MCS GSAC Meeting Minutes
January 25, 2005

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January 25, 2005

GSAC Meeting
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

In attendance:

Allison Marciszyn (BSC)
Sandra Zimmerman (BSC)
Andrea Benvin (CMY)
Ben Janesko (CMY)
Gerard Brunick (MSC)
Kalyani Varanasi (PHY)

Gregg Franklin
Katya Malkin

1. New Members
Three new members joined GSAC this semester - Andrea Benvin and Ben Janesko from Chemistry, and Kalyani Varanasi from Physics. Welcome to GSAC!

2. Poster Session
The annual poster session is scheduled for Friday, February 11, from 5:30 - 8:30 pm in Rangos 2 & 3 in the UC. This a slightly earlier time than in previous years.

GSAC members are sending email to the students in their departments to recruit poster presenters. Sessions for the last few years have had a relatively low turnout from Math and Physics. This is probably because they are not as likely to already have posters made for other events as students in Biology and Chemistry. As a result, general attendance from those departments is also lower. In the past we have asked the program coordinators to send email requesting posters, but this year the email will come from the GSAC reps and also from advisors, if possible. Hopefully they will get a better response!

The catering order will remain pretty much the same as last year's, with a request for more vegetarian items and that vegetarian items be noted.

Prizes will be gift certificates. They will be distributed as follows:
  1. Raffle by Department
    There will be a $75 gift certificate raffled off for each of the 4 departments. However, to be eligible the department must have at least 3 posters.
  2. Grand Raffle
  3. The names of everyone contributing a poster will be put into a single bag which will be used to raffle off two $100 gift certificates. If a department has less than 3 posters, we'll add the $75 certificate to the grand raffle.

We will borrow poster boards and easels from Barry Luokkala in the Physics Department as in past years. Gregg and Zeb volunteered to take these to the UC. Three to four people should arrive 20 - 30 minutes early in order to help with the set up.

Fliers have been posted in Mellon and Wean/Doherty. Thanks to Allison for making the posters and putting them up in Mellon!

3. TA Evaluations
Gregg asked the group if they were satisfied with the MCS TA Evaluations and if they had any comments or suggestions for improvement. Most people were satisfied with the evaluations though they felt that mid-semester evaluations were more valuable in terms of improving their teaching as they were able to make immediate changes specific to a particular class.

4. Other Issues for this Semester
Andrea suggested a student seminar that would allow graduate students from all four departments to learn about each other's research and provide an opportunity to practice talking about their research, particularly to people outside of their own field. Chemistry is planning to start something like this over the summer but would like to include the other departments if they are interested. The seminar series would be about once a week over the summer and would include lunch. Gerard thought this would be difficult for Math since their research is often very specific and difficult to explain, even to others within the Math Department.

We will try to schedule a Happy hour in April. Unfortunately the Singleton Room is unavailable, so it will be in the Mellon Institute Social Room.

Gregg will follow up with Sharon McCarl regarding access for undergraduates to Mellon Institute.