School of Interdisciplinary Studies American StudiesCollege of Liberal Arts


Bienvenido – Akwaaba – ᎤᎵᎮᎵᏍᏗ – خوش آمدید – 欢迎光临

Welcome to the website of the American Studies Graduate Student Organization (ASGSO) at Purdue University. Here you will find information about who we are and what we do as graduate students in the program and beyond as well as an overview of upcoming events!


The American Studies Graduate Student Organization (ASGSO) is a student-run organization dedicated to promoting the needs, interests and ideas of graduate students in the American Studies Program at Purdue University.  More specifically, it strives to foster interdisciplinary graduate education and dialogue, establish a community within American Studies and beyond – with the ultimate objective of improving the quality of life for graduate students.  While enriching student life through academic development, ASGSO seeks to foster strong community among our members through social activities and gatherings.  

Contact ASGSO here!

Current ASGSO Officers

ASGSO Officers

President:  Ariel Smith

Vice-President: Araba Dennis

Treasurer: Cait Parker

Secretarial and Media Officer: Özgün Basmaz

 PGSG Senator: Michelle Tran

Maria Mears

Community Engagement Officer: Maria Mears

Maria Mears is a second year PhD student in American Studies. She obtained a Bachelor's degree in History and Sociology from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin and a Master's Degree in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. Her research focuses on collective memory and how the act of collecting artifacts and images promotes narratives of white supremacy, patriarchy, and colonial ideology. She is particularly interested in communities built around controversial images, artifacts, and memorials. Maria is originally from Champaign , Illinois and enjoys playing and watching tennis, going to museums, and cooking for people. 

Kaylah Morgan

 Graduate Programming Officer: Kaylah Morgan

Kaylah Morgan is a second-year MA/PhD student in American Studies. Originally from Decatur, Georgia, she earned her BA from Georgia Southern University in History with a minor in Writing. Her research centers Black disability within Black studies, Disability studies, Black feminism, and their intersections. Her work aims to uncover manifestations of disability in Black literature, popular culture, vernacular, and lives.

Incoming Students

Hello and welcome to American Studies at Purdue, 

Congratulations and welcome to the American Studies program at Purdue! On behalf of the American Studies Graduate Student Organization (ASGSO), I would like to welcome all incoming students to Purdue, American Studies, and ASGSO. Thank you for choosing our program! We are so excited to get to know all of you over the course of the year.

ASGSO is a resource for all graduate students in the American Studies Program and is designed to help as you transition to life at Purdue. ASGSO aims to fulfill the following objectives: 1) to foster interdisciplinary graduate education and dialogue; 2) to develop mentoring relationships between current and incoming students; 3) to improve the quality of life for graduate students; and 4) to assist in establishing a community within American Studies and beyond. Additionally, we provide and coordinate social activities, volunteer opportunities, and professional development. ASGSO also serves as the liaison between students and faculty as we strive to advocate for graduate students in the American Studies department.

As you all prepare to transition to the West Lafayette/Lafayette area, I'm sure you will have plenty of questions. Please don't hesitate to email me with any question or concern and I will do my best to help. I look forward to meeting and welcoming you in person. Feel free to email me at or ASGSO at

Thank you, 
Ariel Smith
President, ASGSO

ASGSO Events

  • Upcoming!


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