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GPSC Update

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

My name is Bill Hunt and I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Duke Department of English. I also have the honor to serve as the president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council for the 2012-13 academic year. Over the past month, the thirteen members of GPSC’s Executive Board as well as the members of our internal committees have been wildly busy with the work of community. Since August, we have attended orientation events for incoming students at all nine of Duke’s graduate and professional schools. During the same period, we have hosted a slew of social events where students were able to support Duke’s varsity sports teams while networking with other graduate and professional students within and beyond their home schools and departments. We have also held the Men’s Basketball Campout with a keen eye on the safety and well-being of those participating. In that same time, we have begun the crucial work of advocating on behalf of the graduate and professional student community at Duke, in order to build upon the already sterling quality of research, scholarship, and community engagement achieved by Duke’s student body.

It has been a rare privilege to work with a group of fellow students so dedicated towards improving the academic and personal experiences of their colleagues. And yet, our successes would never have been possible without the tremendous support of the Graduate School as well as that of Duke’s faculty and administration.

In early November, I am pleased to announce that Duke will be hosting the annual national conference of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS). NAGPS is a national advocacy non-profit that comprises the graduate student councils hailing from a number of Duke’s sister institutions. The conference will include networking opportunities as well as panels on topics surrounding graduate and professional student leadership.

I am also pleased to announce that GPSC is currently in talks with colleague organizations to relocate our administrative office. Our new space would provide us with more space and broaden the programmatic and logistical capabilities of our work.

Over the course of the coming academic year, GPSC will continue to have an active role in working with administrators and the Duke/Durham community on a number of issues facing Duke’s graduate and professional students, including: expanding career services offered to students and working to tailor career services to better accommodate need; working with the Duke University Police and local stakeholders to improve safety around campus, including connecting students with local neighborhood listservs and community watch networks; and increasing GPSC’s visibility and prominence among the student body by retooling the ways in which we communicate with our constituents.

I look forward to meeting and working with you all during the coming year and making it one of the most productive in GPSC’s history! Many thanks,

Bill Hunt
Duke Dept. of English
President, GPSC