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Graduate Student Association

Established in 1968, the Graduate Student Association (GSA) is the original campus-wide graduate student organization. Every graduate degree program on campus is eligible to have a representative at monthly meetings, where we plan professional development opportunites and discuss issues relating to academic policies and processes across campus.

The GSA President serves as a senator on the Graduate Faculty Senate (GFS), the elected representative body of the university’s Graduate Faculty. In this role, the GSA President works with the other senators on regulations concerning graduate students and graduate programs in accordance with the University of Missouri’s Collected Rules and Regulations (300.010 E.4).

As part of our service mission, GSA organizes professionalization programs and events designed to help graduate students build leadership skills become highly competitive in a dynamic workforce. Our signature programs include CV/Docs, Professionalization Week, and Scholarly Working Groups.

We view graduate students holistically and recognize the need for work/life integration. Through our socialization and networking events, we provide an outlet for graduate students and their families to meet and network with colleagues outside of their discipline.

To support graduate student travel to professional conferences, we offer travel grants in quarterly funding cycles.

How can I join?

To become a member of GSA, you can elect a representative via your departmental graduate student organization. If you are not part of a departmental graduate student organization, you can volunteer to be an at-large representative. Simply attend one of our meetings and mention to the board that you would like to join as an at-large representative.


Email us directly at  and let us know!

Mission & Purpose

The purpose of the Graduate Student Association is:

  1. To represent graduate student interests to the graduate students, faculty, and administration through interdepartmental exchange and through projects and programs designed to facilitate research and learning on the part of graduate students.
  2. To enhance the academic pursuits of graduate students by supporting, creating, and promoting professionalization events of interest to graduate students.
  3. To enhance the social lives of graduate students by supporting and promoting cultural events of interest to graduate students.
  4. To support graduate students on a departmental level through allocating available funds and making funds for programming on a departmental or interdepartmental level available.
  5. To support special projects and programs.

GSA Signature Programs

This is your opportuntity to have your CV or resume reviewed by a faculty member! Priority given to students entering the job market this year. It’s free. You must pre-register and submit your CV at least a week prior to event. Faculty interested in volunteering shoudl use the registration form below. Learn more about CV Docs.

Spring 2018 CV Docs will be March 7th! Click the learn more link to get more details about this semester’s event.

The Writers’ Room is a scholarly working group for graduate students and postdocs. Held in Ellis Library, this program includes short presentations by faculty writers and Ellis Library staff; a self-enroll Canvas Organization with DIY study materials; a dedicated writing space; optional debrief sessions where writers share their progress toward goals (and frustrations!) The presentations, called “15 Minute Modules” will be recorded live and stored in Canvas. By using Canvas, we have paved the way to include online grad students and those who need/prefer to work from home.

Professionalization Week (coming in 2017) will be a week-long event for graduate students pursing career within and beyond the academy.


CV Docs is an annual event sponsored by the Graduate Student Association. It affords graduate students the opportunity to have their CVs reviewed by a faculty member. Master’s-degree and PhD Candidates seeking either academic or private-sector jobs are eligible to participate with priority given to those students presently on the job market and those entering it in the coming year. CV Docs is offered at no cost, thanks to the generosity of our volunteer faculty members and post-doc fellows. Students that have registered for this event will submit their CVs at least a week prior to event for the selected faculty member for review. Watch our Facebook page or events page for the next session of CV Docs

Spring 2018 CV Docs

CV Docs will be Wednesday, March 7th from 10am-2pm.

If you are interested in participating in CV Docs and you are a graduate or post-doctoral student please click here for the Registration Form.

Resources for Crafting an Excellent CV

Below are some helpful resources to aid you in the crafting of your CV Docs to have them be reveiwed for the event or you can use these resources to aid in the crafting of your CV in general.

*Resumes and CV’s are different in nature.

GSA Executive Board


Sarah Senff

Department: Theatre

Sarah Senff is a PhD candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies who hails from Ohio. She is an artist-scholar who uses applied theatre techniques to intervene in issues of discrimination, public health, and health communication. She currently serves as Associate Director of the Center for Applied Theatre and Drama Research and Managing Director of the Troubling Violence Performance Project, both here at MU. She recently completed a term serving MU’s graduate employees as Co-Chair of the Coalition of Graduate Workers. Sarah hopes to advance offerings and services for scholars planning to pursue careers outside the academy during her term as GSA President, so please feel free to send her suggestions and ideas as they arise.

Vice President

Jesse Wyatt

Department: Chemistry

Jesse Wyatt is a PhD candidate in the department of Chemistry.  Originally from Illinois, Jesse moved to Columbia after receiving a M.S. in Molecular Biology.  He currently serves as President of the Chemistry Graduate Student Organization and is working on establishing STEM outreach within the department. Jesse is interested in bio-organic and biochemical processes as they relate to health and disease. His current research focuses on understanding how genetic mutations in disease affect the structure of proteins.


Eric Scott

Department: English

Eric O. Scott studies creative nonfiction writing and medieval studies as a PhD candidate in the department of English. He writes about Paganism, pilgrimage, vikings, wilderness and growing up in St. Louis. His work appears monthly in The Wild Hunt, the leading Pagan news site, and he is a contributing editor for the literary journal Killing the Buddha. Eric has served the graduate employees of MU as Co-Chair of the Coalition of Graduate Workers since 2015. His middle name is not Odin.


Duke Cruz

Department: Philosophy

“Duke was born and raised in the mountain and desert landscapes of Utah. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, and went on to earn his Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. At the University of Missouri-Columbia he continues this educational journey in pursuit of his Ph.D. in Philosophy. His areas of interest include logic, the philosophy of logic, and the history of philosophy. Music is Duke’s second love, and he enjoys playing, listening to, composing, and producing music often. Outside of these things Duke enjoys the simple yet all too often overlooked things in life like cooking and eating great food, good conversation, watching movies, and being with those he loves”

Director of Public Relations

Blake Willoughby

Department: Theatre

Blake Willoughby is a masters student in the department of Theatre. Originially from Phenix City, AL, Blake moved to Columbia after receiving his B.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Theatre at Auburn University in 2016. He is a former company member and Assistant Artistic Director of Mosaic Theatre Company at Auburn University, where the company created theatre pieces about personal stories dealing with diversity and social justice. Blake is an Associate Director at the Center for Applied Theatre and Drama Research at MU, where he helps lead the Interactive Theatre Troupe here at MU. His research interests include diversity, politics, public policy, undergraduate growth, and applied theatre.

Fundraising Chair

James Larsen

Department: Human Development & Family Sciences

James Larsen is doctoral student in the department of Human Development & Family Sciences.  Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, James moved to Columbia to earn his bachelor’s degree from MU.  During his senior year, James became intrigued by academic work, and gained experience working in an early child development research lab.  James is pursuing a career in academia, and is particularly interested in studying preschoolers’ problem-solving skills and creativity, nature-based learning, and school readiness.  In his free time, he enjoys gardening, hiking, listening to live music, and studying martial arts.

For a list of past GSA Executive Officers and photos, please see the GSA History section.

GSA Executive Board History

Fall 2016 – Spring 2017

  • President – Kate Perry
  • Vice President – Rachel Owen
  • Secretary – Michelle “Ivey” Livek
  • Treasurer – Brittany Presson-Tatum
  • Director of Public Relations – Kate Busselle

Spring 2016

  • President – Kenneth Bryant, Jr
  • Vice President – Kate Perry
  • Secretary – Chuka Nestor Emezue
  • Treasurer – Carrie Winship
  • Public Relations Officer – Kate Busselle

Fall 2015

  • President – Kenneth Bryant, Jr
  • Vice President – Angela Uriyo
  • Secretary – Chuka Nestor Emezue
  • Treasurer – Carrie Winship
  • Public Relations Officer – Monica Godbee

The 2015 GSA Executive Board (from left to right): President Kenneth Bryant, Jr., Treasurer Carrie Winship, Public Relations Officer Monica Godbee, Vice President Angela Uriyo, and Secretary Chuka Nestor Emezue.


  • President – Maxwell Philbrook
  • Vice President – Gretchen Stricker
  • Secretary – Rachel Bauer
  • Treasurer – Monica Kearney/Sarah Lirley McCune
  • Public Relations Officer – Matt McCune

The 2014 GSA Executive Board (from left to right): Vice President Gretchen Stricker, President Maxwell Philbrook, Treasurer Sarah Lirley McCune, Public Relations Officer Matt McCune and Secretary Rachel Bauer.


