Student Board

Student Board Members

First Year Student Rep
Alex Doyle
Second Year Student Rep
Zachary Zeidler
Third Year Student Rep
Kelsey Moore
Caitlin Durkee
Fourth Year Student Rep
Kelsey Moore
Fifth Year & Beyond
Student Rep

What the Student Board does for GPN Students:

The primary function of the GPN Student Board (Board) is to act as a communication conduit and information source for GPN students to help keep them informed on current issues and to organize student initiatives. The Board meets monthly to discuss current issues and initiatives. During these meetings, the Board also meets with the GPN Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) twice per year (more often if needed) and the GPN Committee student representatives at least once per year. The Board shares pertinent information from these meetings with the GPN student body via this website, email and the twice yearly GPN all-student meetings.

The Board discusses issues brought up by GPN Students, the DGS or others. Depending on the issue and its importance, an appropriate course of action is decided and acted upon. Some of the types of issues the Board discusses include student-originated initiatives, issues that potentially affect many or all GPN students and student involvement in major GPN activities (i.e., the Campus Visit). When appropriate, Board members request suggestions, opinions and feedback from their respective classmates.

The Board also works closely with other GPN committees to endorse and publicize events throughout the year including the GPN mentoring program for first year students and the Thursday evening informal gathering for prospective students during the Campus Visit in February/March.

What to do if you have an issue for discussion:

Regardless of whether you have an idea or proposal for a new program/initiative or you are struggling with a problem, the first step should be engaging the Board by contacting your class' Board representative. They will meet with you, gather information or help you in prepare a proposal and can assist you in presenting your ideas/issues to the Board. You may remain anonymous when raising an issue (i.e., your Board representative will not share your name with the other Board members or faculty).


Recent student-originated initiatives sponsored by the GPN Student Board:




Thursday night get-together with prospective students during the Campus Visit

Nancy Staffend and Katie Fallen, 2009

Each year, during the campus visit, the Board arranges and publicizes an informal gathering at a local establishment (in 2009 it was Sally's) between the prospective and current GPN students.

The 2009 gathering at Sally's was well attended and the prospective students indicated that they liked having the opportunity to speak to GPN students before their interviews on Friday.

Interlab student shadowing program

Zeb Kurth-Nelson, 2009

Program designed to allow GPN students to spend an afternoon or day in another lab to learn about methods or studies conducted in that lab. The program fosters cooperation within the program and facilitates learning new methods and approaches without significant investments in time and money.

This initiative has been suggested to the DGS, who responded favorably. The Board is currently working on scheduling and logistics. We plan to hold the first shadowing event sometime in late 2009 or early 2010.

Self-updated student and faculty profiles on GPN website

2008-2009 Board

Worked with John Paton to streamline the process of updating information on the GPN website, making it easier and quicker for GPN students and support staff (i.e., John). Final solution was the creation (by John) of a web-based form that students can fill out and submit online. On the backend, the information is automatically formatted for easy insertion into the GPN website. A similar form was created for GPN faculty to update their profiles.

Grass Lecturer Program

DGS/2008-2009 Board

Applied to the Grass Foundation for funding to host a second student-selected seminar speaker. Although funding was not approved, the DGS has agreed to allow GPN students to select a second seminar speaker during the academic year (most likely to speak in the fall).

Extramural student talk opportunities Program

Josh Puhl, 2007

Board managed program to help make opportunities available to post-oral-prelim GPN students to give presentations at nearby non-Univ. of MN institutions. Proposal also included an organized plan for networking with nearby institutions via GPN student contacts.