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A Letter from Krishna Nadella - November 2017

President of the Graduate School Alumni Society

With autumn now upon us, the school year is well underway. In the same vein, our Graduate School Alumni Society (GSAS) has kicked off another school year, connecting with graduate students, alumni and administration to promote the mission of graduate education at Penn State University. 

As President of the GSAS, I enter my third and final year in the role, and my tenth year on the board of directors. In that time, I have seen tremendous, positive change in the structure and impact of this unique board.

First and foremost, for the very first time, all thirty-one seats on the board are currently filled. Although this sounds like it should be a given, due to the unique nature of our board—representing every college and school that offers graduate programs at Penn State—it was a notable accomplishment that required the coordination between the Graduate School and the deans of the respective colleges. A very special thanks to James Caltagirone, Director of Alumni and External Relations at the Graduate School, for all his efforts to make the vision of the GSAS a reality.

Secondly, I am happy to announce that the following graduate student representatives joined the board at the fall meeting: 

  • Branden Elmore, nominated by the Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs
  • Matthew Krott, nominated by the Graduate and Professional Student Association 
  • Michael Ross, nominated by Penn State World Campus
  • Marcela Manzo Vessi, nominated by the Office of Global Programs 

We are very excited to have their presence and participation on the board, and we look forward to establishing strong relationships with both the individuals and the students they represent not just this year but for many years to come.

Finally, we recently concluded our Fall Board Meeting at University Park. It was a productive two days that included:

  • A morning strategy session with Regina Vasilatos-Younken, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School
  • An evening networking reception with members of the GSAS Board and over thirty current graduate students from a diverse array of graduate student organizations and academic programs
  • The Career Exploration Workshop which was attended by 76 graduate students 
  • Status updates from our individual committees:
    • Awards Committee
    • Communications Committee
    • Global Outreach Committee
    • Professional Development Committee

I have had the privilege of serving on several boards over the past decade, not just here at Penn State but at other academic institutions. In that time, I am proud to say that my time on the GSAS Board has come to be one of the most personally enriching and rewarding. 

As an alumni affiliate organization, we have advanced to this level of achievement thanks in large part to the tremendous selflessness and sacrifice of many alumni volunteer leaders who preceded me and my colleagues on the current Board. I am proud to say that they can take great pride in knowing that their efforts have paid off, and the GSAS is more than ready to answer the call when it comes to making an impact on graduate education, alumni engagement and the graduate student experience! 

More simply put, when it comes to the GSAS, in the immortal words of Mike Rowe, “I’m looking forward to the future, and I’m grateful for the past!”

For The Glory,
Krishna C. Nadella ’04
President, Graduate School Alumni Society

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