October 2021 Message from Dean Mayo
Dear Members of The Graduate School (TGS) Community,
It is nice to see our campuses teeming once again with activity, and it was great to meet many new TGS students at our resource fair at the start of the Fall Quarter. Special thanks to the graduate student organizations and campus partners who participated and shared their enthusiasm and expertise. The resource fair received a tremendous turnout; there was an inspiring energy from gathering in person in a safe manner. I hope many TGS students and postdoctoral trainees also were able to participate in the welcome events hosted by our TGS-affiliated graduate student organizations and the Northwestern University Postdoctoral Association (NUPA).
Creating community and connections is an important part of the graduate and postdoctoral experience. I greatly enjoyed conversing with students and trainees at our recent Casual Conversations with TGS Leadership event in Evanston. I hope those on the Chicago campus will join us for similar conversation and refreshments this Thursday, October 14. It was equally nice to connect with the directors of graduate studies at our quarterly meeting last week. These events are a great opportunity for TGS to directly hear what is on your minds and discuss how we can best support you.
A key tenet of The Graduate School’s mission is to connect graduate students and postdoctoral trainees with supportive communities and engagement opportunities. Many student-facing aspects of this work are led by Lauren-Ashley Buchanan, associate director of our Office of Student Life (OSL). OSL supports student success by connecting TGS students to campus resources, advocating for graduate students, and helping to build a sense of community. You can read more about the services and support OSL provides in this resource summary.
In addition, a TGS Student Advisory Workgroup (TGS SAW) was formed by OSL in Fall 2020 with approximately 22 representatives from 17 TGS-affiliated student organizations and hopes to expand in the coming year. The workgroup’s purpose is to examine current and potential structures associated with graduate student organizations, and to make recommendations and provide feedback to TGS leadership. The group already has made recommendations to TGS regarding support for graduate student organizations, student engagement, mentorship in teaching, the many impacts of COVID-19 on graduate students, and Northwestern’s return to campus plans. TGS SAW will continue to convene throughout this academic year to explore topics of relevance for TGS students and we look forward to this continued partnership.
As a reminder, all TGS students may enjoy the services normally covered by the TGS activity fee even if you opted not to receive a U-Pass transit card this quarter. Beginning in Winter Quarter, we will resume charging the activity fee for all TGS students according to our contract with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). TGS students will find more details about this and other topics in the new TGS Student Life Bulletin sent from The Graduate School on Thursday, September 30. This quarterly e-newsletter is another way to stay informed and foster a community of support.
If you have additional ideas for engagement and connection opportunities, please reach out to the team and me at The Graduate School; our doors are always open to you. I wish you a continued safe and rewarding Fall Quarter.
Kelly E. Mayo
Walter and Jennie Bayne Professor of Molecular Biosciences
Dean of The Graduate School and
Associate Provost for Graduate Education
Dean's Monthly Recognition
In continuing the monthly tradition, I would like to recognize an individual or group who represents excellence in supporting the graduate and postdoctoral experience at Northwestern.
This month, I am pleased to recognize the Chicago Graduate Student Association(CGSA). Much like its Evanston-based counterpart, the Graduate Student Association (GSA), CGSA “acts as a collective voice for all graduate students in the Chicago campus of Northwestern University, serving their academic, social, outreach, and advocacy needs.” Led by co-presidents Rummi Ganguly, a PhD candidate in the Northwestern Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (NUIN), and Tanvi Potluri, a PhD student in the Driskill Graduate Program, this group caters to the particular needs of TGS students on the Chicago campus, which are often unique from graduate students in Evanston due to the physical separation of the campuses. We appreciate the commitment and ideas of all those involved in CGSA to create a sense of connection and community.
Pictured (left to right): Viriya Keo, Student Life Committee Chair; Rummi Ganguly, CGSA Co-President; Jenai Quan, Academic and Professional Development (APD) Committee Chair; Tanvi Potluri, CGSA Co-President; Eva Morgun, Advocacy Committee Chair; William Yang, Treasurer (Not Pictured: Sara Dunlop, Outreach Committee Chair)