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MARCH 2017

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

Graduate Mentoring for Diversity

Friday, March 10, noon - 1 p.m., Urban Outfitters Building (507 E. Green St, Champaign), room 411

Registration required

As campus efforts for diversifying Illinois' graduate student body increase, faculty in predominantly white institutions are provided little resources for advising and mentoring underrepresented minority (URM) graduate students in their programs. Join faculty colleagues for a round-table discussion on the institutional challenges and opportunities for effective intercultural strategies for graduate student success.

Dr. Mikhail Lyubansky will lead the roundtable with a discussion on institutional conflict and restorative justice, especially around race, providing perspectives on institutional challenges and strategies. Dr. Isabel Molina-Guzmán and Dr. Steven Zimmerman will share their thoughts on the experience of mentoring URM students at Illinois. Please join us for this roundtable discussion about approaches for supporting underrepresented minority graduate students.


  • Mikhail Lyubansky, Teaching Associate Professor in Psychology
  • Isabel Molina-Guzmán, Associate Professor in Media and Cinema Studies, Latina/o Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies and Associate Dean in the Graduate College
  • Steven Zimmerman, Professor in Chemistry

Graduate Student Appreciation Week

Graduate Student Appreciation Week 2017 is April 3 - 8. This week celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of more than 11,000 graduate students on the Urbana campus. That’s roughly one quarter of the entire student population spread out over 91 doctoral programs and 156 master's programs. We encourage graduate programs to participate in celebrating graduate students by hosting programs or recognizing student achievement on social media.

View the schedule for the week online. Additional events will be added as we get closer to the date.


List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent Now Available

The results for the Fall 2016 administration of student ratings of instructors are now available online. Results are based on Instructor and Course Evaluation (ICES) questionnaire forms maintained by Measurement and Evaluation, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Congratulations to faculty and graduate student instructors rated as "excellent" last semester.

Executive Order on Immigration

As campus leadership continues to monitor federal activity that affects members of our university, including international faculty and graduate students, information will be posted at:

This site provides answers to frequently asked questions as well as resources for assistance with specific concerns. Please note a few of the questions that are especially relevant to our prospective and current graduate students.

Q: I am a prospective student affected by the Immigration Ban Executive Order, should I still apply to the University of Illinois?

A: Yes. The executive order is in effect for 90 days, which coincides with other processes required for international student admission and enrollment, and so should not impede our usual timeline to process your application. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign evaluates prospective students based on their individual merit, and does not consider national origin in its admissions decision. We are committed to the fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity and human dignity and apply these principles in the evaluation of any undergraduate or graduate student application.

Q: I’m scheduled to attend a conference or conduct research outside the county. What should I do?

A: We strongly recommend that affected students and scholars postpone out-of-country travel. We recognize the importance of these experiences to your academic and professional development, so we encourage you to explore possibilities for participating remotely by contacting conference organizers and research partners.

Tech Services has compiled a list of resources available to faculty, researchers, scholars and graduate students who may be affected by the Executive Order on Immigration.

Q: If I am not able to be in the United States for my coursework or other degree requirements, will I be able to participate and complete my degree remotely?

A: Depending on several factors, federal export control regulations could prevent you from conducting academic activities (such as dissertation defense for Ph.D. candidates) from abroad. Please contact the Graduate College directly at 217-333-0035 for assistance.

Federal export control laws affect many activities on campus. These regulations can impact faculty members as well as graduate students. Faculty advisors and graduate students are encouraged to consider how export control might impact graduate students' research including travel to or research from remote locations.

The Office of Export Control can consult with faculty advisors and researchers if you have concerns about how export control might impact your research or that of your graduate students. See the web for more information. Contact the office at: or 217-300-6385.

Workshops for Your Students from the Graduate College

Social Media & Blogging for Professional Success as a Grad Student

Tuesday, March 14, 4 - 5:30 p.m., Illini Union, room 314B

Do I need to have a blog? How can Twitter help me be a better scholar? If you hear questions like this from your students, direct them to this interactive workshop, where they will learn the whys and hows of using their online presence to enrich research, expand networks, and reach goals successfully.

