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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


GPSC receives travel grants

The UA Student Services Fee Advisory Board and Graduate College awarded the UA Graduate and Professional Student Council approximately $120,000 for travel and professional opportunity development grants for the upcoming fall semester.

“”Now more than ever we will see a huge benefit from travel grants,”” said GPSC president David Lopez-Negrete. “”Students don’t have as much disposable income to fund their travel, and colleges dealing with university cuts don’t have as much funding to dispense departmental grants as they used to. Travel grants are critical at this moment in time.””

Of the $120,000 awarded, $105,000 will fund various travel grants awarded by the council to graduate students attending career building or professionally beneficial events.

“”It’s very important that the graduate college is looking at the academic value of travel grants at this time,”” Lopez-Negrete said. “”The true graduate academic experience is in traveling to conferences to present research and being granted the opportunity to network with professionals in their fields. This is definitely in line with the graduate college mission.””

Several GPSC members expressed hope that the new funds would allow them to not only maintain but also expand existing grant programs.

“”The Travel Grants award will allow us to serve hundreds more students that we would not have been able to without the award,”” said Cory Christenson, a UA physics doctoral candidate, member of the Student Services Fee Advisory Board, and GPSC treasurer.

“”I am very excited about the new funds,”” said Joon-Beom Chu, the GPSC travel grants director. “”With the new funds, along with the money from the graduate college, we anticipate being able to fund about 70 percent of applicants, or over 400 to 500 graduate and professional students.””

Travel grants vary in amount from case to case, not exceeding $500. Only one grant can be awarded to a student per fiscal year.

“”The travel grants are a valuable resource for graduate and professional students to develop their academic and professional careers by sharing their research and establishing connections with fellow practitioners and researchers,”” Chu said.

The remaining $15,000 will serve professional opportunity development grants, which fund on-campus events. The money benefits professional development or enrichment of students through academic conferences or seminars and meetings with professionals in their field of study. Professional opportunity development grants are awarded in amounts up to $1,500 for any one project or event.

“”With nearly every program on campus experiencing cuts, more students are turning to GPSC to fund their professional travel,”” Christenson said, “”and we are happy that the (Student Services Fee Advisory Board) has recognized this is a significant student need and desire.””

Chu echoed Christenson’s appreciation of the new funds.

“”Without the new funds, about 200 students would not able to receive the grants,”” he said.

The UA Student Services Fee Advisory Board is composed of seven UA undergraduate students and four graduate students. It represents and distributes funding for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, the GPSC and the student body as a whole. Both grant proposals presented by GPSC were approved without dissent, with one person abstaining in each case.

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