February 26

A Grad Student at UTA

Graduate school is a very big step in a student’s life. Only the most studious brigade of students enters grad school. But that is sometimes the problem that the students in graduate school are too focused on only the academic part of their schooling. Speaking specifically about the grad school at the University of Texas at Arlington and more so that of the College of engineering, it is mainly comprised of international students.

Why these students miss out on other aspects of college life is that they are predominantly focused on their studies only. The university offers us a host of resources and activities that not only provide us with a route to relaxation but also help us bring out the qualities that we never knew about. College is the best place to bring out our leadership qualities. Student government and the Graduate Student Senate is the best place to do just that. The university has close to 300 student organizations. Whatever is your interest there is a place where you can find like-minded people just like us. Apart from that the university has a state-of-the-art Career Development Centre, with the most qualified professionals to help us plan to land the right job.

The office of graduate studies in particular, needs special acknowledgement. They plan out and arrange numerous seminars which cover a broad range of topics. From tips to make the ideal resume, to planning your career, to self-assessment of your strengths. They leave no stone unturned and no question unanswered. I have been to 3 such seminars and all of them were bang on point.  School and grades are our topmost priority, but we shouldn’t be limited to just that. These places and events don’t just keep us up to date, but are also good to network with our peers. The resources and machinery is available to help us climb the ladder of success, all we need to do is to show up. ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE IS THE KEY.

 


About the author:

Tarsem Singh Koloti is a Graduate Electrical engineering student at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is interested in the domain of engineering management and is a budding blogger. He also has a blog which goes by the name of “Life in the face of it” at www.life360by360.wordpress.com

February 19

Finding Balance and Bringing Productivity in Graduate Life

Returning to school after working for 3 years to pursue a Master’s degree, which is in a different major, does bring a lot of opportunities to learn and grow both academically and personally. I have completed my undergrad in Electronics & Communications Engineering, from a reputed university in India. Later I moved on to work as a full-time developer at Infosys. While I had the chance to work on various interesting technologies, an instance of automating a ticketing service that effectively reduces manual effort sparked my interest in Artificial Intelligence. By the time I reached UTA, apart from fueling my passion for AI technology, I wanted to be a better student than I was in my undergrad. To get more involved in campus life. To network better, try new things and learn new things from fellow graduates. But my plans didn’t turn out the way I expected.

The first two months of my graduate life went by in a blur with lots of fun events like pool and foam parties, movie nights and others. While I had the chance to network and meet fellow graduates in these fun events, I soon realized that my purpose of joining a grad school and how I have been spending my time have been out of sync.

For someone with work experience and a stickler for daily to-do lists, I found that my daily goals are not getting checked-off that often. I also observed that I am not performing well with the assignments related to my coursework. In the process of getting used to a new student life, fitting in, trying a myriad of happening things on and off campus, finding GTA/ GRA opportunities and summer internships, the focus on my coursework had shifted significantly.

It brought my morale down that I couldn’t even concentrate on courses I felt confident about. But doing well in my first midterms made me realize that, I had completely ignored my accomplishments while trying to keep up with the unrealistic expectations I had set for myself. On the bright side, I did score an on-campus job within two months of joining UT Arlington with no referrals but by my own skillset.

Once I arrived at this clear perspective of where I stand, I started to plan things as efficiently as possible. Bringing productivity in the work I do every day has been a motto of mine and I intend to follow it in my graduate life as well. I have started to plan my day with simple yet effective 15-minute tasks of learning about the practical applications of my coursework, solving a problem or two given in an assignment, looking out for internship opportunities on LinkedIn, Indeed and other similar websites. I have also started to take time for hobbies that relax my mind like reading, cooking, and journaling, which motivates me to do and be more.

All these simple adjustments I have made, hardly take a couple of hours while letting me engage and enjoy what the campus has to offer. It is so often that we confuse movement with progress. As fascinating as the student life is, taking time to analyze where we are spending our time, how well we are utilizing the resources we are handed and how we can try to be our best, will help us achieve our dreams.

 


About the Author:
Rathna Sindura Chikkam

A current graduate student in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Arlington. She also works as the IT Governance Student Assistant at the Office of Information Technology, Davis Hall, and has been an active member of Graduate Student Senate.

