Our Executive Board conducts long-term planning for the Graduate Student Advisory Council and delegates charges to the Commissions that work to realize those plans.
Florencio Aranda, President
Garrett Mohr, Chief of Staff
John Middleton, Internal Vice President
Cory Davenport, External Vice President
Our commission members focus on specific graduate student interests at Texas Tech and perform the majority of our work in the university and local communities to better graduate student life.
Academic Development Commission: Danielle Jahn (chair), Yugendra Guvvala, Olivier Mulamba, Deois Uacearnaigh, Md Rakib Uddin, and Ibrahim Yeter
focuses on the career, professional, research, and academic development of the graduate student body and develops programs and organizes functions to achieve these goals.
Community Outreach Commission: Wendee Langdon (chair), Sam Al-Hashmi, Sergio Garces, Danielle Jahn, John Middleton, and Garrett Mohr
serves as a liaison between the GSAC and the community and creates positive connections with alumni, scholarship donors, and external entities willing to assist and promote the graduate student body and the GSAC.
Finance Commission: David Wilder (chair), Florencio Aranda, Ryan Koog, and John Stevenson
addresses all issues related to the GSAC budget, prepares an annual budget proposal for submission to and approval by the GSAC members, and is responsible for any fund raising activities of the GSAC.
Judicial-Legislative Commission: Garrett Mohr (chair), Jeannie Bennett, Cory Davenport, Heather Fischer, and Arthur Osueke
enforces and reviews the constitution of the GSAC and to make recommendations to the GSAC for improvements when necessary, and reviews proposed amendments to the constitution to ensure they follow the mission and goals of the GSAC.
Public Relations Commission: Kimberly Elmore (chair), Cory Davenport, Ryan Koog, Elizabeth Parks, and David Wilder
addresses issues concerning communications, publications, and media dealing with the GSAC and serves as a liaison between the GSAC and local media outlets.
Student Advocacy Commission: Ibrahim Yeter (chair), Andria Baisley, Micah Burns, John Middleton, Elizabeth Parks, Sudeeptha Rudrapattana, and Sasha Whitley
focuses on international and cultural diversity, highlights, promotes, and reinforces the international and cultural diversity of the graduate student body, and publicly recognizes any student, university figure, community member, or group demonstrating exceptional dedication to the GSAC, university, or community.
Student Welfare Commission: Jeannie Bennett (chair), Sam Al-Hashmi, Andria Baisley, Kimberly Elmore, Yugendra Guvvala, Ranjith Nadipalli, and Sudeeptha Rudrapattana
establishes ways in which to improve graduate student life, provides a forum for the communication of grievances, issues, and concerns, and acts as a direct link between the GSAC, graduate organizations, departments, and other groups.
Social Commission: Ranjith Nadipalli (chair), Florencio Aranda, Bernadette Cavazos, Wendee Langdon, Jaehan Min, Md Rakib Uddin, Sasha Whitley, and Jacek Jonca-Jasinki (ex officio)
promotes the social environment of the graduate student body and organizes functions, events, socials, and other gatherings involving students, administration, and community members.
My name is Sam Al-Hashmi, I have been a student at Texas Tech for what seems a very long time. I have attained my B.Sc. in Mathematics minored in Electrical Engineering, M.S. in Mathematics and at the moment I am a third year Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering. I have experienced a different scope of the student/school interactions at Texas Tech from different levels of education. I have also experienced the different aspects of being a student, I was employed part-time, then full-time, a then I was a returning student. I would like to address all of the issues from the academic side and personal side that I believe to be of relevant to graduate students. I have experienced a variety of obstacles from both an observer and a participant perspective. With the help of my other council members I intend to bring those obstacles into discussion and attempt attacking them. I believe my overall experience will help me bring an insight to the needs of students within Texas Tech. Thank you for your consideration.
