Banner with image of Louis Brandeis statue and text reading, "Brandeis Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week, April 1-5, 2024, #BrandeisGPSAWeek."

The GSAS is excited to celebrate Brandeis University’s second annual Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week on April 1-5, 2024! National Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week was created in 1993 by three students who “wanted to find a way to physically manifest support and appreciation of the contributions, impact, and value of graduate students.”

To highlight and thank graduate students for their invaluable contributions to teaching, research, and the Brandeis community, the Grad Engagement group (comprised of members of GSAS, Heller, International Business School, and the Office of Graduate Affairs) is planning a series of activities. Details will be shared with faculty, staff, and students in the upcoming weeks on the OGA’s website.

In addition to events that the Grad Engagement group is planning, GSAS will offer the following activities and events:

Daily Gift Card Giveaways

GSAS will give away two electronic $25 gift certificates every day of the week! Names will be randomly drawn; winners will receive an email notification to their Brandeis email account. No entry is required – all graduate students will be automatically entered.

Winners may choose an e-gift card from the following options:

  • Amazon
  • Hannaford Supermarket
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels
  • Lyft
  • Margaritas Mexican Restaurant
  • Solea Restaurant and Tapas Bar - Waltham
  • Starbucks
  • Tempo Bistro - Waltham
  • Uber

Virtual Appreciation Wall

GSAS is gathering messages of thanks and appreciation for graduate students from staff and faculty in the weeks before Graduate Student Appreciation Week. Submissions will be posted to GSAS’s social media account during Graduate Student Appreciation Week. Check out our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and X) throughout the week to see if you get a special shout-out.       

Navigating Difficult Conversations Lunch-and-Learn

Tuesday, April 2, 2025, 12:00-1:30 PM. Lunch is served at 11:45 AM.

Register for the lunch-and-learn by Friday, March 29, 2024.

Challenging conversations show up in our lives, whether we want them to or not.

  • What do you do when you need to resolve a disagreement with a family member or friend and you’re afraid of hurting their feelings or damaging the relationship?
  • How do you tell your lab partner to clean up their workstation (again!) without creating an awkward situation?
  • And how do you advocate for your opinion or idea with a faculty member or supervisor when you know they see the situation differently?

Handling these conversations successfully is not always easy and for most of us, the skills to do so don’t come naturally. When the stakes are high, emotions are high, and achieving a good outcome can be difficult. Tough conversations can produce strained relationships, blocked creativity, thwarted teamwork, and sleepless nights.

You need skills! This workshop will provide you with the tools you need to build the skills that will lead to not just better conversations, but also improved working relationships, a greater sense of confidence, and an increased proficiency in preparing for and conducting even your most challenging conversations.

This session draws in part from the work done at the Harvard Negotiation Project and on the content of the book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Penguin 2000), a New York Times Business Bestseller.


Michele Gravelle, Challenging Conversations Coach

Michele applies her 30 years of experience in the field of Corporate Education to helping professionals manage their most challenging conversations. Through 1:1 coaching and group application sessions, Michele works with her clients to build their skills to prepare and conduct important conversations with more ease and less stress.

Before working independently, Michele was a Principal at Triad Consulting Group and the Director of Corporate Education at Vantage Partners, both firms are affiliated with the Harvard Negotiation Project.

Michele is a contributing author to Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Path to Leadership (Jossey-Bass 2005) and holds a Master's in Psychology, which comes in handy when dealing with the complexities of human dynamics. She is also an active and enthusiastic supporter of the Children’s Literacy Foundation, a non-profit that supports and inspires a love of reading and writing among under-resourced children in NH and VT.

Julia Coleman, MSW, LICSW, Assistant Director of Training, Brandeis Counseling Center

Julia Coleman focuses on developing and fostering new skills to practice outside of therapy, to help individuals manage situations and challenges they face in their everyday life. She works with individuals with anxiety, depression, body image issues, self-esteem issues, academic concerns, and relationship issues and uses an individually tailored and collaborative approach.

Don Greenstein, JD, Ombuds, Brandeis Ombuds Office

Don Greenstein has a background in conflict management, facilitation of difficult communications, organizational development, law, and creative dispute management processes. He has more than 30 years of experience creating unique conflict-resolution processes to meet the needs of those involved.

Kylie Millbern, MA, Ombuds, Brandeis Ombuds Office

Kylie Millbern is a trained mediator, facilitator, and ombuds. She enjoys sharing her experience in the conflict resolution world to engage others in creative thinking and problem-solving. 

Co-sponsored by GSAS and the Office of Graduate Affairs

Three Minute Thesis Competition


Two images of students standing next to projected slides. Text reads, "Brandeis Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Three Minute Thesis (3MT R) Competition. An 80,000 word PhD thesis would take 9 hours to present. Their time limit...3 minutes. Come cheer our contestants on! Friday, April 5, 2024, 4pm, Spingold Theater, #BrandeisGSAS3MT." At bottom is the 3MT logo, with a clock face and the text "3MT (r) Three Minute Thesis, founded by the University of Queensland."

GSAS will host its third annual Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition this spring! The 3MT is a global competition, designed to showcase graduate student research in three minutes using one slide with the idea of appealing to a general audience. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and people’s choice winners and the overall winner will go on to compete in the Northeastern Regional competition!

Come cheer on our contestants at the final on Friday, April 5, 2024, at 4:00 PM, Spingold Theatre!