Save the Date for Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week!

I Heart Grad Students

April 2 – 6, 2018

Join the Graduate Student Association and The Graduate School in celebrating Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week 2018! During this week, we honor the contributions of UT Tyler’s 2800+ graduate and professional students. For more information and dates, check out the schedule here


  • Grad School Application Fee Waiver: All current UT Tyler undergraduate students who apply for graduate school during Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week will get their application fee waived. Need help with the application? Stop by ADM 345 for assistance. We’re here to help!
  • Grad Life Photo Contest. Post pictures of you and/or and your fellow grad students living the UT Tyler grad student life with hashtags #graduttyler and #YourProgram. The program with the most hashtags will win a prize.
  • What’s your UT Tyler Story? We hear so many great stories from students about how their time at UT Tyler has changed their lives. Some people may meet their future spouse here, get their first internship, or create lasting friendships with faculty or classmates – the list goes on and on. As part of Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week, we want to encourage you to share your UT Tyler Story with us. We will share them on Facebook, and the one with the most likes will win a prize on April 6th. Share your story here

And on Thursday, April 5th, we’ll host the very first Grad School 180. Grad School 180 is a research competition at The University of Texas at Tyler. It is open all UT Tyler graduate students, and challenges participants to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research and its significance in just 180 seconds, using language that can be understood by people outside the discipline. This competition helps to develop presentation, research, and academic communication skills and supports the development of research students’ capacity to explain their work effectively. Participation also allows students to take pride in their work and show the community the impact UT Tyler’s graduate students are making in the local community and beyond. Competition judges will be alumni and community members.

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The Importance of Being on Time


Being punctual strengthens and reveals your integrity. If you tell someone that you will meet them at a certain time, you have made them a promise. And if you say you’ll be there at 8:00, and yet arrive at 8:15, you have broken that promise. Being on time shows others that you are a truthful, trustworthy and reliable person.

Being punctual shows you are dependable. People know they can rely on a punctual person – if he says he will be there, he’ll be there. But if a person is not punctual, others cannot depend on him — they do not know where he will be when they need him. His associates will begin to feel he cannot organize his own time, and these doubts will seep into matters beyond the clock, as it raises the question: “If he is careless about time, what else is he careless about?”

Being punctual builds your self-confidence. Showing up on time not only tells other people you are dependable, it teaches you that you can depend on yourself. The more you keep the promises you make, the more your self-confidence will grow. And the more you gain in self-mastery, the less you will be at the mercy of your compulsions and habits, and the more in control of your life you will feel.

Being punctual assures you’re at your best. After riding someone’s bumper, speeding like a maniac, scanning for cops, and cursing at red lights, it’s hard to then turn your focus to making a presentation at a meeting or charming a date – you’re shaky and depleted from the adrenaline and stress. But when you show up on time, better yet a little early, you have a few minutes to collect your thoughts, review your materials, and get your game face on.

Being punctual builds and reveals your discipline. The punctual person shows that she can organize her time, that she pays attention to details, and that she can put aside this to do that – she can set aside pleasure to take care of business.
Being punctual shows your humility. That bumper sticker maxim: “Always late, but worth the wait” shows that tardiness and an overestimation of one’s worth sometimes go hand in hand.

Being punctual shows your respect for others. Being late is a selfish act, for it puts your needs above another’s. You want an extra minute to do what you’d like, but in gaining that minute for yourself, you take a minute from another, which is why….

Being late is a form of stealing. When you make others wait for you, you rob minutes from them that they’ll never get back. In coming to meet you at the agreed upon hour, they may have made sacrifices – woken up early, cut short their workout, told their kid they couldn’t read a story together – and your lateness negates those sacrifices. Being punctual shows you value time yourself, and thus wouldn’t think of depriving others of this precious, but limited resource.

Being late disturbs the experiences of other people. Your tardiness not only robs others of their time, but of the fullness of their experiences as well. The student who interrupts a professor in the middle of his lecture; the family which climbs over you to get to their seats at the middle of the row in the theater; the man who opens the creaky door in the middle of a presentation.

