Graduate Association of French and Italian Students


The Graduate Association of French and Italian Students at the University of Wisconsin – Madison represents the graduate students in departmental committees, on the UW-Madison campus, and in the greater academic community. The primary mission of GAFIS is to be a resource for graduate students as they progress through their degree requirements. In addition, GAFIS has developed a national reputation through the annual GAFIS Symposium; a two-day conference each spring that welcomes fellow graduate students from across the US. The organization meets regularly to propose improvements in the graduate program, discuss the implications of departmental policy decisions, plan and promote the Symposium, and organize social events throughout the year.

Officers of the Graduate Association of French and Italian Students

GAFIS Co-presidents 
Eric Wistrom, Giordano Mazza

Graduate Student Symposium Co-chairs
Charles Kilian, Irene Hatzopoulos

GAFIS Secretaries
Tessa Archambault, Caitlin Schaer

Department Committee Representatives
Sarah Gamalinda, Martina Giuliano

French Studies Committee Representatives
Tessa Archambault, Metycia Bengmo

Italian Instructional Committee Representatives
Valentina Morello, Giampaolo Molisina

Social Events and Social Media Organizers
Jacqueline Ebelabena, Martina Giuliano

Outreach and Prospective Student Liaisons
French – Tyler Rowe
Italian – Daniele Santucci

Lectures and Colloquium, and FRIT Library Representatives
French -Peter Russella
Italian – Corie Marshall

TAA Stewards
Alexander Taylor, Luke Ptak

TA Review Committee Representatives
French – Tessa Archambault
Italian – Caitlin Schaer

Professional Development Coordinators
Niklous Koehler, Corie Marshall

Climate Committee
Alexander Taylor, Daniele Santucci

Research Seminar
Peter Russella, Giampaolo Molisina

GAFIS Leadership Award
Niklous Koehler, Hilary Emerson


GAFIS Co-presidents: Organize GAFIS meeting agenda, coordinate the activities of officials and meet regularly with the Department Chair. Address any problems or suggestions of the membership. The Co-presidents are the contact people for all graduate students for any concern regarding GAFIS activities or those of the Department.

Graduate Student Symposium Co-chairs: Co-chairs organize the annual French and Italian Graduate Student Symposium. Responsibilities include applying for funding, defining the theme, inviting a keynote speaker, and coordinating volunteers.

GAFIS Secretaries: One of the two secretaries must attend all GAFIS meetings, record the minutes and send them to the GAFIS membership. They are also in charge of collecting minutes from other representatives (IIC, DEPT, FGSC, TAA) and e-mailing them to the membership. (There are two in the event that one person cannot attend.)

Department Committee Representatives: Represent the GAFIS membership in departmental meetings. Record Department meeting minutes and submit them to GAFIS Secretaries for Meeting Minutes.

French Instructional Committee Representatives: Work as liaison between French graduate students and the French Faculty. Particiate in French Graduate Studies Committee meetings. After each meeting, they write minutes to be communicated to French Graduate Students and submit them to the Secretaries.

Italian Instructional Committee Representatives: Represent the GAFIS membership in Italian Instructional Committee meetings and report to GAFIS membership. Meet regularly with Associate Chair for Italian. Solicit questions from Italian graduate students and present them to the Italian faculty in IIC meetings. Work to maintain an official communication channel between the Italian graduate students and Italian faculty. Record IIC meeting minutes and submit them to the GAFIS Secretaries.

Social Events and Social Media Organizers: By planning informal activities, the Social Events Organizers seek to foster a sense of community among French and Italian graduate students. Annual events include a social hour at the opening of each semester (to which faculty are invited) and at the closing of semesters. In addition, the organizers work with the Co-chairs of the GAFIS symposium to schedule a post-symposium event.

Outreach and Prospective Student Liaisons: Participate in all Outreach Committee meetings. Represent the GAFIS membership while there and record minutes from these meetings. Report back to the GAFIS membership at the monthly GAFIS meetings. Maintain the bulletin boards located on the 6th floor. Assist the graduate coordinator in organizing visits for prospective students. Help prospective students get in touch with other students from the Department who share their interests.

Lectures & Colloquium, and FRIT Library Collections Representatives: Participate in the Department’s Lecture Committee meetings that select outside speakers to give talks in the department or at the French House. Solicits suggestions for speakers from the GAFIS membership. Will serve as a conduit of information between the FRIT Collections and GAFIS.

TAA Stewards: The TAA Stewards attend all TAA General Membership Meetings as well as Stewards’ Meetings. They keep the GAFIS membership informed of contract negotiations and answer questons regarding contract terms. If any graduate student has a question regarding healthcare, working conditions, hours or dues, see the Stewards.

TA Review Committee Representatives: If any problems or complaints should arise regarding TA performance, this representative participates in the departmental committee that reviews the issue.

Professional Development Coordinators: Plan and organize at least one professional development workshop per semester. The GAFIS Professional Development Coordinators are responsible for soliciting ideas for these workshops from the GAFIS membership.

Climate Committee Representatives:

Research Seminar Representatives: Participate in the Department’s Lecture Committee meetings that select outside speakers to give talks in the department or at the French House. Solicits suggestions for speakers from the GAFIS membership.

GAFIS Leadership Award Representatives: