Community comes together to support graduate students
GSA continues to reach out to help graduate students in all disciplines across campus
In 1967, several students came together and saw the need for a governing student body solely dedicated to Graduate Students at the University of Nevada Reno, and thus the Graduate Student Association (GSA) was formed. It is an honor to work with an organization that focuses on supporting graduate students in completing their goal of higher education, as many resources tend to focus on undergraduate students. Having been a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno myself, I know firsthand that having a network of support and resources is vital to graduate student success. The Graduate Student Association provides the opportunity for students to connect with other graduate students, through events such as socials, tailgates, and workshops. Not only do we provide resources that promote retention, but we also host socials which allow graduate students to make lifelong friends and colleagues. Spring is an especially exciting time for the organization, as we recently awarded more than $65,000.00 through our annual Spring Awards and Research Grant Programs to graduate students in various disciplines across campus. This funding helps students enrolled in master’s and doctoral Programs conduct research across campus. By giving graduate students another avenue to fund their education, this funding also increases program retention. In addition to socials and funding, the GSA also provides free printing to graduate students in our office, a computer loan program, and much more. “I personally believe that between the socials and funding available to graduate students, the GSA is a crucial part to the success of graduate students and the University as a whole” said 2020-2021 Graduate Student Association President, Will Carrasco.
In 2004, GSA representatives realized the need to provide furniture to graduate students, as many move to the Reno-Spark area with nothing more than a suitcase. The Household Items Program was created which accepts donated gently used furniture - such as desk, tables, chairs, sofas, and dressers - from the Reno-Sparks community and delivers it to graduate students at no cost. The goal of the program is to serve graduate students and their families to make moving to and living in the Reno-Sparks area a smooth process. Knowing that we provide something as a simple a desk for a student to sit and study, helps reinforce that every day we are making a positive impact in the lives of graduate students. We have seen a tremendous amount of support from local residents as well as the campus community and we hope the Reno-Sparks residents are thrilled when they know that the piece of furniture they were going to throw out, will go to help another individual. It is nice to see students who have utilized the program give back after their time at the University of Nevada, Reno, as a way to pay it forward to other graduate students.
This past year has been difficult for our whole community but at the Graduate Student Association we are proud to support our graduate students and would like to thank everyone that has made that possible. Go pack!
If you are interested in donating gently used furniture to University of Nevada, Reno Graduate Students or otherwise supporting our students, please visit our website for more information.
(Allison Ferguson is from Slocomb, a small farming community in Alabama and after completing her B.S. in Human Services/Criminal Justice from Troy University, Allison relocated to Reno, Nevada for graduate school in 2011. Allison earned her M.S. in Justice Management from the University of Nevada, Reno and began working with the Graduate Student Association in 2016. Currently, Allison is responsible for event planning and assists with GSA program management, social media, marketing, and web content updates.)