My name is Florencio U. Aranda III and currently enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy Higher Education program at Texas Tech University. As a second year Ph.D. student, I have the ideal qualities to lead committed, involved, and highly recognized Texas Tech Graduate students. As a student government representative, I shall commit my time to the educational quality and improvement of our graduate students, in the following ways:
- Improving Graduate Student Assistantship Funding, Scholarship Availability, and Graduate Research Resources
- Providing Graduate Career Fairs
- Creating Designated “Graduate Student ONLY” study areas
- Creating Graduate Student Diversity and Cultural Awareness
- Improve/Create Graduate Course/Program/Degree Availability
My name is Andria Baisley and I am in a second year of a Masters of Fine Arts program in Performance and Pedagogy. If elected I will bring innovative solutions, a collaborative spirit and a passion for our Graduate Student Body. I promise to serve to the best of my ability and to provide both a voice for the Graduate Students and an ear for their concerns, which I will listen to with openness for positive change. I feel strongly that this council can and will make a great impact for the well-being and growth of the Texas Tech Graduate Student Body.
My name is Jeannie Bennett and I am a second year graduate student seeking a PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric. I believe that the graduate student body is critical to the university’s success: we teach undergraduates, run laboratories, actively contribute to our respective scholarly fields and more. We exist between the lines of staff, student and faculty. Many of us are non-traditional students, whose unique experiences and particular needs differ drastically from the undergraduate population as well as the faculty bodies whom we serve. Unfortunately, much of our unique experience and many of our unique needs are invisible to the university at large. My primary goal as a council representative would be to ensure the active, rather than symbolic, role of the council as a voice on behalf of the graduate student population. In service of this goal, my secondary aim would be to focus attention on the unique needs of our successful and largely non-traditional graduate student population. This would include a focus on the well-being and success of our graduate student body by openly communicating with the graduate students about their experiential knowledge on such issues as standard of living, assistantships, satisfaction within their programs etc. within their home departments. Ascertaining the graduate student body’s sense of well being is critical for communicating needs to the administration and assessing what, if any, areas needs to be the focus of immediate future work of the council. Thank you for your time and consideration.
My name is Cory Davenport and I am a 3rd year PhD Candidate in the Psychology Department studying Experimental (Social) Psychology as well as a Fellow with the Center for Biodefense, Law, and Public Policy at the TTU School of Law. As we seek Tier 1 status, and the number of graduate students increases each year, it is of growing importance that we have student representatives who are willing to aggressively pursue policies and programs that specifically benefit graduate students. I will work hand-in-hand with student government bodies like SGA and administrative bodies like the Dean of the Graduate School to ensure that graduate student needs and concerns are fully addressed. I’ve had the honor of being elected to a graduate representative position at the department level at two different universities, and so bring with me experience in serving my fellow graduate students. I am not here for a title or a line on my CV. I ran for two reasons only: 1) I see a need for improvement in addressing graduate student issues and 2) I want to ensure that those tasked with working on behalf of graduate students actually are working on our behalf. Together, we can leave Texas Tech University an even better place than when we arrived!
Hello! My name is Kimberly Elmore, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Technical Communication and Rhetoric (TCR) in the Department of English. I have built strong collaborative relationships with my peers in TCR and would welcome the opportunity to represent the interests of and work with graduate students from across Texas Tech University. Although I completed most of my coursework online and work as an adjunct instructor in central Louisiana, I can actively participate in TTU’s Graduate Advisory Council through Skype, chat, email and other online meeting and discussion tools. I have the experience and enthusiasm to listen to graduate students and cooperate with council members and other university representatives to improve educational, work, and employment conditions and opportunities for all graduate students from across the disciplines. At the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Auburn University, I served as a founding member, representative, and officer of each graduate student organization while working as a graduate teaching assistant. As a technical communicator and rhetorician, I understand how to communicate with work group members from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to achieve organizational goals. If elected, I would be pleased to hear from individual graduate students about the issues they want the Graduate Student Advisory Council to address. While I have particular interest in supporting distance students and students with disabilities at TTU, I have the passion and ability to listen to the perspectives of other graduate students and to work with them to get their needs and concerns met.
