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Competitive Edge Summer Bridge

 

The transition from undergraduate to graduate students can be extremely difficult, leading to potential problems with student success, retention, and even graduation.

 

Graduate students face an unusual dilemma: as undergraduates, they were the smartest and most successful students in their classrooms. But when they first enter graduate school, they feel like the least knowledgeable students in the room, painfully aware of how much they still need to learn.

This radical shift comes at a time when they must quickly learn to navigate a new school and a new city — all the while juggling intense work, research, and study schedules. And while this poses a significant challenge for nearly all students, it is perhaps most difficult for those with a limited support network — such as first generation students or those from backgrounds typically underrepresented in higher education.

The UC Merced Competitive Edge Summer Bridge program addresses this critical point in a graduate student’s development and helps to ensure that participants are better equipped to complete their degrees and go on to successful careers.

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The Program At a Glance

Graduate students who participate in this program:

  • Move to campus two months early for better acclimation
  • Are placed in a cohort to build early support structures
  • Begin work with advisors to get a head start on research techniques and projects
  • Attend tailored workshops and seminars designed to give them a broad foundation of professional knowledge
  • Work with funding experts to make significant progress on a major external predoctoral fellowship proposal

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Program Components

The Graduate Division has organized a series of seminars and workshops designed to help students acclimate to graduate work, begin the process of learning to write academic proposals and papers, and to proactively seek out and self-train in the basic technical skills needed to conduct their research.

Weekly Workshops:

  • Fellowship Writing
  • Statistics Bootcamp
  • Professional Development
    • Adjusting to Graduate School
    • Maximizing Advisory/Advisee Relationships
    • Mastering Academic Writing
    • Balancing Personal and Academic Life
    • Diversity in Academia
    • Introduction to Teaching

Mentor Workshops:

  • Journal Club
  • Presenting in Acadmia

Social and Networking Events:

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Testimonials

"I learned a great deal during the Summer Bridge program and the experience has eased my worry about my preparation for graduate school.

I feel now that I know what to expect and what will be expected of me."

-Tashelle Wright
Ph.D. student in Public Health
2016 Summer Bridge cohort
2017 Summer Bridge mentor

 

“I found the adjusting to grad school panel really helpful for understanding how the more experienced students have coped with the challenges they have faced in graduate school.”

-Clement Laksana
Ph.D. student in Quantitative & Systems Biology
2016 Summer Bridge cohort
2017 Summer Bridge mentor

 

"It was great to be able to get a head start and feel more prepared for the upcoming semester.

This literally lessened my anxiety about starting grad school.”

-Sara Schneider
Ph.D. student in Cognitive & Information Sciences
2016 Summer Bridge cohort
 

 

 

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2016-17 Cohort

Christina Acosta
Sociology

Nick Cruz
Political Science

Dominique Davenport
Physics

Craig Ennis
Quantitative & Systems Biology
Clement Laksana
Quantitative & Systems Biology
 Lorraine Ramos
Interdisciplinary Humanities
Adolfo Ramirez
Cognitive & Information Sciences
Sara Schneider
Cognitive & Information Systems
John Wilson
Physics
Tashelle Wright
Public Health
  Qingqing Xu
Environmental Systems

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2017-18 Cohort

Kimberly Arellano
Public Health

Jordyn Brinkley
Environmental Science

William Delmas
Physics

Pedro Diaz-Parga
Quantitative & Systems Biology
Reagan Dobbs
Political Science
Karly Higgins
Quantitative & Systems Biology
Lindsey Jerome
Environmental Science
Kavita Kumar
Mechanical Engineering
Diego Lopez
Quantitative & Systems Biology
Eddie Lucero
Political Science
Vicente Mata
Sociology
Salvador Montes
Physics
Dylan Moses
Political Science
Jocelyn Ochoa
Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Lillie Pennington
Environmental Science
 Mohammad Qasim
Quantitative & Systems Biology

Justin Ramirez
Bio Eng & Small-Scale Tech

Suzanne Sandin
Chemistry & Chemical Biology
William Spaller
Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Tyrome Sweet
Quantitative & Systems Biology
Sammy Villa
Quantitative & Systems Biology

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2018-19 Cohort

Maria Mendoza
Quantitative & Systems Biology

Lori Lewis
Applied Mathematics

Leila Wahab
Environmental Systems

Donnoban Orozco
Quantitative & Systems Biology
Molly Karnes
Environmental Systems
 John Flores
Interdisciplinary Humanities
Victor Hernandez
Bio Eng & Small-Scale Tech
Kevin Easley
Interdisciplinary Humanities
Julio Perez
Mechanical Engineering
Shaina Sta Cruz
Public Health
Maia Powell
Applied Mathematics
James Sullivan
Psychological Sciences
Melissa Spence
Applied Mathematics
Abdul Zamani
Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Edgar Perez-Lopez
Mechanical Engineering

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