Student Newsletter - September 2023

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

September 2023

The Student Services Team is here to advise, guide, and provide you with resources to aid in your success, as well as help you navigate university policies and procedures. Our office is located in Smith 118, and we are open during normal business hours on Monday – Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. You can schedule a virtual, phone, or in-person appointment with your Student Services Coordinator and our Career Counselors.

The Student Services Team would like to thank everyone for attending our Welcome Week events! It was great seeing everyone back on campus, and we look forward to seeing you throughout the semester!

Six members of the CCAS Graduate Student Services Team standing together in front of Smith Hall 118

For our September newsletter, we have the following topics:

Welcome Message from the Associate Dean

For those of us in the CCAS Office of Graduate Studies, the start of the fall semester is always an exciting—if busy—time. We have the honor of welcoming hundreds of new graduate students to campus and helping you launch the next stage of your academic career. We also have the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to our returning students, reminding you of all the resources and assistance our office can provide, and helping to guide you to the successful culmination of your graduate studies.

We're honored to start this new academic year with you and look forward to supporting your coursework, research, creative endeavors, and career pursuits over the coming months and throughout your graduate program.

Last year, CCAS graduate students published scholarly articles on topics ranging from nationalism in contemporary European politics to Filipino-American foodways and literature; wrote policy analyses for the Washington Post; received national recognition for their contributions to the study of cosmic transients; presented photojournalistic exhibitions exploring the social and psychological wellbeing of Chinese international students and the changing lives and work of Chesapeake Bay watermen; and made award-winning 3MT presentations on their research into the impact of building-height restrictions on urban economic welfare. We expect that you will match or top those achievements and eagerly await the announcement of your discoveries and creations!

We also look forward to connecting with you throughout the academic year. In this newsletter you'll find examples of the webinars, workshops, social events, and other activities that our office provides throughout the year to support your graduate studies, provide occasional opportunities to escape from the grind of academic life, and help you chart a successful journey to graduation and to the careers that await you. Please make a habit of reading each month's newsletter to learn more about the events we have planned, and look back at the site from time to time throughout the month for updates. Although we send a link to the newsletter only once each month to avoid clogging your email with messages, we update our online newsletter regularly throughout the month to pass along information about new opportunities and deadlines as we receive them.

This year, I'm especially looking forward to the new series of informal opportunities that we're setting up for you to meet with me and your fellow students throughout the academic year. We hope these "Chats with Chad" will provide us with an opportunity to learn from each other and think about ways that we can enhance graduate life in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. (You'll find more information about these "Chats" below.)

In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact me or any member of our team in the CCAS Office of Graduate Studies if we can assist you in any way.

Here's wishing you a very successful and productive start to the fall semester!

Fall 2023 Reminders

Academic Policies

Please familiarize yourself with all CCAS and University policies. Students are responsible for adhering to all policies and procedures relevant to the pursuit of their graduate degree, including those published in the University Bulletin, the CCAS Bulletin, and in the CCAS Graduate Student Handbook.

Student Forms

Students may continue to send all student forms electronically to the Office of Graduate Studies at [email protected].

Adding and Dropping Courses

GW bills students according to their course registration. Whenever a student adds a course, a tuition charge and student association fee will be added to the bill. If courses are added after the start of the semester, students should remit the payment for those courses immediately.

Courses that are dropped on or after the first day of classes are subject to the refund schedule. This schedule details the way in which tuition and fees will be prorated should a student drop courses or withdraw completely. Please be aware that drop penalties are non-refundable. The last day to drop a course for a full tuition refund in Fall 2023 is September 10, 2023. 

In addition, please note that some programs have a special refund schedule. If you wish to drop a course, we encourage you to consult with your program to determine if a special schedule applies.

If you wish to drop all of your courses, please reach out to your Student Services Coordinator at [email protected].

Student Account

We strongly recommend that students check their Student Account regularly to ensure that the account is in good standing and that no payments are due. Students always have access to their eBill and Student Account information through GWeb.

Chats with Chad

You’re invited to join us at our upcoming Chats with Chad Heap, CCAS Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. 

“Chats with Chad” are intended to provide an informal space for you to connect with Dean Heap and your fellow graduate students. These low-key events are a great chance to enjoy complimentary refreshments and conversation about life at GW both inside and outside the classroom. You’re welcome to drop by for as much of the scheduled time as you wish. 

Chats with Chad for doctoral students this semester will be held on Wednesday, September 13, 11 am-12 pm; Wednesday, October 18, 2-3 pm; and Thursday, November 30, 5:30-6:30 pm. Chats with Chad for master’s students will be held on Thursday, September 21, 3:45-5 pm; and Wednesday, November 1, 3:45-5 pm.

