About PGSA

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The Purdue Graduate Student Association (PGSA) is an organization open to all physics graduate students, with the goal of providing resources for students and opportunities for professional development and social events.  Other goals include opening lines of communication with faculty and administration to help create a more unified physics community.

Each month several PGSA officers meet with the Head of the Physics Department to make sure graduate students' needs, interests, and concerns are shared with the faculty and administration.  Topics we have pursued include the prelim process, and seeing what modifications can be implemented to improve the graduation rate in the department.  Course offerings have primarily been discussed through surveys, and the frequency of several course offerings have changed as a result of these surveys, including Computational Biomolecular Physics, and Biophysics II.   

Several social events are planned throughout the year for graduate students to get together for fun memorable activities.  Through such events, many have strengthened friendships and formed better rapports with colleagues.  A big part of science is socializing with other scientists to share and develop ideas in informal environments.  The Thanksgiving Potluck and Chinese New Year celebration have become staples of the department over the past few years, and the PGSA has the pleasure of planning and contributing to both of these events.  The PGSA also hosts an initial meet and greet with first years in the Fall to help in the transition into the department, help provide some guidance and friendly faces in a long first week.  Each week a volunteer organizes grad coffee, with coffee and cookies provided by the PGSA in conjunction with the department.

The Graduate Students' Seminar Series is managed by the PGSA and provides an opportunity for students to present their research and/or related intro topics without the stress of conferences or meetings.  This represents a great opportunity to see what type of research is done in the department to help find who you may want to collaborate with, as well as to have practice presenting.  

The PGSA is interested in your opinions and suggestions for how the department can be improved.  This can be as basic as more desks in the grad lounge, to a more clear graduate student manual in the department.  If you have any questions or concerns about how things are run in the department, the PGSA committee will happily pursue the topic until there is a satisfactory answer.  We have discussed how the qualifier is implemented, how reviews of professors are recorded and analyzed, and would appreciate more topics that should be clarified and potentially improved upon.

--David Garand (President, PGSA)