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The official launch for the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Association (MEGA) was on April 30, 2010 with 36 students in attendance. The officers of MEGA were introduced: Christine Ikeda (President & GSG Representative), Gilad Sharon (Vice President), Aaron Gerratt (Secretary & GSG Representative), Danielle Chrun (Treasurer), Bavani Balakrisnan (Social Chairperson), Ren Liu (Recruiting Chairperson & GSG Representative), Sophie Wang (Web Manager), George Gateau III (Corresponding Secretary), Nick Vlajic (Summer Lecture Series Coordinator & Student Representative on the Search Committee for new department chair), Kyle Sullivan (Board Member at Large), Koustav Sinha (CALCE Representative), and Amarildo DaMata (Advisor).

One of the goals of MEGA is to create a dialog between graduate students and department/Clark School officials. To help foster these lines of communication, three representatives have been sent to the Graduate Student Government (GSG) and one representative has been selected for the Department Chair Search Committee (e-mail Nick Vlajic at vlajic@umd.edu). Additionally, MEGA would like to offer advice as needed to graduate students throughout their graduate studies in areas such as the Qualifying Exam, and proposal defense. MEGA is sponsoring the Summer Lecture Series and will also plan future social events to encourage interaction between graduate students in the department.

In addition to student representation in both the GSG and the Department Chair Search Committee, MEGA has created a website and listserv. MEGA was present at the last Graduate Committee Meeting and will attend one Graduate Committee per semester to voice student concerns. MEGA was present at both GRID and the Prospective Graduate Student Open House.

At this time, the main focus of MEGA is the Summer Lecture Series. MEGA wants to recruit student speakers and alumnus from industry and research to give talks. Additionally, MEGA is seeking corporate sponsors to help fund the Summer Lecture Series. Anyone interested in giving a Summer Lecture Series talk should send an e-mail to Nick Vlajic (vlajic@umd.edu).

Mechanical and reliability engineering graduate students are strongly encouraged to get involved in MEGA. Please contact Christine Ikeda (cikeda@umd.edu) for more information about joining MEGA, or visit the MEGA website: http://www.studentorg.umd.edu/MEGA/ for additional information about future events. To join the MEGA listserv, send an email to: listserv@listserv.umd.edu with "subscribe mega name-of-subscriber" in the subject line of the email.



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May 4, 2010


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