Graduate Student Executive Council Growing, Hosting Inaugural UTHSC Biomedical Symposium September 20

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The Graduate Student Executive Council is responsible for representing, negotiating, and acting on behalf of the student body in the College of Graduate Health Sciences. Pictured are current officers of the group. (from left: Chidi Zacheaus (Honor Council president), Angela Taylor (secretary), Jessica Baker (president), Jayce Weesner (treasurer), and Elizabeth Garfinkle (vice president)).

The upcoming UTHSC Biomedical Symposium is one of many events that reflect the growth of the Graduate Student Executive Council (GSEC). The organization is responsible for representing, negotiating, and acting on behalf of the student body in the College of Graduate Health Sciences.

Membership has doubled over the past two years. GSEC has been instrumental in resolving student issues, such as the lack of dental coverage and the application of student printing fees applied to dissertation copyright fees upon graduation.

The inaugural UTHSC Biomedical Symposium, put on by the GSEC, will be held on Friday, September 20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Memphis Bioworks, located at 20 Dudley, Memphis. It is open to the public and will conclude with a celebratory social event at the Orpheum Theatre, located at 203 S. Main Street, from 6 to 10 p.m.

“Our goal is to bring together bright minds to foster an environment of learning and inspiration through idea-focused presentations covering a wide range of subjects,” said GSEC President Jessica Baker. “We want to provoke meaningful scientific conversations. The learning objectives for this symposium include how to efficiently move from basic science discoveries to clinical applications and how social determinants of health contribute to health disparities.”

Speakers from across the country will present on topics centered around social determinants of health and translational medicine. For more information, go to  the UTHSC Biomedical Symposium Facebook page and register for the event through Eventbrite.

In addition to the symposium, GSEC also hosts several events throughout the year, such as the 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, Graduate Research Day,  professional development workshops, community outreach, and the CGHS Awards Ceremony, a new event that will occur in the spring.

GSEC members at the first meeting of the year in July. (Photo by Jessica Baker/UTHSC)

Former GSEC president RJ Autry, a sixth-year student in the biomedical sciences program of the College of Graduate Health Sciences, has been involved with the group since 2014. “In the past five years, we have outgrown the meeting room where we used to meet, filled almost all of the representative spots on the council, and added at least five events to the schedule that are well run, well attended and something to be proud of,” he said. “We have recruited some amazing members who are motivated. Much of this success has come from the push of leaders through the years to constantly come up with ideas and interact with the college administration. This is most evident in the budgetary commitments they make to our events. We strive to make the college not only something known across campus, but also in the community. In the future, we hope to interact more with other colleges on campus and hold events to promote incorporation of research into all fields of medicine.”

Upcoming GSEC events include a Professional Development Workshop on October 3, the 3-Minute Thesis Competition on November 15, and the Graduate Research Day in April. Participation in GSEC is open to any student in the College of Graduate Health Sciences. For more information, contact Jessica Baker at tmb818@uthsc.edu or Angela Taylor at atayl140@uthsc.edu.