2022 Election Candidates
2022 GPSC Election Candidates
Scroll down to read more about each candidate and their interest in serving with GPSC, relevant qualifications, and how they would like to contribute to the improvement of the graduate and professional student experience at the University of Arizona.
For positions with more than one candidate running, candidates are listed alphabetically by last name.
Photos and statements were posted only from candidates who wished to provide one or both.
GPSC President CandidatesClick or enter to reveal information below
Candidates for GPSC President
Grant Batchelder, College of Education
Hello, my name is Grant Batchelder and I’m a PhD student in the Center for the Study of Higher Education. I hold Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Political Science from the University of Maine and a Master of Science in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific University.
Up until this summer, I have been working in Higher Education at multiple institutions since 2013. I have worked in Residence Life, Supplemental Instruction, and Student Activities in many different institution types and states. In my last role, I supervised their Student Government Association and taught Robert’s Rules of Order to students across the state of Florida in their statewide association. This, along with my experience program planning and working with student activists gives me the skills necessary to serve you. I have a knowledge of student governance and the drive to serve all graduate and professional students.
I wish to expand and make a more comprehensive and accessible Graduate and Professional Orientation as well as to take your issues to the Administration and State legislation if necessary. One such issue is to restore Graduate Assistantships and Scholarships to Pre-Covid numbers. The University has increased its endowment and is now at over one billion dollars and they have increased monies from the state and federal government, yet we are still not at the pre-Covid numbers for GA positions. I also want to increase engagement with GPSC by looking at what our representatives are doing to engage with their areas. In the last year, the only reason that I have known anything about GPSG is because I joined the list-serve. If I had not attended the orientation, I would not have joined and learned about anything. We need to increase visibility of the organization.
Whether you vote for me or not, I hope that you continue to engage with your fellow graduate and professional students so that we can learn and grow together in this institution.
Luis Irizarry, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
I am a third year Ph.D. student in linguistics and I wish to serve as the president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council. I am also a first generation doctoral student. As a Hispanic student, I recognize the need for more representation at a land grand, minority serving institution. During the COVID-19 pandemic being a Puerto Rican coming from outside the mainland-US, I struggled locating the resources and funding for graduate students that the University of Arizona allocates for graduate students, and I believe we can work towards making those resources more accessible for my peers and the graduate student community. My experience in leadership goes back to my previous institution, the University of Puerto Rico, in which I served as treasurer and president of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Within the University of Arizona I have occupied the president and vice president roles within LingCircle, the internal graduate student organization of the Linguistics Department. Within GPSC, I have served as an At-large representative until shortly being elected to serve as Secretary for this 2021-2022 year. During this time I have worked towards the benefit of graduate students and my peers by doing:
- Serving as a voting member in the Student Services Fee Advisory Board, supporting projects that would create employment opportunities and benefits towards graduate and professional students.
- Advocating for higher education in Capitol Hill presenting requests for the support of bills that would expand Pell Grants for Graduate Students and Increase funding to support Support Higher Education in Arizona.
If elected to serve as the President of the Graduate and Professional Student Council, I pledge to work towards the following:
- Advocate for better compensation for Graduate Assistants.
- Advocate for more resources for International Students and Non-traditional students.
- Expand student health insurance coverage to include dental insurance.
- Collaborate with the leaders of student organizations to achieve their goals.
- Continue GPSC’s mission advocating on behalf of graduate and professional students.
- Ensure full transparency and accountability within the organization.
Crystal-Candice Quaye, College of Law
I am Crystal-Candice Quaye and I am running for the position of President for the Graduate & Professional Student Council (GPSC). I believe I am the best person for this position because of my genuine concern for the well-being of my fellow graduate students therefore, as President, I hope to foster diversity in the UA community, advocate for students, and promote resources available.
As the Vice President of GPSC for the 2021-2022 academic year, I served on GPSC internal committees and university-wide committees of significance.
If given an opportunity to continue to serve in GPSC as president for the 2022-2023 academic year, I would like to promote the following areas as well as tackle the following pressing issues:
- Recognizing and embracing the diversity of the student population with regard to background, identities, among others by providing platforms to address student concerns.
