Call for GAFS Board Nominations 2021

Dear Food Studies Community,

We are excited to announce a call for nominations to join the Graduate Association for Food Studies Board! We are looking to fill key positions on our leadership team – President; Vice-President/President-Elect; Secretary; Treasurer; Scholarly Communications Coordinator; Outreach and Programming Coordinator; Social Media Manager; and Conference Coordinator. You can learn more about the expectations, responsibilities, and durations of each position below. Any graduate student is welcome to apply, regardless of current GAFS membership status. 

The Graduate Association for Food Studies comprises graduate students from more than a dozen countries. You not only gain access to an interdisciplinary community of food scholars, you also join our effort to promote rigorous scholarship on food-related research. GAFS works to advance the interests of our burgeoning academic community at an international level.

Getting involved in an academic organization leadership is a terrific way to meet new colleagues, gain valuable service experience, and build your CV. All officers are tasked with responsibly and attentively supporting GAFS, its team, and its development as an organization. It cannot be understated, that as a GAFS board member, a willingness to work and collaborate as a team is of the utmost importance. 

If you are interested in running, please send a CV and a two-paragraph (approx 300 words) short bio / cover letter clearly articulating why you are interested in, and would be an especially great fit for, one of these positions. (Please take a look at the term limits for each position as you consider your application, and how potential service in this term coincides with your existing research and scholarly commitments.) The bio blurbs will be distributed to the membership as candidate profiles to facilitate voting. If elected, candidates agree to become ASFS members in good standing prior to position commencement.

Please send nomination materials to: by April 1st for consideration. Please use GAFS Election Nomination in the subject line of your email.

Election Timeline:

Nomination materials are due by April 1st, 2021

Election will take place starting April 1st, 2021

Elected candidates will be notified May 1st, 2021

Open Positions & Position Descriptions

President (1 year position)

As president, this individual will be the presiding officer of the caucus and, ex officio, its representative on the Executive Board of the ASFS. The primary duties of the President shall be to assure the external affairs of the caucus and to chair the student board of the GAFS. The President is also responsible for coordinating with the faculty advisory board of GAFS and continuing to cultivate institutional networks. Applicants should demonstrate that they have a clear understanding of past and present GAFS projects, initiatives, and goals, and detail new initiatives and opportunities for growth that they would take on as president. Applicants should be able to speak to their leadership, organizational, and communication skills, both with other graduate students and with faculty. (The GAFS president position is a one-year term, then succeeded by a one-year term of the person acting as vice-president.)

Vice President/President-Elect (2 year position, see description for details)

The Vice-President/President-Elect will serve a one-year term as President-Elect, followed by an additional one-year term as President, for a total of a two year service commitment. The President-Elect is primarily responsible for membership management and facilitating GAFS’s board member transition into the following year. Membership management will include coordinating with Taylor & Francis to keep records of active members, updating our email list of members (maintained through an independent listserv), and emailing the membership as necessary about board activities. The VP position is for an individual with a serious commitment to academic service with a strong background in team leadership and project management.

Treasurer (2 year position)

The Treasurer will work in collaboration with members of the ASFS executive committee to propose an annual budget and submit an annual report of our budget for the ASFS year-end financial statement. The Treasurer will also be responsible for handling caucus financial affairs by maintaining a running spreadsheet of expenses and debits. In partnership with the Conference Coordinator and ASFS, the Treasurer will also manage and track funds and expenses for the annual GAFS graduate student conference and other programming. This includes fundraising, travel reimbursements, and award money disbursal. This is an excellent opportunity for members who wish to cultivate professional skills related to non-profit or for-profit management and development or who have backgrounds in the same.

Secretary (1 year position)

The Secretary will ensure thorough record keeping for the board and organization. The Secretary will be responsible for taking and disseminating meeting minutes from GAFS Board meetings. Additionally, they will be responsible for working closely with the GAFS board, especially the Social Media Manager and Outreach and Programming Coordinator, to finalize all public-facing print and text material associated with GAFS. The Secretary should be detail-oriented and well-organized with a desire to maintain close interaction and correspondence with graduate student peers.

Scholarly Communications Coordinator (position duration flexible)

In addition to GAFS members sharing an interest in food studies, they also share a relative nascency in their academic careers. Therefore, aside from its obvious content focus, GAFS seeks to help grad students learn, discuss, and navigate the conceptual frameworks of academia itself. The scholarly communications coordinator’s position is meant to advocate for that topic, particularly how it relates to the complicated world of academic food studies. Though the scholarly communications coordinator is an auxiliary or “jack-of-all-trades” position, the member should have an interest in the lens of the mechanics and structures of food studies. Scholarly communications is a large and constantly evolving topic, so this lens may shift, but the incumbent was interested in issues surrounding scholarly metrics, promotion and tenure processes, disciplinary definitions and canons, and open-access scholarship. The scholarly communications coordinator has helped create, promote, and facilitate programs about academe, and maintained the archival “PubPub ” instance of the Graduate Journal for Food Studies.

Outreach and Programming Coordinator (1 year position)

While working collaboratively with other GAFS board members, The Outreach and Programming Coordinator is the primary creator and coordinator for various GAFS programs (such as the Reading Collective, Teaching Webinar series, etc.). This includes: communicating with any outside organizations or speakers, communicating with GAFS members about programs (through listserv announcements, individual emails, etc.), coordinating with the GAFS board and others involved in facilitating programs, creating advertising materials and infographics, working with the social media manager on information campaigns and dates, and seeking opportunities to benefit GAFS and its members. The Outreach and Programming Coordinator should be someone who has a keen eye for detail, good communication skills, and an attention to timeliness.

Social Media Manager (2 year position)

The Social Media Manager serves both the organization and the Graduate Journal of Food Studies to coordinate a comprehensive, engaged, and active social media presence for GAFS as a whole. The social media manager is expected to be involved in both journal and organization meetings/affairs, proactively reaching out to both the editors of the Graduate Journal of Food Studies and the GAFS student board to ensure that publicizing needs are being met. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: curation of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram presence to promote activities of the organization and the journal; promoting member activities/accomplishments and to publicize announcements or opportunities of interest to members from outside the organization; organizing GAFS members at the annual ASFS conference for live-tweeting/social media posts; and collaborating with Outreach & Programming as well as Conference Coordinators for timely and consistent social media presence. (Experience using content creation tools like Canva is a bonus.) Applicants for this position should articulate what their current social media presence is (linking to their platforms as examples) and share 1-2 ideas for how they would engage other graduate students through our social media channels (Instagram; Facebook; Twitter). Applicants should have a solid understanding and facility with multiple social media platforms, creating unique and interesting content to broaden our reach and engage our graduate community

Conference Coordinator (1 year position)

The Conference Coordinator (CC) position plays a key part in organizing the annual GAFS graduate student conference. The CC will be expected to help facilitate all aspects of the conference planning process (solicit papers, correspond with participants, draft relevant handouts and communications, etc) and will be the key contact at the host site to organize rooms, refreshments, A/V, etc. The CC is not alone in planning the conference but will be the instrumental liason for the conference team. The CC should be a task-oriented, well-organized team player with a commitment to project management and graduate student education. It is essential that the CC be from the host institution, and therefore applications will need to include a pitch for your institution’s location to host the GAFS 2022 Conference. Position commences January 1st, 2022. (In your application, please include the following: a brief bio including your experience related to conference and event organization, demonstrating your interest in the Conference Coordinator position and why you would be a good fit for the position; 1-2 ideas (1-2 paragraph pitch) for the bi-annual Graduate Association for Food Studies Conference; 3-4 ideas (1-2 paragraph pitch) for mini-conferences, local events, or webinars; and if applicable, please indicate relevant details regarding how your institution could host our conference.)