Jill GrakowskyMeet Jill Grakowsky, the Chemistry Department’s new Undergraduate Advisor. Learn more about Jill, her tips for success, and how to set up an advising appointment.

About Jill Grakowsky

Tell us about your journey — Where did you work before UConn?

I am joining the UConn community following three years of advising at Springfield College where I worked primarily advising exploratory, general studies, and non-matriculated students. As a graduate of Central Connecticut State University, I completed my most recent Master’s Degree in Counselor Education.

Why did you come to UConn?

I find working in higher education exciting, challenging, and very rewarding. As one of the top public research institutions, UConn attracts students from all over the world. I find that students here are diverse, extremely driven, and have a variety of interests. For me, it is important to work at an institution that focuses on helping students grow intellectually and become contributing members to our communities, which I strongly believe UConn does.

What are you looking forward to about UConn/the year?

Meeting students, getting involved in the Chemistry Department, and really familiarizing myself with the campus community!

What are three fun facts about you?

  • I have been traveling to Mexico since I was 12. In 2010, after I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, I moved to a little town outside of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. There, I lived and worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for about 2 years.
  • I am a certified scuba diver.
  • I enjoy being outdoors, i.e. going for hikes, playing disc golf, or traveling to the beach.

Study Habits & Time Management

What advice can you give students about study habits and time management?

It is extremely important to know yourself and to define your priorities. For example, are you someone who wakes up early and has the most energy in the morning or do you find you do your best thinking in the afternoon? Do you have responsibilities outside of school? Are you a part of a club or organization? Your interests and priorities might change over time with your experience, so it is important to check in with yourself from time to time and evaluate where you are and where you want to go.

Within the first few weeks of classes, I highly recommend sitting down and developing a schedule for yourself (taking into consideration your priorities, preferences, and interests) as well as finding a location where you can go to study. Try to consistently follow your schedule for at least a week – assess what worked and what did not, and make adjustments accordingly. Remember, you may have to do this several times before you find a schedule that what works for you, and if you need help, do not hesitate to ask. There are several resources on campus for you to take advantage of.

What are some tips for preparing for an exam?

Preview materials before class. If you were assigned reading or homework, make sure it was done prior to your lecture, discussion, or lab. Come up with questions you would like to know the answer to. Be sure to attend class and be fully present. Review what was covered in your lecture, discussion, or lab as soon as possible – read your notes, fill in gaps, and make note of any questions you may have. Study the material by actively interacting with what you are learning, i.e. organize your notes, outline, develop concept maps, review readings, etc. Make sure you take breaks anywhere from 10 – 15 minutes; this will help you refocus and review the material with a clear mind.

Deadlines to Know

Key Dates from the Academic Calendar Fall 2018 Spring 2019
Last day to add a course
(via Student Administration, without consent)
Monday, September 10 Monday, February 4
Last day to drop a course
(via Student Administration, without consent)
Monday, September 10 Monday, February 4
Last day to drop a course
(with a ‘W’ on your transcript)
Monday, October 29 Monday, April 1

Late Drop Caution: Students cannot drop after the 9th week except for extenuating circumstances beyond their control. Students must meet with an advisor in the CLAS Academic Services Center (ASC) to discuss. A formal petition, personal statement, and documentation must be presented to the CLAS ASC before the last day of classes.

Student Resources

What resources do you recommend to students?

  • Chem TA Tutoring Room in CHEM A-301: Free tutoring for all General Chemistry students, weekdays 9-5 (https://chemistry.uconn.edu/undergraduate/academic-support/tutoring/)
  • Chemistry Club Tutoring: Members of UConn’s Chemistry Club offer free tutoring weekly in CHEM A-203 (Fall day/time TBA) (https://www.facebook.com/UConnChemistryClub/)
  • Private Tutors: Students seeking a private tutor can find a list of tutors through the Chem Department’s Main Office (CHEM A-100). These tutors work as paid tutors, and all arrangements are made directly between the student and the tutor
  • The Q-Center in the Library: Free drop-in peer tutoring for students in the following Chem courses: CHEM 1124Q, CHEM 1125Q, CHEM 1126Q, CHEM 1127Q, CHEM 1128Q, CHEM 1147Q and CHEM 1148Q (based on tutor availability) (https://qcenter.uconn.edu/)
  • Professor/TA Office Hours: Be prepared with questions and have a set agenda
  • Academic Achievement Center: Study skills, time management, supplemental instruction (https://achieve.uconn.edu/)
  • CLAS Student Workbooks: (https://clasadvising.uconn.edu/workbooks/)

Advising Appointments

How do students set up an appointment with you?

Students can log into Nexus, formerly known as SANDBOX, to make an appointment with me. If you have questions or concerns, please email me or stop by the Main Office in the Chemistry Building (CHEM A-100).

What should you be prepared to talk/ask about at your advising meeting?

Come to your advising appointment with any questions or concerns you have and be prepared to talk about how the semester is going. If you are meeting to discuss your schedule for the upcoming semester, I recommend reviewing the pdf version of your Advisement Report (this can be found in your Student Center under My Academics in Student Administration) as well as the Sequence of Courses for a Degree in Chemistry. Make a list of the general education requirements you still need to complete and search for courses you may be interested in taking. Bring a copy of that list to your appointment.