Founded in 2006, the Graduate Student Congress's mission is to bring together and represent the graduate-professional student and postdoc bodies at the University of Kentucky. This is accomplished through the organization of activities geared toward the social well-being and professional development of graduate-profesisonal students and postdocs at UK. Frequently partnering with other entities on campus, such as the Graduate School and the Student Government Organization, the GSC also provides a unique platform from which our members concerns may be voiced to the university at large.
As an elected body of graduate-professional students and postdocs, the GSC offers a number of ways for graduate-professional students and postdocs to advocate for themselves, especially through our committee structure. Current committees of the GSC include: the Appropriations and Revenue, Awards, Instituinal Advocacy, Institutional Research, Professional Development and Networking, Communications and Documents, and External Affairs committees.
The Fall semester is a busy time for GSC, which organizes a number of different social and academic events. During this time, an Ice Cream Social is organized in conjunction with the Graduate School to welcome students back for a new semester. While the Ice Cream Social allows an opportunity for interdisciplinary fellowship at UK, events like the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition allow graduate students to compete locally for a chance to participate in the national championship.
One of the main events during the Spring semester is Graduate Student Gala, the Grad Gala is an opportunity to celebrate the work of the GSC Executive Board and Representatives, the Conference Travel, and Research Awards winners, the graduate student who advanced to the National 3MT competition, and UK administrators who have offered exemplary support to the GSC throughout the year. Twice yearly, the GSC coordinates a Trip to the Capital—once to Frankfurt, KY and once to Washington D.C.—for UK students who would like to directly interact with our representatives. Also, in April the GSC organizes Graduate Student Appreciation Week where each day offers a new and fun event geared towards making the end of the semester better for our student body.
Throughout the academic year, professional development workshops are planned with the goal of addressing the current needs of our student body. Such events include the Graduate-Professional Student Leaders Conference and the Life After Grad School Conference. Also, these workshops help to bring students together outside of their disciplines to explore, learn, and be inspired.