The Graduate Students in Anthropology (GSA) is a student-run organization whose goal is to support and create community amongst graduate students in the department. This academic year we introduced the Academic Enhancement Scholarship to help students cover travel costs and academic necessities (i.e., books, software, hardware, etc.). The GSA awarded two $100 scholarships in Fall 2015 and two more in Spring 2016. We also organized the first Graduate Research Symposium in January (see photo), which provided a platform for students from the various subfields to present and share their work with colleagues and hear about research conducted by faculty members. The symposium was well attended and we plan to make it an annual event.
GSA also tries to facilitate camaraderie among graduate students. We held a “Festivus Party” for students in December with free food and a space for students to “air grievances” (i.e., complain about life). It was an effective stress-reducer and a lot of fun.
We support these activities through fundraising. This fall we held our annual Chili Cookoff, which is both a fundraiser and a fun social gathering for faculty, staff, and students. We expanded the competition this year to include prizes for vegetarian chili and cornbread, and the result was delicious. Our spring fundraiser was a raffle and bake sale, with prizes that included a refurbished bicycle donated by one of our members.
Having an impact beyond the department was also on our agenda this year. In collaboration with Ph.D. candidate Amy Michael, we organized a water drive for Flint. Grad students raised about $250 in addition to bottled water donations, and we delivered two carloads of water and school supplies to the Flint Boys and Girls Club. Overall, this has been a great year for the GSA and we appreciate everyone who has been involved and all of the support from students and faculty.
–Susan Kooiman, GSA President 2015-2016
(Above, GSA symposium 2016. Below, Flint Boys and Girls Club receives GSA’s water donation.)
This article appears in our Spring 2016 newsletter. Read the entire newsletter here.05.07.16