As an organization which serves as a liaison between the students, faculty, and administration of the Government Department, GPSA identifies ways in which the Department’s academic program and environment can improve and works with the faculty leadership to implement new initiatives. Much of this collaboration happens behind the scenes between the GPSA Cabinet, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Department Chair – yet it nevertheless has a direct impact on graduate students. For example, in advance of the 2017-2018 academic year, GPSA worked with the Department to begin renovations of the Graduate Student Lounge in the ICC building, and provided input into the process of revising the Ph.D. Program Handbook (formerly the Graduate Handbook). GPSA also works with the Department administration to put together the Ph.D. Orientation and Open House programs.
In addition to these initiatives, as of the Fall 2017 Semester, GPSA works with the Government Department faculty to organize a Pedagogy Workshop, and all-day event that serves to train those Masters and Ph.D. students who will be first-time Teaching Assistants (TAs) for the coming academic year. The Workshop brings together faculty and student speakers to discuss all aspects of teaching, from broad issues regarding ethics and inclusiveness in the classroom, to specific strategies regarding how to run a discussion section or effectively use technology to realize teaching goals. As a new and improved training for TAs, the Pedagogy Workshop is a fantastic example of how GPSA and the Government Department faculty collaborate to provide the best possible resources to graduate students.
For more information regarding the Pedagogy Workshop, go to the link below. Through the Box folder you will be able to download the schedule from the Fall 2017 training, a “Pedagogy Reference Sheet,” which contains useful tips for TAs, and a series of “recommended readings” that contain further information TAs should keep in mind as they settle into their new role.