Members of the Graduate Student Association of the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment are celebrating some good news.
NIU’s Student Association has recognized the ETRA-GSA as an official student association, which allows it to apply for funding to further its monthly workshops and presentations on technology topics
Beyond its professional development activities, ETRA-GSA also provides outreach, mentoring, support and information to benefit its members while serving as a liaison between graduate students and the department.
Olha Ketsman, the group’s faculty adviser, is happy to watch the growth and progress.
“When I joined NIU in August of 2014, ETRA-Graduate Student Association didn’t have an executive board. I worked with the students to form one and to solidify responsibilities of board members,” says Ketsman, a clinical assistant professor of Instructional Technology.
“It’s really rewarding to work with the students, share ideas and see how excited they get about different professional development opportunities,” she adds. “We’re encouraging others to join ETRA-GSA. It’s a nice community.”
ETRA-GSA President Kenie Moses is grateful for “the fortunate pleasure of serving with some of the brightest graduate students here at NIU over the past three years.”
“Since our organization is probably one of the most diverse organizations here at NIU, I have the opportunity to experience and learn from the diverse views, cultures and ideas that our outstanding graduate students contribute to our organization,” Moses says.
“The mission of the ETRA-GSA is to foster community and intellectual exchange among NIU ETRA graduate students, faculty and alumni,” he adds. “Personally, I enjoy the Coffee Hours that our organization holds bi-monthly or monthly, which attempt to connect our graduate students with information, experiences and new ideas from faculty, employees, sponsors and graduate students from our department as well as other departments and colleges here at NIU.”
David Walker, associate dean for Academic Affairs in the NIU College of Education, was a recent guest speaker on the topic of applying for and receiving grants. Faculty, ETRA-GSA members and other graduaate students also give presentations on their research.
Many of the members are graduate assistants in the ETRA department, Ketsman says, and find in ETRA-GSA opportunities for networking, advice on applying for jobs and many opportunities for professional growth and development.
“The objective of the ETRA-GSA is to support the interests of current and future ETRA graduate students by promoting scholarly activities and providing leadership, service and social opportunities,” Moses says. “Our organization also provides a unified representation of our members, their concerns and their activities to the department and to the university.”