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Micki Palmersheim

Micki shares a sunny, sunlit smile, framed by flowers and pathways between them
Micki Palmersheim, GPSS Director of Programs (Entomology in CAUS)

Micki Palmersheim

Master's Student, Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Personal Statement

My name is Micki and I am looking forward to serving as the Director of Programs for the remainder of 2021. My goals for this year are to focus on resources and programs that address mental health of graduate students and their financial security. I strongly believe that these two issues go hand in hand, and play a key role in the success of graduate students. I hope to address these issues by expanding awareness of current programs and resources provided by the GPSS, and to help students navigate these resources in a timely manner so that they can maximize their benefit. Additionally, I plan to encourage approaching current objectives and new programs with aims of preventative action for our incoming and current students, while we work on long term correction for the benefit of future students. I am excited to be a part of a team that can bring changes for the benefit of our graduate students.

Statement of Intent

As a graduate student at Virginia Tech, I see serving as a GPSS representative not only as a civic duty to the University, but also as a privilege. I am passionate about representing my fellow graduate students, not limited to those in the Entomology department, and speaking out for fair treatment, representation, and inclusion.

With my extensive list of prior leadership positions held, I believe I am qualified and understanding of the effort and dedication necessary to excel as Director of Programs. My strengths in communication and organization will be valuable for the function of the role and operation as a productive team. In addition, l work confidently in leadership roles and I strive to always lead with an open mind and adaptability.

I work with a direct and calculated approach, and am exceptionally detail oriented. Principles that I follow are that I never delegate a task that I am unwilling to do myself. I am not ashamed to admit when I need clarification or assistance, and I make great effort to make any environment that I am a part of welcoming, inclusive, and engaging.

As I progress further into my graduate program, I have been driven to further find understanding in the treatment and services available for graduate students, and am active in informing my cohort to support their success. I am forward about the fair treatment and inclusion of graduate students, as well as appreciative when given the opportunity. My goal is to increase my support and serve those around me through representation as Director of Programs for GPSS.

Platform Statement

I believe that each graduate student is an invaluable, and all too often underappreciated, asset of the university and should be shown adequate appreciation and acknowledgement. I aim to spread encouragement and awareness through representation by delivering transparent communication and by providing myself as an approachable resource to students and faculty.

I aim to address issues that create barriers for the success and efficiency of GTAs and GRAs. I am committed to bringing awareness to issues such as financial insecurity, inadequate mental health resources, and parking disparities. Although these may seem like indirect barriers in graduate student success, small improvements and providing resources that assist in navigating students towards current resources can provide unmeasurable differences in the success of graduate students. I have had personal experience and frustration with all three issues, and while solutions may not be feasibly immediate, I am well versed in ways to acknowledge and utilize current resources as time is spent addressing and advocating for solutions.

My goal is to use my exceptional communication skills and interpersonal intelligence to work with faculty in higher leadership positions to bring awareness of the diversity of students' needs and find productive solutions that will serve the University through the success of it’s graduate students, and to bring the gap in communication for both students and board members. 

The Role Itself

The Director of Programs is the chief operating officer for all programs, defined as participation-based services and events that require long term planning and budgeting.