 

 

February 12

My Journey of Education with Leadership @ UTA

Howdy Mavericks!!!! With all the courage and motivation in me, and support from my parents, I began my journey towards my Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at UTA in Fall 2015. After coming here, I was amazed by the organizations and activities at UTA, which I learned about during the Graduate Orientation. I volunteered at the Super Service Saturday at the Arlington Animal Shelter where I met new people, leaders of organizations who told me more about the Leadership Honors Program, UTA Volunteers, Graduate Student Senate. I also attended the Leadership Retreat at Fall 2015. But this being my first semester as a graduate student I had to dedicate a considerable time to studies as well. I was yet to find my balance.

I joined the Graduate Student Senate, where I found my first mentor at UTA, a student from my same major, Sampath Reddy who was the Secretary of GSS and who guided me through the initial transition at UTA. Having prior experience serving as the Deputy minister of student congress during my schooling, I applied and was appointed as the Co-Chair of the Resolutions Committee at the Graduate Student Senate. My first task was a resolution on the Policy on Maternity and Paternity Leave for GTA/GRA and I had to work on it, do research and propose a solution. As GSS was a voluntary service, I could not find many people to support our committee and unfortunately, my committees Chair also took a break for personal reasons. Finally, I proposed the resolution and it was accepted at the Senate Meeting. And as a leader who took all the initiatives to get it done, I was awarded with the Stewart Harding Award from the Graduate Student Senate, which was a complete surprise to me and supported me financially too. I had not expected anything in return expect to develop my skills as a leader and serve, but I was recognized for my efforts. Due to my class schedule in 2016-2017, I could not be a member of the senate, but I coordinated with my colleagues on the happenings of the senate.

This meant I had some time to spare which I dedicated to the leadership honors program. This opportunity also gave me a chance to meet with a wonderful leaders on campus, and discuss  the current issues of diversity in USA. Until a leader opens and speaks up, his voice would not be heard. We need to speak out loud for what we stand for.

The Leadership Honors Program, further gave me an opportunity to learn various other skills. I attended several workshops and programs organized by the LHP and other organizations at UTA. Through these events, I learned about time-management, career development skills, giving presentations, understanding people and a lot more. The most important workshop that I loved a lot was the True Colors. True colors is a personality assessment workshop and it helped me understand what my potential was.  Making decisions as a leader is a skill that is learned only by experience.

Through the leadership center, I participated in the Certified Leaders Institute in Fall 2015, Expressions in Leadership Conference in Spring 2016, and Expressions in Leadership Conference in Spring 2017. In all the events, I attended plenty of seminars and workshops, where I learned more on leadership, what a leader should do and about the different hats of a leader. A leader must always be wearing several hats on his head, and serve in all the positions. A leader is not a person who commands, he is the person who motivates the team and works along with the team.

Finally, I would like to say that being involved in these Organizations and Extracurricular activities has helped me a lot and has not affected me in any way with my studies. A few people said “Concentrate on your studies, you cannot do research and extra-curricular work together”. But I excelled in my co-curricular activities, as well completed my Thesis research and worked as a Research Intern at the UT Arlington Research Institute. UTA has taught me a lot in terms of academics, leadership development, and my professors have been my best mentors.  Currently, I have continued my career as a Doctoral Student in Aerospace Engineering at UTA concentrating on my research, still I am a proud Co-chair of resolutions committee of GSS!!!

Enjoy your life at UTA as Mavericks! #ShowUrMaverickPride


About the author:

Muthu Ram Prabhu Elenchezhian is a Graduate student in Aerospace Engineering who joined UTA for his master’s degree in Fall 2015. Currently he is pursuing his doctorate degree. He works as a Research Assistant at the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute, Fort Worth. He also received his Honors in Leadership by Leadership Honors Program at UTA in Spring 2017. His research interests are in structures and composite materials

February 2

My Journey So Far as a Graduate Student

Every single stride leads you closer to your destined destination. Perhaps, my first step began by getting admitted to The University of Texas, Arlington. That moment when you realize that all your hardship is being paid off and living my dream life has enthralled me just like every other graduate student who decided to pursue their master’s in the USA. Even though the very thought of getting acquainted to new people with multifaceted culture excited me and UTA being one of the top Universities in promoting diversity, there was this thought in my mind which kept pondering how would it really be?. Things eased up once I started talking to other students who came here before me and a chat with a graduate advisor got my nerves down.

Being 21 years old and entering the second quarter of my life, I was not sure what’s waiting for me in my professional career. Now I am confident, selecting UTA for higher education is one of the best decisions I have ever made. The infrastructure, campus, labs above all THE DIVERSITY. Getting to meet new people, pondering new ideas, collaborating excites me, that’s what I love the most at UTA. Those awesome idea pouring white board session which I have with my classmates, I would defiantly have a serious story to tell.

Keeping mundane college stuffs apart, I would like to share my story of landing at DFW airport to orientation. Long flights, I kept on seeing that flight legend move over the Atlantic like it’s going to take forever. I was that excited to reach this country, and that bored to keep seeing the emptiness in the flight. By the time I landed, all my excitement waned off, I was extremely tired and could not even walk. One thing that specifically saved my life at DFW was a UTA Big Howdy volunteer. She was amazing, showed me around explained the routes, helped me kick start and get the best impression of Texans, and made sure I feel home. My story of travelling to UTA and impressions would be unfair if I miss BIG HOWDY. After arriving at my place, things were so haphazard in my room, I am a cleanliness freak but all I could do was sleep, I was so tired!

Next day, ORIENTATION. Things first ran in my mind, oh I am still recovering from jet lag and there is going to be a boring session. Well this thought vanished, the very second I saw the enthusiasm burning in the faces of the volunteers. They made knowing about UTA very exciting for me, involving me in various ice breaker sessions which allowed me to interact with several people. As days passed the time came to select the courses for the semester. That time made me realize that I had the freedom of choice which allowed me to select any subject of interest in which I wanted to master my skills. The way graduate advisers helped me was commendable. They made this transition very easy for me.

In addition, I was very interested in being a part of a student organization. In my search for finding a suitable student organization for myself I came across graduate student senate. GSS being a part of student governance was doing an excellent job of helping out graduate students to get oriented in their new career path. I was very interested in being a part of such an organization and I am glad that I am able to contribute my ideas into this esteemed organization.

On a final note, I would like to say that everyone has their own experiences being a graduate student. Through this article, I am trying to share my experiences hoping it would help somebody someday.

 


About the Author:

Prashanthi Sivasubramanian is a graduate student studying in University of Texas at Arlington pursuing her masters in computer science. She has an active interest in connecting with people and sharing her views with them. Currently she is serving as a Co-chain of outreach committee in graduate student senate

 

April 5

Grad life in Kinesiology

I arrived at UTA in January of 2016 excited to be a part of the freshly created Kinesiology doctorate program. It was my second major move in 2 years, I thought I had the stencil figured out for adapting to life in a new city. It turns out I was wrong, Arlington was more than a new city, it was a completely different world than what I was used to- life as a PhD student is markedly different than the previous roles I’ve been cast to as well.

My beginnings in academia were at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, my hometown. Edmonton was small enough, and I was well enough established that no matter where I went or what I did, I could always find a common link with someone I knew. That could mean making friends playing shinny, seeing the regulars at the local ski hill, or bumping into a mutual acquaintance mountaineering. It was easy to meet like-minded individuals and establish a social network. Between the tremendous opportunity to meet people through social activities and sharing experiences with peers thrown in the same situation starting university, I had no desire or capacity to expand my friend groups when I started graduate school (also at the University of Alberta). As a result I was almost entirely absent from graduate student life at the University of Alberta.

Then came my first major move, way down under to Melbourne, Australia. To set the stage, Melbourne in brief is a city of 6 million+ people, divided into several suburbs all of which have a remarkably local and home atmosphere. The lifestyle is incredibly active and social, and if I learned one thing from moving to Melbourne, if you visit in winter, bring pants. I was still a master’s student while I was in Melbourne, but under rather unique circumstances. I was not at a university, I had no classes, and was in the not quite finished wing of a research institute with a desk just on the other side of the wall from an MRI helium pump that went “pfew…pfew…pfew…” all day, every day. To say the least, graduate student life was non-existent. But, similar to Edmonton, you would meet people no matter where you went- couple hour drive to go surfing on the coast, cycle clubs, or even down at the park for après work wine and cheese.

