Internal Affairs Committee
The Internal Affairs Committee (IAC) is responsible for assessing graduate student needs and advocating for graduate students in university affairs. As a part of their mission, the IAC oversees the GSC’s graduate student advocate program and the GSC’s annual graduate student surveys. While, due to university regulations, the IAC is limited to advocating for issues which affect multiple graduate students and cannot advocate on behalf of individual students, the IAC chair is more than happy to help individual graduate students navigate university bureaucracy to fully utilize the on university resources available to them.
Graduate Student Survey Programs
Every year the IAC administers a series of surveys designed to help us obtain a holistic picture of UK graduate students' financial, personal, social and professional needs. This year, the IAC will also be conducting a survey geared directly towards assessing the unique needs and concerns of first-year graduate students. The reports written by the IAC on these surveys are submitted to members of the UK central administration and are used to inform GSC policy and graduate student advocacy.
Graduate Student Advocate Program
Any UK graduate student who is interested in affecting positive change at the university is encouraged to become a GSC Advocate for their issue of concern. Provided their efforts align with the GSC’s ratified Advocacy and Legislative Platform, GSC Advocates are backed by the GSC and assisted in their advocacy endeavors by the IAC. The current GSC Advocates are as follows:
- Community Nutrition Advocate: Kendra Oo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Cultural Sensitivity Advocate: Jean Branttie (email@example.com)
- Healthcare Advocate: Chelsea Barret (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Inclusion and Diversity in STEM: Nandita Sahajpal (email@example.com)
- International Student Advocate: Melissa Molho (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Mental Health Advocate: Jacob Hempel (email@example.com)
- Transportation Advocate: Edward Lo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Graduate, Professional & Postdoc Mental Health Awareness Week
In an effort to raise awareness about mental health in order to help overcome the stigmas surrounding mental health and mental wellness, last year's Mental Health Advocate proposed hosting a week long series of mental health focused events during the week of the Word Mental Health Awareness Day (October 10). The proposal culminated in the GSC partnering with the UK Graduate School, UK Counseling Center, and the UK Society of Postdoctoral Scholars to create UK's first ever Graduate, Professional & Postdoc Mental Health Awareness Week. This IAC planned program was such a success that the IAC is planning to make the Graduate, Professional & Postdoc Mental Health Awareness Week a yearly function.
Current Chair: Joel Klipfel
For information about the GSC by-law establishing the IAC, please click here.
International Graduate Student Advocate Statement by Melissa Molho
The international graduate student advocate’s task is to work together with the University of Kentucky to build a supportive and successful environment for international graduate students by:
- Listening to the concerns of international graduate students and help them through their graduate studies
- Educating domestic people about the importance of international graduate students
- Promoting cross-cultural experiences to create a collaborative environment
- Communicating any relevant information for international graduate students
- Finding new alternatives to empower international graduate students