April 12, 2018: Updates from the Graduate Dean

Dear Graduate Students,

As we approach the end of the spring term, please join me for the year’s final graduate dean’s hour to reflect on this year’s experiences and to discuss what’s new and upcoming for graduate students next year. If you’re graduating this month, I’d love to congratulate you in person on your tremendous accomplishments and wish you all the best for future endeavors. Please drop by:

April 24, 2018 5:30–6:30 p.m.


Here are some updates on an exciting national grant, recent student successes, a key event on international travel, and a major new resource.

Breaking News: NEH Grant "Humanities Careers"

We learned last week that our application for a National Endowment of the Humanities "Next Generation Humanities PhD" grant, "Humanities Careers: Re-Imagining Doctoral Training", was as one of four successful proposals nationwide. Starting this fall, graduate students, faculty, administrators, alumni, community partners, and employers will start a planning process to consider curricular innovations, build new resources and networks to create immersives such as internships, strengthen mentoring and career orientation, and track alumni career trajectories.

As we seek to further enhance the preparation of all graduate students for high-impact careers in academia as well as government, industry, and the non-profit world, I also look forward to continuing to work with graduate students and faculty across the Social Sciences and Natural Sciences. As always, if you have ideas or suggestions, please drop me a line at graddean@pitt.edu.

3MT Results

The recent Dietrich School and University 3MT competitions were impressive displays of your skills in communicating the substance, originality, and relevance of your dissertation research concisely and in accessible ways to non-specialist audiences.

Thank you to all participants at the departmental, school, and university levels, and thanks to all who came along to support your colleagues. We all are indebted to the faculty judges and to Gloria Mou, Chandra Colaresi, and Assistant Dean Tara Meyer for a well-run event.

With warm congratulations to the divisional winners and runners-up, here are the results:
Dietrich School Winner: Katie Wozniak (Biological Sciences): "Signaling Mechanisms of the Fast Polyspermy Block in Xenopus Laevis"

Katie went on to win the university-level competition!

Division Results:

Natural Sciences:

  1. Katherine Wozniak (Biological Sciences): "Signaling Mechanisms of the Fast Polyspermy Block in Xenopus Laevis"
  2. Sarah Smith (Biological Sciences): "From Code to Shape: Investigating the Connection between Genes and the Formation of an Anatomical Structure"
  3. John Dimoff (Psychology): "It's Different When We're Together: The Impact of Experiencing a Peak-Provoked Cigarette Craving State with a Smoking Friend"

Social Sciences:

  1. Yi Han (Economics): "Blame Shifting through Delegation: Evidence from China's One-Child Policy"
  2. Huseyin Ilgaz (Political Science): "What is the Effect of External Interventions (Military, Economic, Diplomatic) in Terminating Civil Wars?"
  3. Ljiljana Pantovic (Anthropology): "Private Within the Public: Negotiating Birth in Serbia"


  1. Samuel Allen (Communication): "Comparative Monsterization: A Rhetorical History of the Lives and Exhibitions of Conjoined Twins in the 19th Century"
    Samuel went on to become one of two runners-up in the university-level competition!
  2. Laura Feibush (English): "Towards a Rhetoric of Listening in and Beyond Scenes of Writing Instruction"
  3. Li-Fang Lai (Linguistics): "Intonation in Contact: Prosodic Transfer and Innovation Among Yami-Mandarin Bilinguals"

The second runner-up at the university level was Nemi Vora from Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Workshop: Strategies and Resources for International Travel

April 18, 2018 4:00–5:00 p.m., 310 William Pitt Union

Many of you travel as part of your time in graduate programs at Pitt — to international conferences, for study abroad periods, and for long-term research in the field or in archives overseas. In response to student requests, and partnering with Pitt Study Abroad/UCIS, the Dietrich School is pleased to offer this workshop to help you prepare for your next international trip.

Major new Resource

The University of Pittsburgh has joined the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) as an institutional member. The NCFDD is a nationally-recognized, independent organization that provides online career development and mentoring research resources for faculty, postdocs, and graduate students. The NCFDD is a great source of suggestions, strategies, perspectives, and concrete techniques that can be relevant and useful to graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members.

Activate your free institutional membership today and access a variety of virtual programs and research resources, including:

  • weekly Monday Motivator
  • monthly core curriculum webinars
  • monthly guest expert webinars
  • access to multi-week courses
  • access to Dissertation Success Curriculum for Graduate Students
  • private discussion forum (peer-mentoring, problem-solving, ahd moderated writing challenges)
  • monthly accountability buddy matches
  • access to 14-day writing challenges
  • access to the member library (including past webinar materials, referrals, and readings)

To claim your free institutional membership, complete the following steps: 

  1. Go to http://www.facultydiversity.org/join
  2. Choose your institution from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select "activate my membership"
  4. Complete the registration form using your institutional email address (i.e. @pitt.edu)
  5. Go to your institution email to find a confirmation/welcome email. Click "activate account" in the email.

If you have any questions about the membership, please contact Doris Rubio (dmr18@pitt.edu). If you have any technical questions, please email NCFDD at Membership@FacultyDiversity.org.

With best wishes for end of the semester and an enjoyable, productive summer,



Holger Hoock
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research
J. Carroll Amundson Professor of British History
Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences