May 27, 2018

Working at GO-MAP is Best of Both Worlds

Lindsey Wilson, doctoral candidate in the College of Education, has worked as a Graduate Staff Assistant with GO-MAP* for the past two years.

Lindsey (second from right) with the GSEE team.

Lindsey (second from right) with the GSEE team.

While this may sound cliché, in August 2016 when I walked into the GO-MAP office and seen the drive, commitment, and overall joy that each staff member took in the amazing work that was being done, I knew this was home for me.

The excitement that accompanied me during my first few days of working with GO-MAP was similar to the enthusiasm students share after attending our Prospective Student Days.

In fact, many prospective students share that these events sealed their decision to pursue graduate studies here at the University of Washington!

As both a student of color and a staff member of the Graduate School, I recognize the importance of having an office that truly cares and is dedicated to creating a community for racially diverse students, such as myself.

From Real Talk Tuesdays, where recently more than 18 graduate students amongst 10 different departments gathered to informally discuss issues affecting people of color both on-campus and nationally, to Getting Connected, where students mingle, acquire helpful tips and strategies from other students and faculty as they transition into graduate school, and then, of course, dance the night way — these opportunities consistently remind me that our student programming is truly designed by students for students.  

Lindsey at the GO-MAP soiree spring 2017.

Lindsey at the GSEE soiree spring 2017.

Recently, I was asked by a fellow staff member in the Graduate School, “What does it mean to you to give back to your fellow peers?” I immediately shared that my peers give back to me and their colleagues more than I give to them.

As a GSA for GO-MAP, my role is simply to plan out the logistics or build the foundation for the event; the students are actually the ones who show up and bring their authentic selves.

Hence, I am honored that students trust our office enough to share their triumphs and struggles, that they come to these events with open arms to build the GSEE community, and most importantly that they have created a safe place in which I get to be a part of!

*GO-MAP was the name of a program that is now called GSEE, the Office of Graduate Student Equity & Excellence. Learn more.