Graduate Students for Publishing Is Outstanding GSO

Nicole Martignetti and Eric Matthews

June 07, 2012

WLP’s Graduate Students for Publishing recently won the Graduate Student Association’s (GSA) 2011-2012 Outstanding Graduate Student Organization Award. The organization, revitalized just this year, provides students interested in publishing with a base for social and professional interaction. The GSA award is given to an organization that makes a significant contribution to the students in its program and shows continued dedication to its graduate program and the Emerson community at large.

Brigette (Jet) Wiksten, President of Graduate Students for Publishing, explains how the GSO started. “A group of first-year Emerson students, myself included, felt that there was something missing from the publishing and writing program. We wanted a group to connect ourselves to, for publishing students to socialize, for the link between the program and the student body to exist.” So she and fellow MA students set out to establish a Graduate Student Organization centered on creating networking opportunities and professional relationships within the publishing industry.

At first Jet explains, “it was very difficult to get student feedback and gauge their interest.” Students seemed eager to be involved with the club, but many did not know how. With help and encouragement from the GSA, Publishing and Writing Graduate Program Director John Rodzvilla, and faculty advisor Gian Lombardo, Jet was able to gather ideas about the mission, purpose, and goals of the organization.

As a formally established Graduate Student Organization, Graduate Students for Publishing encourages and promotes student activities, sponsors educational lectures featuring scholars and professionals in the publishing field, and encourages and promotes professional development for students. Current club projects include a mentor system that pairs second-year MA students with first-year students, a printing facility tour to take place in the fall semester, and development of community service publishing projects.

In the future Jet hopes Graduate Students for Publishing will only grow. She wants the “organization to be something that students look forward to being involved in when they apply to the program.”

Jet not only has high hopes for her club, but she is also hopeful that other students will take initiative to start their own Graduate Student Organization. “Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s impossible or too much work”, Jet says. “Start with the GSA, they are an AMAZING underused resource.”

As the 2011-2012 GSA Outstanding Graduate Student Organization, Graduate Students for Publishing was recognized at the Class of 2012 Graduate Awards Ceremony on Sunday, May 13, 2012.

To find out how to create a recognized Graduate Student Organization, contact the GSA at