UChicagoGRAD Is Here to Help

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The past few months have highlighted the intense inequities and racism in our country, and the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests have amplified the injustices that Black people in America face. UChicagoGRAD recognizes that many students and postdocs are feeling hurt, trauma, and increased anxiety. These are challenging issues to grapple with, and we don’t purport to have quick or easy solutions. We encourage you to check in on each other—reach out to your peers. Please email askthegargoyle@uchicago.edu to let UChicagoGRAD know how we can support you in efforts to change the reality in this country so that we have an inclusive and equitable society for everyone.

Dana Bozeman, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, is available for advising and personal support (schedule in GRAD Gargoyle using appointment type ”GRAD Diversity: Topics Related to Diversity & Inclusion” or email Dana at dbozeman@uchicago.edu).

Virtual Programming and Resources

UChicagoGRAD is committed to supporting graduate students and postdocs during this challenging time. We are working with campus partners to provide virtual resources and opportunities to help you stay connected and engaged while campus is closed. Please see current offerings below and visit virtualgrad.uchicago.edu for updated information.

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Photo credit: wsj.com


  • Graduate Admissions Learn more here
    • We have made the decision to cancel all in-person admissions programs and interactions out of concern for the health and wellness of everyone in our campus community and all of our guests. While the Office of Graduate Admissions will be closed to the public on campus, our staff will be readily available to help you via email or phone during these challenging times. We also are offering the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one Zoom meeting with a member of the admissions team – click here to schedule an appointment. You do not need a Zoom account to join a meeting.
    • View media resources (webinars, online publications, etc.) here
  • Sounding Board Advising – Sign-up here
    • Emotional distress is common and normal in the context of uncertainty and potentially health-threatening situations. Taking care of your mental health needs during the COVID-19 Pandemic is challenging and particularly when being required to shelter in place, oftentimes, in isolation. Tend to your wellbeing by reaching out to UChicagoGRAD’S Sounding Board advising service which provides remote phone consultations addressing anxiety, fear, relationship concerns, and other destabilizing reactions during these uncertain and upsetting times.
  • GRADHelpLearn more here
    • GRADHelp is your source for help and information about stipends, payments, bills, fees, insurance, and more. If you have questions about any kind of payment or other financial-related issue and aren’t sure where to turn, email gradhelp@uchicago.edu

  • Diversity and Inclusion Advising and Workshops – Sign-up here
    • All students and postdocs can sign up for advising sessions to discuss issues, concerns and experiences related to diversity as it affects their academic and career development as well as personal wellbeing.

    • Structured Writing Accountability Groups (SWAG) – In collaboration with Student Support Services and the Writing Program, we provide space and structure for graduate student and postdoc quarterly writing accountability groups. Applications are due April 26. Learn more here

  • Fellowship Advising and Workshops – Sign-up here
    • Fellowship advisors are available to work with you on application materials for specific fellowships or grants.
    • Small group advising sessions are also available to help applicants compare the different types of grants, understand the application components, learn about strategies for developing competitive applications, and receive resources for further exploration.
  • Graduate Writing ConsultationsSign-up here
    • UChicagoGRAD is offering one-on-one online Graduate Writing Consultations for graduate students interested in working on their academic writing. Consultants work with writers on academic papers, journal articles, dissertation chapters, proposals, and other academic documents.
  • Career Development Advising and Workshops – Sign-up here
    • For Your Job Search
      • Are you currently in the middle of a job search, or are you gearing up to begin one? Are you planning to go on the academic job market this fall? Talk with a career advisor about how you can refine your strategy now that hiring is happening virtually. This includes advice for crafting a strong LinkedIn profile or personal website as digital presence increases in importance. Your advisor can also share strategies for expanding your options in an uncertain job market.
    • For Public Speaking, Interviewing, and Networking Preparation
      • Are you interviewing for jobs? Getting ready for a presentation? Preparing for virtual networking conversations? GRADTalk advising helps you enhance your oral communication skills for a variety of professional applications. You can schedule a meeting with a GRADTalk advisor to practice virtual presentations for your classes, committee, lab, or prospective employers. You can also use GRADTalk as a low-stakes way to practice using Zoom and other remote technologies.
    • For Your Written Application Materials
      • Are you satisfied with your CV or resume? Whether you are currently applying for jobs or not, this is a good time to refine written materials such as your CV, resume, or cover letters. In a virtual meeting, you can work on live edits with your UChicagoGRAD career advisor, sharing screens and discussing the documents line by line.
    • For Your Career Exploration
      • Are you trying to decide what type of career makes sense for you? Whether you are completely undecided or just want to explore contingency options in case your current plans are disrupted, UChicagoGRAD career advisors are experienced at helping you work through a process of self-reflection and personal discovery. We are here to listen first, meet you where you are, and offer guidance in navigating the range of available opportunities.