- Transparency and accountability to the electorate by keeping students informed on discussions and policies relating to them.
- Representing student affairs both internally within the university and externally
- Advocating for resources and services towards student mental health support, campus safety, and others
- Address the Graduate financial stress survey by finding solutions to better help the financial & food insecurity graduate and professional students face.
GPSC Administrative Vice President CandidatesClick or enter to reveal information below
Candidates for GPSC Administrative Vice President
University of Arizona students strive for opportunities every day, but sometimes we need someone to open a door for us along the way. Too often, as graduate students, we find the opposite: doors closed in our faces through increasing workloads, snowballing demands, and spiraling tuition. Change is needed. Being an active listener and learner, I am passionate about bringing students’ concerns to the forefront, increasing the U of A's accessibility to marginalized students, ensuring students are consulted in university-wide initiatives, and reevaluating preexisting policies and paths to action, to best fit the current and future U of A campus community. As GPSC Administrative Vice President, I will do my best to be a resource to all, and to represent the student voice fairly and equally by promising each of you: my door is always open.
Sedona Heidinger, College of Fine Arts
Hello! My name is Sedona Heidinger, and I am honored to be considered for the position of Administrative Vice President. I am a doctoral student in the Art History department and the current GPSC College of Fine Arts Representative. I am eager to expand my ability to serve the vast and diverse graduate and professional student body at UArizona, and I believe that I am well-equipped for the responsibilities of the Administrative Vice President.
In my role as College of Fine Arts Representative, I have worked to improve the conditions of the graduate student experience through numerous avenues, and I believe strongly in the value of collaborating with other organizations within and beyond the UArizona community—such as the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students, United Campus Workers Arizona, and Student Advocates for Graduate Education—to accomplish our shared goals. I helped coordinate the availability of KN-95 masks for all School of Art graduate students during the height of the spring semester’s early Omicron surge, for example; I also presented to members of our college’s administration about the precarity of semester-to-semester contracts and urged for a shift to academic-year length contracts, which has received widespread staff and faculty support.
I have also worked on issues that impact graduate students at the university- and state-wide level. I co-developed a presentation about graduate student financial stress, which I and several of my GPSC colleagues delivered to members of administration in December. At the beginning of April 2022, I was part of a group of five GPSC members who went to Washington, DC to advocate for issues like wider access to Pell grants for graduate students with Arizona representatives.
I feel that the role of the Administrative Vice President has two distinct facets: they must provide consistent and holistic internal support for all GPSC representatives, while also facilitating the external engagement of GPSC members with the wider UArizona community. Throughout my time in GPSC, I have been continuously inspired by the passion and commitment of my fellow representatives. I wholeheartedly thank you for the opportunity, as Administrative Vice President, to support the advocacy of GPSC representatives on both the individual and the collective scale.
GPSC Executive Vice President CandidatesClick or enter to reveal information below
Candidates for GPSC Executive Vice President
Megan Kane, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Just under 8 months ago I embarked on this quest to earn my PhD in Biosystems Engineering. The GPSC Orientation launched me into the University of Arizona’s Graduate Community and introduced me to new friends. While attending the Orientation, I soon found myself volunteering to assist with tasks as they needed to be completed. This service helped to ground me and get started on the path. I have a long history of service through 4-H, my church, and the Peace Corps. Help others where you can. This is a mentality I have taken into both my professional and academic careers. Since completing my Masters of Science in 2012, I served in an executive capacity in 2 professional space organizations:
- Treasurer of the International Space Safety Foundation from 2013 to 2020
- Commercial Spaceflight Federation Associate Board Member in 2020
My passion is for space exploration, those who have met me know my goal is to go to Mars. That is what my PhD research is focused on. However, today I am here with you on Earth, in Tucson Arizona. I am asking you: may I serve my fellow graduate and professional students as Executive Vice President of the GPSC?
Those interested in my background and qualifications contact me through the following means:
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kanemeganm/
- Email me: email@example.com
Please feel free to reach out to me. Should I be elected I will do my best to represent my fellow graduate and professional students.
Sonia Bat-Sheva Kaufman, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
Hello, my name is Sonia, and I am a Ph.D. student in Geography with a minor in Public Health. I am running for Executive Vice President for GPSC because I want to advocate for graduate students’ futures. I know how hard it’s been this past year, with the sudden increase in rental costs and inflation. For many of us, it’s hard to make it through financially -- tuition and fees are unaffordable and grad stipends simply do not provide a living wage. Through this position, I promise to advocate for increased graduate wages, the addition of dental insurance, and firmly position myself against any proposed increases in fees and tuition.
As graduate and professional students, we make this university run and we deserve to be treated with dignity and care. I am running for this position because I believe in a more just treatment of graduate and professional students, and I intend to fight for our needs. I also aim to increase collaboration with United Campus Workers Arizona (UCWAZ) and push for graduate legislative priorities on the state and federal levels (such as canceling student loan debt and making grads eligible for Pell Grants). I promise to be transparent and communicative in these efforts.
I have served as a GPSC Representative for the past couple of years and will bring that institutional knowledge to my advocacy efforts. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or want to talk about my positions. Thank you so much for this opportunity and I hope to be able to serve you as the EVP this year! In solidarity, Sonia.
Representative CandidatesClick or enter to reveal information below
Candidates for At-Large Representatives
Sydney Fomas Do
Candidate Statement Not Provided
Samuel David Jesse
Candidate Statement Not Provided
One year ago I was chosen by graduate and professional students to fight for what we need. We need food security. We need a living wage. We need insurance that covers our teeth and our eyes. And while the fight is not over, we made huge progress in the past year. As a GPSC representative, I helped develop and secure funding for the Basic Needs Micro-Grant Program, which will provide student applicants with up to $200 to help cover emergency costs. I also fought against recent fee increases, advocating for student financial security in D.C. and at home. Our health, medically and financially, is on the line, and will require large-scale collaborations across departments and job titles. I have a long history of service within my department and on this campus, serving in multiple different roles in my own department and in social organizations on campus. If elected, I will continue to bring my skills I've learned in these positions to improve our entire university.
Candidates for College of Education - Representatives
Maritza Magdalena Marquez Olague
Respectfully GPSC Elections Director and General Council Representatives.
My name is Maritza Marquez (She, Her, Ella) I am PhD. student at Educational Leadership & Practice (EDLP) program and I am running to be the next COE GPSC student representative. On the academic year 2021-22am beingpart of the Dean’s Gradate Advisory Board (DGAB),COE Diversity Committee and the International Student Advisory Council (ISAC) as student representative. These experiences have given me a deepunderstanding on how important is to advocate for the studentcommunityas well as the significance togenerate changes. I would like to have the opportunity to continue to have difficult conversations to obtain positiveresultsfocus on academic policies and practices that support equity, diversity,and inclusivity. At present time due my role in othersboard and committees, I am having meetings with academic stakeholders, not only at COE department, but also around campus. My goal is to continueto create collaborations as part of a team of representatives that empower students as well as bring new community members to cooperate with us and vice versa.
Thank you all for your time and consideration.
Candidates for College of Medicine - Phoenix Representatives
Being a student at UA COM-Phoenix has been a wonderful experience, and I would be honored to represent our program with GPSC. Being located in Phoenix, I have often found that people I speak with are often surprised that we are part of the University of Arizona. I feel that being involved with GPSC would allow me to connect our program with the campus in Tucson and develop constructive relationships with our fellow graduate and professional students. My previous experiences as a Spanish teacher have helped prepare me to be effective in this role. While employed in that role, I worked as part of a team of supervisors where I represented the teachers of my area. Currently, I serve as a co-president of our ophthalmology student interest group, working with the students and faculty in our area to coordinate useful experiences for those interested in the specialty. As UA COM-Phoenix’s GPSC representative, I hope to bridge our different colleges and facilitate collaboration by maintaining open communication with the students at UA COM-Phoenix and the other members of GPSC.
