Join | Contact Us | Print Page | Sign In
Graduate Student Caucus
Group HomeGroup Home Blog Home Group Blogs
Search all posts for:   


View all (29) posts »

Message from GSC President, Michelle Cowin-Mensah

Posted By Michelle Cowin Gibbs, Bowling Green State University, Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 2014

Dear ASTR GSC Membership:

Happy Summer! We are about six months away from the next conference and our committees have been hard at work preparing some exciting happenings for Baltimore, November 2014. Below are a few updates since our last meeting in Dallas.


GSC Executive Committee:

We have proposed some recruitment initiatives in an effort to grow our membership. Led by Sara Boland-Taylor (Rep. to the New Paradigms in Graduate Education), we created a recruitment letter addressed to Theatre and Theatre-related graduate program advisors to introduce the goals and interests of our caucus. We hope to solicit interest in GSC as well as remind ASTR affiliated graduate program advisors of our activities.

Virtual Book Club:
Co-Chairs: Allan Davis (Maryland) and Rita Kompelmakher (Minnesota)

 We are pleased to announce the organization of the 2014 Virtual Book Club. In preparation for an extended discussion at the 2014 ASTR conference in Baltimore, the GSC invites ASTR members at all stages of their careers to participate, reading and discussing a book reflective of an ongoing conversation about new paradigms for graduate education in theatre and performance studies.

We will read and discuss Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius's "So What are You Going to Do with That?": Finding Careers Outside Academia. As book club participants read chapters throughout July, August, and September, GSC officers will guide a forum discussion on a group page on the ASTR website through prompt questions based on the reading. We will consider how to transfer the general advice of the book to the specifics of our training in the fields of theatre and performance studies.

Certainly, this reading will appeal to graduate students considering where they can apply training and education after graduation; however, it is our hope that this virtual book club will also serve junior and senior faculty members of ASTR who are being increasingly asked to mentor students through these new paradigms. Please consider passing along this information to the graduate advisors of your current institutions. This book is a must read for all!

If you would like to sign up to participate in the Virtual Book Club, join us on the ASTR website for an exciting discussion. Please note, you must obtain a copy of the text (electronic or print) to participate. Copies are available online at Amazon $11.43 paperback and $9.99 Kindle edition. ISBN: 978-0226038827.

Conference Assistance Committee:
Co-Chairs: Areum Jeong (UCLA) and Ira Murfin (Northwestern University)

We have a team of graduate students working on creating our annual conference assistance packet. This guide will provide 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.

Peer Mentorship Committee:
Co-Chairs: Shamell Bell (UCLA), Christiana Mulldrem Harkulich (Pitts), and Kellyn Johnson (UC Santa Barbara)

Formally titled, Peer Support Program Committee, the GSC Executive Committee decided to fold the duties of the Mentorship Program in with the Peer Support Program to better and more efficiently serve the needs of our caucus. This year, Peer Mentorship will host our annual Mentorship Breakfast to be held the Saturday morning of the conference. We will also introduce two new networking events in Baltimore with more details to come later. Last year we had 46 mentors and 53 mentees and are hoping to have an even greater number of participants. Sign up for mentor and mentee registration will begin in early September 2014. For more information on how you can get involved with Peer Mentorship, please contact Michelle Cowin-Mensah at

Web Resources Committee:
Chair: Danielle Rosvally (Tufts)

We have folded Graduate Resource Committee into the Web committee, as most of the information that was generated from Graduate Resources was content to be posted on our website and blog activity. Currently this group is working on creating an online recruitment brochure that will include information on each of our committees, as well as additional opportunities to serve in the GSC. If you would like to get involved, contact the committee chair at

Congratulations to Kellen Hoxworth (Stanford) on being elected our next President of the GSC. Kellen will also serve as representative to the ASTR Executive Committee. His term will begin in November 2014 and end in November 2015. Nominations for GSC Executive Committee cabinet positions will begin in September 2014. The following positions will be available for nominations:

GSC Vice President, Representative to the Committee on Conferences

GSC Vice President, Representative to the Annual Conference Committee

GSC Secretary and Historian

GSC Representative to the Committee on New Paradigms in Graduate Education

Any GSC member may be nominated to a leadership position. These positions are a one-year term to begin November 2014 and end November 2015. For elections to be valid, individuals selected must be currently enrolled graduate students both at the time of election and on upon the commencement of their term. If a member holding a leadership position completes their graduate studies during their term, they may continue to serve until the end of the term, provided they remain members of both ASTR and the GSC. For more information on the service obligations of each position, please visit our website at Please feel free to contact me at with questions, concerns, and/or requests for more information on how you can get involved with the GSC. I am beyond thrilled in anticipation of our 2014 annual conference and I hope to see you all in Baltimore!

Many Blessings,

Michelle Cowin-Mensah,
President and Rep. to the Executive Committee,
American Society for Theatre Research Graduate Student Caucus

Tags:  ASTR Baltimore  conference  graduate students  GSC 

Share |
Permalink | Comments (0)
© 2018 American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR). All Rights Reserved.

Home | Member Login | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Contact Us
1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252, St. Paul, MN 55114
Phone: 651-288-3429 | Fax: 651-290-2266 | Email: