Announcements for Current Students

Graduate Student Life Fair

The Graduate School invites you to attend our new Graduate Student Life Fair.

This is a virtual program that provides graduate students with the opportunity to meet graduate student organizations, campus resources, and many more. Graduate students are a critical part of UConn and we want to help you enhance your graduate school experience through getting involved, knowing where to find support, and acquiring important skills through professional development opportunities.

Virtual Event: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

3:00pm to 5:00pm (EDT)

Click here to access the event website: grad.uconn.edu/events/graduate-student-life-fair

To visit the Graduate Student Life Fair refer to your email for the password to access the website. You can peruse the various categories and during the event visit with vendors through a virtual booth. Each virtual booth is labeled with the campuses that the resource/organization serves. We encourage you to ask questions and gather information to help determine next steps to participate and get involved.

We look forward to seeing you at this new and exciting opportunity for graduate students! If you have any questions, please contact Stuart Duncan via email at stuart.duncan@uconn.edu. If you need any information on accommodations or would like to request accommodations, please visit csd.uconn.edu/request-accommodations/

U21 3MT® People’s Choice Competition – Voting Now Open

Join colleagues and students across UConn in supporting Shipra Malik’s game-changing research “Switching from Sickle to Non-Sickle” by voting for her in this year’s three-minute thesis competition (3MT).

See this year’s competitors here: https://universitas21.com/U213MT2021 And vote for Shipra here: https://universitas21.com/form/u21-3mt-r-2021-competition

The Graduate School’s BIPOC Graduate Student Support Report

Following the national incidents of racism and racial injustice in Summer 2020, The Graduate School began to reflect, study, and discuss how we can better serve Black, Indigenous, and/or Person of Color (BIPOC) graduate students at the University of Connecticut. This process involved many campus partners, including graduate faculty, staff, cultural centers and other University offices, graduate student organizations, and graduate students, and it produced the following report, which is also available on The Graduate School’s website.

The report outlines our process, our findings, and, most importantly, our priorities. We will use these priorities to guide our work in 2021-2022 and beyond with the goal of improving the experiences of BIPOC graduate students at UConn.

While the written report is final, our work to support BIPOC graduate students is never done, and our approaches will evolve as we learn more from our attempts to improve the experience of BIPOC graduate students. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions, and we look forward to making a UConn a welcoming and inclusive place for all of our students.

Kent

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

The Graduate School’s Strategic Plan

I write today to share the final version of The Graduate School’s strategic plan outlining our vision for the future of The Graduate School. An earlier draft of this plan was greatly improved by feedback from the Executive Committee of The Graduate School and from a variety of campus partners, faculty, and staff.

The final version of our strategic plan introduces the vision to which The Graduate School aspires, and it describes our mission as a set of activities grouped within three broad themes—innovation, community, and service—that will guide our work through 2026.

Kent

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

UConn’s PostDoc Seed Award Winners 2021

The Graduate School is delighted to announce this year’s Postdoc Seed Award Recipients.

Dr. Maria Rodgers, from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has been funded for the following project:

“I am isolating and examining various immune cells from a small fish species called the threespine stickleback. While I recently completed a project that determined what types of cells are present in various tissues of this fish species, still lacking in the field is knowledge of how specific cells are different between populations. For example, a specific cell type in one population might highly express gene x, but those same cells in another population do not express gene x. The more that we understand these nuances, the more we can 1. Understand evolutionary processes, and 2. Use cells as treatments/therapies.”

Dr. Matthew Sasaki, from Marine Sciences, has been funded for the following project:

“Climate change is causing an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events. As we saw during the recent heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, these events can be fatal for animals, which in turn has detrimental effects on ecosystem health and human activities. To better understand how extreme heat events may affect recreational and commercial fisheries around Connecticut, I am proposing to measure lethal thermal limits (the highest temperature an individual can survive) for copepods. These are abundant crustaceans that are an important source of food for many fish species.”

