2023 Election Candidates

2023 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.

Please note the following: 

  • 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. 

Candidates for GPSC President 

Jeremy Bernick, College of Law

Jeremey Bernick- 2023 GPSC President Candidate

Candidate Statement:

My name is Jeremy Bernick (they/them/theirs) and I am a first year J.D. Candidate in the College of Law running for the GPSC Presidency. I am a current At-Large GPSC Representative and a union organizer and the only union-endorsed candidate for UArizona President. 

As a double wildcat (former undergraduate), I understand the cause of our stagnant wages, inflated tuition costs, and negligent health care policies for graduate and professional students. And since arriving back on campus last Fall, I have been personally fighting to change things both inside and outside the Grad. Council.  

I will bring the fighting spirit of today’s labor movement to our campus’ graduate offices. In pursuing law school, I returned to school to support the upsurge in the new American Labor Movement. This year, I have chaired our campus’ own fighting labor union, the United Campus Workers Arizona, Local 7065, as the Student Chair for our University and as the sole student on the Executive Committee. Further, I’ve also been assisting in the national labor movement as a law clerk for Amazon Labor Union (ALU), the first labor union to successfully unionize an Amazon warehouse in the U.S. 

For far too long, graduate workers across the U.S. have been exploited for our labor. Over the last year, graduate students at the California Public Universities, Indiana University, Temple University, Harvard, Yale, and Michigan have increased the public imagination for what’s possible for graduate workers. I will drive our cause as workers forward in the fight for our rights and benefits.  

I promise I will continue to fight for better healthcare protections like dental and vision care and dependent care! 

I promise I will continue to fight for higher wages across all graduate colleges! 

I promise I will continue to fight for a complete student fee waiver so you don’t have to pay to work! 

I promise I will continue to fight for a first contract enshrining these rights into a legal contract between the University of Arizona and all its graduate workers who make this University WORK. 

Liam O'Connor, College of Science

Liam O'Connor - 2023 GPSC President Candidate

Candidate Statement:

Fellow students, you have told me your concerns at forums over the past year. I am now running for GPSC president to implement an ambitious agenda that will better the graduate experience at the University of Arizona. Three goals that I will work toward are: 

  • Fight for funding— Students are fed up with the financial stress that they endure while working for this university. Stipends go up $1,750 this fall. But Tucson’s cost of living has jumped by nearly as much.

    • Our rhetoric must be bolder. We ran two financial stress surveys. But this university’s leadership still does not understand the urgency of the situation. It is time to stop saying what students feel and start saying what they will do — from walking out to dropping out — if their financial stress continues.
    • Graduate students also want a labor union dedicated exclusively to their economic interests. I saw how propaganda swayed opinions when a unionization movement began at my previous university. GPSC should give students the balanced information they need to decide their own futures. I will task the Policy Committee with conducting a full analysis — delivered in an understandable format — on the state of graduate students’ labor rights in Arizona.


  • Connect the campus— Think back to when you first moved to Tucson, whether from distant India or nearby Phoenix. Most of us were clueless about how to find an apartment, complete paperwork, get a visa, and more. Fortunately, several thousand current students already navigated these challenges. Other universities have Facebook pages, Slack channels, and WhatsApp groups on which graduate students talk to each other. We need to build our own network.


  • Make some memories— Graduate school is not all work and no play. Everyone needs to relax once in a while to forget about the stress of their studies. To that end, I would direct GPSC to organize a university-wide celebration that would become an annual tradition. Imagine walking down a red carpet on a warm spring evening in your finest clothes to a dance floor packed with fellow graduate and professional students at an off-campus location. “GradProm 2024: A Dance in the Desert” is an event that I would like to make a reality.

My ambitious agenda will leave a lasting mark on this university if successful. I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you cast a vote for my candidacy during the election.  

