Open Letter

Dear APS Graduate Student Member,

Do you like talking about physics? Would you like to meet other physics graduate students across the country? Ever wanted to take a more active role in APS?

We have an opportunity to form the APS Forum on Graduate Student Affairs. This Forum, like the Forum on Education and the Forum on International Physics, would give us a legitimate venue in which to discuss issues important to all of us, to plan social/networking events at APS and Division meetings, and to find out more about APS governance and opportunities.

Specifically, we envision a group able to work towards the following goals identified by the recent Task Force on Graduate Student Participation, which was formed this fall at the request of APS Director Judy Franz:
  1. To act as a clearing house for issues of concern to physics graduate students and attempt to address these concerns
  2. To arrange sessions at APS meetings that would be of particular interest to graduate students
  3. To nominate students to serve on key APS committees that deal with such issues as increasing the number of women and minorities in physics (CSWP and COMin), careers (CCPD), international affairs (CISA), education (COE), and membership (COMem), and to provide a way for these appointed students to report on their activities through the graduate student listserv and proposed Web site
  4. To make educational tools such as class notes, TA tips, booklists, theses, and student-generated material readily available on the web
  5. To seek external funding for student travel to APS meetings
Membership in the Forum will be open to all APS members; undergraduates, recent graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate advisors are particularly welcome, as they will bring other views to the discussions of graduate education.

To take the next step, 200 APS members must petition APS to establish an APS Forum on Graduate Student Affairs. Would you please send a short note to stating your interest or visit and sign up using that form?

Please feel free to forward this email to others you think may be interested in such a Forum and send your comments regarding this email to the task force at If the Forum is established, all will be welcome to contribute and modify the goals stated here.


Elshan Akhadov, Florida State University
Hsuan-Yeh Chang, City College of CUNY
Xin Chen, University of Houston
Susan Niebur, Washington University in St. Louis
Ferdinand Oguama, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Louise Parsons, Cornell University
Joshua Patin, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Ricardo Rodriguez-Pedraz, Iowa State University
Chad Topaz, Northwestern University
Jennifer West, University of California, Santa Barbara

for The Task Force on Graduate Student Participation