CS Graduate Student Council (CS GradCo)

The Graduate Student Council is a group of grad students aiming to improve the experiences of all CS graduate students as they progress through their program. As part of this aim, GradCo…

  • Organizes social/community events and programming
  • Gathers and seeks solutions to graduate student concerns
  • Communicates student feedback regularly with the CS department administration

Social Events

GradCo organizes a variety of events for CS graduate students, which have included

  • Board game, movie, and bowling nights
  • Adventure trips (mountain biking, canoeing, rock climbing)
  • Art sessions (clay-building and painting)
  • Recreational sports (intramural soccer league, ultimate frisbee)
  • Our annual Fall Picnic!


Beyond social programming, GradCo also focuses on the educational, financial, and administrative aspects of being a graduate student. Feedback is regularly gathered from graduate students on their educational and working conditions, and meetings are regularly held with department faculty and staff to collaborate on improving graduate student experiences. 

Join the #gradco-governance channel in the Slack if you’re interested in learning more or getting involved!

Peer Mentoring

GradCo runs a peer mentoring program which pairs first- and second-year graduate students with more senior student mentors to help with the transition to grad school. The point of this program is to offer early graduate students a point of contact and an informal setting to ask any questions, however silly they might seem, about how to succeed in grad school.

Be a mentor! We are also always looking for more mentors! This is a great opportunity to help foster a supportive environment at UMD, build your mentoring skills (which will be valuable both as an advisor in academia or as a member of the scientific community outside academia), and help pass on the hard-won wisdom you earned through your blood, sweat, and tears (hopefully not too many…) these last few years.

We make new mentoring matches at the start of each academic year. We also welcome new members at the start of every semester. Keep an eye out for sign-up announcements via gradlist or email GradCo with any questions. 

The mentoring program includes:

  • Small mentorship groups (1 mentor and 2-3 mentees)
  • Social events to get to know your fellow students
  • Workshops throughout the semester (in the past, these included workshops on applying to fellowships, how to find an advisor, project management, and others)
  • Coffee and ice cream vouchers for your mentor/mentee meetings

Events are announced via email to mentors and mentees and in the GradLounge Slack. Currently, the program is organized by Vatsal Agarwal, Rushil Dandamudi, and Noemi Glaeser. If you are interested in helping out, please contact one of us or fill out this form!

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

GradCo organizes lunch-and-learns, focusing on topics such as women, non-binary, and trans people in STEM, and disabilities in the workplace. There are also several affinity groups within the graduate student community.

Get Involved!

GradCo membership is open to all graduate students and is volunteer-run – if you want to get involved, just reach out! Whether you have ideas for events or want to help advocate for your fellow CS grads, any level of commitment is appreciated (and it's a great way to meet other grads!).  Feel free to reach out to any of us individually or through our channel in the Grad Lounge Slack (#ask-gradco) or over email (cs-gradco [-at-] umd [dot] edu) if you’d like to get involved or have any questions, comments, or concerns.


President: Shramay Palta

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair: Nathalie Bonin

Governance Co-Chairs: Daniel Smolyak & Ryan Synk

Secretary: Alan Luo

Community Chair: Wentao Guo

Peer Mentoring: Vatsal Agarwal, Rushil Dandamudi, and Noemi Glaeser.

Other Graduate Representatives

Department Council: Shramay Palta & Tin Nguyen

Education Council: Tobias Rubel & Auguste Gezalyan

TA Committee: Auguste Gezalyan

UMD Senate: Tin Nguyen

UMD Graduate Student Government: Positions open!