Happy New Year and welcome to the Spring semester! I hope you enjoyed the winter break and found time for relaxation amid the seasonal demands. No doubt you’re already busy again with studies and work and preparing for your future.
On that note, in just a few weeks is the deadline — February 11 — to enroll in a rewarding professional development activity that offers cash prizes and media attention! I encourage those of you engaged in original academic research to submit a three-minute video (high production values not needed) of a TED-like talk explaining your project. The video entry is the first step in our campuswide competition to select ten semi-finalists (who will each receive at least $100) and then three finalists (who will receive $750, $1,000 and $3,000).
Our first-place finalist will represent Berkeley at the University of California 2016 Grad Slam on April 22, hosted by LinkedIn at its new San Francisco facilities and officiated by UC President Napolitano, government officials, media makers, and other luminaries. The top winner among the ten campus contestants will be awarded $6,000, with runner-ups receiving $3,000 and $1,000. For all details, see the Grad Slam announcement in this issue of GradNews — and plan to meet that February 11 deadline!
On another topic, first-year graduate students who missed attending a mandatory in-person training on Sexual Assault/Sexual Violence Prevention Education in the Fall semester have more opportunities in late January and early February. Please register for a session as soon as possible. Your program chair and faculty advisor will want to confirm that you have completed this requirement in your education — and the information and skills imparted by this training are important to everyone as we strive for a safe and affirming campus for all.
I wish you a productive and invigorating semester ahead!
Fiona M. Doyle
Dean of the Graduate Division
Donald H. McLaughlin Professor of Mineral Engineering