Grad-Life 101: Intro to Advanced Writing

On Friday, Sept 29th, Patrick will be presenting the last in this year’s Grad-Life 101 series, Introduction to Advanced Writing. He will be talking about reference managers (EndNote vs Mendeley) and giving a very brief introduction into the world of LaTeX, a way to write documents, articles, and your thesis which takes a lot of the frustrations out of working with Microsoft Word.

In preparation for this week’s session, it is recommended to download some files and programs in advance and bring your computer to the session to follow along with hands-on examples.

  • First, you may want to download Mendeley for a reference manager.
  • For LaTeX, you can download the programs required either for Mac or Windows. These can be large downloads, so don’t wait till the last minute. While I recommend running it from your computer, there are also online options like
  • Finally, download the examples and some resources Patrick has put together for the day: LaTeX Info and Examples

Again, everyone is welcome, not just new grad students, especially if you want to learn a little about LaTeX. We hope to see you Friday at noon in CHE 2108!

New Student Welcome

On Wednesday, Aug 23rd, Patrick Stanley welcomed the new graduate students on behalf of MSGS. While it was a quick presentation, he promoted the upcoming Grad-Life 101 series where presenters will go into more details on various topics and the upcoming Happy Hour on Friday the 25th at 5:30 at Looney’s. We look forward to having the new students join us on their academic journey and hope that we can help make them feel welcomed and get acclimated to their new roles.

The presentation is available for reference in PDF format: New Student Welcome Presentation

April General Body Meeting

MSGS held a general body meeting on April 7th, at 12 noon in 1302 Chem/Nuke. All members were invited to attend. The current agenda was as follows, amended with meeting notes:


  • Call to Order: Arrival and pizza!
    • Thank you to Kathleen, Dr. Phaneuf and the MSE Department for the food!!
  • Introductions
    • What we do, and who we are!
    • Officer introductions and brief description of roles
    • List of annual MSGS activities
  • Old Business
    • Membership and Orgsync: Join on Orgsync, more things coming
    • Research Fest: Max and Nalia, submit posters and talks, CFP coming soon
    • QE prep: Zoey and Eugene, starting soon
    • Discussion of next voting cycle, all positions are open, exact voting and nomination mechanism to be determined.
  • New MSGS Business
    • Advocates for Science and the March for Science
      • Discussion and vote, statement approved unanimously: MSGS endorses AfS
    • SLOAN PEM: Sarah Mburu, free food to write, sponsored by Dr. Lloyd on Saturdays from 1 to 4 PM
  • Open floor for announcements
  • Adjourn by 12:55: Seminar time!

Prospective Student Visit

On February 2nd and 3rd, prospective graduate students from across the nation came to UMD to visit the campus. MSGS helped by interacting with the students, answering questions, and taking them out for dinner both nights. The first night we stayed local at Nando’s Peri Peri in College Park, but on Friday night we wanted to show them how accessible D.C. is so we took the metro to Gallery Place/Penn Quarter to eat at one of our favorite pizza places, Pi Pizzeria. I hope the prospective students enjoyed the experience as much as the current grad students did, and we look forward to seeing many of them this fall.

Photo of current and prospective students at dinner

2017’s Prospective Grad Students visit over dinner at Pi.

New Website

Hello and welcome to the new version of the MSGS website. Please be patient while we get it up and going. Eventually we will redirect to here, so it will all be one. But for now please enjoy the progress.