2024 Election Candidates


2024 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 

Candidate Statement:


My name is Jeremy Bernick and I am a rising third-year J.D. candidate in the College of Law. I'm running for President of the Graduate Professional and Student Council (GPSC).

I started law school in the Fall of 2022 wanting to be a part of the growing new labor movement. In the Summer of 2022, I began clerking for Amazon Labor Union by helping Chris Smalls in his historic legal fight against Amazon. Since then, I've gone on to also lead our campus labor union, the United Campus Workers Arizona as the Student Chair for the University of Arizona. After law school, I intend to pursue a career in fighting for labor unions to build back working class power.

As GPSC President, I oversaw historic wins for all graduate workers. We won a major victory on graduate mandatory fees by removing $1,600 in annual graduate fees for all GAs, RAs, and TAs beginning this Fall.

We also won a campaign to provide sustainable and free menstrual products in every first floor women’s bathroom in every campus building! These products will begin to be delivered to bathrooms over the summer!

We were also able to help in the process to keep transit in Tucson free! 

And we held the first statewide healthcare insurance summit with all three university student governments agreeing on new demands for dental and vision coverage!

During my term, GPSC also fought for transparency amidst the disastrous university’s budget crisis, a major role in every senior leadership search committee, statewide legislative meetings, and a historic seat on the President’s Cabinet for graduate workers.

It's long overdue for graduate workers to stand up to the administration for the pay and protections they rightfully deserve. While in office I intend to build worker power and a fighting graduate workforce ready to take on the administration at every turn.

I will continue the fight for the right to:

- Stipend Increases for ALL Graduate Workers

- Low Cost Vision, Dental, and Dependent Care Healthcare

- Free Legal Services for Graduate Students


Candidates for GPSC Administrative Vice President

Samuel David Jesse

Candidate Statement:


Samuel David Jesse


2024 GPSC Administrative Vice President Candidate Statement

The University of Arizona could not function without us. Who teaches the classes, grades the homework, does the research? We do. Yet, we are consistently denied participation in the University’s decision-making processes. All the while we pay the price for the administration's mismanagement. 

We know what we need: lower cost of attendance, better stipends, guaranteed funding, childcare, crisis services, travel support, and health insurance that covers dental and vision. MIT calculated the cost of living in Tucson for 2024 as over $40,000 –not a single graduate stipend on campus comes close to this figure. Yet, the Graduate College has refused to raise the minimum stipend at UA this year, citing the burden this would place on departmental units during the financial crisis, all while the Graduate College Dean takes home the pay of nearly a dozen graduate students.

I stand firm in my position that GPSC is structurally unable to solve these issues directly; a labor union is necessary to strike for these demands. Nonetheless, GPSC is one of the sole legitimized organizations in this institution where we can voice our opinions to administrators. Additionally, GPSC’s grants, events, socials, and services are critical life support networks. Graduate students rely upon them to complete their degrees in one piece.

I have a long record of standing up for graduate and professional students. As the current Administrative Vice President, I joined the fight to eliminate student fees so we no longer have to pay to work. And we won. Starting Fall 2024, GA, TA, and RA offer letters will cover the cost of most student fees. Also, as the Student Service Fee Advisory Board co-chair, I’ve secured funding for Campus Pantry, the Cultural Centers, and GPSC’s grant programs This funding helps address systemic inequity by expanding resources for marginalized and underrepresented communities, including my own as a queer, disabled, and neurodivergent student. Most importantly, I’ve been a proud member of United Campus Workers since its founding, where workers across campus have joined the struggle for dignity, autonomy, and a wage that pays the bills.

If re-elected, I will continue to help GPSC Representatives work with their constituents to demand better treatment and better pay. In all of this, solidarity is key. When we as graduate & professional students have each other's backs, that’s real power. I’ll have your back as we fight for what we deserve!

Candidates for GPSC Executive Vice

Maya Braun Yoon

Candidate Statement:

Hey all,

My name is Maya, I am a rising third year J.D. Candidate with a strong passion for equity and
justice. I am running for Executive Vice President for GPSC, as the only labor union endorsed
candidate. Shout out to UCWAZ.

