ASGSR Students Launch Slack Group

Hey students,

We are announcing the launch of an ASGSR student Slack channel designed for students who love space research to share opportunities, talk about their research, and discuss upcoming conferences.

In addition, this group will be used to coordinate student activities at the upcoming 2018 ASGSR conference in Washington DC. Students will be able to coordinate room-sharing, make plans for social events, and meet other student members all before the conference begins.

To be invited to the group, please send an email to, or use the contact form. For safety/privacy reasons, please let us know your age and school.

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2018 DC Trip

Once again the ASGSR students had a chance to visit DC for a political advocacy trip. While in DC, we attended a workshop entitled Congressional Operations 101, where the executive director of ASGSR gave an overview of how policy making occurs and how to effectively advocate to congressional staff. We learned the importance of both the appropriations and authorizations committees, and how to tailor your message and asks depending on which committee you are addressing. For this trip, our message was asking the appropriations committee to increase the funding for science grants on the space station from $19 million in 2018 to $125 million in 2019. This huge increase is justified because right now the space station is under-utilized, and the government has already invested massive sums of money into its construction and operation; and now just a little bit more investment will allow us to finally start using that investment. For the authorizations committee, we asked for legislation to include space research as a fundamental part of NASA’s budget.

We attended many meetings with political staff on capitol hill, including one meeting that was on the white house grounds. During these meetings, we provided student perspectives on why continued funding for research was so important. Some of the staff we met with were very well-versed on the issues of space and science funding, and others had no experience, so we had to tailor our message for each staffer. We learned about how the government works, including how the federal budget is set. The president submits a suggested budget, then individual congress people submit appropriations requests on behalf of lobbyists, constituents, or themselves. The appropriations committee goes through these requests and edits the president’s suggestions. Once this is done, the budget is presented to everyone and it is voted on.

The second part of the trip was attending the USA Science and Engineering Festival and volunteering there. The Festival was held at the DC convention center, and brought in thousands of people. We volunteered at the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) booth. Student volunteers helped with their space virtual reality demonstration, where participants wear a virtual reality headset and use joysticks to fly through the International Space Station to find the cupula (the large window looking down at the Earth). The intended audience was children aged 12 to 18, though several adults also came to try the headset. The children were really excited by the demonstration. We also helped at the photo booth, where participants pose in front of a backdrop of the space station and were given free photos.


Officer Candidates 2017

Hello everyone!

Thanks to everyone who registered as a candidate and who volunteered to help out! Here are the candidates thus far:

Eric Yarns – Running for Secretary

Hi All, I have been active in the ASGSR community for the past three years, attending and presenting my research in concurrent technical sessions at the last three annual conferences. I would be an exceptional Secretary because I currently manage a spaceflight research project on the ISS that requires an incredible amount of organization, logistics, and coordination. I also could teach a master class on scheduling. I lead meetings with collaborators and colleagues on a weekly basis and understand how to conduct a productive meeting that doesn’t waste the time of those involved. As secretary, I would ensure that my talents in these areas make ASGSR Students more efficient and effective at achieving its goals.

Cheers, Eric Yarns University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City, Kansas


Anjali Gupta – Running for Career and Personal Strategies Advisor

The student Board functions to enhance the core mission of ASGSR by supporting student scientists interested in space and gravity research. I would like to contribute my time and expertise in supporting this endeavor by serving as a Career and Personal Strategies Advisor. As a “returning” doctoral student, I will bring a wealth of experiences and knowledge to this role. I have extensive experience in advising students, conducting workshops on career-related topics, and developing personalized strategies for achieving work-life balance. In my current term as an ASGSR officer, I conducted a webinar on “Effective Presentation Skills.” In the CAPS Advisor role, I hope to build on such offerings by organizing additional workshops and programs such as careers options, resume guidance, mentoring, networking, personality/skills assessments, career and personal development, and other related topics. Often times, as students, future career options are not so obvious. My goal is to educate and open channels of communication for students and post-docs for these important topics through workshops, webinars, and onsite discussions at future ASGSR meetings. I believe that my prior experience, with careers in industry as a scientist and as a marketing professional, will be a valuable resource for other ASGSR student members.


Meg Cheng-Campbell – Running for DC trip Coordinator

Mallika Sarma – Running for Webmaster


Dan Gove – running for (1) Membership Coordinator, other positions

I’m a strong & versitile performer with a track record of consistency: From about 2009-2012, I was a boardmember of my school district’s YouthFirst Advisory Council. We organized an annual community Halloween party 🎃 , collaborated with community organizations, and focused on the Search Institute’s “40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents.” I’ve been consistantly coordinating the development of adolescents, with a focus on gymnasts, since about 2009 as well. This work has carried me throughout the nation, working for companies such as Seattle Gymnastics Academy, California Sports Center, GymNation (Maine) and more. I’ve trained with all names from all around the world; our conversations have made me personable. All this travel has also made me resourceful. My office constantly moves locations, time zones, etc… However, my work system allows me to keep my edge sharp. I maintain an email list including multinational CEOs, media outlets, and researchers. I’m chasing PhD level research for a short radius human centrifuge, which has the potential to springboard the commercial space industry. I would pounce on this opportunity.

