ASG Graduate Student Congress Selects Recipients of First Annual GSC Awards

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Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Patricia Koski, associate dean of the Graduate School and International Education, and civil engineering doctoral student Joseph Daniels, have received the first annual U of A Graduate Student Congress awards.

The  Graduate Student Congress is a legislative branch of the Associated Student Government and represents the voice of all graduate students. The primary mission of GSC is to promote programming that will directly benefit the lives of graduate students at the University of Arkansas, on and off campus.

With that aim in mind, the GSC passed ASG GSC Bill 7 this semester in order to further enhance the standing of the organization by recognizing the successes of individual members in service and outreach, innovation within the broader graduate student population, and the efforts of our allies - faculty, staff, community, and civic - to create a vibrant, safe, and affordable environment for graduate students at the University of Arkansas and beyond.

This annual awards program will further anchor the GSC within the university's traditions, contribute to a pro-graduate student culture, and show our sincere appreciation for individuals and groups who share in our work to create an unparalleled graduate student experience. (Descriptions of requirements for each award can be found here:

Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan was selected as the Community Ally of the Year. Mayor Jordan has proven to be a valuable ally through his service in the broader community, unwavering support for Civil Rights in the City of Fayetteville and his willingness to attend and speak at events hosted by the GSC and ASG. The Civic Ally of the Year was awarded to state Rep. Greg Leding, who has been instrumental in bringing student debt to the attention of state legislators by securing an opportunity for graduate students from the University of Arkansas to speak before the Higher Education subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council and through his participation in the GSC's Student Debt Panel.

Administrative Ally of the Year was awarded to Patricia Koski, associate dean of the Graduate School and International Education, who has played a foundational role in the formation and continued success of the Graduate Student Congress. Amanda Cantu, director of Graduate School and International Education communications, was selected as the recipient of the Staff Ally of the Year award. Cantu has proven to be an excellent liaison and source of support for the Graduate Student Congress. The Faculty Ally of the Year was awarded to Lisa Corrigan, assistant professor of communication, co-chair of the Gender Studies Program, and affiliate faculty in African and African American studies and Latin American studies. Corrigan has provided valuable assistance to the GSC through advising and encouraging members of the body as they strive to create a more positive environment for graduate students at the University of Arkansas. Most notably, Corrigan facilitated a day-long seminar last summer designed to help the Executive Committee of the GSC identify goals for the current year.

Joseph Daniels, civil engineering doctoral student, was awarded the Alex Marino Service Award for his outstanding service to the University of Arkansas and Fayetteville at large. Joseph serves as the president of the Black Graduate Student Association and was the keynote speaker for the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Vigil. He has organized and hosted numerous financial and race conscious events and is also actively involved with Compassion Fayetteville. Chenggang Lai was selected as the recipient of the Research Award. Chenggang is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering under the direction of Miaoqing Huang. Chenggang has been very active in research on high-performance computing with eleven papers accepted and presented, while several journal and conference papers are currently under review. Arley Ward was chosen as the recipient of the Outreach Award. Arley is a PhD student in the History department who is exceptionally dedicated to the advancement and success of graduate students at the University. Arley is actively involved on campus through participating in and helping organize graduate-led Q&A sessions, Red Talks, and GSC events. This semester, Arley was also the winner of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Three Minute Thesis competition.

To learn more about ASG Graduate Student Congress, visit its website or Facebook page.

The Associated Student Government at the University of Arkansas is a student-led organization that acts as an organized voice for all students and strives to effectively represent student interests. Questions about ASG can be directed to 479-575-5205,


Korab Vranovci, GSC Treasurer
Graduate Student Congress


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