Message from the Dean
Dear graduate students and postdoctoral fellows,
On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order that “suspends entry into the United States” from seven identified countries of both immigrants and non-immigrants for 90 days from when the Order was signed, except for those traveling on diplomatic visas, NATO visas, and C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations. Those seven countries are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Executive Order states that additional countries may be added to the list, and the 90-day time period may be extended for the original seven countries identified.
The Order is antithetical to the mission of the Graduate School. We welcome and actively recruit students and postdoctoral scholars from diverse backgrounds to create an inclusive and stimulating environment that fosters intellectual growth and development. We recognize the limits that this Order places on the research, teaching, and training for all, and also note the devastating personal effects of the Order for some in our community. I join Chancellor Zeppos and Provost Wente in affirming our commitment to students and postdoctoral scholars of all nationalities, religions, and status for equal treatment and full inclusion into the Vanderbilt community.
We are working with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and Human Resources to alert all those that are directly affected by the Executive Order. Non-immigrant students and scholars with F and J visas may contact ISSS. Students and scholars protected under DACA can contact the office if Inclusion Initiatives & Cultural Competence.
I want emphasize other resources we have available to support students and scholars during this difficult time. I encourage all students to visit the Center for Student Wellbeing and take part in weekly wellbeing practices offered there; speak with Psychological and Counseling Center counselors at a “Let’s Talk” session; and reach out to advisers and DGS’s for academic support. Similar mental health resources for postdoctoral scholars are available through Work-Life Connections.
Dr. Mark Wallace, Dean of the Graduate School
In this issue…
Digital Writing: Scholarly Communications Workshop Series
All workshops meet at 11am on Fridays in 418a of the Central Library
These workshops introduce students, postdocs, faculty, and staff members 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Markdown, February 10: Learn the basics of markdown and see how it can help you focus on the content rather than the formatting of your next writing project.
- Zotero, February 17: Gather, organize, and analyze your resources and make writing footnotes a breeze with Zotero, a free and powerful citation manager.
- Pandoc, February 24: Learn how Pandoc, “the swiss army knife” of file converters, can help you move from notes, through drafts, to a perfectly-formatted final manuscript of your next paper, article, or book.
Writing Studio’s Dissertation Writers’ Mini-Retreat
March 6-7, 9am to 4pm; Complete form by February 20
The retreat provides dissertating graduate students with loosely-structured time to work individually in a quiet, collegial atmosphere. We couple ample writing time with optional, one-on-one consultations and daily workshops meant to focus writers on their argumentation, chapter structure, and daily writing goals. Space in the retreat is limited. Sponsored by the Writing Studio, the Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research for the College of Arts and Science, the Graduate School, and the Graduate Development Network.
Publishing Your Journal Article
Wednesday, February 22, 4-5pm, Garland Hall 101
Please join the latest Arts & Science Graduate Student Seminar as journal editors from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences discuss the academic publishing process and give advice for getting your work published in academic journals. This panel will feature Lutz Koepnick, who has served on the Editorial Board of PMLA and the Advisory Board of German Studies Review; William Fowler, Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Ancient Mesoamerica; and Eva Harth, Associate Editor of Polymer Chemistry. Jeff Shenton, Assistant Director of the Writing Studio, will moderate the panel. All Vanderbilt University graduate students are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served. Sponsored by the College of Arts & Science.
Peer Review of Grant Proposals Workshop for Graduate Students (Humanities & Social Sciences)
Friday, February 24, 9am-3pm, Alumni Hall Lounge
Graduate students need skills to review and write competitive grant and fellowship proposals. Such skills are in demand–in academic settings, profit-based and non-profit employment, and government positions. This workshop is divided into three parts: (1) strategies for writing persuasive arguments and attending to those arguments; (2) the nuts and bolts of reviewing and scoring a proposal; and (3) guidance on how to be a productive, valued, and collegial member of a team. Participants will work on teams to evaluate and score the proposals. Sponsored by the College of Arts and Science, The Writing Studio, and The Graduate School. Space is limited to 12 participants (a waiting list will be maintained, as well).
3MT Preparation Workshop
March 2, 4-5pm, Buttrick Hall 306
We will analyze winning 3MT presentations to learn how narrative and argumentative structure can turn your dissertation or thesis research into a concise and compelling presentation. Sponsored by the Writing Studio.
Career & Professional Development
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. 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).