My name is Yugendra R. Guvvala and I am in the 4th year of the doctoral program in Computer Science. I would like to serve the graduate students body by making there needs clear in front of administration. I would strive for achieving there needs and make them better representatives of Texas Tech University. I would extend all my efforts to improve the quality of research and security for students which would drive our university towards achieving its Tier-1 status. I would be a true ambassador for recruiting best students to improve the quality of research and knowledge.
I, Eric Howell, am a third year doctoral student in the Department of Biological Sciences. My qualifications for representing the graduate student body include previously serving as a Graduate Senator to the Student Government Association, executive officer and board member in the largest graduate student organization on the TTU campus, and currently serving as a graduate student member on the university Committee on Safety in Creative Activity, Research & Scholarship (SCARS). As a Graduate Senator, I noticed a disconnect in common interests between graduate and undergraduate students and lobbied for the separation from SGA. My record shows that I have been capable of serving the graduate population by authoring SGA legislation based on the interests of graduate students that brought their issues to my attention. As the current liaison between the SGA and the Association of Biologists (SORC Representative), I have been able to relay the concerns of our 100+ membership to the current graduate senators to be addressed by the university-wide representation. The founding representatives for GSAC are an important group of students. During GSAC’s building process, my experience will be an asset in shaping the constitutional and organizational groundwork for an efficient representative body. Also, it is imperative that there remains a strong connection between the graduate student body and the GSAC representatives while constructing the framework for how their interests are best served. My primary objective will be to foster that connection so that their voices can be heard and their concerns addressed.
My name is Venkata Narasimha Rao Inukollu, from India, pursuing second year of my PhD in Computer Science.
- Ensuring greater support for new and prospective students by an organized set up of student officers.
- Engaging greater online participation of all students across the University through surveys, feedbacks and "Voice your Opinion" and ensuring that the concerns of students are well voiced and represented at all levels.
- Encouraging, facilitating and bringing together various National Interest Societies for ever greater representation of issues faced by Graduate and Undergraduate students.
- Increasing opportunities for pre-arrival advice and communication for International students through the medium of senior students and greater 0th and 1st Week activities, forums and opportunities for International students.
- Pushing for streamlining towards a more transparent and communicative University application and advice process for prospective students of TTU.
Hello fellow graduate students! My name is Danielle Jahn. I am pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, within the Department of Psychology, and am in my fourth year of the program. Graduate students play a large part in keeping this university running smoothly. We teach undergraduate courses, conduct research, work in administrative capacities, act as advisors for undergraduate students, create and show artwork, engage in community outreach, and carry out many other duties. Yet, to this point, we have not had a strong, cohesive organization to represent us and ensure that the administration understands what we need to succeed during our time as graduate students at TTU. As graduate students, we face many of the same challenges and have many of the same concerns. I hope to voice these concerns to the administration and work collaboratively with you all and the administration to find effective and feasible solutions to our concerns. I also hope that the GSAC will be able to communicate praise to the administration for the positive things that they do for graduate students. I look forward to working with other GSAC members from a variety of programs, departments, and colleges. While we may have different concerns based on our different programs, I think that we can find commonalities to ensure that we represent all graduate students. I believe that this will allow the GSAC to significantly enhance the representation of graduate students and ultimately improve the quality of life for graduate students at TTU.
My name is Ryan Lee Koog, and I am a first year Master's Degree Candidate in Marketing and Media Communications. As an elected member of the Graduate Student Advisory Council, it is my distinct duty and privilege to serve and represent the will of the Texas Tech graduate student body. I will always endeavor to improve the quality of graduate student life and our shared educational resources. I will continue to push for Tier 1 status for Texas Tech, as it is critically imperative that we become a nationally ranked research university. The benefits to the Graduate School and the university as a whole would be immense. We would receive approximately $500,000,000 in new funding which would greatly expand graduate student resources, grow the number of faculty positions available, increase grant money and scholarships, and lead to the development of new graduate research opportunities. With my academic background in marketing and public relations, I know that I can effectively serve as an advocate and liaison for my fellow graduate students.