Being late strains your relationships. When you’re late in meeting other people, it makes them feel under-valued, that whatever you couldn’t pull yourself away from was more important or that they didn’t mean enough to you to warrant allotting sufficient time to arrive on schedule.

Being late hurts your professional career. Whether you’re an employee or in business for yourself, being late can hinder your professional success. Many companies have strict policies about punctuality — get a few write-ups and you’re gone. Of course, if you arrive late to the job interview, you probably won’t land the position in the first place. And if you’re trying to win over a new client, arriving ten minutes late isn’t going to get things off on the right foot.

Being late takes a toll on your life. Always running behind simply hurts you in all areas of your life. It results in lost opportunities: missing a plane, missing a meeting, missing an important part of a lecture, missing a wedding. It creates stress and can lead to car accidents and traffic tickets. It results in embarrassment and forces you to come up with excuses for why you’re late, putting a strain on your honesty. Basically, it makes your life more complicated; cultivating punctuality is an essential part of simplifying life.

Adapted from

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Our guest blogger, That Girl, offers advice on adjusting expectations

The art of life

light through the trees

As I was exercising in the gym I saw someone, a person of color, a color similar to my own, from a place that I belong to, the thought seemed exhilarating in a land quite unfamiliar to me. So as I’m about to leave the gym for I’m done for the day, I stop by to say hello. After an initial exchange of pleasantries and conversational small talk, I now know that she’s been in the area for more than a decade and that there are a number of people from our community in the area. As excited as I could be to hear that, in a moment I vicariously lived through moments of celebrating a culture my own, in a heartbeat. I instantly pitched that there’s a sizable portion of our community at the University I would love for us students to connect with the community. But my reverie was broken down by “We want nothing to do with them,” followed by the reasoning “If we want to celebrate our festivals, we go to Dallas.” Soon after this with some covertly worded statements I was made to realize, that she wasn’t looking to babysit a girl, as she even ‘refused to take up the responsibility of her niece, who was coming to the US to study pharmacy’, because girls these days “think differently and you don’t know.”

Now you must be wondering why I’m telling you all this, so let me tell you why. If you are anything like me that is empathetic, I would like to implore you to grow a thick skin, a very thick one indeed, if you are planning to study abroad. People whom you’d expect to be nice, sane and look out for you, because they belong the same country, state or community as you, you stand a high chance of being disappointed in them. Look you may have heard, people have pretty linear personalities, they’ll be nice to you as long as they have their own axe to grind at your expense, you’ll probably get a taste of it after you give up on all your cushions by choosing to grow out of your comfort zone, if you haven’t until know.

You will share a living space with people who have never travelled anywhere, have never shared a living space with someone, basically linear personalities, who cannot give up an iota of their nonchalant pampered passive-aggressive ways to accommodate someone else’s needs. You’ll have a real life experience of the virtual and instantaneous “friending” and “unfriending” that happens over at Facebook, because you have an opinion different than theirs. Though you may be surrounded by people much more mature in age than you don’t expect them to act mature at all.

In words of Maya Angelou “There’s nothing in this world more tragic than a young cynic, because you go from knowing nothing to believing nothing.” So how will you deal with this? You have two options either be cynical or you be you. No matter how much you dislike the situation you are in the truth of the matter is that you are living it and no one else can deal with it on your behalf. Don’t try and emulate the characteristics that you dislike on the pretext “That’s just how the world is.” You be the silver lining in someone else’s cloud. You help a fellow human when you see them in need, cause’ if someone mentions you and people go any version of “Damn, that person is such a nightmare,” there’s something you need to change something about yourself. Moreover, try to make the most out of your experiences by making friends within your immediate community and expanding out of your own. I’m sure you didn’t travel across the Atlantic to hang out with the same bunch of people you whose company you desperately wanted to escape. You come from another part of the world you have a different perspective to share and contribute to your immediate surrounding, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise and don’t hold back.

That Girl

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Next Step Grant

Great news!

