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Advising Resources
and Conflict Resolution


During a student’s tenure, the need may arise to seek advisement or assistance. The following is a brief list of resources available to students and faculty. The Graduate School and Penn State provide additional resources.

The student should consult with their dissertation adviser regularly during their time as a graduate student. The adviser should be the first point of contact for advising and addressing concerns.

The student should meet with members of their PhD Committee both during regular committee meetings, as well as one-on-one meetings, if needed. The PhD Committee is an additional source of advice concerning academic, dissertation research, and career planning.

The Graduate Program Liaison Officer is available to confidentially discuss problems, assist in mediation, academic and career advising, and general student concerns.

The Director of Graduate Affairs is available for general advising, especially prior to the selection of a dissertation adviser, and is a source of information regarding policies within the BMMB graduate program.

The Associate Head for Graduate Education can provide an alternate resource for the student if questions remain after talking with the Liaison Officer or Director of Graduate Affairs, or if the student feels more comfortable with the Associate Head for Graduate Education.

Additionally, BMB maintains two ombudsmen to assist all department members. The function of the ombudsmen is to provide a safe and informal environment for individuals to discuss problems and issues outside of formal channels. Any issue may be brought to the attention of the ombudsmen. The ombudsman can help develop strategies, clarify interests and goals, and identify other resources at the university that may be available to assist in certain situations. It is also important to note that speaking to the ombudsman does not constitute notice to the university. The ombudsmen do not have the power to change rules or polices and will not disclose any information provided in confidence (the only exception to this rule being a potential risk to safety or if a crime was committed). The BMB Ombuds representatives are Dr. Maria Krasilnikova, Dr. Lorraine Santy and Dr. Ola Sodeinde.

The BMB Department Head is available as an alternate resource for any student with concerns about their graduate education program.

Eberly College of Science, Associate Dean for Graduate Education is an additional resource for students and will try to assist with whatever situation arises. The Associate Dean is a voice for all graduate students within the college and is passionate about creating a positive climate for all members of the college.

Penn State Associate Dean for Graduate Student Affairs is a resource for students outside of their program, department, and college.