"Welcome Back" Message from Grad Dean Holger Hoock – Opportunities and Resources in Spring 2020

January 3rd, 2019

Dear Graduate Students:

Happy New Year!  I hope you’ve had a restful break, with some time to take stock and to recharge. As we return for the spring term, I wanted to highlight some opportunities and resources.

Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring. Please nominate your faculty mentors by January 15, 2020, for the inaugural awards.

Graduate Student Professional Development Challenge: propose student-designed and student-led projects that will contribute to your and your cohorts’ professional development ($1,500 per project; apply by March 2, 2020)

Grad-PI: Call for Proposals: Interdisciplinary Innovation in Graduate Education. We invite your innovative projects for AY2020-21.

Dean’s Office Hour: My next walk-in office hour is next Thursday, January 9, 1:00–2:00 PM, in the Office of Graduate Studies, 5141 Sennott Square.

* * *

As you prepare for the term’s research, teaching, and other professional activities, I encourage you to plan to balance your academic schedules with practices of self-care and exploration of other passions that are important to you. Please also check out our website which includes references to resources for physical and mental health and wellness. As I suggested before the winter recess, it’s generally a good idea to identify sources of support in the university and in your communities when things are going well so that you may find it easier to access help should the need arise. Do please check out the website of the University Counseling Center with its rich array of resources, including TAO, Therapy Assistance Online, a private online library of behavioral health resources.

I’d also like to invite you for the next Lunch with the Dean. These are informal occasions for us to chat about graduate education issues that concern you, for me to solicit your views on emerging topics, and for you to connect with fellow graduate students across the Dietrich School. Following last term’s substantial interest in the theme Thriving In Graduate School: Perspective – Balance – Community, I’ll host a sequel next month. Some of the topics I suggest we touch on include –

  • goal setting, making progress, time & attention management, celebrating steps
  • the art of critique
  • failure as part of success
  • agency and perspective: strategies to complete graduate school
  • self-care, community, support


Event Details
Lunch with the Dean
Wednesday, February 12, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
4127 Sennott Square, Martin Room
We will order healthy food locally.

Please register asap and no later than Monday, February 10, so we can order the right amount and range of food. Space is limited, so we recommend you register soon via this link: https://pitt.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0POgb8qERNmP4ZD

If you have any questions or wish to discuss issues related to graduate education and training in the Dietrich School, please drop me a line at graddean@pitt.edu.

With all good wishes for a productive, healthy, and enjoyable year,

Holger Hoock.


Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research

Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences – University of Pittsburgh