Crystal-Candice Quaye, College of Law

Crystal-Candice Quaye

Candidate Statement:

I am a second year Juris Doctor candidate at the College of Law. You could say I already have a lot going on so why find more to do. I have always believed in service to my community. Since moving to Arizona from Portland, Oregon ,I have come to identify the University of Arizona as my own community. I have been supported and empowered by the UA community through available resources and support. Therefore my commitment to support and give back to the UA community.

I believe I am well-fitted 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.

In the 2021-2022 academic year, I served as GPSC’s Vice President. There, I sat on many internal committees and university-wide committees of significance which handled several aspects of the lives of graduate and professional students. Together with the Graduate College, we organized our annual Grad Slam and many activities for students. I have also been involved in advocacy and community outreach. I served two terms as a cabinet member of the alma matter’s executive council. There, I managed communication regarding multicultural awareness and promotion of equity among students. I have been involved in many campaigns to give back to my community including;

  • Volunteering with the NAACP
  • Save the turtle
  • Community re-afforestation
  • Promoting food security 

Even though the UA community has done a lot in supporting me and many others, I believe there is a lot more work to be done to reach out to many more students. I am passionate about advocacy and giving back to my community according to my ability. If I am afforded the opportunity to serve as the GPSC President, I hope to focus on the following areas:

  1. Recognizing and embracing the diversity of the student population with regard to background, identities, among others by providing platforms to address student concerns.
  2. Transparency and accountability to the electorate by keeping students informed on discussions and policies relating to them.
  3. Representing student affairs both internally within the university and externally
  4. Advocating for the expansion of resources and services towards student mental health support, campus safety, and other student support services
  5. Address the Graduate financial stress survey by finding solutions to better help the financial and food insecurity graduate and professional students face.

    Candidates for GPSC Administrative Vice President

    Samuel David Jesse, College of Engineering

    Candidate Statement:

    Real talk? Our appalling material conditions demand radical action. We need a lower cost of attendance, better stipends, guaranteed funding, affordable housing, childcare, crisis services, and health insurance that covers dental and vision. The list could go on and on; you know just as well as I do! We require an immediate response because we’re struggling to meet our most basic needs of groceries, housing, utility, and medical bills. Therefore, it is time that we demand these critical items from the University, as they rely on us to teach classes and conduct research in our assistantships. Without us, UA would not get tuition or grant money; it’s imperative that they start acting like it. 

    Structurally, GPSC is not a labor union and could never legally authorize a strike, but it is a legitimized site of real contestation that administrators cannot ignore. As the Administrative Vice President, I would focus on using our resources as GPSC to help our Representatives better organize and educate our constituents within the University. I’ve served on the 2023-2023 GPSC Executive Board as Secretary and chair of our Social & Marketing Committee. I hope to continue and expand our social events, which allow us to gather students together, meet folks we’d never normally meet in our jobs, honestly discuss our work conditions, and collaboratively make plans to pressure our Colleges and the University at large. Additionally, I’ve served on the first Steering Committee for United Campus Workers of Arizona as a graduate student representative, helping to start our unionization efforts here on campus. I remain a proud member of UCW-AZ and know that my experiences and connections there will inform my approach going forward. I hope to build solidarity amongst ourselves; when we as graduate & professional students have each other's backs because we know we’re in the same fight, that’s real power. 

    Furthermore, I seek to address inequity. I am neurodivergent, disabled, and queer; I know that real systemic barriers exist for my own and other marginalized communities. At a time when there are escalating threats of stochastic violence and state repression, graduate and professional students at UA deserve to live without fear of violence on and off campus. Our university has repeatedly failed to deliver on this basic premise.  

    If elected to this position, I assure you I will fight tooth and nail to enact substantive change. We deserve better and we know it! 

    Candidates for GPSC Executive Vice President

    Maya Braun Yoon 

    Candidate Statement:

    My name is Maya Braun Yoon (she/her.) I am a first year J.D. Candidate with a strong passion for equity and justice for all. I am a union backed candidate for Executive Vice President, running with the support of United Campus Workers Arizona, Local 7065. 

