GSC Leadership (2021-2022)

Executive Board

President: McGill

My name is Staci McGill. I'm originally from Chesapeake, VA, but Kentucky has been home since 2008. I received my Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Biotechnology from UK in 2013. I spent 2 years working in the horse industry before coming back to UK for my Master's and PhD in Biosystems and Ag Engineering. I am currently working on PhD having graduated with my Master's in Spring of 2019. My research focuses on facility design, construction, and environments within the horse industry. When not working on my research, I can be found with my horses as I have a Trakehner sporthorse breeding business. 

Vice President: Edward Lo

My name is Edward Lo, and my hometown is Acworth, Georgia. I earned a BS in Geology at Louisiana State University and an MS in Geological Sciences at the University of Kentucky. I am currently a 5th year PhD candidate in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences studying sediment composition and riverine processes in the Pantanal, Brazil. I enjoy river kayaking, socializing, visiting remote places, learning languages, karaoke, and tinkering with car maintenance.

Chief of Staff and Operations: Sam Glick

Hi, my name is Sam Glick and I’m from Arlington, Massachusetts. I got bachelors' degrees in economics and applied math from Elon University. I’ll be in my third year in the economics PhD program here at UK. I’m interested in estimating how grant aid affects student outcomes and college pricing. I like to play tennis and make dad jokes in my free time.

Treasurer: Rachel Davis

My name is Rachel Davis, and I am originally from Decatur, Tennessee, which is a small town about halfway between Chattanooga and Knoxville. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I am currently a doctoral candidate in the department of Sociology at the University of Kentucky. My research interests include critical criminology, internet studies, gendered violence, and sexual labor. My ultimate goal is to further the movement for social justice locally, nationally, and globally through education and activism, and my hobbies include baking, cross-stitching, playing video games, and spending time with my husband and our cat (named Lil Buddy).

Secretary: K.C. Vick

My name is K.C. Vick. I grew up in Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama, where I earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies. I later completed an MPH in Social, Behavioral, and Community Health at Indiana University Bloomington, then returning to Alabama for five years to work in nonprofit sexual health and civic engagement. I am now a doctoral student with UK Sociology, researching how rural people experience, navigate, and sometimes mitigate top-down public health policies and practices. I spend my down time in Lexington with my partner and animals, with regular visits to family in Alabama and Indiana. I also enjoy cooking, tending to plants, and spending time in the sun.

 

External Affairs Officer: Pedro Martin

My name is Pedro Jesse Martin. I am originally from Ghana, the gateway to Africa. I obtained both my undergraduate and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah Univ. of Science and Technology (KNUST- Ghana) and Arizona State University respectively. I am currently a second year PhD student in the Department of Civil Engineering developing convergent research solutions on food-energy-water nexus that meet current demands without disrupting ecosystem services for the future. I love to cook and travel a lot.

 

Institutional Affairs Officer: Olumuyiwa Moses Desmennu

My name is Olumuyiwa Moses Desmennu, I am from Nigeria. I obtained my bachelor and Master's degree from Universities of Ilorin and Ibadan, Nigeria respectively in Biochemistry, I later obtained an M.Ed in Educational Evaluation also from the same university. I am currently a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, I hope to conduct research in the area of STEM Education in K-12. I love travelling, reading and spending time with family and friends from places different from mine.

 

Professional Student Affairs Officer: Smaran Bhaktawara

 

My name is Smaran Bhaktawara and I am originally from Canton, Michigan. I attended the University of Michigan for my undergraduate studies with a major in biochemistry. I am currently a third year Doctor of Pharmacy of candidate class of 2023 with an interest in pursuing a career in drug companies. My hobbies include practicing cinematography, cooking, and skateboarding. One thing not many people know about me is that art museums are favorite places in the world and pop art is my favorite kind of art.

 

Postdoc Affairs Officer: Krishnaroop Chaudhuri

My name is Krishnaroop Chaudhuri, from Kolkata, India. I am a PhD from AcSIR in CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, and a Bachelor of Engineering from BITS Pilani, both in India. I moved to Lexington in October 2020 as a postdoc to work in Dr. Jonathan Pham’s Soft Materials and Interfaces group in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. I work in the field of surface properties and rheology of wetting in polymers. In my free time I engage in cooking, trivia, and long-distance running.

SGA Graduate Senator At-Large: TBD

SGA Graduate Senator At-Large: TBD

President Emeritus (non-voting): Katherine Counts

Leadership Team

Graduate Council Representative: Tabitha Dyer

Graduate Council Representative: Keerthan Rao

Director of Membership: Aviv Brokman

My name is Aviv Brokman, and I'm a PhD student in statistics at UK, specializing in deep learning models for natural language processing. For my dissertation, I'm developing models to automatically retrieve gene interactions from scholarly publications for use in databases. I originally came to UK as a PhD student in biology, and in keeping with that, I earned degrees in biology and mathematics at the University of Rochester as an undergraduate. I love living in Kentucky, and when I’m not working, I’m hiking, mushroom hunting, dancing, practicing mixed martial arts, or fermenting something.

