Announcements for Faculty and Staff

National Mentoring Month


Most of you know that February is Black History Month. You may not know that February is also National Mentoring Month. I am writing to tell you about some resources you may find helpful as you plan your participation in these events.

The Council of Graduate Schools provides a comprehensive, curated list of Social Justice and Anti-Racism Resources for Graduate Education. The resources are divided into four categories:

  • General resources: Establishing contexts for social justice and anti-racism
  • Holistic graduate admissions: Recruiting diverse students to improve programs and support missions
  • Culturally aware mentoring: Valuing different student experiences in the mentoring relationship
  • Discipline-based examples: Discipline-specific challenges and solutions in diversity, equity, and inclusion

The National Academy of Sciences provides a broad array of resources on the science of mentoring. The Graduate School provides a comprehensive list of these resources, but you may find the following particularly useful:

The National Academy resources are focused on mentoring graduate students in science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine disciplines, but many of the principles should also apply to the arts, humanities, and social sciences. You may also find the curricula offered through the Center for Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) useful. The curricula are customized for many different disciplines. Free registration allows you to download the curricula from CIMER.

Please remember that David Embrick and Stephany Santos will holding a Timely Topics session on Advising and mentoring historically excluded or racially oppressed graduate students tomorrow, February 2nd, at 1:00pm. You may register for the session.

I look forward to celebrating Black History Month and National Mentoring Month with you.

Kent Holsinger

2023 Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

We are pleased to announce that The Graduate School’s Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship will begin accepting applications on February 1, 2023!

The Graduate School is committed to helping graduate students achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals during their time at the University of Connecticut. In support of this goal, The Graduate School invites applicants for the Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, which is intended to support the successful completion of the dissertation. Please review the eligibility criteria for this fellowship carefully before applying. This is a one-time $2,000 fellowship. If awarded, the funds will given during the summer term and paid through the Office of the Bursar.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. The applicant must be a doctoral student in a program that requires a dissertation.
  2. The applicant must be an active student when they apply and are awarded. Students who complete their degree during the prior semester cannot be awarded.
  3. The applicant must have documented successful completion of the General Examination by submitting the Report on the General Exam.pdf to the Office of the Registrar’s Degree Audit team no later than February 28, 2023.
  4. The applicant must have documented successful completion and submission of the dissertation proposal by submitting the Dissertation Proposal form.pdf to the Office of the Registrar’s Degree Audit team no later than February 28, 2023.
    • The Dissertation Proposal form may be submitted to Degree Audit without IRB/IACUC approval. The milestone will be posted as “in progress” and that will satisfy eligibility for this application. IRB/IACUC approval must be submitted to Degree Audit when received so that the milestone may be updated to “complete” on the student record.
    • Students in the following doctoral programs may submit their application without having the Dissertation Proposal milestone on their account:
      • Communication
      • Clinical Psychology
      • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
      • EPSY – Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation
    • The applicant is not eligible if they have previously received a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.
    • Students at UConn Health (with the exception of Public Health doctoral students) and UConn Law are not eligible to apply for this fellowship.

    Please note, while we hope to provide funding to all eligible applicants, fellowships are not guaranteed, as funds are limited and pending budgetary approval.

    The application period for this fellowship is February 1-February 28, 2023. Applications received outside of these dates will not be processed. You can access the application form and more information here: Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship | The Graduate School (

    If you have questions regarding your eligibility for this fellowship, please contact before applying.

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

    The following information was shared with international GAs by ISSS. Note: the dates have been updated since this was originally posted here.


    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 2023 and if your degree is conferred in May, you will no longer be pursuing your degree after May 6, 2023.

    If you hold an Academic Year 2022/2023 or Spring 2023 appointment at Storrs or a regional campus (excepting UConn Health), the final date of your appointment is May 22, 2023. 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 6, 2023 through May 22, 2023 should be treated as time off. Please work with your supervisor to ensure that you finish the duties associated with your assistantship before May 6, 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 6, 2023 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 7, 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 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

    Spring 2023 Conference Participation Award

    We are pleased to announce that The Graduate School’s Conference Participation Award (formerly the Doctoral Student Travel Award) will be accepting applications from December 1, 2022-January 15, 2023.