    There are so many stressors that come with graduate programs- a heavy workload, balancing work and life, financial stressors, and trying to find balance to engage in self care. I want to support fellow students by addressing these stressors to make our lives easier, and reduce the financial impact that getting an advanced degree carries. 

    My background as an administrative and policy level social worker will give me the ability to fight for justice and fair representation of the graduate student body. My background and experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion allows me to recognize my privilege and that my lived experience may not represent that of all students. I have the ability to advocate fiercely on behalf of fellow students. I have served on the boards of several local and national non profits, developing skills that lend themselves well to serving on the GPSC board. In addition, I have had to learn to balance being a parent to four children while attending law school, and understand better than many the difficulties of being an “atypical” student. 

    I care deeply about fair wages for graduate assistants, access to fair and appropriate benefits, and fee waivers for student workers. Graduate assistants perform incredibly essential tasks for our campus, and yet the work and effort they put in is not recognized in a meaningful way. Stipends and fee waivers for graduate assistants do not accurately reflect the work that is done, and does not significantly contribute to reducing financial stress. I promise to bring the energy carried by the labor movement to advocate for fair pay for graduate workers on our campus. 

    I want to advocate for fair representation of the diverse student body that U of A recruits, and increase safety and care for all on campus. This includes increasing access to appropriate mental health care, supportive responses to stressful situations on campus, addressing the financial concerns of graduate students at U of A, and increasing representation of the global majority on campus. I will also address fair access and accommodations for students with children or extenuating outside circumstances- school should be accessible for us all, and U of A can do better to make that a possibility for graduate students. 

      Candidates for At-Large Representatives 

      Anesu Samuel Masango

      As a Medical Doctor, GPSC rep, and Communication Graduate Assistant, I am committed to serving the needs of graduate and professional students at the University of Arizona. In addition to my experience serving on the H&R Fee Committee, I also serve on the Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee and the GPSC Social Committee. This involvement has given me a well-rounded perspective on the needs of students, and I am committed to advocating for their needs across all areas of the university.

      As an active member of the GPSC, I have represented the organization at various university events, including the Grad Slam competition and orientation. These experiences have allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities facing graduate and professional students at the University of Arizona.

      If elected as a GPSC at-large representative, I will use my knowledge and experience to create positive change for students in all areas of the university. I am committed to working collaboratively with other members of the GPSC to develop and implement initiatives that promote student health and wellness, support the needs of international students, and address financial barriers that can impact academic success.

      In summary, I am a highly qualified candidate who is passionate about serving graduate and professional students at the University of Arizona. With my experience and dedication, I am confident that I can contribute significantly to the work of the GPSC and make a positive impact on the student experience at the university.

      Rishabh Bhonsle

      Rishabh Bhonsle -2023 GPSC At-Large Representative Candidate

      Candidate Statement:

      Hello fellow graduates and professionals,

      My name is Rishabh Bhonsle, and I am excited to announce my candidacy for the position of At Large Representative of the GPSC. Having been in elected and advisory roles on the student council for multiple years, I understand the challenges students face and know how to act on them. I believe my skills as a Data Science graduate might help strengthen GPSC policies by making them data-driven where required. Through my time here and my interactions with fellow graduates, I feel the need to focus on three significant aspects amongst many others -

      Normalize student workload: There seems to be a considerable discrepancy in the workload assigned to employees, especially Teaching Assistants. The lack of funding/management capabilities of the department/professor is not the responsibility of a graduate student and, thus, not a reason for the student to be exploited. The same can be said about the uneven course load distributions throughout the semester. The course descriptions on the university website do not follow a uniform pattern and only sometimes portray the level of commitment required for it. As a graduate student, it is more than essential to allocate time for self-exploration of subjects and self-learning rather than to hustle trying to meet deadlines aimlessly.

