Music Education doctoral student Giuliana Conti has been elected president of the University of Washington's Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS). In that role she will lead the senate in the 2018-19 academic year, working on multiple matters of interest to UW students in masters and doctoral degree-granting programs across all university programs, disciplines, and fields.
A second-year PhD student, Conti taught extensively in K-12 schools in California prior to her arrival at the UW, where she previously earned an MA in Music Education, conducting field work and research in K-12 children’s music education, music cognition, and world music curriculum development.
Conti’s UW degree work has taken her to Myanmar and Tanzania, among other places, where she has been instrumental in the development and implementation of music programs and initiatives. She contributed to the UW School of Music-Gitameit partnership in Myanmar, visiting the site in Yangon in 2016. In the remote village of Chamwino, Tanzania, she implemented—with no electricity and a small handheld projector—a self-designed world music curriculum for secondary students ages 15 to 18.
More locally, she has worked with the Meany Center for the Arts to create outreach initiatives in the Seattle Public Schools.
“It’s a delight to us (and no surprise, either) that Giuliana has risen to this leadership position,” says Patricia Campbell, professor in the UW Music Education program. "She excels as a performer (viola), a teacher, and a scholar, and cares greatly that the interests of graduate students of music are heard and honored here at the UW.”
Conti’s work with GPSS, the official student government representing the 15,000 graduate and professional students at the University of Washington, is directed toward enhancing students’ safety and professional interests. She serves on the senate’s diversity committee and recently wrote and passed a senate resolution involving students’ safety training on campus regarding active shooters.
In an interview published last year on the GPSS website soon after she was elected GPSS secretary, Conti revealed that her initial involvement with the senate was in part motivated by a desire to bring more representation of the arts to campus politics.
“Music education is often underrepresented, being part of the 'arts,' and I felt it my responsibility to become involved in any way I could with campus politics," she said, "so that I could not only represent a voice and body of people in the 'arts' (music education more specifically), but also hopefully find opportunities for people in my department to become more involved on campus.”
More broadly, she continued, her ultimate aim in her work with the GPSS is to “find ways to help our graduate students and professionals feel as welcome, comfortable, heard, helped, and supported as possible.”
More information about Conti's work with GPSS, as well as opportunities for involvement, may be found here.