Meet the New Leaders of the Graduate Student Governance Association

Graduate Student Governance Association

Graduate Student Governance Association

Graduate education at UC covers a wide swath of territory with a lot of moving parts—350 different graduate degree programs and certificates, to be exact. With over 11,000 graduate students spread across 10 colleges, how do we ensure that the voice of graduate students is heard on a large scale? The Graduate Student Governance Association (GSGA) provides a united voice across program and college lines, advocating on behalf of the graduate student population. 

As the graduate student governance body, the GSGA is comprised of representatives from each Graduate Student Association (GSA). Every graduate student at UC is covered by one of 38 GSAs. GSA officers attend monthly Graduate Student Assembly meetings during the fall and spring semesters to speak on behalf of their constituents in university-wide issues affecting graduate students. Leading the GSGA are the four members of the executive board, who develop initiatives, work with university leadership to address issues and represent graduate student interests on a multitude of committees. 

Meet the newly-elected officers that are ready to step up as voices for the graduate student population: President Arunkumar Muthusamy, Vice President Jelena Vicic, Treasurer Siddharth Sridhar and Campus Ambassador Mar Gámez. You can also get involved by joining GSGA’s Facebook group and checking out their event calendar

President Arunkumar Muthusamy

President Arunkumar Muthusamy

President Arunkumar Muthusamy

I am currently pursuing my PhD in the Buschbeck lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at UC. I am from a city called Madurai in India. My purpose of coming to UC was to obtain a PhD in biology, and the diverse research performed by the faculty in the UC biological sciences department attracted me.

So far at UC, I have been the president of the University of Cincinnati Quiz Club, creative director of TEDxUCincinnati, and senator-at-large of the Student Advisory Committee on the University Budget.

As the president of the GSGA, I will work closely with the graduate student body and the administration to work on issues that impact graduate students—individually and as a whole. Implementation of a system within the framework of the GSGA that facilitates faster addressment of such issues is one thing that I would like to accomplish in the upcoming year. 

Vice President Jelena Vicic

Vice President Jelena Vicic

Vice President Jelena Vicic

I am a first year PhD student in the Department of Political Science. Originally Serbian, I was educated in Bulgaria, U.S. and Austria. My interest in pursuing cybersecurity as a research focus brought me to Cincinnati. In particular, I was introduced to the field while doing my master's of advanced international studies at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, and the professor who was teaching it happens to be from the University of Cincinnati. Hence, I am here!

As a grad student at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, I was the editor-in-chief of a wonderful student magazine called Polemics, The Magazine of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. With a group of colleagues, I recognized that there was a need at the school to raise awareness about gender equality and promote female political participation, so we decided to take the initiative on it. I became one of the founders and co-presidents of an organization called Students Advocating for Gender Equality (SAGE). At UC, I am currently vice president of the Political Science Graduate Student Association.

As vice president for the GSGA, I would like to focus on being an ally and advocate for the graduate students, ensure good communication between GSGA and the student body, and put a strong focus on community-building. I would like us to establish a research community which would bring students from across different disciplines together to discuss their research. I would also like us to get to know each other through the GSGA Coffee Scramble that I plan to organize. Finally, I would be thrilled to see us establish a GSGA Summer Ball as a tradition. I am looking forward to working together with grad students to make this possible next year. 

Treasurer Siddharth Sridhar

Treasurer Siddharth Sridhar

Treasurer Siddharth Sridhar

I am a fourth-year graduate student pursuing my doctoral studies in aerospace engineering at the Cooperative Distributed Systems Laboratory under the advisement of Dr. Manish Kumar. My current research is focused on the fault tolerant control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). I graduated with my master’s in aerospace engineering from UC in 2015. Hailing from India, I chose UC because of its world-class research facilities and a graduate scholarship that helped me pursue my dreams.

Having been a part of the Aerospace Engineering GSA, Hyperloop UC, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Indian Students Association, Hindu Yuva and Administrative Review Committee while at UC, I believe I can effectively execute my responsibilities as the treasurer of the GSGA for the upcoming academic year.

I plan on working with my committee and UC in developing an online portal for processing of various documents for reimbursements and increasing the conference travel award funding for presenters and non-presenters. 

Campus Ambassador Mar Gámez

Campus Ambassador Mar Gámez

Campus Ambassador Mar Gámez

I was born in Ibiza, Spain. I am a second-year PhD student and teaching assistant in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at UC. I hold an MA in Spanish from UC, a BA in English from the University of Barcelona and a BA in Journalism from University Carlos III de Madrid. Before coming to UC, I worked as a Spanish and English teacher, and as a journalist for Spanish national media and international media. I recently published my first play, "La fauna del poder," a political comedy about current Spanish and European politics, which will be performed in my native country in 2017. I decided to come to UC after having spent one year in California to better understand American culture and be able to teach Spanish at the university level while learning about Spanish and Latin American literature.

I have been involved with the Graduate Student Governance Association for the last three years. I am the current president of the Romance Languages and Literatures Graduate Student Association, and previously held the treasurer and secretary positions of that same association.

My main goal as the next GSGA campus ambassador will be to improve communications between the different graduate student governance associations at UC and the GSGA executive board, and to voice all of the GSAs' concerns in the executive board. 

Written by Dakota Wright, Graduate Assistant to the Graduate School Office