Have an idea for a virtual program or resource to promote academic skills or community building? Know of an existing program or resource you would like us to highlight? Share it with us here

Transcending Boundaries

Life of the Mind . . . Body and Soul

3rd Annual Transcending Boundaries Research Symposium

May 1, 2020 at the University of Chicago

“Life of the Mind” is one of the University of Chicago’s most beloved unofficial mottos, meant to convey a deep commitment to intellectual and philosophical inquiry that eschews the supposedly lesser carnal pursuits of life that may distract students at other venerable institutions. This focus on the mind above all else has its roots in the Enlightenment ideals of Rene Descartes, which place a mind-body hierarchy as the foundation of humanistic thought, the scientific method, and Western thought overall. However, while “Life of the Mind” at UChicago prioritizes Cartesian Enlightened intellectualism, this mantra is problematic on two fronts: its negates to acknowledge humanism’s prerequisite of non-European exclusion and ignores the potential epistemological contributions of the body and soul. So, what happens when we begin to explore the minds and ideas of people of color? How can we include the body and the soul into this conversation? Further, how does this elevation of Western thinking shut the door to other epistemologies that aren’t based in a mind-body divide, but instead focus on holistic integration of mental, physical, and spiritual inquiry?

DAB’s 3rd annual Transcending Boundaries Research Symposium, Life of the Mind… Body and Soul, now invites UChicago’s graduate student population to present their scholarship, which may reflect work not fully encompassed or embraced by the exclusionary Life of the Mind ethos. It is especially our hope to highlight the work of self-identified underrepresented populations. This may include research on non-Western traditions, practical rather than merely theoretical applications, marginalized communities, religious beliefs, and more.

DAB conceives this theme quite broadly and invite proposals from all divisions and fields.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted here https://forms.gle/PTw2P2t6yk3PTMLeA by Friday, March 13, 2019 at 11:59pm.  If you have any questions, please email grad-dab@uchicago.edu.

Discover UChicago

Discover UChicago is a pre-admissions program organized by the Graduate Enrollment team in collaboration with University divisions and professional schools.

Discover UChicago offers talented individuals from traditionally underrepresented populations an opportunity to explore graduate education at the University of Chicago. Students will visit for two days of workshops, conversations with faculty and graduate students, and informal social events to expose prospective candidates to our vibrant campus community.

We invite current graduate students to meet with DU participants at the DU Graduate Student Mixer on Friday, November 8th from 4:00-6:00PM. Come interact with the prospective students at the Community Lounge in the Center for Identity + Inclusion. Food and beverages are provided. Click here to RSVP.

For general questions, contact Camille Reynolds, Diversity Recruitment Coordinator, at creynolds3@uchicago.edu.

Meet the UChicagoGRAD Diversity Advisory Board (DAB)

The UChicagoGRAD Diversity Advisory Board (DAB) is a group of students from across the university who advise UChicagoGRAD and others in developing programs and resources related to diversity in graduate education and experience. DAB also serves to connect campus-wide graduate student groups with each other and University leadership. Board membership reflects students who have consistently demonstrated a commitment to enhancing diversity, inclusion, access, and equity in higher education.

Already this year, DAB helped with MOSAIC, a diversity-focused orientation program for incoming students, and they launched a new peer mentoring program, Maroon Mates, for PhD students. DAB is currently planning for their Transcending Boundaries Conference, which will be on May 1, 2020. DAB general assembly meetings take place monthly and the next one is November 4th from 6-8pm.

