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Graduate Student Orientation - All Graduate Students

Graduate Student Orientation - September 16, 2019

Sponsored by Graduate Studies, Graduate Student Orientation (GSO) is an intensive social and academic overview for new graduate students, comprised of workshops, panel discussions, and social activities designed to help new students prepare for some of the expected and unexpected side effects of graduate school and become familiar with the various university services available to graduate students.

All incoming graduate students are strongly encouraged to register for orientation and must register for the mandatory sexual violence prevention training. 

2019 Agenda

Please note that the events and times listed below are subject to change.

  • 8:00am-9:00am:  Registration
  • Registration will open at 8:00am at the Mondavi Center.  We will have light refreshments available and activities to meet & mingle with fellow Graduate Students.
  • 9:15am:  Welcome
  • Welcome from our Dean and Graduate Student Association Chair
  • 9:45am:  Using GradPathways to Create Your Own Professional Development Roadmap
  • Overview
    As you embark on your new career as a graduate student, you may wonder how you can make the most out of this experience while preparing for your eventual career in academia or beyond. UC Davis has a number of professional development programs and services designed to help you be successful in graduate school and as you transition to your career.  Join us as we explore ways to connect your graduate school experience with your future career goals, make the most of opportunities at UC Davis, and build your career while still in graduate school.  You will also learn how to exercise proven strategies to enhance your marketability for future careers both within academia and beyond.

    Teresa Dillinger, PhD, Director, GradPathways Institute and Academic Administrator, Professional Development Programs
    David Blancha, PhD, Assistant Director, GradPathways Institute

    Graduate Studies Professional Development Website

  • 11:00am:  Graduate Student Financial Support Overview

  • Overview
    Funding graduate school is a significant financial commitment, but the funding experts in Graduate Studies can help make it easier. This workshop will help incoming students navigate the various funding methods at UC Davis. Information about accounting systems, fellowships, academic appointments, and educational loans will be discussed.  

    Steven Albrecht, Director of Graduate Student Financial Support
    Lisa Finnegan, Graduate Financial Support Specialist
    Maria Garcia, External Fellowship Analyst
    Amineh Helalian, External Fellowship Analyst
    ​Ruth Lee, Internal Fellowship Analyst
    Heidi West, Internal Fellowship Analyst

    Graduate Studies Student Financial Support 

  • 11:45am-1:15pm:  Lunch and Resource Fair on the Vanderhoef Quad

  • Grab a boxed lunch and meander through the resource fair of campus services, clubs, associations and resources.

  • 1:30pm:  Riding the Academic Rollercoaster: Resources for Your First Year

  • Overview
    This session will acknowledge the ups and downs of graduate school and discuss some of the common challenges of a graduate student’s first year.  A resource panel will provide examples of common scenarios related to academic probation,  the Planned Educational Leave Program, and mentorship issues.  This session will provide graduate students with a better idea of who to go to when they have an academic problem and when to escalate issues.


  • 3:30pm:  Mandatory Sexual Violence Prevention Training

  • Overview
    UC Davis requires that all new graduate and professional students complete in-person mandatory sexual violence prevention training (SVPT) within the first six weeks of their beginning classes at UC Davis.  Topics covered in the program include definitions of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and consent; social norms which contribute to violence; upstander intervention; confidential campus and community resources; and reporting options.

    If you are unable to attend the mandatory sexual violence prevention training, it is your responsibility to make arrangements to take it another date and time by contacting

    Danésha Nichols, Director of the Harassment and Discrimination Assistance & Prevention Program
    Ivy Griffin, Education & Case Specialist 

    Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Website