Officers and Committees

GSO Officers


President: Teresa Clark. The president leads GSO meetings, schedules meeting times for each semester and checks in with officers and committee members to report on meetings they attended. The president also attends PLB faculty meetings and reports on what is discussed at the GSO meetings, and sends occasional emails to graduate students asking for input from faculty. 



Treasurer: Joelyn de Lima. Manages money for all GSO activities.


Secretary: Meredith Zettlemoyer. Responsibilities include recording attendance and taking brief notes on topics discussed at GSO meetings.  Minutes are typed up and e-mailed to all the of the PLB grad students (and are posted on the GSO website).


Image of Christopher Warneke

 Social Committee: Christopher Warneke, Caitlyn Byron, & Danielle Young. Organizes the annual PLB Chili Cook-off and other plant biology graduate student events. Previous events have included: bar crawls, tailgates, wildflower walks, and gatherings at local bars and parks.

University Committees

Student Advisory Committee (SAC): Elizabeth Yablon. The College of Natural Sciences Student Advisory Council (SAC) is an organization whose purpose is to advise the Dean on issues concerning undergraduate and graduate students within the college and to promote the interests of these students. This position entails going to one meeting a month (Wednesday evenings) with the heads of the College of Natural Sciences and a grad representative from each science department, where you discuss new changes to the sciences at MSU and other information for you to pass on to your department.


Council on Diversity & Community (CDC): Jason Olsen. The College of Natural Science Council on Diversity and Community (CDC) is charged with advising CNS on issues relevant to creating a supportive and diverse community. CDC activities include identifying tools and resources for handling work-life balance and creating environments where diversity in background and lifestyle are believed to be an asset in advancing the success of the college. The Council meets once monthly and is an excellent opportunity for individuals to help shape the community they work in and that of the university.


Graduate Employee Union (GEU): Shawna Rowe. The Graduate Employee Union (GEU) gives graduate students the support to work to the best of their abilities, holds the university accountable for its actions, and ensures that graduate employees will be treated like professionals. Responsibilities of the position are to provide access to resources if anyone has grievances about work, feels that the university is not fulfilling our union contract, or generally has questions about acceptable/appropriate work practices. There are bi-weekly stewards meetings with the GEU but you are not expected to attend every one. This position is best for a graduate student who has TAed before.


Council of Graduate Studies (COGS): Joelyn de Lima.  The Council of Graduate Students (COGS) is the authorized student government for all graduate/professional students at Michigan State University. The full council meets once a month to discuss issues related to graduate/professional students. COGS organizes campus wide events for graduate/professional students and also funds student events and research. Meetings are on the first or second Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8:30pm.

University Committees

Department Advisory Council (DAC): Colleen Friel. The Department Advisory Council (DAC) member attends meetings once a month to discuss departmental happenings and provide feedback to the chair. The DAC member brings grad student concerns to the DAC and also reports to the GSO on DAC meetings. 


Graduate Committee: Christina Azodi. Reviews applications to the PLB grad program and helps determine who gets admitted. Meets 1-3 times a year to decide on offers. From December-February this position involves reading a lot of applications (on D2L). This committee member also discusses changes made to the Graduate Student Handbook.


Seminar Committee: Ravi Ranjan. Organizes the student nominations and votes for the student invited speaker for Monday seminars in PLB. Also organizes the graduate student and postdoc lunch with the speakers. Meets twice a year with the committee.

GSO Positions


T-shirt coordinator: Christina Azodi. PLB designs and prints t-shirts for the department once every year. This committee member organizes design submissions, votes for the favored design, orders for shirts, and coordinates with the t-shirt supplier. 


Image of Meredith Zettlemoyer  

Webmaster: Meredith Zettlemoyer. Maintains the PLB GSO webpage.


Image of Jeremy Pardo 

Student Lecture Series Coordinator: Jeremy Pard. Recruits presenters, organizes the schedule and programming for the Student Lecture Series, and sends out email reminders to the PLB graduate students. Also buys snacks and refreshments that we provide, gratis.


Grad Lounge Soda & GSO Meeting Snacks: Emily Jennings. Keeps the grad lounge soda stocked (soda can be purchased for $0.50/can) and buys the snacks for our monthly GSO meeting (courtesy of COGS).


Image of Ravi Ranjan  

Image of Meredith Zettlemoyer  

KBS Liasons to the PLB GSO: Ravi Ranjan & Meredith Zettlemoyer. Graduate students stationed at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) who set up streaming of GSO meetings by Skype and relay suggestions and updates from Plant Biology students at KBS.


Image of Beth Moore

Outreach Coordinator: Beth Moore. In order to further the PLB GSO's outreach mission, the Outreach Coordinator(s) organize public outreach events as well as facilitate PLB participation in broader campus outreach events. Responsibilities include distributing outreach opportunities to PLB GSO members, organizing events to be hosted by the GSO, and interfacing with the PLB Communications Coordinator to publicly advertise such efforts.


Last Updated: 2/22/2018