  • President – Matt Cook
  • Vice President – Lauren Fath
  • Secretary – Jacob Washburn
  • Treasurer – Monica Kearney
  • Webmaster – Patrick Spencer/Gretchen Stricker


  • President – Erica Thieman
  • Vice President – Adam Marx
  • Secretary – Marissa Fugate
  • Treasurer – Matt Cook
  • Webmaster – Patrick Spencer


  • President – Meredith Dorneker
  • Vice President – Emily Walter
  • Secretary – Jamie Christianson
  • Treasurer – Jordan Dawdy


  • President – Meredith Dorneker
  • Vice President – Stephanie Kartalopolous
  • Secretary – Jamie Christianson
  • Treasurer – Jordan Dawdy

General Council

Each month while the University is in session, the GSA General Council will meet on the last Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm in Gwynn Hall, Room 220.

The GSA General Council is a body open to representation from every graduate department or area on the University of Missouri campus whose charge it shall be to approve major budget expenditures, amend the GSA constitution and/or by-laws, make resolutions on key issues, elect officers, and act as the forum for graduate student interaction.

Each department or degree granting area (if autonomous from any department) shall be eligible for representation according to the following schedule:

  • 1 to 100 full and/or part-time graduate students – 1 vote
  • 101 to 200 full and/or part-time graduate students – 2 votes
  • 201 to 300 full and/or part-time graduate students – 3 votes
  • etc

GSA officers shall not serve as departmental representatives or serve as a proxy for absent representatives.


The GSA Constitution states the following about committees:

Standing Committees

Specific concerns and issues within the General Council and among graduate students in general are to be met through the employment of specific-task committees. These committees shall be charged with establishing and prioritizing goals, keeping the General Council and the Executive Board informed of the progress made in meeting these goals. Permanent standing committees shall include: 1) Academic Affairs; 2) General Council Membership and Orientation; 3) Publications; and 4) Teaching/Research Assistant Concerns. Other standing committees may be appointed by the president as the need is perceived or as directed by the General Council or Executive Board.

Temporary Committees

Concerns and issues which are perceived as short-term may be delegated to committees with a limited duration. Examples of such committees include: 1) constitution/by-law revision; 2) new officer nomination; and 3) needs assessment survey. All such appointments are to be made by the president as he/she sees the need, or as directed by General Council or Executive Board. Such appointment shall be for a specified but renewable period of time.

Active Standing Committees

The GSA Executive Board developed the following committees to better serve the GSA General Council.

Academic Affairs Committee

Chair: GSA President

Programming Committee

Chair: GSA Vice President

Fiscal Committee

Chair: GSA Treasurer

Membership Committee

Co-Chairs: GSA Secretary and Public Relations Officer

External Committees

Administrators and other campus organizations often request that GSA representatives serve on their committees so our voices are heard. The GSA President also serves on the Graduate Faculty Senate.

GSA Constitution

GSA Constitution Last updated July 2017

Travel Grants

GSA offers assistance for graduate students at the University of Missouri to travel to research conferences or professional development meetings.

The maximum travel award for an academic conference is $200 and for professional development is $100.

After you travel to such an event, you can submit an application to GSA for partial reimbursement if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Travel grant application

The travel grant application process has changed. Click here to download the travel grant application.

Please note that you will need to submit your completed application package to the GSA mailbox located in Room 210 of Jesse Hall.

A complete travel grant application now includes:

  • A completed travel grant application form (with a real signature, i.e., not a photocopied or digital signature);
  • A personal statement detailing why this conference was beneficial to you and your professional goals. Please fill this out thoughtfully and thoroughly as it will be heavily considered in the travel grant process.
  • Abstract/outline/written description of your presentation (or explanation of reasons for attending the professional development activity);
  • A photocopy of the page(s) on the conference program that includes your name and activities;
  • The original receipts (airplane ticket, hotel, etc.) for expenses you are asking to be reimbursed. An acceptable receipt must show the amount and form of payment. For air travel, include your credit card or bank statement that includes the payment (blacking out sensitive information) as well as the original boarding pass. Reimbursement for airfare CANNOT be awarded if the original boarding pass is not provided. For hotel or registration fee, the receipt from the hotel or professional association is fine so long as it shows your payment (and not just the charges).
  • *IMPORTANT NOTICE* The credit card or bank statement showing the payment for any type of expense. Note well: make sure the bank statement contains your name. And if the bank statement does not have your name on it, then provide proof that you are an authorized user of the account. Or if the account is someone else’s who you reimbursed then see the tab on this webpage entitled “Eligibility” and the section entitled “Grant Awards on Indirect Purchases. (Please be aware this information is not located on the travel application, but is important to follow.)