I spent the past year as GPSC’s EVP, fighting for students as we continue to be abused and
exploited for our labor. We have seen major successes, but due to the financial crisis, we’ve
also witnessed our university begin to crumble before our eyes. I have worked with the GPSC
and ASUA to ensure that students are represented in University decision making regarding
changes in leadership and the financial crisis.

Over the past year, I have supported GPSC in:
 Negotiating the removal of $1,600 in annual mandatory fees for GAs, RAs, and TAs starting
Fall 2024;
● Ending censorship of GPSC comms to constituents, increasing advocacy efforts and
● Maintaining free transit in Tucson;
● Building strong partnerships to enhance our collective power;
● Issuing critical student surveys to collect empirical evidence of our experiences as
students and workers.
However, this work is not done. There is still much to do, and few of my goals for next year are:
● Fight for higher pay and full benefits for students, including dental and vision;
● Ensure that students are represented in presidential hiring, addressing the financial
crisis, and decision making;
● Address the systematic and continuous defunding of GPSC, ensuring the longevity and
impact of shared governance;
● Build equity within GPSC grants, ensuring everyone applying has an equal opportunity
to be awarded;
● Continue building partnerships with affinity organizations and campus entities to fight
systemic oppression for underrepresented communities and increase student power.

My background as a social worker and legal work strengthens my fight for justice and fair
representation of the graduate student body. Additionally, my commitment to antiracism and
fighting all forms of oppression, and study of civil rights, harm reduction, and transformative
justice make me uniquely equipped to support the efforts of GPSC. I will continue to advocate
for fair representation of the diverse student body that UA recruits, and increase safety,
retention, graduation rates, 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.

In solidarity,


Yiseul Han 

Candidate Statement:

Hello! I am Yiseul Han, a third-year Ph.D. student in Linguistics. I am excited to contribute as the
Executive Vice President of the Graduate and Professional Student Council. As a first-generation
college student and an Asian individual, I deeply understand the importance of representation in
minority-serving institutions. It is essential to support diverse perspectives and ensure all people
are valued and celebrated within our educational community. During my time as the social chair of
my department, I found great fulfillment in connecting with fellow students, actively listening to
their concerns, and fostering a sense of community. Through organizing various events, I
endeavored to promote collaboration and create a conducive environment for all students. I
recognize the significance of clear rules and effective communication in maintaining a harmonious
living and learning space, and I am committed to continually striving for improvements. Furthermore,

I am dedicated to organizing diverse and beneficial events for students, with a particular focus on
understanding their needs and consistently advocating for them in regular meetings. I am
committed to working diligently, assisting the president, and being a responsive listener.

I pledge to prioritize students' needs and work tirelessly to address them for a better quality of life.
If elected as the President of the Graduate and Professional Student Council, I will advocate for:

• Enhanced compensation for Graduate assistants
• Increased resources for international students and non-traditional students
• Expansion of student health insurance coverage to include dental and vision insurance
• Collaboration with student organization leaders to achieve shared objectives
• Alleviation of the financial burden associated with international student fees
• Ensuring transparency and accountability within the organization

Thank you for considering my candidacy.


Candidates for At-Large Representatives 

  • Anna Roche

  • Harriet Olulo

  • Jennifer Weiss

  • Max Thomas

  • Milad Hasankhani

  • Marcos Esparza

Candidates for College of Agriculture, Life, and Environmental Sciences

  • Ciara Garcia 

Candidates for College of Engineering Representatives

  • Joanna Joseph

  • Matt Danley

Candidates for College of Humanities Representatives

  • Tatiana Ulanova

Candidates for College of Law Representatives

  • Madrid, Gabriel

  • Jocelyn Garcia

  • Karen Jacquez

  • Sean Patrick O'Brien

Candidates for the College of Management Representatives 

  • Akhilesh Khadse  

  • Pete Zhou

  • Reyna Natalie Valenzuela Atwell

Candidates for College of Medicine - Phoenix Representatives

  • Julia Moreton

  • Kelly Walter

  • Nabia Kheshtchin-Kamel

Candidates for College of Medicine - Tucson Representatives

  • Curtis Triebswetter

Candidates for the College of Science Representatives

  • Garett Reichenbach

  • Holly Thomas


GPSC's Needs: 

Do you care deeply about the needs of your peers? Are there issues 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.