A monthly newsletter by the Graduate School.
Mizzou Grad & Postdoc News
August 2021

Don't miss out on...

  1. A Message from Dr. Hart
  2. Covid-19 Information update
  3. Tips & Reminders - New Insurance, Graduation
  4. Funding Opportunities and Awards
  5. Resource Corner - Teaching Resources
  7. Diversity and Inclusion
  8. Fall Courses
  9. International Teaching Assistant Program
  10. MU Postdoctoral Association
Message from Dr. Hart header

Welcome to the August issue of Mizzou Grad & Postdoc News.

Welcome to all new graduate students and postdocs, and welcome back to those returning to classes and continuing their research and creative works. I am happy to introduce the August Issue of Mizzou Grad & Postdoc News. We publish this newsletter monthly from August through April and, typically, once during the summer.

Our staff has been back to work in Jesse Hall since May and we are excited to welcome visitors. Some folks continue to work remotely, so Zoom and phone remain essential tools in our work—we are happy to accommodate those who request virtual meetings. To arrange a meeting, please refer to our staff directory. Please note that three of our team members (Karen Gruen, Liz Tummons-Gallazzi, and Raquel Arouca) have moved their offices to 204 Hill Hall, so you can look for them there. For your health and safety and the health and safety of the Graduate School staff, we recommend that all visitors wear face coverings and, per campus policy, require all unvaccinated visitors to wear face coverings.

We are excited to introduce our newest team member, Dr. Valli Sarveswaran, the Director of Postdoctoral Education. Valli is joining us from the University of Notre Dame and has great experience working with postdoctoral scholars. He will work closely with all postdocs, including those in special postdoc programs—the Preparing Future Faculty for Faculty Diversity and Research Excellence Programs.  You can learn more about Valli later in this newsletter.

Over the summer, we were thrilled to offer departments bridge funding to supplement the cost of assistantship stipends for 67 Ph.D. candidates whose scholarship was disrupted due to COVID-19. We are grateful for the support of the Chancellor to make this possible. In addition, we had an amazing group of doctoral candidates apply for fellowships to support their final dissertation year. It is truly impressive to read about the incredible work in which they are engaged. Those selected to receive dissertation year funding are listed below. Congratulations!

We have 1,696 new students who have joined the MU graduate community. We have already hosted New Graduate Student Orientation, Orientation for New International Teaching Assistants, and Graduate Assistant Teaching Orientation. We encourage you to become familiar with and bookmark the Graduate School website. It is a great source of information about Mizzou’s graduate students and about the policies, procedures, and programs pertinent to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. We also regularly post events, including those that are part of our gradESSENTIALS professional development program.

Over 320 new graduate students expressed interest in our Grad Welcome Groups program. In its fourth year, the program is a mix of virtual and in-person groups led by returning graduate student facilitators and supported by the Graduate School staff. The goal is to provide ongoing support for their transition to graduate education and Mizzou during the first six weeks of the semester. 

Finally, we want to get the word out about the great things you are doing on campus and in the community. If you tweet, please tag @MUGradDean, and we will try to spread the word. Also, don’t hesitate to email to let us know about your accomplishments—we may showcase you on our website or in a future newsletter.

I hope your semester is off to a great start. Even when you face challenges, remember that you were invited to be a member of this community because Mizzou believes in you and your potential. In addition, your contributions to teaching, learning, community engagement, research, and creative works are essential to our university and to advancing knowledge to improve the world. You matter, and you belong here! 

All the best,


Jeni Hart, PhD
Dean of the Graduate School
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies


Covid-19 updates header
Safety Expectations: All students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask in classrooms, as well as in meeting spaces where social distancing is not possible. For the remaining indoor spaces on campus, if you are not fully vaccinated, you are required to wear a mask. Even if you are fully vaccinated, the university recommends wearing a mask in these other indoor spaces, which is aligned with latest CDC recommendations.
In the classroom: Whether fully vaccinated or not, instructors are required to wear masks over their nose and mouth in classrooms and lab classes except when 10 feet from their audience and wearing a face shield or behind a physical barrier. When not distanced from the audience by 10 feet, the instructor must wear a mask. 
Vaccine events: MU will host a variety of special vaccination events for all students, staff and faculty who have not yet been vaccinated:

     Upcoming vacination clinics August 25 in the MU Student center from 11 am to 3 pm; and September 14 and 15 at the MU Student Center from 11 am to 3 pm.

