The GSAS Student Center works to connect students to social, intellectual, and recreational activities that help enhance the student experience at GSAS. The Center team runs the GSAS Student Center Fellows program, oversees the 50 GSAS Graduate Student Groups, advises the GSAS Student Council (GSC), manages the GSAS Engage website, and operates the Lehman Hall building.
Before COVID-19 struck, Jackie Yun, the executive director of the GSAS Student Center, planned to expand the reach of the Center to ensure that programming was inclusive of all GSAS students, including those based in Longwood and Allston. “The Center is not just a building,” she says, “it is also a concept.” When GSAS went virtual, the Center’s work truly expanded beyond a building. Through the GSAS Engage website, the Center was able to pivot its programming and support. GSAS Student Center fellows held cooking, dance, and exercise classes, as well as a music potlucks bingo night, trivia competition, and weekly knitting circle. Student leaders held virtual meetings, happy hours, and game nights. As fall quickly approaches, the Center team prepares to create programming and support for students working, learning, and socializing remotely across the globe.
As part of the GSAS Student Center, the GSAS Student Center fellows are a dynamic group of students hired to create programming for GSAS students to make connections beyond the classroom, lab, or library. “The Center showcases fellow programs that speak to identities, cultures, interest, and affinities,” says Yun. For this 2020-2021 academic year, the team is made of up of 30 graduate students representing 10 program areas, with 10 of those fellows returning for another year. “It is nice to have a combination of experienced fellows who have run events for the Center before and new fellows with exciting new ideas,” says Yun. “Both perspectives bring a lot to the team.” Wellness is a new program area this academic year that will focus on programing around all types of wellness. Possible programs might be t hosting yoga classes, offering animal therapy, and holding events related to healthy relationships, sleep, stress-relief, and sexual health.
The 2020-2021 fellows team is dedicated to making each student’s experience at GSAS a memorable one, even if they are physically apart. “This incoming group of fellows will build collaborative partnerships with one another and other student leaders to introduce students to resources that will serve them as graduate students,” says Yun.
As part of the transition between the former and current fellow team, the students developed a mission statement to communicate how their work will leave a positive impact on the students:
The GSAS Student Center Fellows are a team of vibrant and diverse student leaders working to positively impact the lives of students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences by cultivating a community extending beyond academic life. The Fellows collaborate to develop programs for students to engage in rich cultural, artistic, athletic, public service, and social offerings that allow them to make connections across departments, across campuses, across the university, and into the Cambridge community and beyond. Through these programs, the Fellows seek to foster a welcoming and supportive community, where graduate students feel they belong and where they can find activities that connect them to others.
Visit Engage to learn more about the GSAS Student Center fellows. Each program area has its own organization for students to view, join, and RSVP to events.
Visit the GSAS Engage calendar to learn more about student-led events from other student leaders and offices.
GSAS Student Center Fellows, Academic Year 2020–2021
Hogle Coordinating Fellow
Lindsey Brown, SEAS
Mina Gadalla, SEAS
Vaishnavi Patil, History of Art and Architecture
Jiemin (Tina) Wei, History of Science
Gino Domel, SEAS
Ian Hunt-Isaak, SEAS
Athletics and Communications
Maleah Fekete, Sociology
Yi Lu, History
Patrick Emedom-Nnamdi, Biostatistics
Michael Angel Vazquez, Education
Angela Wheeler, Architecture, Landscape and Urban Planning
Sebastian Brass, German
João Marcos Copertino Pereira, Romance Languages and Literature
Christopher Benham, Music — Orchestra
Siriana Lundgren, Music — Choir
Davindar Singh, Music — Jazz
Audrey Wozniak, Music — WMC
Sudarshana Chanda, History
Mona Dai, SEAS
Shivam Raval, Physics
Iman Darwish, History of Science
Matthew Ferranti, Economics
Amy Tsang, Sociology
Udodiri Okwandu, History of Science
Suzanne Paszkowski, Classics
Blaise Robert, DMS
Eamon Callison, Human Evolutionary Biology
Mina Mitreva, History
Magdalena Siwek, Astronomy
Cafe Gato Rojo
Margaret Dene, Middle Eastern Studies