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GSA Update

December 1, 2014

The GSA gathered much momentum during the 2013-2014 academic year and has been working hard to build on it this year. Since the 2014-2015 session began, the GSA has worked closely with both the Office of Career Strategy and the Center for Teaching and Learning to ensure productive partnerships that concentrate on graduate student needs and resources. Additionally, the GSA has seen its role in university committees increase, sending a GSA representative to be a member of the Presidential Carbon Charge Task Force. The GSA is also committed to continue sponsoring events for graduate students, including Ask-a-Lawyer, Ask-an-Accountant, Common Grounds, and the Conference Travel Fellowship.

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Graduate Student Assembly Update

The GSA has begun a new session for the 2014-2015 academic year and is excited to continue its commitment to improving the Yale graduate student experience through both new and continuing projects.

Fostering a productive Office of Career Strategy merger

The GSA has worked closely with the new Office of Career Strategy (OCS), which was created when Graduate Career Services and Undergraduate Career Services merged, to ensure appropriate and adequate resources for all graduate students during and after the merger. The merger has resulted in many improvements, including, but not limited to access to 16 professional career advisers, enrollment in the online career database Symplicity, extended walk-in advising hours, and expanded career programing. The GSA is committed to continuing to work with the OCS in an effort to improve access to career services for all graduate students at all stages of their graduate careers.

University representation

The GSA is excited to announce that Robin Canavan (Geology and Geophysics) will serve as the GSA member of the Presidential Carbon Charge Task Force.  As part of the task force, she will work with members of the Yale community to understand the solutions available to the university for mitigating the effects of increased anthropogenic CO2. The goal of the task force is to understand the economic and societal implications of climate change and to help contribute to finding ways to realistically achieve a more sustainable and carbon-conscious culture at Yale. The task force represents one of the many ways the GSA and university administration continue their long-lasting and productive relationship. Currently, the GSA is working with the university at the administrative level on over a dozen standing committees.

Continuing sponsorship of graduate student events

The GSA understands the needs of graduate students, and as a result is happy to continue organizing events for them. Ask-a-Lawyer is a monthly session at which students can consult with an attorney at no charge, on a first-come, first-served basis. Ask-an-Accountant is held during tax season for students to learn about filing and paying both state and federal taxes. Common Grounds, a mentorship program that fosters interaction between professors and students, will also continue this academic year. The Conference Travel Fellowship (CTF) will continue to help fund graduate student travel to meetings. For more information regarding attending these events or applying to the CTF, please see our monthly email newsletter.

Center for Teaching and Learning

The GSA has been working with the Center for Teaching and Learning to better understand the needs of graduate students and the roles they can plan in the center’s upcoming changes. Look for updates regarding this and other GSA projects and partnerships in our newsletter.

For more information on current and ongoing Graduate Student Assembly projects and to read GSA reports, visit our website (

Submitted by Nicholas Vincent (Microbiology), Publicity Committee Chair