      Inclusion and involvement: Many graduate students seem more inclined towards industrial positions. However, the department needs more support regarding advice on paving an industry-oriented path, building a solid industry-specific portfolio/resume, or even having a dedicated graduate job fair. This limitation of external opportunities extends to on-campus events and clubs, which seem to be either undergraduate-specific or oriented towards their timings. Apart from recreation and maintaining a healthy mental well-being, it is also necessary for graduate students to interact, discuss interdisciplinary ideas and maintain a knowledge flow for overall development. This could be made through socials and weekly coffee hours, which the university needs to implement.

      Cost of living imbalance: Even though the University of Arizona provides average student employee wages compared to other US colleges, the cost of living for Arizona lies well beyond the average. I believe that strong action must be taken to improve this disregard for student financial conditions. GPSC could collaborate with the United Campus Workers of Arizona (UCWAZ), who are strongly acting to improve these conditions.

      I aim to act on these issues and pave the way for many more issue resolutions by being a channel to voice graduate and professional student concerns. I may not have the exact picture you are hoping for, but I hope to interact with you and work towards our common goals. Looking forward to your help, guidance and support.

      Peter Echieh

      Peter Echieh - 2023 GPSC At-Large Representative Candidate

      Candidate Statement:

      I, Chidiebere I, Peter Echieh, a graduate student in the University of Arizona Department of Clinical Translational Sciences, apply for the Graduate and Professional Students Council at-large representative position. Representatives need strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, which I have developed. My background also gave me compassion and empathy, which are essential to student advocacy. If elected, I will tirelessly represent student interests. My experience, skills, and passion make me a great candidate for Graduate and Professional Students Council Representative At Large.

      As a graduate student, I am committed to promoting the interests and welfare of my fellow students. I am passionate about advocating for policies and initiatives that support graduate and professional students, particularly those in the healthcare field. I believe that my background and graduate education make me uniquely qualified to understand the needs and concerns of students and to work to address them.

      If elected, I commit to using my advocacy skills to represent the interests of graduate and professional students at the University of Arizona. I believe that I can make a positive impact in this role and am excited for the opportunity to serve.

      Chidiebere Peter Echieh

      Pami Keenan

      Pami Kennan- 2023 GPSC At-Large Representative Candidate

      Candidate Statement:

      My sincere thanks for allowing me the opportunity to represent you in the Graduate & Professional Student Council. 

      My path back to higher ed has been a winding one. I actually graduated from the UArizona College of Law years ago (long enough that we were still the UofA!) and had a career in legal communications. Then the pandemic happened and—like many of you—I found different passions and developed new goals. Now I’m halfway through an MA in Special Education for students with disabilities with possible plans for a PhD. In addition, I am a substitute teacher and caregiver for my husband, who has a permanent T12 spinal cord injury. 

      Did you know that, according to the Arizona Constitution, “university … shall be as nearly free as possible”? I know what it’s like to live on a fixed income, to want more for yourself and your family, and to negotiate the complex world of financial aid. I want to advocate with state decision-makers regarding issues important to us—tuition, financial aid, and pay, benefits and workload for graduate students—and I have the prior education and nonprofit advocacy experience to do so. In addition, I cope with clinical depression (thanks CAPS!), so I’m also here to advocate for the improvement of grad student mental health and well-being.  

      Please vote for me and allow me to serve your interests for the next school year. Thank you in advance for your support.  

      Candidates for the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture Representatives

      Meredith Jean Tribble 

      Candidate Statement:

      I believe that it is profoundly important to be a part of something greater than oneself and that it is important to give as much as one receives. It is because of these two core beliefs, I want to be a part of the GPSC. I understand what life is like in CAPLA and I understand the challenges we face and the support we need. I know the number of e-mails that we don’t read and I know that in-person is the best communication path. From holding all of the leadership positions in our 4-H club growing up, to being the senior class representative at my undergraduate college, to owning my own business for 11 years, and managing over 40 employees, I understand the amount of responsibility and effort it takes to be in a leadership role. I want to be a part of GPSC because I want to bring about better communication participation between the graduate students and the graduate governing bodies and to ensure that everyone here at CAPLA is heard.

      Candidates for College of Education Representatives

      Brenda Anderson

      Candidate Statement:

      Brenda Anderson Wadley (she/her/hers) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education in the College of Education. She utilizes critical qualitative methods to scrutinize structural oppression in higher education that impedes the success of minoritized communities. Her current dissertation explores issues of campus safety for students with marganilized identities. Brenda's work in higher education includes case management, campus sexual violence response, diversity and inclusion efforts, and institutional research and assessment. Her values of abolition, hope, and integrity inform how she leads, supports, and cares for others and the larger world. 

      Brenda is running for the College of Education GPSC to advocate for the interests of students pursuing graduate degrees within our college. As a former administrator, Brenda has witnessed firsthand the impact of high student fees combined with low wages for graduate student workers throughout our university. As a former staff member at the University of Arizona, who pursued a graduate degree while working full-time, Brenda knows firsthand the impact of QTR/EAP/DPTP taxation. Our universities funding model for graduate and professional students is broken and needs to be addressed. With collective support, Brenda plans to advocate for higher stipends, comprehensive healthcare, aid for students who are parents, and a student fee waiver for university graduate student workers. Additionally, Brenda wants to address the lack of institutional reporting structures for students impacted by interdepartmental bullying, which contributes to the push-out of many students. By addressing financial instability and safety issues, Brenda believes that she can contribute to a positive student experience for all graduate and professional students at the University of Arizona. 

      Maritza Magdalena Marquez Olague

      Maritza Marquez - 2023 GPSC College of Education Representative Candidate

      Candidate Statement:

      Respectfully  GPSC Elections Committee:

      I had the privilege to represent The College of Education for AY 22-23 and I would like to continue to  advocate for all graduate students including international students, by getting more students aware of the ways that GPSC does to support them, continue to have conversations with key stakeholders in and out our community to encourage them to collaborate with GPSC and graduate students and continue to listen the needs of our students to find ways to be in favor of them.

      In the current AY 22-23, I being part of International Students Advisory Council, ( ISAC) , COE Deans Graduate Advisory Board, (DGAB), and COE National Board, which this is my last term.  Being in these spaces of priviledge has help me to connect with others champions of graduate students and create collaborations in favor of our student community.

      Kind regards

      Maritza M Marquez Olague

      Candidates for College of Engineering  Representatives

      Matt Danley 

      Candidate Statement:

      My name is Matt Danley, I am a first-year Chemical Engineering graduate student running for the College of Engineering Representative position. I am qualified for this position from my experiences at my previous institution, Minnesota Duluth. As the activities coordinator in the student center at UMD, I worked with administration, faculty, staff, and students with governance, strategic planning, and event coordinating. I have extensive teaching experience at the collegiate level as an instructor as well as a teaching assistant. I understand the importance of a strong faculty and student relationship. I also have served as a volunteer grant reviewer for the GPSC this spring. My goals as a representative for the College of Engineering are to foster networking and collaboration within the college by hosting casual and professional socials and providing transparency between the GPSC and the constituents. I also would like to create opportunities for students to interact with administration and voice concerns about mental health, financial hardships and courseloads.  

      Candidates for College of Fine Arts Representatives

      Deborah Ruiz 

      Deborah Ruiz - 2023 GPSC College of Arts Representative Candidate

      Candidate Statement:

      Running as a representative in college can be an excellent opportunity to serve the graduate student community and make a positive impact on campus. As a representative, it would be essential to listen to the concerns and needs of graduate students and work towards finding solutions to address them. One way to improve the graduate student experience is to provide additional resources and support, such as academic and career advising, mental health services, and networking opportunities. 

      Another way to improve the graduate student experience is to foster a sense of community among graduate students. This could involve organizing social events, creating mentorship programs, and facilitating opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. Additionally, advocating for policies that benefit graduate students, such as increased funding for research and travel grants, can help to support their academic and professional goals.

      I was an Advising Ambassador for the College of Fine Arts School of Art. I am currently a School of Art Ambassador, volunteer every week at the Alzheimer’s Association, and help mentor undergraduate students in the Illustration, Design, and Animation program. In my last year at the University of Arizona, I want to help as many students as possible.

      Candidates for College of Humanities Representatives

      Diana Avdeeva

      Diana Avdeeva- College of Humanities Representative Candidate

      Candidate Statement:

      My name is Diana Avdeeva, and I promise to fight so the administration hears your voice. Together, we can press for long-overdue improvements to our community. 

       As Representative for the College of Humanities, I’ll advocate for elimination of class fees, and for increasing the stipend for GTAs. Inflation and rent hikes are driving up the cost of living in Tucson. I believe the administration must ease the financial burden for those who choose to study here. 

      To increase inter-departmental connectedness, I will introduce more community events, and meet with each program and department across our College.  

      Finally, the issue of campus safety is very relevant. Recent events highlighted how unprepared our campus is—it is vital to hold regular active shooter training and ensure that classrooms are prepared to protect the UA community. 

      Here’s a little background on me: I serve as a Global Ambassador with the International Student Services, and as an Ambassador for Open Dialogue. I believe in the importance of protecting protest and free speech rights on campus. 

      As an international student, I am able to relate to the experiences of fellow students of diverse backgrounds. Thank you, and I hope I can count on your vote! 

      Candidates for College of Law Representatives

      Karen Jacquez

      Candidate Statement: 

      Although I haven’t been at the University of Arizona very long, it’s become very special to me. My work ethic allowed me to graduate early, but it didn’t take away from my contributions to the University of Arizona or from being involved within my community. From working with the Guerrero Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, to being named the 2022 Provost Award Recipient at Commencement and the Hispanic Alumni Outstanding Graduating Senior. My experiences have led me to this moment, and I would be honored to improve the student experience for graduate and professional students at the University of Arizona with this role. I intend to be someone that people could easily communicate and voice concerns with, in addition to being available for students to answer questions, or point them in the direction of someone who has an answer to their questions.

      Caleb Lynch 

      Candidate Statement:

      I am interested in serving on the GPSC for many reasons. Firstly, I deeply enjoy connecting with and representing the student body. Currently, I am the Vice-President of the College of Law’s Student Government. This position has and will continue to afford me ample opportunities to connect with students from all backgrounds. Further, it allows me to connect with the administration via bi-weekly dean meetings. A GPSC representative must be able to be approachable, sympathetic, and have a desire to connect with each and every student. I am that candidate. Secondly, serving as a GPSC for the College of Law would allow me to better enhance my university graduate experience. I firmly believe we all learn from helping each other. That leads me to my third and final reason, the desire to help everyone have their voices heard. Beyond my current Vice-President role, I was also the President of my undergraduate’s Residence Hall Association. I look forward to using my past and present experiences to better the lives of my fellow students at the College of Law.  

      Candidates for the College of Management Representatives

      Sydni Fomas Do 

      Candidate Statement: 

      My name is Sydni Fomas Do and I am a second-year marketing PhD student. This past year I served as an at-large representative and am seeking the position as a College of Management representative for 2023. As a representative, I am passionate about ensuring that all underserved constituents’ voices are heard. I seek to improve the conditions for students that traditionally are not represented by our faculty, staff, and administration including international, first-generation, and students of color. I am also interested in providing advocacy that ensures a better well-being for all students within my college. My research focuses predominantly on financial vulnerability and its downstream consequences; as such, I intend to continue my advocacy for a livable wage for graduate assistants and providing adequate financial resources for graduate students who do not make a regular wage at the university. I hope I can continue to be a beneficial point of contact for all students in my college in the upcoming year.  

      Candidates for College of Medicine - Phoenix Representatives

      Divya Jeyasingh 

      Divya Jeyasingh- 2023 GPSC College of Medicine- Phoenix Representative

      Candidate Statement:

      I am excited to be considered as a candidate for GPSC. As a medical student, I have experienced the challenges that come with balancing academic, personal, and professional commitments.