Contact DAB: grad-dab@uchicago.edu

DAB Membership:

  • Executive Board
    • Evelyn Campbell (BSD) – Board Chair
    • Nova Smith (Humanities) – Programming Chair
    • Hilary Tackie (SSD) – Race and Pedagogy Working Group Coordinator
    • Derek Nettingham (SSA) – Communication Chair
    • Terri Smith (SSD) – Executive Board Member-at-Large
  • General Members
    • Selina Baeza-Loya (BSD)
    • Cintia Hinojosa (Booth)
    • Phillippa Paisley (Harris)
    • Angel Boulware (SSD)
    • Nicole LaBell (Law)
    • Syrian Truong (PSD)
    • Cosette Bruhns (Humanities)
    • AllenLinton (SSD)
    • Héctor Varela Rios (Divinity)
    • Sophia Carryl (BSD)
    • Frania Mendoza Lua (SSA)
    • Matthew Vega (Divinity)
    • Rachel Chery (Humanities)
    • Victoria Okunye (BSD/Pritzker)
    • Durrell Washington (SSA)
    • Maria Hernandez (PSD)
    • Jesús Pacheco (Harris)
    • Subria Whitaker (Law)

Spotlight on: UChicago initiatives for Student Veterans and the Office for Military-Affiliated Communities

Join the Student Veteran Council and Recognize UChicago Veterans for Memorial Day (5/22), click to learn more


The University of Chicago created the Office for Military-Affiliated Communities to provide a new resource for prospective and current students, faculty, and staff, including those who serve in the United States military, veterans, and members of military families. OMAC also serves to support students affiliated with foreign militaries. The Office for Military-Affiliated Communities strives to serve as a central home for the University’s military-affiliated work, helping to amplify a range of programs, support services, and partnerships currently in place across UChicago.

New and upcoming initiatives from the Office for Military-Affiliated Communities include:

–          The newly created Student Veteran Council hosted its first meeting in early April and will regularly convene a group of military-affiliated students from across the University to serve as liaisons and champion initiatives for OMAC. For more information contact Terrell Odom (todom@uchicago.edu). This group will transition into the UChicago Student Veterans of America Chapter, which will work across disciplines and serve all student veterans on campus. The SVA’s mission can be found here.

–          Memorial Day Programming will recognize US military veterans on May 22nd from 11:30-1:30 at International House (1414 E 59th Street), featuring former Congressional Representative and Bronze Star Medal recipient for meritorious service Patrick Murphy. For more information contact Terrell Odom (todom@uchicago.edu)

Read this profile on Akya Gossitt, Master’s student in Clinical Social Work, discussing what these new initiatives mean to UChicago veterans:

Akya was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, but coming to UChicago was never a part of her original plan for graduate school. She applied after a friend encouraged her to do so, saying, “I just did it to shut my friend up.” When her admissions letter came, she did not believe that she had gotten in; once, the news sunk in, she realized that having a UChicago degree would “speak volumes to employers and to others in the Veteran community. This degree shows my and Veterans’ potential to accomplish and do the things we set out to do.”

Akya started her Master’s in Clinical Social Work in Fall of 2018, and she has hit the ground running, both academically and also in terms of outreach. She has developed a strong community at SSA, saying that her cohort is “the best thing about UChicago.” In talking to Akya, it is clear that her passion for helping others, especially other veterans, remains a thread in everything that she does. She credits what she has learned at SSA with helping her to articulate what she wants to do once she graduates: “I want to travel and teach workshops on trauma, especially for veterans and their families. Trauma can show up in a variety of ways and it looks very different, depending on culture and society. I want to create a foundation for social change and to impact policy, and I will advocate for teen moms, homeless vets, and against discrimination.” And, she has already started down this career path by partnering with Terrell Odom in the Office for Military-Affiliated Communities to create change for veterans on-campus.