Starting the week of August 30 – students can call the MU Student Health Center to schedule an appointment for a vaccine (573-882-7481).

Vaccine Incentive Program: Upload your vaccination card to be entered into drawings for exciting prizes for students, faculty and staff, such as basketball tickets, a family tailgate package, and a year of free parking. Here’s how to log your vaccine.

For all of the latest campus health and safety guidelines, please visit Show Me Renewal.

Welcome to Dr. Sarveswaran!

Our new Director of Postdoctoral Education

Valli HeadshotOver the summer, the Graduate School recruited Dr. Valli Sarveswaran as our new Director of Postdoctoral Education. This newly created position will direct postdoctoral affairs and coordinate key postdoctoral initiatives for our campus, including the Research Excellence Program (REP) and the Preparing Future Faculty – Faculty Diversity (PFFFD) Postdoctoral Program at Mizzou. Our campus has never had a central position fully dedicated to postdoctoral education, so this is exciting news.
Dr. Sarveswaran comes to us from the University of Notre Dame, and on his first week at the Graduate School, we caught up with him to ask him a few questions.

1. As you join Mizzou in a newly created position as Director of Postdoctoral Education, what is your vision for the role?

A postdoctoral appointment is a limited-time opportunity to be engaged in advanced education and training. During this short time, the Office of Postdoctoral Education and I will assist postdocs in identifying their career path and preparing for it. Our programming will be related to professional development, networking, career exploration, job search strategy, and interview preparation through individual coaching and small and large group workshops.

2. What attracted you to work with postdocs? What advice or words of wisdom do you want to share with our postdocs?

The time I spent as a postdoc was the most difficult time in my career. I am sure that many postdocs feel the same. No one can alleviate it completely. However, I believe that with the right guidance and preparation, postdocs can optimize their chance to move to their next career that fits their values, interests, personalities, and skills. And that is my advice, for them to find what fits their wants and needs. Postdocs are highly achieving scholars with diversified cultural backgrounds. It is a privilege to work with them. With my experience as a postdoc in the U.S. and Canada and three academic institutions, I can support them in their current position, and help them think of their next steps either as teaching, research, administration, or non-academic path. Ultimately, where their aspirations take them.

3. What is a fun fact about you or a hobby that you would like to share with our graduate student and postdoc community?

As a native of Sri Lanka, I am a big fan of South Indian (Tamil) music. But please don't ask me about cricket. I know nothing about cricket or any other sports.

One Canvas

Over the summer, Canvas became One Canvas for all institutions in the UM System. We are finding out that some members' names were dropped from certain Canvas Organization sites. If you cannot find the resources from last semester, please contact the appropriate department or division, or reach out to

New Insurance Carrier - Anthem Student Health

MU is starting with a new student health insurance carrier for Fall 2021, Anthem Student Health

For domestic students (U.S. citizens and permanent residents), you can enroll through myZou in the Fall 2021 student health insurance once you register in at least one credit hour for Fall 2021.  The insurance enrollment is voluntary for domestic students. See the instructions on how to enroll on our website

For international students, you are automatically enrolled in the mandatory international student health insurance when you registered for your Fall 2021 classes.

To enroll a dependent (spouse or children), you must first be enrolled in the insurance as a student through myZou. Then, you can enroll your dependent/spouse through the Anthem website.

Please note that there is a separate dental insurance and a separate vision insurance available to students on the Anthem website.

If you have a qualifying assistantship or fellowship, the insurance subsidy credit should show up on your myZou account about a week after you enroll and the tuition waiver has been entered on your account.

Students should be able to access their digital ID on the Anthem website in a week to 10 days after they enroll in the insurance through myZou.

Fall 2021 student health insurance enrollment deadline is September 6, 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact Karen Gruen.

Graduating Fall 2021?

If you are planning to complete a graduate degree, minor, or graduate certificate at the conclusion of Fall 2021, you must apply for graduation NOW! Please read carefully the following information.

You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the dates and deadlines outlined on the Graduation Checklist. Failure to meet these deadlines will cause a significant delay in processing and potentially postpone your graduation. We encourage you to apply early. Expect longer processing times for applications completed near the end of the semester.

