Officers of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) are responsible for creating objectives for the Senate and implementing its agenda in coordination with the GSS Executive Committee and include the President, Vice President, Information Officer, Treasurer, and Secretary. They are responsible for communicating the ideas, goals, and directives of the Senate to the graduate student body, University Leadership, faculty, and community at large. Officers of the GSS report directly to the Executive Committee and the Graduate Student Senate.
Officers are often the primary liaisons between the University Leadership and the GSS Executive Committee and Senate body. They handle a majority of the administrative odds and ends of the Senate, including setting meeting agendas, distributing official communiques (motions, amendments, and primary action items) to the Senate and University Leadership, and organizing meetings and information pertaining to the Graduate Student Senate. Officers are often the recipients of inquiries and requests on behalf of their constituents. Officers sit on the GSS Executive Committee and are voting members of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS).
Duties and Responsibilites: The GSS President is the spokesperson and chair of the GSS Executive Committee. The President also sits on many of the important University committees, and meets regularly with the deans.
Biosketch:I am a Ph.D. student studying biomedical engineering. Currently finishing my third year, I am using medical imaging to determine how to improve the delivery of nanoparticles into tumors. For the last year and a half, I have served as GSS Information Officer. During my term, I have worked to make the GSS newsletter into a weekly periodical that features events and announcements from GSS, university offices, and student organizations. In addition to the newsletter, I have worked on the transfer of the GSS website to a new server, set up the GSS forum, and assisted in an initiative to start a university-wide seminar committee. I have also participated in committee meetings for the Faculty Senate Committee for Information Technology (FSCICT) and was the principal organizer of the GSS Pizza Lunch during Graduate Appreciation Week. Prior to my role as Information Officer, I was a member of the GSS Activities Committee.
Statement of Intent:
In the 2011-2012 year, the GSS identified key initiatives that were of high interest to the student body – improvements to campus athletic facilities, the institution of a grant writing course for students, graduate student housing, and competitive stipends. The Senate has made great progress on these initiatives, including the creation of an inter-governmental committee to work on improvements to the Veale Center and research to assess the feasibility of a grant writing course and the equity of stipends on campus. My goal is to ensure progress continues to be made on these initiatives. In addition, I will continue to increase Senate engagement by allowing senators to make the choices on what is important for the graduate student body. Senators will continue to have input on the Senate’s year-long plan. I will also seek to increase collaboration with the Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate Professional Council, and our numerous graduate student organizations. With almost 2 years of experience in the Senate, I will be able to help mentor incoming executives in their new roles. As GSS President, I would be a strong advocate for the issues that matter most to graduate students.
Duties and Responsibilites: Oversees graduate student representation on University committees and is the official parliamentarian of the GSS. The Vice-President also acts as a liaison between the Activities Committee and the Executive Committee.
Biosketch: Michelle attended the University of Virginia and graduated with a BA in Archaeology and a minor in Economics in 2002. She gained experience working with two young companies and eventually started a small business in 2005, which she sold before returning to school. In search of more meaningful work, she enrolled as a full time student in 2006. She earned an MSN in 2012 and is beginning her third year of PhD coursework. At the School of Nursing, she has served as an officer of the Graduate Student Nurses Association from 2008 through 2010. She served as president of the PhD Student Nurses Association in 2011-2012. She became involved in GSS as a senator in 2010 and joined the Executive Committee as the GPC Inter-School Liaison later in 2010. She served as Vice President of the Graduate Student Senate from 2011-2012 and received a Graduate Student Appreciation award acknowledging this work.
Statement of Purpose:
In my previous term as Vice President, I worked with outgoing President, Quentin Jamieson, to re-examine the way the Graduate Student Senate does business. Beginning with a survey of senators and in-depth interviews, I developed a description of the problem: senators were impressed with the work of the executive committee but were less impressed with their own participation in GSS. Senators who found more opportunities to participate were more satisfied with their experience on GSS. However, senators felt limited in their ability to participate by limited knowledge of Robert's Rules of Order and didn't feel connected to the process of planning and executing the GSS agenda- these tasks seemed reserved for the executive committee.
With the problem identified, Quentin and I instituted changes designed to move the Graduate Student Senate toward a more participatory model of governance. By bringing compression planning to the GSS summer workshop and General Assembly meetings, we gave senators a voice in planning the GSS agenda. By voting on initiatives, senators were able to set the yearlong priorities of the senate. By convening task forces focused on initiatives, senators were became an important part of the work of GSS. By offering up-front training on Robert's Rules of Order and keeping enforcement of the rules explicitly lenient with a mind toward learning the rules as well as enforcing them, senators seemed much more comfortable speaking and participating in GAs this year.
I believe that many of these changes contributed to the amazingly high GA attendance this year and to an impressive level of senator participation throughout the year. Last year, I had hoped that these changes in the way GSS does business would translate to improved participation, improved attendance, and fewer holes in the GSS executive committee ballot in May. These goals were largely achieved, but I recognize that there is still room for improvement and room to expand the vision.
In 2012-2013, if elected, I would like to lead the following changes to the way GSS work is accomplished:
Duties and Responsibilites: The GSS Information Officer is the chief correspondent between the Senate and the graduate student body, serving as the GSS website administrator and regularly informing graduate students about relevant events and forums. The Information Officer facilitates communication and the exchange of information both within the Executive Committee and the Senate's standing and ad-hoc committees.
Biographical Sketch:I'm a second year student in the both the Department of Cognitive Science and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, pursuing an individual multi-disciplinary MA in 'Cognitive Approaches to World Literature'. I completed my undergraduate work here where I studied Cognitive Linguistics. I've been interim VP of Information Technology for the Undergraduate Student Government, and Senator for Cognitive Science for the Graduate Student Senate.
Statement: As a student of (Cognitive) Linguistics and Literature, words and information are fundamental. Through my role as Information Officer to the Graduate Student Senate, I hope to improve the dispersal of information to graduate students and the larger campus community, facilitating the exchange of ideas, and promoting awareness of relevant, pertinent, or just interesting opportunities available.
Duties and Responsibilites: Maintains accurate records of business conducted by the GSS and its committees, as well as records of the GSS membership.
Biosketch: Yianna Antonopoulos attended the University of Delaware, where she competed for the Division I Blue Hens cross country and track teams, and graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry and minor in German in 2009. Currently, she is a 3rd year Biochemistry PhD student under the mentorship of Dr. Paul R. Carey and employs Raman crystallography to study the mechanism of transcriptional elongation in single crystals. As president of the Biomedical Graduate Student Organization during the 2011-2012 academic year, she took lead in organizing several BGSO professional development seminars, social/fundraising events, and community service activities. Over the past two years, she's served as GSS senator for the Biomedical Science Training Program (BSTP). Moreover, she's been heavily involved in BSTP recruitment and new student acclimation, serves as a grad student representative on the Medical Alumni Board, and will take over as grad student coordinator for the biochemistry department next year. In her free time, Yianna enjoys long distance running, playing soccer, and Greek dancing with the Cleveland Hellenic Dance Group.
Duties and Responsibilites: Administers the GSS budget, maintains the Senates financial records and handles all funding and disbursement orders.
Biosketch: I am a second year PhD student in neurosciences, studying computational models of neurons and how they behave. I am active in the Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium and the Biomedical Graduate Student Organization, both of which I am working to make more involved organizations. I enjoy running and reading in the little spare time I have.
Goals: My primary goal will be to allocate our funds in a way that most effectively improves student life on campus. I will attempt to pay close attention to details of the budget and raise awareness among senators about things that could be done better.