Author: Petsa, Megan

Spring 2024: Last day of work for GAs holding F-1 and J-1 visas

The following information was shared with international GAs by ISSS.

Colleagues,

Federal government regulations allow graduate students on F-1 and J-1 visas to hold on-campus employment while they are pursuing their degree. If you complete your degree requirements during Spring 2024 and if your degree is conferred in May, you will no longer be pursuing your degree after May 5, 2024.

If you hold an Academic Year 2023/2024 or Spring 2024 appointment at Storrs or a regional campus (excepting UConn Health), the final date of your appointment is May 21, 2024. If your degree is conferred in May and you hold an F-1 or J-1 visa and your assistantship appointment is covered by a collective bargaining agreement with the Graduate Employee Union (GEU), the time from May 4, 2024 through May 21, 2024 should be treated as time off. Please work with your supervisor to ensure you finish the duties associated with your assistantship before May 4, 2023. You will still receive your full Spring 2023 GA stipend.

In addition, ISSS will be updating your I-20 or DS-2019 program end date to May 4, 2024 if you are graduating in May and hold a GAship this term. This means your grace period to depart the U.S., or your first eligible date to begin post-completion practical training will begin May 5, 2024. Please plan for this accordingly. ISSS will adjust your I-20 or DS-2019 end date automatically based on notification that you have applied for graduation, or at the time you apply for post-completion OPT (F-1 students) or Academic Training (J-1 students), whichever comes first. ISSS will notify you when your adjusted I-20 or DS-2019 is ready to download from your ISSS portal account.

Please reach out to ISSS at international@uconn.edu if you have any questions about this change as it relates to your visa status, I-20, grace period, or practical training timeline.

Kent Holsinger
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Biology
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
and Dean of The Graduate School

Arthur Galinat
Director, International Student and Scholar Services

Upcoming GA Registration Deadline

As a reminder, all students employed as Graduate Assistants are required to maintain full-time student status (6 or more credits), as noted in their offer letter and The Graduate Catalog. Employment as a GA is a result of student status, therefore GAs are expected to be registered for a minimum of 6 credits before the start date of their employment (the deadline is January 7, 2024 for grads who have been appointed as GAs for Spring 2024). Please be aware that if you do not enroll in the minimum 6 credits required to maintain full-time student status, the University cannot employ you as a GA.

To register now, log into Student Admin. You can also find helpful information, resources, and to-do items specific to your role as a GA, including information about GA health insurance and deadlines for enrolling in GA payroll deductions to pay our fee bill, at the Graduate Assistant Onboarding page.

Students who have the “GEMB – Graduate Embargo” hold on their record, will be unable to register in classes until they are present in the U.S. If you are a student with this particular hold, please be sure to check in with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) immediately upon arrival and register for classes through Student Admin as soon as ISSS has removed the hold.

If you have any questions about this requirement or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to megan.petsa@uconn.edu.

Spring 2024 Registration Information for Graduate Students

Dear Graduate Students,

The message below includes information relevant to both new incoming graduate students and those who will be continuing on as students in Spring 2024. Please review the information below carefully and reach out with any questions you may have. If you have not done so already, please be sure to enroll in classes prior to the start of the semester*, which begins January 16.

*Students who are using an employee tuition waiver should follow the timeline associated with their waiver.

Information for New Students
Departments and programs may have more specific guidance for new students on what courses they should be enrolling in. Students should reach out to the program or their academic advisor for guidance on which courses they should enroll in during their first semester. (This information may also be available on the program’s website.)

If a student has holds on their account that prevent enrollment, such as the Student Financial Responsibility Statement or an immunization hold, they will not be able to register for classes until those holds have been cleared. We advise students to try to register early so that there is plenty of time to review and clear any holds before classes fill up or enrollment deadlines approach.

