December 2020 Newsletter

Tomlinson Hall at Sunset, November 2020

A Quiet End to a Historic Year


Spring New Student Orientation

Welcome to our new students beginning in spring 2021! Graduate Studies New Student Orientation will be held online in Canvas, divided into asynchronous modules accessible anytime from anywhere in addition to optional live Zoom sessions. More details will be coming soon.

We look forward to meeting you after the New Year and welcoming you to the CWRU community!

University Closure

The School of Graduate Studies and the University will be closed for the winter holiday beginning Thursday, December 24. Our offices will reopen 8:30am on Monday, January 4. For the remainder of the month before the break, our office and much of campus are working remotely so please continue to contact us via email and voicemail.

Winter storm on Freiberger Field, KSL, CWRU

January 2021 Session

Registration is still open for the three-week remote-learning special January session. In SIS, expand the Sessions tab under Additional Search Filters, then select "Regular Term - 3 week". The January session is considered part of the Spring semester in terms of total credit hours, tuition costs, and financial aid awards.

If you are enrolled in classes for the spring semester and also enrolled in the student medical plan, your coverage for spring begins on January 11 regardless if you take any classes in the January term. If you are currently on the student medical plan for the fall semester, your coverage will continue through January 10.

Remote Learning from Distant Time Zones

To help ease the burden of some students who are remote learning far from campus, for the spring 2021 semester no graded assessments may be required outside of the hours from 8:00am to 10:30pm in the time zone you reside. If needed, please discuss with your instructors to identify alternate approaches to meet the needs of your schedule and academic requirements of the course. If you cannot identify a sufficient number of courses offered at times you are available, please consult with your academic advisors, departments, or your school's dean for advice on possible course substitutions to allow necessary progress toward your degree.

If you decide to enroll in a synchronous remote course, you will be responsible for meeting attendance and participation expectations at the class's scheduled times unless you secure prior approval from the instructor for an alternative arrangement.

See the December 10 update from the Provost for more information.

Clocktower at Biomedical Research Building (BRB)

Considering a Career in Teaching?

Grad students and postdocs can sign up for the non-credit UNIV 401 Advanced Professional Development for University Teaching Seminar to provide an introduction to pedagogical skills for future faculty. The seminars meet on Tuesdays during the main spring semester. Enrollment is limited to 15 students in each section.

Zoom Updates

Beginning January 5, the University will require all users to have the latest version of Zoom installed. If not updated by that date, users will be prompted when attempting to sign in. You should update now and have access to the many new features implemented over the past several months.

Students participating in class over Zoom

Spoken English Tutors

Spoken English Language Partner (SELP) tutors are available to help grad students to improve pronunciation, fluency, presentation, vocabulary, and conversation skills. Virtual appointments can be found through TutorTrac.

Also Fast and Fluent seminars are offered each Thursday through the winter break at 9:00am or 7:00pm EST to help improve spoken English and better understand native speakers. Contact Elise Geither ( for the Zoom Link.

Fellowship Courses

Take a course for FREE! Sign up for an art class, study poetry or learn about nutrition. Fellowship courses are a great way to broaden your academic portfolio. The fellowship course cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements. Click here to find the Form and see the full Fellowship Tuition Policy.

Campus Community

Winter Service Changes to Campus Shuttles

With less activity on campus during winter break, many of the shuttle routes through Greater University Circle have reduced service, especially this year. Some routes will have fewer buses, others combined, and some discontinued until the start of the spring semester. See University Circle's shuttle page for more details (scroll to near the bottom) and use the TransLoc app for real-time shuttle tracking.

South Residential Village in Winter 2004

Grad Assistants for ResLife Needed!

Residence Life is in need of graduate students to join their team for the 2021-2022 academic year as Assistant Residential Community Directors. The ARCD is a 10-month live-in position to support the creation and facilitation of an integrated residential learning environment for several hundred undergrad students. Read more and apply now! Applications and recommendations are due January 27 with interviews in February.

Emergency Food Assistance

Emergency food assistance is available for students. The Church of the Covenant in partnership with student organizations and Thwing's Engagement and Operations office can provide a box of nonperishable food items to any CWRU student in need. Arrangements can be made by contacting Shelley Nelson-Bridger (   

GSC December Survey

Each month, the Graduate Student Council wants to hear from you on a different topic. This month GSC wants to know how safe you feel on campus with regards to COVID-19. Take December's short survey to let your voice be heard and to have a chance at winning a gift card.

"Wear a Mask" sign on Main Case Quad
Safety on campus

With much of the campus population gone over the holiday break, here's reminders for some safety tips:

  • Be observant of your surroundings.
  • Bundle against the cold, but make sure you can see and hear clearly.
  • Always carry your student ID and keys.
  • Inform CWRU security if you're working in a building after hours or on a day the University is closed.
  • Install the Rave Guardian smartphone app and sign-up for Rave alerts.
  • Use campus shuttlesSafe Ride, or request a security walking escort.
  • Continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
  • Watch for ice!

For additional safety tips, click here.

Safety while traveling
  • Turn off appliances and electronics before leaving.
  • Secure and lock all doors and windows.
  • Make plans in advance for any pets or houseplants.
  • Remember to pack prescription medication.
  • Take care of food that may spoil while you're gone.
  • Dispose of trash and recycling.
  • Review airline/bus/train policies for luggage size and contents.
  • Remember chargers/batteries for all mobile devices.
  • Always tag your luggage in case it is lost.
  • Share your travel itinerary with a friend or family member; check in with them.
  • Review COVID-19 restrictions for both Ohio and your destination; determine if you have to quarantine when arriving at your destination or returning to campus.
  • If traveling out of the country, double-check you have all your documentation, review current policies and conditions, and be prepared to spend extra time at customs when returning. Pay special attention to COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures.

For additional advice while traveling, click here.

Whether you're traveling or staying here in Cleveland, please continue to stay safe and responsible and we wish you a happy and fun holiday season!

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Happy Holidays Enjoy the Break Tomlinson North CWRU Quad in Winter