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

A: “Katherine Kruckow, 24, Doctoral student in Graduate Biomedical Sciences Microbiology theme.”

Q: What is your role within the organization?

A: “I am one of the two Microbiology theme representatives.”

Q: What responsibilities does that role entail?

A: “Communicating what we do in GBSO with the rest of my theme and sitting on committees to plan events.”

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

A: “About 1 hour per week.”

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 role will help me in the future by teaching me responsibility and how to balance my time better. I am learning how to be a leader and a more well-rounded person. Plus, showing that I am involved in my graduate community both helps me and makes me look better on paper.”

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

A: “It is a good opportunity to get your voice heard. Life as a graduate student can be rough but student organizations help to make graduate life easier by being in a group, making fun events to relax occasionally, and most importantly giving students the power to come together so our voices can be heard on issues that matter for us.”

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

A: “Leadership positions in student organizations help prepare students for future jobs by teaching responsibility and how to lead others.”

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

A: “You have to manage your time efficiently. Balance is crucial to graduate school life and juggling another hat just adds to the balancing act. Time management and effective planning allows for balancing many things at once that lead more fulfilling career/life.”

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

A: “I’m a member of ASM at UAB, an avid reader and I dabble in rock climbing occasionally.”