The Office of the Registrar’s website provides an overview of useful registration tools available in Student Admin along with registration-related forms. UConn’s Knowledge Base provides step-by-step instructions on how to manage your enrollment through the Student Administration system. If you have difficulty registering, please reach out to registrar@uconn.edu (or registrar@uchc.edu for UCH grads) for assistance. Please note, permission numbers for courses are typically managed by the course instructor.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement
Continuous enrollment is a requirement of all graduate programs. Students who will not be registering in coursework or research credits must register for a zero-credit continuous registration course to maintain their active student status. Continuous registration courses include GRAD 5997, GRAD 5998, and GRAD 6998, as well as GRAD 5999 (Thesis Preparation) and GRAD 6999 (Dissertation Preparation). Enrollment in these courses should be determined before the first day of classes. There are financial implications when changing from being enrolled in credits to no credits as of the first day of classes.  Changes from credits to a zero-credit placeholder cannot be made after the first day of classes.  

Research Credits
Students should consult with their advisor regarding when it is appropriate to enroll in research credits for their course of study. Doctoral students should register for GRAD 6950. Plan A Master’s students should register for GRAD 5950. Each section number corresponds to the number of credits you will earn (e.g., GRAD 6950-001 will earn one credit, GRAD 6950-002 will earn two credits, etc.). All sections will show “Staff” (or similar) as the instructor. Through an automatic process later in the semester, students will be moved to a grade roster associated with their major advisor. Permission numbers are not needed for students to register for these research courses. If you attempt to register and receive an error, contact registrar@uconn.edu for assistance. Be sure to include your 7-digit student ID in all correspondence.
Graduate Internship Courses

Students who will be engaging in an internship for which they plan to earn academic credit can find information about course options and how to enroll on The Graduate School’s Graduate Internship Courses page.

Cancelling Enrollment/Leave of Absence
Continuing students who wish to cancel enrollment prior to the start of the semester or any student who attends class and then decides to withdraw from all their courses should notify The Graduate School (TGS) by completing an online Voluntary Separation Notification Form as soon as possible. The add/drop period that extends through the 10th day of classes is only available to students who plan to be enrolled in credited coursework throughout the semester. A student who wishes to go down to zero credits or withdraw from their program completely will need assistance from The Graduate School and will be subject to the University’s Full Withdrawal Tuition and Fee Adjustment schedule which will apply based on the date the student notifies TGS of the intent to withdraw via the online Voluntary Separation Notification process, not when they last attended classes. Visit The Graduate School’s webpage to learn more about voluntary separation, including the academic leave of absence process.

Deferral of Admission
If you are an incoming student for the spring semester and wish to request a deferral of your application/admission to a future semester, more information on that process is available on The Graduate School’s admissions FAQ and questions can be directed to gradadmissions@uconn.edu.

Day 10 Automatic Separation
Students who do not register for classes by the 10th day are automatically discontinued from their program. If the student then wishes to be enrolled after Day 10, the student will need to request reinstatement to their program, which is not guaranteed and incurs a $65 fee. Students should also be aware that classes with insufficient enrollment will be cancelled and will then be unavailable even if the student is reinstated.

Additional Registration Information for Graduate Assistants
Graduate Assistants (GAs) are required to be enrolled as full-time students (6 or more credits), as noted in their offer letter and The Graduate Catalog. Employment as a GA is a result of student status, therefore GAs are expected to be registered for a minimum of 6 credits before the start date of their spring semester employment (January 7, 2024). GAs who have not completed their registration for a minimum of six credits by their start date are not fulfilling one of the contingencies of employment and may be subject to termination from their assistantship. (GAs employed solely at UConn Health should follow the registration deadlines set by UCH.)

Please note, the tuition waiver will not post to a GA’s fee bill until the GA is registered for at least 6 credits. Therefore, if a student is not fully registered in a timely fashion, this can result in a Bursar hold on the student’s account that blocks enrollment and other services, as well as incurs late fees.

Students should consult with their advisor regarding when it is appropriate to enroll in research credits for their course of study. Doctoral students should register for GRAD 6950. Plan A Master’s students should register for GRAD 5950. GAs should NOT register for GRAD 6960 (Full-Time Doctoral Research) or GRAD 5960 (Full-Time Master’s Research). GRAD 6960 and 5960 are only 3 credits and will create duplicate fee charges or prevent the tuition waiver from populating if it is the only course the GA is registered for.

GAs employed at Storrs and regional campuses who fall under the Graduate Employee Union (GEU) are encouraged to visit the Graduate Assistant Onboarding webpage. This page provides information, resources, and to-do items specific to being a GA that helps GAs successfully transition into their assistantship.

If you are experiencing difficulty registering, or have any questions, please feel free to reach out for assistance. Please include your 7-digit student ID number in all correspondence.

To register now, please log in to the Student Administration System.

Sincerely,

Megan Petsa, M.A.
Director of Graduate Student Administration

The Graduate School
University of Connecticut
The Whetten Graduate Center, Second Floor
438 Whitney Road Extension, Unit 1152 | Storrs, CT  06269-1152
860.486.0977 | www.grad.uconn.edu | Pronouns: she/her

Establishing a Network for Enriched Mentoring

Information about this program and how to sign up to be a mentee is also being shared with graduate students through the Graduate Student Senate. 

Colleagues,

The Graduate School is establishing a Network for Enriched Mentorship (NEM). NEM is a UConn-wide interdisciplinary mentoring network focused on minoritized graduate students. Through NEM, graduate students can find mentors to talk with them about issues that arise outside of their coursework and dissertations.

We hope that by connecting students with mentors who have experience navigating obstacles (e.g., systemic bias, personal hardship, alternative career trajectories) or who can be effective and accountable allies, more students will feel supported and assertive in their graduate careers and beyond.

We are launching a pilot version of NEM this fall, providing the opportunity for graduate students (mentees) to be matched with appropriate faculty/staff (mentors). We invite you to apply via this link to declare your interest in participating as a mentor. Once we have matched you with a mentor, we recommend that you schedule monthly meetings with your mentee.

We would also appreciate it if you could share this information with other faculty/staff members who might be interested in serving as mentors to support our grad students. At the end of the academic year, I will acknowledge your service with a letter that will be copied to your department head and dean, and The Graduate School will invite you and your mentee to join us at an end-of-the-year celebration.

Mary Bernstein, Mary Anne Amalaradjou, and Chen Chen are coordinating NEM. Please contact any one of them if you have questions about the project. You will find their contact information below my signature.

Thank you for considering this invitation.

Kent

Kent E. Holsinger
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
and Dean of The Graduate School

*****

Mary Bernstein,
Associate Dean of The Graduate School and Professor of Sociology mary.bernstein@uconn.edu

Mary Anne Roshni Amalaradjou Associate Professor of Food Microbiology
Faculty Affiliate for Inclusive Excellence, The Graduate School mary_anne.amalaradjou@uconn.edu

Chen Chen
Assistant Professor, Sport Management
Faculty Affiliate for Inclusive Excellence, The Graduate School cchen@uconn.edu

New Assistant UConn Ombuds, Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars

Dear Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars:

As of this fall semester, Cinnamon Adams has joined me in the UConn Ombuds office as Assistant UConn Ombuds.  Cinnamon’s work will focus on serving the UConn graduate student and Postdoctoral populations initially but will also be available to assist faculty and staff as we move through the academic year and beyond.  Many of you know Cinnamon from her work in The Graduate School as Director of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Support since 2016.  Indeed, Cinnamon’s expanding problem-solving work with graduate students over this time, along with her unique skills and training, was a major reason for this change to the Ombuds Office.  As Assistant Ombuds, Cinnamon will adhere to the confidential, informal, independent, and impartial principles of the UConn Ombuds Office as outlined in the Office Charter.

She has worked at UConn since 2002 in various positions including Residence Hall Director, Assistant Director of Community Standards and more recently the Director of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Support. In each of her university positions, Cinnamon has supported students as they navigated various issues through conflict resolution, mediation, coaching, and advising.

Cinnamon’s preparation for this role includes completing the professional mediation program from Quinnipiac Law’s Center for Dispute Resolution, and training in Communication, Restorative Practices, and multiple courses with the International Ombuds Association. Cinnamon received a BA in Psychology from Western New England University and a MS in College Student Personnel from Miami University (of Ohio).

The UConn Ombuds Office was established in 2013 through the cooperative work of the University Senate, UCPEA, AAUP and the President’s Office to informally assist graduate students, faculty, and staff to address issues, enhance communication, and find agreeable solutions to problems whenever possible.  In doing our work, Cinnamon and I focus on the needs and interests of the people directly involved and, depending on our visitors’ consent, may gather information, clarify issues, expedite solutions, or facilitate conversations when appropriate. We encourage you to consider the Ombuds Office as an early step in addressing problems when they arise.

