The Executive Cabinet consists of the five (5) elected executive officers of the Graduate and Professional Association (GPSA): the GPSA President, the Vice President of Internal Affairs, the Vice President of External Affairs, the Vice President of Professional Development, and the Vice President of Campus Engagement. Each member of the Executive Cabinet serves on various University committees and acts as a voice for students to University administration, faculty, and staff.
Traditionally, the GPSA President deals with University-wide issues and administration, while also serving on the Council of Presidents (CoP). The Vice President of Internal Affairs administers GPSA’s research and travel grants process. The Vice President of External Affairs oversees the organization’s advocacy projects and policy priorities. The Vice President of Professional Development plans and implements career development programs and community events to recognize student achievement and strengthen student connections and relationships. The Vice President of Campus Engagement markets GPSA resources, maintains Graduate Student Centers (GSCs) across campuses, designs GPSA promotional materials, and hosts celebratory cultural and diversity events.
Overall, the Executive Cabinet works with the University’s administration, Undergraduate Student Governments (USG), and other community leaders on a range of student services, including affordability, health, sustainability, safety, housing, dining, and construction.
To provide the President with the support needed to govern effectively, the Office of the GPSA President (OoP) maintains responsibilities for administrative, advisory, and logistical support, along with duties related to budgeting, communications, and policy setting. The OoP represents graduate and professional students and their interests during all internal and external collaborations and discussions.
As the GPSA President, Megan has two roles: (1) she serves as a member of the ASASU Council of Presidents (COP) to advance initiatives at the university level for all students; and (2) she is the Graduate Student Body President overseeing the needs and interest of all graduate and professional students at ASU. Megan will continue the work of GPSA’s prior leadership on initiating long-lasting and sustainable support for graduate and professional students. This includes support for housing opportunities and cost, funding amounts and options, health insurance benefits, sustainability initiatives and education, and alternative transportation modes including biking and walking safety at and around ASU.
Megan McCaughan is a Molecular & Cellular Biology Ph.D student passionate about advancing global health through scientific discovery and participating in humanitarian efforts. Megan is committed to advocating for graduate student needs by both collaborating with and challenging the ASU administration. Megan has co-authored and passed Assembly legislation to waive student fees, expand access to health insurance and coverage, and secure additional travel and research grant funds. As GPSA President, Megan’s priorities are centered around affordability, sustainability, and wellness. More specifically to fight for higher stipends, comprehensive healthcare, and affordable housing options for graduate students while mobilizing their voices.
As Chief of Staff, Dillard has a wide range of roles within the Office of the President and GPSA at-large. Dillard maintains day-to-day responsibility for communications between executive offices, manages the president’s budget and legislation, oversees the daily operations and interrelationship of GPSA officers, develops and refines the presidential policy agenda, and ensures the GPSA President receives a diverse set of information, analyses, and views necessary to make decisions.
Dillard is a second year Master of Public Policy student. For more than four years, Dillard has worked across executive, legislative, and judicial institutions at the local, state, and federal levels of government in academic, professional, and voluntary capacities. He’s dedicated his early career to data-driven, equitable, and grassroots decision making and reform through community boards/task forces and legislative initiatives. Dillard is excited to apply his background and skills in policy making, diversify the GPSA and ASU experience, prioritize student fee and GPSA budget reforms, and build actionable policy priorities for graduate students across ASU.
As the Director of Sustainability, McKenna primarily serves to advocate sustainability initiatives on behalf of the President and graduate students. These sustainability initiatives include both environmental and climate activism as well as student wellness and resource allocation. McKenna collaborates with the legislative and executive branches of GPSA to outline sustainability initiatives in the GPSA Advocacy Agenda and/or ASASU Priorities.
McKenna is a first year Master of Public Administration (MPA) student with a concentration in Urban Management. She was named the inaugural Jane Morris Fellow, who works in tandem with the Marvin Andrews Fellows to advance local government initiatives and outreach. McKenna is assigned to work with the Valley Benchmark Communities (VBC) board for the fall semester.
As the Director of Wellness, Brooke acts as the liaison between GPSA and wellness-related areas of the University. Brooke is responsible for outreach, advocacy, and event programming related to mental and physical health, sexual safety, and physical activity.
Brooke Butterick is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist pursuing a Ph.D. in Exercise and Nutritional Sciences. Her research focuses on nutritional interventions to attenuate fatigue development, aid in recovery, and acclimate to a hot environment.
The Director of International Student Affairs is focused on creating an environment of care, cohesion, and support for the international student body at Arizona State University. The Director, along with the International Student Affairs Committee, will work closely with the International Students and Scholars Center (ISSC), other GPSA Offices, International Student Organizations, ASU administration, and other relevant actors to advocate for international student issues and needs and plan and execute events and services.
Lamiya is a master’s student from India studying User Experience at Arizona State University. Prior to ASU, Lamiya worked as an Architectural Designer in San Francisco. In her free time, Lamiya likes to paint, do yoga, and travel.
The GPSA Office of External Affairs (EA) exists to advocate for, with, and on behalf of the nearly 30,000 in-person and online ASU graduate and professional students. This office oversees GPSA’s advocacy projects, organizes students around relevant issues, lobbies policymakers, and develops graduate student leaders. Developed during the summer and presented each fall, the EA team submits the GPSA Advocacy Agenda for GPSA Assembly approval, setting the organization’s policy priorities. This office also plays a crucial role in drafting internal GPSA bills to define stances on policy issues.
The Office of EA oversees the Advocacy, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (AJEDI) Committee to facilitate action steps to implement the Advocacy Agenda and other internal legislation and support that agenda through advocacy programming. This committee is open to any student. The team is led by the Vice President of External Affairs, the Director of Legislative Affairs, the Director of University/Local Affairs, and the Director of Digital Immersion.
Additionally, the Director of University/Local Affairs oversees a separate Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion committee responsible for researching university policies of relevance that impact graduate students at ASU. The University/Local Affairs director leads and supports committee initiatives, which may include writing/editing legislation, planning events, and leading other programs. This committee is open to any student.
The Vice President of External Affairs represents the interests of graduate and professional students to local, state and federal governing bodies, as well as the Arizona Board of Regents. This position serves on the Executive Committee and is chair of the Advocacy, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and manages the External Affairs budget.this position also oversees the creation and execution of the Advocacy Agenda each academic year.
Maliyah (Leah) Adams is a Masters of Social Work and Legal Studies student at the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Her study interests include the intersection and how the law impacts vulnerable populations. She has experience working within the state government and partnering with federal agencies to address the concerns of Arizona constituents. She is also a foster care alum who has dedicated her time and effort to advocating for other foster youth especially in higher education. Her goal for the External Affairs office this year is to create a safe and accessible space within GPSA that is open to all graduate and professional students.
The Director of Legislative Affairs is broadly tasked with organizing our advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels of government. This director will lead important GPSA initiatives such as Legislative Action Days in Washington, DC, and maintain relationships with Arizona’s Congressional Delegation.
Jamal is a Gender Studies doctoral candidate in the School of Social Transformation. His research explores how race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect to influence the experience and production of labor, economics, sexual stereotypes, and bodily autonomy. He has an extensive background in advocacy, policy, community organizing, and engagement; including being the former Vice President of External Affairs, a Leading For Change Fellow, and managing both issue and candidate campaigns.
The Director of University/Local Affairs will develop, implement, support, and lead initiatives and programs that address graduate students’ challenges and empower them to create innovative and JEDI-centric solutions. This director will also be a liaison between GPSA and the diversity-centered graduate student organizations, supporting and implementing campus justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.
Maitreya Sanjay Ranjane is a Master of Science Industrial Engineering candidate at Arizona State University with a focus on optimizing production systems and leveraging data analytics tools. Having held key leadership roles, he demonstrates exceptional skills in managing diverse teams and promoting inclusivity. In his previous professional experience at Reliance JIO, he effectively utilized these skills to enhance data accuracy and develop advanced data insights. In his role as Chairman of the Society of Automotive Engineers Collegiate Chapter in India he exemplified leadership, fostering an inclusive environment and successfully orchestrating a record-breaking technical fest.
The Director of Digital Immersion Affairs assists and engages the Annual Advocacy Agenda, which acts as the legislative agenda for online students. This director coordinates with other Directors of GPSA to ensure that there is continuity between in-person or campus immersion and online or digital immersion graduate and professional students.
Laura Hechel is attending ASU Online to pursue a Master of Social Work degree. In the past, Laura served as a Russian linguist and Signals Intelligence Analyst in the United States Army. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Master in Business Administration. She currently sits on the Board of Directors and provides professional writing services for Operation iDream, a school in northern Zambia. She stays very active in the veteran community in Phoenix and is passionate about academic innovation, frequently advocating on behalf of both groups with elected officials.
