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Graduate Forum Officers

Graduate students in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences are committed to the well-being of the graduate program and the students who are enrolled in it. Our Graduate Forum has a long history in the Department, helping to socialize new students, contributing to a vibrant and supportive community, providing resources for professional development, and serving as voices on department committees that affect graduate student life.

Listed below, you’ll find the current Graduate Forum Officers, as well as more detailed descriptions of how they support the well-being of our graduate student community.

President: J.J. De La Cruz

The Graduate Forum President manages the Grad Forum checking account and membership dues, as well as officer elections, graduate student office space in 316 Sparks, office supplies, and cubicle assignments. The President also serves on the Welcome Weekend Committee to coordinate graduate student events and volunteers. Along with the Grad Relations position, the President acts as a contact between incoming students and the Department during the summer, answers emails from incoming grads, and is available to meet with them upon their arrival in State College prior to the beginning of the fall semester. The President assists with fundraising and other departmental activities as necessary, representing CAS graduate students in Department matters and to outside organizations like UPAC. The President meets with the Department Head and Director of Graduate Studies concerning graduate student issues, as needed.

Graduate Relations Co-Chairs: Robin Duffee & Dan Lee

The Grad Relations Representative attends meetings of the departmental Graduate Committee and reports minutes of these meetings to Grad Forum as appropriate. The Representative assists the Graduate Committee in information-gathering, and provides the Graduate Committee with graduate student perspectives on items of discussion.  This individual assists the Director of Graduate Studies with new student engagement at NCA, serves on the Welcome Weekend Committee, and assists with planning the Welcome Weekend.  The Grad Relational Representative also compiles and distributes welcome packets for incoming students. Along with the President, this officer acts as a contact between incoming students and the Department during the summer, answers emails from incoming grads, and is available to meet with them upon their arrival in State College prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Service and Social Chair: Mike Delayo

The Service and Social Chair coordinates annual service projects (which include blood drives, yard sales, bell ringing/adopt-a-family annual service, foods and goods drives, and any additional service projects that arise). This individual maintains the graduate student listserv for members of our community who are interested in participating in projects.

The Service and Social Chairs also organizes weekly social activities in conjunction with colloquium and other social events as needed, including crafting and sending evites/invitations. This person organizes "automatic friends" and helps coordinate events for new graduate students in the fall. The Chair also serves on the Welcomet Weekend Committee to assist in coordination of events.

Professional Development Chair: (TBD)

The Professional Development Chair keeps our community apprised of job openings. This individual schedules colloquia, mock interviews, practice job talks, and other activities that pertain to professional development issues. The Chair also posts notices of upcoming conferences and submission deadlines, prepares and distributes conference guides to graduate students, and prepares and distributes a list of department NCA presenters prior to the November conference.

Community Relations Chair: DJ Barger

The Community Relations Chairs attends weekly colloquia and assists the faculty member who is in charge of planning colloquium events by sending out weekly reminders, preparing the technology for the presentation (if necessary), and serving as a liaison between graduate students and faculty regarding colloquium. This individual also keeps track of lectures and talks across the university and posts a weekly/monthly list for other graduate students to access.

Advisory Committee Representative: Rachael Bishop

The Advisory Committee Representative attends meetings of the faculty advisory committee and faculty meetings, reports minutes of those meeting to Grad Forum as appropriate, assists the advisory committee in information-gathering, and provides that committee with graduate student perspectives on items of discussion.