Dear ASTR Graduate Student Caucus (GSC) Membership:
Happy new academic year! We are just over a month away from the next conference and our committees have been hard at work preparing some exciting happenings for Portland, November 2015.
First, the ASTR GSC has a few tips for conference registration, which is now open at http://www.astr.org/event/ASTR2015. Within the registration, you may also sign up for the annual Mentorship Breakfast, which is a wonderful opportunity to meet senior scholars and to find resources to help you through your graduate studies (see Mentorship Committee below). Additionally, a limited number of graduate students may secure a Student Fellowship to defray conference registration fees; fellowship recipients are required to provide 6 hours of volunteer assistance during the conference. See http://www.astr.org/default.asp?page=15_Fellowship for registration and more information.
ASTR Executive Committee and GSC Cabinet Updates:
President / Rep. to the ASTR Executive Committee: Kellen Hoxworth (Stanford University)
Vice President / Rep. to the Annual Conference Committee: Stephanie Vella (The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
Vice President / Rep. to the Committee on Conferences: Michelle Salerno (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Secretary and Historian: Sarah Campbell (Indiana University)
Rep. to the Committee on New Paradigms in Graduate Education: Haddy Kreie (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Building on the work of recent GSC Presidents Michelle Cowin-Mensah (2013-2014), Kellyn Johnson (2012-2013), and David Calder (2011-2012), the 2014-2015 GSC Executive Committee has prioritized institutional stability and communication. Earlier this year, the GSC applied to the ASTR Executive Committee for an annual budget in support of our various events at the annual conference, such as those organized by the Peer Mentorship & Networking Committee (see below); the ASTR Executive Committee has graciously granted the request. The GSC seeks the participation of graduate student constituents at its annual meeting during the 2015 conference. The annual meeting will be held on Friday, November 6 at 8 pm. We hope to hear ideas and concerns about graduate student issues in the field and to discuss potential new initiatives for the GSC next year.
In addition to the work of the GSC Executive Committee, the GSC organizes several committees to assist with graduate students leading up to and during the annual conference.
ASTR GSC Committee Updates:
Co-Chairs: Katie Turner (University of California, Irvine), Guy Zimmerman (University of California, Irvine)
The Mentorship Committee organizes and runs our annual Mentorship Breakfast, to be held the Friday morning of the conference. The Mentorship Breakfast is an opportunity for graduate students to meet with faculty who can share their perspectives and expertise; it functions as a key node within the mentorship network of the annual conference. We are hoping to have an even greater number of participants this year. The sign-up for the Mentorship Breakfast is included in the annual conference registration, through a portal to a separate registration form. Please register for the Mentorship Breakfast through the general ASTR registration form, if you are interested. If you have additional questions, please contact the Mentorship Committee at GSCmentorship@astr.org.
Peer Mentorship & Networking Committee:
Co-Chairs: Shamell Bell (University of California, Los Angeles), Mika Lior (University of California, Los Angeles)
The Peer Mentorship & Networking Committee complements the Mentorship Committee by focusing on peer-to-peer engagement at the annual ASTR conference. The chairs will organize several events throughout the conference to create spaces for graduate student community building and to allow graduate students to network in the field. These events will include: a “Welcome to ASTR” Graduate Student Reception prior to the Opening Night Reception on Thursday evening; the annual President’s Reception for Emerging Scholars on Friday evening, following the annual GSC meeting; and, the annual Peer Mentorship Coffee/Tea Break on Saturday afternoon. More information about these events—and the GSC in general—will be available at the GSC Peer Mentorship & Networking table in the hallway of the conference hotel.
Conference Assistance Committee:
Co-Chairs: Lauren Graffin (University of Ulster) and Shelby Brewster (University of Pittsburgh)
The Conference Assistance Committee works with graduate student volunteers to assemble our annual conference assistance packet. This guide provides all attendees with host city information, food and eatery locations, local arts and entertainment, as well as offer helpful guidance for first-time ASTR attendees on navigating through a successful conference experience. The packet will also have information regarding specific graduate student events occurring throughout the conference. It will be available online prior to the conference and will be included in the conference packet.
Web Resources Committee:
Chair: Sara Taylor (Indiana University)
The Web Resources Committee operates our social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) and facilitates the circulation of relevant information, events, etc., to graduate students off-site from the annual conference. Over the past two years, Web Resources has worked closely with the New Paradigms in Graduate Education initiative to publish interviews with PhDs from theatre and performance studies who have pursued Alt-Ac (alternative academic) Careers. See http://www.astr.org/blogpost/989214/New-Paradigms-in-Graduate-Education for more details.
In all, we have worked to make resources available to graduate students in general and to making the annual ASTR conference a richer space for graduate students and their research. We look forward to seeing you there!
In closing, I would like to thank President Heather Nathans, the members of the Executive Committee, and Ewald Consulting (ASTR Administator). I would like to extend a special thank you to Heather Nathans for her continued assistance and dedication to the GSC and to graduate student issues throughout her presidency.
I would also like to congratulate Stephanie Vella (Graduate Center, City University of New York) on being elected our next President of the GSC. Stephanie will also serve as representative to the ASTR Executive Committee. Her term will begin in November 2015 and end in November 2016.
Elections for the 2015-2016 GSC Cabinet will open in early October. Please keep an eye out for announcements. In addition, President-Elect Stephanie Vella will select chairs and co-chairs for 2015 available committees. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, concerns, and/or requests for more information on how you can get involved with the GSC. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, including if you are interested in chairing/co-chairing Web Resources, Mentorship, or Conference Assistance Committees.
It has been a pleasure serving as the 2014-2015 GSC President. I am thankful to the ASTR membership and the ASTR Executive Committee for their dedicated support of graduate student interests. For more information on ASTR and GSC, please visit our website at www.astr.org. The GSC and I are eagerly anticipating the 2015 annual conference; we hope to see you all in Portland!
Graduate Student Caucus President and Representative to the Executive Committee, American Society for Theatre Research
Doctoral Candidate, Stanford University