The Graduate and Professional Student Association Internal Affairs (IA) Department administers the GPSA Research and Travel Grant Programs. The IA team creates the applications for both programs every year. We train, manage, and assign peer reviewers every cycle, and award funding to outstanding applications in each program. We work with Graduate College and the Athletics Program to provide the Graduate Research Support Program and the Athletics Research Grant, respectively.
The Vice President of Internal Affairs is responsible for the distribution of all funding allocated to the GPSA Travel and Research grant programs, and the management of all aspects of both the Travel and Research Grant Programs.
Ndey Bassin Jobe is a Biology PhD candidate in the Center for Evolution and Medicine at Arizona State University. She is originally from the Gambia, West Africa. Ndey is a medical entomologist and the core of her PhD research involves designing, building, and testing novel biotechnologies for the surveillance and control of mosquitoes. Jobe can be reached at email@example.com.
The Director of Grant Operations supports the Internal Affairs Team in capacities related to the distribution of grants. This position assists the Director of Research and Director of Travel in the execution of their respective programs, monitors the eligibility of grant applications and ensure that grant awardees are connected with the resources needed to utilize their grant awards.
Kylie is a PhD candidate in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University with an emphasis in Population and Behavioral Health Sciences. Her research involves using multilevel community-based approaches to promote physical activity, specifically within schools, with an emphasis on physical activity assessment and policy. Kylie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GPSA Director of Research manages the research grant program provided by the Internal Affairs Committee, trains and manages the research grant reviewers, and answers inquiries sent to the research e-mail.
Tumininu is a second year doctoral student of Organizational Communication at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. She is from Nigeria, West Africa. Her research interests are at the intersection of positive organizational scholarship, corporate thriving, and resilience. Tumininu can be reached at email@example.com.
The GPSA Director of Travel manages the travel grant program provided by the Internal Affairs Committee, trains and manages the travel grant reviewers, and answers inquiries sent to the travel email.
Nicholet Deschine Parkhurst, Standing Rock Sioux and Diné is a Ph.D. student in the Justice and Social Inquiry program in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University and a Ph.D. Candidate in Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University. She earned a Master of Public Policy and Master of Social Work from ASU. Her research is at the intersection of Indigenous human rights, social movements, and digital activism. Deschine Parkhurst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GPSA Office of Professional Development (PD) is an inclusive, democratic, collaborative student-led endeavor which focuses to advance the academic, professional, and overall welfare of all graduate students of Arizona State University. This Office is dedicated to help students get the maximum value from the degree they seek from ASU. Over the year, the Office of PD will work with various student leaders/groups, ASU departments and administration to design programs, initiatives and advocate to cater the professional and career development needs of students.
Development Services, International Students and Scholars Center (ISSC), other ASU Administration, GPSA Offices, International Student Organizations, and other relevant actors to advocate for student issues and needs.
The Vice President of Professional Development is focused on designing and implementing programs for the professional development of graduate students. The Vice President along with the Directors in the Office of PD will work closely with the Graduate College, Career and Professional Development Services, ASU Administration, International Students and Scholars Center (ISSC), ASASU Student leaders, and other relevant actors to advocate for student issues and needs; and plan and execute events, awards and fellowship program. Pooja is a fourth year doctoral student from India studying science and technology studies at Arizona State University. Her research intersects at public health, science and technology studies and postcolonial studies. Her current work involves examining how data and information systems shape the understanding of health and healthcare in different national contexts.
The Director of Awards administers GPSA’s award schemes aimed at recognizing outstanding graduate students and staff. In line with award administration, this position also recruits and trains graduate student reviewers to evaluate award applications.
Gina Scarpete Walters is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Culture and Language within the School of International Letters and Cultures. Her research interests lie primarily in cognitive and cultural linguistics with a focus on languages of the Balkans (Romanian, Modern Greek, and Albanian), as well as language and identity, and linguistic endangerment and language death. Originally from Romania, Gina advocates for linguistic and cultural diversity and less commonly taught languages. More recently, her work also focused on developing teaching materials for preschoolers of Piipaash, a severely endangered Indigenous language of Arizona.
