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.

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

A: "Jessica V. Jasien and I’m a doctoral student in the Vision Science Graduate Program."

Q: What is your role within the organization?

A: "Graduate Student Government Secretary for 2018-2019."

Q: What responsibilities does that role entail?

A: "My most important responsibility is being a liaison for the GSG executive council and senators and all UAB graduate students."

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

A: "I dedicate as much time is needed to represent UAB GSG on campus and fulfill the need of being a liaison between UAB GSG and graduate students."

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 benefiting in this leadership position by being able to help graduate students get in contact with whomever they may need to speak to within GSG and also helping GSG to be in touch with graduate students and the many opportunities available on campus. By being in a leadership position this will help me in my future career goals of being a leader within a laboratory environment and academic department setting. I have been in this role a short time, but I am learning the many avenues that are needed for a successful student organization and getting everyone involved, as well as sharing all of the opportunities available to all graduate students."

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

A: "Graduate students should be involved in student organizations to have a voice in every aspect of their education and time while at UAB. Every student has the opportunity to make a difference on campus for themselves, current graduate students and future graduate students."

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

A: "Graduate students should get involved in leadership positions within student organizations to share their skills and expertise in certain areas, but also be exposed to many new opportunities available to them to learn new skills and also meet new people."

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

A: "I balance my role as GSG secretary and being a graduate student by being prepared as far in advance as possible for my commitments and meetings. I also be sure to respond to all matters in a timely fashion to be sure that all information is where it needs to be for all organizations and graduate students to achieve what they are seeking."

Q: What else do you do?

A: "I am a part of the GSG Community Service committee, the VSGP Student Representative for the American Academy of Optometry UAB School of Optometry chapter, UAB Women in STEM mentor for UAB undergraduate students, and a Student-Athlete Mentor and Leader for current student-athletes at my alma mater, James Madison University, where I was a collegiate swimmer."