Board to Advise on Graduate Student Issues

Carl Lejuez interim provost and executive vice chancellor
Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 11:33 a.m.
KU Lawrence Faculty and Staff,Graduate Students - Distribution List

Sent on behalf of Pamela Johnson, Student Senate Graduate Affairs Director, and Carl Lejuez, Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor


Graduate students, faculty and staff,

In the January 28 Provost’s Message to campus we announced efforts to establish an advisory board to guide campus leaders on issues related to the graduate student experience at the University of Kansas. Today, we are pleased to share with you the membership of this new board and their focus in the months ahead. This board will help KU quickly gain a snapshot on the climate and needs of graduate students from all areas of campus.

We are in the process of taking a constructive look at the Office of Graduate Studies and now have the Graduate Student Advisory Board with student leaders from all areas of campus. The board will advocate for the graduate and professional student body, work to address challenges faced by the community, and provide a direct line of communication to KU leadership. This group will provide an environment where students can comfortably share their ideas and concerns about the university with their peers, and give university administration a direct point of contact to solicit views from the graduate student population.

Graduate Student Advisory Board membership

Pamela Johnson, Chair, Student Senate Graduate Affairs Director,

Jessy Ayestas, Student Senate,

Annalise Baines, Journalism,

Terra Brockman, Law,

Chris Brown, Education,

Zach Dennet, Business,

Teresa Girolamo, CLAS,

Eliza Kassebaum, Student Senate,

Tina Coco Lai, Social Welfare,

Charlesia McKinney, CLAS,

Stacy Mendez, Education,

Bailey Miller, Engineering,

Najmeh Moradiyan-Rizi, CLAS,

Erika Nolte, Pharmacy/Health Professions,

Brittney Oleniacz, Student Senate,

Andrew Poehling, Business,

Beth Rankin, Education,

Aaron Rudeen, CLAS,

Charu Srivatsa, Engineering,

Kevin Weingarten, Arts & Music,

Please join us in thanking these student leaders for their service to our university and their peers. This is an exciting time to be a graduate student at KU.

First Meeting

In the Advisory Board’s first meeting on Feb. 27, members began to outline some of the key areas of concern KU can advance, including:

  • Dissemination of information and communication,
  • Professional development opportunities that also provide avenues to meet graduate students from other disciplines,
  • Clear policies and best-practice guidelines,
  • Mental health care,
  • Funding to support graduate education,
  • Scholarly travel and research support

Already Student Senate has made graduate student scholarly travel and emergency funds a priority through securing additional funding for the upcoming fiscal year.

If you have ideas on ways KU can elevate support for and enhance the education of graduate students, or how we can share the amazing work KU graduate students do every day, please share them with a GSAB member or reach out directly to Pamela.

Pamela and Carl

Pamela Johnson
Bioengineering graduate student
Graduate Affairs Director, Student Senate

Carl Lejuez
Interim Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor