Design thinking, time management, and mental wellbeing among Welcome Week topics

The Graduate School is gearing up for the next academic year, but not without a proper welcome for new and returning students alike.

Welcome Week kicks off Monday, August 27 with a keynote speech by School of Human Ecology Dean Soyeon Shim. Dean Shim will share her unique perspective on designing one’s life for success in any discipline, followed by a reception and refreshments.

Other Welcome Week events feature campus partners including University Health Services and Software Training for Students.

“We have some great presentations and workshops coming up for Welcome Week that will really help graduate students get a jump start on the semester, and learn some new skills for their academic and professional careers,” said Amy Fruchtman, assistant director of professional development at the Graduate School.

Welcome Week 2018 Event Highlights

Click on each event’s title to register and find out the event location.

Design (& Build) Your Life: Lessons Learned on a Journey from Seoul to Madison

Soyeon Shim, Dean of the School of Human Ecology at UW-Madison
School of Human Ecology Dean Soyeon Shim

Monday, Aug. 27 | 2-3:30 pm; reception to follow

When Soyeon Shim was a young girl growing up in Korea, at dinner every day her dad would ask his children if they had done anything to earn the food set before them. This challenge, and the sense of purpose it instilled, has guided Soyeon ever since, helping her to design her life, and prototype and build the kind of career and personal relationships needed to achieve happiness and fulfillment. She has learned first-hand that a successful design for living must balance personal and professional interests and nurture the collaborative bonds with family, friends and colleagues. In this talk for UW-Madison graduate students, with design thinking as a framework, Soyeon will describe her ongoing life-design project and the lessons she’s learned along the path to achieving it.


Flourishing in Graduate School: How to Manage Stress and Maintain Your Mental Health

Tuesday, Aug. 28 | 1-2:30 pm

Want to make graduate school a time to thrive and not just survive? This workshop will focus on promotion of psychological well-being in graduate school. Topics covered will arm graduate students with strategies to thrive through the challenges of graduate school, including managing the transition/adjustment process, coping with stress, promoting work/life balance, and establishing habits to maintain or improve mental health.

Time Management for Graduate Students

Tuesday, Aug. 28 | 4-5:30 pm

In this interactive workshop, you will learn tips and techniques for staying on track and managing your time. We’ll cover goal-setting, minimizing distractions and staying focused, and overcoming some of the most common challenges to staying on task. Participants will leave with strategies that they can apply immediately. The strategies we’ll cover are appropriate for students in any discipline.

Cool Tools: Apps and More to Increase Productivity

Thursday, Aug. 30 | 3-4:30 pm

Prepare to maximize your time and energy this semester by taking advantage of software available to UW-Madison graduate students that can help streamline your workflow. This hands-on workshop, presented by Software Training for Students (STS), will introduce you to both basic and advanced software tools, including cloud storage services, notetaking apps, mobile scanners, research tools, tasks managers, password managers, lifestyle apps, and more.

Multicultural Graduate Network Welcome Celebration

Thursday, Aug. 30 | 5-7 pm | Sonata Room, Gordon Dining and Event Center, 770 W. Dayton St.

The Multicultural Graduate Network through the Graduate School at UW–Madison kicks off the start of a new school year with a large celebration to invigorate the vibrant community of graduate students on campus. All graduate students are welcome at this event, especially graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds and those who are allies.

Graduate School Degree Dash

Friday, Aug. 31 (Register by 3pm Thursday, August 30) | 7:15 am check-in, 8 am and 8:30 am races

Degree Dash
Graduate School Degree Dash (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

Get your semester off to a fast start! Join fellow graduate students, faculty and staff for the 3rd Annual Degree Dash hosted by the Graduate School at UW–Madison. Set your goal for 5.76 miles for the Doctoral Derby (no, you don’t have to be in a PhD program to participate), or for 1.82 miles for the Master’s Mile (for those who need to “graduate” early). Race distances are based on approximate average time to degree. You will meet new people, tour campus, come away with a free giveaways, and gather information that will help you to start your semester off quickly. And the best part is, whether you come in first or last place, you’ll get a diploma at the finish line. All are encouraged to participate in this free event – new and current graduate students, faculty, staff and family members.

Recognizing and Reducing Implicit Bias

Tuesday, Sept. 4 | 11 am-12:15 pm

Building cultural competence is critically important for graduate students and professionals across all disciplines. This interactive talk introduces graduate students to the concepts of implicit or unconscious biases and assumptions about diverse groups of people by treating the application of such biases as a habit of mind. Students will learn how to uncover their own biases, discover the underlying concepts and language used in the psychological and social psychological literature to describe such processes, and learn evidence-based strategies for reducing the application of these biases as they cultivate relationships with people from different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. Pizza will be served after the talk.