CWRU Graduate Student Senate Calendar

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GSS Committee Chairs

GSS Organizational Chart 2009-2010Committees are the business end of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS), so a majority of the Senate's objectives are executed by its standing (permanent) and ad-hoc (temporary) committees. Often, committees are formed in response to an issue endemic within the graduate student community which demands the creation of a specialized task force charged not only with defining and investigating the problem but also engineering a solution in consultation with and in collaboration with graduate students, faculty, and University Leadership.

Therefore, Committee Chairs are responsible for leading these efforts by setting objectives for their committees, recruiting an engaged and able body of committee members from throughout the graduate student body, and authoring reports documenting the results of their committee's meetings, productivity, and progress toward meeting their objectives. The Graduate Student Senate has a number of committees including the Activities, Health & Wellness, Mentoring, Student Organizations and Allocations, and Professional Development Committees. Committee Chairs sit on the GSS Executive Committee and are voting members of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS).

Chair, GSS Activities Committee, Swarna Solanki


Duties and Responsibilites: The activities committee chair organizes activities to encourage interschool social interaction among graduate students.

Committee Memberships: GSS Executive Committee, GSS Activities Committee



Chair, GSS Health & Wellness Committee, Rachel Paul


Duties and Responsibilites: The Chair of the Health Care Committee is responsible for representing student interests as decisions are made regarding health benefits for students and their dependents. This year, that includes addressing the need for increased choice among dental care providers, gathering information that will allow students to use health care in a more cost-effective way, and taking a comprehensive look at how health benefits and other financial aid and compensation relate to each other for graduate and professional students at Case.

Biosketch: I am studying to be a Registered Dietitian, finishing my second (and last) year in the Master of Science in Public Health Nutrition program. I’ve been active throughout both my undergrad and graduate time at Case first as the President of the Undergraduate Student Dietetic Association and later co-organizing the GSS Health & Wellness Fair this past April. Outside of GSS, I work for Bon Appétit, the foodservice company at CWRU as well as research ways to increase healthy food
access at the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods. In my free time I enjoy cooking, eating watermelon and brownies (but not together) and, of course, shopping!

Statement of Purpose: No one is immune to the benefits of a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management. Even though these concepts are tried and true, it is not uncommon to push them aside. However, creating easy means to take time to focus on health has the ability to benefit every participating student. As the Health & Wellness Chair, I’d like to expand our current efforts by connecting with wellness-related organizations on and off-campus to enhance camaraderie that is both socially and clinically beneficial. Some specific ideas I have are holding monthly nutrition & cooking demo-sessions and forming teams to participate in city-wide walks/runs. I also plan to increase the social-media aspects started this spring such as Facebook, to welcome any wellness ideas and interests from the student body.

Committee Memberships: GSS Executive Committee, GSS Health Care Committee

Chair, GSS Mentoring Committee, Mark Barnes


Duties and Responsibilites: The mentoring committee helps develop the graduate student's transition from a junior student to a future colleague. Emphasis is on infrastructure and support, graduate student training, conflict resolution, and reengineering of the importance of graduate student education.

Biosketch: I am finishing my third year in the Molecular Medicine PhD program. I am fortunate to work for one of the leaders in the field of Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD) and innate immunology. My project focuses on how ethanol consumption affects macrophage polarization between M1-M2 phenotypes and how Macrophage migration inhibitory factor contributes to progression of ALD. In addition to serving as Molecular Medicine Senator, I am a member of the Diekhoff Award Committee, Molecular Medicine Diversity Initiative Group and Molecular Medicine Peer Mentoring Group.  Outside of the lab, I enjoy many sports, as both a spectator and participant. Fun fact: During the Fall, my Saturdays are completely dedicated to Ohio State football; Go Bucks!

Statement of Purpose: My involvement in GSS allows me the opportunity to accomplish 3 goals: connect the students of the Molecular Medicine Program with CWRU, meet and network with peers and future colleagues, and most importantly, give something back to the university. Serving on the Diekhoff Award Committee was a great experience and has allowed me to accomplish my goals, but I feel my work isn’t done and I want to do more. The current Mentoring Committee Chair has been a great example and I look forward to following her lead and thinking of new, innovative ways to improve graduate student mentoring.

Chair, GSS Student Organizations & Allocations Committee, Sharoon Hanook


Duties and Responsibilites: Serves as a liaison to those graduate students and organizations wishing to receive GSS recognition and/or funding.

Biosketch:  I am a finishing up my 3rd year of PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department, concentrating in Biostatistics. My research interest is developing methods for removing unnecessary Genetic interaction from Genetic Epidemiology models. I am planning on pursuing my carrier in academic research. I have been involved in GSS since 2011 as Chair Organizations and Allocations Committee. Outside GSS I am Student representative of Biostatistics Division, I am also a president of International Student Fellowship, an organization that is actively involve with International Student Services office at CWRU, to provide better and easy transition to International Students from their home country to Cleveland and CASE.

Statement of Purpose: As Chair Organizations and Allocations Committee, I am looking forward to continue my efforts to bridge gaps between graduate students. I am also looking forward to bring more and more graduate student organizations, so that, each and every individual should be properly represented in GSS.

Committee Memberships: GSS Executive Committee, GSS Organizations & Allocations Committee

Chair, GSS Professional Development Committee, Adriana Popa


Duties and Responsibilities: The Professional Development Committee Chair is responsible for providing opportunities for career development to graduate students that they wouldn't ordinarily receive in their planned programs of studies, organizing regular professional development events for graduate students to attend.

Biosketch: I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry researching magnetic-plasmonic hybrid nanoparticles for environmental applications. I joined GSS at the end of my 1st year at CWRU and have been an active GSS Senator and Chair of the Money-Task Force.  As a GSS senator I serve on several committees like the Parking Advisory Committee and Sexual Harassment Board. I have also been a member of the GSS Professional Development Committee and was involved in the organization of the GSS Graduate Student Symposium and the grant-writing course initiative. Furthermore I am the chair of the Graduate Student Association (GSA) of the Chemistry Department, an organization that promotes the collective interests of the graduate students in the department. I have organized the last Departmental Holiday Party and helped start up a new social event, a monthly Chemistry Happy Hour, which promotes the interaction between graduate students, post docs, faculty and staff.  In my free time I enjoy cooking, walks in the park or the beach and photography.

Statement of Purpose: As the Professional Development Committee Chair I would like to work closely with the GSS to bring new opportunities to graduate students across campus in order to develop their professional skills and confidence needed to be competitive in today’s society. I will also continue promoting the addition of a semester long grant writing course available to all graduate students. 

Committee Memberships: GSS Executive Committee, GSS Professional Development Committee, Faculty Senate Committee on Research, Provost's Research Council