UW Graduate School

Interpersonal Relationships


September 26, 2019

Welcome All Graduate Students

Welcome all new and returning graduate students across the University of Washington tri-campus! You bring rich and unique experiences to the university, whether you have recently moved to Washington state from another part of the U.S. or the world, have just completed an internship, fieldwork, a fellowship, or are further along in your capstone or…


February 7, 2019

Networking is Relationship-Building

In past newsletters, we have encouraged you to build your network of support. This includes growing mentorship connections with peers, faculty and university staff, as well as developing your network of professional, social and community support off campus. Yet we often hear from graduate students and postdocs that although they know that building networks is…


December 18, 2018

Lauren Fine: Talking politics with family (and not losing your cool)

“Listen, and listen more than you talk,” says Lauren Fine, a doctoral student studying political communication at the interpersonal level. It’s good advice, generally, but it’s especially prudent if you’re struggling to discuss politics with family or friends at holiday gatherings. If you’re engaged in political discussion with close others in close spaces, “try to…


November 18, 2018

Professors on Pedestals – Updated

Is there a place on campus where I can learn how to address/talk to professors? I have been in the US for about six years now, but I am originally from a culture where one is supposed to show respect to people older than you. I therefore still cannot bring myself to address a professor…


November 16, 2017

Advice on an advisor

I am a second-year doctoral student, and have not been able to build a positive relationship with my advisor. My emails go unanswered and our meetings are infrequent, short, and brisk. I feel that this person is unhelpful and even detrimental to my progress. I have tried communicating my discomfort with this relationship to my…


November 9, 2017

Engaging in Effective Conversations When the Stakes Are High

When you have important issues to discuss with faculty or colleagues, do you choose email? Text? Phone? Or do you schedule an in-person meeting? It depends, right? How safe do you feel? How much detail needs to be conveyed and confirmed? Is it a small clarification or a bigger conceptual issue? Is there likely to…


October 12, 2017

Finding Your People

At Core Programs, we often talk about the importance of finding your people—of making those intellectual, professional, and social connections that will nurture your whole self, not just your identity as a graduate student. Fall is a great time to remind yourself, whether you are just beginning your graduate school journey or you have been…


September 21, 2017

Fostering Inclusive Classrooms as a TA

How do we, as TAs or RAs, work to include all students we work with, given the difficult times the nation is in? — Anonymous  This week’s answer is courtesy of Gonzalo Guzman, pre-doctoral instructor in American Ethnic Studies and the College of Education.  To say we live in “difficult times” would be an understatement. This is…


April 20, 2017

From an Overworked TA

The class I am a TA for requires 12 hours of student interaction and about half a day of preparing materials. Every week. This is way more than the 20 hours/week that I am paid to do. The instructor knows this and had originally requested twice as many TAs as we have, but the department, being…


March 9, 2017

Friends Wanted

How do you make friends in grad school? I feel like I missed a crucial seminar where everyone else got paired up. I hear about things that happened on the weekend in passing and the middle schooler in me that followed me all the way up to graduate education is so hurt. Part of what…



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