About the GradPost

The GradPost is the primary source for news, funding, professional development, advice, events, and more related to graduate student life at UC Santa Barbara. It also serves as the digital outpost of the Graduate Student Resource Center, where ​grad students can find in-person ​services and ​support to help successfully navigate the graduate experience at UCSB.

  • Top Stories: Headliner news on important happenings around campus, spotlight features on graduate students and alumni, and the latest goings-on at UCSB's Graduate Division
  • Events: ​Up-to-date information about events relevant to graduate students, including workshops, lectures, concerts, ​and community events
  • Money: What you need to know about on-campus and extramural funding as well as information on financial literacy, internships, and funding forecasts
  • Career & Tools: Essential resources for success inside and outside the classroom, including advice and articles on career planning, communication, pedagogy, and time management
  • Life: Articles on campus and community life, such as local attractions, wellness and life balance, and ​creative ways to manage the stress of grad school
  • Faculty: News and information relevant to faculty who work with grad students as well as features that highlight some of UCSB’s outstanding professors

GSRC-logoWe welcome your ideas, submissions, and other contributions. You can email Shawn Warner-Garcia (Editor) for GradPost matters, or stop by our headquarters in the Graduate Student Resource Center, located on the first floor of the Student Resource Building in Room 1215. Our email address at the Graduate Student Resource Center is gsrc@graddiv.ucsb.edu and our phone number is 805-893-8994.

To read more about the origins of the GradPost, see History of the GradPost below.

Current Contributors

The GradPost is run by a team of dedicated graduate students, along with several administrative and academic staff. Meet the GradPost team.

Shawn Warner-Garcia, Professional Development Program Coordinator & GradPost Editor

Shawn is a linguist by trade who has worked for many years in job training and program management. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Linguistics Department and conducts research on the discourses of sexual ethics among Baptists in ​the United States. She holds a B.A. in Language and Linguistics from Baylor University and an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, bike commuting, and watching way too much TV. As the Professional Development Program Coordinator, Shawn manages the everyday operations of the Graduate Student Resource Center and develops programming that promotes graduate student academic success and professional development. She also serves as the GradPost Editor and coordinates all communications about graduate-related programming on campus.


Noreen Balos, Funding Peer Advisor

Noreen is a graduate student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, with a research focus in STEM education. As the Graduate Division's Funding Peer​, she helps fellow grad students search for funding opportunities and improve their financial literacy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in ​Meteorology and a Masters ​in Business Administration, both from Arizona State University. ​She enjoys photography, collecting basketball cards, and watching poetry slams or open mic.



Kyle Crocco, Writing Peer Advisor

Kyle is a Ph.D. student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education with an emphasis in Writing Studies. In his spare time, he likes to research international communication and organizational identity in University publications. He also earned a B.A. in History from Penn State and an M.A. in Foreign Languages and Pedagogy from the University of Delaware, where he sometimes spoke and even understood French. Over the past few years, he has taught in the English Department at the University of Caen in France, the Modern Languages Department of Cal State Fullerton, and the International Business College at Shenyang Normal University in China. When not working in the Graduate Student Resource Center, he can often be found performing at open mics in downtown Santa Barbara.


Ana Romero, Diversity & Outreach Peer Advisor

Ana is a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology. When she is not at the Graduate Student Resource Center, she can be found at coffee shops researching mental health outcomes in the undocumented community. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Santa Clara University and a Masters degree in Guidance and Counseling from Loyola Marymount University. In her spare time, Ana enjoys watching Netflix with her roommates, rock climbing, and salsa dancing. As the Diversity & Outreach Peer, Ana works with the Graduate Division and Graduate Student Resource Center to assist current and prospective graduate students through recruitment programs, workshops, and programming that promotes and supports diversity. 


Danny Meza, Diversity & Outreach Peer Advisor

Danny is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, emphasizing in Counseling. His research is on Chicana/o/x identity development and social and political activism among undergraduate students. Before enrolling as a graduate student at UCSB, Danny was part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program, teaching English at public high schools in Queens and Manhattan while also earning an M.A. in secondary education at The City College of New York. He is excited to be working as ​a Diversity & Outreach Peer, which will involve assisting current and prospective graduate students in areas of admission and acclimation to graduate life at UCSB. Danny will also help in cultivating community among UCSB's diverse graduate student population. When not teaching, studying, researching, training, or working as a graduate peer, he also listens to vintage records, watches Manchester United Football Club, and rides his bike.


