Category Archives: Graduate Student Assembly

“Grading Papers and Changing Diapers: Surviving Graduate School With A Family”

“Grading Papers and Changing Diapers:  Surviving Graduate School With A Family”
A talk by David McGhan, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Physics. 
When:  Friday, February 13, 3-4 pm
Where:  RLM 5.122 (map)
About the talk:  How can you be successful at graduate school and also have a family? Come to this talk, hosted by the Physics Education Forum and open to all, and learn some tips and tricks, as well as the realities of raising children while in graduate school. If you have children, or if you are thinking about having children while in graduate school, you don’t want to miss this.  The talk is open to all graduate students at UT.
About the presenter:  Dave is a doctoral candidate in the Physics Department in the College of Natural Sciences.  His research focuses on using physics based models to analyze K-12 science education.  Dave has a MS from UT in Quantum Physics, and a BS from North Carolina State University.   When not working as an Assistant Instructor or coding, Dave enjoys hiking and visiting local museums with his wife and two boys. 
Hosted by the Physics Education Forum and co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Writing Group.

Lunch with Chancellor McRaven

Good morning,
A small group of graduate students are invited to have lunch with Chancellor McRaven to discuss issues of graduate life here at UT Austin. This is a rare and exciting opportunity given the Chancellor’s purview and workload.
The lunch will be held on Monday, March 23. If interested in attending, please email Jennifer Jendrzey by 5:00 pm on Friday, February 13, 2015.
Thank you,

Jennifer A. Jendrzey
Communications Director
Graduate Student Assembly

Career Planning with Dr. Mrim Boutla

Career Planning with Dr. Mrim Boutla

When: February 3, 2015
Where: Avaya Auditorium
RSVP online »
Special Note: Dr. Boutla asks that you both a.) register and complete the MTMCareers career assessments in advance of the workshop to maximize your experience and b.) bring your laptop to the session.

Event Details Join Dr. Mrim Boutla for a workshop designed to help Ph.D. students and postdocs get clear, get connected, and get hired for career opportunities beyond academia. This session, titled Off-Track: Charting your Post-Ph.D. Career Path Beyond Academia, will focus on strategies you can use to get clear about your goals and transferable skills, get connected with like minded professionals and get hired for the types of opportunities that best fit you. This workshop will include examples from Dr. Mrim Boutla’s own transition from cognitive neuroscience to career coaching to social entrepreneurship, as well as case studies from other PhDs who have leveraged their transferable skills to build intellectually and financially rewarding careers across sectors. Whether you want to compete for tenure-track jobs or explore nonacademic paths, attending this workshop will help you learn more about the many options you have to put your Ph.D. skills to work.

Topics Include:

About Dr. Boutla  Dr. Mrim Boutla is a cognitive neuroscientist turned career coach and social entrepreneur. Her PhD and postdoctoral research in brain plasticity have been published in peer-reviewed journals including Nature Neuroscience, Cognition, and Cerebral Cortex. Over the past decade, Dr. Boutla has used her cognitive neuroscience background to help students and professionals secure jobs that match their skills, as well as their life and career priorities. She started out as a career coach for PhDs and liberal arts graduates at Brown University. She then served as the career coach for international students and entrepreneurial management MBA students at the Kelley School of Business (Indiana University). In 2010 Dr. Boutla co-founded MTMCareers with Dr. Mark Albion (Faculty Founder of Net Impact). The MTMCareers elearning platform combines coaching and resources to help impact leaders get clear, get connected, and get hired faster for jobs that maximize meaning and money. MTMCareers has deployed their elearning platform across over 30 campuses in the US, and has received the 2013 AshokaU/Cordes Award for Social Innovation. Dr. Boutla earned her Bsc in Psychology from the Université Catholique de Louvain, and her MA and PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester.

Graduate Student Assembly seeking departmental representatives

I’m writing to you, on behalf of the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), to remind you that at the beginning of the Fall semester wewill be looking for new Departmental Representatives. GSAflyer

Historically, it has been left up to each department (and thus, to the graduate coordinators) to hold elections for GSA representatives. I’m excited to announce that this year we plan to make your lives easier by streamlining this process!

We begin by making the nomination/voting process easier for students and graduate coordinators alike. Here’s how it will work:

  • In August, we will send out an e-mail to graduate coordinators announcing that nominations for GSA Representatives are open. We ask that you forward the email to your graduate students, which will contain a small description of the GSA and what we look for in representatives.
  •  Students will nominate themselves directly to us. We will turn around and prepare a ballot online. The link to that ballot will then be distributed to you, the graduate coordinator, to distribute toyour graduate students.  
  • After voting ends, we’ll contact you again to announce winners. At that time, we will send you the Membership Certification form, and ask you to pass this along to the elected representative(s).

