Hopkins Student Organization (HMSGSO)

Mission Statement:

  • Serve as a general forum for graduate student interests and concerns

  • Discuss and organize initiatives of importance to the graduate students

  • Make decisions regarding the graduate student fund

  • Interface with the faculty regarding issues affecting the graduate student body

Current Officers (2022-2023):

  • President: Maurice Goodman
  • Treasurer: Julie Pourtois
  • Secretary: Taylor Souza
  • Seminar Series Coordinators: Melissa Palmisciano and Kaitlyn Mitchell
  • Faculty and Friends of Hopkins Liaison: Chloe Mikles 
  • High Tidings Blog: TBD

Officer position descriptions listed below; each officer is paid a $100 honorarium for the year. 

Officer Descriptions


  • Organizes a quarterly graduate student meeting to discuss the graduate program, events, etc. 
  • Prepares an agenda for the quarterly meeting, and runs the meeting according the agenda
  • Solicits  discussion items from grad students
  • Organizes additional meeting(s) of the graduate officers to discuss current issues facing the graduate program 
  • When necessary, organizes additional meetings of the graduate students to discuss specific issues
  • Leads projects to improve the graduate program and interface with the faculty and staff (will be involved in all Graduate/Faculty committee meetings)
  • Emails the incoming first year students in early summer (welcomes them and passes on Graduate Student Resources links on HMS site )
  • Delegates tasks to other officers


  • Manages the graduate funds and budget
  • Manages proposals to co-directors for funding of events like the graduate student retreat
  • Reports the status of the graduate fund to the community at our quarterly meeting
  • Informs the graduate students if there is an “actionable” amount of funds in the grad fund (i.e. enough that someone could propose to spend some)
  • Proposes new ideas for Hopkins merchandise 
  • Publicizes all Hopkins merchandise for sale
  • Propose community-building events or other ideas that will be covered fully or in part by the graduate funds


  • Records notes at each quarterly graduate student meeting
  • Sends out a videoconferencing link before each meeting for those who want to attend meetings remotely
  • Sends meeting notes to the hmsgrads listserve as soon as possible after the meeting
  • Serve as a member of the student committee that meets with the faculty committee and record notes at all meetings
  • Helps with any additional bookkeeping or writing of proposals

 Graduate Student Seminar Series Chair & Assistant (2 positions)

  • Organizes the fall seminar series by soliciting invites from lab groups, individuals, or clusters of students, filling all dates with speakers, and being point people for questions related to hosting, travel info, etc.
  • Manages the seminar budget (work with co-directors of the station for budget increases)
  • Communicates and updates graduate students about slots that need to be filled
  • Contacts all speakers to inform them of travel, budget, etc.
  • Ensures all hosts announce the seminar and create a schedule for their speaker
  • Notes that the Seminar Assistant assists/shadows the chair for one year and then steps up to the chair position the following year


  • Generates ideas for events that connect Hopkins to the public, prospective students, alumni, etc.
  • Works with other members on the team to organize and publicize events
  • Manages the prospective student site (solicit quotes, update emails, answer any questions, etc.)
  • Manages the High Tidings blog
  • Delegates tasks and ensures events run smoothly

Faculty Meeting Liaisons

  • Attends faculty meetings and record notes
  • Sends meeting notes to the hmsgrads listserve as soon as possible after the meeting
  • After each Graduate/Faculty Committee meeting, makes an announcement at the next faculty meeting summarizing the important discussion points
Quarterly Meeting Schedules and Procedures

Graduate Student Meetings

  • Meet once per quarter, within the first two weeks of each quarter

  • In advance of the meeting, the president solicits the grad student body for discussion items and initiatives ]

  • Announcements are defined as a simple notice of an item of interest, with no direct outcome sought from the grad student body; an initiative is defined as an action item that leads to a defined outcome

  • Votes on initiatives will be required for items requiring significant grad fund expenditure, impact the grad student body as a whole, or as otherwise deemed necessary by the proposer

  • Prior to each meeting, an agenda and a videoconference link are sent out for remote attendance; the president officiates all meetings for efficiency

Graduate Student and Faculty Committee Meetings

  • Once per quarter, following each grad student meeting, a committee of students will meet with the co-directors, in matters that pertain to faculty or overall Hopkins operations

  • Prior to meeting with faculty, the graduate student committee will draft an agenda based on the minutes from the previous grad student meeting in addition to other discussion points about initiatives, scheduled events, etc.

  • The graduate student committee should include the president and secretary, as well as other students representing cohorts/labs not represented otherwise

  • The committee's goal is to best represent the grad students as a whole and serve as a dedicated communication channel between graduate student and faculty bodies


The treasurer is responsible for maintaining the graduate student funds. Our SSO, Abby McConnell, is the account holder for the HMSGSO bank account through Chase Bank; the treasurer is the go-to for the HMSGSO credit card.

 Beginning in 2021-22, we no longer have to sell merchandise to fund the student organization.

  • HMS will be purchasing an inventory of evergreen merchandise, along with that designed yearly by HMSGSO.

  • In addition, we have a weekly TG budget of $120; please submit receipts to Abby for tracking purposes and cc Doreen so that she can process your reimbursement. 

  • For larger expenses, such as the graduate student retreat, the treasurer will need to submit a proposal to the co-directors for funding. 

Any student who wishes to purchase something for the graduate student body should keep these two threshold amounts in mind:

$50 or below:

  • Below $50, purchases don’t need a vote by the graduate students to approve the purchase.

  • Send out an email to propose your purchase and if no grad student objects, go to the treasurer directly for money.

  • Examples of previous purchases: special TG drinks/ingredients, external microphone for meetings

$400 and above: 

  • Purchases above $400 should have a large in-person vote with the majority of the grad students represented.

  • Examples of previous purchases: Grad retreat, buying more merchandise.

  • Note: purchases between $50 and $400 still need a majority vote to be approved, but this vote can be done through a Google form.