CPT, OPT, or Academic Training Workshops for F1 and J1 International Students
Are you an international student looking to work or do an internship off-campus in the U.S.? Before beginning any off-campus employment, internships or training, all international students must receive prior authorization from ISSS. Attendance at a workshop is REQUIRED before applying for Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training or Academic Training. Please note that the processing time for applications is 5 business days. For more dates and to find out which training workshop is right for you, click the link below.
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) :
- Monday, February 13, 5:30-6:30pm, ISSS Lobby
- Wednesday, February 22, 1-2pm, Student Life Center Lower Level Room 3
- Monday, March 6, 4-5pm, Student Life Center Lower Level Room 3
- Optional Practical Training (OPT):
- Thursday, February 16, 5:30-7pm, ISSS Lobby
- Thursday, March 2, 5:30-7pm, ISSS Lobby
- Academic Training (AT):
- Friday, March 3, 10-11am, Student Life Center Lower Level Rooms 1 & 2
The Job Search for International Students & Postdocs
Thursday, February 16, 5-6:30pm, Alumni Hall 201
The search for internships and post-graduate employment can be quite challenging for international students and postdocs. This workshop will help you understand the process and will address how to use all available resources to help you compete effectively in the job market. Sponsored by the Graduate School Career Development.
Interviewing Skills for Graduate Students & Postdocs
Wednesday, February 22, 5-6pm, Alumni Hall 201
Preparation will give you the confidence to do your best in upcoming interviews. We’ll discuss phone, Skype, and onsite interview strategies for careers in business, industry, and non-profits. Presented by Graduate School Career Development.
Writing (That) Matters: Connecting Pleasure, Principles, and Publication
Wednesday, March 1, 12-1:30pm, Buttrick Hall 123
Ifeoma Nwankwo, Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Partnership, will present the March Women in the Academy event. This program sponsored by the Graduate School and coordinated by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center offers PhD students a chance to reflect on the ways that gender affects their experience as they begin their professional journey in the academy. Lunch is provided.
ASPIRE to Connect 2017
Friday, March 3, 1-4pm, Student Life Center
A half day workshop aimed at building professional relationships. Gain practical tips and learn techniques to meet new people and cultivate authentic professional connections. We are excited to welcome Mary Mitchell, speaker, author, and president of the Mitchell Organization. Ms. Mitchell will discuss verbal and non-verbal communications, building rapport and trustworthiness, navigating social and business events, and more! Open to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars of all disciplines. Cosponsored by the BRET Office of Career Development and the Graduate School. Practice Networking Reception to follow with wine, cheese, and many raffle prizes!
Versatile PhD: Humanities/Social Science Careers in Think Tanks
March 6-10, online panel discussion
Humanities/Social Science PhDs can positively impact society by working in “think tanks,” non-academic research organizations that influence public policy around an important issue or cluster of issues. All panelists are PhDs or ABD in humanities or social science disciplines and all are currently employed in think tanks.
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
The Center for Student Wellbeing (CSW) building is across from Student Health and offers weekly wellbeing practices:
- Yoga: Mondays, 2-3pm in the CSW Meditation Room
- Massages: Mondays, 3:30-5:30pm in the CSW Meditation Room
- Recovery Support Meeting: Tuesdays, 12-1pm in VRS Lounge
- Guided Meditation: Tuesdays, 1-1:30pm and Thursdays, 3:15-3:45pm in the CSW Meditation Room
- Grad Student Silent Meditation: Fridays, 10-10:30am in the CSW Meditation Room
- Writer’s Accountability Group: February 17, 9-10am, CSW Classroom
Graduate & Professional Student Town Halls on Mental Health & Wellbeing
Monday, February 13, 10am-12pm, Student Life Center BOT Room
Wednesday, February 22, 2-4pm, Law School, Flynn Auditorium
Hosted by the Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Committee on Mental Health and Wellbeing. Two opportunities to give your imput on mental health and well-being at Vanderbilt University. Refreshments will be served at each event.
Wednesday, February 15, 4-5pm, Center for Student Wellbeing
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.
Work-Life Workshops: Mindfulness as a Self-Care Practice
Wednesday, February 22, 12-1pm, Sarratt Student Center 216/220
The Work-Life Workshops for faculty, staff, and graduate students is a lecture-based lunch program that covers a blend of self-care and professional development topics such as navigating organizational politics, mindfulness and stress management, salary negotiation strategies, and more. This section will be presented by Holly Cook, LPC-MHSP, from the Integrative Life Center. Sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center.