Hi! My name is Wendee Langdon. I am a third year doctoral candidate in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, majoring in Animal Science with emphasis in equine reproductive physiology. As a Master’s student I served as a Graduate Student Senator for the Texas Tech Student Government Association. During that time, my fellow graduate senators and I worked towards improving the morale of the student body as well as focusing our attention on issues that solely affected graduate students. Should I be elected to serve my fellow graduate students, I would like to focus my attention and energy on topics that would, overall, improve the educational experience of all Texas Tech graduate students. To do so, I will willfully listen to the requests and concerns that my fellow graduate students address and actively work towards improving upon those issues by using every source available to me and my colleagues of the Graduate Student Advisory Council. Additionally, I would like to incorporate more social events into our semester’s calendar. Social events not only provide a welcomed break from studying and research, but also prove to be excellent networking opportunities. I believe that as a Graduate Student Representative, I can meet, if not exceed, your expectations for improving the quality of graduate student life.
I am currently a second year doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction program as well as a full-time teacher at a public charter school. I wish to be active in the graduate student community by focusing on the issues that hinder the ability of graduate students to fully achieve their potential through collaborative work and communication with their respective advisory committees. I will focus my efforts on student/advisor relationships emphasizing on the goals and expectations of the graduate student as set forth by the advisory committee. It is vital that graduate advisors transition from professor to positive role models and mentors as they lead their students' academic careers. I feel that it is imperative that graduate students and advisors work together in a way that satisfies the needs of the student as well as fulfills the expectations of the advisor. We must work together in order to create positive learning environments for all graduate students and we must create guidelines for both students and advisors to follow that set realistic and obtainable goals which benefit both. Advisors have heavy schedules and multiple students to mentor, but with cooperation, communication, and teamwork, we can create an academic atmosphere that will not only make better graduate students, but make those students outstanding advisors and mentors when they enter academia.
“We are well on our way to becoming the state’s next Tier One University”-Office of the President. My name is Garrett Mohr and I am in the second year of my PhD in Chemistry. The Tier One vision at Texas Tech is an opportunity for positive growth in Lubbock, TTU, and will have a direct impact for undergrad and graduate students. I have always been interested in making a difference and learned quickly, from Author Stephen Covey, that in order to succeed in life one must do everything in a win-win situation, or no deal. Outside of academics I have had experience as President for the Inter-fraternity Council at UMKC, faculty for a leadership school of 900+ members and currently involved with a leadership & life coaching business. I would like to serve on the council to be apart of a group that can collectively create a winning culture in our graduate community. By helping others succeed in life and through their graduate programs at an individual level, we will ultimately achieve Tier One. I plan on being an active listener and believe the GSAC would run best by serving the community and providing an environment tailored specifically to what the students want. There is a great power in numbers and I would like to help provide a vision with the collective 20 elected in order to create something we can all leverage for success.
My name is Ranjith Kumar Nadipalli and I am in the first year of the doctoral program in Biochemistry. I believe that graduate student concerns like housing, campus and study space, computer services, health care and stipends are interconnected. Taken as a whole, these issues affect our standard of living and our academic lives, influencing our ability to fulfill teaching and research duties. Advocacy and representation of graduate student interests to university administration will lead to improvement of graduate student well-being. Programming and conducting social, cultural, and academic events, as well as workshops will improve the quality of life for graduate students and give a chance to socialize and learn from each other.I worked as student representative in my school for 5 years and college representative for 3 tears during Under graduation course, which made me to feel very happy. Now I would like to be part of Graduate Student Advisory Council, TTU.