Over the next few months, Cinnamon will be attending campus events and reaching out to graduate student organizations and groups to provide information about the Ombuds Office. She can be reached by email (cinnamon.adams@uconn.edu) or telephone (860-486-1954) and she is ready to meet with graduate students now, answer your questions, and work with you to find solutions to any issues you may be experiencing.

Sincerely,
Jim Wohl
Director, UConn Ombuds Office

Call for Nominations for the Edward C. Marth Mentorship Award

The AAUP UConn Chapter established the Edward C. Marth Mentorship Award to recognize the leadership and dedication of Edward Marth, former Executive Director of the AAUP UConn Chapter, to both encourage and reward outstanding mentoring of graduate students by UConn Graduate Faculty members. The $4000 award includes an invitation to speak at the Doctoral Commencement Ceremony on Monday, May 6, 2024 at 6:00pm. Recipients of the award have had direct and significant impact and involvement with graduate students, outstanding commitment and effectiveness as a mentor of graduate students at UConn, and have demonstrated unusual effort to provide consistent mentoring of graduate students during the course of their careers. Recipients will be Graduate Faculty members who have extraordinary records of excellence and effectiveness in activities such as facilitating smooth transitions for both entering and exiting graduate students; showing sensitivity to students’ academic, personal, and professional goals and needs; being accessible to students; playing an active role in coaching graduate students through the graduate school experience and connecting them to appropriate intellectual and professional networks; and, guiding graduate students toward intellectual and professional independence.

Faculty at any University of Connecticut campus may be nominated for the Edward C. Marth Mentorship Award. To be eligible for the award nominees must: (a) be current members of the Graduate Faculty of the University of Connecticut, (b) have served as a member of the Graduate Faculty for at least 10 years, and (c) be current members of the AAUP UConn Chapter. Prior recipients of the award are not eligible.

Nominations should be submitted electronically by 20 November 2023 to Martha Marroni (martha.marroni@uconn.edu) with the subject line “Nomination for Marth Award.” Nominations should be submitted as a single PDF document and contain the following elements:

  1. A nominating letter that is no longer than three typed pages. This may be from a director of graduate studies, Department Head, College/School Dean, administrator, or former graduate student.
  2. A minimum of two (and a maximum of four) letters of support written by former and/or current graduate advisees.
  3. No more than three letters from other UConn Graduate Faculty colleagues. If the Department Head is not a signatory on the nominating letter, then one of these letters should be from the current (or recent) Department Head.
  4. A 1–2 page statement from the nominee on his/her philosophy of working with and mentoring graduate students.
  5. A list of supervised theses and dissertations.
  6. The nominee’s CV

Awardees will be selected by a committee composed of graduate faculty (appointed by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of The Graduate School) and at least one graduate student (appointed by the Graduate Student Senate). The award is accompanied by a monetary prize and an invitation to speak at the doctoral Commencement ceremony.

Fall 2023: Last day of work for GAs holding F-1 and J-1 visas

The following information was shared with international GAs by ISSS.

Colleagues,

Federal government regulations allow graduate students on F-1 and J-1 visas to hold on-campus employment while they are pursuing their degree. If you complete your degree requirements during Fall 2023 and if your degree is conferred in December, you will no longer be pursuing your degree after December 17, 2023.

If you hold a Fall 2023 appointment at Storrs or a regional campus (excepting UConn Health), the final date of your appointment is January 6, 2024. If your degree is conferred in December and you hold an F-1 or J-1 visa and your assistantship appointment is covered by a collective bargaining agreement with the Graduate Employee Union (GEU), the time from December 16, 2023 through January 6, 2024 should be treated as time off. Please work with your supervisor to ensure that you finish the duties associated with your assistantship before December 16, 2023. You will still receive your full Fall 2023 GA stipend.

