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Emily Burns

emily smiles happily into the camera, her smile is broad and welcoming. She wears a blue top and is pictured in front of a green trees.
GPSS Director of Events (Ph.D. Program: Higher Education)

Emily Burns

Ph.D. Program: Higher Education

Personal Statement

I am excited to serve as the Director of Events for this coming academic year! I plan to focus on coordinating accessible events that are as inclusive as possible. I will bring a proactive access lens to event planning, meaning that I will choose wheelchair accessible venues, label food ingredients, plan for multiple means of participation, and promote accessible presentation guidelines. I will follow accessibility guidelines in event marketing materials by using high color contrast, recommended fonts and font sizes, and image descriptions. I will post signs to restrooms, including locations of all-gender restrooms or single occupancy restrooms. I will give participants the option to include their pronouns on name tags and when introducing themselves. By prioritizing access, I hope to plan events that will make all students feel welcome to attend. I will plan a mix of social and educational events that give graduate students an opportunity to get to know one another and learn together. I will also build off the momentum of Director of Events from last by getting food from locally owned business and using biodegradable products. I look forward to getting started!

Statement of Intent

I enjoy planning and attending events that foster community. I value spaces that allow folx to bring their whole selves. Therefore, I want to plan accessible events that are as inclusive as possible. I will bring a proactive access lens to event planning, meaning that I will choose wheelchair accessible venues, label food ingredients, allow multiple means of participation, and promote accessible presentation guidelines. Additionally, I will encourage participants to share access needs in advance. I will work with executive board members to secure funding if event attendees need captioning, ASL services, or specific types of food available. I will also follow accessibility guidelines in event marketing materials by using high color contrast, recommended fonts and font sizes, and image descriptions. I will post signs to restrooms, including locations of all-gender restrooms or single occupancy restrooms. I will give participants the option to include their pronouns on name tags and when introducing themselves. By prioritizing access, I hope to plan events that will make all students feel welcome to attend.

Platform Statement

I want to plan a mix of social and educational events that give graduate students an opportunity to get to know one another. I will plan one or two large social gatherings with food and interactive activities. I hope to plan educational events that focus on topics of interest to graduate students such as dissertation and thesis writing tips, managing imposter syndrome, networking advice, and job search suggestions. I will work to make each event as accessible as possible and will invite participants to share their access needs in advance. I will also build off the momentum of last’s year’s Director of Events by getting food from locally owned business and using biodegradable products.

The Role Itself

The Director of Events is the chief operating officer for all GPSS Events, defined as attendance-based events and services that further the GPSS Mission.