Eligibility for travel grants

Eligible travel

The majority of applicants use grants to attend academic conferences. GSA travel grants can also be applied to activities related to professional development, such as workshops, pre-conference activities, acting as invited speaker (when costs of the trip are not already covered by the inviter), and when you must attend a meeting to fulfill obligations as an officer of a professional organization.

Eligible expenses

GSA travel grants allow reimbursement for conference registration fees (not including professional organization membership fees), lodging, airplane tickets, airport parking, transport to the airport, and mileage when driving (check current reimbursement rates). Considering the limited dollar amount of award the GSA can provide, they can virtually always be limited in application to these main categories of expenses. We do not provide reimbursements for meals, and reimbursements for gasoline are not usually provided.

International purchases

Since your credit card or bank statement converts your international purchases into dollars, providing it as your receipt for international travel makes processing simpler for the accountants and therefore is likely to make the application process go more smoothly.

Student eligibility criteria

  • Students from academic programs overseen by the Office of Graduate Studies fall under the jurisdiction of GSA (see the full list of Graduate Academic Programs). If your academic department/program is one of these academic programs, you are eligible to apply and receive an award.
  • Individuals who have not previously received a travel grant from the GSA have priority for grants.

Grant awards on indirect purchases

GSA cannot directly award a grant to a person with whom you travel who is not a current University of Missouri graduate student, such as a professor, a family member, or a friend who is not a graduate student.

However, as a Mizzou graduate student you can be reimbursed for the share of the expenses for which you reimbursed the party on the original receipts. Please submit:

  • A copy of the original receipt and bank statement (or other proof of purchase) from the other party that details what they purchased;
  • signed and dated letter from the other party confirming that you reimbursed him or her, including the amount;
  • Documentation of the reimbursement, such as a copy of the check paid to the other party, a receipt of cash payment, or a credit card or bank statement.

Application process


GSA evaluates travel grant applications four times a year:

CycleTravel DatesGrant Deadlines*Awarded By
IDec 15 – Mar 14Mar 30May 15
IIMar 15 – Jun 14Jun 30Aug 15
IIIJun 15 – Sep 14Sep 30Nov 15
IVSep 15 – Dec 14Dec 30Feb 15

Turn in your completed application package to the GSA mailbox located in 210 of Jesse Hall. Please address the application to the GSA Treasurer.

*If the grant deadline falls over a weekend, the deadline will be extended to the next available business day.

If submitting by off-campus mail, mail to:

GSA Treasurer
c/o The Office of Graduate Studies
University of Missouri
210 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211

After you submit

Checks will be dispersed two to six weeks after the travel grants are reviewed. The wide range of expectation for dispersal is due to the variable workload of the University’s accounting department.


The GSA General Council meets on the last Tuesday of each month during the Fall and Spring semesters (i.e., Aug-Nov and Jan-Apr).  The meetings are currently being held at 6:00 pm in Switzler Hall, Room 101, but that is subject to change.

The GSA Departmental Representative roles and responsibilities are highly valuable to GSA’s strategic mission.

For the most up-to-date meeting information, please  us to be added to our email distribution list, Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter.

2017 Meeting Minutes







The Graduate Student Association honors exceptional graduate students with GSA Outstanding/Superior Graduate Student Awards.

Each department’s graduate student association/organization and Director of Graduate Studies can nominate one student for the GSA awards.  The top two nominations in each category, selected by the GSA Executive Officers, are awarded the Superior Graduate Student Award.

The GSA Executive Officers may not be nominated for the award and may not write a letter of recommendation for other nominees.  Past GSA Superior Award winners are not eligible for the award again (even if that has mistakenly occurred in the past).

