Help, Advise, Support

From PNB Graduate Handbook
Jump to navigation Jump to search

When you need a bit of help

There are lots of reasons you might feel like you need a bit of help during your tenure as a graduate student.

Nancy Riddell, Graduate Administrative Assistant

For technical issues like questions about forms, deadlines, requirements, course registration issues, etc., talk to Nancy Riddell.

You can reach Nancy by email, or by phone: 905-525-9140 x23298. Nancy will be able to help you with all your technical questions.

Dr. Judith Shedden, Graduate Chair

If you have questions or concerns about supervisory issues, supervisory committee meetings, progress through your program, finances, requests of leave of absence due to medical or other reasons, or really any concern at all, talking to the Graduate Chair is a good first step:

I am Dr. Judith Shedden (Judy), the PNB Associate Chair (Graduate), aka Graduate Chair. You can reach me by email and I would be most happy to set up a time to chat.
Don't hesitate to contact me! You can talk to me confidentially about any concern you have and I will either provide support or help you find the support you need.

PNB Graduate Peer Support

Sometimes a student might prefer to talk to other graduate students before exploring more formal paths to asking for help. In 2020-2021, our senior graduate students offered mentorship to our new graduate students who started in September 2020. This was especially important during the challenges of COVID-19. We plan to extend this mentorship program in future years.

Other Support on Campus

There are several other resources on campus which provide support of various kinds:

Student Wellness Centre

The McMaster Student Wellness Centre offers a variety of resources and support for mental and physical health and well-being. Explore the menus and links on their site to discover what is available.

Student Wellness Centre:
* Resources to help with immediate or ongoing mental health concerns and Crisis Support
* Information on mental health as well as ongoing programs available to those interested in Mental Health and Mental Illness
* Services available for Counselling
* Information and services regarding Medical Care
* Various programs available for stress, anxiety, depression, and other areas of mental well-being Student Wellness Centre Programs
* Online psychological aid at Talk It Out Online Psychology help
* For concerns regarding equity and inclusion, please visit the Equity and Inclusion Office
* For information and support with sexual violence, please visit the following websites Sexual Violence Information, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office including Supports
* For off-campus support for help with sexual violence: SACHA: Sexual Assault Centre in Hamilton

Student Accessibility Services

McMaster’s Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides a range of services to support students’ academic activities, including providing support to students who require academic accommodations. To receive accommodations, you will need to have support from a medical professional, and complete an intake package and appointment with SAS. It is important to note that diagnoses need not be disclosed to receive accommodation. Both temporary and long term accommodations are available through SAS.

Accommodations are governed by McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities Policy.
Student Accessibility Services (SAS) website:

Ombuds Office

The McMaster Ombuds Office acts as a source of general information and referral regarding academic concerns including assisting in the resolution of individual complaints such as appeals or petitions, examinations, academic dishonesty or research misconduct, withdrawals or reinstatements, course rules or management, and issues with a supervisor or instructor. The Ombuds can explain University policies and procedures and how they affect you, objectively review your situation, help to develop options, and assist you in pursuing a resolution. The Ombuds will not make decisions about a course of action. Instead, they will help you to determine the facts of a situation and they may make a recommendation to remedy the situation.

Ombuds Office:

Chaplaincy Centre

There is a Chaplaincy Center housed at McMaster University. It is not run by McMaster employees, but is available to all members of the McMaster community and provides an opportunity to receive spiritual guidance and support, as well as talk in a confidential environment. They also run weekly programming activities and assist religious student organizations.

Where to Worship; Places of Worship on Campus
Places of Worship in the Community
McMaster Student Union (MSU) Religious and Spiritual Clubs
More information can be found here:

English Language Skills

Help with the English language: speaking and writing for professional purposes.

The MELD Office (McMaster English Language Development Office) has launched a new project that they are calling MODEL (McMaster Office for the Development of English Language Learners). It is a free service designed to help both undergraduate and graduate students who may be struggling with the English Language. It is a two year pilot project made possible by the support of the Provost.

International graduate students should also check out the MERGE project (McMaster English Readiness for Graduate Excellence). This is an intensive program, offered over the summer, designed specifically for graduate students who require advanced ESL training for academic and professional purposes.

There are workshops as well as one-on-one sessions. Learn more about MELD (for undergrads), MERGE (for graduate students), and MODEL (both undergrads and grads) here:

Academic and Research Integrity

Career Planning

Career Planning

Student Success Centre

Career services are available through the student success center for Alumni. Once you have finished your graduate work you can access their help for a variety of tasks including resume building, job shadowing, networking and more. If you completed an undergraduate program at McMaster University you may access their services at any time, as you qualify as an alumnus for the purposes of the center.

They are located on the 2nd floor of Gilmour Hall, and can be reached at 905-525-9140 ext.24254