Beginning with Fall 2017 admissions, The Graduate School at The University of Texas at Tyler is offering the Graduate School Next Step Grant to qualifying students. Recipients of this grant may be eligible for two years of full tuition based on availability of funding and continued eligibility.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a Texas resident with financial need as determined by FAFSA or TASFA.
  • Must be attending 6-9 hours per fall and spring semester.
  • Must maintain good academic standing.
  • Please contact for program eligibility.
    (Executive and accelerated programs are not eligible.)
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Choosing to Study in the US

It’s no secret that the recent changes in the US have caused concern for international students who are considering the US for their master’s degrees.

In response to the perception that the climate in the U.S. might be less welcoming to individuals from other countries, over 200 colleges and universities have participated in the #You Are Welcome Here campaign. Many of the schools even made videos like this one from UT Tyler to show international students that we definitely want them to join us:

And of course we welcome international students!! The benefits of having international students on campus are plentiful, and most universities have known this for a long time. Successful graduates in our increasingly interdependent world will be the people who move comfortably between one culture and another; those with “intercultural competence.” To function effectively in different cultural contexts, our graduates must understand the complexities of our diverse world and the global community. With the increase in international graduate students at UT Tyler, our domestic students are broadening their understanding of what being a global citizen means, and learning to understand their own culture from the perspective of others.

Having international graduate students on campus benefits them, but it also benefits every other student with whom they interact. Our graduate international students have an opportunity to earn advanced degrees at UT Tyler, while our domestic students have an opportunity to interact with students from around the world. International students are a tremendous resource to UT Tyler (and the local economy). They bring an international perspective both inside and outside the classroom, making it extremely valuable for domestic students to have international students in the classroom with them.

Here are some interesting facts:
• In the past 5 years, we’ve seen an increase of over 200% in graduate international enrollment. The majority come to us from India, but we are seeing an increase in applicants and inquiries from Canada, China, Columbia, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.
• This past year we received applicants from 30 ‘new’ countries; that is, countries from which we hadn’t gotten application the year before.
• The most popular programs with graduate international students are Computer Science and our three graduate engineering programs, Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical; the MBA; the Industrial Management MS; and, increasingly, Psychology.
• We now have many international student organizations on campus. These organizations provide assistance and guidance to international students to ease their transition to American culture.
o African Student Organization
o Asian Student Association
o Bangladesh Student Association
o Global Patriots
o Indian Student Association
o Muslim Student Association
o Nepalese Student Organization

Another concern is the perception regarding opportunities post-graduation. As it turns out, the expected H1b changes will actually benefit international students. Moving from a lottery system to a merit-based immigration system would provide those with a master’s degree a much higher chance of getting H-1B visas. The reality is that there simply aren’t enough US students graduating with master’s in the STEM fields. We need international talent – especially students who have been educated at American universities.

So while you’re deciding on which university to attend, keep this in mind: US colleges and universities truly do welcome international students, and the job opportunity outlook for highly educated, highly skilled international graduates remains healthy.

Dr. Alecia Wolf
Assistant Dean, The Graduate School
The University of Texas at Tyler

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Scholar Works at UT Tyler

Scholar Works at UT Tyler is UT Tyler’s institutional repository, a digital service which brings together all of our University’s research under one umbrella, with an aim to preserve and provide access to that research.

Graduate students that write a thesis or dissertation will add their final work to Scholar Works, adding to the digital collection of UT Tyler scholarship.

Once your thesis/dissertation is added to Scholar Works, authors immediately begin to see the benefits of providing access to their research—with the Scholar Works world map, authors can see where, worldwide, their work is being viewed. New graduates can link to their thesis/dissertation in their CVs or resumes, pointing potentially employers to their graduate research work.

Scholar Works allows you to distribute your work worldwide—most works deposited are freely available to anyone via the web. Your thesis/dissertation will be discoverable through major search engines like Google, and you’ll have the opportunity to share your work with more friends, colleagues, and like-minded researchers all around the world.

Digital Commons Network Wheel

When you add your thesis/dissertation to Scholar Works, you have an opportunity to choose disciplines which represent the subject area of your work. Whether it is electrical engineering, history, biology, or nursing—by selecting disciplines associated with your thesis/dissertation, your work is added to the Digital Commons Network wheel, a portal that brings together free, full-text scholar articles from hundreds of universities worldwide. It is a great access point for researchers worldwide to discover your work. On the Scholar Works at UT Tyler home page, there’s a network wheel specific to materials only in Scholar Works—that way researchers everywhere and our UT Tyler community can have a sense of the scholarly work we create at our university.


