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Students Advising on Graduate Education (SAGE)

SAGE is a student advisory board and leadership opportunity for graduate students at Illinois that fosters active engagement with Graduate College programs and initiatives. SAGE board members enrich graduate student community, build leadership skills, and strengthen Graduate College services and programs. This board contributes to the graduate student community at Illinois by providing varied perspectives that enhance the academic, professional, and social experience of graduate students at the university. They also provide valuable input for Graduate College programs, resources, and services.

Applying to serve on the 2021-2022 SAGE board.

Applications are now being accepted to serve on the 2021-2022 SAGE board.

Applications are welcome from graduate students enrolled in graduate degree programs including online programs. Applicants should be graduate students in good academic standing who will be registered during 2021-2022.

Members are required to participate in monthly meetings during the fall and spring semesters and have the option to participate in focused project groups that are determined by SAGE members and the Graduate College at the start of each academic year. The estimated time commitment is about 3 hours per month.

To Apply:

To apply, please complete the online form at the link below. The form will ask you to upload two documents. These can be uploaded as doc, docx, or pdf files.

  1. A recent copy of your CV or resume 
  2. A response to the following prompt in no more than 2 pages: Please articulate why you are interested in engaging with graduate student community and Graduate College staff. What unique perspectives or experiences would you bring to the board?

Deadline to Apply: Tuesday, June 1 at 11:59 pm CT).



Membership for 2020-2021

Melanie Archipley Astronomy
Opeyemi Arogundade Bioengineering
Sebastian Aviles Labor and Employment Relations
Flavia Batista da Silva Portuguese and Brazilian Studies
Sarah Brown Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Dominique Campbell Communication
Brett Coffee Business/iMBA
Angelique Evans Education Policy and Leadership
Victoria Fields Communication
Anna Flood English/Literary Studies
Katie Frye Microbiology 
Tina Hermosillo Theatre
Caitlin Kengle Physics
Shelby Keye Kinesiology and Community Health
Matthew Klopfenstein History
Andrea Kunze Educational Psychology
Liqian Ma Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Holly Mallinson Atmospheric Sciences
Ana Mitchell Nutritional Sciences
Vidushi Ojha Computer Science
Rama Paudel Crop Science
Maria Philip Chemistry
Shivani Siddagangaiah Civil Engineering
Anastasia Olga Tzirides Learning Design and Leadership
Abigail Valtierra Social Work
Fikriyah Winata Geography / GIS
Bianca Xu Food Science and Human Nutrition
Charlotte Bauer Graduate College
Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko Graduate College

Read more about SAGE members in our GradLIFE blog.


2020-2021 SAGE Project Groups:

Transitioning to Graduate School/GradMAP Working Group

This group is helping ease new students into graduate study at Illinois by providing feedback on current online materials provided by the Graduate College for new students and indentfying gaps and areas for improvment.  Group members will help create content that will be shared on our GradMAP webpages and newsletter

  • Melanie Archipley
  • Opeyemi Arogundade
  • Matthew Klopfenstein
  • Liqian Ma
  • Shivani Siddagangaiah
  • Fikriyah Winata

Career Working Group

The Career Working Group is exploring ways to provide information about the diverse range of careers that are available to graduate students. This could be in the form of panel discussions, alumni interviews, or other modes that can create awareness and offer practical information about unconventional, but rewarding, career paths. 

  • Brett Coffee
  • Katie Frye
  • Matthew Klopfenstein
  • Rama Paudel
  • Maria Philip
  • Olnancy Tzirides

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group

The DEI Working Group will come together to discuss a professional development series for graduate students to learn how to foster and support diverse and equitable environments. Members of the working group will help identify and make recommendations for topics, resources, and facilitation strategies for the series. 

  • Angelique Evans
  • Victoria Fields
  • Anna Flood
  • Andrea Kunze
  • Vidushi Ojha

Mentoring Graduate Students through Challenging Times Committee

SAGE members in this group will to join a larger committee that includes faculty and staff. The committee is considering how to promote student-centered mentoring and its importance in fostering student success throughout various aspects and stages of graduate school. 

  • Victoria Fields
  • Tina Hermosillo
  • Holly Mallinson
  • Ana Mitchell
  • Bianca Xu

SAGE Podcast Group

The SAGE podcast group is an opportunity to engage, inform, and connect with other graduate students at the University of Illinois through participating in the production of the Graduate College Podcast. The Podcast will be hosted by members of SAGE and produced by the Graduate College. Participants with work with the Graduate College to identify topics and content for the monthly podcast that tackles the issues and questions on the minds of our graduate students.

  • Sebastian Aviles
  • Dominique Campbell
  • Anna Flood
  • Cat Kengle
  • Shelby Keye
  • Abby Valtierra

Web Redesign Group (ad hoc focus group)

We are working on a web redesign and user feedback is a critical part of the process. SAGE students in this group will provide feedback at critical steps along the way.

  • Melanie Archipley
  • Flávia Batista
  • Sarah Brown
  • Katie Frye
  • Olnancy Tzirides