After attending the Veterans Day Memorial, hosted at SSA last year, Akya began to find ways to connect with other veterans at UChicago and to find the resources available to her. In March of 2019, Akya and Terrell attended the Ivy League Veteran Council or Military-Affiliated Students at Stanford University. There they were able to discuss the ways that universities like UChicago can better attract and retain veterans as students, the barriers that veterans face when deciding to attend both college and graduate school, and how to make the top graduate programs across the country more inclusive to veterans. Terrell brought this information back to UChicago and is incorporating it as a part of the mission of the newly formed UChicago Student Veteran Council.

Akya is proud of her time as an E4 specialist in the military as well as of her many other accomplishments, like being a mother to two boys and participating in an NEH grant-funded outreach program that facilitated conversation between veterans and non-veterans around fictional accounts of war and trauma. She believes that “you make your own experience” and is committed to creating spaces for the veteran experience both at UChicago and beyond.

Student Support Services

Student Support Services utilizes a holistic approach to help graduate students thrive and succeed on campus.

For eligible graduate students Student Support Services offers for Spring break (apply to determine eligibility by March 15th):

  • Pop-up grocery for breakfast and lunch (grab daily or in-bulk)
  • Ready-to-Cook meals from a local company, providing 2-3 serving meals; registered graduate students have choice of 5 different meal options.
  • Cooking Workshops offering tips for cooking and meal prep, 3 classes held over Spring Break

Year-round, Student Support Services provides resources for graduate students (to learn more contact studentsupport@uchicago.edu):

  • Immediate access to food resources, see more here.
  • Monthly information sessions on government benefits, see more here.
  • Support for the purchase of winter clothing

Additionally, Student Support Services provides:

Undocumented student or DACA support services: assistance for grad/professional students who might be interested in renewing or learning more about renewal options for DACA, including application fees and legal referrals. We encourage undocumented (with or without DACA) graduate and professional students to engage with us as the first point of reference for questions or issues related to your status and to learn about other resources for undocumented students.

FLI Network and the FLI Champions Program: convenes campus community members around shared identities and backgrounds.

  • The FLI Network connects students, faculty, administrators, and alumni who identify as first-generation, low-income, or immigrant (regardless of immigration status), and allies with the goal of creating a community of support.  The FLI Network creates opportunities for members to learn from one another. It fosters a sense of belonging, inclusion, and resilience in students in order to help them succeed at the University of Chicago.
  • The FLI Champions Program matches FLI students with FLI Network members for a self-directed, coaching-style mentorship commitment. The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for students to enhance their academic, professional, and social networks and skills, and provide the campus community with a meaningful opportunity to support and champion FLI students. The Champions are administrators, faculty, alumni, allies, and (as appropriate) grad/professional students who share similar identities, backgrounds, and interests. A champion is someone who understands all UChicago students have proven track records of success, and operates from a strengths-based attitude.

UChicago Common Book Initiative: The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui

Join this campus-wide reading experience and pick up a copy of The Best We Could Do this week!

The UChicago Common Book Initiative strives to enhance campus climate and build community through a shared experience, bringing together undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, faculty, staff, alumni and local community members to read the same book and engage in dialogues across campus. Such experiences foster full participation of community members and encourage understanding diverse perspectives and experiences within UChicago.

The Common Book aims to:

  • Foster a sense of community by providing a common reading experience.
  • Examine current events and highlight diversity of lived experiences through discussions of the book and the major topics it addresses.
  • Engage all members of the campus community through a variety of academic and social programming.

Stop by a distribution location this week to pick up a free copy of The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui.

  • Thursday, December 6  at the UChicago Bookstore: 11:00am-1:00pm
  • Friday, December 7 at the Seminary Co-op: 11:00am-1:00pm

Learn more about the Common Book Initiative and upcoming Winter 2019 campus events and small group discussions on the main themes of The Best We Could Do at inclusion.uchicago.edu/commonbook.

