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Physics Graduate Student Association

Prospective Grad StudentsThe Physics Graduate Student Association (PGSA) was established for the purpose of facilitating and improving the communication and camaraderie between all the graduate students within the department. It also provides the department’s graduate students a “voice” to the department’s faculty, to the college and at the campus-wide level.

All students registered for a graduate degree within the department are automatically members of the PGSA. The PGSA is run by officers elected annually in September. These consist of a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. Two senators are also elected each September to represent the PGSA and department at UMBC’s campus-wide GSA meetings. The PGSA president also meets with the chair of the Physics department on a regular basis, and with the Dean of the College of Natural & Mathematical Science at least once a semester.

The current PGSA officers are:

President Jaron Kropp
Vice President Roy Prouty
Treasurer Zhifeng Yang
Secretary Mary Keenan
PHYS Senators Shawna Chisholm
Brian Uthe
ATPH Senators Brian Carroll
Anthony Bratt


The PGSA meetings are held approximately once a month during the semester. At these meetings any issues and concerns are discussed. In addition, regular “Meet & Greets” are held so that members of the departmental faculty may give an overview of their research and opportunities for potential thesis projects. The latter, along with an annual poster session arranged by the PGSA, are especially valuable for new graduate students.

The PGSA also organizes a number of social events throughout the year, at which students can ‘let their hair down’ (bowling trips, poker nights, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, etc.).

Useful Links

Previous students have found the following links helpful. They are listed as a courtesy only—the PGSA and UMBC do not endorse any non-UMBC sites.