So when I set off for Arlington in January of 2016, I was ready. I had already made the leap from relatively small Edmonton to big city Melbourne, and had made lots of really good friends, found my niche activities, and integrated myself nicely into the Australian way of life. As I said earlier, it turns out I wasn’t ready for Arlington, it was a serious case of culture shock- not the same nauseating culture shock feeling you get when you drive on the left side of the road for the first time, but the kinds when you have absolutely no idea how to act properly.

It’s only fair that I set the stage for Arlington as I have for Edmonton and Melbourne. Arlington is a city of half a million, just one of the cities representing the hyphen in D-FW. Contrary to popular belief, Arlington is not in the desert, and in accordance with popular belief, Arlington is scorching hot, taking the crown for most mundane weather with 4 months of consecutive 98 degree cloudless days followed by 3 other seasons that the rest of the world would describe as “mild” or “quite pleasant” rather than Fall, Winter or Spring. Opposite to more polar regions, summer is the season of hibernation, and space is anything but a concern. Being in a metroplex of 7+ million means a long drive to leave the city, without living in a big city.

Now, my usual integration strategy didn’t have the chance to work or fail here; 10 hours to the nearest Rocky Mountain and a flight to the nearest ocean wave, you’re not going to find all that many Arlingtonians making either trip. And between the fire ants and stifling heat, you won’t find them relaxing outside either. However, there are unique opportunities that have been presented by UTA.

UTA is widely considered a commuter school. This is certainly apparent between terms when the campus is a ghost town, save for the international students and graduate students (most of whom are international). This core of students can always be found on campus, and have found their niche activities. For myself this has been any number of the facilities provided at the MAC- the indoor climbing wall, indoor soccer arena, ping pong, beach volleyball, and fitness center. There’s always a friendly smiling face around or a pick-up game to join which makes the MAC a tremendous resource for maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as meeting peers with a shared interest. To me, these facilities are very underused, and I highly encourage more students to become cognizant of their health and social opportunities. These facilities are entirely free to you, use them!

Graduate student life within the department of Kinesiology is an asset, and one of the best aspects of UTA. The department highly encourages student involvement and healthy living, as healthy living is one of the department ideals. The department often sponsors or makes a presence at events and ensures graduate students are aware of opportunities to participate. The department boasts heavy involvement in events such as the Homecoming 5 Km race to student sport games, their positive presence is refreshing. Further, graduate students are granted the opportunity to interact with undergraduates at research days, and we are always in need of healthy control subjects for research so don’t be afraid to approach your TA and ask about research opportunities. Participation in research is one of the best ways to learn about research, and about your own academic interests and future opportunities.

Graduate student life in the department of Kinesiology makes you part of a small community of really phenomenal students, and provides you with the start of your niche, critical for your success. Although it is not widely talked about, your enjoyment inside and outside of school is absolutely critical for your mental and physical health; which in turn is critical for your academic performance. The department of Kinesiology and the MAC provide innumerable opportunities for this, I highly encourage other students to test the waters!

About the author

Rhys Beaudry is a current Kinesiology PhD student at UT Arlington, UT Arlington FitSTEPs for Life clinical coordinator and research assistant in the iCARE laboratory under Dr. Mark Haykowsky. His primary research interests are in human cardiovascular physiology and cardio-oncology, specifically, the study of heart failure related to breast cancer and breast cancer treatment.

 

March 21

Mavericks Conduct Experiment for Distance Learner Representation

By Jen Blankenship

 

Mavericks in the Graduate Student Senate are stretching to reach new distance goals.

An experimental non-voting member was invited into GSS this spring. Leah Sperry, in the graduate social work program, now serves on the GSS Resolutions Committee via remote access. She is the first distance student to ever do so. She volunteered to help the group carve out more representation possibilities for the growing distance learner population.

UT Arlington Distance Learners include military personnel from around the planet, people who didn’t complete their education at younger ages and those seeking more education to enhance their job market competitiveness, among others. For the experiment, distance learners are defined as students enrolled in on line courses only.

Sperry’s remote access has been temporarily accepted as a non-voting member of the committee specifically to conduct this experiment. Voting membership carries privileges and includes travel awards. GSS has always required members to be physically present in order to become voting members, a policy that currently excludes distance learners.

