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Graduate Student Leaders Gathering

Graduate Student Leaders Gathering text over image of coffee cup and laptop

Are you a student leader? Join discussions with peers and alumni who have taken on leadership roles and learn how to put the grit-growth mindset into action at the Graduate Student Leaders Gathering on Friday, February 26, 1-5 p.m.

Registration has closed. 



Welcome and peer-to-peer connections

(1-2 p.m.)

In this interactive session, you will work with peers to analyze a challenge you are currently facing in your leadership and get practical, creative, and immediate help addressing it.


Panel discussion with current/alumni graduate student leaders

(2-3 p.m.)

Join a conversation with current and alumni graduate student leaders as they share their leadership experiences and insights.

Saniya Lee Ghanoui Saniya Lee Ghanoui is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her dissertation is a transnational cultural history that examines the development and movement of sex education between the U.S. and Sweden. She is the senior producer for the podcast Sexing History, an editor for the international blog Notches, and an editor for the digital humanities initiative SourceLab.
Justine E. Paul Justine E. Paul is a third year PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering and received her bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering from Syracuse University in 2018. She is currently conducting research in Professor Nancy Sottos’ lab where she seeks to use a new manufacturing platform technology to induce complex architecture and emergent surface patterns in engineering materials. Justine is the 2020-2021 director of the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE) and was previously the outreach coordinator. She also held a leadership position on the Materials Research Society (MRS) committee as social chair. Justine serves as a mentor for the I-promise program and is an active volunteer with MakerGirl. She loves spending time outdoors, playing basketball, soccer, and volleyball, as well as running, and skiing. Justine also loves experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen along with growing vegetables and herbs in her garden.
Meagan Paceley Dr. Megan Paceley (she/her/hers) is an assistant professor at the University of Kansas. She is a macro social worker with experience developing community-based programs and support for LGBTQ+ young people. She is accountable to LGBTQ+ youth through her research on the relationship between youth’s social environments and their health and well-being. Utilizing community-based, qualitative, creative, and mixed methods research, she aims to transform stigmatizing environments, such as families, schools, and communities, that diminish well-being into affirming and supportive environments that promote healthy development and well-being for all queer and trans youth. She specifically aims to better understand and support queer and trans youth in rural communities and strengthen the national network of community-based queer and trans organizations via evaluation, assessment, and collaboration. An alumna of UIUC, she received Graduate College Student Leadership Award while pursuing her graduate degree.
Sulagna Chakraborty Sulagna Chakraborty (facilitator) is a PhD candidate in the Program in Ecology Evolution and Conservation Biology and is pursuing a Minor in Gender Relations in International Development. Her broad research interests are vector-borne and infectious disease epidemiology and ecology, using One Health approaches for disease prevention, public health and socio-behavioral factors affecting disease transmission. She writes poetry, loves to cook and sample food from various cultures, traveling, reading, meeting new people and music. She is a former member of the Graduate College student advisory board, SAGE (Students Advising on Graduate Education) and contributor to the GradLIFE blog.


Grit and Growth Mindset session

(3-4:30 p.m.)

The concepts of grit and growth mindset involve thinking about ways to re-frame difficult situations and to exhibit resilience and perseverance to obtain long-term goals. In this session, participants will learn how to build their grit and develop a growth mindset to work towards completing their long-term goals.


Personal reflection and goal setting

(4:30-5 p.m.)

We will end the afternoon by taking a few moments to reflect on hot to translate what we learned into personal goals.


Attend the entire virtual event or drop in when you can.