November 28, 2010
10-200

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

Students Build Graduate Organization

VALDOSTA -- A handful of graduate students are eager to organize a formal student organization to support the personal and professional pursuits of hundreds of upper-level students at Valdsota State University. Those interested in being a part of the campus-wide graduate organization are invited to a meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 29, in Student Union Ballroom B.

Founders Ashley Dobbs, Lamesha Andrews, Sarah Bloss, Hoa Nguyen and Annisa Pirasteh said they hope to gather an academically and socially diverse group to represent all graduate students on campus. The organization’s focus, Andrews said, is to encourage friendships and academic collaborations, inform students of campus happenings, and promote graduate students’ involvement in university governance.

"Some graduate students come here without knowing anyone, so it is important to build an organization that welcomes those students and invite them to be active participants in the campus culture,” said Andrews. “We want to create an opportunity for master's and doctoral students to engage in professional development and network with people in other disciplines, which we know is vital to learning and development."

Dobbs said the founders have been building the network of outreach and support with the guidance of Dr. Karla Hull, interim assistant vice president for Research and dean of the Graduate School. Hull said the proposed group will enable interdisciplinary collaborations and professional development activities.

"It is my hope that graduate students will embrace this opportunity to enrich their graduate education," Hull said. "Graduate students are active members of university-wide committees, and we look forward to continued and active participation in university governance as a result of this new organization."

For more information about the program, e-mail Dobbs at amdobbs@valdosta.edu or Andrews at laandrews@valdosta.edu.