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The mission of the BGSA is to serve as a focus group to help mentor new graduate students, help assist all the graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences, and serve as an important communication link between the graduate students, the faculty and the department chair. In addition, the BGSA assists the faculty in the weekly colloquium series (providing snacks and assisting with audio visual equipment) and works with the department chair on recruitment activities.
Why Join BGSA?
First of all, the BGSA provides many benefits for its members and is actively involved in a variety of student activities; secondly, it is FREE to join. The BGSA is an ever-evolving group that welcomes fresh thoughts and ideas for new initiatives to help the graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences. The BGSA understands that the transition to graduate school can be challenging-and its members are there to help! New students undergo lots of adjustments: taking graduate level courses, finding a research major professor, and usually also serving as a teaching assistant in the department. BGSA members are there to provide both academic and moral support to all graduate students. Academic support includes, but is not limited to, teaching new lab techniques, hosting study sessions for graduate coursework, and clarifying graduate requirements/deadlines. In addition, the BGSA has several meetings each term so that grad students can speak freely about important issues of concern. If there are issues that require additional assistance, then the elected officers of the BGSA can meet with the department chair, Dr. Patricia Komuniecki, to discuss those issues.
What are the duties of a BGSA member?
The BGSA host several major activities during the academic year including the welcome back picnic during the first week of term, the annual holiday party during the last week /exam week of fall semester, and the end of spring semester barbecue. BGSA members are asked to:
- Help officers to set-up departmental picnics or parties (that may include shopping, cooking, clean-up or even entertainment!)
- Sign up to provide snacks (the department pays!) and assist in the AV arrangements for the weekly departmental colloquium series; generally everyone does this once/academic year
- Assist in maintaining the biology graduate student lounge (now located in Wolfe Hall 3257); the lounge provides the first office for new grad students as well as a small area with a couch and a refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot for taking time out to eat/catch your breath!. There are also computers and recent issues of Science and Nature available.
Note: Since all Biosciences grad students contribute their time for these activities, nobody has to contribute more than a few hours each semester.
BGSA Handbook (pdf)