Poletto headshotNicole Poletto, Professional Development Peer Advisor

Nicole is a ​graduate student at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, specializing in Energy & Climate, Strategic Environmental Communication & Media, and Eco-Entrepreneurship. When she is not at the Graduate Student Resource Center, she is in the field working on her group thesis project that aims to increase the amount of time that children spend outdoors through a green business solution. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science with a Concentration in Peace & Justice from Villanova University and then worked for a few years as an environmental educator in Portland, Oregon. In her spare time, she is roaming the Ellwood Bluffs and jamming to The Head and the Heart.


Caroline Schanche, Career Peer Advisor

Caroline is a graduate student in the Gevirtz School of Education. As the Career Peer, she provides workshops, presentations, and one-on-one meetings with graduate students to review their resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn pages, and CVs to help them prepare for their career of choice. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Duke University (Go Blue Devils!) and enjoys hiking with her dog, weightlifting, and yoga.


Simeng (Karen) Li, ​International Peer Advisor

Karen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education with an emphasis in special education and learning technology. As the International Peer, Karen works with the Graduate Division and the Division of Student Affairs to develop and implement programs and resources of interest to UCSB’s international students. She also provides workshops, presentations, articles, and one-on-one meetings for faculty, students, and staff on the best practices for international student success. Karen received ​a B.A. in Journalism and an M.S. in Instructional Technology from Jilin University, China. Prior to ​attending UC Santa Barbara, she worked for a non-governmental organization in New Delhi, India, to develop teaching programs for underprivileged school children. In her spare time, Karen likes to learn Hindi, listens to Chopin’s nocturnes, and admires traditional Chinese poetry. She also enjoys swimming, skiing, belly dancing, and playing outdoors with her four Labrador Retrievers.


Robert Hamm, Director of Graduate Student Professional Development

Robert oversees the development, implementation, and assessment of the career and professional development programming and services for the Graduate Division. He holds a Ph.D. in English from UCSB and worked as an Assistant Professor of English at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, before returning to UCSB to work with graduate students and postdocs on professional development and career exploration. 


Lana Smith-Hale, Graduate Student Career Counselor

Lana is very pleased to be working as a career consultant with graduate students through a blended partnership with ​UCSB's Graduate Division and Career Services. Lana received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Lana’s career began in the nonprofit world and involved direct service to a variety of populations for the past 9 years. Lana’s passions and interest have culminated in a desire to work with UCSB graduate students to help them find a career that is fulfilling and fits their needs. Lana is available to discuss anything career-related with graduate students, including career exploration, the job search process, CV/resume help, interviewing, and negotiation strategies. Lana cares deeply about making sure students can find happiness in their work and is excited to be a part of the Graduate Division’s efforts to support students.


Don Lubach, Associate Dean of Students, Director of First-Year and Graduate Initiatives

Don Lubach has a variety of responsibilities within UCSB's Student Affairs division. When it comes to graduate students, ​Don's goal is to make sure that students use their share of services, including health, career, wellness, and recreation programs. The GradPost is one of his favorite projects because of its mission to collect all graduate-related information into a single location. Don also advises the Graduate Students Association, the body that represents all graduate students. He earned a Ph.D. in Education from the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Communication from UCSB's College of Letters & Science.


History of the GradPost

By Don Lubach, co-founder of the GradPost

gradpost_banner_defaultThe UCSB Graduate Post blog was founded in 2010 as a campus collaboration to support UCSB’s large graduate student population. The goal was to centralize information pertaining to graduate life in one well-organized and inviting location on the Web. Additionally, the Graduate Student Resource Center was re-purposed as the headquarters of graduate information and remodeled to have the look and feel of a vintage newspaper room.

historical_gradpost_collage_2Support for the project came from the Graduate Division and Student Affairs. Health and Wellness Services granted money to get things started and a committed group of graduate students and employees got to work.

Inspiration for the GradPost came from the @826National educational non-profit. The team was enchanted with the idea of graduate students writing, curating, and presenting information to their fellow graduate students. Early on, the decision was made to share information in a recognizable style that can best be described as fun, informative, and supportive.

After the launch in the late fall quarter of 2010, the GradPost headquarters quickly became a hive of activity with graduate peers tapping away and a Guest Editor-in-Chief (Mark Shishim) lending a hand with story ideas and support. Today, the GradPost is co-written and co-edited collaboratively by the small group of graduate student peer advisors and Graduate Division administrative staff listed above.