In order to successfully apply for graduation, you must complete two steps!
  1. The Graduate School Application for Graduation 
  2. Apply to graduate through myZou's Graduation Application. If you do not find your program listed or you don’t have eligibility to apply, please contact the Graduate School immediately at The myZou application will allow you to make updates to your FERPA status, update your name, and/or modify the address where your diploma will be sent.
These applications work in tandem to ensure that your file is evaluated, the appropriate degree awarded, and that your diploma includes the correct name and is sent to the correct address upon completion. This is also how the commencement bulletin is populated. Please review dates and deadlines closely!

These two steps must be completed by September 27 for degree candidates names to be included in the commencement bulletin.  

Congratulations to 2021-2022 Dissertation Year Fellowship Awardees!

The Graduate School congratulates the following doctoral students for receiving a 2021-2022 Dissertation Year Fellowship:

Preston Battles, Counseling Psychology

Malaika Gallimore, Nursing

Alex Miller, Clinical Psychology

Zachary Miller, Biological Sciences

Justine Mucinski, Exercise Physiology

Geunhye Park, Social Work

Taylor P. van Doren, Anthropology

Md. Rafiqul Islam Rana, Textile and Apparel Management

Fulbright U.S. Student Program 

The MU campus deadline for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is Tuesday, September 7, 2021.  Fulbright offers recent graduates and current graduate students opportunities to pursue graduate study, conduct research, or teach English abroad for eight to ten months. Students interested in learning more about or applying for Fulbright should email as soon as possible in advance of the campus deadline.

Graduate School Travel Scholarships

The fall deadline for MU Graduate School Travel Scholarships is Monday, September 13, 2021. These scholarships help defray the costs of graduate student participation in academic conferences (including virtual conferences) and research travel. Apply for a Professional Presentation Travel Scholarship, John D. Bies International Travel Scholarship for Doctoral Candidates, or a Dissertation Research Travel Scholarship. 

AAUW American Fellowships

AAUW American Fellowships support women scholars who are pursuing full-time study to complete dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research full time, or preparing research for publication for eight consecutive weeks. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applications opened August 1 for Dissertation Fellowships, Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowships, and Short-Term Research Publication Grants. Funding ranges from $6,000 to $30,000. Applications are due November 1, 2021. 

Missouri Online logoMissouri Online has launched its new instructor-focused website, This new site is a centralized resource where instructors on all four campuses can find valuable information about online teaching and learning workshops, professional development opportunities and other Missouri Online and the Office of eLearning faculty services and support. Missouri Online has a new email for its main support email address.


Teaching for Learning Center logoTagline "I love teaching at Mizzou",  with the Jesse dome on the left side of the image.
At the MU Teaching for Learning Center (T4LC), they brainstorm ways to address teaching challenges and enhance student learning at all levels. They’re here to partner with graduate students who currently have or will have an instructional role on campus.  Graduate students are encouraged to attend their programs and workshops throughout the year. They offer informal discussions and trainings on relevant teaching topics like active learning, assessment, and inclusive teaching. They also host popular annual events: Teaching Renewal Week in January and the Celebration of Teaching in May. At any time, you can reach out to them with your teaching and learning questions and concerns by emailing
gradessentials logo

Fall 2021 Professional Development Offerings for Graduate Students and Postdocs

Our gradESSENTIALS professional development program is open to postdocs and graduate students at any level and from any discipline. For Fall 2021, most programs will be offered virtually, with some in-person events. Find event information and professional development resources on the gradESSENTIALS section of the Graduate School website.

Fall Kick-off session: Prioritizing Professional Development. Learn about the eight transferable skills in gradESSENTIALS, the corresponding Individual Development Plan (IDP), and tips for goal setting and time management. Please pre-register on the Grad School Gateway.

Wednesday, September 1, 12:00 – 1:00 PM

Thursday, September 2, 12:00 – 1:00 PM

Friday, September 3, 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Document Review: by appointment

Do you need feedback on your resume, CV, or cover letter? Contact Dr. Laura Page for an individual appointment, offered in-person or over Zoom. Once scheduled, you should email the document in advance for review. The goal of the 30-minute meeting is to discuss feedback and suggested revisions.

Enroll in the Graduate School’s Canvas site!