International Lens (iLENS) Film Series
This film series with a global perspective provides a forum for Vanderbilt’s diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. International Lens endeavors to transcend geographic, ethnic, religious, linguistic, and political boundaries by encouraging conversation and greater cross-cultural understanding through cinema. The series is a collaboration among Dean of Students offices, and, departments, centers, and programs across the University. There is no charge for admission. Films are screened in Sarratt Cinema at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
- Wednesday, February 15, Lupe Under the Sun, presented by Dr. William Luis
- Wednesday, February 22, Half of a Yellow Sun, presented by Dr. Clive Mentzel
- Wednesday, March 1, Embrace, presented by Go Figure
The Impact of Walls: Experiencing Borders in East/West Germany, Israel/Palestine, & U.S./Mexico
Monday, February 13, 6pm, First Amendment Center
Join us for a panel discussion regarding the impact of WALLS. Panelists will discuss the Berlin Wall between East and West Germany, the wall that separates Israel and Palestine, as well as the proposed wall for the U.S./Mexico border. This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Vanderbilt University Max Kade Center for European Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Robert Penn Warren Center & the International Studies Legal Program at Vanderbilt Law School.
What Now? The Future of U.S. Immigration Law & Policy
Tuesday, February 14, 12-1pm, Vanderbilt Law School Bennett Miller Room
Please join the Immigration Law Society as we welcome Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund as she discusses recent trends in and anticipated changes to immigration law and policy with the new administration. Nina Perales supervises the legal staff and litigation docket in MALDEF’s offices throughout the United States. Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. This event is free and open to the public; lunch will be served. Co-sponsored by the International Law Society, Law Students for Social Justice, and La Alianza.
From Hitchcock High to the NFL: I AM MICHAEL SAM
Thursday, February 16, 5:30-7:30pm, Sarratt Cinema
Michael Sam is an American football defensive end who made history when he came out as gay ahead of the NFL draft, making him the first openly-LGBT player to be drafted in any major American sport. Since his announcement, through scrutiny, criticism and unreserved admiration, he has become an icon and pioneer for the LGBT community. Revered for his unswerving courage, graciousness and fortitude, Sam will offer firsthand insight into leveraging individual personal strengths to pursue one’s dreams, and inspire us with his perspective on what it means to work hard to define and achieve success. Join Chancellor Zeppos in welcoming this role model and trailblazer for inclusion in sports. Tickets, which are free and available on a first-come basis, are required for this lecture. There is a limit of 2 tickets per person, and they must be picked up in advance at the Sarratt Student Center Box Office and cannot be reserved or mailed. Sponsored by the Chancellor’s Lecture Series.
2017 OUT in Front Conference
Saturday, February 18, 8am-5pm, Sarratt/Rand Student Center
The mission of OUT in Front is to engage students, faculty, and staff from across the south/southeast region in issues and topics relevant to the LGBTQQIA+ community and society at large. The theme of this year is sh(OUT): resistance through existence. Our goal is to explore the ways in which survival and solidarity among intersectional queer+ communities remains vital. Our existence is a powerful presence against the oppressive forces that surround us everyday. We want to boldly shout that we are ready to not only survive, but thrive, and demand that our voices be recognized and centered. The keynote speaker is Kit Yan, a New York based spoken word artist from Hawaii and performs theatrical slam poetry pieces about his life as a queer, transgender, and Asian American through stories about family, love, and social justice. Kit will be facilitating a slam poetry workshop and close the conference by performing his slam poetry piece Queer Heartache. Sponsored by LGBTQI Life.
Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County
Monday, February 20, 4:10pm, Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center
Kristen Green will present “Something Must Be Done about Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle.” Green is the author of the critically-acclaimed book of the same title about a Virginia community that defied the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling. When ordered by a federal court to desegregate the public schools in 1959, white leaders instead chose to close them and public schools remained closed in the county until 1964. Green’s book tells the story of these events and the long-term impact on her hometown. Co-sponsored by the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center and the Robert Penn Warren Center. A reception will follow the program.
Community & Social Events
VPA Happy Hour
Thursday, February 23, 5pm, Sportsman’s Grille
Join the Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association (VPA) for happy hour at Sportsman’s Grille and enjoy socializing with other postdocs! Happy hour lasts till 7pm.
GSC General Body Meeting
Thursday, March 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.