September 2018

Graduate Student Association

Friday, September 14th, 2018
Biomed II B542
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

William MacCain, GSA President
Leah Horn, Vice President
Samantha Huckuntod, Secretary
Laura Ewing, Treasurer


Attendees:  Shana Owens, Leah Horn, Laura Ewing, Susie Brown, Devin Guillory, Kate Brann, Tiffany Miles, Nicole Turnage, Denise, Dina Zita

GSA symposium

  • Abstract deadline is now September 14th
  • We need to get judges and gifts for judges.
    • Gift ideas:  Coffee cup with pen and paper with decorative Easter grass.  We could also look at Dollar Tree for inexpensive things to put in the mug.  We need to ask Adrian about getting the Rock Town tour passes.
  • Laura will confirm our invited speaker from NCTR.  The GSA will provide pizza for lunch.  We need a poster made to promote his talk.
  • We need volunteers to help set up and organize event.
    • Sam will make pamphlet using last year’s as a template (found in the GSA Dropbox).  We can print the pamphlets at the Graduate School office (talk to Allyson Douglass).
    • Shana suggested having scores tallied in separate room away from the poster session to prevent people disturbing scoring.  One more person needs to double check the scores.
    • One person will be needed to moderate the oral presentation session.  Leah said that she and William were planning to introduce speakers and moderate.
    • We need to tell Janice Rhoades how many poster boards are needed.
    • Shana suggested asking Dr. Fantegrossi to borrow clipboards for judges (GSA borrowed some from him last year).
    • No additional volunteers were gathered.  Amal and Devin volunteered to help at the last meeting.

Student wellness seminar series

  • Dr. Thapa presented on September 10th.  Leah and Sam thought he did a good job.
  • Dr. Messias is going to be presenting in October
    • Focus group update: All positions are filled, thanks to everyone that volunteered.  Let the GSA know if you can’t make it.
    • The GSA will send out a survey on burnout.  It will be completely confidential.  Dr. Messias will be collecting data.
    • We will need a poster made once his talk date is confirmed.
  • Angie and Jim will be putting together a mindfulness seminar in November 7th.  They will give a seminar and lead a meditation session in the classrooms off of the Biomed I atrium.
  • Leah suggested providing a healthier option for lunch instead of pizza.  We will look at lunch costs for 25-30 people.

Peer Mentoring Program (PMP)

  • Contact person is Shana Owens.
  • Update on handbook and timeframe
    • Devin, Tiffany, and Chris are helping put structure and handbook together so that William can present it to the Graduate Council in 3-4 weeks.
  • Older students are needed to volunteer to mentor (must have passed their qualifying exam).  There will also be an older student not appointed to a student to act as a third-party mentor if a student is having issues with their assigned mentor.
    • The mentoring role is for helping students transition, give advice on graduate school, and be a positive influence.
  • The Peer Mentoring Program would be governed by the GSA. This will need to be voted into the GSA bylaws.

T-shirt and Bake sales

  • Start preorders on T-shirts: Email will be going out for pre-sale order via GSA website.
    • Shirts will cost $10
    • Mugs will cost $5
  • Halloween bake sale will be on October 31st. Christmas bake sale will be on December 5th.
    • Christmas sale ideas: Bring your own mug for hot cocoa (keep in crock pot), marshmallows, build a gift with GSA mug with hot cocoa supplies
    • Set mugs out during bake sales
    • Shana will bring iPad to use for Paypal card reader.

Open floor discussion

  • Food pantry survey
    • Dr. Gardner thought this would be a good idea to do, as other institutions provide a food pantry for their students.  Please fill this out so the administration can determine whether UAMS needs this.
  • Student Insurance
    • A plan is in the works to pool all Arkansas graduate students into one insurance
      • Devin suggested making a survey for graduate student health insurance with questions asking who pays for the insurance, why they pay for the student insurance, etc. Leah would like to bring this to Dr. Gardner.
  • Attending students discussed the need for non-traditional grad students’ needs to be heard. It would be helpful if there was someone to go to for assistance in applying for food stamps, insurance with dependents, etc.
  • Thanksgiving potluck signup sheet
    • Shana has made a Google Form for signing up to bring specific categories of food.  The signup form also prevents people from signing up for dishes that there are too many signed up for.
    • The date for the potluck was not determined.

Next GSA meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 12th Biomed II B542