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Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is a group of elected and appointed students who help run graduate student life at Penn State College of Medicine. The GSA helps to facilitate communication between the student body and program administration and coordinates events such as the annual Graduate Research Forum to provide educational opportunities for all members of the Penn State College of Medicine community. Members of GSA also try to help new students adjust to graduate school life through social and academic services.

The GSA executive and committee chairs are available to help grad students with any questions and can direct students to most services available at Penn State. They can help students navigate campus and various offices around campus, or help find other student or local organizations.

Many University offices routinely refer students to GSA for questions on just about any subject. Any student who has a question for which they cannot find an answer should feel free to contact any one of the GSA executives listed on this page.

The GSA also welcomes volunteers to help with various GSA projects and looks forward to suggestions to help the group better serve Penn State graduate students. For ways to get involved in GSA, contact a member or committee chair.

Contact GSA leadership See graduate student events

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GSA Care Committee

The Graduate Student Association is committed to providing support for grad students who are isolated at home during COVID-19. Students who are unable to leave their homes for various reasons should complete the online form below, and the GSA COVID Care Committee will reach out.

Submit info to care committee

GSA Groups

Active Minds Expand answer

Six dots arranged in an arc over the words

The issue: Student mental heath issues can be considered a weakness and shameful, and discussion may be discouraged. Some individuals feel they are the only ones suffering and keep silent.

The goal: Beat the negative, social stigma about mental health issues. Provide students with a safe environment where they are surrounded by those, in their community, who may struggle with the same issues or know someone who does. most importantly, provide and receive support and positive acknowledgement to and from the student community by letting others know they are not alone.


Business and Innovation Group Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine’s Business and Innovation Group is a professional development group run by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The group aims to increase exposure of students and postdocs at the College of Medicine to alternative careers in business consulting and medical innovation development/technology transfer.

The group’s primary activities include carrying out pro bono consulting projects with emphasis on improving local business activities related to the life sciences and medical innovation. The group plans to have multiple projects with the collaboration of different central Pennsylvania entrepreneurial and life science innovation offices. Moreover, they hope to carry out business-related workshops and case study sessions in order to prepare themselves for attending case and pitch competitions at other universities or venture capital investment competitions.

Read more about the group on Lions Talk Science


Chinese Students and Scholars Association Expand answer

Contact: Faculty Adviser Lihua Xu,

Diverse Graduate Student Group Expand answer

The Diverse Graduate Student Group represents and supports the interests of the College of Medicine’s current and future diverse graduate and professional student community.

The group accomplishes this goal by supporting scholarship activities and professional development, promoting leadership, providing social and service opportunities and planning events and activities to promote a sense of community among graduate and professional students and their families.

Learn more about the Diverse Graduate Student Group

Graduate Women in Science Expand answer

Graduate Women in Science is a professional organization of women in science that has existed for more than 90 years. The national organization supports each of the 20 chapters across the world by overseeing the National GWIS Fellowship program.

The College of Medicine GWIS chapter aims to provide mentoring opportunities for the professional and personal development of all graduate women at the College of Medicine and organize outreach and yearly networking events.


Lions Talk Science Expand answer

Lions Talk Science is a blog written by the graduate students and research community of Penn State College of Medicine. Its goal is to increase the community’s enthusiasm for science and overall science literacy, regardless of educational background.

See details here

Pharmaceutical Industry Lion Leaders Expand answer

The purpose of Pharmaceutical Industry Lion Leaders (PILL) is to provide a supportive and educational community for aspiring professionals in the pharmaceutical industry. The organization aims to facilitate networking, share industry insights and foster professional development to empower its members to excel in their pharmaceutical careers.


Physician Scientist Student Association Expand answer

The Physician Scientist Student Association (PSSA) is the governing body for all dual-degree MD/PhD students enrolled at Penn State College of Medicine. The purpose of this organization is to address the unique needs of MD/PhD students.

PSSA is responsible for organizing both professional and social events to facilitate vertical integration among all years of the Medical Scientist Training Program, working with program leadership to coordinate prospective student recruitment, and representing Penn State College of Medicine at the national level through the American Physician Scientist Association.


Public Health Association for Service and Education (PHASE) Expand answer

The mission of the Public Health Associate for Service and Education is to:

  • Increase public health literacy through education, advocacy, PHASE-sponsored events and community service
  • Provide members with the opportunity to engage with and give back to the community
  • Develop professional skills and relevant public health experience

Learn more about PHASE