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The Cabinet is a part of the GPSF Executive Branch that enables exceptionally motivated graduate and professional students to serve as chairs or co-chairs of particular areas of campus and community life that require our participation in policy-making and programming. The Cabinet, alongside The Executive Board, design, implement, and engage new initiatives in collaboration with the graduate and professional student community. All students and members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend. This year, GPSF is recruiting graduate and professional students to help accomplish cabinet goals and objectives by sitting on Cabinet Committees. Click on the following link to apply to sit on a cabinet committee!

Cabinet Committees

Along with serving in their individual roles on Cabinet, our members also sit on University and community appointments that are closely related to their position. It’s through these appointments that we are able to engage with members at-large to make recommendations that will benefit graduate and professional students. Click on the following link to learn more! 

External Appointments

Meeting Times (unless otherwise indicated)
Date:3rd Tuesday of the month, August through April
Time: 6:00pm
Location: Zoom


Cabinet Members


Director of Academic Affairs (DAA)     Jessica Soldavini
The Director of Academic Affairs shall advise the Executive Committee on issues affecting graduate and professional students and oversee initiatives and advocacy efforts in the areas of academic policy, information technology, and TA/RA advocacy.

Office Hour: Wednesday 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM via Zoom

Biography   Jessica (she/her/hers) serves as the Director of Academic Affairs of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF) for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Jessica Soldavini is a doctoral student in the department of nutrition. She is a Registered Dietitian and completed her BS in nutritional sciences – dietetics from UC Berkeley and MPH from UCLA. Jessica works as a graduate research assistant with the Carolina Hunger Initiative and No Kid Hungry NC at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and is an adjunct instructor with the School of Public Health and teaches nutrition policy. Her work focuses on food insecurity, federal nutrition programs, nutrition and cooking education, and nutrition policy. Jessica plans to work on initiatives that support graduate and professional students’ academic success; make graduate and professional education more affordable for students; and provide opportunities for graduate and professional students to improve their teaching and mentorship skills.


Director of Student Affairs (DSA)     Neel Swamy 
The Director of Student Affairs shall advise the Executive Committee on issues affecting graduate and professional students and oversee initiatives and advocacy efforts on policies affecting the welfare of the student body, including the issues of health policy, student family advocacy, and campus and personal safety.

Office Hour: Thursday 4:00-5:00 PM via Zoom (Meeting ID: 971 3336 6101; Password: 567960)

Biography   Neel (he/him/his) serves as the Director of Student Affairs of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF) for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Originally from Connecticut, Neel has a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor. Neel is pursuing a dual PharmD/MPH at the University of North Carolina, and is passionate about the role that pharmacists can play in alleviating medication access and health education disparities on a community level. Neel served as the GPSF Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the 2019-2020 academic year, and during his tenure as Director of Student Affairs hopes to collaborate with other graduate students to address pertinent issues such as  sexual violence prevention and mental wellness. Outside of academics, Neel loves to read, cook new recipes, and explore coffee shops in the Triangle area. 


Director of Diversity & Inclusion (DDI)     Maria Perez
The Director of Diversity and Inclusion shall advise the Executive Committee on issues affecting graduate and professional students and oversee initiatives and advocacy efforts in the areas of diversity, disabilities, international students, and LGBTQIA issues.

Office Hour: Wednesday 5:30-6:30 PM via Zoom

Biography

 

 


Director of Local Relations (DLR)     Molly Gaskin
The Director of Local Relations shall advise the Executive Committee on issues affecting graduate and professional students and oversee initiatives and advocacy efforts within Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Orange County, and Durham County.

Office Hour: Thursday 5:00-6:00 PM via Zoom starting September 3

Biography   Molly (she/her/hers) serves as the Director of Local Relations of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF) for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Molly is a second year Master of Public Administration student at the UNC School of Government. She received her BS in Environmental Sciences at UNC which introduced her to the idea that local efforts have global impact, a principle that ultimately led her to the MPA. She is interested in local government management, public budgeting, and community engagement, but really, her goal is to find the way she can best contribute to and help better communities. For fun, Molly likes to read, find new things to craft, and work with her dog, Nellie!

As Director of Local Relations, she hopes to expand graduate students’ knowledge of local issues and foster local advocacy efforts. I am also dedicated to educating graduate students about opportunities for engagement in their community and encouraging that local connection.. 


Director of State Relations (DSR)     Kate Brandt
The Director of State Relations shall advise the Executive Committee on issues affecting graduate and professional students and oversee initiatives and advocacy efforts in the area of state affairs.
The Director of State and Federal Relations works with the CERA to organize yearly trips to Raleigh, NC, to advocate for graduate and professional students.

Office Hour: Monday 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM via Zoom

Biography   Kate (she/her/hers) serves as the Director of State Relations of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF) for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Kate is a third year doctoral student in the department of geography studying medical geography and spatial epidemiology. She came to UNC in 2018 after graduating from Rutgers University with her degrees in geography and environmental planning.

As Director of State Relations, she hopes to build relationships with state officials and advocate for graduate students’ needs and work to increase graduate students civic engagement. In her down time she enjoys spending time improving her coding skills, learning about open source software and data, powerlifting, and reading memoirs. 


Director of Federal Relations (DFR)     Carlos Patiño Descovich
The Director of Federal Relations shall advise the Executive Committee on issues affecting graduate and professional students and oversee initiatives and advocacy efforts in the area of federal affairs.
The Director of State and Federal Relations works with the CERA to organize yearly trips to Washington, D.C., to advocate for graduate and professional students.

