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Graduate Life Coach Programming, Spring 2020


Please check here for the latest news on how preventative measures for COVID-19 are affecting campus resources and programming:

Programming listed below was planned for the Spring 2020 term. Unfortunately, due to the current situation, much of the remaining programming has been postponed or canceled.  Here are the programs available at this time:

  • Graduate Student COVID-19 Coping Strategies – If you would like to discuss coping strategies with the Graduate Life Coach, you can either schedule an individual coaching session or join one of the group discussion offerings.  You can schedule either of these through the Graduate Life Coach online calendar.
  • Peak Performance – Work/Life Balance and Remote Work – Register via Calendly for this Zoom session - Friday, April 17, 2020 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM (ZOOM link is in the confirmation, once registered)
  • Individual Coaching Appointments – Choose date and time to meet via Calendly  (ZOOM link will be sent by Graduate Life Coach prior to meeting time)

Visit the Past Programming page to view prior workshops and seminar series.

Finance Seminars 

Personal Finance for PhDs will be here for two seminars.  Space is limited, so make sure to RSVP!

Demystifying Taxes for Grad Students and Postdocs
Venue: Wilson Hall, Room 103
Date: Monday, February 3, 2020
Time: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Are you intimidated by the prospect of preparing your grad student or postdoc tax return? Are you confused by the tax forms you received from your institution – or the forms you didn’t? This seminar breaks down how to calculate your taxable income from your salary, stipend, fellowship, grant, and/or scholarships; minimize your tax liability using education tax benefits; and report your income, qualified education expenses, and estimated tax paid on your tax return.

Due to feedback from last year's attendees, Dr. Roberts will provide a pre-workshop webinar on January 27 @ 6:30 PM to provide background information for those that may be more unfamiliar with filing taxes.  

The Grad Student and Postdoc's Guide to Personal Finance
Wilson Hall, Room 103
Date: Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Time: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Are you ready to take the next step with your finances as a graduate student or postdoc? Do you want to learn how to allocate your money more optimally, break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, and increase your net worth even while in training? This seminar presents an 8-step framework to guide you from broke to financially secure to wealthy through saving, debt repayment, and investing and includes real-life examples of other PhD trainees finding financial success.

About the presenter
Dr. Emily Roberts is a personal finance educator specializing in early-career PhDs. Through her business, Personal Finance for PhDs, she equips graduate students, postdocs, and PhDs with Real Jobs to make the most of their money. She gives seminars at universities and for associations, interviews PhDs on her podcast, serves as a money coach, and creates courses and workshops on taxes, investing, and more. Emily holds a PhD in biomedical engineering from Duke University and lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two children

Collaborative Communication Workshop (Grad Students and Faculty)

Venue:  Kissam Center, Multipurpose Room 210 
Date: Friday, March 13, 2020
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
RSVP by January 13  only 30 spots available! 

To be rescheduled for the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 term - stay tuned!

Today's workplace requires more collaboration than ever before. Honing effective communication skills is essential for success - and well-being - throughout your career. Based on principles developed at the Harvard Negotiation Project by the authors of the bestseller Getting to Yes, this one-day Collaborative Communication Workshop is designed to help participants:

  • Influence people effectively, even when you don’t have direct authority 
  • Create buy-in for your ideas, even when you do have direct authority 
  • Ask for what you need – or say no – in a way that does not damage relationships 
  • Respond to challenges, threats, outbursts, and other difficult behaviors 
  • Identify and articulate your value effectively 
  • Prepare strategically for potentially difficult conversations 
  • Generate creative agreements in order to find "win-win" solutions


Peak Performance Workshop Series

Workshops facilitated by staff from the University Counseling Center and the Graduate Life Coach.
Lunch provided by the Russell G. Hamilton Graduate Leadership Development Institute.

This workshop series is designed to promote expert performance by exploring common issues impacting graduate and professional students and postdocs.  During each session, we will briefly cover theory and research on the topic and provide a space for attendees to discuss their related experiences and to gain support and consultation.

  • You are not required to attend all workshops in the series, just choose those that are most important to you.
  • RSVP is required -  and opens 1 week prior to each workshop (links will be posted in February)
  • Space is limited to 15 participants per sessions. 
  • Workshops are offered every semester.

All sessions held Fridays from 12:30 - 1:30 PM

February 14, 2020 Perfectionism and Imposter Syndrome
Center for Student Wellbeing

February 28, 2020

Motivation, Mindset & Effective Goal Setting Center for Student Wellbeing

March 20, 2020

Performing Under Pressure,
Fighting Procrastination & increasing Efficiency

Center for Student Wellbeing

April 3, 2020

Managing Conflict and Relationships in Academia Center for Student Wellbeing

April 17, 2020

Finding Work/Life Balance Center for Student Wellbeing

We will seek to share information that would have been covered in the last three sessions in some online/electronic format for interested students.  This is not a perfect solution as much that is gained during these sessions is done so through conversation with your peers.