Appropriations & Revenue Committee

Chair: Treasurer (Shaila Zaman)

Director of Philanthropy:

The Director of Philanthropy works closely with the Treasurer to coordinate all philanthropic efforts by the GSC. The Director of Philanthropy also works directly with the Office of Philanthropy to raise funds for the Graduate Student Success Fund. If you are interested in serving in this leadership position, or would like more information, send an email to gsc@uky.edu.

Director of Finance: Glenna Joyce

Awards Committee

Chair: Tasha Kozak

Communications & Documents Committee

Chair: Secretary (Katie Sharp)

Director of Communications: 

The Director of Communications works closely with the Secretary to oversee all communication efforts of this committee and of the GSC. The Director of Communications is responsible for ensuring all communications are distributed in a timely manner and prevent duplication of information. If you are interested in serving in this leadership position, or would like more information, send an email to gsc@uky.edu.

Director of Social Media: Kadee Whaley

My name is Katherine E. Whaley, and I am originally from Prospect, Virginia. I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College, double majoring in English and History. I earned an M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Cultural Studies, from Kansas State University. I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Dept. of English. My research focuses on the role of American Lit in debates about law and order in the 60s and 70s. I am a T.A./Instructor in the Writing, Rhetoric, & Digital Studies Dept. My hobbies include watching tv/films, working for my nonprofit (Read With Pride), and spending way too much time in bookstores.

Director of Information Technology:

The Director of Information Technology works closely with the Secretary to maintain and update the GSC website. If you are interested in serving in this leadership position, or would like more information, send an email to gsc@uky.edu.

External Affairs Committee

Chair: External Affairs Officer (Ellie Johnson)

Director of National Legislative Advocacy: Beth Oates

My name is Beth Oates and I am originally from the Chicago suburbs. I received my B.S. degree from Illinois State University, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Currently I am in my 5th year of my PhD in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics. My research is in the lab of Dr. Erin Garcia researching bacterial competition and communication mechanism called contact-dependent growth inhibition. My hobbies are binging TV shows, annoying my cat and dog with affection, and (of course) bourbon.

Director of State Legislative Advocacy: Anita Silwal

My name is Anita Silwal. I am originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. I received my Masters of Innovation and Technology with specialization in Data Analytics from Florida Polytechnic University. I am currently a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication. The areas of my research interests are: health communication and intercultural communication. I am a founder of nonprofit, Welcome Womanhood, so you will find me working on health and education projects (in Africa and Asia) in my spare time. Also I like to spend hours FaceTime-ing my family, hiking and dancing.

Director of Legislative Advocacy Training:

The Director of Legislative Advocacy Training works closely with the External Affairs Officer and other members of the External Affairs Committee to coordinate trainings on national and state legislative advocacy efforts. The Director of Legislative Advocacy Training is responsible for educating GSC members about the GSC Advocacy and Legislative Platform, about the basics of the United States government, how to monitor state and federal legislative issues, how to advocate for particular policies, and how to establish relationships with government officials, among other topics. If you are interested in serving in this leadership position, or would like more information, send an email to gsc@uky.edu.

Institutional Research Committee

Chair: TBD

 

Institutional Advocacy Committee

Co-Chair: TBD

 

Co-Chair: TBD

The Institutional Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs work closely together with the Advocates in their committee to identify and pursue information regarding issues of importance to graduate and professional students and postdocs at UK, including but not limited to: medical insurance, assistantships, parking, sustainability, inclusion and diversity, anti-racism, social justice, and transportation, just to name few. The Institutional Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs are responsible for helping their Advocates schedule events and programming that promote graduate and professional students' and postdocs' interests in regards to identified issues, and for supporting their Advocates to ensure these endeavors successful. If you are interested in serving in this leadership position, or would like more information, send an email to gsc@uky.edu.

Community Nutrition Co-Advocate: Cora Teets

My name is Cora Teets, and I was born in Stanton, Kentucky. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Food, and the Environment and Associate of Art in Liberal Studies from Kentucky State University. I am currently a graduate student in the College of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment at the University of Kentucky. I am learning about human nutrition and the food system. I am also a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant within the Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, and I am working with the Nutrition Education Program. My hobbies include hiking, gardening, cooking, and spending time with my cat and family.

Community Nutrition Co-Advocate: Gretchen Trumbo

My name is Gretchen Trumbo and I am originally from Alexandria, KY (NKY).  I received a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Kentucky in 2018 with minors in Spanish and Violin Performance.  I completed my dietetic internship with the UK DHN Dietetic Internship Program in 2019 and am now a Registered Dietitian.  I am completing my Masters of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems and am currently a graduate teaching assistant with the hopes of working in community nutrition once I graduate.  My hobbies are running, playing the violin, hanging out with my friends and family, and being a dog-mom to my golden retriever, Lucy.

