Nick Walker, Candidate, President

Doctoral Student, Environmental Science and Policy (full-time student)

Expected Graduation Date: May 2018

Brief biography and candidate statement about why you would be qualified for this position:

Dear grad student: I know your schedule is busy, so thank you for taking the time to read my application.

I’m running because I want to support you in finding funding, getting your work published in academic journals with high impact factors, graduating as soon as possible and building your career.

My biggest strength is my ability to listen well. I want to be a voice for all grad students and relay your thoughts, concerns and ideas to the faculty and Board of Visitors. I especially want to help support international students – I did my Master’s degree at the Federal University of Viçosa in Brazil and understand the challenges of being a grad student in a foreign country.

As president, my first step will be to meet with grad students to understand how I can best serve you. I want to hear from as many of you as possible, especially anyone who doesn’t feel like they’ve been represented here so far.

Together, we will put together workshops to help save you time, money and sanity, with great tips on applying for grants and fellowships, how to write, edit and publish research papers and much more. We are going to work closely with organizations on campus, such as the Office of Sponsored Programs, and bring in talented individuals from academia, business, non-profits and government agencies. We are also going to coordinate lots of social events for you to meet and network with other graduate students and faculty. It’s all going to be geared toward your continued success and professional development.

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Environmental Science & Policy department with a 3.97 GPA. I first came to Mason in the summer of 1991 to attend a reading camp. Since then, I’ve seen this place go from being a small commuter school to becoming the largest public research facility in Virginia. I’ve been here as an undergrad, grad student and employee. I’ve worked for the Alumni Association, University Life, the Sustainability Office, Recreation and University Libraries, I’ve founded student groups and much more. Most recently, I’ve been teaching lab courses and received a Provost award for Outstanding Core Course based on my students’ ratings of instruction. In addition, since 2011 I’ve run a small business helping hundreds of researchers get their work published. I’ve had many wonderful opportunities at GMU and I’d like to help more students have the same great experiences I have.

If you like what you read, I’m asking you to do two things: One, please vote for me for President of the Graduate and Professional Student Association. Two, please forward this to at least one friend. You’re working hard toward your degree, I want to work just as hard to help support you in your progress. Together, we are going to make Mason better than ever for graduate students.

Thank you again for your time and best of luck to you in advancing toward your degree.

 

Will you be able to meet the time commitments and expectations of the position? Describe your availability for Fall 2017, as well as other on-going time commitments (e.g., classes, work, organizational involvement).

Yes! In fact, I hope to exceed expectations. I am working on my research and not taking coursework so my schedule is very flexible. I will be accessible to all members of the graduate student community, both in-person and electronically. If there’s anything I can do to support you or help you find resources, please stop by my office or e-mail me at nwalker3@gmu.edu. I live only one mile from the Fairfax campus so I am here every day. I understand the responsibilities and duties of this position and I will commit to it 100%. I will be a voice for graduate students at meetings with Graduate Student Life, the Board of Visitors, the search committee and everywhere else. I will dedicate myself to serving the graduate students of GMU.

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