The overarching goal of our peer mentorship program is to create a friendly, welcoming, and inclusive environment for our first-year graduate students. The program is entirely student-led, with support and advice from department faculty and staff. Prior to move-in, first-year students are matched with senior students based on certain preferences that they are able to specify, including area of study, personal identities, housing location, etc. Mentors check in with mentees monthly about different topics over the course of the year such as mental health, social life, research progress, academic opportunities, preparing for the comprehensive exam, and student-advisor relationship. Any concerns or feedback is relayed to the graduate student representatives, who communicate with department faculty and staff. We aim to continually improve this program, incorporating feedback at the end of each year.
DECADE stands for the Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience. In collaboration with the Office of Inclusive Excellence, this program provides a diverse group of UCI graduate students with a supportive community consisting of faculty, staff, and students; resources tailored to fit specific needs, and a wide variety of professional development and leadership opportunities. DECADE seeks to improve inclusive excellence by increasing the participation and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in graduate programs. As part of the program’s mission to promote inclusive excellence in graduate education, DECADE provides a wide range of resources and leadership opportunities that all graduate students are welcomed to take advantage of. To sign up for the DECADE listserv, click here.