GradMAP: Making Plans in Grad School

Tuesday, April 4, 3:30 - 5 p.m., Coble Hall, room 304

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.

Academic Job Market Success Stories Panel

Wednesday, April 5, noon - 1:30 p.m., Illini Union, room 210

What does it take to make it through a faculty job search cycle? How can grad students best prepare for survival--and even success? Encourage your students to attend this panel to hear from current graduate students and postdocs who have successfully landed faculty jobs this year. They'll have stories, advice, and will answer questions about how best to get ready to apply.

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


IRB and Your Thesis

Students using human subjects in their thesis research must receive approval from the Institutional Research Board (IRB). Those interested in learning more should come to the Thesis Tools workshop “IRB and Your Thesis.” Anita Balgopal, director of the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects, will lead the workshop, explain the IRB process, and answer any questions students might have. The workshop is on March 9 at 1 p.m. in Noyes Laboratory, room 217. To find out more, check out the Thesis Office website.


Last Chance to 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. View the full schedule.


Data Purchase Opportunities Available

Do you need “small data” for your research? The University Library will explore purchasing small data (costing $5,000 or less) for your use and the use of others on campus if you apply via the Data Purchase Program. Details are available online, including a full announcement that links to the application form. Applications will be accepted beginning March 27 and the deadline for first consideration is May 26. If you have questions, please contact Carissa Phillips at This opportunity is open to both faculty and graduate students.


IPRH Prizes for Research in the Humanities, 2016–17

Deadline: March 15

The IPRH Prizes for Research in the Humanities celebrate excellence in humanities scholarship. These prizes recognize outstanding humanities research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with awards given at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels. The awards will be presented at a reception on May 1, 2017.

Submissions are invited from scholars in all sectors of the university with focus on the humanities and humanities-inflected research. The awards are open to all full-time University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and faculty (tenure-line and specialized).The winners in the faculty and graduate student categories will receive awards of $500.


Survey Reserach Lab Dissertation Awards

Deadline: May 30

The Survey Research Laboratory (SRL) is pleased to announce the annual Robert Ferber Dissertation Award and the Seymour Sudman Dissertation Award, both for excellence in survey research as part of a doctoral dissertation. Eligible dissertations will involve either methodological research related to surveys (including the broader area of cognition that can be applied to survey research) or will be based on primary survey data collection on any topic. An award of up to $2,000 will be given to the winner of each of these two awards. All doctoral candidates on the UIUC campus whose dissertations meet the above criteria are eligible, provided they will have successfully defended their proposals between May 28, 2016, and May 28, 2017.

Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)

International Graduate Applications and Enrollment

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has produced their final report regarding the International Graduate Applications and Enrollment Survey for Fall 2016. In this report, you will find trends regarding master’s and doctoral applications, admissions, and new enrollments for international students. These reports are further specified by individual sending countries and by academic discipline.

Please note that this report is about Fall 2016 numbers and provides comparisons to previous years. In April 2017, results will be made available by CGS regarding the Pressing Issues Survey that was sent to graduate deans across the nation. This survey is intended to gain deans’ impressions of international graduate application trends for Fall 2017 enrollments given the potential implications of the Executive Order on Immigration. Once these results are available, we will provide this information to graduate programs. 


Report Recommends Broader Professional Development for Graduate Students in STEM Fields

Graduate schools and programs play a key role in preparing students for the knowledge workforce, but more work needs to be done, according to a new report by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). Currently, the preparation of US graduate students is too narrowly focused on academic research skills, at the expense of professional skills such as communication, teamwork, mentoring, and leadership. To improve graduate student preparation for multiple career pathways, CGS conducted a two-year project to map the landscape of STEM professional development programs with support from the National Science Foundation (#1413827). You can read the full report online.

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.