The addition of Sperry required the Resolutions Committee to adjust immediately by creating a sub-committee team of five which includes her. Three students on the team are reviewing the GSS Constitution and By-Laws to determine what policy changes may help transition remote participants to voting members.

The team leader, Parham Asgari, also has some team members reviewing software and hardware changes that may be needed to help the experiment succeed. He is a chemistry graduate student with leadership experience and plenty of remote meeting experience. He anticipates the overall hardware needs will be minimal. Specifics won’t be available until the experiment is completed.

Two team members promptly became Sperry’s remote assistants to help monitor her live participation. Shannon Hoffman and Kevin Vilbig, both social work graduate students, make certain Sperry can see, hear and experience the meetings. Unfortunately, there have been many connection hiccups so far. Vilbig noted an additional leadership position as a remote assistant may be required at GSS general body meetings if this experiment becomes successful at the team and committee level.

That success may also mean altering voting methods at GSS general meetings where a shift to roll call methods rather than ayes may be needed to adequately include remote attendees. Currently, any graduate student can attend the general body meetings in person to become a voting member but the number of distance learners who might become voting members in the future may be limited by technology, assuming the experiment is successful and reaches that point.

The experiment results could also open options for students who normally attend GSS in person. It is possible that they, too, could be present by remote access on a limited basis, according one of the remote meeting models Asgari discovered.

The team plans to continue its experiment as long as needed, under the direction of the Resolutions Committee and GSS Executives. These Mavericks view it as a doorway to include more graduate students in GSS and to help prepare them for remote meetings in the work place.

 

March 7

Health is the Real Wealth

A wise man once said “when in war, pray not for an easy opponent, but for a sharp sword”. Same can be applied to life. One must not hope for an easy life but gather the strength to fight back. The most powerful weapon one can ever have is their mind and body. It’s important to have them function at their best. Being in graduate school, one tends to neglect their health and fitness which is no surprise as once we start getting busy, we want to spend as much time as possible on our academics.

When I was young I used to be a very active child, playful & mischievous, running around all the time. But later when I got into school I had to cut down on my fun and focus more on studies. Still I had put quite some time into athletics and thus I became a good sportsman and maintained a certain level of fitness. But when I got into college that is when things started getting serious. For a whole semester, I never got the chance to step on the field. Later, when I got some free time and started playing basketball I could clearly observe that I had a clear drop in my stamina, and beyond that my mind was not functioning impulsively as it used to, I got less immune and started becoming lazy.

That is when I realized that I am doing something wrong. I started going to the gym and after a few months I started feeling right again. Being experienced both sides of life I can guarantee that no one would want to go back again. I know that people in college would rather spend the hour in a lab studying rather that in a gym. But here is the thing that most people do not understand. By being fit, our mind and body work much more efficiently and we can accomplish a lot more than we normally would. Studies have shown that the brain of an athlete works up to 40% better than an average human being. So, in the end, spending some time on exercise gives the body the capability to be able to work quicker and for longer durations. Hence in the long run we are only saving time with a bonus of great health.

By keeping fit I don’t mean that one must go to the gym every day or spend hours and hours on it. Even small things like walking makes a huge difference. Every time I walk, I try to walk a bit faster and that is a good workout by itself. If I don’t have a lot of time I just go for a run around a few blocks for a couple of minutes. That sure does build up a sweat. I try playing games and sports as any outdoor game is a fun exercise.

Being an athlete, and trying to be fit through my life till date, I can promise that it is an experience that one would live and cherish. A healthy and fit body can make a massive change in life. It is like a habit that makes us better and even today I am surprised by how much I stretch capabilities of my body and by the way it responds. It’s unbelievable what the human body can do with the correct training.  Having experienced the beauty of fitness, I always encourage people to do whatever they can and just take a step towards trying to make life better. The University of Texas at Arlington is doing a great job by offering immense opportunities for the students to indulge in some activity. Let’s try to use them and bring out the better person within us.

About the Author 

Goutam Kolla is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Arlington, pursuing his masters in Industrial Engineering. He has been an active member of the Graduate Student Senate and is currently serving as the Chair of the Outreach Committee.

January 2

GSS Fall 2016 Social

The video below showcases the Graduate Student Senate’s events and activities from 2016. Thank you to all who participated! A special farewell to the outgoing members of the Executive Board, Sahana Vemuri and Tarun Nukala Reddy!

November 3

Introduce Young Students to Research Early

When I was a freshman in college, I set my sights on attending medical school by way of a fancy Biomedical Engineering degree. I was aware that to even be considered, I needed to showcase a heavy role in research. So what did I do next? I requested to volunteer with any professor that would take me in. Unfortunately, I was faced with the harsh reality that many undergrads don’t get to participate in research until it’s time to embark on the Senior Design project. Why is that? Well the most common reason I was given was that I had not completed enough courses yet to prepare me to even hold a beaker. Also, it seemed that not too many other students my age were interested in doing research. But what they did not understand was that at the very least, I just wanted to watch and listen in the background.

It wasn’t until my Junior year when a Biomechanics professor allowed me to assist in research. I remember being in awe with all the machines, sensors, equipment that were being used for just one experiment. As soon as I arrived home I immediately began researching all the methods and biomechanics that inspired the project. I loved the research so much that I would be in the lab on Saturdays at 6am since this was the only time the Orthopedic Surgery residents were available to run experiments. After a few short weeks in the lab, I had learned more basic science and biomechanics than I had in 2 years of engineering classes. It did not take long for me to find my true passion in research and ditch the MCAT prep books.

Now that we are in graduate school we have a stronger focus on the career path we want to follow. But think back to your undergraduate days, surely there was somebody who influenced you to pursue higher education in your given field. As graduate students, we are continuously working hard to further advance our fields, and we should begin to foster the passion we have for our field in the younger students. As a GTA or GRA, I encourage you to invite the undergrads in your classes to tour the lab and learn more about research. Not only is it a great experience for them to get out of the classroom, but it will further develop your own understanding and teaching methods. Engaging younger students to participate in lab activities can also improve student performance.

The Office of Graduate Studies currently hosts the I-Engage Mentoring Program, in which a Graduate Student can bring in an Undergraduate for a summer-long research experience. I recommend for you to look into this program by visiting the website.

About the Author:

Academically, Anthony N. Khoury is a Ph.D. Candidate and Clinical Research Assistant in the Bioengineering Department at UTA. He conducts research with his Ph.D. guide at Hip Preservation Center, Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. Anthony currently serves as the Chair of the Programs Committee of the Graduate Student Senate.

 

October 18

Campus Involvement as a Graduate Student

Love Kelly

Love Kelly, the author of this article, is a current graduate student in Social Work at UT Arlington.

The stereotype that graduate school is generally seen as a period to be very focused on academics and the days of being involved in student organizations and leadership is over is so far from the truth. As a current graduate student who is more involved in campus life, I want to break the stereotype and encourage graduate students to get more involved in campus life. From my experience I have learned that being involved in a student organization on campus as a graduate student is important because it a great way to meet students outside of your program, it offers leadership opportunities and learning experiences, and opportunities to network with professionals on and off campus.

I understand there are some factors such as having children or a full-time job that could hinder a graduate student from participating in campus activities. However, graduate students who are able can get involved through UT Arlington Mavorgs or by obtaining a sports pass to attend UTA games on campus. Mavorgs helps students find organizations that interest them, find an event on campus, and records your involvement in various organizations.

When I first transferred to UTA as an undergrad I didn’t see the value of being involved on campus. As a commuter student, I always used the excuse of living far from campus as a reason to not be involved. My first campus involvement I was when I decided to be an active member and an officer for the Social Work Constituency Council. I still wasn’t as involved in extracurricular activities and it remained that way until I graduated. As I choose to further my education at UTA, I made the decision to be more involved on campus and I am enjoying every minute of it. I am still a commuter student but compared to when I was an undergraduate student, I work around my school schedule to go to on- and off-campus games, events, and trainings. Personally, it has been very beneficial in helping me develop skills to balance my time between school and my involvements, I have made new friends and met more faculty and staff members, I am more aware of my passion and strengths, and finally I have a much better appreciation of UTA. GET INVOLVED. You’ll be amazed about the difference you can make through your involvement on campus.

About the Author:

Love Kelly is a current graduate student in Social Work at UT Arlington. She is a member and Community Chair for the Social Work Constituency Council, a member of the Student Publications Committee, a member of the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society and the Co-Chair for the Graduate Student Senate Outreach Committee.