Dr. Heather A Kittredge, from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has been funded for the following project:

“Evolution is often a slow process, but it can happen incredibly fast. Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is one mechanism of evolution that is increasingly thought to drive rapid adaptation. HGT allows microbes to steal DNA from neighboring cells, making it a powerful evolutionary force. However, acquiring foreign DNA can also be lethal if it disrupts finely tuned cellular processes. Despite potential risks, computational models indicate that high rates of HGT facilitate microbial invasion. Here, I apply experimental evolution and genetics to understand if HGT helps microbes invade extreme environments, revolutionizing the contemporary idea that evolution is too slow to alter ecological processes like invasion success.”

UConn’s 3MT Winners 2021

The Graduate School is delighted to announce this year’s 3MT winners.

In 1st place, Shipra Malik (Pharmaceutical Sciences) with her presentation “Precise and Safe Genome Engineering.” View her winning presentation here:


In 2nd place, Tommy Lee (Psychological Sciences) with his presentation “How the Brain Turns New Experiences into Memories.” View his presentation here:

In 3rd place, Corrin Laposki (Anthropology) with her presentation “Burning Questions: Oxygen Isotopes as Biomarkers of Air Pollution in Archaeological Bone.” View her presentation here:

Come and join us for UConn’s 3MT competition final this Thursday evening

After a year hiatus due to Covid, UConn’s 3MT competition is back, bigger and better than before.

We cordially invite you to join us this Thursday at 6-7pm EDT where 11 graduate student finalists will compete for the opportunity to represent UConn on the global stage. Please feel free to forward the following link (which contains the info to join the event) to your undergraduate and graduate student populations as well as interested staff and faculty. Come and cheer on the finalists! https://mailchi.mp/uconn.edu/youre-invited-to-support-uconns-3mt-finalists.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Onwards!

Stuart P. Duncan PhD DMA

Message from Payroll: Welcome, Graduate Assistants, to UConn Fall 2021

The first GA payment will be on August 27, 2021 and will be prorated for the pay dates between 8/23/2021 and 8/26/2021 (4 days paid with the first check). UConn pays bi-weekly (every two weeks).  Payroll-Calendar 2021.pdf  The second pay day is Sept 10, 2021 and every two weeks thereafter for the full biweekly stipend payment (10 days paid).   

 

Keep in mind, your graduate assistant payments will vary depending on whether or not you elect health insurance GA-health-insurance/, if you elect to join the GEU-UAW union and pay union dues, or sign up for payroll fee bill deductions graduate Fee Bill-payroll-deduction.  General deductions do not begin immediately (with the first payment) so keep an eye on your pay statement to see the various deductions.  The first deductions for insurance premiums and Bursar’s fee bill deductions will be on 9/24/2021 so mark your calendars and review your pay stub if you signed up for these deductions. Your tax withholdings will be deducted from your first GA payment. 

 

The Rec Center Relief reimbursement payment will be paid in the second payment of September on 9/24/2021. Please refer to the GEU-UAW contract for more information on this relief payment. 

 

NEW HIRE GAs:  Once your payroll record has been set up and the fall semester has begun on 8/23/2021, you can log into Employee Self Service (ESS) portal as of 8/24/2021 (https://ess.uconn.edu/) to manage your personal data such as tax withholdings, name changes, address changes, and setting up or changing direct deposit accounts. Payroll’s direct deposit is separate from the Bursar’s direct deposit and should be entered separately through ESS. Also, ESS is where you will go to view your biweekly pay stubs and print out your year-end W2 when it’s available. If you prefer to upload your tax and direct deposit information prior to 8/24/2021, please use these links to send your documents securely:    

 

NEW HIRE GAs:  Your first payment will be mailed to the address that was listed in Student Administration (SA) at the time your payroll record was created. Therefore, if you have relocated and your address is different than your SA address you must let me know prior to 8/13/2021 so I can update the payroll system for your first payment. Updating your address in SA will NOT update Payroll-CoreCT. You must email your local address and write LOCAL ADDRESS in the Subject line to gena.twarz@uconn.edu. International GA’s who did not have a US address at the time your payroll was set up will have the first payments mailed to the Payroll office. As soon as you have a US address email gena.twarz@uconn.edu with your valid home/mailing address. 