Candidates for College of Nursing Representatives
Dear Graduate Students,
Last year, I had the pleasure to serve as your At-Large representative. Even though I joined in the middle of the term, I actively worked with my colleagues on advocating and representing graduate students at the University of Arizona. This year, I am running for College of Nursing Representative.
I am a second-year Nurse Anesthesia Graduate Student. In my spare time, I love spending time with my child and helping other people through volunteering. Joining a student organization is not new to me. While I was in my undergrad, I served as the Director of Fundraiser for the Student Nurses Organization.
I would like to focus on representing and advocating for remote access/ online students that attend the University. Being a hybrid program student myself, I can understand the challenges of this population. I will continue to advocate against the tuition increase college-wise that was proposed last year, especially in nursing programs. In such unprecedented times, students are the priority in higher education, and our voices should be heard and considered.
I would love to be your representative and believe that I have the tools to advocate on behalf of the graduate students. All of us have unique concerns and we all deserve to have them heard.
My name is Olga Vasylchenko and I would appreciate your vote for the College of Nursing representative.
Candidates for College of Social & Behavioral Sciences Representatives
My name is Kai Lepley, and I’m a Tucson, Arizona native. I’ve earned my B.S. and M.S. from the University of Arizona, and I’m now working on a Ph.D. in the School of Geography, Development and Environment. I want to change the way higher education operates in the United States and running for GPSC Representative is a step towards achieving this goal.
Broadly, I want to deconstruct the student loan system and push our elected officials to make higher education free for all. At the University of Arizona, I will center my agenda on ensuring fair pay for graduate students, building support for graduate students with dependents and international students, opposing tuition and fee increases, and connecting the GPSC with United Campus Workers Arizona to build a healthier campus working environment.
I have worked as student and staff in seven departments within the University of Arizona over the last 10 years. Outside of academia, I have worked retail, food service, landscaping, solar, and countless odd jobs to survive and pay for my education. I earned my B.S. and M.S. as a single father, and I believe that everyone has a place in academia.
Candidates for the College of Management Representatives
I am Dan Click and I am pursuing a spot as a representative for the Eller College of Management as a part of the GPSC. Currently, I have been serving as a member of the GPSC and been part of several committees which focused on providing a better experience for all Graduate and Professional students at Arizona. Additionally, I am serving on Active Duty status in the United States Army.
Meeting with students, even in a virtual setting, has been one of the most gratifying experiences during my time at the U of A. However, since I am solely an online student I feel there is potentially a disconnect between students at the main campus and the satellite campuses and online. One of my main goals would be to continue bridging the gap between these entities and create a more united group of graduate and professional students. At the end of the day, we are all Wildcats, whether in Tucson or abroad.
One of the pillars of the military is being a steward of the profession and leaving your unit or workplace better than how you found it. Running for representation and proudly serving the school and student body would be an avenue in which I can help fulfill this ideal and make UArizona better for future graduate and professional students.
Do you care deeply about the needs of your peers? Are there things within your department and/or college that need to be brought to light and changed? Do you enjoy advocating for fellow peers? GPSC would love to ask YOU to consider running to represent your college. Deadlines have closed but you are still eligible to run as a "Write-in" for President, Executive Vice President, Administrative Vice President, At-Large Representative, or Representative for the college you are enrolled in.
Procedures for write-in candidates are as follows:
To be elected as a write-in Representative you must receive at least 2 write-in votes and your total number of votes must be larger than that of any candidates running for your same position.
To be elected as a write-in executive officer (President and Vice Presidents) positions, you much receive at least 20 write-in votes and your total number of votes must be larger than that of any candidates running for the same position.
The following Colleges do not currently have representative candidates running in this election:
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture (CAPLA)
College of Education
College of Engineering
College of Fine Arts
College of Humanities
James E Rogers College of Law
Eller College of Management
College of Medicine (Phoenix)
College of Medicine (Tucson)
College of Nursing
James C Wyant College of Optical Sciences
College of Pharmacy
College of Public Health
College of Science
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (SBS)
College of Veterinary Medicine
Graduate College (GIDP)