    The Graduate School is committed to helping graduate students achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals during their time at the University of Connecticut. In support of this goal, The Graduate School offers a Conference Participation Award to support students’ ability to present their research at national or international meetings and conferences, including both in-person and virtual events. This conference participation fellowship in the amount of $750 will be awarded for Spring 2023 and paid through the student’s fee bill. If awarded, students will be notified in December. Please review the eligibility criteria for the fellowship carefully before applying.


    Students are responsible for knowing any and all travel advisories, restrictions, and relevant University policies and should plan accordingly. Students should stay up to date with information shared by the U.S. Department of State, State of Connecticut, and the University’s Travel Services office.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • The applicant must be a doctoral or MFA student.
    • The applicant must be enrolled in the semester for which the fellowship is awarded, e.g., spring semester for applications due by January 15.
    • The applicant must have successfully completed at least 30 credits toward their degree program prior to applying for this fellowship.
    • The applicant is not eligible if they have previously received a Doctoral Student Travel Award or Conference Participation Award.
    • The funds are intended to be used for participation in a conference at which the student is presenting their research.
    • Students at UConn Health and UConn Law are not eligible for this award.

    Please note, fellowships are not guaranteed, as funds are limited and pending budgetary approval. We hope to provide funding to all eligible applicants, but eligible students who are not awarded in this cycle will be encouraged to apply in the next cycle.

    The deadline for application is January 15th, 2023. Applications received following this date will not be considered. You can access the application form and more information here: Conference Participation Award | The Graduate School (

    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. 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 21 November 2022 to Martha Marroni ( 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.

    The Graduate School Annual Report 2021-2022


    Every year the Provost’s Office asks us to submit an annual report of activities and accomplishments. You will find this year’s report on our website. View the report by downloading the PDF. Last year’s report identified three priorities:

    • Improving graduate student advising
    • Analyzing policies for racially disparate outcomes
    • Building our capacity to support minoritized graduate students

    Although we have much work left to do on each of these priorities, I am pleased that we made some progress on all of them in addition to a variety of activities that advance our strategic plan. In addition to the usual graphs and tables on applications, enrollment, and degree conferral. This year’s report also includes preliminary results from a survey conducted in Spring 2022 to gauge the quality of graduate student experiences at UConn.

    If you have any questions about the report, please let me know.

    Kent Holsinger





    UConn’s PostDoc Seed Award Winners 2022

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

    Raquel Fleskes, from Anthropology, has been funded for the following project:

    This pilot research project seeks to develop a new method to extract ancient DNA from clay tobacco pipestems from colonial archaeological sites in Connecticut. Pipestems are common artifacts in colonial period archaeological sites, and preserve the DNA of people who smoked from them. This project will use eight pipestems, with each divided into equal thirds, to test three different DNA extraction methods at UConn’s Ancient DNA Laboratory. The concentration and complexity (number of different DNA sequences) will be assessed to determine the most effective method of DNA extraction. This project provides a new method in DNA extraction from archaeological artifacts.

    Jessie Turner, from Marine Sciences, has been funded for the following project:

    What color is the ocean? Using satellites to measure the color of the ocean tells us about the productivity of phytoplankton, the base of the entire ocean food chain. To use data from satellites, we need extensive ground-truth measurements of ocean color at Earth’s surface. However, the sensors used to ground-truth ocean color satellites are expensive and difficult to build. I plan to build a set of do-it-yourself sensors to measure ocean color at low cost. I will also create instructional materials for adaptation into a course for students interested in building sensors for their research.

    Deborah Good, from Physics, has been funded for the following project:

    I am an expert in timing millisecond pulsars – modeling the dynamics of rapidly-spinning, small, dense leftovers from supernova explosions – to detect gravitational waves from supermassive black holes. When timing pulsars, we model and remove the effects of the interstellar medium (ISM), especially ionized gas between the pulsar and the observer. Though “trash” in the search for gravitational waves, these gas models can be “treasure” for ISM scientists. I propose to lead a task force to improve our models and bring together pulsar timers, ISM scientists, and experts in mathematical modeling, maximizing our scientific output for ISM science and pulsar timing.

