Before the start of each academic year, new graduate students are invited to attend the New Student Orientation sponsored by the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Organization (GSO). This year, attendance reached a record high of approximately 450 new graduate students.
“The GSO is excited to enter a new academic year with such an engaged student population. We look forward to another productive and successful year ahead!” said GSO President-elect Xiaoqing Zhang, who led the orientation. Students said that she was relatable and welcoming, which fits perfectly into the GSO’s new campaign: #YouAreWelcomeHere, which aims to encourage diversity on campus and at GSO events.
“I loved hearing about Qing and Ida [International Graduate Student Advocates]. It’s really hard being away from home. I’m glad I know who to reach out to,” said Sumeyra Danisman.
The orientation featured a variety of speakers from different administrative departments and organizations within the University:
Eric Wertheimer, Dean of theGraduate School
Richard Gatteau, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Marisa Bisiani, Assistant Vice President of Student Health, Wellness and Prevention Services
Alfreda James, Assistant Director, Graduate Students & Postdocs, Career Center
Donna Buehler, Director of Ombudsman Office
Patricia Aceves, Assistant Provost for Academic Assessment and Technology
Ashley Porcello, Graduate Advocate
Forrest Bowling, Graduate Career Association
Caitlyn Cardetti, Graduate Women in Science and Engineering
Andrew Dobbyn, Graduate Student Employee, Union
Steven Ketchum, Research Assistant, Union
When asked what they found most helpful about orientation, students reported learning about free healthcare and wellness initiatives on campus as well as receiving information about running for senator of their department.
“I liked learning about the health services that are offered, especially the Medical Advice Line. It’s a lot easier to call than to leave your apartment, especially when you’re sick. Hopefully I won’t get sick this semester, but it’s nice to know I can call if needed,” said Neveen Khalil.
Missed orientation? Keep an eye out for the recently updated Graduate Student Survival Guide, which will be released by the end of September on the GSO website (click Resources at the top).
Here are the slides from the orientation.
If you are interested in anything related to the GSO — benefits, services, how to be involved or who to contact — please visit the website.