindfulness, exercises that foster a deeper understanding of mindfulness, and relaxation techniques to use when faced with stress.

Learn more »

Interdisciplinary Engagements

Equal Pay for Equal Work: Lilly Ledbetter & the Fight for Gender Equality in the Workplace

Tuesday, January 24, 12-1pm, Flynn Auditorium at the Law School

ledbetter-150After 19 years at Goodyear, Lilly Ledbetter learned that she made thousands of dollars less than her male counterparts. Lilly filed a sex discrimination suit against Goodyear that made it to the Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS found that Lilly could not bring her claim because she filed it more than 180 days after receiving her first discriminatory paycheck despite her having no knowledge of the discrimination, but she did not give up the fight. President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 that amended the 180-day statute of limitations so that it resets every time a discriminatory paycheck is issued. Lilly shared her story in her 2012 book, Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond. Now, Lilly is coming to Vanderbilt Law School to discuss her fight for equality. This event is free and open to the public and is made possible by funds from the Wayne S. Hyatt ’68 (BA’65) and his late wife, Amanda M. Hyatt (BA’67, MA’74) Student Activities Fund and the Vanderbilt PhD Program in Law and Economics. Lunch will be served.

Learn more »


Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales

Tuesday, January 24, 7-8pm, Wyatt Center Rotunda

e_patrick_johnson-150Dr. E. Patrick Johnson, scholar/artist and Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern Univeristy, will perform his one-man show, “Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales,” as part of Peabody Dean’s Diversity Lecture Series. Johnson is a prolific performer and scholar, and an inspiring teacher, whose research and artistry has greatly impacted African American studies, performance studies, and sexuality studies.

Learn more »


Peabody Dean’s Diversity Lecture: Workshop on College Preparation and Success

Thursday, February 2, 1-4pm, Wyatt Center Rotunda

rendon-150Dr. Laura Rendón, Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, will present a workshop on college preparation and success. Her research has focused on assisting students who, like her, grew up in poverty with hopes and dreams but not knowing how to realize them. Rendón is credited with developing the theory of validation, which colleges and researchers have employed as a framework for working with and affirming low-income students. Rendón is a teaching and learning philosopher and thought leader. She developed a pedagogic framework called Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy that emphasizes intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual student development along with social activism.

Learn more »

Graduate Reading Discussion

Join Dean Mark Wallace on Thursday, January 26 from 4-6pm in the Alumni Hall Lounge for the third installment of the common reading book discussions on Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast & Slow. We will cover up to page 195 (part 2) and look forward to lively discourse, some of which will go outside the bounds of the book. Refreshments provided.

Register here »

Academic Deadlines

calendar-icon (002)

  • January 9: First day of Spring classes
  • January 16: No classes in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday
  • January 23: Last day to add a class, drop a class with no entry on record, or register for pass/fail status
  • January 23: Spring 2017 open enrollment period ends

Save the Date for 3MT!


The annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition will be held Friday, March 31, 2017. The competition is a great opportunity for graduate students to engagingly communicate their dissertation in a very condensed time frame. This year, the keynote speaker will be Claudia Deane, Vice President of Research at the Pew Research Center.

Learn more »

Featured Graduate School Staff Member


Meet Sheri Stephens, the newest addition to the Graduate School. She started in October 2016 as the Assistant to the Dean, managing his schedule and travel. Her most essential role in this position is the coordination of the Dean’s calendar. She is often the first point of contact and referral in the Graduate School office for students and post-docs. Although, not a Nashville native (after living in 5 states), she considers Nashville home, moving here with her family at age 15. Some of her favorite memories include performing with her musical family, while growing up. She loves music, writing, and photography.

Center for Teaching 2017-2018 Positions


Applications due by Wednesday, February 22 at 4pm

Applications are now open for a variety of graduate student positions at the Center for Teaching (CFT). Each year the CFT hires a number of graduate students as part of its efforts to mentor and train graduate students, including those serving as teaching assistants or instructors of record here at Vanderbilt as well as those interested in developing teaching skills for future faculty careers. The CFT has three types of positions available for graduate students for the 2017-2018 academic year. Positions are Graduate Teaching Fellows, Teaching Affiliates, and the Certificate in College Teaching (CiCT) Program Facilitator.

Learn more »

Domestic Nuclear Detection Office Summer Internship

Application due by January 25, 2017 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) Summer Internship Program provides opportunities for domestic graduate students to participate in projects at federal research facilities located across the country focused on helping DNDO meet its mission of “implementing domestic nuclear detection efforts for a managed and coordinated response to radiological and nuclear threats, as well as integration of federal nuclear forensics programs.” Graduate students receive a stipend of $700 per week for ten weeks plus travel expenses. Research experiences re offered at a variety of labs across the country.

Learn more »

Summer School in Adaptive Neurotechnologies

All application materials due by Wednesday, February 15; Course will be held July 10-28, Albany, NY

The National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies (NCAN) is now accepting applications for the second Summer School in Adaptive Neurotechnologies. This comprehensive three-week Short Course is funded by the NIH. The 24 successful applicants will receive full support for tuition, room and board, and a stipend for travel. The course will provide a select group of scientists, engineers, and clinicians with the multidisciplinary knowledge and expertise needed to guide the development of new adaptive neurotechnologies from conception through laboratory and clinical evaluation to dissemination and use for important scientific or clinical purposes. Advanced graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to apply.

Learn more »

Nashville Highlight


Saturday, January 7, 6-9pm, Downtown Arcade, 224 5th Ave North

The Downtown Art Crawl attracts around a thousand people on the first Saturday of every month. Free food, drink, and company.

Learn more »

Welcome Back Brunch


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

Join 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!

RSVP here »

GSC General Body Meeting

Thursday, February 2, 6-7pm, Alumni Hall 201

All graduate students are welcome to join the Graduate Student Council to learn about news and upcoming events for graduate students.

Learn more »

New Website!

The Graduate School has a new website! While some of the content remains the same, the navigation and look of the website have been overhauled. We hope that the site is now more engaging and easier to use for prospective students, current students, postdocs, and faculty and staff. Please let us know your thoughts about the site by emailing us.

Vanderbilt University Graduate School

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