The University of Montana Graduate Student Association (UMGSA or GSA) is a representative student group advocates on behalf of graduate and professional students. We work to address the needs, concerns, and interests of the graduate student body in collaboration with undergraduate and graduate student groups and associations, state and local community members and leadership, faculty, staff, and administration.
We also want to make your experience at UM as positive, fun, and educational as possible. We’re working hard on many fronts to make that happen. A few examples of our previous successes include: 1) changing the 6-credit insurance rule for grad students, 2) developing a “best practices” policy for graduate advisors, and 3) representation of grad students with ASUM and the University administration. In the future, we hope to promote more social meetups and academic discussion. With over 2000 graduate and professional students here at UM, we represent the largest special student group on campus.
The University of Montana Graduate Student Association believes that graduate students are entitled to an equal voice among campus leadership and student organizations. The GSA acts as that collective voice in support of graduate student needs and concerns by advocating social unity, relevant academic opportunities, and necessary resource allocation. The GSA supports a culture of equality, diversity, creativity, sustainability, and engagement.
The GSA seeks to work in concert with relevant governing bodies by advocating and providing responsible representation for graduate and professional student. In preparation for successful careers in diverging fields, the GSA calls for campus leadership to continually review and support graduate education at the University of Montana campus and all affiliate graduate programming. The GSA organizes and generates support of graduate student life with respect to these issues, so that students may be empowered and provided necessary opportunity for a fruitful and rewarding graduate experience.
2013-2014 Executive Team
Brett Klaassen van Oorschot – Co-President
Hey, I’m Brett. I’m in the 3rd year of my Ph.D. in biology. I also attended UM for my undergraduate degree, which has helped a lot in making sense of the University’s administration and how ASUM operates. Before starting my graduate degree, I recognized the need for a unified graduate student body. Now, in my second year as GSA co-president, I feel like we’re finally starting to make some headway. I’m looking forward to representing GSA as things change over the next year.
When I’m not doing research or working for the GSA, I like to play music, go on adventures, take photos of things, and paraglide above Missoula. I study the aerodynamics of bird flight. You can find me in my lab, on any of the trails around Missoula, or down at the Kettlehouse. If you see me, please introduce yourself and tell me about your experiences at UM and what we can do to help make it even better. Thanks for checking out the site!
Dan Biehl – Co-President
Hey! I’m a doctoral candidate in Education Leadership with an emphasis in higher education. I’m originally from Great Falls, MT. My Masters is in Sports, Fitness and Recreation Management, and before becoming involved in student affairs and student government I was a college coach in track and field. I’ve been involved with the GSA as a volunteer for 2 years. Many people, including myself, have been working hard to elevate graduate students and the Graduate Student Association to a functioning student government. I’d like to see our graduate students thought of as more than just a group of students on campus that rarely contribute, to what we really are- a branch of the University that not only studies here, but provides assistance in teaching, research, grant writing, and contributes to the community and growth of the university.