School of
Graduate Studies

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) is an organization of UMKC graduate students whose focus is helping to support all graduate students' personal and professional growth. No matter your program or level of graduate study, we want to be a resource and a network for you.

The mission of the GSC is to promote, serve, and empower the UMKC graduate student community by addressing their scholarly, social, and professional growth needs. We want to make the graduate experience here at UMKC the best it can for everyone.

The UMKC Graduate Student Council (GSC) was formed in 2015 with the aim of providing an opportunity for graduate students to interact and support each other in their academic research endeavors. The GSC organizes a variety of social and academic programs throughout the year to promote the scholarly, social, and professional growth needs of our students.


Discover our past and upcoming council meetings, social events, seminars, workshops, and other activities. All events are kept on our RooGroups site, so join us as a member to receive communications and updates, as well as being able to RSVP.

GSC cabinet members with Assoc. Dean Dilks

Summary of the Community of Scholars 2023 Research Conference

The Graduate Student Council proudly recaps the Community of Scholars 2023 Research Conference, held on November 13th at the Atterbury Student Success Center. Organized in partnership with the School of Graduate Studies, this event showcased the essence of interdisciplinary research and collaboration.

Dr. Stephen Dilks, Interim Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, adeptly spearheaded this year's event. His significant role in securing funding was crucial for our success. We extend special thanks to Dr. Mohan Kumar Gajendran, conference co-chair from the GSC and the Graduate Research Development Committee, for his comprehensive review of the submissions.

The conference highlighted diverse research presentations from fields including Physics, Biology, Engineering, Economics, and Computer Science, among others. With approximately 50 submissions, it created a vibrant atmosphere of intellectual exchange through podium presentations, engaging workshops, poster sessions, and the Three-Minute Thesis competition. Guest speakers Dr. Marcus Meade and Dr. Linwood Tauheed delivered thought-provoking talks on writing in the AI era and the art of interdisciplinary research, respectively, stimulating enriching discussions.

Acknowledgements go to Michelle Heiman from the School of Graduate Studies for her substantial role in organizing the conference. Kiel Corkran, President of the GSC, was instrumental in planning the conference and hosting the awards ceremony, a central highlight of the event. Additionally, Ravi Chandra Thota, Event Director of the GSC, was key to the conference's smooth execution.

We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the judges and volunteers whose dedication and hard work significantly contributed to the success of the conference. Their efforts in managing various aspects of the event were invaluable.

The networking opportunities and collaborative sessions proved extremely beneficial, leading to meaningful dialogues and potential future collaborations. Positive feedback from attendees reflected the conference's success in promoting scholarly dialogue and collaboration.

Looking ahead to the Community of Scholars 2024 Research Conference, we are excited to welcome an even larger group of scholars. Our goal is to build on this year's achievements and continue providing a platform for showcasing diverse research and fostering a scholarly community. For more information about the 2024 conference or other future events, please contact the Graduate Student Council.

In conclusion, the success of the Community of Scholars 2023 Research Conference stands as a testament to the dynamic spirit of academic collaboration. Our deepest gratitude goes to all contributors, judges, volunteers, and participants, and we look forward to furthering our journey of knowledge and innovation in the coming years.


Fatima Abukunna, Carolyn Barber, Scott Curtis, Stephen Dilks, Kalyan Durbhakula, Michelle Heiman, Nancy Hoover, Helene Houston-Reed, Chi Lee, Debra Leiter, Zhongjin Li, Hillary McGraw, Marcus Meade, Amirfarhang Mehdizadeh, Jeffrey Price, Paul Rulis, John Sawatzky, Dan Scott, Steve Simon, Jelly Soffers, and Maria Spletter.


Allu, Chaitanya Swaroop Kumar; Dhiddi, Vamsi Krishna; Kasula, Jagan; Kim, Hyuna; Murtaza Sara, Sarawat; Okonkwo, Tobechukwu; Ortiz, Henry; Upadhyayula, Anuraag; Yeramaddu, Likhitha.

Task Forces for GSC Investigations

Task force 1: Investigating Grad Student and Faculty interaction 

Description: Investigate how much is being paid by both domestic and international graduate students in student fees and tuition. What are the costs associated with being a graduate student at UMKC versus undergrad. How does this differ for international Graduate students. This will involve gathering information about how fee payment and the use of campus resources affects students doing their doing lives.

