Jason M. Karakehian
Previous PBAGS Officers Download Link
Roles of PBAGS Officers
Overall, the seven elected PBAGS officers represent the graduate students of the Department of Plant Biology and facilitate numerous important departmental functions. Specific duties for each officer are detailed below, but all officers are expected to help each other fulfill their responsibilities, especially because many of these are intermittent. In addition, all officers are charged with mentoring their successor during the summertime transition from one cabinet to the next.
The PBAGS Chair oversees operations and presides over officer meetings, and is charged with assisting any of the other officers in fulfilling their responsibilities. In addition to this executive role, the Chair orchestrates several seasonal events, including the Fall Welcome, Holiday Party, and Spring Picnic, and manages elections of the next year’s officers. The position requires good organization, enthusiasm, and commitment to maintaining PBAGS’ impact. To ensure availability for all responsibilities, the Chair should not be in their final year with the department. The Chair will act as a liaison for the graduate students in the Department and the Department Head. This requires scheduling a meeting with the Department Head at least once a semester.
Departmental Committee Representative
The Advisory Committee is made up of faculty members and a graduate student, and chaired by the Department Head. The graduate student representative meets with the committee and participates in discussions concerning various departmental matters, such as new faculty hires, as they relate to the graduate students. The representative also organizes graduate student lunches with faculty candidates and participates in their assessment. Serving in this role is a great way to learn what it takes to interview and successfully obtain a tenure-track position in academia. Departmental Committee Representative also sits on any meeting called by the Department’s Instructional Committee in the rare event that a major curriculum change is under consideration. Additionally, the Departmental Committee Representative is the designated GEO steward, advocating for graduate student employees in the department.
The Plant Biology Colloquium was initiated by PBAGS and serves to highlight ongoing or proposed research, promote cohesiveness, and provide a platform for potential collaboration within the Department of Plant Biology. The Colloquium Coordinator manages all logistics pertaining to this important departmental function. Duties include soliciting faculty speakers, organizing the bi-weekly schedule, and providing refreshments for the post-colloquium happy hour.
Graduate Affairs Committee Representative
The graduate student representative to the Graduate Affairs Committee (GAC) participates in selecting and recruiting new students for the department. This includes reading all applications, organizing the recruitment weekend, and corresponding with GAC faculty members to determine which applicants are accepted. The position provides the representative opportunities to interact with faculty members outside their field of concentration, learn about the graduate student selection process, and meet prospective students. As most GAC activity occurs during January- March, during the rest of the year the GAC representative puts their understanding of graduate affairs to good use by coordinating departmental social events (Hopsfest).
The main duty of the Outreach Coordinator is to coordinate PBAGS educational outreach activities. The main role of the Coordinator is recruiting volunteers for opportunities that may interest Plant Biology graduate students. This role provides a great opportunity to learn about educational outreach for a wide range of audiences. An experienced teaching assistant who enjoys teaching is especially suited for this position.
The Secretary takes minutes at all officers’ meetings, retains records of past meetings, organizes all PBAGS documentation, and is webmaster of the PBAGS website. As webmaster, they are responsible for upkeep of the PBAGS and Life in CU sections of the departmental page, which includes keeping content current, informative, and attractive. The secretary also is responsible for administering the PBAGS listserv and cross-posting relevant e-mails to other graduate student listservs.
The Treasurer is responsible for all PBAGS financial transactions and fundraising activities. Accounting duties include monitoring the PBAGS bank account, writing checks for expenses, and collecting payments due. The Treasurer is also responsible for planning and implementing fundraisers to keep PBAGS financially supported. These include, but are not limited to, two annual efforts-the Plant Biology T-shirt sale and Hopfest, the departmental brew/cook-off.