Graduate Commons Program at International House

Explore the 200+ Programs, Fellowships, and Internships for Graduate Students at I-House

At International House, UChicago graduate and professional school students and scholars can find many opportunities to become involved in a dynamic and diverse community. The Graduate Commons Program at International House features over 200 programs for UChicago Graduate Students; such as:

  • 55 Graduate Fellowships: International House Non-Resident Graduate Fellowship Program has awarded 50+ awards to UChicago graduate students to help ensure the diversity of the graduate community connected to International House. More information here.
  • 10 Internships: 10 GRAD Global Impact Internships were awarded to UChicago graduate students to arrange activities through the Graduate Commons Program. GRAD Global Impact Interns will help build relationships among graduate students and postdocs and plan and implement many of the popular on-going educational, cultural, and recreational House programs for graduate and professional school students. More information here.
  • $10,000: Amount awarded from the Davis Projects for Peace grant to I-House graduate fellow to design and implement their own grassroots projects anywhere in the world with the goal of promoting world peace. For more information on the Summer 2019 program visit https://ihouse.uchicago.edu/fellowships/davis_projects_for_peace_grants_2/
  • 9 Language Tables: Language Tables have been part of the International House’s long tradition to promote multicultural environment. These informal weekly one-hour gatherings allow interested University of Chicago students and scholars, native and non-native speakers, to meet to speak in a foreign language to develop language skills and to promote cultural enrichment through conversation. Nine different languages are represented during the fall quarter; the full weekly schedule for which can be found here. New language tables are always welcome. Contact International House if you would like to start a language table.
  • 4 Day Thanksgiving Homestay Program: Thanksgiving is America’s oldest tradition with rich significance and a time when families gather together to celebrate. You are invited to become part of an American family for the holiday as a guest in one of the five participating Illinois communities: Geneseo, Morrison, Paris, Prophetstown, and Sterling-Rock Falls. The application deadline for this program is tomorrow, November 2. Details of how to apply can be found here.
  • 100+ Global Voices Lecture and Performing Art Series hosts prominent speakers, round-table discussion groups, and special interest conferences and seminars as well as performing arts programs. As a part of this program, leading figures from the world stage come to share their thoughts and exchange ideas with students and members of Chicago’s civic community on major issues facing the country and the world. The 2018-19 schedule of events can be found here.
  • And, 100+ Social Activities held annually including dance classes, the Reimaginations discussion group, Show Me Chicago trips and tours, movie nights, game nights, study breaks, watch parties, and grad mixers. Additional special programs are held during the winter break and university holidays ensuring a supportive community throughout the year.

Updates and Scheduling details about I-House upcoming programming can be found on their Facebook group for graduate students: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IHouseGRADLife/

You can also sign up to the I-House Grad Life listserv at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/ihouse-gradlife

DAB: Targeted Programs and Resources related to Diversity

Get to know the UChicagoGRAD Diversity Action Board and their goals

The UChicagoGRAD Diversity Advisory Board (DAB) advises UChicagoGRAD and other graduate-serving units in its continuing efforts to develop targeted programs and resources related to diversity in graduate education and experience. It also serves as a liaison between and among campus-wide graduate student groups and leadership and as a convener of these constituents. The GRAD Diversity Advisory Board comprises graduate student representatives from academic divisions and the professional schools whose students regularly utilize UChicagoGRAD resources. Currently, board membership reflects students who have consistently demonstrated a commitment to enhancing diversity, inclusion, access, and equity in higher education.

This year, DAB plans to conduct a Graduate Student Forum during winter quarter, where graduate students of color will be able to voice their opinions on current support programming related to graduate student career and professional development. In particular, DAB will focus on the needs of doctoral students who identify as members of racial/ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the professoriate. During the Winter and Spring Quarters, DAB will compile and communicate results in a report to students and staff.

DAB Members:

  • Emma Aggor (Booth)
  • Vidal Anguiano Jr. (Harris)
  • Selina Baeza-Loya (BSD)
  • Andrea Bryant (PSD)
  • Evelyn Campbell (BSD)
  • Carlos Cardenas-Iniguez (SSD)
  • Sophia Carryl (BSD)
  • David Harris (Humanities)
  • Marion Malcome (SSA)
  • Bronwyn Nichols (SSD)
  • Victoria Okunye (Pritzker)
  • Foster Pinkney (Divinity)
  • LaTerricka Smith (SSD)
  • Nova Smith (Humanities)
  • Arielle Yoon (Law School)

Contact DAB: grad-dab@uchicago.edu