The 32nd annual Virginia Tech Graduate Student Assembly Research Symposium and Exposition, featuring the work of about 200 students, is one of dozens of events planned for the 2016 Graduate Education Week at Virginia Tech, which begins Monday, March 21. 

The week of activities and programs is sponsored by the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) and the Graduate School, and both celebrates and raises awareness of university students, faculty, programs, and initiatives. This year, many of the events, including the annual Friday afternoon cookout, will feature a beach party theme.

While most of the events March 21-25 are planned for the university community, the GSA Research Symposium and Expo, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 23, is free and open to the public at the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown (GLC), 155 Otey St.

GSA President Matt Chan, a civil and environmental engineering student from Hong Kong, China, said visitors will find a wide range of presentations from students in programs across the university. The GSA received more than 200 submissions from students in more than 50 programs across the university. Undergraduates also submitted abstracts.

The name of the event has expanded to take into account the range of activities and types of presentations, said GSA Director of Programs Chelsea Corkins, a biological systems engineering student from Hutchinson, Kansas. “We want to be more inclusive of students not doing research that can be presented via poster or oral presentation. The exposition part includes round tables, panels, and creative installations.”

Chan said the symposium also features workshops on such topics as interdisciplinary research, publications and safe zone training. “The driving force behind this year’s program is to make the research accessible to a broad audience,” he added.

At 7 p.m. keynote speaker Abhi Nemani, a writer and technologist who recently was Los Angeles’ first Chief Data Officer, will talk about technology and liberal arts. Nemani helped launch, build and run the nonprofit Code for America, and assesses how data-driven policies and civic technology can help with public life in the 21st century.

In addition to the symposium, the week includes meals, workshops, a movie night, and other activities, and the Graduate School’s semi-annual photography and art contest.

Here’s a line-up of other events.

On Monday, the Graduate School will host a graduate student appreciation lunch at 11:30 a.m. in the GLC multipurpose room, and later will hold a workshop on the electronic thesis and dissertation submission process.

Tuesday, the Graduate School will host a movie night at the Lyric Theater, which will show the Oscar winning film, “The Revenant.”

Wednesday’s activities include a LinkedIn Lab from 2-5 p.m. in the Graduate School lobby.

Thursday, top doctoral and master’s degree students will be honored at the annual awards banquet. The Graduate School will also recognize Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society scholars and will name the outstanding graduate student of the year.

The week concludes Friday with the annual Big Cookout on the Graduate School lawn across from Squires Student Center, and in the GLC multipurpose room, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

For a complete schedule, more information about the week’s events, and to register for those that require sign-ups, visit the website.

If you are an individual with a disability and require accommodations to visit the GSA symposium on March 23, please email or call 540-231-1693.

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