Student Newsletter - May 2020


Welcome to the CCAS Graduate Student Newsletter! Designed to keep you up to date with news and events, policies and processes, and all things for CCAS Graduate students!

Graduate Student Newsletter Archive

May 2020

To encourage social distancing, the CCAS Office of Graduate Studies staff will be working remotely until further notice. While we won't physically be on campus, we are here for you and can be reached during normal business hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm. We will be responding to emails and voicemails. Additionally, during this time, please submit all materials electronically to [email protected]. This may mean you have to communicate with your advisors in advance to get signatures or approvals.

Despite the distance and all the challenges you are facing, know that the Student Services team is here to support you and will continue to be dedicated to providing you guidance and serve as a resource that helps you navigate university policies and procedures. Stay strong, stay connected and please take good care of yourselves, your families and each other.

For our May newsletter we have the following topics:


2020 ccas virtual celebration

The Office of Graduate Studies is excited to honor this year's graduates through a series of livestreamed Celebration ceremonies. 

Doctoral Hooding: Thursday, May 14, 7:00 p.m. EDT

Master’s Ceremony: Friday, May 15, 7:00 p.m. EDT


Tips for Online Classwork

Transitioning to online courses may be a little difficult but here are some tips that may help!

  • Create and keep a routine. - Remote learning requires you to be more organized. Visualize the semester and create a calendar and study space for yourself.
  • Balance academic responsibilities with life. Prioritize your health! Take free online fitness courses.
  • Expect to check your GW email daily to ensure you are not missing important class announcements from professors.
  • Be proactive- Don’t hesitate to ask for help with technical issues or course content!
  • Use online academic resources, for example GW Writing has gone virtual!
  • Utilize good AV practices: Mute yourself if you’re not talking, and be mindful of background noise.


wellness corner

Mental Health - COVID 19

Taking Care of Your Mental Health While Sheltering in Place

GSEHD Professor Delishia Pittman gives tips for maintaining mental health while sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the full article on GW Today.

Virtual Events While Sheltering in Place

As the George Washington University community works through the virtual learning and work-at-home period, surprising opportunities to learn, create and connect still exist online. Find out what those virtual opportunities are that won't violate social distancing and is cost-friendly.

What to Read

Columbian College faculty provide their book recommendations as a way to offer insight, comfort or a welcome escape. Explore the full list of recommendations including The Witches are Coming by Lindy West and I Was Their American Dream by Malaka Gharib.


academic and research progress

Advice for PhD Students 

We are acutely aware that COVID-19 has caused changes to your daily activities and understand that there are concerns about how the pandemic may impact your academic and research plans. Whether you’re in the early or late stages of your degree program, many of you will be reevaluating projects or academic timelines and working with faculty to devise new strategies and working routines. Some practical guidance for graduate students and mentors is posted in this blog post: Some Advice for PhD Students and Their Mentors in the Time of Coronavirus.

Gelman Library Resources

Gelman Library resources remain available to all students and faculty to maintain research activities and support online classes during GW's virtual learning period. Students can access online peer tutoring and course review sessions through Academic Commons in a number of different subject areas. The full list of remote library services and resources is available online. Remote assistance is available via the virtual Ask Us desk during scheduled Ask Us Desk hours or by email at [email protected].

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR)

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and its units are tracking university and sponsor guidance. Researchers are encouraged to check OVPR’s COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates and prepare contingency plans for critical research activities.


Student Spotlight

2020 Distinguished Master's Degree Scholar

The Distinguished Scholar Award is bestowed upon a master's student in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) who has excelled academically and shown commitment to scholarship through participation in research or other academic leadership activities. With this prize, CCAS recognizes exceptional achievement and excellence in graduate student research, significant extracurricular or off-campus activity related to the student’s academic field of study, and/or important contributions to the growth and improvement of the student’s department, school, or the university. The 2019-20 Award for Distinguished Master’s Degree Scholar is presented to Sarah-Anne Gresham.


Sarah-Anne Gresham is graduating with a Master of Arts degree in the field of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). A Fulbright student from Antigua and Barbuda, Sarah-Anne has completed a master’s thesis focused on postcolonial literature and feminist historiography that, according to the WGSS faculty members who nominated her for this award, employs “a truly original, interdisciplinary methodology” to address “sophisticated questions about voice, the archive, subaltern histories, and feminist storytelling.” Sarah-Anne’s scholarship is motivated by a political commitment to create lines of understanding across differences and to encourage others to see women of the Global South as authorities on their own lives and experiences. This commitment is also displayed in Sarah-Anne’s activism on behalf of women of color in Antigua and Barbuda as the co-founder of a feminist organization called Intersect, which has raised awareness about domestic violence, human trafficking, rape, and sexual harassment throughout the Caribbean, and in her advocacy for the legalization of abortion in Antigua and Barbuda.

You can watch the Columbian College livestream on the Commencement website or join the conversation at our Facebook Live watch party to applaud our scholar(s). If you are unable to watch the livestreams, a full video will also be available on the CCAS Vimeo channel on the day of the event.

Important dates!

Don't forget the following deadlines coming up!

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony May 14
Master's Ceremony May 15
GW Virtual Commencement Celebration May 17
Start of Summer Session I (6, 8, 10 and 14 week sessions) May 18
Summer Graduation Deadlines July 15

Fall 2020 Registration

Fall 2020 registration has begun for graduate students!! September 4th is the last day consortium registration forms will be accepted for Fall 2020.



Funding Opportunities

Assistance Funds

Federal CARES Act Funding

GW has been selected as a recipient for Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding to support students affected by COVID 19. In line with government regulations, students will be identified to receive funding for basic needs through the award. Efforts are ongoing to coordinate the release of funds directly to eligible students.  

The American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Fellows

The program supports promising doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences with one year of funding to allow them to focus on completing projects that form the foundations of their scholarly careers. This year, 64 graduate students will be awarded up to $43,000 for their final year of dissertation research and writing. In addition, fellows participate in a faculty-led job market seminar to further prepare them for postgraduate careers both within and outside of academia. Learn more about how to apply for the ACLS Fellow.

2020 Academic Exchange Program for North Korean and Unification Studies

Part of this academic exchange program, the ministry is calling for fellowship/scholarship applications from rising scholars who wish to conduct research on issues relevant to North Korea and Korean unification or pursue a master’s degree or doctorate in North Korean and unification studies. To apply, fill out the application form

GW Cares Student Assistance Fund

Managed through the Office of Student Success, this resource can provide grants to students who are faced with an emergency not related to your tuition payments. To apply, fill out the application form. The fund is designated to off-set a short-term financial need and is not intended to replace and supplement financial aid.

External Support: Scholly Student Relief Fund

With the COVID-19 health crisis sweeping across the nation, Scholly is providing cash assistance to those in need during the COVID-19 Crisis. Apply today to receive $200 in cash assistance to help cover expenses. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis through June 15th, 2020 dependent on the availability of funds.

Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships (OGSAF) Awards

Any questions on the awards below please reach out to OGSAF directly at [email protected].

Marshall Scholarship

The program looks for tomorrow's leaders: for high intelligence and academic attainment, for social commitment and responsibility, for leadership potential and for originality and flair.

Scottish Rite Endowment Graduate Fellowships

Deadline: 7 August 2020 (Fall 2020 Consideration)

Loughran Foundation Endowment Dissertation Research Grant

Deadline: 1 August 2020

The purpose of the Loughran Dissertation Research Grants to Oxford is to provide support for GW doctoral students who must conduct laboratory or archival research at the University of Oxford in order to further their dissertations.


Updated October 17, 2022

Graduate Student Newsletter Archive