Critical Conversations Series for Graduate Students

These programs are most suitable for students in PhD programs but are open to all Graduate School students.

You are not required to attend all workshops in the series, just choose those that are most important to you. 

RSVP is required and opens 1 week prior to each workshop - Space is limited to 15 participants per session.  Workshops are offered every semester.

  • Communication & Expectations in the Advising/Mentoring Relationship
    Wednesday, January 29 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM in Alumni Hall, Suite 010

    Maintaining a positive relationship with your research mentor is very important and can be achieved through frequent, open and candid communication – including establishing clear expectations and boundaries.  This session will focus on how to establish an open line of communication with your mentor in order to address any differences and align your expectations, in addition to focusing on strategies for improving communication (in person, at a distance, across multiple mentors, and within proper personal boundaries).  We will also discuss the importance of establishing a mentoring and support network.
  • Addressing Conflict in Academic Relationships
    Wednesday, February 5 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM in Alumni Hall, Suite 010
    We will discuss strategies for working through conflicts in academic relationships, particularly your mentoring/advising relationships, including on campus resources and processes for working through these situations.
  • Self-Efficacy: Building Confidence and Independence as a Researcher
    Wednesday, February 12 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM in Alumni Hall, Suite 010

    Self-efficacy is a belief one has in his/her ability to successfully complete a given goal or task. In other words it is situation specific self-confidence.  We will discuss the sources of self-efficacy and strategies for building your research confidence and independence.
  • Receiving and Responding to Feedback – The Power of Social Persuasion
    Wednesday, February 19 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM in Eskind Biomedical Library, Training Room (Basement)

    In this session, we will work to (1) Identify the intent behind statements and questions, (2)  understand the role of constructive feedback and improve communication between trainees and their mentors, (3)  Assess the influence that mentors have on their confidence in their abilities and (4)  Devise strategies to cope with and respond to feedback that negatively influences their confidence.
  • Perfectionism & Impostor Syndrome - get out of your own way
    Wednesday, February 26 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM in Alumni Hall, Suite 010
    In this session, we will talk about how perfectionism and impostor syndrome/phenomenon can keep us from doing our best work - or any work, as they can both show up as procrastination and keep us from making the progress for which we strive.  Strategies for managing these will be discussed.  

Critical Conversations Series for Postdocs

Lunch provided by the Office of Postdoc Affairs

Discussions of topics important to your success as a supervisee and supervisor in your academic career.

SPRING 2020 PROGRAMMING - in person sessions canceled due to the COVID-19 situation

I will seek to share information that would have been coveredin some online/electronic format for interested postdocs.  This is not a perfect solution as much that is gained during these sessions is done so through conversation with your peers.

  • Aligning Expectations  - March 11, 2020  (Wednesday) 12:00 - 1:00 PM  (click to RSVP)
    The most important conversation between supervisor/supervisee is the expectations talk – and it is a living breathing agreement that should be revisited, clarified and changed over time.  Clear, specific expectations are the key to any academic relationship. This session will focus on discussing how best to talk to your supervisor about expectations, no matter where you are in your academic relationship.  We will also discuss how to have the conversation AS the supervisor as you move into that role.
  • Addressing Conflict in Academic Relationships -  March 18, 2020 (Wednesday) 12:00 - 1:00 PM (click to RSVP)
    What happens when expectations are unclear, unmanaged or not upheld? Conflict of some shape or form – whether voiced or just felt – can make academic relationships difficult if not openly hostile. This session will address options for addressing, managing and attempting to resolve conflict with supervisors, colleagues and ultimately supervisees as you navigate your career in academia.
  • Giving, Receiving and Responding to Feedback - March 25, 2020 (Wednesday) 12:00 - 1:00 PM (click to RSVP)
    Feedback and criticism are an inevitable part of the academic relationship. This session focuses on the messages that we receive from our supervisors and how we respond to that feedback. In addition, we will dive into how to give feedback to peers and supervisees in a way that is constructive and humane
  • Time Management & the Perfectionist-Procrastination Cycle - April 8, 2020 (Wednesday) 12:00 - 1:00 PM (click to RSVP)
    “If I could only solve my time management problem!”  But what if that isn’t actually the root of the problem?  Do you find it difficult to start or make progress on projects?  Is it really that there isn’t enough time or could perfectionism and fear of failure be your real obstacle?  In this session, we will discuss the perfectionism/procrastination cycle and devise strategies to interrupt it. 


 Other Support Programming Resources on Campus