Graduate Student Collaborative
2017-2018 Year End Report
This year, the Graduate Student Collaborative (GSC) has grown as a College Club and a student organization in many ways. We had a very ambitious agenda from which we worked on this year. The following are some of the accomplishments and challenges.
Presenting at conferences and participation in college events
Again, the Executive team worked to present on Leadership Challenges at the annual ESC Academic Conference. Our proposal was accepted. For reason beyond our control (the Conference was cancelled) we were unable to present. However, we were able to re-write the proposal and our thematic presentations and instead presented this at the annual Wellness Retreat. Claudia Parrington, our Social Media representative created creative and inspiration Leadership Tool kits to remind guests of ways to be confident leaders and provide a sense of safety for the people they lead. President Salie Davis, Secretary Lynn Ann Hinds McCoy, and our treasurer Elenora Levin, all presented segments on personal leadership challenges and lessons learned on being a healthy leader. Attendance at this year’s presentation exceeded last year. We are looking into live streaming future presentations done by the GSC board. The GSC board also represented the GSC at college mixers, participated in many college events and presented at several ESC events and other conferences independently.
We worked tirelessly on the 2018 Diversity Forum that focused on students with Disabilities. The Forum required a lot effort in the planning and coordination. Regardless of the high amount of energy and time this required, we continued to move forward in the midst of uncertainty as we saw this as a primary responsibility as a Graduate Student Project. We successfully identified a few students (one of which was of Caribbean heritage), to provide students with successful and meaningful discussion about topics ranging from: being a disabled student, participating in learning through using adaptive technologies, parenting a disabled child, and a historical perspective of disabilities in education. The Forum was rich and diverse in perspectives and engaged the student body as we had many questions for the panelists. We were able to engage participants through the use of distance technology and social networking tools.
Promoting opportunities for members to present, host and participate in college events
Scheduling and college wide tasks and responsibilities provided us with a road map for making this effort easier in the future. We have decided that a schedule should be developed by the beginning of the Fall term with all target dates, and that we will try to enlist the help and support of the Chief Diversity Officer for college efforts to be more integrated resulting in better performance and follow through with college personnel for coordinating technology at meeting sites. A challenge we have identified is declining student participation at sites across the state and we believe using the assistance of the Chief Diversity Officer will increase participation.
Membership meetings and administrative tasks
We continued to hold monthly meetings for Graduate Students to participate in planning and development. The meetings were changed from a phone call “free conference” line to the use of Zoom for meeting. Our Graduate student participation rates in calls remained average to previous years but had far less technical difficulties. Our meetings and GSC activities were posted on the GSC Facebook and we used the college wide email. Our Social Media representative, Claudia Parrington was phenomenal in her role. All the meetings were recording, transcribed and posted by the Secretary, Lynn Ann Hinds McCoy. Her efforts and progress are to be noted. Everything we discussed and planned for was reported with excellence in her recording of meetings and is transparent for all future GSC leaders. The Treasurer, Elenora Levin paid all of bills and we remained well within our budget. Even though she graduated, she continued and did an impeccable job managing our accounts and preparing our application for next year’s budget. We reimbursed travel grants and look forward to more applications next year and this has been included in our proposed budget. Finally, the President, Salie Davis with the vision, tenacity and determination of the other Executive Team members, dramatically transformed the way our business is done, disseminated and archived through the use of many different means of using new and engaging technologies for networking. and career building opportunities. Walk -in 3D websites are currently being explored even as the technology is in its beginning stages of development. Partnerships are being created with other clubs and organizations to better serve member needs.
Exploring opportunities for members to collaborate, network and share
The burgeoning field of 3D interactive approaches using virtual worlds was developed so that students, and alumni as well as faculty can collaborate, display and present projects, network, and grow as a community despite barriers of distance. Virtual Environments and the use of technology can be an effective way to bridge distances to actively engage participants in collaboration, networking, and learning opportunities on an interpersonal level. President Salie Davis has designed the Island on Kitely, SUNY ESC GSC, and has created pictorial and video support demonstrating its current and potential interactive uses and benefits. The virtual meeting space was initiated in April 2018. The build was completed by May 2018 and has since that received more than twenty five individual avatar visits. It has also been successful in increasing membership and on May 30th was featured in a reputable educators blog, Virtual Outworlding by Selby Evans, focusing on the support of opportunities in collaboration and networking using emerging technologies. The island is currently on standby until the Fall semester when it will again be available for use.
We are always exploring other opportunities using technology to better organize and serve our members. The use of Google has been instrumental in saving all documents and meetings. The Website has been updated and missing documents are now stored there. All of the Social technologies that have been or are currently used (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, WordPress, Kitely) are now on a Master list for the college and all future GSC Board members to access and use. The college wide email was problematic and this remains a challenge however as the college rolls over to the Banner System we hope sharing information and posting events improves. We also hope to create a professional page on Linkedin to support career building and interests of our members.
Our Faculty Advisor has been a valuable resource for helping us to make the Graduate Forum continue and ways to look at the future of the GSC. We have asked for the help of Dr. Eileen O’Connor to join and help serve as a Co-Faculty Advisor to assist during times when Dr. Rogers is not available. In looking to the future, our goals and developed budget for next year identify several areas we would like to address.
The GSC is very interested in student feedback and plans to use surveymonkey to raise awareness of the GSC and to solicit for feedback about what students find helpful and what’s needed.
In order to promote further collaboration and success in the Graduate Forum for next year, the GSC is adding an additional partner in the effort to cooperate and involve other clubs: the Black Male Initiative, and the BMI President Jawana Richardson is eager to be involved.
The GSC will develop a way for Graduate students to become aware of and involved in opportunities to work with professors, be involved in research, and be made ware of scholarship or Grant opportunities.
The GSC plans to award more travel grants to Graduate students.
The GSC is planning to increase membership and participation in the GSC. With clarification of bi-laws we have opened membership up to Undergraduates and Alumni to better serve our goals as a club and member needs. Opening membership to undergraduates will better prepare them for Graduate school and open opportunities for Graduate students to build their portfolio and skills through tutoring and presenting opportunities. Alumni will add to the community by being able to stay aware of the latest trends and talents in their field, while Graduate students will benefit from the experience and networking alumni have to offer
The GSC Board has made some revisions, throughout much of the work this year we identified some amendments that we believed needed to be made to ensure the integrity of the GSC and the election process.Proposed changes to the By-Laws will be put to member vote this summer.
We are sad to be losing some of our board members who are not running for office this year, however they will be appointed as Advisory members and we hope they will be able to share their wisdom with new GSC leaders as their time permits.
Salie Davis, GSC President
Wales Brown, GSC Vice-President