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UAB - Graduate School - Meet your Student Leaders: Keyur Savla, Treasurer and Webmaster of the Graduate Student Government
 
Important: The deadline to submit the Doctoral Hooding & Commencement Attendance Form to the Graduate School is Monday, July 16.

The Graduate School has launched another new series called "Meet Your Student Leaders." This series will provide graduate students and postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to get to know the students who run the various graduate student organizations.

keyur savla fullQ: What is your name, age and program of study?

A: "I’m Keyur Savla, 23, and a doctoral student in vision science."

Q: What is your role within the organization?

A: "Treasurer and webmaster."

Q: What responsibilities does that role entail?

A: "The treasurer is responsible for accurate financial records of the GSG, in charge of all financial transactions of the GSG and the GSG checking account and all related tax information. The treasurer also prepares and submits an itemized, monthly budget report to the Senate, including a starting balance, a complete itemized list of income and expenses, and a closing balance in the budget for that period. The role entails reviewing expenditures and revenues at the end of each quarter and making recommendations, based on the funding guidelines established by the Senate, concerning proposed expenditures. The treasurer also submits a yearly financial report at the last regularly scheduled meeting of each Spring Semester. If the University requests an audit, it is the responsibility of the treasurer to arrange for it. The treasurer serves as the chair of the Budget Committee and is responsible for calling the Budget Committee into session at least once every three months. These are all the duties the treasurer has apart from being a member of the executive council which involves its own duties."

Q: How much time do you dedicate to the organization?

A: "About 10 hours per week. This varies depending on time of the year and different events."

Q: How are you benefitting from this leadership position? How will it help you achieve your future career goals? What are you learning from this role?

A: "This leadership position helps me interact with students and staff from across campus. I learn a lot of skills like public speaking, better negotiations, networking, understanding the inner workings of an institution and, above all, it is a lot of fun being involved with other like-minded peers.

This helps me develop some of the most vital skill set that are difficult to develop at a lab bench. For example, managing my own or my lab’s finance, negotiating better deals or offers, understanding people from different backgrounds and learning how to best work with them and the list goes on."

Q: Why should graduate students get involved in student organizations?

A: "Graduate students have a lot going on in their lives with all the course work and most have some part-time job/duties. A student organization provides a way to be involved on campus and have social interactions with other people of similar likes, this not only enhances a set of skills, but it is also mostly free of cost. Most activities are organized in a safe and controlled environment. It also allows for some good networking opportunities and most of the times excellent life-long friends."

Q: Why should graduate students get involved in leadership positions within those student organizations?

A: "Leadership qualities are very helpful in most walks of life. Whether it be leading a team project in a classroom or lab, heading a department at work or just simply being an excellent leader at home. Getting involved in leadership position teaches one how to take control of a situation, how to change a process for a better advantage to the community or simply how to address different problems in life. Everyone can complain that there is a problem, most people can devise effective solutions to a problem, but only a few can effectively implement a solution to solve the problem. Those few are the leaders and getting involved in leadership positions within student organizations will allow you to develop skills required to be a leader."

Q: How do you balance being a graduate student with the responsibilities that come from this leadership position?

A: "I look at the responsibilities not as extra work but as a part of my education and graduate experience at UAB. I believe that my graduate student life should not just be limited to providing me with the necessary skills required in my field but, it should also allow me to develop skills outside the classroom. Yes, sometimes I feel the work is a little overwhelming but, I do it for fun. I enjoy what I do, and it is like a productive break from my studies."

Q: What else do you do?

A: "I am the webmaster for GSG. I am also the graduate student representative for graduate curriculum council (GCC) at UAB; student assistant for the editor-in-chief of a top tier journal in Vision Science; member of the Ballroom Dancing Society; member of Association of Indian Students; volunteer at the Blazer Kitchen; caretaker of the International student’s vegetable patch; member of the American Academy of Optometry UAB Chapter; and an active member of the Honors Society of Phi Kappa Phi."