To ensure we don't exceed space limitations, we ask that you register for the Chats in advance. Master's students can register here for the 9/21 event, and doctoral students can register here for the 9/13 event. We expect to be able to accommodate everyone who registers, but if we're unable to do so, you'll have first priority for the next scheduled Chat. (Registration links for future Chats will be distributed as they become available.)

The Next Step: A Webinar Series

The CCAS Office of Graduate Studies is hosting a series of webinar panels throughout the year to help you prepare for the next stage in your graduate studies and beyond. We’re excited to announce the details of our first two webinar sessions. We hope you’ll join us! 

Demystifying Fellowship Applications

Friday, September 22

10:30-11:30 am

Dissertation and postdoctoral fellowships can play a pivotal role in shaping an academic career path. This webinar panel will help you take advantage of these compelling opportunities by offering guidance on the application process. CCAS faculty members will share their experiences writing proposals, navigating the review process, and making the most of the fellowships they’ve received to advance their research and academic careers. The Q&A session will offer a great opportunity to get firsthand, expert answers to anything you’ve been wondering about. 

While all CCAS graduate students are welcome to attend this webinar and are likely to benefit from faculty insights into the fellowship process, the webinar will be especially useful for PhD students in the humanities and social sciences. Panelists will include Jonathan Hsy, Associate Professor of English, and Celeste Arrington, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs. Prof. Hsy recently completed a year-long fellowship at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, and Prof. Arrington received a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany. The panel will be moderated by Chad Heap, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. 

Please register here.  

Insider Perspectives on the PhD Application Process

Monday, October 16

12 pm-1 pm 

Are you considering applying to a PhD program? This webinar panel will offer the perspectives of CCAS faculty members on what it takes to assemble a successful PhD application. Learn tips on writing a strong statement of purpose, asking for letters of recommendation, and managing timelines. Bring any questions you may have for the interactive Q&A session. Whether you’re already working on your PhD applications or are just beginning to explore the possibility of doctoral study, this webinar will provide valuable insights into the process. 

Panelists will include Prof. Ingrid Creppell, Director of Graduate Studies, Political Science; Prof. Cynthia Dowd, Graduate Admissions Director, Chemistry; and Prof. David Silverman, Director of Graduate Studies, History.  The panel will be moderated by Prof. Chad Heap, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. 

Please Register here

Wellness Corner

Counseling and Psychological Services

The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Office serves GW students and engages the entire GW community, working to build a culture of support and connection with student well-being. They support mental health and personal development by collaborating directly with students to overcome challenges and difficulties that may interfere with academic, emotional, and personal success. A variety of support services are available, including individual, group, and drop in counseling. Counseling support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 202-994-5300.

In addition, CAPS will host various Virtual Workshops throughout the fall semester.

CCAS Career Corner

All CCAS graduate students have access to our dedicated career counselors, who are available to provide one-to-one career advising, which includes resume and cover letter support, networking, interviewing, and many other areas. Log into Handshake to schedule a career advising session and to access other employment related tools, events, employer connections, how-tos, and hundreds of job and internship postings.

More career services information is available on our Career Services website and the CCAS Current Graduate Student Events page. Feel free to email us at [email protected] with any general questions.

Career Spotlight: Fall is a Good Time to Update Your Resume

Whether you are starting a new graduate program or returning to one, fall is a great time to update your resume to reflect new experiences. CCAS Career Services has a resume worksheet and template that will briefly show you the main components of an effective resume and give you examples of how to describe your experiences. CCAS students can download our How to Write an Effective CCAS Resume document or request a copy by emailing [email protected]. More documents and resources are available in the Resource section of Handshake.

Upcoming Career Workshops for Students

Career Readiness Orientation: Foundations for Career Success

Career readiness tips that will prepare students for their next dynamic employment opportunity. Open to master's and doctoral students.

Revolutionary Resume

These workshops on effective resume construction are open to master's and doctoral students. 

