Graduate students are busy. Between classes, work, research, family, and other commitments, there is a lot to balance. Finding time for just about anything else may be a challenge but joining an organization or participating in extracurricular activities can be very rewarding, a great way to build a bigger network, and might even be fun.
Whether you are looking for academic or personal support, or to gain leadership experience, or influence university policy, there are multiple organizations and activities to participate in as a MatSE graduate student such as the Materials Research Society (MRS), the EMS Graduate Student Council, and the Penn State Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA).
Within MatSE there are various activities for graduate students to participate in as well as sponsored college and University activities. Graduate students are invited to participate in The Steidle Café where once a month, a faculty member, a staff member, and a graduate student present to the MatSE community in a relaxed forum and talk about themselves, where they are from, a vacation they took, and a big picture summary of their research. Each spring, MatSE solicits entries for both the Graduate Poster Competition and the Materials Visualization Competition.