Graduate Studies

Graduate Student Board


The Graduate Student Board (GSB) is made up of students who are committed to being leaders and advocates for the Graduate Student Network. The GSB is made up of eight core positions as well as any students who are passionate about supporting the Graduate Student Network.  The Board's work is guided by three main pillars:

Advocacy: Serve as a voice for graduate students to express their needs, concerns, and ideas to leadership, faculty, and staff, in order to take action to address them. 
Community: Ensure that graduate students are well-informed about their rights and resources, and stay meaningfully connected to each other and the broader USM community. 
Engagement: Provide opportunities to connect, collaborate, and network with alumni, employers, and System-wide partners to pursue career development and civic engagement.

Please feel free to contact the Board at regarding any questions, ideas or initiatives you have for the Graduate Student Network. You can also contact any of the Chairs to discuss specific issues. Please find their contact details below. If you are interested in joining the Graduate Student Board, please fill out this form.



Graduate Student Board Chairs

Each Chair of the Graduate Student Board has written a short description of their role and included some of their goals for the year. Please feel free to contact any of the Chairs below with any questions, issues or ideas you may have regarding the Graduate student experience.


Caitlyn Madden

Counselor Education

Caitlyn is a third-year master’s candidate in clinical mental health counseling. She is a
passionate advocate for reducing mental health stigma and believes every person’s story has
power and deserves to be heard, respected and championed. Caitlyn hopes her role as
Advocacy Chair of The Graduate Student Board (GBS) will allow her the opportunity to put her
experience and expertise to use for the betterment of USM graduate students and the wider
USM community.

In addition to her new role as Advocacy Chair of the GSB, Caitlyn is also a graduate assistant
for The Cutler Institute, engaging in many projects ranging from planning the USM Research &
Scholarship Symposium to finding external funding opportunities for faculty and staff.
She is also one of two graduate students representing USM in the Arctic Circle Assembly
Graduate Student Research Cohort. This international cohort is conducting research around the
UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as it relates to Arctic peoples and ecosystems that will be
presented in 2021.

Caitlyn enjoys exploring all that Maine has to offer with friends and family, reading a good book,
cooking her way through her vast cookbook collection or planning her next travel adventure.
Caitlyn has a B.S. from Clemson University and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary


Eli Rubin

Policy, Planning, and Management

Eli started his Masters in Planning, Policy, and Management after 10 years of organic farming and carpentry. With a concentration in Public Management, he currently works as the Finance Administrator for a small midcoast town and would like to work as a Town Manager after graduation. As Secretary, Eli’s work supports the Board with logistics, planning, and whatever institutional knowledge he can muster. He champions student empowerment and civic engagement and would love to hear from you if you are interested in participating in your graduate student government.

Lacey Lee

Extended Teacher Education Preparation (ETEP) Program for Secondary Language Arts; CGS in ESL

As the Communications Chair of the Graduate Student Board, my focus is on fostering a sense of connection and support between and among the Board, the Graduate Student Network, and the wider USM community. I aim to bring attention and awareness to the wonderful things our graduates are doing in their studies and their communities, as well as promote our role as a means to represent graduate student voices on and off campus. This year I want to continue the work of communicating with transparency, while also publicizing the import and accomplishments of our diverse graduate student body and improving awareness of our organization’s resources and activities.

Matt Cosgrove

Leadership Studies

My name is Matt Cosgrove and I am currently in my 3rd semester pursuing my Master’s in Leadership Studies here at USM. I am originally from Bangor, Maine but recently moved to Portland.

I attended the University of Maine, Orono where I received my undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Exercise Science. During my time at UMaine Orono, I was a member of the football team, and worked as a tour guide in the Office of Admissions. Upon graduation in 2017, I was offered a full time position as an Admissions Counselor at UMaine. I worked in that position until August of 2019, and then decided I wanted to pursue a Master’s Degree in Leadership at USM. I left Bangor and moved down to Portland where I am currently a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Residential Life here at USM.

Nicole Jordan

Social Work

As the Community and Engagement Chair, my goal is for graduate students to feel supported to share their skills and talent outside of the classroom, to their benefit and the benefit of the USM and greater Maine community. I hope to help graduate students understand their rights and the resources available to them at USM for their wellbeing and professional development. I am eager to work with graduate students and USM administration to continue to improve the accessibility of our graduate programs for students from all backgrounds.

Shannon Briggs

Adult & Higher Education

As the Online Student Chair, my aim is to foster a sense of community, full of resources and supportive circles, for online and distance graduate students at USM. I will work to connect online graduate students with opportunities to engage with one another and to compile tools that encourage success. Sharing and learning from one another is incredibly important, and as an online student myself, I value any chance to collaborate and identify ways to enhance our learning experiences.

  • Promotes graduate student research by highlighting research, scholarship and creative activity across USM’s 25+ graduate programs
  • Advocates for resources to support graduate student research (grants, Research Assistantships, professional development opportunities)
  • Hosts activities and forums showcasing graduate student research
  • Collaborates with faculty to create stronger student-faculty research and co-publishing opportunities;
  • Educates students about thesis, capstone, and dissertation completion and publication
  • Initiatives could include: Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT); Graduate Research Symposium; Applied Research Consortium. Partners could include: Office of Research Integrity, The Cutler Institute; MEIF (Maine Economic Improvement Fund); USM Libraries. 
  • Skills & Competencies: 
    • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
    • Leadership

Oghenetega Dibie


I am currently completing a Masters in Statistics at the University of Southern Maine. My career goal is to help individuals and groups make better decisions using data science & statistical methodologies. As the At-Large Chair, I will be leading board initiatives centered around graduate student engagement and advocacy. My goals for this year include: implementing graduate student focus groups (accessing needs, concerns, and ideas of our grad community), creating strategic programs to combat potential pitfalls of COVID and remote learning , and establishing a plan that tackles grad student housing shortages in Portland.

Meghan Draper

Educational Psychology; Applied Behavior Analysis

Meghan graduated from the University of Vermont with her B.S. in Neuroscience. She is currently pursuing her Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis and works full-time as a behavior analyst at a school for children with autism. She is excited about serving as a chair on the Graduate Student Board this year!