Graduate and Professional Student Senate

2017 GPSS Academic Conference

Husky Union Building, UW Seattle
May 6, 2017

See the conference program here

Our Work Now: The Critical Role of Graduate and Professional Students in Post-Election America

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States has defined the current state of local, national, and global politics. In this moment, it is critical that we 1) reassess our roles as graduate and professional students within the university community, 2) insist upon our dedication to academic freedom, and 3) assert our commitments to equity as well as the safety of the most vulnerable members of our communities.

This conference invites graduate and professional students across all three campuses of the University of Washington to address the following questions: How do you position yourself and your work at the university in relation to the current geopolitical climate? Specifically, how does your work contribute to the university community, the preservation of academic freedom, the project of creating equitable societies, and/or the safety and wellbeing of people imperiled by current social and political formations?

To answer these questions, this conference emphasizes interdisciplinary conversation and intersectional approaches to academic and professional work. We encourage applicants to propose presentations, panels, or posters that address one or more of the following themes:


Business and Trade

This theme examines the future of the exchange of money and services, the relationship between our economy and the marketplace, and international relations. Topics include, but are not limited to: economics, econometrics, public-private partnerships, regulatory studies of business, outcomes research, marketing, and ethical, sustainable, or innovative business practices.

Citizenship and Immigration

This theme examines what impact the changing geopolitical climate and the new administration have upon the U.S. immigration policies and our understanding and practice of citizenship. Topics include, but are not limited to: border controls, immigration policies, dispossession of the undocumented, structural inequality and exclusion of marginalized people from political participation and rights, and policing people’s bodies in public and private space.

Communication and Information

This theme examines the role that the new administration plays or will play in relation to communication and the circulation of information. Topics include, but are not limited to: freedom of expression, media portrayals and representations, access to information, management and regulation of communications, and information technology.


This theme examines the future of primary, secondary, and postsecondary education amidst the changing geopolitical climate. Topics include, but are not limited to: curriculum development, cultural competency, high stakes testing, education leadership, teacher education, and school reform.

Health and the Environment

From reproductive health to climate change, personal, social, economic, and physical environments that determine people’s health are changing. This theme examines health and environmental policies, health services, biology of human health, individual behavior, genetics, and social factors impacting physical, biological, and cultural environments within the context of the current political and historical moment.

Policy, Governance, and Activism

This theme examines the relations between policy, governance, and activism. Topics include, but are not limited to: public policy, social policy, foreign policy, the role of relationships between actors, agencies, and institutions, governance and transparency, security, social movements/social movement organizations, and politically active corporations, institutions, or associations.

Science and Technology

The latest election has exhibited the public’s and political leadership’s disregard
for evidence-based policy as well as distrust of the scientific community. Why does scientific research matter in the current geopolitical environment? Topics include but are not limited to: racial/ethnic diversity in large medical studies, public discourse about concerns regarding new technologies, diffusion of STEM breakthroughs to underserved communities.

Presentation formats

  • Poster session
    Poster of size 36’’ X 56’’ or smaller

  • Panel
    10 minutes for each panelist; 3-4 panelists per session; Q&A led by moderator

  • Presentation
    Up to 20 minutes per presentation and 15-minute Q&A; 3 presenters per session

The deadline for proposals is March 31 (Friday), 2017, 11:59 pm.

Questions about the conference? Contact GPSS Executive Assistant to the President, Meghan McNabb ( or GPSS President Soh Yeun (Elloise) Kim (

*Note that only graduate and professional students currently enrolled at the UW Seattle, Bothell, or Tacoma campuses are eligible to apply.