The Anthropology Graduate Student Association (AGSA) has been hard at work expanding existing initiatives and developing new opportunities for scholarship, professional development, and academic collaboration among the graduate students in the department.
In conjunction with the Undergraduate Anthropology Association (UAA), we continue to support the departmental food pantry, which offers a variety of staple food items, household supplies, and toiletry products for all members of the department free of charge. The food pantry has been a great source of community building within the department while also improving the quality of life for many of our students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
This spring we plan to continue our annual Professional Development Series which allows graduate students to hear from panels of faculty and staff about topics such as CV building, syllabus development, job documents, and how to navigate the job markets in academia and beyond.
New initiatives for this school year have included developing our relationship with the UAA to give graduate students opportunities for mentorship while providing undergraduates with information about research experiences, academic trajectories, and professional development.
In fall 2022, AGSA and UAA co-hosted an informational session for department undergraduates where a panel of graduate students shared their paths from undergraduate to graduate study and answered questions from undergraduates about many topics related to both undergraduate and graduate study. The event was very well attended and we are planning to host more collaborative events later this spring.
Caroline Znachko and Kelly Santana, AGSA’s representatives to the department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee (DEI), have also focused on improving the relationship between graduate and undergraduate students. They are working with DEI committee members to create an online repository of diversity statements and land acknowledgements for students and faculty to use as we make our course planning and preparation more inclusive to all students.
Graduate students have also been active in outreach to the campus and Knoxville communities, including the annual “Can You Dig It?” and Darwin Day events at the McClung Museum.
We are excited to continue these initiatives and look forward to continuing to help improve the lives of graduate students in the department throughout the spring semester!