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Graduate students win first annual GSA Awards

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) gave awards to some of the College’s most promising grad students on May 7 in the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre. This year marked the first time that the GSA has ever awarded graduate students for their achievements, scholarship, and research activities.

gsa special award winners ehrich jordan harms martin

GSA Special Award winners (from left): Molly Martin, Meredith Jordan, Sarah Ehrich, and Jessica Harms

Molly Martin took home one of three GSA Special Awards, each one consisting of $2,500. The award supports her Theatrical Therapy project, which aims to create an interactive program for Alzheimer patients at the Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod & the Islands.

“This project came out of two classes that I took last fall,” said Martin, who is studying Theatre Education. “One was on the study of Brazilian theater director Augusto Boal’s techniques that I took with Professor Gail Burton. The other focused on the use of story circle and it was with Professor Robbie McCauley.”

The second GSA Special Award went to Jessica Harms for her project on Drama Activities for K–8 students at the Edward Devotion School. Harms’s project will involve producing a seventh-grade fall musical staffed by Theatre Education students.

The third GSA Special Award went to second-year Creative Writing graduate students Sarah Ehrich and Meredith Jordan for their Poets of Place (POP) project, a program for high school sophomores and juniors. 

The Graduate Student Association Council determines the GSA Special Awards winners after a selection process that involves reviewing the applications submitted for the award. This year, a total of 22 graduate students applied for the GSA Special Award. “It was really difficult for us to make those final decisions because all of the applicants were great,” said Paul Caron, president of the GSA and a Communication Management major.

emerson''''s graduate student association''''s executive council

From left: Graduate Studies Dean Richard Zauft with 2010-2011 GSA Executive Council: Paul Caron, president; Daniel Huynh, treasurer; and Mumbi-Michelle Kimani, secretary. 

The GSA Peer Awards, which provide $500 to graduate students, are selected based on nominating statements written by graduate students about their peers. Eleven students received this award. Several of the winners said that they plan to use the funds from their awards to celebrate each other’s success. “I’m planning to take all of the other Theatre Education representatives to dinner because the four of us really worked together and I wanted to do something to celebrate all of our success,” said Alyssa Mulligan, a graduate student in the Theatre Education program. 

“I will definitely be doing something nice for the IMC-ers who have supported me throughout the journey of this last year,” said Integrated Marketing Communication graduate student Sedu Gokuglu. 

graduate students at emerson receive first annual peer awards

GSA Peer Award winners with GSA Treasurer Daniel Huynh (second from left) are Cyril Urbano, Huynh, Morgan Bartolomeo, Aviva Schwartz, Melissa Rogers, Nicola Fairhead, Michelle Volz, Seda Gokoglu, Alyssa Mulligan, Paul Caron, and Greg Nichols.

The Graduate Student Dean Service Award went to two recipients, GSA President Paul Caron and GSA Treasurer Daniel Huynh.

“I want to acknowledge the executive council of the GSA because they have been very active and have demonstrated a tremendous amount of leadership in helping to organize the GSA,” said Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies Richard Zauft. “When this year started, we had three graduate student organizations out of the 10 programs. We went from awarding three grants a year ago to 77, and that’s a vision that the leadership organized and managed through great ideas that worked.” 

The College offers 10 graduate programs to about 850 graduate students from more than 40 countries across the world.

Photo Credit: Frank Monkiewicz

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