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Brandeis University | Graduate School of Arts and Sciences | HIGHLIGHTS | AN E-NEWSLETTER FOR GSAS STUDENTS


Outstanding GSAS teaching fellows will be recognized at this year's TF Award reception in early May. Earlier this month, GSAS asked each department to select recipients for the award based on their overall teaching excellence, student and course instructor evaluations, and letters from faculty. See the list of recipients.

At the faculty meeting on April 3rd, Jonathan Sarna received the Dean of Arts and Science Mentoring Award. This annual award carries a $1,000 prize for “outstanding ability as a mentor by a faculty member who supervises GSAS students." Professor Sarna is the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and Chair of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program.

One student nominator wrote, “No academic choice that I have made has been more fortunate than asking Professor Jonathan Sarna to be my adviser...Professor Sarna wrote customized letters to the fifteen search committees [where I applied for academic jobs] as well as notes to scholars whom he knows personally. He critiqued several drafts of my application materials and answered countless questions...[and now] I have just accepted a tenure-track job...that success should be attributed to several years of prolonged intellectual mentoring and several months of professional mentoring from Professor Sarna."

Another student explained, “More than anything else, Dr. Sarna inspires me to be an individual of the highest character. In this way, his influence transcends our professional relationship.”

Professor Sarna attended Brandeis University, the Boston Hebrew College, Merkaz HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, and Yale University, where he obtained his doctorate in 1979. He returned to Brandeis in 1990 to teach American Jewish History in the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. He has written, edited, or co-edited more than thirty books. Read more about Professor Sarna.

The following eight students have received a Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship (DYF) which provides a generous stipend and research fund as students complete their dissertations. The DYF is supported by the 1.8 million dollar, four-year grant for doctoral education in the humanities that GSAS received from the Mellon Foundation.

Michelle Mann
Meredith Bergey, Sociology
Michelle Mann
Michelle Mann, History

Daesik Cha, Musicology

Avi Mendelson, English
Allyson Gonzalez
Allyson Gonzalez,
Near Eastern & Judaic Studies

Conley Wouters, English

Sarabeth Grant
Sarabeth Grant, English

Not pictured: Jonathan Sudholt,


The Mellon Interdisciplinary Dissertation Prospectus Seminar is a year-long, non-credit seminar that meets about every other week on select Thursdays from 12-2 p.m. Students in the seminar share drafts of their dissertation prospectuses and receive feedback from the other participants and the two faculty facilitators. Doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences may register. Read more/register.


May Graduation Deadlines
April 25: Certification of Master's Thesis Acceptance due
April 28: Last day to deposit a master's thesis
Note: the two dates above are the correct dates. The March newsletter listed the wrong dates.
May 1: Last day to deposit a dissertation. To view the full list of graduation deadlines, go here.

Cap and Gown Pick-Up/Commencement Invitations/Announcements
If you pre-ordered your cap and gown through GSAS, you may pick up your regalia at GSAS (top floor, Kutz Hall). Pick-up times will be determined in early May and posted on the GSAS commencement page as well as shared with departments and students. Each graduating student may pick up one invitation. You may also pick-up an announcement with your regalia during the cap and gown pick-up times or on May 6 and 7 (available outside Meghan Peck's office, Room 206, Kutz Hall). If the hours are not convenient for you, please arrange to have someone else pick up your regalia for you. Regalia will NOT be available for pick-up on Saturday or Sunday (commencement weekend).

Commencement Tickets
Tickets will be distributed in the Graduate Student Lounge (Kutz Hall) on:
May 6, 12-7 p.m.
May 7, 10 a.m-4 p.m.
May 8, 10 a.m-4 p.m.
Tickets will not be distributed at GSAS. Each student can pick up five tickets, and they are only needed for the main commencement ceremony. Questions about tickets should be directed to Conference and Events.

Announcing the 2014 Commencement Marshal
The GSAS marshal for commencement is Brittany Cassidy, expected May 2014 Ph.D. recipient in Psychology. She will walk alongside Dean Malcolm Watson as they lead the GSAS processional.

5 Wednesdays beginning June 4 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Kutz Hall Conference Room (2nd Floor)
Register in GradHire, login located here.

You've graduated, now what?! If you haven't thought much about your job search or haven't had any luck finding suitable employment, the summer is the perfect time to take action. Learn about self-assessment, strategy, resumes, cover letters, networking, and interviewing. GSAS Career Services is available all summer long; please come join us!
Do You Need A Summer Loan?
If you are taking summer courses or finishing a thesis this summer and need to borrow loans for the summer term please submit the Stafford Loan Request form by April 30, 2014. Questions can be directed to Katharine Linnehan, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, ext. 6-3418.

Do You Need Loans for Next Fall and/or Spring?
Please check Financial Aid for helpful information regarding the loan application process. The recommended application deadline for the Fall bill (sent out in early July) is June 13, 2014. Questions can be directed to Katharine Linnehan, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, ext. 6-3418.

Student Loan Exit Counseling
Exit Counseling is a federal and institutional requirement for all student loan borrowers receiving a degree, including those receiving a master's in passing. For Federal Loans (Stafford, GradPLUS, and Perkins), Exit Counseling is done online. Exit Counseling does not cause loan repayment. It simply reminds the borrower of their responsibilities and allows lenders to update address and reference information. Students who have borrowed funds directly from the University will need to meet with Steven Doona, Assistant Director of Student Loans, ext. 6-4451.

April 8-May 22
Many students are required to register for the summer term. Please go here to see if you need to register.
blog key
Interested in sharing the latest news from your field with the entire GSAS community? We are now accepting blog posts from students and alumni to help foster the learning environment that we all value. This is an opportunity to practice your writing skills, get your name published, and build your resume. We encourage you to send us your writing about anything related to graduate life at Brandeis, the topics are unlimited. Don't miss your chance - we want to hear from you! If interested, contact Laurie Nichols.

Brandeis University
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
415 South Street | MS 031
PO Box 9110
Kutz Hall | Waltham, MA 02454
781-736-3410 | 781-736-3412 (fax)

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