Office Hour: Monday 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM via Zoom (Password: GPSF)

Biography   Carlos (he/him/his) serves as the Director of Federal Relations of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF) for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Born in Bogotá, Colombia, raised in Montréal, Québec, Carlos completed his Bachelors’ in Biochemistry and Master’s degree in Cell Biology at Université de Montréal. He is now a PhD candidate at UNC-CH studying how stem cells take in directional and spatial cues to form functional skin. Carlos is committed to mentoring the next generation of young scientists. When he is not repairing his homemade bike, Carlos can be found at the local YMCA pool or floating down the Eno river.

As Director of Federal Relations, Carlos works to ensure graduate student concerns are top of mind in political spheres. He is dedicated to advocating for students at the federal level on issues that affect their lives, such as stipends, mental health, funding resources and immigration.

Director of Sustainability & Transportation (DST)     Eric Scheier
The Director of Sustainability and Transportation shall advise the Executive Committee on issues affecting graduate and professional students and oversee initiatives and advocacy efforts in the areas of sustainability and transportation.

Office Hour: By appointment here

Biography  Eric (he/they) serves as the Director of Sustainability and Transportation of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF) for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Eric Scheier is a seasoned clean technology professional and researcher currently pursuing a master’s degree at UNC through the Environment, Ecology, and Energy Program (E3P). Eric was an undergraduate at UNC-CH in Environmental Science and Economics, began a career helping develop solar projects around the world, and has returned to UNC to apply insights from the solar industry to all aspects of sustainability. In addition to working with GPSF, Eric is currently developing a social venture through the Campus Y’s CUBE incubator. On the weekends you can find Eric hiking in North Carolina’s beautiful parks.

As Director of Sustainability and Transportation, Eric is dedicated to advocating for students’ mobility needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Furthermore, as we experience the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Eric recognizes the importance of utilizing student funds in a fiscally and environmentally responsible matter by investing in projects like renewable energy, efficiency, and waste reduction that will pay immediate and long-term dividends.

Director of Public Relations and Marketing (DPRM)     Amanda Smythers
The Director of Public Relations and Marketing shall advise the Executive Committee on and oversee the public relations and Marketing efforts of The GPSF. 

The Director of Public Relations and Marketing works with the Secretary to promote opportunities and receive feedback with Graduate and Professional Students at Carolina and the broader community.

Office Hour: Friday 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM via Zoom

Biography Amanda (she/her/hers) serves as the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for the Graduate and Professional Student Federation during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Amanda Smythers is a doctoral student in the analytical division of the Department of Chemistry where she works under the mentorship of Dr. Leslie Hicks to characterize signaling pathways in photosynthetic organisms. Amanda has a B.S. in biochemistry and a M.S. in chemistry, both from Marshall University in Huntington, W.V. Amanda serves on the board of Allies for Minorities and Women in Science and is the program coordinator for UNC’s NSF-funded SUROC program. Following her doctoral and postdoctoral training, Amanda intends to continue in higher education where she can conduct fundamental research while mentoring the next generation of scientists.

In her role as Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Amanda seeks to openly and efficiently communicate with all graduate and professional students to keep them informed of pertinent issues across UNC’s campus while helping to ensure transparency throughout our student government.


Director of Social Programming (DSP)     Dary Fu
The Director of Social Programming shall advise the Executive Committee on and organize and oversee the social programming and special events of The GPSF. The Director of Social Programming with work with the Secretary.

Office Hour: Tuesday 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM via Zoom

Biography   Dary (she/her/hers) serves as the Director of Social Programming for the Graduate and Professional Student Federation during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Dary is a PharmD Candidate in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She would like to attain a career in management consulting. She also enjoys learning about art, discovering history, traveling, swimming, and making videos. With this role, Dary envisions holding social events post-COVID-19 that students are able to attend and enjoy, and work with other partners across campus to develop more awareness for student mental health in graduate and professional school.

Director of Professional Development (DPD)     Vacant
The Director of Professional Development shall advise the Executive Committee on issues affecting graduate and professional students and oversee initiatives and advocacy efforts in the areas of professional development, career services, and mentorship.

Biography

Director of  Public Service (DPS)     Elena Vidrascu
The Director of Public Service shall advise the Executive Committee on and organize and oversee the public service initiatives of The GPSF. Works closely with the Treasurer.

Office Hour: Fridays 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM via Zoom (Personal Meeting ID: 898 489 2924)

Biography   Elena Vidrascu (she/her/hers) serves as the Director of Public Service for the Graduate and Professional Student Federation during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Elena is a graduate student in the Psychology & Neuroscience department and works under the mentorship of Dr. Charlotte Boettiger to investigate the neurobiological and behavioral differences underlying susceptibility to alcohol use disorder (AUD), and the utility of mindfulness meditation as an intervention to prevent development of AUD. In the future she would like to run a summer school and after-school mindfulness program to provide resources for at-risk individuals. In her spare time, Elena likes to read, hike, play/teach tennis, and spend time with her partner and fur children (cat and dog!). 

With this role, she envisions connecting students across various graduate programs with members of the Chapel Hill community through events that serve those with limited resources. Additionally, Elena hopes to connect students with one another through events and activities that enable students to share their knowledge and skills in ways that address the needs of their fellow peers. 


 

Minutes and Documents

All minutes can be found at the GPSF archives.