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Graduate School Alumni Society Board of Directors Committees

Awards Committee

The purpose of the Awards Committee is to plan and implement the Graduate School Alumni Society’s (GSAS) alumni recognition program. The program annually recognizes Penn State graduate alumni for outstanding professional achievement and humanitarian service to the global community. 

Awards Committee Members 2021-22

  • Amit Bandyopadhyay (Chair)
  • Merilee Anderson
  • Connie Baggett
  • Paige Castellanos
  • Jeffrey Middleton
  • Claudia Parada
  • Amy Thul

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee works closely with the Graduate School to enhance communication between the GSAS and the Penn State community. The committee seeks ways to increase membership of graduate alumni in the Penn State Alumni Association.  During academic year 2021-22, the Communications Committee will help develop communications to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the establishment of the Graduate School at Penn State. The committee will also develop strategic communications to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Graduate School Alumni Society.  Both milestone anniversaries will be celebrated in 2022. 

Communications Committee Members 2021-22

  • Kathleen Hume (Chair)
  • James Caltagirone
  • Kim Fenstermacher
  • David Kiser
  • Sarah Lozano
  • Cynthia Mable
  • Cathy Rusinko
  • Alex Vera (Graduate Student)
  • Sarah Worley

Global Outreach Committee

The mission of the Global Outreach Committee is to connect Penn State's international graduate students with alumni to help foster a feeling of community and enhance the graduate student experience. The committee engages international graduate students through panel discussions, networking events, student forums and formal presentations.

Global Outreach Committee Members 2021-22

  • Bimal Balakrishnan (Chair)
  • Ricardo Andrade Fernández (Graduate Student)
  • Lynne Casper
  • Jay Kovacs
  • Megan Matthews
  • Larry Mylin

Professional Development Committee

The Professional Development Committee sponsors innovative programs and events that provide professional and career development opportunities for graduate students from across all graduate programs at the University. Alumni volunteers from industry, government, academia, NGOs, share their professional experiences and advice with current students. 

The annual Career Exploration Workshop provides the opportunity for graduate students to gain insight into potential careers by meeting and networking with successful alumni in those fields.  

Professional Development Committee Members 2021-22

  • Susan Schall (Chair)
  • Jorge Trevino (Co-chair)
  • Levon Esters
  • Schonn Franklin (Graduate Student)
  • Hannah Furnas
  • Matt Krott
  • Michael Magagna
  • Sharon Melzer
  • Joslenne Pena

Executive Board and Nominating Committee

The Executive Board includes the officers and committee chairs, and is responsible for the development and implementation of the Board's strategic plan. The Nominating Committee is responsible for ensuring the future leadership of the organization, establishing priorities for board composition, and verifying that nominations to the Board adhere to the recruitment standards and selection criteria established by the organization.

Executive Board Members 2021-22

  • Jay Kovacs (Chair; President)
  • Bimal Balakrishnan
  • Amit Bandyopadhyay
  • Kathleen Hume (President-Elect)
  • Jay Kovacs
  • Cynthia Mable 
  • Susan Schall

Nominating Committee 2021-22

  • Cynthia Mable (Chair, Immediate Past-President)
  • Bimal Balakrishnan
  • Amit Bandyopadhyay
  • Kathleen Hume
  • Jay Kovacs
  • Susan Schall
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