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Graduate School Newsletter - November 2021


Join the Graduate School staff on Zoom for Turkey Trivia.

Staff will be on hand to answer questions, there will be a game and prizes. We hope to see you there!

     Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 12 p.m.

Zoom Link:

Student Spotlight

Shiva Torabian

The ongoing pandemic threw a wrench into many students well laid plans during 2020. Shiva Torabian, a Natural Resource Management PhD student, is no different. Shiva, seeking out professional development opportunities, applied for a scholarship to attend the Power of Data workshop hosted by the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Due to COVID-19, the workshop was postponed. Shiva applied again and was invited to participate in the workshop held October 17-22, 2021.  20 total applicants were selected from across the United States.

The all-expense paid workshop was held in Baltimore, MA and provided participants the opportunity to expand their network of those who shared their interests and engage in focused conversations with a community of diverse scientists. “The workshop had a fantastic atmosphere,” states Torabian. “It was a great opportunity to meet different people with varied backgrounds from different institutions and organizations.” Because the workshop had limited attendance, it was easier to connect with attendees and those presenting. “This workshop provided priceless information and knowledge about data that we can use in ecological studies,” shared Shiva. Attendees were able to work in groups and share their ideas with organization representatives from USDA and NSF who in turn provided feedback. Connections to these organizations are vital in obtaining grants and furthering research endeavors. Shiva is excited to share what she learned at the workshop and apply it to her continued studies at SDSU.

Shiva, who began her PhD in in 2019, earned her BS and MS degrees in Environmental Science from Isfahan University of Technology (IUT). Wanting to earn her PhD from a different country, Shiva applied to various universities, but settled on SDSU where she holds a graduate research assistantship and works under the direction of Dr. Josh Leffler and Dr. Lora Perkins. Shiva’s research is focused on the effects of anthropogenic chemicals on ecosystems processes such as nutrients of soil and plant biomass. Shiva was also a member of SDSU’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.

As any student knows, it takes a village to be successful. Shiva would like to extend a special thank you to “my advisors Dr. Lora Perkins and Dr. Joshua Leffler that are so supportive, and I am constantly learning things from them. [To the] faculty and staff of the NRM department for providing friendly environment and to SDSU that gave me this opportunity to be a JACK!”

Bridge at Chamberlain

Upcoming Events

Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Access at SDSU (Diversity and Advocacy)

     Thursday, November 4  3-4:30 p.m.

Hilton M. Briggs Library, Room 130


CommUNITY Meeting – Afro-Indigenous Speaker  (Diversity and Advocacy)

     Wed. November 10  2 p.m.

University Student Union,  Lewis & Clark Room

* Note this event may be attended in person and will also be livestreamed via Zoom at:


Teach Like a Pirate and Really “Hook” Your Students  (Teaching)

     Wednesday, November 17  4-4:50 p.m.



This is a live, virtual workshop via Zoom but will also be recorded so it can be viewed on D2L at a later date.


Money Management (Wellness)

     Thursday, December 2  3-4:30 p.m.

Hilton M. Briggs Library, Room 130

This is an in-person workshop but will also be recorded so it can be viewed on D2L at a later date.

Graduate Student Awards

Joseph F. Nelson Graduate Scholarship

     Deadline: November 19, 2021

Applications must be submitted electronically.


Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award

     Deadline: December 2, 2021

Nominate a faculty member for this award.


SDSU Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award

     Deadline: December 17, 2021.

Nominations must be submitted electronically using this link


Three Minute Thesis Competition

     Interested students must register no later than Friday, January 4, 2022.

For more specific details about the competition, view the 3MT PowerPoint.


SDSU Distinguished Dissertation Award

     Deadline: April 15, 2022

To submit a nomination, please use this link:


Graduate Student Wokini Scholarship

Click here to see the guidelines. Please complete and submit the application to be considered for the Wokini Scholarship.

Check out our new webpages:

Graduate Assistantship Opportunities                            Internship, Fellowship and Scholarship Opportunities

Important Upcoming Dates:

November 19, 2021 - Final Oral Exam Completed 

The final oral exam for both masters (Option A) and doctoral students must be completed by this date for graduation during the current semester. A final oral exam form must be submitted to the Graduate School at least TWO WEEKS prior to the exam date selected.


December 8, 2021 - Thesis/Dissertation Deposited to the Graduate School 

Theses/dissertations must be submitted via ProQuest by this date. See the Graduate School website for formatting guidelines and submission instructions. The signed acceptance page, signed copyright form, and library binding fee must accompany the final submission by this deadline.

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