      My previous experiences would help me in this role. As an undergraduate at USC, I served on the board of a women’s service organization as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. I listened to our members and worked with our brother organization to redistribute outdated traditional responsibilities and helped the group navigate the onset of the pandemic.

      As a student at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, I am passionate about ensuring that my classmates here are connected and can maximize the resources available to them as graduate students. If selected, I intend to advocate for options for Phoenix students to collaborate as well as participate in showcases, grant competitions, and other events. The student experience at both our medical schools can only be enhanced with further collaborative efforts.

      Overall, I am committed to representing the needs of all graduate and professional students and working collaboratively with the council to do so. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve on the GPSC.

      Kennedy Sparling

      Kennedy Sparling- 2023 GPSC College of Medicine-Phoenix Representative Candidate

      Candidate Statement:

      My name is Kennedy Sparling, and I am enthusiastic to express my interest in serving on the GPSC as the College of Medicine–Phoenix representative. As a committed advocate for student welfare and success, I regard this role as a unique platform to facilitate impactful change, articulate student concerns, and effectively communicate opportunities to enhance my colleagues’ experiences.

      As a medical student actively involved in various other roles, including co-lead of the ACEs/TIC IG and CHIP leader of Rebloom, I have direct insight into the challenges and needs of my fellow students. Further, my prior experiences as a Course Coordinator, Peer Mentor, and President of various clubs in undergrad have fortified the leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills necessary to excel in this role.

      As a GPSC representative, I intend to work collaboratively with other members of the committee to advocate for policies that support the well-being and academic success of our students. I am passionate about promoting equitable allocation of resources and supporting initiatives to improve wellness and professional development services. I believe GPSC provides a platform for advancing these goals.

      Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve our phenomenal students.

      Candidates for College of Nursing Representatives

      Olga Vasylchenko

      Candidate Statement:

      Dear Graduate Students,

      For the last 2 years, I had the pleasure to serve as your At-Large and College of Nursing representative. 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 again.

      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. Also, as a College of Nursing representative, I had a pleasure to sit on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee as well as internal GPSC appropriation committee.

      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 the College of Pharmacy Representatives

      Kristen Gregory 

      Candidate Statement:

      I'm collecting signatures from graduate and professional students in the College of Pharmacy. I intend to run for College of Pharmacy Representative for the Graduate & Professional Student Council in the 2023-2024 student elections. After serving in the role this year, I would like to continue participating in GPSC next year. This is just the petition to get me on the ballot. I want to help better advocate for graduate and professional students, develop community in the college, collaborate on events, and get more students aware of our travel, research, and professional grants. I'd really appreciate it if you took the time to fill out the petition below 

      Candidates for the College of Science Representatives

      Emilia Banuelos

      Emilia Banuelos - 2023 GPSC College of Science Representative Candidate

      Candidate Statement: 

      I am a passionate advocate for improving the student experience for graduate students and professional students. We as students face unique challenges that can be addressed with targeted support and resources. As a graduate student at the University of Arizona, I am motivated to engage with others and committed to improve the student experience which is driving my interest in serving on GPSC.  

      One of my main goals is to increase access to mentorship opportunities for graduate and professional students of diverse backgrounds. Many students in these programs, like myself, struggle to find mentors who can provide guidance and support throughout their academic journey. To address this issue, I plan to work with faculty members and professional organizations to create mentorship programs specifically tailored to the needs of graduate and professional students of diverse backgrounds. Throughout my academic career, I have further developed skills in communication, flexibility, and organization. In this position, I will contribute these relevant qualifications and my enthusiasm for change to build community and address efforts to support the graduate and professional students.  


        GPSC's Needs: 

        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 Medicine (Tucson)

        • College of Public Health

        • James C Wyant College of Optical Sciences 

        • College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (SBS) 

        • College of Veterinary Medicine

        • Graduate College (GIDP)