You are also welcome to run the election as you’ve always done, but we hope to decrease your work load with this new process. Please let me know when/if there are any upcoming events where we might be able to drop in or if you have any questions about the new process. 

Stephanie Patchett
GSA Membership Director

Apply to be a Graduate Student Assembly Officer!

The Graduate Student Assembly is looking for executive officers for the 2014-15 operating year.  Serve on the executive board of the Graduate Student Assembly, the official voice of all 13,000 graduate and professional students at the University of Texas at Austin. 
As a GSA Officer, you have the opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills as you represent one of the largest graduate student bodies in the country.  You will connect with other graduate and professional students from across the University while promoting the academic welfare of graduate students.
Officer positions are varied and suited to many talents.  The list of open positions is:
Administrative Director

Academic Affairs Director
Communications Director

Finance Director 
Legislative Affairs Director
Programs and Events Director
Student Affairs Director

Each of these positions is described more fully in the attached application.  Completed applications should be dropped off in the GSA Mailbox in SAC 3.102 or sent via email (PDF) to by Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 5 PM CST.
GSA Officers are compensated for their dedication with a stipend of $2,000/year, plus a University parking pass.  All graduate and professional students, including working TAs and RAs, are eligible to apply.

For more information about the GSA, please contact your departmental representative or visit:


Graduate Professional Development Week

Dear Graduate Students:

It’s never too early to start thinking about your career!

The Graduate Student Assembly is happy to announce the first Graduate Professional
Development Week (GPDW). Come explore career opportunities in a variety of
fields in academia, industry and entrepreneurship.

Click here to RSVP and to review a full schedule of events during GPDW.

A brief description of the events is given below as well. We look forward to seeing you there.

Career Services Boot Camp
September 9, 6 – 9 p.m.
SAC Blackbox Theater, Snacks provided

Preparing your CV / Resumé

Effective job searching techniques

Interviewing for academic and non-academic positions

Negotiating job offers

Careers in Academia
September 10, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Santa Rita Room, Texas Union, Snacks provided

Center for Teaching and Learning and University Faculty Members join us to help explain more about careers in academia

5:30 – 5:50 Resume’ Preparation for an academic job – Talk
5:50 – 6:15 Preparation of Teaching Statement – Presentation
6:15 – 7:15 Panel Discussions on Teaching Career
7:15 – 7:30 Preparation for a Career in Academic Research – Presentation by Dr. Deji Akinwande, Department of Electrical Engineering, UT Austin.
7:30 – 8:30 Panel Discussion on “Research in an Academic Setting: challenges and best practices”
Professors on the Panel and their research interests:
Dr. Esther Raizen (Languages and Jewish History)
Dr. Deji Akinwande (Nanotechnology)
Dr. Ross Baldick (Energy and Power Markets)
Dr. Rachel Ward (Mathematics, consultant with Applied Research Labs)
Dr. Gordan Zitkovic (Statistics, Financial Mathematics)

Careers in Industry
September 11, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Santa Rita Room, Texas Union, Snacks provided

Industry Panel on challenges of a career in industry

Panelists include:

Google: Nicole Grossling, Enterprise Sale Associate
Dimensional Fund Advisors: Dr. Vito Sciaraffia
Dell: Josh Mueller
AT&T: Scott Smith
South Asians’ International Volunteer Association(SAIVA): Shubhada Saxena, President & Founder
Other representatives from industry and business

September 12, 6 – 9 p.m.
Ball Room, Texas Union, Snacks provided

Campus representatives with present an overview of resources available on campus that can help you join an established entrepreneurial venture, or start one of your own.

Keynote Speaker

Hugh Forrest, Producer, SXSW Interactive

“SXSW Startup Village and the SXSW Accelerator”

Get Involved in the Graduate Student Assembly

From: Nicole Cunningham n.cunningham (@)
Get involved as a student representative! Positions are available for committees in the following areas: General Faculty, Graduate Assembly, Graduate Studies, and more. Student representatives play a vital role as ambassadors to the university. Their service helps guarantee that students’ interests are represented in may decisions that affect the University community.

Applications will be due on Wednesday, May 15th by 5 pm to the Graduate Student Assembly office (SAC 3.102) or via email to Columbia Mishra at 
columbia.mishra (@) Applicants may be contacted for an interview once all applications have been reviewed.

Nicole Cunningham

Communications Director
Graduate Student Assembly
University of Texas at Austin