The 2019-2020 school year begins with three of our Learning Technologies (LT) students taking on leadership roles within our department, college, and university. Sarah Barksdale, a third year PhD student, begins her second year as president of the C&I Graduate Student Association (CIGSA). She’ll continue to lead an amazing team of C&I graduate students in building community, breaking down silos between programs, and creating fun events for the graduate community.  CIGSA put on the 2nd annual C&I Community Day in September where students, faculty, and staff were invited to bring their families and loved ones to experience various program activities and eat delicious snacks. In addition to monthly de-stress retreats, social hours, and other activities, CIGSA is also planning their Emerging Scholars Conference for Spring 2020. This conference provides an opportunity for collaboration as professional and graduate students share their interests, research, and ideas with their colleagues, professors, and community members.


Robert Kreml, a second year PhD student, took office as the President of the Graduate and Professional Students of the College of Education and Human Development (GradSEHD) on July 1, 2019. He leads an organization comprised of graduate and professional students within the college. The purpose of GradSEHD is to provide both social and financial opportunities for current graduate and professional students. This is in the form of fun and educational events and research, or professional development, grants for graduate and professional student community. In addition to President of GradSEHD, Robert is also the Chief Justice of the Council of Graduate Students (COGS). He oversees the Judicial Committee to ensure that actions taken by COGS is following the governing documents and is beneficial for all graduate students at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Rukmini Avadhanam is a second-year Ph.D. student in Learning Technologies. She is the Curriculum and Instruction Department representative for the university level Recognized Student Governance Association of graduate students called Council of Graduate Students (COGS). COGS provides financial and social opportunities for all graduate students within the university level in the form of career development and conference travel grants, along with organizing social events for graduate students.  As an enthusiastic program representative, she attends the monthly meetings to represent the best interests of the graduate program on the behalf of the graduate students in the department to vote and voice their opinions on pressing student issues that COGS works for. She makes sure to bring the details of issues, grants, and events to the students in the department by acting as a student liaison!