2017 Conference

Preparing a Good Presentation for ASGSR 2017

The webinar was prepared by Anjali Gupta and contains tips from previous ASGSR poster award winners, Chitra Ajala and Natasha Sng. It covers both oral and poster presentation skills.

The webinar slides are here: ASGSRPresentationSkillsWorkshop_GuptaA_2017.

Preparing a good poster or oral presentation is an important skill for student scientists, and having the right preparation can go a long way in conveying your message and impressing the audience. We will be presenting a webinar using Google Hangouts with advice from previous ASGSR poster award winning students and from experience science communicators to help you all put together your posters and presentations.

2017 Conference, Elections

Student Elections 2017

Hey students!

As we rapidly approach the 2017 conference, it is once again time to hold officer elections.

Why volunteer? Being involved in professional organization service is a fantastic resume booster, and vital for anyone interested in academic careers. Being an officer also gives you direct access to the ASGSR board, all of whom are excellent connections for students to have and can help you land a job at a number of exciting companies. Furthermore, ASGSR student officers have the option of participating in an annual political advocacy trip to Washington D.C., and will have a portion of their travel to the 2018 ASGSR conference funded. Finally, we have a lot of fun on our trips and in our meetings!

Who are we recruiting: In short, anyone who is willing to set aside 5-10 hours/month to contribute to ASGSR. However, since a large part of what we do is related to merchandise design, we especially encourage people who like doing creative design to apply. Students with interests in science policy and/or volunteering for education/outreach activities are also encouraged to apply. Ideally, officers will be likely to attend the 2018 ASGSR conference and volunteer there, though this is not a hard requirement.

About ASGSR student leadership positions: There are two ways to get involved in the ASGSR student board: (1) elected positions, which hold terms of 2 years (though, you can abdicate after 1), and (2) volunteer positions, which have no term limit. There is little practical difference between the two categories, as both are considered ASGSR officers, are invited to our political outreach trip in D.C., and are included in all meetings/events. Furthermore, both categories are welcome to work on whichever projects they want, even if those projects don’t lie in their responsibilities (ex, the treasurer is welcome/encouraged to participate in outreach projects, etc). However, students who run for elected positions will have more responsibility and be expected to commit more time to the group. For more information, see our bylaws.

How to apply: To apply for a volunteer position, simply send an email to anytime between now and the end Oct 27th, or get in touch with us after the student mixer on the 27th (we will have a sign-up sheet there). To apply for elected positions, register as a candidate anytime before October 22nd here. The form asks you to rank your preference in elected positions. We are doing ranked choice voting, meaning that the candidate winning the most votes gets their first preference in positions, the second place candidate will get their first choice unless that position has already been filled by the first place candidate, in which case they get their second choice, and so on. If you are only interested in one position, you may indicate a first choice only.

Additional information about elections: After applying as a candidate, your name and short candidate bio will appear on the student website (we will check responses every few days and upload them to the site in the order that we receive them). The actual election will take place at the student mixer at the ASGSR 2017 conference (Oct 27th at 7:00 pm, Lake Washington I). Candidates will present 2-3 minute speeches to the student group, and all students in attendance will vote by ranking the candidates from first to last. The election coordinator will then compile results to distribute positions appropriately. In the case that there are more candidates than open positions, the candidates who don’t win a position are still welcome to serve as officers in non-elected positions.

Elected positions for 2018:

  • President – Samantha McBride
  • Vice President – Ramya Bhaskar
  • Membership Coordinator – OPEN
  • Treasurer – Pantelis Solomides
  • Social Chair – Claudia Francesca Lopez
  • Secretary – OPEN
  • Education and Outreach Chair – Rai Munoz
  • Career & Personal Strategies Advisor – OPEN
  • Webmaster – OPEN
  • Washington D.C. trip coordinator – OPEN (must have attended trip previous year)

Descriptions of open positions:

  • Membership coordinator – Maintain list of student members of ASGSR, send regular email communications
  • Secretary – Keeps the group organized by preparing meeting agendas, scheduling meetings, and keeping notes
  • Career & Personal Strategies Advisor – Helps students with professional development by organizing events such as webinars, resume workshops, etc.
  • Webmaster – Responsible for adding new content to website, promoting use/utility of the website
  • Washington D.C. trip coordinator – Organizes students for the trip to D.C., by fundraising, planning hotel arrangements, helps students set meetings with politicians, etc.