In addition, ISSS will be updating your I-20 or DS-2019 program end date to December 17, 2023 if you are graduating in December and hold a GAship this term. This means your grace period to depart the U.S., or your first eligible date to begin post-completion practical training will begin December 18, 2023. Please plan for this accordingly. ISSS will adjust your I-20 or DS-2019 end date automatically based on notification that you have applied for graduation, or at the time you apply for post-completion OPT (F-1 students) or Academic Training (J-1 students), whichever comes first. ISSS will notify you when your adjusted I-20 or DS-2019 is ready to download from your ISSS portal account.

Please reach out to ISSS at international@uconn.edu if you have any questions about this change as it relates to your visa status, I-20, grace period, or practical training timeline.

Kent Holsinger
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Biology
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
and Dean of The Graduate School

Arthur Galinat
Director, International Student and Scholar Services

Upcoming GA Registration Deadline

As a reminder, all students employed as Graduate Assistants are required to maintain full-time student status (6 or more credits), as noted in their offer letter and The Graduate Catalog. Employment as a GA is a result of student status, therefore GAs are expected to be registered for a minimum of 6 credits before the start date of their employment (August 23, 2023). Please be aware that if you do not enroll in the minimum 6 credits required to maintain full-time student status, the University cannot employ you as a GA.

To register now, log into Student Admin. You can also find helpful information, resources, and to-do items specific to your role as a GA, including information about GA health insurance and deadlines for enrolling in GA payroll deductions to pay our fee bill, at the Graduate Assistant Onboarding page.

Students who have the “GEMB – Graduate Embargo” hold on their record, will be unable to register in classes until they are present in the U.S. If you are a student with this particular hold, please be sure to check in with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) immediately upon arrival and register for classes through Student Admin as soon as ISSS has removed the hold.

If you have any questions about this requirement or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to megan.petsa@uconn.edu.

Fall 2023 Registration Information for Graduate Students

Dear Graduate Students,

As we approach the end of the spring semester, I am reaching out to you with information regarding Fall 2023 enrollment. The email below includes information relevant to both new, incoming graduate students and those who will be continuing on as students in Fall 2023. If you have not done so already, please be sure to enroll in classes prior to the start of the semester*, which begins August 28.

*Students who are using an employee tuition waiver should follow the timeline associated with their waiver.

Information for New Students
Departments and programs may have more specific guidance for new students on what courses they should be enrolling in. Students should reach out to the program or their academic advisor for guidance on which courses they should enroll in during their first semester. (This information may also be available on the program’s website.)

If a student has holds on their account that prevent enrollment, such as the Student Financial Responsibility Statement or an immunization hold, they will not be able to register for classes until those holds have been cleared. We advise students to try to register early so that there is plenty of time to review and clear any holds before classes fill up or enrollment deadlines approach.

The Office of the Registrar’s website provides an overview of useful registration tools available in Student Admin along with registration-related forms. UConn’s Knowledge Base provides step-by-step instructions on how to manage your enrollment through the Student Administration system. If you have difficulty registering, please reach out to registrar@uconn.edu (or registrar@uchc.edu for UCH grads) for assistance. Please note, permission numbers for courses are typically managed by the course instructor.

Continuous Enrollment
Continuous enrollment is a requirement of all graduate programs. Continuing students who will not be registering in coursework or research credits must register for a zero-credit continuous registration course to maintain their active student status. Continuous registration courses include GRAD 5997, GRAD 5998, and GRAD 6998, as well as GRAD 5999 (Thesis Preparation) and GRAD 6999 (Dissertation Preparation). Enrollment in these sections should be determined before the first day of classes. There are financial implications when changing from being enrolled in credits to no credits as of the first day of classes. Changes from credits to a zero-credit placeholder cannot be made after the first day of classes.

Research Credits
Students should consult with their advisor regarding when it is appropriate to begin enrolling in research credits for their course of study. Doctoral students should register for GRAD 6950. Plan A Master’s students should register for GRAD 5950. Each section number corresponds to the number of credits you will earn (e.g., GRAD 6950-001 will earn one credit, GRAD 6950-002 will earn two credits, etc.). All sections will show “Staff” (or similar) as the instructor. Through an automatic process later in the semester, students will be moved to a grade roster associated with their major advisor. Permission numbers are not needed for students to register for these research courses during the academic year. If you attempt to register and receive an error, contact registrar@uconn.edu for assistance. Be sure to include your 7-digit student ID in all correspondence.

