MCS GSAC Meeting Minutes
February 28, 2002

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February 28, 2002

In Attendance:
Ed Horsey (Biological Sciences)
Ayse Celil (Biological Sciences)
Pushan Chowdhury (Chemistry)
Karen Zaiger (Chemistry)
Justin Douglas (Chemistry)
Kathryn Trapp (Mathematical Sciences)
Marc Fasnacht (Physics)
Gregg Franklin (MCS Dean's Office)
Katya Malkin (MCS Dean's Office)


2000 GSAC Minutes Archive
2001 GSAC Minutes Archive

This year's minutes:

January 17, 2002

February 7, 2002
Pushan introduced Justin Douglas, who will take his place as chemistry representative.

I. MEETING WITH THE DEAN

Gregg is meeting with Rick McCullough on March 1 and will invite him to attend our next GSAC meeting, which will be held on March 21. If Rick is not available for this meeting, the final meeting of the semester will be held on April 11. The group discussed what they would like to talk to Rick about and came up with the following:
  • Health Insurance
  • Stipends
    • Kate mentioned that engineering recently conducted a study of graduate stipends within Carnegie Mellon and found that, relative to the amount of teaching/research students are required to do, science students receive a lower stipend.
    • Increasing stipends would help recruit new students, but changing perceptions about the existing stipend would also be a good idea. For example, many entering students are not aware that health insurance is not included.
    • Any additional information about this issue, whether formal studies or just information about student opinions gathered from your departments, will be helpful when meeting with Rick.
  • Space for offices/lounges
    • This is of particular concern for math students, since about 15 people will be losing their offices due to the construction project.
  • Possibility of a joint lounge for chemistry and biology
    • When Susan Henry was Dean, she had approved a lounge, but since she has left no one has followed through with setting it up.
  • Possibility of sharing the current physics lounge with math
  • Mellon Institute Issues
    • Building security needs to be increased, particularly for night/weekend events
    • Maintenance issues:
      - Flooding
      - Lack of control over heat/air conditioning
      - Many places need to be painted
      - Holes in the floors (in particular, near the ice machine on the 6th floor)
    • Lack of food vendors:
      - There are currently no food vendors in Mellon, the last one having been replaced by vending machines.
  • Outside work
    • Some departments allow students to take on outside work while in graduate school. It was unclear whether this policy has to do with the time period of the stipend (i.e., 9-month vs. 12-month) or is simply at the discretion of the department. It was also unclear whether this was an issue that students are concerned about. More information would be helpful.
Katya will send this list of issues out to the group prior to the meeting with Rick so there will be an opportunity to prioritize or add items.

II. CAREER SEMINAR

Renee sent the following updates regarding next fall's career event:
  1. She will meet with her counterpart at Pitt mid-March to design the invitation to employers.
  2. The Recruiting Team in the Career Center is working on finding alumni and/or PhD contacts for the companies on the invite list.
  3. There are budget issues. She asked if GSAC is planning to contribute money toward the event and if so, how much. Gregg will discuss this issue with Rick at their meeting on March 1.
  4. Since Pitt has a larger population of master's students, they have asked that the name be changed from "PhDs in Industry". While not averse to changing the name or inviting master's degree students, the group felt that the event should be geared toward careers for PhDs in industry and did not want this to change the focus of the event. It was also noted that while Pitt has a large number of master's students, they also have a large number of PhDs.
Katya will contact Renee and let her know how the group feels about this. She will also confirm whether or not schools outside of the College of Arts and Sciences will be involved (i.e., the Graduate School of Public Health, UPMC, etc.) and see if there is a cost estimate for the event. III. HAPPY HOUR

Pushan and Marc are still working on getting funding for the Happy Hour scheduled for April 12 from 5:00 - 8:00 PM. If funding is not available from GSA, GSAC representatives should ask there department heads for money.

NEXT MEETING:

Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 21, from 3:00 - 4:30 in DH 1322.