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.

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Q: What is your name, age and program of study?

A: "Gracie Garrett, 25, doctoral student in the Department of Physical Therapy."

Q: What is your role within the organization?

A: "Chair for Communications and Marketing Committee"

Q: What responsibilities does that role entail?

A: "Making sure our events are promoted within the grad school and the GSG itself. I also promote the GSG and work on the social media platforms for the GSG. I hope to get the word out about social events, meetings, community service opportunities, and professional development opportunities in order to connect as many people as possible to the opportunities presented by the GSG."

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

A: "3-5 hours per week right now, but I am just getting started."

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: "I am connecting to so many amazing students through this role. I am learning so much more about the organization of student organizations, and I am learning more what the GSG has to offer to students. I am improving in my skills on graphic designing, event promotion, and many other forms of communication, which will greatly help me throughout my career, especially if I decide to start my own clinic someday."

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

A: "Student organizations are there to serve the students. I have seen already how many events exist for professional development, community service, networking, and fun. Many of these events are offered for free, which is helpful for the grad student government. Student organizations keep you connected and help to serve you by investing in your development as both a student and a future employee in the workforce."

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

A: "Leadership opportunities can help you grow in professionalism and so many other skills which will be crucial in the workforce someday. Leadership allows you to work in organization and communication with those who may be serving under you. I have already noticed a gain in confidence in leadership after just a few weeks in this position, which will help me personally down the road as a Physical Therapist who may have students or other professionals whom need guidance."

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

A: "Time management is a skill which I am quickly learning. I have realized it is important to delegate tasks so as not to overwhelm myself. I also have to prioritize responsibilities and learn when to say 'no' to lower-priority items."

Q: What else do you do?

A: "I am in the Student Physical Therapy Organization; I assist with research in the Exercise Neuroscience Research Lab; and I am the proud mother of two goldfish."