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Dissertation Writing Retreat Set for January

Advanced PhD students are invited to apply to participate in a Dissertation Writing Retreat, to be held January 8-12, 2018. The writing-intensive retreat will provide up to 20 participants with space and encouragement to make progress on their dissertations. Stacy Kastner, Associate Director of the Writing Center, will lead this retreat, which pools the resources and support of the Graduate School, Sheridan Center and Libraries. The deadline to apply  is December 29, 2017. Learn more.

Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Student Thesis Show

The Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program presents its December thesis show, Neva, directed by MFA student Kate Bergstrom. Neva is set in St. Petersburg in 1905, with the Bloody Sunday riots happening in the space just beyond the stage. The play follows the rehearsal of three actors, MFA students Octavia Chavez-Richmond, Meghan Leathers, and Marcel Mascaro, who humorously dance around the topics of love and revolution. Performances run through Sunday, December 10.

Bergstrom said was drawn to the piece for its unusual blend of comedy and existential crisis. “The characters are obscene, but I love them. They are presences. The characters are asking ‘How do I deal with myself as a political body and as an artist? And as a human?’ That’s something I’m grappling with now, in our current political climate.” Read more.

B-LAB Info Session Set for Dec. 8

Graduate students are invited to register and attend a Breakthrough Lab (B-LAB) information session on Friday, December 8 from 12-1 p.m. at Petteruti Lounge in the Robert Center. Food will be served and past participants of this summer intensive program will speak.

Race and Ethnicity Professional Development Workshops

The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) is hosting a series of workshops designed to support graduate student research, build research community across disciplines, and aid in the professional development of Brown graduate students. They are led by Brown faculty and begin on Monday, December 4. Topics include getting published, preparing for exams, how to approach writing, reaching students through teaching, and grant writing.

Student Research: Study Reveals Earth's Mantle Varies in Composition

New research by Brown University geochemists, including doctoral student Boda Liu, provides new insights on the scale at which Earth’s mantle varies in chemical composition. The findings could help scientists better understand the mixing process of mantle convection, the slow churning that drives the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates.

“We know that the mantle is heterogeneous in composition, but it’s been difficult to figure out how large or small those heterogeneities might be,” said Liu, a Ph.D. student in geology. “What we show here is that there must be heterogeneities of at least a kilometer in size to produce the chemical signature we observe in rocks derived from mantle materials.”

The research, which Liu co-authored with Yan Liang, a professor in Brown’s Department of Earth Environmental and Planetary Sciences, is published in Science Advances.

Student Research: ‘Bursts’ of Beta Waves, Not Sustained Rhythms, Filter Sensory Processing in Brain

Scientists at Brown, including doctoral Neuroscience student Hyeyoung Shin, have found that people and mice alike use brief bursts of beta brainwaves, rather than sustained rhythms, to control attention and perception. To better understand the brain and to develop potential therapies, neuroscientists have been investigating how “beta” frequency brainwaves help the brain filter distractions to process sensations. A new Brown University study stands to substantially refine what they thought was going on: What really matters is not a sustained elevation in beta wave power, but instead the rate of specific bursts of beta wave activity, ideally with perfect timing.

Two PhD Students Win Fulbright-Hays Award

Jerome Marston, a fourth-year Political Science student and Daniel McDonald, a third-year History student have been awarded the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Award. This award provides funding for doctoral students to conduct research outside of the U.S. for 6-12 months. Marston will be using his Fulbright to travel to Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia and McDonald to São Paulo, Brazil for a year. Read more.

Holiday Food Drive, Nov. 2-20

All are welcome to particiate in the Graduate School's tenth annual Holiday Food Drive to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. We are collecting food from November 2-20, 2017. Please drop off needed canned goods (see list), in the Food Bank boxes at the Graduate School, the School of Public Health, the School of Engineering, Population Studies & Training Center, or the Arnold Lab. Thank you to all partners!