Goals: Understand Grad Program fees by domestic vs international students, including Graduate Assistantships. Also, understand how the current distribution of student fees is affecting the current Graduate student population. 


Task force 2: Investigating Student Fee and their Impact

Description: Investigate the interaction grad students have been experiencing with faculty in different UMKC schools. Gather testimonials , feedback, and information regarding student interaction with faculty, including timely communication. For example, are faculty making themselves open to mentor relationships, promptly communicating with students about important deadlines and documents for degree program, and responding in a timely manner to student inquires? How are School of Graduate Studites guidelines for communication between student and teacher being followed?

Goals: Gather data about communication between grad students and faculty in order to help determine what changes need to happen to ensure better communication for all involved. Improve faculty/student relationships in terms of mentorship, communication, and advising.

Click below for more Graduate Student Council content

The GSC was established to serve and empower the graduate student community of UMKC. Comprised of a five-person elected cabinet and a 15-member executive committee, our council members come from diverse disciplines. 

Cabinet members:

  • President - Kiel Corkran
  • Vice President - Shannon Fuller
  • Secretary - Henry Ortiz
  • Treasurer - Prem Munaga
  • Media Coordinator - currently open. See "Get Involved" if interested in this role.

SGA Senators are Hyuna Kim and a second representative TBD.

Committee members by research area:

  • Administrative and Information Sciences - Yuki Ochi, Ashley Still, and Preethi Yeddula
  • Biological and Chemical Sciences - Three positions open.
  • Humanities and Arts - Rachel Forester. Two additional committee positions open.
  • Physical, Mathematical, Engineering, and Computer Sciences - Three positions open.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences - Three positions open.

Our initiatives showcase our ongoing projects and programs. Our projects span a variety of areas, aiming to promote and stimulate the highest academic and research endeavors.

Graduate Research Support Committee (working title): This proposed student-run committee aims to foster an inclusive and encouraging environment for all graduate researchers through networking, mentorship, and collaboration. Look for more information in the coming semesters regarding this committee and its workshops and student competitions.

Graduate Job Fair: We hope to invite companies around the KC area and the region to participate in a jobs fair specifically for our graduate student populations. This will include networking, as well as internship and job opportunities.

Fall/Spring Graduate Student Welcome Week: GSC will work to onboard new graduate students so they have resources in hand at the start of their time at UMKC. We also we have events designed to help students get familiar with the UMKC learning environment, such as how to use library systems, scholarships, etc. 

International Graduate Student Welcome Week: Additional to the full Graduate Student Welcome Week, we hope to plan specific events to focus more on issues surrounding the international graduate student experience. 

Graduate Outreach Initiative: Additional to the Admissions team recruiters at UMKC, we hope to disperse graduate students into the schools and community in the KC area with testimonials about their experiences in graduate school at UMKC. Let's show everyone what Roos do.

Look here for helpful links to various kinds of resources for graduate students.

Resource guides:

Learn how you can become a council member, volunteer for events, or participate in council activities.

The Council is always looking for assistance from fellow graduate students in serving on the executive board, cabinet, and committee. These individuals are charged with event planning and initiatives to improve the student experience. Current open positions include:

  • Three Executive Committee Representatives and Liaisons for Biological and Chemical Sciences
  • Two Executive Committee Representatives and Liaisons for Humanities and Arts
  • Three Executive Committee Representatives and Liaisons for Physical, Mathematical, Engineering, and Computer Sciences
  • Three Executive Committee Representatives and Liaisons for Social and Behavioral Sciences

We are also consistently looking for feedback! Please send us feedback on your UMKC experience. A Council representative will get back with you as soon as possible.

Coming soon.

Reach out to us!

  • Our RooGroups page is available 24/7.
  • The official email account is
  • GSC has a 3rd floor cubicle in the Student Union - office hours are 1-3pm Mondays, 12-1pm Tuesdays, 2:30-3:30pm Wednesdays, 9-11am and 3-5pm Thursdays, and 10am-3pm Fridays.

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the council and its activities.

Transparency is one of our core values. Our meeting minutes provide detailed accounts of council meetings.