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A Letter from Krishna Nadella - July 2016

President of the Graduate School Alumni Society

Fellow Graduate School Alums,

With the summer now upon us, it’s a wonderful opportunity to take some time to reflect upon the (school) year that was and the (school) year to be. As the President of the Graduate School Alumni Society (GSAS), I am so proud to be part of such an important facet of The Pennsylvania State University community. In fact, graduate education itself is becoming more and more of a key differentiator in the pursuit of professional employment and advancement.

Sean Gallagher from Forbes recently wrote that, “increasingly, employers value the problem solving, critical thinking, and technical skills that graduate-level education provides. According to job market information system firms that index and analyze millions of job openings (such as Burning Glass Technologies), more than 20% of open positions in the U.S. economy today prefer or require graduate-level education – while only about 11% of the population holds an advanced degree. Colleges and universities have responded to these demands through the creation of new industry-oriented programs and new delivery modes.”

With this thought in mind, it only makes sense that the graduate education community (alumni, faculty, administrators and students) at Penn State come together to ensure that we are a unified force that can best represent the mission of the Graduate School: to promote the highest quality graduate education that prepares interdisciplinary leaders who advance knowledge and understanding, drive innovation, and contribute to the resolution of complex national and global problems to meet societal needs.

In that regard, I am happy to report that the GSAS has never been stronger, with its Board of Directors operating at full capacity, representing the various colleges and campuses that offer graduate education.

From a leadership standpoint, I am proud to be supported by Dan West (Past-President), Cynthia Mable (President-Elect) and Kevin Horne (President of the Graduate and Professional Student Association), with the endorsement of Regina Vasilatos-Younken (Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School).

In our Board Committees, we are strongly positioned and represented by each Committee’s respective Chair: Martha Carothers (Awards Committee), Murali Balaji (Communications Committee), Amit Das (Global Outreach Committee) and Jay Kovacs (Professional Development Committee).

From an administration standpoint, James Caltagirone (Director of Alumni & External Relations), Tania Luciow (Director of Marketing & Strategic Communications), Elizabeth Hyde (Administrative Assistant) and Suzanne Adair (Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Affairs) ensure that we are supported and focused on our mission to nurture relationships between Penn State graduate students and Graduate School alumni, both nationally and internationally; enhance the graduate student experience; advance graduate education and research at Penn State; and increase Graduate School alumni membership in the Penn State Alumni Association.

As the summer progresses and we head into the new school year, I look forward to the GSAS continuing to grow and increase its presence in the graduate education community. With that said, it’s also important to think about the visibility of graduate education within Penn State, as well as externally in terms of public awareness, given the minority of the population who hold a graduate degree.  

As our community comes together, our voice will become louder, our presence will become more prominent and our influence will become stronger. I look forward to working with all of you in the months ahead to advance graduate education at Penn State through our collective voices and passion. We Are...Graduate Education! We Are...Penn State!

For the Glory,

Krishna C. Nadella, Smeal MBA ’04

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