Welcome from the President of the Graduate Student Body!
Welcome, and a hearty Maine “hello!” I am pleased to formally welcome you to the University of Maine. My name is Shane Cushing and I am proud to represent you as the President of the Graduate Student Government for the 2016-2017 academic year. Your time here at the University of Maine is sure to be a unique, fulfilling experience. You will be gifted with incredible personal and professional development opportunities, meet world-class instructors, mentors, and peers, and gain practical knowledge even beyond the classroom. I encourage you to make use of the bounties that UMaine has to offer.
In an effort to enhance the graduate student experience, the Graduate Student Government, or GSG as it is widely known, provides many resources that we encourage you to take advantage of. For example, our growing grants program is proud to be able to support graduate students who seek to attend various conferences and presentations. This past year we were lucky to be able to work with the Undergraduate Student Government to expand our Research Symposium (formally known as the Grad Student Expo), a place where students are able to present any projects you have been working on and receive feedback from your peers, instructors, and community members. The program now hosts presentations from both undergraduate and graduate students here at UMaine. We hope to continue to grow and strengthen this event in the years to come.
The Graduate Student Government works tirelessly to advocate for your needs. As a link to the University Administration, the Board of Trustees, and several community partners, the GSG has been able to monitor proposed student fee increases, oversee stipend adjustments, make appropriate changes to our healthcare plan, and host countless socials. We are happy to advocate for students in any way that we can.
It is no surprise that each graduate student at the University of Maine comes here with a different set of experiences, different backgrounds, and different trajectories – the Graduate Student Government believes that the University thrives on this diversity and positive communication. When you are here, you truly are family.
As President, I strongly encourage you to be involved in your own graduate school experience. This involvement goes beyond the classroom and even occasionally beyond the confines of our campus. Perhaps the best way to get involved is to join GSG as a representative of your degree program. Being a Senator is a deeply rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. If you’re interested, please feel free to come by one of our meetings – the GSG meets every two weeks and each meeting is open to the public. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the GSG, I think I speak for everyone when I say that we would be happy to help you any way that we can.
Please enjoy your time here at the University of Maine, the college of our hearts always.
Shane J. Cushing
President, Graduate Student Government