Welcoming Messages from Chair & Chair Elect
Welcoming Messages from Chair & Chair Elect



Welcome to the GSC: A Message from the Chair!


A Message from the Chair

Desa Karye Daniel  | Chair


Yearly Theme: "Graduate Student Leadership and Collaboration through Transparency and Vulnerability"

Greetings Fellow Graduate Students,

It is my esteemed pleasure to welcome you to the AERA (American Educational Research Association) Graduate Student Council (GSC). I am honored and humbled to serve as your 2019-2020 Chair of the AERA GSC.

The mission and goal of the AERA GSC are to facilitate, promote, develop, and support emerging scholars as they transition from graduate students to professional scholars. The AERA GSC is committed to (1) helping graduate students navigate the obstacles, challenges, and unknowns; (2) celebrating students’ successes and rewards; and (3) supporting and expanding the networks of our academic lives.

As your chair, I am committed to leading our organization with transparency and vulnerability. To catalyze our success as students, I also hope to offer more student involvement throughout AERA, provide open access to information, support our graduate student division leadership, and continue to grow our student support network with horizontal and vertical mentorship. I aim to create an environment where we as students can support each other and hold our organization accountable while expanding the graduate student council towards new opportunities.

With the upcoming 2020 theme, “The Power and Possibilities for the Public Good When Researchers and Organizational Stakeholders Collaborate”, we are expecting to engage graduate students holding multiple identities as educators, researchers, and future leaders worldwide in meaningful and diverse conversations on topics related to political, public, and educational policies. As we prepare for San Francisco 2020, we will work to unite our graduate student population under this opportunity to join together and create new spaces where we can collaborate, problem solve, and engage others through our research, scholarship, and leadership.

I encourage you to explore the 2020 AERA theme and subthemes as you seek ways to get involved within the AERA Divisions and the Graduate Student Council. As graduate students, you play a vital role in the success of our organization. I hope this prompts you to visit our website and newsletter for further information regarding the hard work our Division reps and the Graduate Student Council engage in to bring you events, programs, and services at this year's annual conference.

As graduate students, we are the foundational future of AERA. You, your voices, your presence, and your multiple identities as educators, researchers, and future leaders are welcome.


Desa Karye Daniel

Chair, 2019-2020 AERA Graduate Student Council

Ph.D. Student in Counselor Education and Supervision, College of Education, University of New Mexico 


A Message from the Chair-elect

Tessa Lee Johnson | Chair-elect


Dear Graduate Student Colleagues,

It is a privilege to serve as Chair-Elect of the AERA Graduate Student Council for the 2019-2020 year, and I am excited to get to know you over the course of my term. Often it can feel challenging for new and even returning members to locate community within large organizations, and along with my fellow officers, I hope to make the GSC a central resource within your professional lives.

Every year after I return from the annual meeting of AERA, I feel a rush of energy and enthusiasm for launching new research, networking with other scholars, and finding new avenues for disseminating the knowledge we generate. Many of you may feel the same. This year, as you dive into your work, I encourage you to reflect on our AERA theme for 2020, “The Power and Possibilities for the Public Good When Researchers and Organizational Stakeholders Collaborate.” To me, this theme requires us to ask ourselves not “what’s next,” but rather “who’s next.” This may mean reaching out to a local congressperson, collaborating with external departments, or leveraging the strength of existing connections. As our professional networks grow to include stakeholders at all levels of research, we transform educational research into a cooperative, participatory, and community endeavor.

If you are a new or a returning graduate student member of AERA, I hope that you will seek out the GSC as one of your community partners as you engage in your work over the next year. Together, we represent nearly a third of AERA’s total membership. We all come to AERA from different backgrounds with different interests, and yet through this organization, we are able to share and discover new ways to impact the world of education. In order to fully realize the strength of our diverse membership, I aim to focus my efforts on promoting accessibility within our organization, so that each of us has the opportunity to fully participate and engage with one another as we strive to better serve our communities.

I look forward to working with you over the next year and hope to see you in San Francisco.

Warmest regards,

Tessa Lee Johnson

Chair-Elect, 2019-2020 AERA Graduate Student Council

Ph.D. Student in Measurement, Statistics, Evaluation

Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology

College of Education, University of Maryland, College Park


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