Cultural Sensitivity Advocate: TBD

 

Inclusion and Diversity in STEM Advocate: Isiaka Olayinka Busari 

The Inclusion and Diversity in STEM Advocate works closely with the Institutional Affairs Officer and members of the Institutional Advocacy Committee to identify and pursue information related to issues of inclusion and diversity for graduate and professional students and postdocs in STEM fields. The Inclusion and Diversity in STEM advocate is responsible for events and programming related to graduate and professional students' and postdocs' inclusion and diversity in STEM (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, disability status, nationality, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, etc.). If you are interested in serving in this leadership position, or would like more information, send an email to gsc@uky.edu.

Sustainability Advocate: Austin Hinkel

My name is Austin Hinkel and I am originally from California, Kentucky (I promise it's a real place!). I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics here at UK and am now a doctoral candidate. Specifically, my dissertation focuses on investigating the structure and dynamics of our Milky Way galaxy. Outside of work and school, I like to communicate science to the broader public, hang out with friends and family, and am an avid soccer fan.

Parent and Family Advocate: 

The Parent and Family Advocate works closely with the Institutional Affairs Officer and members of the Institutional Advocacy Committee to identify and pursue information related to issues of importance for graduate and professional student parents and those with dependents. The Parent and Family Advocate is responsible for events and programming related to graduate and professional students' and postdocs' needs related to parenting and supporting dependents while learning and working. If you are interested in serving in this leadership position, or would like more information, send an email to gsc@uky.edu.

Healthcare Advocate:

The Healthcare Advocate works closely with the Institutional Affairs Officer and members of the Institutional Advocacy Committee to identify and pursue information related to graduate and professional students' and postdocs' healthcare needs. The Healthcare Advocate is responsible for events and programming related to healthcare and/or health coverage (e.g., availability and affordability of medical insurance coverage, dental and vision services, coronavirus testing and treatment, compliance with CDC guidelines, etc.). If you are interested in serving in this leadership position, or would like more information, send an email to gsc@uky.edu.

Transportation Advocate: Dennis Newby

My name is Dennis Newby and I was born and raised in Lexington, KY. I received my bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in Civil Engineering. I am currently a 2nd year masters student in the Department of Civil Engineering studying environmental and humanitarian engineering to solve problems in the food-water-energy nexus. Some things I like to do for fun are hiking, playing basketball and traveling.

LGBTQ+ Advocate: Ryan Kuesel

My name is Ryan Kuesel, and I am from western Michigan. I received a bachelor of science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2015 from the University of Michigan. I am entering my fourth year as a PhD candidate in the Department of Entomology. I study practical methods to protect berries from pest damage so small-scale producers can raise fruits sustainably and economically. I enjoy botanical photography, baking, gaming, and taking care of my cat.

Disability Co-Advocate: Nikki Kindred

My name is Nikki Kindred and I was born and raised here in Kentucky.  I am attending UK to be apart of the prestigious Patterson school. I am in my first program year with the Patterson school and the GSC. Through the GSC, I am also associated with the NAGPS and hold Board of Directors office of External Affairs. I love dogs, motorcycles, and spending time in the sunshine. I hope to one day make a difference with relation to healthcare and global health through the security or diplomacy sector.

International Student Concerns Committee

Chair: Kia Markussen

My name is Kia Markussen and I am originally from Copenhagen, Denmark. I received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2017, followed by a master's degree in Pharmacy, 2019, both from the University of Copenhagen. I am a graduate student in the College of Medicine with the department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. I am currently a Graduate Assistant studying the role of glycogen in brain disorders, including epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. My hobbies are rock climbing, hiking, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and importantly cooking/eating.

Professional Development & Networking Committee

Co-Chair: Parul Suri

My name is Parul Suri. I am originally from India. I received a master’s degree from St. John’s University in Biological Sciences. I am currently a third year PhD student in the Department of Veterinary Science studying host-pathogen interactions of a parasite that causes EPM in horses. My hobbies include exploring restaurants, watching movies and shows, traveling.

Co-Chair: Sara Qian

My name is Sara (Cheng) Qian and I am originally from Guilin, China. I received a bachelor’s degree in Plant science from China Agricultural University and a master’s degree in Agronomy from Auburn University with a minor in Statistics. Currently I am in the 2nd year of my PhD in the department of Plant and soil sciences. My research mainly focuses on improving water use efficiency and traffic tolerance of turfgrasses. Outside of work and study, I enjoy watching operas and musicals, traveling and weight training. 

Professional Student Affairs Committee

Chair: David Do

My name is David Do and I am originally from Buffalo, New York. I received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Kentucky and am currently a third-year student at the College of Pharmacy. I also work at UK Chandler and the UK Transplant Center as a pharmacy intern. In my free time I enjoy finding new coffee shops, thrifting, and taking pictures of my dog.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Committee

Chair: Alice X. Liu

My name is Alice Liu, and I’m from Lexington, KY. I am currently a graduate student in the UK Statistics Department. I received my B.A. in Mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018. You can find me “TAing” for STA classes or where there’s free coffee. I enjoy yoga, reading, and watching movies. I hope to raise awareness regarding mental health and promote practices for overall well-being in the UK community.