I’m Surya Prakash Selvakumar, originally from India. I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Construction Management and Technology from Del E. Webb School of Construction. I am always passionate about engaging in social activities and sustainable initiatives. I have organized and participated in a wide range of events throughout my academic life. From conducting events such as environmental initiatives, plantation drives, cleaning drives, and technical fests as well as entertaining cultural programs. By which I gained extensive experience in event management and strategic planning. I am part of other organizations and student chapters like ISSC, ISA, Changemakers, IFMA, USGBC, and CMAA. I am also a board member of the React Foundation NGO, an environmental initiative. Primarily creating public awareness and feeding homeless people. Through GPSA, I intend to create a positive impact on student life and enhance their professional development, fostering a thriving ASU campus community. As a Director of Events, I strive to create vibrant events for graduates that inspire professional growth, cultural intelligence, and academic excellence. Together, let’s create an inclusive environment for a transformative experience and enrich your personal and professional journey at ASU. I enjoy hiking AZ mountains and biking.
“Believe in winning before you win.”
Tam Kemabonta is a PhD student in the Sustainable Energy program at the School of Sustainability. The Director will lead the Special Projects Committee in soliciting, reviewing, and monitoring applications and projects associated with the Innovation Fellows Program. This position helps to increase the participation of students in GPSA programs and enhance the graduate and professional student overall experience at ASU.
GPSA Office of Campus Engagement creates engaging content, organizes events, which involves graduate students to enhance their college experience. This Office is totally dedicated to marketing the GPSA resources, maintain GSC spaces at all campuses, design the GPSA materials, host the events including welcome events (Fall & Spring), cultural events, wellness events and celebrate the diversity of campus community.
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Vice President of CE takes responsibility for promoting GPSA resources to the graduate students along with the team of Director of Marketing who create, design and share GPSA content to all social media accounts and also via Monthly Newsletter and Director of Outreach for Poly, West & Downtown Campuses who host events and guide students through the GPSA resources. Responsibility also includes maintenance of GSC spaces at all campuses.
Second Year Masters Student of Computer Software Engineering from India focusing on Building a software application.
The Director of Marketing is a member of the GPSA Office of CE team. Responsibilities include producing and distributing digital creative materials for marketing GPSA events, initiatives, and programs.
Silvia Neretti is a Fulbright fellow, a social designer, and a doctoral candidate in The Design School at Arizona State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the Free University of Bolzano (Italy) and a master’s degree in Social Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven (Netherlands). Her research is in the field of Design for Mental Health, it is grounded in new materialism, and adopts speculative and participatory approaches. Her research focuses on developing material ways for relational change and uses design to distribute healing in everyday life.
As a Director of Outreach, responsibilities include planning and organizing events, from conception to execution, ensures all necessary documents are in place throughout the event timeline, schedules meetings with the Dean of Campuses and creates eye-catching fliers when needed. Additionally, manages the GSC office hours, providing a welcoming environment for all.
I’m Aditya Raj, currently immersing myself in the fascinating world of Technology Management as a master’s student at the Polytechnic campus. My academic journey, a blend of tech innovation and leadership nuances, led me to the role I’m most proud of – serving as your Director of Outreach – Poly within the GPSA. Beyond the classroom, you’ll often find me engrossed in the latest bestseller, exploring the wisdom hidden in the pages. My curiosity doesn’t stop there; I’m an avid podcast listener, always seeking out new perspectives and inspiring stories that challenge my understanding of the world.
Responsibilities include creating an event to spread for GPSA and student engagement with professional development. Building and maintaining relations with ASU different schools at the campus , dean of Students office , different student groups as well.
Masters student at Thunderbird School Of Global Management . I like to enjoy every day with some outdoorsy stuff . Originally from India and binge watch series and bake different desserts.
I live by quote – ” Live , Love and Trust “.
This position serves as a liaison between GPSA and graduate students on their respective campuses, organizing engaging events, collaborating with the public relations team for effective marketing, regularly visiting the Graduate Student Centers, establishing connections with the campus’ Dean of Students, strong community-building skills, excellent communication abilities, and the ability to work collaboratively with various departments and GSOs, actively involved in campus activities, demonstrate ASU pride, and have experience in event planning.
I am a diligent and ambitious Software Development Engineer with over 4 years of experience in product development and management. Throughout my career, I have successfully designed and developed innovative applications that have greatly enhanced user satisfaction through digitalization of physical processes and improved code quality. I am driven to continuously learn about advanced technologies in Computer Science and eager to further grow my career in this field. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Computer Science (MCS) from Fall’23.