    Kristel Schoonderwoerd, from Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, has been funded for the following project:

    A single tree can bear leaves with widely varying shapes and functions. Smaller and thicker leaves that photosynthesize rapidly occur in parts of the crown that receive ample sunlight. On shaded branches, larger, thinner leaves are borne that photosynthesize comparatively slowly. Little is known about when during development these genetically identical leaf types diverge. This project seeks to understand how leaf development of sun and shade leaves aligns with seasonal changes in light availability within deciduous canopies, from leaf loss in the fall through new leaf expansion in spring.

    Faculty Affiliates for Inclusive Excellence


    The Graduate School is pleased to announce that we will host two Faculty Affiliates for Inclusive Excellence each academic year beginning in Fall 2022. One affiliate will focus on improving support for students from minoritized communities. The other will focus on improving faculty mentoring of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with a particular focus on improving mentoring for those from minoritized groups. For both affiliates the goal in 2022/2023 is to develop resources and establish programs that future faculty affiliates can sustain with support from The Graduate School staff. The affiliates will work very closely with one another in addition to working with The Graduate School staff and with relevant faculty and staff throughout the University.

    We anticipate that each affiliate will devote an average of 3-4 hours per week to their service for which they will receive a modest stipend. There will also be some funds available to support initiatives that the affiliates develop.

    We invite both applications and nominations for the affiliate positions. Please contact Kent Holsinger ( if you would like more information about becoming an affiliate program or if you would like to nominate someone for one of the positions. To apply, email identifying which of the two affiliate positions you are interested in and including a brief statement (no more than 1-2 pages) describing why you are interested in the position, the experience you have that makes you a good candidate for the position, and an initial idea or two about what you would plan to accomplish if you were selected as an affiliate. We will begin considering applications and nominations on 8 August, and the review will continue until affiliates have been selected.

    Affiliate for improving support

    The affiliate who focuses on improving support for graduate students will develop and execute a program that contributes to an equitable and supportive educational environment and that fosters a sense of community. The program should include a particular focus on providing support for graduate students and postdocs from minoritized groups. We anticipate that this affiliate will collaborate extensively with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, including the cultural centers on the Storrs campus.

    Affiliate for improving mentoring

    The affiliate who focuses on improving mentoring of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars will design and develop a program to provide mentorship training for faculty. The program will place special emphasis on helping faculty understand the challenges faced by graduate students and postdocs from minoritized groups.  We anticipate that this affiliate will draw on resources provided through the Center for Improvement of Mentored Experience in Research (CIMER – University of Wisconsin) as well as other resources. This affiliate may also participate in a “train the trainer” workshop at CIMER.

    Kent Holsinger



    Kent E. HolsingerBoard of Trustees Distinguished ProfessorVice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of The Graduate School

    Fall 2022 Conference Participation Award Applications Open

    The Graduate School is now accepting applications for the Conference Participation Award for a Fall 2022 Semester Award. The application period will be open from June 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022. Late applications will not be considered.

    Review eligibility criteria, details, and the application form.

    For questions, contact The Graduate School at


    UConn’s 3MT Competition 2022

    The Graduate School is pleased to announce this year’s three-minute thesis (3MT) competition, which will be held virtually on Monday, August 22nd 2022 from 12:00 to 1:30pm

    First developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis competition challenges research students (who have completed at least one year in a doctoral program) to communicate the significance of their projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes. The winner of this year’s competition will have the opportunity to submit their presentation to the global competition (virtual) in September.

    We will be running multiple training sessions during the summer to help you prepare. We are especially grateful to Dr. Rory McGloin who will be leading a transformational session entitled “Preparing for the Best Three Minute Presentation of Your Life” in July. This session is open to all graduate students.

    To view all the events, visit:

    To register for any of the events, visit: