Academic Year 2010/2011 Accomplishments of Merrill Graduate Students

May 31, 2011

MGSA Activity Summary 2010/2011

MGSA consolidates gains, raises funds and organizes lectures, book & bake sales

During its second year, the MGSA consolidated its gains – mostly in student awareness that they now enjoy a graduate student association advocating on behalf of both, PhD and master's students at their school and providing social lubricant for the often-stressful graduate student existence.

Our two breakthrough bake and book sales in spring 2011 still surprised some with the fact that there was a graduate student association but many happily dove into the boxes of books and picked from the plates of treats. We are pleased to report that the MGSA has established an account which now counts over $270. The MGSA raised another $250 in a concerted effort to collectively attend the Diversity Lecture by Dr. Thornton on May 7, 2011 for which she awarded the MGSA a runner-up prize. We hope to leverage our funds into visitor presentations or even mini-conferences involving other disciplines within the university community.

The MGSA sponsored two significant, professionally focused lectures at Knight Hall this year. In September 2010, the MGSA organized a talk with Al-Jazeera English Gaza correspondents Ayman Mohyeldin and Sherine Tadros to a full audience in Eaton Theatre. In March 2011, the MGSA brought another Al-Jazeera English veteran in: Will Stebbins, the first Al-Jazeera English DC Bureau Chief spoke about the launch efforts in 2006 and coverage of the Middle East impressing the audience with his linguistically focused analysis..

In spring 2011, the MGSA also secured a lengthy brown-bag meeting with Dean Klose, during which he laid out budget issues the College is facing and heard from, specifically, master's students being unhappy with personnel changes and the departure of their mentor Steve Crane in mid-program. Budget and personnel issues are still on the table and controversial; and the MGSA will continue to be a collective way for students to address them. Read more in a Diamondback article of May 11, 2011.

(URL: http://www.diamondbackonline.com/news/journalism-faculty-students-bemoan-denial-of-budget-access-1.2226842]

In addition, MGSA represented students in the College Assembly throughout the year and participated in the America Reads day on campus on April 29, 2011 working with younger school-age children to bolster reading skills.