Although this is my second graduate degree, this is my first year as a graduate student at Texas Tech. I am pursuing an MFA in Theatre Performance and Pedagogy through the Department of Theatre and Dance. My initial goal is to make sure that the demands and expectations placed on graduate students are fair, workable and proportionate to the funding provided. Second, I want to make sure the graduate students are engaged within the university in ways that assist and address the students' needs and not just the needs of their department. Finally, I would like to create greater synergy among the many and diverse TTU graduate students through the use of social media, networking meetings and mini-seminar discussions. Ultimately, my goal is to be an advocate for my peers and a voice for the graduate student body.
My name is Sudeeptha Rudrapattana and I am in the second semester of my Masters of Science in Computer Science program. I am an international student who came to Tech with dreams for life to pursue my masters last fall. When I came here, I knew nobody. No friends, home-sick and cold. I had one of the hardest times ever, finding a place to live, making friends and trying to fit into the new community as a whole.Situations seemed adverse and life was a downer. The most probable reason to this was me being completely unaware of all resources from which I could seek help. As a graduate student now, I completely understand what it is to be in the situation I was. Students at the graduate level,are facing hardships in knowing and using the available facilities which could be beneficial and make life easier to all. As a representative of the graduate student council, I would try my best to help the new students and keep in touch with them till they get settled at Tech. Also, I would be a means of communication between the school and the students so as to express grievances and possible solutions. Cheers!!
I am a PhD student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and a Research Assistant at Nano Tech Center, Texas Tech University. I felt the necessity for a separate student body for graduate students when I was working with the Student Government Association as an academic senator in the 2010-2011 academic year. Graduate students need to have an autonomous body which will work for the particular interest of graduate students i.e. high impact research and career development opportunities, salary, and scholarship, travel grant, excused leave, transportation services, fee waivers etc. Being a PhD student and a researcher, I am fully aware of the above interests of graduate students. The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management together with Graduate School recently announced the formation of the Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC). The goal of GSAC is to represent, serve, and work on behalf of the graduate student body. GSAC is part of Texas Tech’s efforts to achieve Tier 1 status and increase the graduate student population to ten thousand. Through regular meetings and ongoing dialogue, the Graduate Student Advisory Council will bring student concerns to the attention of the university administration. Through the work of its commissions, GSAC will seek to address issues affecting graduate students and to improve the quality of graduate life.
I am a second year PhD student in Family and Consumer Sciences Education with an emphasis in Personal Financial Planning. I am currently a full-time graduate student; a graduate assistant, teaching four courses; and I am the Chairman of fundraising for Red to Black. In addition, I am also a volunteer student peer financial counselor and involved in the student and community outreach program with Red to Black. The student and community outreach program provides me the opportunity to reach hundreds of students and community members through our workshops on personal financial topics. I have lived in Lubbock for almost two years. I moved here from Los Angeles, California; and like many students who move far from home, I did not know anyone and at first, found it somewhat challenging to meet new people with commonalities and shared interests. As a graduate student advisory council member, one of the greatest contributions that I believe that I can make is to increase the social activity and networking events for the graduate student population through coordinating more social events, gatherings, and meet-and-greets. I am a big proponent on the idea of networking, and I believe that we can improve its support for such social assemblies, therefore improving the quality of graduate student life. Last, my future career goals are to be a consumer advocate, therefore I would also like the opportunity to be an advocate for the graduate student population and work on the issues that concern this population the most.
Importantly, I feel that my professional strong background in education and leadership will help me to combine my range of experience with my ability to be a compassionate, enthusiastic, intelligent and a visionary front-runner who will make a positive contribution to Graduate Student Advisory Council. By being a part of Graduate Student Advisory Council, I will work by promoting the general welfare and concerns of the graduate student, creating new programs and initiatives to provide opportunities for growth and interaction, and researching and communicating with the TTU Administration and Faculty on behalf of graduate students. Finally, I believe having many international and national experiences will allow me to be the best and strong candidate for Graduate Student Advisory Council. I will be looking forward to hearing the opportunity of being interviewed by the committee. Thanks a lot for your time and consideration.