Federal Workforce Recruitment Program Open for Students and Recent Graduates with Disabilities

Student registration is open for the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) 2023! The WRP is a recruitment program for students and recent graduates with disabilities to find internships and jobs in the federal government. Students and graduates with disabilities may visit the WRP website to take their first step towards opportunity for federal employment. All applicants must be eligible for the Schedule A Hiring Authority for persons with disabilities and must be a U.S. citizen. To register for the WRP, students will need to visit the WRP website (use Chrome or Firefox on a computer, not a mobile device), and follow these steps:

  1. Select the first purple box that says, "Student Registration Now Open" Then click the green "Students Register Now!" button.
  2. Click the registration button, then complete the Rules of Behavior, Agreement, and Registration forms.
  3. Once your School Coordinator approves your registration, you will receive an email with information about how to create or sign into your account, which you will use to log into WRP.
  4. After you set up your login for the first time, you will be directed to your student homepage
  5. Click "New Student Application" to get started

For more information, contact Caroline Morton at [email protected] or send an email to [email protected]

Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)

All matriculated students in a degree-granting on-campus program and all international students on a J1 or F1 Visa are required to have health insurance while studying at GW and will be automatically charged and enrolled in the GW SHIP. This includes students on the Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon, VSTC, and Corcoran Campuses. If you have other acceptable coverage, you must waive out of GW SHIP by September 12, 2023, at University Health Plans.

U•Pass Metro Card Distribution for the 2023-2024 Annual Year 

GW’s U•Pass program returns for another academic year. For $100/semester, eligible students have access to unlimited use of Metrorail and Metrobus at a subsidized, discounted fee. The Fall 2023 U•Pass program runs from Thursday, Aug. 17 through Friday, Dec. 19, 2023. The Spring 2024 dates are from Saturday, Jan. 13, through Sunday, May 19 (Commencement Day). U•Pass is not an active program during the winter and summer breaks. Visit the GW U•Pass website to review your eligibility, as well as when and where you can pick up your physical GW-branded U•Pass Metrocard to use for the entire academic year. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

Please note: Starting Monday, August 28, you must visit the GWorld Card Office in the University Student Center to pick up your U•Pass card. 

Funding/Employment Opportunities

Chicagoland Diverse STEM Postdoc Recruitment Initiative

Northwestern University, the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), and the University of Chicago (UChicago), are excited to announce that applications are now open for the second annual Chicagoland Diverse STEM Postdoc Recruitment Initiative! This opportunity is for advanced (post-candidacy) PhD students, recent PhD grads, or early-career postdoc scholars in STEM fields who identify as an underrepresented racial and/or ethnic minority, disabled, LGBTQIA+, or first-gen. The last day to apply is Monday, September 11th. More information is available on the program website

Newcombe Fellowship

Newcombe Fellows are late-stage Ph.D. students studying how ethical and religious values shape society, including political decisions, public life, culture, history, literature, and other areas. Projects must be explicit in their attention to some dimension of religious and ethical values. This award is funded by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation. Deadline is November 15th. More information is available on the program website


Other Events Around Campus

GW TAI Poster Social

Given the growing interest in Trustworthy/Responsible AI across the University, It’s a great opportunity for us to come together, learn from one another, and explore potential collaborations. GW TAI invites you to the Poster Social event on October 2nd, from 3:30 to 6 PM at SEH 4900; if you are interested, please complete this form. 

Grad Connect

The Office for Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement invites you to Grad Connect. A Space for graduate students across all GW schools to unite and be in a community. This Thursday, September 14, from 12:30 -2:30 at USC's fifth floor.

NSF GRFP Info Session and Workshop

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program application cycle is open! NFS is hosting an information session and workshop for eligible students interested in applying for the current application cycle. If you are interested, Register Here.

National Museum of American Diplomacy: Commemorating 60 Years of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Join the National Museum of American Diplomacy (NMAD) on Tuesday, October 3, from 12:15 to 1:00 pm to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. On August 5, 1963, after several years of tense negotiations and mutual distrust between nations, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban treaty that banned nuclear test explosions above ground, underwater, and in outer space. This treaty was viewed as an important first step towards global peace, and after the signing President John F. Kennedy stated, “And if that journey is one thousand miles, or even more, let history record that we, in this land, at this time, took the first step.” NMAD is located at 330 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20006, in the Harry S Truman Building. Please RSVP here by 9/29 if you would like to attend. 

GW Program Board's Fall Comedy Show

GW Program Board and the Division for Student Affairs invites all GW students, alumni, families, friends, faculty, and staff to one of the biggest traditions of the year: Fall Comedy Show featuring the one and only Jimmy O. Yang

Fall Comedy Show is an #OnlyatGW moment that we’re thrilled to host each year. Come join us on Friday, September 29 at 9pm at the Charles E. Smith Center for an evening of laughter, joy, and so much fun! Tickets start at $30, and can be purchased at

Doors open at 8 p.m. at the Smith Center! But the party starts even before comedy hits the stage! Join us at 6 p.m. for a Pre-show Block Party right outside Duques Hall with a DJ, FREE food, games, and prizes!

Updated September 11, 2023

Graduate Student Newsletter Archive