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.

katelyn dunigan fullQ: What is your name, age and program of study?

A: "Katelyn Dunigan, 25, and I’m a PhD candidate in GBS-Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology."

Q: What is your role within the organization?

A: "Travel Grant and Emergency Loan Officer."

Q: What responsibilities does that role entail?

A: "I run both the semester travel grant for the GSG organization and the Emergency Loan Program that is open to all graduate students."

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

A: "Four to five hours a month."

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 this leadership position I am getting a lot of experience managing grants and loan applications. It will be helpful in the future since I plan on becoming a grant program officer. In this role, I have become more organized and effect at time management, and a connection for graduate students to be able to help students succeed."

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

A: "It provides you with the opportunity to meet friends, build professional and personal connections and it looks fantastic on a CV."

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

A: "You should get involved in leadership positions that fit your personality, but it also provides an outlet from the day-to-day work that is demanded of a graduate student."

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

A: "My calendar with reminders! I schedule everything that I need to do in it or else I will forget!"

Q: What else do you do?

A: "I am additionally a member of GBSO, a mentor in women and stem, and a GBSO international mentor. I volunteer semi-regularly at the Children’s of Alabama NICU. I don’t have a family of my own, but I have a fantastic family, friends and boyfriend that keep me happy!"