The Communication Graduate Student Association (CGSA) serves as an advocate for graduate students’ interests and seeks to foster a collegial and engaged academic community in CU Boulder’s Department of Communication.
Since its inception in 2002, the association has become the central representative body and has sought to promote the professional development and social well-being of the department’s graduate students. The association serves as an important forum for developing personal and professional relationships with other graduate students; fostering a sense of community and support; representing voices of all graduate students in the department; supporting intellectual and pedagogical interests of graduate students through various programming; promoting diversity and engaging in service activities; communicating relevant information to the department’s graduate student body; and assisting with recruitment, orientation, and integration of incoming and current graduate students.
As an advocate, the association represents interests, concerns and experiences of the department’s graduate student community to the department and to the university. Two members (one PhD student and one MA student) are elected by communication graduate students as Co-Chairs, who act as liaisons to the department chairperson, DGS, faculty and staff on matters of practices and policies affecting the communication graduate student community. As Co-Chairs, they are also representatives for the graduate students at the faculty meetings and, thereby, have a voice in shaping the future of the department. The communication graduate students also select representatives who hold voting positions on departmental committees, including the undergraduate program (Undergraduate Committee Chair), graduate program (Graduate Committee Chair), diversity, equity, and inclusion (Diversity & Inclusion Chair), and various faculty committees, depending on departmental needs (e.g. Hiring Committee, Departmental Review, etc.). A few graduate students are elected to various association positions to ensure clear communication (Communication Chair), enhance organization (Secretary), focus on professional development (Professional Development Chair), create community through social events (Co-Social Chairs, 2 students), and provide teaching and pedagogy practices (Lead T.A.). Graduate students who take on leadership positions within the CGSA gain valuable administrative experience, and are provided the opportunity to engage with the communication graduate community.
In line with the organization’s purposes, the CGSA initiates a variety of programs and activities to buttress communication graduate students’ academic pursuits through community, mentorship, professional development and outreach. The CGSA serves an important role by gathering graduate students for social events that are intended to develop personal and professional relationships with other graduate students and to foster a sense of community and collegiality. The CGSA also provides opportunities for graduate students to pursue intellectual discussion together in less formal ways. Committed to professional development, the CGSA sponsors lecture and workshop series, participates in service activities and promotes diversity in the community.