This week in GSA 3.15.16

PDF, Short & Sweet Version

Hope everyone had a great spring break! Here is this week in GSA.

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More information for each announcement can be found below and don’t forget about our other programs including: 

Cap & Gown Rental Program (REQUEST OPEN NOW through April 8th)
Poster Tube & Laser Pointer Rental (Open on a rolling basis)
Graduate Research Symposium & Expo (March 23rd!!)

Travel Fund Program

Spring Applications OPEN NOW Through March 27


Non-competitive financial assistance
with conference travel from January 1 – June 30, 2016

More information available here

The Travel Fund Program (TFP) is the GSA’s most popular program. The GSA strives to address the needs of Virginia Tech graduate students, and the TFP is designed to meet these needs by providing graduate students some financial assistance for presenting at scholarly conferences. Some eligible expenses include: travel expenses, registration fees, lodging, meals, and other miscellaneous expenses. The program also can be used to support international travel. The program is sponsored by the Graduate School and the Virginia Tech Office of the Provost.

Spring Cycle covers travel for: Jan 1 – June 30, 2016

The date that your travel begins determines the cycle. Ex. If your travel begins on June  6th, you should apply for the spring cycle. (The travel cycle is not the same as the application window; see below)

  1. Funding is distributed as a reimbursement, making the payment easier for all parties.
  2. This does mean you likely will not receive funding until after your conference is over.
  3. Updated and expanded application to help the GSA process your funds faster
  4. A marked increase in funding for conference travel from the Virginia Tech Provost’s Office – both for international and domestic travel!
  5. No discrepancy between funding for Masters and PhD students

The spring cycle is projected to open in March 2016 for conferences beginning January 1st – June 30th 2016. Applications for previous cycles are no longer accepted.

If you have questions, please contact Marie Stettler Kleine and Omchand Mahdu, GSA TFP Co-Chairs:

March 17: Q&A with Dr. Menah Pratt-Clarke

This Thursday, the GSA is pleased to have Dr. Menah Pratt-Clarke visit the General Assembly. Dr. Pratt-Clarke is the vice provost for inclusion and diversity and vice president for strategic affairs at PrattClarkeVirginia Tech. She will provide the GSA with an update on her role and initiatives and also allow time for Q&A.

Questions for Dr. Pratt-Clarke are strongly suggested, but not required, to be sent ahead of time to the GSA Executive Board. If you have a question or comment you wish to ask, please send questions to us (deadline: Thursday, noon) at


GSA needs volunteers to help with operations (registration, food, and checking the needs of the presenters and judges at GLC) during the Research Symposium & Expo.

The symposium is a day-long event, but volunteers can serve as little as one hour. The event will take place:

Wed. Mar 23, 9am-5pm @ the GLC


There are two ways to sign up for volunteering

Google form signup: SIGN UP


Email Program Chairs: (email) Sign Up to Volunteer
Anthony Carno & Yesim Keskin 

GSA Beer & Wine Social: April 8th (5-9pm)

GSA Beer & Wine Social will be held at the University Club (beside the GLC). 

More information can be found here: April 8th, Beer & Wine Social

beerwinePricing and food/drink details to follow in the coming weeks.

VOLUNTEER: We still need volunteers for this event. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer for THIS OR ANY OTHER GSA EVENT, please contact us at We will add you to our volunteers email list serve so you can stay up to date on all our volunteering needs.

Volunteers are granted free admission to the Beer & Wine Social — Thank you!

GSA Elections & Info Sessions for Officers 2016-2017

Each year the members of the executive board are elected by members of the GSA.  If you are interested in serving in any of the following positions, please contact us at to get more information on procedures, nominations, and elections.


Officers up for election:

§  President §  Vice President
§  Director of Programs §  Director of Communications
§  Director of Finance  

Elections will be run by members of the Judiciary Committee of the GSA. Elections are held in the last meeting (April).

More information about each of the positions can be found in our GSA Constitution on Pages 6 and 11-18.

Graduate Research Development Program Applications Open March 21 – April 1st

The  Graduate Research Development Program (GRDP) will be accepting applications 3/21 – 4/1 for the 2016 Spring Cycle. Winners will be announced in April/May. You can submit your application here.

The application consists of:

  • Abstract (250 words)
  • Project description (1,200 words)
  • Itemized Project Budget and Fund Request Justification
  • Timeline (a document outlining the timeline of your project)
  • Validation (a statement from your advisor that he/she has read and approved your application and supports your project, and must include his/her signature.)
  • Any Supporting Documents that enhance your application: this includes tables or graphs that help explain your project. You may also choose to submit references here to reduce your word count on the project description.  This also includes any necessary IRB approvals, etc.

Any questions about the application process can be fielded by the GRDP Chair, Hannah Lane at  Please indicate “GRDP” in the subject line.



The GSA Travel Fund Program (TFP) will be open March 14th – March 27th for the Spring cycle. This cycle will provide financial assistance to those travelling for conferences between January 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016.

Each cycle, TFP applications are reviewed and approved. This is a non-competitive application, but reviewers are still needed!

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer please contact Marie Stettler Kleine and Omchand Mahdu, GSA TFP

Don’t forget! Serving as a reviewer looks great for your CV and is a way for you to give back to the University community.

More information on the TFP:


Two-Factor Login Survey

The University is moving towards a 2-factor authentication system that will be mandatory for all Virginia Tech users beginning July 4th. This is a result of hacking attempts on the University escalating since last September, which have led to small cases where direct-deposit or personal information was changed.

We’ve heard your concerns and are working with the University to address them. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts through a campus-wide survey. It only takes a minute, and you can do it right on your phone! Link is here: