Graduate Student Council

Message from the GSC Chair


Tessa L. Johnson

Chair, 2019-2020 AERA Graduate Student Council

Ph.D. Student, University of Maryland, College Park

Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 Graduate Student Council (GSC) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The GSC is the representative body within AERA tasked with advocating for graduate students as we navigate life within graduate school and prepare for the next stages of our careers.

Today, life within and beyond graduate school looks drastically different than in the past. Graduate students face important questions about what it means to engage in education research and participate in higher education during a time of extreme crisis. However, while this scale of this global trauma is new to us, the challenges that have arisen for us and our communities are not. Unfortunately, graduate students are all too familiar with juggling financial stressors, managing extracurricular responsibilities alongside academic ones, and working to protect their mental and physical health throughout.

In his Annual Meeting theme announcement, Dr. Shaun Harper, AERA President, has asked us all to reflect on our work as education researchers and accept educational responsibility within our roles as scholars and practitioners. As graduate students, we carry the added responsibility of advocating for one another within academic structures built to take advantage of junior professionals and isolate marginalized voices.

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