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GPSC looks to the future

By Stephanie Corns
Arizona Daily Wildcat
November 19, 1998
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Jennifer Holmes
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Events Director Doug Kay (right) talks about the upcoming Graduate Professional Student Research Conference while Dorothy Massalski listens. GPSC plans the Student showcase during Homecoming week, in which graduate students can present their research work.

Community activism and student promotion are a few of the tasks ahead of the Graduate and Professional Student Council this year.

The 24-student group, started in 1991, operates on a $62,500 budget to bring the work of University of Arizona graduate and professional students into the limelight.

Last month, the GPSC doled out $5,000 for the Homecoming Student Showcase, which attracted 100 participants that displayed research.

The council last night discussed plans for its Feb. 20 Graduate and Professional Student Research Conference that will again showcase students' research.

"It's a great opportunity for professional development," said Kate Werkema, communications director for GPSC.

This year's conference is open to graduates and undergraduates in all departments. The 1997 convention, which was co-sponsored by the English department, attracted many English majors, Werkema said.

Doug Kay, events director and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences representative, said the conference gives students the chance to present their work.

"It provides the students and the community an opportunity to see the research that's going on," Kay said.

The council will also be sponsoring an Internet clearinghouse Jan. 1 to advertise used baby clothing and furniture for sale.

"This service is intended to benefit graduate students, but anyone in the community can post things," said Rhonda Morgan, an optical sciences representative. "It's a place to post your extra things."

The GPSC also sponsors Graduate Students Appreciation Week, which includes a free meal on the UA Mall with entertainment, and Graduate Orientation, which acclimates new students to the campus and Tucson. The two cost about $12,000 combined, said Hope Vilsick-Greenwell, GPSC treasurer.

The committee is deciding how it will raise money for the group's annual child-care fund-raiser.

"We're not sure which way we're going to go with that yet," Vilsick-Greenwell said.

Last year, the council raffled off items donated by local businesses, raising about $1,300. The GPSC was also instrumental in persuading administration to award teaching assistants health care benefits, Vilsick-Greenwell said.

Stephanie Corns can be reached via e-mail at Stephanie.Corns@wildcat.arizona.edu.