The Graduate School Resources Canvas site features videos, professional development, and other resources for all MU graduate students! Due to the migration to One Canvas, all students were dropped from the page. Use the self-enrollment link to re-enroll, or enroll for the first time. If you are new to MU click on “New Students” to view orientation videos about graduate student tuition support, health insurance, and the Individual Development Plan (IDP). Check back throughout the year to see resources grow as we continue to add content to the site

The Graduate School is sponsoring 2 graduate students to participate in the ACUE Effective Online Teaching Practices course this academic year. We are accepting applications for those interested. Please complete the application by September 6, 2021.
There is also a two-minute video with more information about the program.
The Graduate School invites doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars to apply for the newly established SEC Emerging Scholars Career Preparation Workshop.

Applications due this Friday, August 27, 2021, 12:00 PM (Central time)
Submit your application online.

Applicants will be notified if they have been selected by September 2, 2021. Applicants must be available to participate in the entire workshop held virtually on September 29-30, 2021.

Selected Emerging Scholars should be:
  • Graduate students beyond the first year of doctoral or terminal degree work, or postdoctoral scholars (note that you must be an active graduate student or postdoctoral scholar at MU during the Fall 2021 semester)
  • Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who have demonstrated exceptional research and/or teaching skill
  • Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who show an interest in seeking a career in higher education
The applicants who are selected as SEC Emerging Scholars will be required to have the following ready for the workshop:
  1. CV
  2. Three-minute research elevator pitch
  3. One-page teaching statement
  4. One-page diversity statement
The selected Emerging Scholars will attend the two-day, September 29-30 virtual workshop and participate in professional development sessions on topics such as dealing with bias, what to expect as a faculty member, and preparation for the academic job market. Workshop facilitators will be faculty from participating SEC institutions.

For more information, you can download a PDF flyer.

JCPenney Suit-up Event!

This partnership between you and JCPenney offers you and opportunity to get career and professional items at a great price. Participants receive an Extra 30% off on the career and professional categories. Download the applicable merchandise list.

To receive the coupon, you will text MIZZOU to 67292. You can use the coupon on a special Suit-up event website or in store. The coupon cannot be used combined with other coupons, it can be used on sale items, but not on clearance. Each coupon is good for one transaction but you can request additional coupons by texting again to receive another. Coupon is good from August 15 to October 31.
Center for Inclusive Excellence header

National Hispanic Heritage Month honors the culture, heritage, and contributions of Hispanic Americans each year. The event began in 1968 when Congress deemed the week including September 15 and 16 National Hispanic Heritage Week to celebrate the contributions and achievements of the diverse cultures within the Hispanic community. Mizzou refers to this month as Latinx Heritage Month. The month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. Information about celebrations for Mizzou's Latinx Heritage Month will be posted on IDE’s webpage closer to the date.
To learn more and connect with our Hispanic/Latinx community, check out Mizzou's Cambio Center, and the student organizations such as the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, University of Missouri-Columbia Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Association of Latin American Students, Latinx Graduate and Professional Network. Student organization information is available at MU Engage.

Congratulations to the new First-Year Scholars!

CIE is happy to welcome the new scholars for the First-Year Scholars Program. These scholars are recipients of Ridgel, Marshall, McNair, and Carver Fellowship, and/or participants in the TIgerView Campus visitation program. Welcome to Mizzou and your graduate program!
Maria "Victoria" Aceves-Power, Psychological Sciences
Vimal Arora, Biological Sciences
Destinee Boddie, Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology
Sierra Davis, Informatics
Riley Drechsler, Anthropology
Derek Fiquet, Natural Resources
Audrey, Glenn, Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology
Jasmine Godwin, Human Development and Family Science
Alan Guandique, Psychological Sciences
Morgan Jackson, Journalism
Chloe Johnson, Psychological Sciences
Terrance Lewis, Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum
Dessarae Luera, Molecular Pathogenesis & Therapeutics
Jessica Marmolejos, Human Development and Family Science
Ruth Opoku, Biological Sciences
Brandon Riley, Theatre
Jaeda Smith, Biological Sciences
Reinier Suarez, Molecular Pathogenesis & Therapeutics
Tiara Watson, Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology


Certificate in Public Engagement

Graduate Students, if you are interested in sharing your research with the public in innovative and fun ways, the new Certificate in Public Engagement (12 total hrs) is for you! This program will increase your ability to communicate your research and disciplinary area to different audiences. Practice and application will help you develop outreach and engagement plans that will broaden the impact of your research. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to enroll. Learn more about how to communicate and engage with the public effectively. Sign up for GRAD 9070: Essentials of Public Engagement (3 hrs) or GRAD 9075: Integrating Research with Outreach (3 hrs) for Fall Semester 2021.

Developing your English Communication Skills for a TA/GI position or Professional Interactions

If you have realized you need to improve your oral communication skills to reach your department’s goal, or if you are looking to improve your spoken language skills for professional opportunities, please consider taking a class through ITAP or CELL. Both international graduate students and postdocs are welcome to join these classes. This fall, ITAP will be offering the introductory level, GRAD 7302, and the intermediate level, GRAD 7303.

  • GRAD 7302 is designed for students with an ITAP level 2P (provisional level 2) or ibtTOEFL speaking 23. The goal is to become a strong level 2. Contact Liz Gallazzi for permission to enroll. One spot left! Contact Liz today!

  • GRAD 7303 is our intermediate class, designed for students with an ITAP level 2 or ibtTOEFL speaking 24-25. The goal is to reach a level 3P or 3. Contact Raquel Arouca for permission to enroll. Currently at capacity, but waiting list possible. Or you can also secure your place for Spring.

Note: ITAP classes will have 0 credit hours for tuition purposes, but include the workload equivalent to either a 3 or 4 credit course, depending upon the course. ITAP courses, like all courses in the Graduate School, also include no course fees. To ensure that effort and full-time status are recognized, the credit hours will appear on transcripts. All courses are graded on an S/U basis.

In addition, ELSP 0400 is offered through the Center of English Language Learning (CELL). It is designed for students with an ITAP level 1 or ibtTOEFL speaking level 22 or lower. ELSP course credit hours do not count toward fulfilling graduation requirements for any degree programs. However, ELSP courses combined with an appropriate number of other MU courses satisfy full-time enrollment requirements for immigration purposes for students on an F-1 visa.

Research Involving Human Subjects

The MU Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversees research involving human subjects. If you are planning to conduct research as a graduate student, you will need to complete CITI training and submit your proposal to the IRB before starting your study. The IRB uses an electronic submission system called eCompliance. The Office of Research website is a great starting point for first-time users.

MU Postodctoral association header

Connect with us!

Tag us in your posts about publications, awards, grants, and other news, and we will share it with the MU community!

Welcome New Postdocs! 

It was great to see many of you at the fall Postdoc Orientation. We are excited to welcome you to campus. The MU Postdoctoral Association (MUPA) mission is to foster professional development and social interaction to provide community and a collective voice; and to liaison between postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and administration.

National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) is next month!

The 2021 NPAW is September 20-24. Watch for the final schedule of workshops and events in your inbox shortly. 

In light of the ongoing pandemic, all events will be virtual except for the Postdoc Happy Hour on Friday September 24, which is tentatively planned for the outdoor area at Logboat Brewery. 

Save the date for the featured professional development speaker, Echo Rivera! She will hold a workshop on September 21 and 23 at 10 AM CDT.  This event will require advanced registration, which will be sent in the near future. 

Want to join MUPA as a board member?

The MU Postdoc Association is still in need of new board members for the following three positions: Co-Chairs (2), and Professional Development Chair
Co-chairs: Organize the board and its monthly meetings; schedule and manage the organization of the annual National Postdoc Appreciation Week events each September; meet monthly with the Director of Postdoctoral Education to generally check-in discuss any issues/concerns or current topics of interest relevant for postdocs; serve as a postdoctoral representative on the Office of Postdoctoral Education Advisory Committee once a semester. This position requires 2 people (Co-chairs) to share responsibilities.  
Professional Development ChairSchedule monthly career events for MUPA (generally afternoons), including: writing group sessions at the Conley House (throughout the year); manage communications with MUPA members; attend and host writing groups and career events; select and contact guest speakers for career events; and some marketing and social media responsibilities.  
Benefits of serving as an MUPA board member: 
  • Bolster the service section of your CV 
  • Network with administrators and faculty on campus 
  • Serve the MU Postdoc community and ensure that MU provides the best training and career development opportunities for current and future postdocs 
  • Represent MU postdocs and give your voice a larger platform 
  • Community! Connect with a diverse board of postdocs from a variety of specialties 
  • Benefit from the resources and experiences that more senior postdocs can provide 
  • Foster valuable skills such as science communication, fundraising, marketing, budgeting, and more 
Contact current Chair, Kim Jasmer at for more information or if interested. 
Copyright © 2021

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