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Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Associate Dean's Message - October 25, 2021

Monday, October 25, 2021
As we near the mid-point of the semester, please take advantage of resources that may be helpful. Both academic and wellness support are available. Learn more about these resources.
med ed entrance

Dear GSBS,

We are nearing the mid-point of the Fall semester. I hope everyone is falling into the routine of classes, lab work, seminars, and journal clubs. While we may feel like we are “back to normal”, it is important to acknowledge the “normal” stress of graduate school on top of the ongoing pressures of COVID. I have spoken with students who have concerns about traveling on the T, being unmasked while eating indoors, and the ever changing local, state and federal guidelines. Daily health checks, weekly testing and masks may be part of our lives for the foreseeable future. Additionally, students are facing the pressure of completing lab work, class and exams, as well as personal and family issues, all while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I want to remind everyone that the Dean’s Office is here to support students, both academically and personally.

On the academic side, some classes have available tutoring, and the library offers writing support and a variety of workshops. I encourage students to reach out to the faculty of their courses or the PI in the lab if any issues or conflicts arise. Discussing issues is often more productive than trying to “push through”.

GSBS offers a number of resources within the health and wellness arena. These include:

  • Snaggs Gendron, our Student Wellness Advisor, provides a variety of activities and events. These are announced in the weekly Wellness Newsletter and in The Goods. Snaggs is also available to help students deal with personal issues by providing support, guidance, advice, advocacy, and referrals.  
  • Talk One2One provides confidential access to counselors both in-person and by telephone. Students can schedule an appointment through or calling 1-800-756-3124.
  • , a student-run organization, will host monthly meetings, both open and confidential, to discuss mental health issues. Each meeting will start with a short meditation and a passage about a mental health topic such as self-compassion, coping mechanisms or setting boundaries. This will provide a jumping off point for folks to talk about their own mental health or any issues they may be struggling with. This group will help build community among students who are suffering from mental health issues and show they are not alone in their struggles. The first meeting will be on Tuesday, October 26th at 4:30PM in Med Ed 812. All are welcome to attend. Food will be served.

Do not hesitate to reach out to the Student Wellness Advisor, Talk One2One, or REFs. I am also available to meet with students, either in-person or via Zoom, to discuss academic or personal issues, or just to vent. We are a supportive community working together to help you achieve your goals.

Dan Volchok, Associate Dean