Sarah Kurz is a third year PhD student in the higher education management program at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education (SOE). She is the 2020-2021 President of the Council of Graduate Students in Education (CGSE), and is overjoyed to have the opportunity to work alongside her peers to develop comradery and provide out-of-classroom learning opportunities to fellow graduate students. Sarah has had the opportunity to serve in several leadership roles during her PhD including committee membership in the SOE’s student engagement committee, and previously as her department representative for CGSE. Sarah has also spent the last three years working as a graduate research assistant, project manager, and team leader on projects related to undergraduate STEM women’s self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and career aspirations, along with Pitt’s Pathways for Civic Growth project. Sarah also researches and writes about graduate student mental health, and is passionate about understanding and improving the graduate student experience. Prior to coming to Pitt, Sarah received her M.A. in Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University and her B.A. in Public Relations from Penn State, where she also served as a student leader in multiple student organizations. Before returning to graduate school, Sarah worked in Public and Government Affairs for The Dow Chemical Company, and specialized in business communications and community outreach. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending quality time at home with her fiancé Andrew and doting on their dog, Nellie, and two cats, Olive and Katniss.
As the Vice President of Communications, I would hope to continue on the excellent work of this committee. GPSG has reacted swiftly to important campus, local, and national events that impact our graduate students, and has provided a space of support and advocacy. I would like to continue forward by communicating the great work and events our graduate students do to an even further reach. There are opportunities to connect the often-siloed spaces of higher education by cross promoting events and connecting graduate students from different schools. There are opportunities to spread the word about the wonderful work our students do to broader audiences using social media and classic public relations methods. The greatest opportunity of all lies within Pitt, by helping to further extend the voice of graduate students to administration, staff and faculty, and working closely with our VP of Committees. As the Vice President of Communications, I would hope to achieve closer relationships with Advisory Board members to further support their mission. I look forward to having the opportunity to extend the voice of the many graduate students that look to GPSG for guidance and support in times of celebration and in hardship.