Live Readership Map

Scholar Works at UT Tyler also displays a live readership map, which pinpoints on a world map where content is being viewed and downloaded. Since the creation of Scholar Works in April 2016, there have been over 1,800 downloads of UT Tyler graduate students’ theses and dissertations, faculty publications and posters, and even some librarians’ research and publications.

Author Dashboard

The Author Dashboard feature at Scholar Works at UT Tyler allows authors to view their own readership map, showing where researchers have downloaded their thesis or dissertation. The dashboard also shows if your work has been downloaded at other institutions like research centers or other universities. This dashboard allows you to view and then showcase the visibility and research impact of your thesis/dissertation.

Overall, Scholar Works at UT Tyler provides a great opportunity to exhibit the scholarly output of UT Tyler—and especially your thesis or dissertation! If you have questions, please contact Terra Gullings, the Head of University Archives and Special Collections, at 903-565-5849 or

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An Important Message for New Graduate Fellowship Applicants

The Graduate Scholarship Committee will be meeting soon to review applications for the New Graduate Fellowship (NGF).

Please be sure to use your own words when writing your brief essay about why you should be selected to receive the scholarship. Any form of plagiarism will permanently disqualify students from receiving any financial award from The Graduate School for their entire time at UT Tyler. It will also mean that they are not eligible to work in the Graduate Admission office.

Let’s take a look at a sample essay submission:

“I believe I deserve to be selected for one of your foundation’s scholarships because as a hard working student I commit myself to effectively take advantage of the opportunity that the scholarships will provide me. Besides, I am a student that does not only persistently works hard academically, but also I constantly try to improve my own community’s quality of life by doing volunteer work.”

Sounds compelling, right? WRONG! This essay appears on multiple ‘how to write a scholarship essay’ websites. Don’t believe it? Google it. We see submissions like this far too often. These sites are intended to generate thoughts about your personal experience, and are not an invitation to plagiarize. Students often protest that they were advised by their agent/consult to submit the essay – we do understand that this happens; however, it does not mitigate the consequences.scholarship







Please don’t forfeit this amazing opportunity – take the time to write a few genuine sentences. It is heartbreaking to each committee member to deny awards to otherwise deserving students. If you are applying for the NGF, it means you’ve already been admitted. That means you’ve spent money on the application fee, test scores, and for international students, the evaluated transcript. The NGF pays you $1000 USD, and for non-resident students it cuts your tuition almost in half. That means the NGF can save you roughly $7,000 USD, and pays you $1000 – so don’t lose the benefit of $8,000 a year because you copy phrases, sentences or paragraphs from another source and present it as your own.

Speak openly and honestly about why you think you deserve the award. It doesn’t have to be more than a paragraph. We want to know what you’ll do with your degree from UT Tyler, and how the fellowship will help you achieve that.  That’s it! 3-4 sentences in your own words.

Please review UT Tyler’s Graduate Admissions Policy: The submission of documents in support of applications for admission and fellowships such as transcripts, diplomas, test scores, references, essays, or the applications themselves, that are forged, fraudulent, altered from the original, plagiarized, materially incomplete, obtained under false pretenses, or otherwise deceptive (collectively referred to as fraudulent documents) is prohibited by The University of Texas at Tyler and may be punishable by: a bar on applying for admission, fellowships, suspension, and/or expulsion. Students who submit fraudulent documents are not eligible to reapply.

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Meet the Graduate Admissions Team

In Graduate Admissions, we have a team of dedicated people working hard to help make applicants’ dreams of graduate studies come true. We like to try to get to know our applicants as much as possible during their admissions process, and we thought it might be nice if you could get to know us a little bit, too. So without further preamble, here is the UT Tyler Graduate Admissions team!

wolfAlecia Wolf
Assistant Dean, Graduate School
Director, Graduate Admissions (5 years)
From: Tyler, TX
What is your favorite part of your job? Working with a great team of professionals. We have a good time sharing ideas and strategies that will help us continue to improve.
Personality Quirk: I like old-school rap music.
Favorite Book: Straight Man (Richard Russo)
Favorite Song: 2raumwohnung (2 von Millionen von Sternen)
Describe your perfect vacation: Spending a leisurely, unplugged vacation somewhere far away with ancient or medieval structures to visit and explore.
What would you like our readers to know about Graduate Admissions? We care! As a group of people who have all been through the admissions process, we understand that applying to college can be daunting, and applying to graduate school can be downright intimidating. We want to keep prospective students from ever feeling that way.

