There is sun outside and the snow is gone… Spring has sprung and summer is almost here! May is a beautiful time of the year and also crunch time for faculty and students in higher education. Graduate students are finishing up what was a great and productive year, and from the call for new senators to committees finishing last-minute initiatives and programming, Graduate Student Senate (GSS) is going to ride this momentum right into the summer.

This year we have made headway on multiple initiatives including housing, paternity leave, mental health issues and getting graduate students to branch out and become more involved. In fact, after our first call for senators for next year, we already have reps from all colleges represented and are looking forward to expanding to more programs.

In my final report as GSS president, I am happy to announce the new GSS Executive Council:

  • Jessica Bocanegra, a current PhD candidate in Chemistry, will be stepping up to the role of president.
  • Former senator and SGA representative Avery Rasmussen will become the GSS vice president after serving a dual senator role last year.
  • Aayudh Das — the man who knows the money — expanded the role of treasurer and will be continuing on as treasurer next year.
  • Past senator Kevin Fischer will be the new communications director.
  • Past senator Berke Tinaz will be joining the council as secretary.

After seeing these folks in action over the past year, I know that the Graduate Student Senate is in good hands and going to do great things next year!

Over the past year I have seen the GSS work to grow and transform the graduate experience. As I get ready to defend my doctoral dissertation, I cannot help but be excited to see what this group will continue to do as they grow alongside new leadership to shape the future graduate experience through collaboration and engagement with all groups on campus and the community.

Here’s to the continued expansion and improvement of the student experience, both graduate and undergraduate alike, and here’s to the University and community we have all come to know and love.


Joseph Patrick Campbell