March 2021 Newsletter

Robin bird in early spring blossoming tree outside Adelbert Hall, April 2019

Mandatory Weekly COVID-19 Testing

Reminder, all students who come to campus for any length of time are required to participate in weekly, mandatory COVID-19 surveillance tests even if you have been vaccinated. Staff will be comparing testing participation with presence on campus to ensure compliance. Testing is available every weekday from 6:00am to 6:00pm in Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center (the southern edge of the Main Quad near the wind turbine) and free parking is available at the adjacent Veale Garage (tell the attendant you're there for the test). Testing can be scheduled in advance but walk-ins are also accepted. You do not need to have received your results before taking part in your planned campus activities. All faculty, staff, and postdocs follow the same testing mandates. See more information.

You must also continue to submit your daily health assessment when coming to campus, wear a mask at all times (inside and out), maintain distance from others, and practice hand hygiene. See the University's COVID-19 website for more information.


Commencement Announcement

We know you're all eager to hear news about Commencement so please review the March 19 communication from the President and Provost. Convocation will be be virtual again this year and the School of Graduate Studies will hold a limited in-person ceremony outdoors at the end of May. All students who graduated in August 2020 or January 2021 or will graduate in May 2021 will be invited. However, due to ongoing health safety measures, no guests will be permitted at the in-person ceremony. The live ceremony as well as a virtual ceremony will be streamed for those who cannot or choose not to attend.

Updated information, including how to register, will be released soon so please keep checking your emails and The Daily. Check the Commencement website and contact if you have any questions.

Three Masters Students Holding Diplomas at Commencement 2019

Submit Graduation Materials by April 30

If you have applied to graduate for Spring 2021, you must submit your final materials by 5:00pm on Friday, April 30 (note the revised deadline). Submission of materials includes the completed format check and the uploading of your approved Thesis or Dissertation to OhioLINK. Please plan to communicate with your advisors and committee to make sure all approvals are completed. All forms can be downloaded and electronically signed. Please continue to submit all forms and material by email to

Last Day for Course Withdrawal: April 9

If you need to withdraw from a single course (as long as it is not your only class), you have until Friday, April 9 to do so. For most classes, this is to be done in SIS. See the University Registrar's page on class registration (start at #20) for instructions.

When you drop the individual course, you will receive a grade of W on your transcript and you will receive a 0% tuition refund. If you have more questions or are unsure whether you should drop the individual course, speak to your professor and/or advisor before making the decision to withdraw.

Incomplete (I) Grades from Fall 2020?

If you received an Incomplete (I) grade in the fall semester, you have until the date specified by your instructor - but no later than the 11th week of class (Friday, April 9) - to submit all outstanding work in order to have a final grade posted. If the Incomplete is not resolved by this date, the I grade will be converted to an F. See our Incomplete Policy in the Bulletin for more details.

Student studying with an open book

Currently Auditing a Course?

Students can audit a course to gain knowledge in a subject area without being bound to complete all of the required coursework. Email a completed Add/Drop Form to to audit a course for Spring 2021 by Friday, April 9. A student may audit a course with the approval of the instructor and advisor, however, they receive no credit for the course (a grade of AD is posted on the transcript.) Note that a course cannot be changed from Audit to Credit, and audited courses cannot be used to fulfill any degree requirements. Full tuition is charged for audited courses.

Final Oral Defense

Graduate Studies still strongly recommends that theses and dissertation defenses be held virtually through video teleconferencing; see Zoom guidelines from the University. Students who wish to hold in-person defenses should consult with their individual departments for approval and procedures and then contact Graduate Studies. Doctoral candidates must submit the Notification for Scheduling the Final Oral Exam to Graduate Studies at least three weeks prior to the scheduled defense date. If you intend to graduate in May 2021, you should pay careful attention to the submission deadlines and plan accordingly. See our Graduation page for more details.

Anti-Plagiarism Tools

Graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty should use iThenticate plagiarism detection software to ensure work is properly cited when writing theses and dissertations, preparing manuscripts for publication, and submitting proposals for research funding. iThenticate is freely available to the CWRU community at the University's Software Center. See here for more information and how to download iThenticate.

Also the University has integrated Turnitin, a digital plagiarism detection tool, into Canvas to help ensure student academic writing submissions are free of unintentional or intentional plagiarism. See here for more information on Turnitin.

Holidays, Parental & Leave, Vacation Policies

Need to take some time off? Graduate students receiving a stipend should be aware of our policy on graduate student holidays, vacation, parental leave, and sick leave. Note that this policy applies during the period of support and represents the minimum to which graduate students are entitled.

Campus Community

Nominate Students for Graduate Awards!

Nominations are being accepted for the 2021 Graduate Awards! Faculty and staff are encouraged to nominate outstanding students in academic departments with degrees in the School of Graduate Studies for several prestigious awards to be presented during a ceremony at the end of the spring semester. See our submission page for more details on each award including student eligibility, who is permitted to nominate, and what documentation is needed. Send questions to The deadline to submit nominations and department awards is Wednesday, March 31.

Selection of student winners of 2018 Graduate Awards

Apply for Social Justice Fellowship

Graduate students pursuing research or projects related to social justice in any discipline can apply for a fellowship from the Social Justice Institute. Applications are due by 5:00pm on Friday, April 2.

Baker-Nord Center Graduate Research Grants

Masters' students in the humanities can apply for a grant up to $500 from the Baker-Nord Center to help defray expenses associated with thesis research not already covered by department funding. Apply by Thursday, April 15.

Material Borrowed from KSL

Remember to periodically log into your library account to check the status of your borrowed materials. For graduate students, most circulating books will have a fixed due date that falls at the end of the spring semester. You can also log into your account to renew items and check the status of OhioLINK and SearchOhio requests.

Movable Book Shelves at Kelvin Smith Library

Oxford Handbooks Online at KSL

A generous gift from the Graduate Student Council has enabled the CWRU community to have access to the prestigious Oxford Handbooks Online collection of peer-reviewed, scholarly publishing resources at Kelvin Smith Library!

Community Concerns Reporting System

While we can hope all our interactions are filled with respect, understanding, and compassion, please note there is a Community Concerns Reporting System (CCRS) if you have witnessed or have experienced incidents of bias, prejudice, or discrimination involving other students.

Spoken English Programs

To help students enhance their communication skills, Spoken English Programs continues to host webinars via Zoom each week for international students.

  • Fast and Fluent
    Tips and tricks for sounding fluent and smooth.
    Thursdays 3/25, 4/1, 9:00am
  • Culture and Communication
    Discuss cultural topics, similarities and differences in various situations.
    Thursdays til 4/22, 7:00pm and Fridays til 4/23, 2:00pm

Contact Elise Geither, Associate Director of Spoken English Programs, at for the Zoom information and any questions. Also join the SELP Canvas Website to access videos and resources.

Spoken English Tutoring is available online for all students. Please use to schedule an appointment.

Student reading eBook lying on grass in Quad, summer time

Sustainability and Climate Change Survey

The Graduate Student Council asks you take this brief survey on the ongoing climate change and sustainability activities at CWRU in order to better inform, educate, and connect the community.

Food Insecurity Resources

For any students experiencing food insecurity or lack of access to food, the Dean of Students Office hosts a website with info on available resources to help, including services provided, location, hours, and contact information.

Spring Arrives

Spring officially begins on Saturday, March 20. Blossoms and buds should be returning to campus and Cleveland soon. Already some flowers are peaking out from the winter soil. If you go out, hopefully you can enjoy the world awakening. We could all use some of that colorful cheer after the past few months!

Wade Lagoon in Spring 2012 with Severance Orchestra Hall

Upcoming Events

NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, events are held online. All times in Eastern.

International students can register for the Center for International Affairs' virtual etiquette dinner on either Friday, March 19 or Tuesday, March 23 to learn helpful skills at interviewing, networking, and career preparations. Space is limited.

Test your financial wellness IQ at the Graduate Student Council's game night for first generation grad students on Tuesday, March 23 at 7:00pm. Learn in a fun way to build your financial literacy in order to make healthy financial decisions while possibly winning prizes!

Interested in Publishing?

You are invited to participate in a series of webinars organized by Kelvin Smith Library on "How to Get Published" and hear from representatives of publishing companies. Registration is required.

Banner for Graduate Student Appreciation Week 2016

Mark your calendars because Graduate Student Appreciation Week (GSAW) 2021 is coming the first week of April! Join GSAW on CampusGroups to get updates on all the events but see a sneak peek below:

  • Monday, April 5: free yoga and Zumba classes
  • Tuesday, April 6: meal prep recipes; foodie fun gift card giveaway
  • Wednesday, April 7: Weird, Quirky Things on Campus; virtual self-defense class
  • Thursday, April 8: Instagram contest
  • Friday, April 9: Paint the Night
From Your Garden to Your Table
March Graduate Society of Medical Humanities Social
Free Student STD Testing
Tink Conference Room 245
March Biomedical Graduate Student Organization Meeting
LGBTQ+ Grad Student Meetup
GSC: Second Advocacy Group Meeting
From Your Garden to Your Table
Cleveland History Trivia Night
Graduate Council of Arts & Sciences Forum
GSC: General Assembly Meeting
It's On CWRU: An Introduction to Violence Prevention Campaign
KSL: Mythbusting Book Collecting
Disrupting the Culture of Violence: How to be a Prosocial Bystander

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Student riding bike in front of CWRU sign