Letter from Laura Stark, 2017-2018 President

As I begin my year as president of the Graduate Career Consortium on August 1, 2017, I want first to recognize the many leaders of our profession who have worked tirelessly to develop graduate career and 

professional development into a thriving and growing field, as well as those professionals who, more recently, have shepherded the GCC into a 501c3 non-profit organization. The GCC was founded by a small group of dedicated professionals more than 25 years ago, and with the incorporation of our organization in 2014, we are already recognized nationwide as the authoritative voice for graduate career and professional development professionals and the graduate students and postdoctoral scholars that we serve.
This past year, GCC President Amy Pszczolkowski led our organization in a process of strategic planning, eliciting input from GCC members and engaging the Executive Board and ad-hoc committee chairs in an intensive set of discussions, leading to the release of the GCC Five-Year Strategic Plan 2017-2021 (link). With the establishment of our new mission, core values, and strategic priorities, we now have a strong scaffold upon which to strengthen our organization and provide even greater value to our members.
Growing out of the strategic plan, my strategic priorities for the 2017-18 year include:
  • Creating a network of GCC liaison roles, such that each of the many related professional organizations (e.g. the Council of Graduate Schools, National Postdoctoral Association, and Modern Language Association) have an active and engaged point-person who can represent the GCC and who can keep GCC members informed of developments within that organization.
  • Establishing a “Speakers’ Bureau” of GCC members who are willing to offer presentations at other institutions, as well as a vetted line-up of nationally-recognized speakers.
  • Toward the sustainability of the GCC, developing a succession plan with:
    • Clear and detailed position descriptions for each executive board and committee chair position, which will allow new leaders to anticipate the commitment and expectations inherent in each role.
    • An annual operational calendar and standard operating procedures to facilitate the smooth execution of critical elements of our organization, such as elections, officer transitions, approval of members, etc.
With the dedicated support of the GCC Executive Board, committee members, and membership-at-large, I will strive to accomplish these goals. In addition, together, we will continue to support the development of the Imagine PhD project, hold several regional meetings along with the national conference at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and support the various GCC committees in the important work that they do.
I’m looking forward to a wonderful year in service to our profession, our members, and the students and postdocs we serve. I invite you to engage in the GCC through attending a conference, serving on a committee, or considering a leadership role in the future.
Laura L. Stark
2017-2018 GCC President