Michael Giordanomikegiordano
Assistant Director, Graduate Admissions (3 months)
From: Ridgefield, CT
What is your favorite part of your job? Getting to know our applicants.
Personality Quirk: Loves fencing. With swords, not lumber.
Favorite Book: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss or Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
What would you like our readers to know about Graduate Admissions? We love to say “Yes!” and we do everything we can to help people get admitted.

sblundellSydni Blundell
Office Manager (7 months)
From: Marshall / Longview, TX
What is your favorite part of your job? Being able to assist students in finding the answer / solution for their situation!
Personality Quirk: I am a factual person.
Favorite Book / Movie: Book – Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; Movie – Moulin Rouge
Favorite Pop Culture Icon: DEFINITELY Reese Witherspoon!
Describe your perfect vacation: I would go to Greece, explore everything that I could, go scuba diving, and taste the food.
What would you like our readers to know about Graduate Admissions? I would like readers to know that we are here for you! We love being able to help out and don’t feel shy about asking us questions! 

Andrea Grzybowski
Graduate Admissions Representative (2.5 years)
From: California
Job Duties: Data Entry and Management



brittanikBrittani Keith
Graduate Admissions Representative (2 years)
From: Silsbee, TX
What is your favorite part of your job? It is very rewarding when a student tells us that we have provided great support, sometimes the best they have ever received from a university. I love reading those emails.
Personality Quirk: I am very organized. I like for everything to be clean and arranged just right. I’m sure it drives the office crazy!
Favorite Book/Movie: Island of the Blue Dolphins is one of my favorite books, and I’m a sucker for Disney movies.
Hobbies: Reading, competitive shooting, and playing video games.
What would you like our readers to know about Graduate Admissions? Please let us know if you have any questions at all. We don’t mind answering them, no matter how many times you contact us.

Jessica Miller
Super Secret Agent

>>>You do not have the required security clearance for this information<<<



kmoore1Kelly Moore
Senior Graduate International Admissions Representative (3 years)
From: Lindale, TX
What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of the job is interacting with our students and coworkers, as well as having the opportunity to learn new things.
Personality Quirk: I like everything color coded
Favorite Music: Radney Foster
Perfect Vacation: My perfect vacation would be an extended trip to Italy, meeting with family, visiting museums, researching genealogy, taking pictures and soaking up the culture.
What would you like our readers to know about Graduate Admissions? We understand how much thought that you’ve put into your graduate studies and we will thoroughly research each question to make sure that you receive the right information as quickly as possible. You’re definitely not a “number”.

Kim Sheetsksheets
Data / Reporting Analyst (3 years)
From: I’m a child of the South. Born in Florida, but have also lived in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Texas.
Job Duties: My main job duty is make the application process easier for you! Grad School is stressful enough so simplifying the application process can get your graduate career off to a smoother start.
What is your favorite part of your job? I enjoy coming to campus each day and working with the most supportive people I have ever worked with. While I don’t have much direct student contact, I know that what I do each day makes it easier for the students from application to graduation.
Personality Quirk: I’m the best rock star that never was…
Proudest Accomplishment: The respect I have earned amongst my peers
What would you like our readers to know about Graduate Admissions? We REALLY do care about you.

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New Graduate Studies Roadmap

roadmap2We have a new addition to our Graduate Admissions website — a Graduate Studies Roadmap, created by our own Jessica Miller. This handy guide will help a student with all aspects of graduate school — from application to graduation and every step in between.

Start at the top and cruise your way down through milestones such as application, acceptance, enrollment and graduation. Mouse-over the steps for detailed information about each one. This map will be helpful for students in all phases of their graduate school careers.

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