Hello, I am Tyler Allen, a PhD student in Comparative Biomedical Sciences. I am very excited to be running for the position of President for the Graduate Student Association (GSA). I was born in Houston, TX, and have lived in North Carolina for the past 10 years. I attended NCSU for my Bacehor’s in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Over the years I have attended this university, I have seen, first-hand, graduate students make great strides in terms of progression; I have also seen just how key the GSA has been in this progression. My desire to continue this upward trend and work with the brilliant minds of the GSA to make the graduate student experience as fulfilling as it can be is the main reason I am interested in serving in this position.
The current President, Jacob Majikes, has done an outstanding job during his term, and I hope to follow in his footsteps while also blazing my own path. I enjoy seeing the increased the amount of development opportunities graduate students have outside of their specific field/area, and wish to expand upon that. I currently serve as the Vice President of External Affairs, and in this position I have the opportunity to frequently interact with several graduate students, administration, and represent the GSA at several events. In this position I have also had the chance gain experience with the behind-the-scenes work that goes on with the executive team, something extremely important for anyone who is interested in a presidential position in an organization.
I have a plethora of leadership/service experience, and enjoy the responsibilities that comes with these positions. I currently serve as a Chapter Resident Director for the office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. Some of my past experience includes: : President of the NCSU Omega Psi Phi Fraternity chapter, Representative on the Student Center Board of Directors, Chapter Resident Advisor for Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Resident Mentor, Advisor for multiple University organizations, and many more.
I am also very familiar with the university and its departments. I have worked with the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED), the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life, the Women’s Center, and the Graduate School, to name a few. I would love to help bridge the gap between us graduate student and the rest of the university, and enhance our experience while here.
Thank you for reading my personal statement and I look forward to working with you in the future. I promise, if elected, I will serve in this position to the best of my ability, and will ensure that the GSA continues to stay committed to enhancing the experience of all graduate students!
VP of Academic Affairs Candidates:
My name is Jessica Nash and I am fourth year graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. I am writing this personal statement to accept the nomination for the GSA VP of Academic Affairs for 2016-2017. I have been involved with GSA for two years. For 2014-2015 I was the Vice President of my departmental GSA and a rep to the GSA, serving as the chair of the Research Recognition Committee, This year (2015-2016), I am Vice President of Academic Affairs, a position which is the executive board liaison for the Research Recognition Committee.
The main task of GSA’s Research Recognition Committee is the award the GSA Award for Conferences. When running for VP of Academic Affairs last year, my main objective was to revise the application process for the GSA Award for Conferences so that graduate students could apply for advance funding. In the past, students could only apply for the GSA Award for Conferences after their conference travel took place, preventing many without funding from applying. This year, I changed the deadlines so that students may apply for funding in advance of travel. In addition to changing submission deadlines for the awards, I have also implemented a new submission system for applications and reference letters. The new submission systems considerably streamline the process for applicants and for those processing the applications.
Because of the changes to the award, we received a record number of applicants last semester. However, we could only award approximately 20% of the applications we received. Though the allocated amount totals nearly 15% of the GSA’s operating budget, the GSA can only provide funding to approximately 10 students each year. For Fall 2013, NC State’s graduate student enrollment numbered over 9,000. With this number expected to increase as NC State follows the 2020 Enrollment Plan’s main goal of increasing graduate student enrollment, the amount the UGSA is able to provide is insufficient for NC State’s graduate student population. In the upcoming year, my main goal would be to continue to advocate for the establishment of additional university wide funds for graduate student travel from the Graduate School.
As the VP of Academic Affairs for 2015-2016, I have revised the GSA Award for Conferences application process and letter submission process, worked with the GSA Research Recognition Committee in applicant selection, met with the Graduate School to plan the Graduate Research Symposium, and served as a graduate student representative to the Administrative Board of the Graduate School. In the upcoming year, I look forward to the possibility of working with the GSA, the Graduate School, and the Research Recognition Committee as VP of Academic Affairs for 2016-2017.
VP of Internal Affairs Candidates:
My name is Doug Czajka and I am a 2nd year PhD student in the Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Science Department, where I also completed my Masters degree in May of 2014. I am running for the position of Vice President of Internal Affairs, a position I currently hold. Prior to serving as VP of Internal Affairs, I was the GSA rep for the MEAS department and served on the Departmental Outreach and Leadership Committee (DOLC) during the 2014-2015 academic year.
During my two years of involvement with the DOLC committee, both as a rep member and as executive board liaison, I feel we have made some beneficial accomplishments. We created the start-up funds grant which allows newly formed departmental GSAs to get an advance on their rebate, an incentive to lure new or inactive departments to get involved with GSA. We also created the Best Practices Award for departmental GSAs which allows them to show off their operating procedures and win a cash prize. This is the second year of the Best Practices Award, and we have had a record numbers of departments apply. The DOLC committee will begin to document these practices and create infographics of best practices to serve as a resource that departmental GSAs can use to guide their own operations, get tips, and ensure good standing with the GSA from year to year. We also tested a new model for our leadership conference this year, where we partnered with the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) to send graduate students to a 2 day conference/event dealing with the future of work in NC. Hopefully we can work to make the annual DOLC event one that many graduate students find value in and would be eager to attend.
As VP of Internal Affairs I have a few goals I would like to accomplish in the upcoming year. One is to streamline the process that allows departmental GSAs to submit their Letter of Credentials in order to be in good standing with the GSA. This has been a slow process in the past, and one that could use some updating. This will require working with GSA reps to determine what steps in the process are least clear or causing the greatest delay. I would also like to (re)create a beginning of year rep orientation that begins to build a sense of community and professionalism among the incoming GSA reps before the first all council meeting. In addition, I plan to continue keeping the constitution up to date and relevant to the actual workings of the GSA, making changes and amendments as necessary.
My past two years of service with the GSA and on the DOLC have me well equipped to continue serving in the role of VP of internal affairs. I am hopeful that I can continue to work on and improve many of the programs and changes that I’ve been involved with over the last couple years through GSA and the DOLC. Serving on the GSA has allowed me to play a role in making sure that the best interests of graduate students are represented and respected, and I hope to continue serving in this role.
VP of External Affairs Candidates:
VP of Communications Candidates:
Dear GSA Members,
As a former Financier, I am writing to reassert my abilities for a second term as the GSA Treasurer. Currently, I am a fourth-year PhD student in the Industrial & Systems Engineering Department and also teach Financial markets and methods to Masters of Science students at Skema Business School on Centennial Campus. Much of my professional career has surrounded leadership, given my West Point education and five-year service to the US Army, as well as Finance as I decided to earn my MBA and pursue a career in investment banking post-military tours. Although life as a banker was indeed a thrill, my longstanding dream of earning a PhD was the key inducing factor to my career change.
I am re-running for this GSA position as I’d like to continue having the opportunity to give back to the N.C. State graduate student body. Moreover, my research has taken significant strides while my teaching continues to improve so I am keen to maintain this additional fiduciary responsibility that makes me accountable for our financial health. Having had the chance to work with fellow executives over this course of this past year has also been incredibly memorable and solidified my interest in reapplying for this role. Looking ahead, I plan to continue forging efficiency throughout my year in office.
My sincerest wishes in gaining your support as we approach election.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Mohamed A. Desoky
Public Relations Officer Candidates: