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GradMENTOR is a monthly publication of the Graduate College designed to provide you with resources as you work with and mentor graduate students and postdocs.

News and Announcements

Information about the Executive Order on Immigration

The Graduate College is keeping a close eye on the impacts of President Trump's recent Executive Order on Immigration. If you know of a graduate student affected by the Executive Order, or have concerns, let us know so that we can reach out to the student.

For more information and for resources, visit the  "Need Help?" page of our website. We will be posting information as it becomes available. See also the information and FAQ posted on the Office of the Provost website.


FYI: Mid-year Salary Program for Graduate Students with Assistantships

The University has announced a mid-year salary program with raises effective February 16, appearing in the March 16, 2017 paycheck. Graduate students who hold an assistantship appointment are included in the salary program. If your graduate students have questions, let them know that appointing units will provide specific information regarding salary increases.


Campuswide Commencement 2017

As we move through the spring semester, May graduation and Commencement are getting closer. It is an important time to celebrate the achievements of our master's and doctoral degree recipients. As you work with your graduate students in the final stages of their studies, please be aware of the following dates and deadlines in the attached pdf flyer.

Please note that many Commencement deadlines are in April, but any student who plans to participate this may should add their name to the degree list by March 14 to ensure that they are included in the printed Campuswide Commencement program. 

Click on the image for a printable list of important deadlines.



Mentoring your Students

Graduate Student Leadership Award

Deadline: March 1

Do you know a graduate student who has demonstrated impressive leadership? Sponsored by the Graduate College, this award recognizes graduate students who have exhibited outstanding service that has had a positive impact on the campus or wider Urbana-Champaign community. Please encourage graduate student leaders to apply before the March 1 deadline. The winner will receive a $500 award for professional development travel. See details.


Taxation of Grad Level Waivers Workshops

Thursday, February 16 at noon OR 3 p.m., Illini Union, room 404

Registration is required

If more than 50% of your total employment at the University is as a Graduate Assistant (GA) or Pre-Professional Graduate Assistant (PGA) or a regular full-time employee, your tuition and service fee waivers totaling over $5,250 per calendar year are taxable and subject to withholding during the months of March, April and possibly May of this semester.

University Payroll & Benefits and USFSCO's Student Money Management Center has put together this workshop to help you:

  • determine how the taxability of graduate-level tuition waivers affects your pay
  • calculate how much of a reduction in your stipend you should expect
  • identify ways of getting through the months of withholding

Featured Fellowships for Underrepresented Students

Many organizations offer fellowships to promote diversity in the academy and in select professions. Here are a few with upcoming deadlines. Peruse the Graduate College’s Fellowship Finder database for a complete list of fellowships and grants for graduate students. 

Consult the Graduate College Office of External Fellowships’ webpages for additional resources.


Upcoming Career and Professional Development Workshops from the Graduate College

We've got a full schedule of career and professional development workshops this month. Encourage your students to attend.


Thursday, February 9, 3:30 - 5 p.m., Illini Union, room 405

Looking for a way to help your graduate students develop skills that will impact their success in graduate school and beyond? With GradMAP, your students will develop a personalized development plan so they can make use of campus resources and get the most out of their time in graduate school. In this hands-on program, students will identify goals and make a plan to achieve them, with a focus on developing skills in areas like leadership, research, teaching, and professionalism.

GradMAP is open to graduate students at any level, but it is especially useful for students in the first several years of their programs. If you have any student mentees in the early stages of your program, please consider letting them know about GradMAP.

Conflict Management & Resolution

Thursday, February 23, noon - 1 p.m., Illini Union, room 407

Being a grad student or postdoc means working and interacting with lots of people, and that means that conflict of some kind is inevitable. In this workshop, presented by the Illinois Leadership Center in cooperation with the Graduate College Career Development team, we will make conflict much less scary and help students understand techniques to tackle difficult conversations with colleagues and supervisors.