For a list of past award winners and photos, please see the Awardees page and Award Banquetpage.

Former GSA President Kenneth Bryant and Xinhui Wang, GSA’s 2015 Superior Graduate Student Award Recipient

Nominations will be due Friday March 31, 2017 at 11:59pm CST.


Award Application Guidelines


– Outstanding Graduate Student Award Representative Nomination Form


– Superior Graduate Student Award Guidelines (for DGS)

– Superior Graduate Student Award Nomination Form (to be completed by DGS)

Past Awardees

Superior and Outstanding Graduate Student/Faculty Award Winners

GSA Superior Graduate Student Award

Aurelia Mouzet
Pamela Otsby

GSA Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Connor Lewis
Matt McCune

GSA Superior Graduate Student Award

Milbre Burch, Theatre
Adam Galovan, Human Development and Family Studies
Jesse Kremenak, Physics and Astronomy

GSA Superior Graduate Faculty Award

Dr. Tracy Kitchel, Agricultural Education and Leadership
Dr. Joshua Millspaugh, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
Dr. Lois Huneycutt, History

GSA Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Jorge Castorena
Andrew Cravens
Debajan Das
Lauren DiSalvo
Amanda Nell Edgar
Drew Kurlowski
Sarah Lirley McCune
Nicholas Sievert
Grant Connette
Lauren Fath
Adam Marx

GSA Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award

Dr. Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz
Dr. Gene Barabtarlo
Dr. James Endersby
Dr. Christine Proulx

GSA Superior Graduate Student Award

Luise T. King, Biomedical Sciences
Maxwell Philbrook, English
Hayley Treloar, Psychological Sciences

GSA Superior Graduate Faculty Award

Dr. Salman M. Hyder, Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Jere Gilles, Rural Sociology
Dr. Joshua J. Millspaugh, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences

GSA Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Shashi Gajara, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Tomas Nicolas, Romance Languages and Literatures
Sachidevi Puttaswamy, Biological Engineering
Christopher Rota, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
Megan Fitzsimmons, Human Development and Family Studies
Nathan Madden, Political Science
Amanda Sims, Rural Sociology

GSA Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award

Dr. Bruce Bartholow, Psychological Sciences
Dr. Carol Gilles, Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum
Dr. Michael Ugarte, Romance Languages and Literatures
Dr. Michele Warmund, Plant Sciences
Dr. Signe Cohen, Religious Studies
Dr. Marilyn Coleman, Human Development and Family Studies
Dr. Joanna Hearne, English
Dr. Thomas G. Johnson, Truman School of Public Affairs
Dr. Azlin Mustapha, Food Science Program

GSA Awards Banquet

Aurelia Mouzet and GSA President Kenneth Bryant Jr.

Pamela Otsby and and GSA President Kenneth Bryant Jr.

Connor Lewis and GSA President Kenneth Bryant Jr.

Matt McCune and GSA President Kenneth Bryant Jr.

Contact Us

The preferred method of contact is the .
Graduate students, faculty and staff can also email the GSA Officers with specific questions.

Executive Board Office Hours, Fall 2017

GSA has a space in the CSI located on the second floor of the MU Student Center. Our desk space is B2 and you can visit any of the officers during their office hours below to ask questions or make comments.

President Sarah Senff: Tuesday’s 4-6pm

Vice-President Jesse Wyatt: Friday’s 9-11am

Secretary Eric Scott: Monday’s 10am-12pm

Treasurer Duke Cruz: Friday’s 12:30-2:30pm

Director of Public Relations Blake Willoughby: Wednesday’s 10am-12pm

Fundraising Chair James Larsen: Tuesday’s 11:30am-1:30pm

Graduate Student Association
210 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211

Note: All GSA travel grant applications MUST be submitted to the GSA mailbox ln 210 Jesse Hall.

Watch the GSA Facebook page for events and follow us on Twitter (@MizzouGSA).

Become a part of GSA! Every department on campus should have a graduate student organization that sends a Representative to GSA meetings. If you are not part of a departmental graduate student organization, you can volunteer to be an at-large representative. Simply attend one of our meetings and tell the GSA Board that you would like to become an at-large representative.

Get engaged in GSA – it looks great on your CV or resume!