Committees

Different COGS committees involve different levels and types of commitment.  However most are open to all interested COGS constituent graduate student and allow members to set their levels of participation at a number of different levels to accommodate the committee member levels of availability and interest.

Grants Committee
members do some or all of the following:  Review and score applications for the highly competitive COGS Travel Grants program, attend 2-3 Travel Grants meetings to vote on awards.  Assist the grants director in administrating the redesigned Community-Building Grants program.  Assist the grants director in supporting the grants program with workshops or info sessions.  Contact: Director of Grants, Jeanna Wieselmann, jeanna@umn.edu.

Advocacy Committees members do some or all of the following:  Attend monthly committee members.  Interview staff, administrators, faculty and students.  Prepare research reports and surveys to support advocacy. 
  • Mental Health Committee.  The COGS mental health committee is the graduate student arm of the COGS/PSG joint mental health committee, and meets and operates as a joint committee together with our friends from PSG.  Our oldest and largest advocacy committee advocates for improving the welfare of graduate students through the quality of and access to mental health services.  Achievements include collaborating with the undergraduate student government to lobby for $200,000 of additional funding for counselors, and working with the Provost's Committee on Student Mental Health to develop an "Advocates" program supplying training and support to departmental and college staff who help students on distress solve problems.  Contact: Mental Health Committee Chair, Christina Mondi, mondi004@umn.edu.
  • Teaching Assistants Committee.  The TA committee has a multifold role:  organizing events about pedagogy, supporting and organizing community events for TAs and graduate instructors, and improving information and communication about issues facing TAs and graduate instructors.  Immediate plans include further developing a collaboration with the Center for Educational Innovation at the university and developing a survey to document the needs of grad student instructional staff.  Contact: TA Committee Chair, Joseph Sannicandro, sanni010@umn.edu.
  • Graduate Community Spaces Task Force.  Develop a vision for the role of graduate student community spaces at UMN.  Develop business cases for specific projects and advocate for development of grad community spaces by lobbying the student body, university administration and other key stakeholders and decisionmakers.  Collaborate with COGS programming to create temporary "pop-up" community spaces.  Contact: Graduate Community Spaces Task Force Chair, Pantea Moghimi, mogh0012@umn.edu.
Programming Committee members do some or all of the following:  act as a core base of volunteers for COGS events.  Assist the director and COGS leaders in planning and organizing events.  Contact: Director of Programming, Sara Arnold, arnol535@umn.edu.