Immigration & Employment Options for Graduate Students & Postdocs

Thursday, February 23, 5:30 - 7 p.m., Illini Union, room 210

Presented by Thomas Arkell, an attorney practicing immigration and employment law: Many international graduate students and postdocs will secure full-time employment in the United States. Attendees will learn what they need to know about U.S. immigration policies to make a smooth transition. This workshop will discuss the H-1B petition process for full-time hires and options for permanent residence in the U.S.

Translating Your Skills for Non-Academic Audiences

Wednesday, March 1, 3:30 - 5 p.m., Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (Levis Faculty Center), 4th Floor

Are your students curious about what transferrable skills they have developed in graduate school? Or about how they can explain them in ways that make sense to nonacademic employers? In this interactive workshop, students will learn how to identify marketable skills and practice articulating their value in a variety of contexts, including resumes and interviews. They will work with real job ads from a variety of fields to give you hands-on experience making connections between their skills and what employers are looking for.

Getting the Most Out of an Academic Conference

Thursday, March 2, noon - 1 p.m., Illini Union, room 407

What is the most important part of an academic conference? How do I maximize the impact of meeting senior scholars in my field? What should I avoid doing and what should I make sure to do? Students will get answers to these questions and more in this quick and informative session on making the most of their next academic conference.

See the full schedule of Career and Professional Development workshops and learn more online.

Council of Graduate Schools

Now More than Ever: An Argument for the Humanities

In the latest issue of GradEdge, CGS President Suzanne Ortega argues that the humanities will need to play a key role in repairing our frayed national identity. Read "Now More than Ever: An Argument for the Humanities," as well as the rest of the newest CGS newsletter, online.


View the Online Proceedings for the 2016 CGS Global Summit

The online proceedings for CGS’ 2016 Global Summit: What Is a Doctorate? are available on the CGS website. In November 2016, participants from 11 countries convened in São Paulo, Brazil, to consider the definitions and delivery of doctoral education. Topics included: definitions of degree types, doctoral outcomes frameworks, professional doctorates, and understanding and diversifying the careers of PhD alumni. Summit attendees developed a statement of practical actions as guidance for graduate institutions seeking to better prepare themselves and their students for the evolving doctorate.


Science Communication Competition for Graduate Students

Deadline: February 22

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society invites graduate students to compete in its 2017 Student Research Showcase. This online competition helps students develop science communication skills. The winner of the graduate division wins up to $500. Additionally, the People’s Choice Award winner receives up to $250.


Register for CITL's 2017 Annual Faculty Retreat

Thursday, March 9, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Illini Union, Illini rooms A, B, and C


The theme of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) Annual Faculty Retreat is “The Power of Engagement: Igniting Students' Passion for Learning.” The retreat will highlight the innovative ways in which Illinois faculty have engaged their students that have resulted in increased motivation and interest and more meaningful learning. There will be video vignettes, teaching simulations, and interactive activities by our exemplary teachers. Attendees can apply for retreat grants. A full schedule will be released soon.


Survey Research Lab Spring 2017 Webinar Series

Registration Required

The Survey Research Laboratory is offering four webinars on survey research methodology during the Spring 2017 semester. The topics include Organizational Surveys, Introduction to Political Polling, Ethics in Survey Research, and Introduction to Survey Sample Weighting. The webinars are free to University faculty, staff, and students. All webinars begin at noon. Visit the website for dates and to register.


Mathematica and Mathematica Online

Thursday, February 9, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., Lincoln Hall, room 1092

Registration required

The university now offers free access to Mathematica Online. Join WebStore and Wolfram to learn hands-on use of Mathematica Online as well as a tutorial to highlight the scope of Mathematica and Wolfram Language. A laptop or tablet with Mathematica already installed is recommended, but not required, for the hands-on portion of the training session. This session is designed for faculty and TAs. 

Additional Publications from the Graduate College

A weekly e-bulletin for graduate students


Grad Life Blog
A behind-the-scenes look at the graduate experience


Postdoc Post
Biweekly e-bulletin with news and highlights for postdoctoral scholars


Biweekly job postings for graduate students.


GradMENTOR is distributed monthly to graduate faculty and department contacts who work with graduate students. Please see our website for submission information

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate in any of the programs or events listed in GradMENTOR, please email the contact person for the event. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.