GPSF News and Announcements: May 2015

This page, and the GPSF Newsletter, are published on the 1st and 15th of each month. To publish an announcement on the 1st, the announcement must be sent in by the 28th. To be published on the 15th, it must be sent in by the 12th. During the summer, the newsletter is published once a month on the 1st. Send announcements (no more than 100-150 words, please) to

Spotlight on UNC Graduate and Professional Students


GPSF Monthly Surveys
All of the GPSF monthly surveys are now closed. We greatly appreciate your participation in this initiative! Anyone who has completed all of this year’s monthly surveys and filled out the accompanying form will be entered into a drawing for an iPad. The winner will be contacted in the next few weeks.

Congratulations to the March Survey Drawing winner, Brian Bacchi!

Free Speed Reading and Comprehension Workshops
Enroll now! Workshops for Summer Session I begin on Wednesday, May 20:

-Introduction to Speed Reading

-Reading Textbooks

-Reading Journal Articles

-Reading to Ace the Test

The Learning Center offers free, one-hour workshops during both summer sessions to improve reading speed, comprehension, and retention. Remember to bring current reading assignments with you. Each workshop includes a mix of instructor-guided lessons and self-paced, independent exercises with your own materials.

Questions? Please contact the instructor: Christina Perry, 919-962-6389, cp [at] unc [dot] edu, SASB North, Suite 2109, The Learning Center.

Fitness Breaks seeks summer volunteers
Fitness Breaks, a work-site wellness intervention for UNC Facilities Service staff, is looking for a few enthusiastic volunteers for our summer program. This opportunity can help you build leadership skills and improve on your experience in work-site wellness, physical activity interventions, and public health. Through student volunteers we are able to deliver a much needed service to the Facilities Staff by providing 10 – 15 minutes fitness “breaks” during employees shifts. Most of these employees are unable to fit physical activity into their day because they work two jobs. The breaks are intended to improve their muscle strength, cardiovascular health and prevent injuries. The opportunity only requires 15 minutes once per week on the UNC campus, so please email Lindsay Bailey at if you want to help out!

Are you currently submitting your thesis/dissertation?
Did you submit your thesis/dissertation in 2014, or are you planning to submit it in 2015? Help GPSF gather data on our recent/future graduating class and the dissertation submission process by filling out this quick 2-minute survey!

Fundraiser for the UNC School of Dentistry Mexico Project 2015
Please help our Mexico Project Team at UNC School of Dentistry to raise money to get dental supplies for its upcoming international service trip! We will be traveling to Mexico this summer to provide dental cares to children in the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Orphanage in Mexico.

When you buy this $50 worth of eGiftcard for $25, $12.50 of your purchase will be donated to our group. You can use this eGiftcard at any participating restaurant in the U.S. (Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro, Myrtle Beach, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more!!) The offer ends on May 31st!

Click here to buy.

Search for participating restaurants in the areas of your interest at

Thank you for your support!

Survey on Graduate Student Needs for Rock Your Research
I am a PhD student, working on a joint venture with another graduate student called Rock Your Research. We are creating a website and podcast (both still in development) dedicated to helping graduate students deal with issues like impostor syndrome, alternative careers, low confidence, etc: things we all face but are rarely talked about in an open forum. In the podcast I will interview researchers, asking questions about how they overcame the struggles they faced as graduate students, what tips they recommend to help improve productivity and give graduate students more confidence, etc. I also plan on doing additional episodes in which I interview the people in charge of hiring decisions for research organizations. Essentially, Rock Your Research will be a podcast that I want to hear but isn’t yet available. In order to develop the best content and ask the most relevant questions for all graduate students, I created a survey to make sure that the website will provide a useful resource for all graduate students and that I’m using the correct media format to reach graduate students. Click here to take the survey. If you have further input, you can contact me at

GPSF Emergency Fund Open
Do you have recent, emergency medical bills? Have you recently needed to replace belongings due to theft or fire? You may now apply to have these and other emergency costs reimbursed.
The GPSF Emergency Fund was created to assist graduate and professional students at UNC-CH affected by unforeseen financial circumstances that could hinder their ability to complete their graduate career. To see if your emergency needs qualify for funding or to fill out an application, visit the Emergency Fund website online. Students are encouraged to apply concurrently to the UNC Student Emergency Fund when applying to the Graduate and Professional Student Emergency Fund.

If you have any questions, please contact the GPSF Student Opportunity Advocate, Justin Johnson at

HAVEN Training: Supporting Survivors at UNC
HAVEN is a three hour training for students, faculty, and staff members at UNC who want to learn skills for supporting survivors of sexual violence, interpersonal (relationship) violence, and stalking. The training also provides information about resources available to support survivors on campus and in the community.

Individuals can sign up for HAVEN at SAFE.UNC.EDU. Graduate students can sign up for either student or faculty/staff trainings. Trainings are also available upon request for groups and departments. To schedule a training or for any other questions about the HAVEN trainings, please contact Jenn Scott, Title IX program Coordinator at or (919) 445-1574.

Campus Health Services Looking for Testimonials
Participate in a testimonial about your experiences at Campus Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, and/or Student Wellness either in writing or on video, and be entered for a chance to win a health-themed party for you and three friends. See example testimonials at Email for details about participation.

Swim Lessons for Families
Looking for quality swim lessons for you or a family member? UNC Campus Recreation’s Aquatics program is now offering swim lessons for all levels at affordable rates! Registration for classes is open to UNC students, faculty and staff and to the surrounding communities.

Lessons are being offered for parent/child pairings and for preschool, youth, and adult levels. Private swim lessons and American Red Cross Lifeguarding courses are also available. Prices vary based on the swim level and lesson duration, and Campus Recreation members receive discounted pricing.

For more information on swim levels, schedules, and registration, please visit

Ethos seeks graduate contributors
Ethos: A Digital Review of Arts, Humanities and Public Ethics is seeking graduate and faculty contributors to our weekly forums. A graduate-led digital project that features two forums, “Cultural Interventions” and “Institutional Spaces,” Ethos seeks to engage in public dialogue about issues that affect our lives both within and outside of the academy. We seek contributions from authors interested in topics about the arts, humanities, public ethics, or university culture. Please contact editor Katie Walker ( if you are interested in learning more about this digital project or in submitting a post.

Join the UNC Dissertation Writing Group
Want to get more writing done in a supportive environment that will help keep you focused? Join a writing group of like-minded students from different departments. You’ll get an email each week asking you to check which days/times you want to write that week. Any time that enough people commit to will be added to the schedule. To sign up, send an email to


Spotlight on UNC Graduate and Professional Students

New UNC MBA Students took time during their orientation to assemble thirty children’s bicycles, in what they thought was just a game. Little did they know, students from the Global Scholars Academy in Durham would come to meet the student and thank them for their new bicycles. The exercise came following an earlier presentation concerning a growing underserved population and the impacts that will have on the next generation’s K-12 education.


UNC graduate student Bart Dunlap in the Department of Physics and Astronomy is part of a team that recently reports identifying possibly the coldest and faintest white dwarf star ever detected. He is quoted in the press release for the discovery explaining, “our final image should show us a companion 100 times fainter than any other white dwarf orbiting a neutron star and about 10 times fainter than any known white dwarf, but we don’t see a thing. If there’s a white dwarf there, and there almost certainly is, it must be extremely cold.” The full press release can be read online here.


Liz Morris, a former UNC graduate student in Environmental Sciences and Engineering, has developed a portable toilet that doesn’t require water. An idea that grew out of doodles during her masters work in Peru is now a reality. Since her graduation, Sanitation Creations was established to support people around the world without healthful sanitation. You can read more about the Dungaroo here.


The North Carolina Museum of Art posted a national fine arts competition looking for images that related to consumerism and the work that is currently on display by artist Brian Ulrich. UNC-CH’s very own Eric Pickersgill, MFA Candidate 2015, had his photograph selected! It will be enlarged to 5′ by 12′ and printed on an outdoor exhibition “billboard” in the Museum Park. The piece will be on display from November to next April. Read more about the NCMA Park Pictures in their blog.


Serena and LF Kiss copySerena Hackerott, a master’s student in the College of Arts and Sciences, was featured in UNC News in July for her work on determing the best methods for managing Lionfish populations in Carribean coral reefs. Photo credit: Katie DuBois
Roger Putnam, a Masters candidate at UNC-CH, spent up to three days at a time, suspended thousands of feet above the ground collecting data for the first ever high resolution geologic map of El Capitan. Read more in the National Geographic article.


University Gazette 2013-07-09: GPSF VP of Internal Affaird Julie Lauffenburger and Student Body President Christy Lambden met with UNC Chancellor Carol Folt to discuss the student perspective of the Carolina Way.


News & Observer 2013-05-13: 2013-2014 GPSF President Kiran Bhardwaj is serving on the 21 member task force, which began work on May 15, 2013, to review UNC-CH policy on sexual harassment and assault.
Print Friendly