The "Meet Your Student Leaders" series provides graduate students and postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to get to know the students who run the various graduate student organizations at UAB.

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Q: Name, age, program, level (master’s or doctoral student)

A: “Christy Killion, 33, GBS – CMDB, Doctoral student.”

Q: What is your role within the organization?

A: “Social Activity Chair.”

Q: What responsibilities does that role entail?

A: “I am responsible for planning and organizing social events to include all graduate students at UAB. We plan 1-2 large socials per semester, and hope to add in monthly socials this year that will be held in multiple locations throughout campus. We also partner with other graduate student organizations to help with socials for their organization.”

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

A: “As much time as needed to make the events happen. This year I will also be delegating many of the smaller socials to my committee members, so if you want to hand out ice cream and make new friends, let me know!”

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: “In my position, I am making new friends, showing that I can organize and plan activities, and carry new ideas into reality. I already feel as though I am constantly learning from this position on how to better my time management skills and meet deadlines. These skills will benefit my future career showing independence and persistence, as well as having the flexibility to evolve and learn from every new event.”

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

A: “Student organizations are a great way to leave the windowless lab and exit the study bubble for a while. They are a great escape from the world of academia, and a wonderful way to make connections and friendships.”

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

A: “A leadership position is the best way to have influences and make changes. It’s pointless to sit and complain when there are opportunities to be involved. The strength of the organization comes from the strength of the leaders, and I would encourage motivated students to seek leadership roles. Also, it’s fun to lead!”

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

A: “The balance comes from planning time for school and meetings. With my busy schedule of juggling school, family and GSG, I rely heavily on my calendar. If it’s not on my Google calendar, it just doesn’t exist.”

Q: What else do you do (member of other organizations, volunteer work, family, etc.)?

A: “I am a wife and a mother to two daughters, 3rd and 6th grade. As a family, we love to travel, visit new states, go camping and especially visit National Sites. My daughters participate in the Junior Ranger program and have around 15 badges from National Parks, Seashores, Monuments, Historic sites, etc. A goal of mine is to visit every state, and every National Park. I volunteer as the director of the handbell choir and substitute Sunday School teacher at the Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills. I also enjoy volunteering at the Ronald McDonald house, and for the annual Girls in Science and Engineering day.”