Cancelling Enrollment/Leave of Absence
Continuing students who wish to cancel enrollment prior to the start of the semester or any student who attends class and then decides to withdraw from all their courses should notify The Graduate School (TGS) by completing an online Voluntary Separation Notification Form as soon as possible. The add/drop period that extends through the 10th day of classes is only available to students who plan to be enrolled in credited coursework throughout the semester. A student who wishes to go down to zero credits or withdraw from their program completely will need assistance from The Graduate School and will be subject to the University’s Full Withdrawal Tuition and Fee Adjustment schedule which will apply based on the date the student notifies TGS of the intent to withdraw via the online Voluntary Separation Notification process, not when they last attended classes. Visit The Graduate School’s webpage to learn more about voluntary separation, including the academic leave of absence process.

If you are an incoming student for the fall semester and wish to request a deferral of your application/admission to a future semester, more information on that process is available on The Graduate School’s admissions FAQ and questions can be directed to gradadmissions@uconn.edu.

Day 10 Automatic Separation
Students who do not register for either credit-bearing classes or a continuous registration course by the 10th day are automatically discontinued from their program. If the student then wishes to be enrolled after Day 10, the student will need to request reinstatement to their program, which is not guaranteed and incurs a $65 fee. Students should also be aware that classes with insufficient enrollment will be cancelled and will then be unavailable even if the student is reinstated.

Additional Registration Information for GAs
Graduate assistants (GAs) are required to be enrolled as full-time students (6 or more credits), as noted in their offer letter and The Graduate Catalog. Employment as a GA is a result of student status, therefore GAs are expected to be registered for a minimum of 6 credits before the start date of their employment (August 23, 2023). GAs who have not completed their registration for a minimum of six credits by their start date are not fulfilling one of the contingencies of employment and will be subject to termination from their assistantship. (GAs employed solely at UConn Health should follow UCH registration deadlines.)

Please note, the tuition waiver will not post to a GA’s fee bill until the GA is registered for at least 6 credits. Therefore, if a student is not fully registered in a timely fashion, this can result in a Bursar hold on the student’s account that blocks enrollment and other services, as well as incur late fees.

Students should consult with their advisor regarding when it is appropriate to begin enrolling in research credits for their course of study. Doctoral students should register for GRAD 6950. Plan A Master’s students should register for GRAD 5950. GAs should NOT register for GRAD 6960 (Full-Time Doctoral Research) or GRAD 5960 (Full-Time Master’s Research). GRAD 6960 and 5960 are only 3 credits and will create duplicate fee charges or prevent the tuition waiver from populating if it is the only course the GA is registered for.

GAs employed at Storrs and regional campuses who fall under the Graduate Employee Union (GEU) are encouraged to visit the Graduate Assistant Onboarding webpage. This page provides information, resources, and to-do items specific to being a GA that helps GAs successfully transition into their assistantship.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to The Graduate School for assistance. Please include your 7-digit student ID number in all correspondence.

To register now, please log in to the Student Administration System.

Best,

Megan Petsa
Director of Graduate Student Administration

The Graduate School
University of Connecticut
The Whetten Graduate Center, Second Floor
438 Whitney Road Extension, Unit 1152 | Storrs, CT 06269-1152
860.486.0977 | www.grad.uconn.edu | Pronouns: she/hers

Commencement 2023 Information

Will you join us for Commencement 2023? Congratulations! It’s time to RSVP, order regalia, and get tickets.  The sooner we know you are coming, the more time we have to get things mailed to you if necessary. Tickets and regalia will also be available in Storrs on the day of the ceremony. The key to RSVP success is that you must have applied to graduate within Student Administration.

Monday, May 8, 2023 – The Graduate School Ceremonies

Masters Ceremony
Gampel Pavilion
9am (gather one hour prior in the Field House)
Candidates that had their degrees conferred in December 2022 and those who will finish in May 2023 or August 2023 may attend.

Doctoral Ceremony
Jorgensen Auditorium
6pm (gather one hour prior via the rear entrance)
Candidates that had their degrees conferred in August or December 2022 and those who will finish in May 2023 or August 2023 may attend.

For more information contact lisa.pane@uconn.edu