 

RETURNING GAs, or GAs that were previously employed or are currently active at UConn on Student Labor, Special Payroll, or any other UConn payroll (or any other state agency) and were receiving a direct deposit payment – you do not need to submit a direct deposit form. If the existing direct deposit is a valid account, you do not need to do anything. If you are currently active on a UCONN payroll you can log into Employee Self Service ESS and make changes to your address or direct deposit if needed. If your prior direct deposit account is no longer active, please email gena.twarz@uconn.edu as soon as possible so your first payment does not go to an inactive account. 

 

Finally, for NEW hire GAs, if your SA account does not have your valid social security number, and consequently Payroll will not have your valid SSN, you need to update both the Registrar’s Office and Payroll with your valid SSN. DO NOT EMAIL your SSN or copy of your card to Payroll or the Registrar’s office. Instead, use the following links to update your SSN:   

  • Follow the instructions on the Registrar’s Biographical Information Update Request form (fax#860/486-0272; In-person office hours as of 8/16/21; or arrange to send via filelocker.uconn.edu). Do not send your Social Security Number in an email.   
  • Please send Social Security card to Payroll through OneDrive:  Upload SSN here  

  

Be well and best wishes for a successful year, 

Gena 

 

Gena Twarz 

Graduate Assistant Payroll Manager 

Gena.twarz@uconn.edu  

Payroll Department 

343 Mansfield Rd, Storrs, CT 06269-1111 

Available to Speak via Teams:  https://email.uconn.edu/what-is-microsoft-teams/ 

fax: 860/486-4296 

International TA Orientation – registration open

Good afternoon,

Registration for UCAELI’s online International TA Orientation on August 9th is now open. Please see the below message from UCAELI for more details and share with your grads as appropriate.

The deadline to register for the August microteaching test is July 27th. More information about testing and the testing schedule can be found here.

***
Who needs to attend ITA Orientation on Monday, August 9?
ITA Orientation is intended for international TAs who have never taught in the United States. International TAs with teaching experience from another university in the United States are welcome to attend, but their attendance is not required. Students who have been screened for TA via the microteaching test, waiver interview, or UCAELI proficiency assessment are strongly advised to attend. Students who have not been screened for TA but planning to are also invited to attend.

Please visit the ITA website, www.ita.uconn.edu for more information.

If you have any questions, please email Ana Colón at register-ucaeli@uconn.edu.

Important Information for Graduate Students Studying Outside the U.S.

We are aware that travel to the US from some parts of the world is still difficult and that some of our international students may be considering whether to enroll in courses from their home country this fall. If the student will be engaged in research, their work may be subject to export control laws, which are federal regulations governing the sharing and use of certain information, technologies, and commodities overseas. I am writing to let you know that graduate students, whether domestic or international, who will be outside of the US for most or all of the semester and who anticipate enrolling in a course that is outside of the standard education abroad program content (e.g., GRAD 5950/6950/5999/6999, an independent study, or a departmental research course) should obtain approval before finalizing their fall enrollment. In some cases, export control review will be required for enrollment in these courses. Export control review can take several weeks—we advise that students plan with this timeline in mind. If a student proceeds without prior approval and export control review reveals a significant concern, they may need to withdraw from the course in question. If they are required to withdraw, there could be financial implications, including only a partial return of tuition according to the university refund schedule, a requirement to return a portion of any financial aid they received, or both.

To obtain approval, the student should contact graduatedean@uconn.edu with the following information:

  • Field of study
  • Proposed course enrollment (catalog number and course name)
  • Brief (one-two sentences only) summary of research topic
  • Country of citizenship
  • Country where courses will be taken/research conducted abroad
  • List of any special equipment/computer hardware/software that is not commercially available to be used while abroad