CWRU Graduate Student Senate Calendar

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GSS Officers

Officers of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) are responsible for creating objectives for the Senate and implementing its agenda in coordination with the GSS Executive Committee and include the President, Vice President, Information Officer, Treasurer, and Secretary. They are responsible for communicating the ideas, goals, and directives of the Senate to the graduate student body, University Leadership, faculty, and community at large. Officers of the GSS report directly to the Executive Committee and the Graduate Student Senate.

Officers are often the primary liaisons between the University Leadership and the GSS Executive Committee and Senate body. They handle a majority of the administrative odds and ends of the Senate, including setting meeting agendas, distributing official communiques (motions, amendments, and primary action items) to the Senate and University Leadership, and organizing meetings and information pertaining to the Graduate Student Senate. Officers are often the recipients of inquiries and requests on behalf of their constituents. Officers sit on the GSS Executive Committee and are voting members of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS).

GSS President, Nick Schmandt


Duties and Responsibilites: The GSS President is the spokesperson and chair of the GSS Executive Committee. The President also sits on many of the important University committees, and meets regularly with the deans.

Biosketch:I graduated from Amherst College with Bachelors in Physics, Mathematics and Music before working in an fMRI lab for a year and then teaching English in Japan for a year before coming to Case. Currently in the third year of a neurosciences PhD, I am studying the structure of evolutionary homologs to mammalian ion channels. I have served for the last year as the GSS treasurer, and the year before that as a senator representing the neurosciences. In addition, I chaired the biomedical student symposium last year and was vice president of the biomedical graduate student organization. I also participated in the Research and Innovation strategic planning committee.

Statement of Intent:

In all of my positions, I have been focused on improving the lack of community that is present across the Case campus, and I hope to continue that as president. Primarily, I hope to encourage student senators to be more active in identifying and organizing the events they are interested in seeing happen. Additionally, I hope to persuade the administration to give more power and resources to the office of student affairs or graduate life so that they can invest in improving the campus across different schools, especially by improving student awareness of amenities, improving student orientation, and sponsoring groups and events that will bridge the schools. I also hope to facilitate the empowerment of the GPC so that they are a funded and functional organization that we can collaborate in endeavors with. Finally, I hope to continue the work done already to improve campus life in areas that students have identified, especially athletic centers, parking, and professional development.

GSS Vice President, Jonathan Kinser


Duties and Responsibilites: Oversees graduate student representation on University committees and is the official parliamentarian of the GSS. The Vice-President also acts as a liaison between the Activities Committee and the Executive Committee.

Biosketch: I am a fourth year Ph.D. student in the History Department. My area of expertise is Modern United States History, with a specific focus on Prohibition, Organized Crime, and the expansion of Federal Law Enforcement Powers. I have been a member of the GSS for two years and during my time I have served as the GSS representative on the Faculty Senate Minority Affairs Committee, the CWRU Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Board, and was a member of the GSS Professional Development Committee.

Statement of Purpose

My goal is to embrace and expand the goals set forth by former GSS Vice President, Michelle Meredith, which focused on the following changes to the way GSS work is accomplished (My additional initiatives are in bold print.):

  1. Expanding the duration of the senator workshop to allow more time for compression planning and initiative voting.
  2. Completing compression planning and initiative voting at the workshop so work on the agenda can begin immediately at the beginning of the school year.
  3. Train more group facilitators so compression planning can take place in smaller groups.
  4. Create one task force per initiative, and give senators time to choose their task force at the workshop.
  5. Offer senators the support of the executive committee in planning the action steps that will be needed to accomplish each initiative.
  6. Create a visual mechanism of representing progress on each initiative at each GA and taking the time to acknowledge those who have gone above and beyond.
  7. Allow time for work groups at every GA.
  8. Aim to make enough progress toward initiatives in the fall semester that we can hold another workshop at the beginning of the spring semester and repeat the process.
  9. I would like to consider ways to shake up the seating arrangement at GSS meetings so that at each meeting we are able to get to know one new person from outside our academic network. This will enable each of us, by the end of the semester, to develop a general sense of our fellow senators and greatly expand our professional networks.
  10. I would also like to solve the logjam that occurs at each GSS meeting because of the layout of the room and the placement of the food. If elected, this process will be greatly improved.
  11. In addition to our regular emails, I would like to expand our Facebook presence in order to quickly spread information concerning upcoming events and activities.

GSS Information Officer, Sebastian Rimehaug


Duties and Responsibilites: The GSS Information Officer is the chief correspondent between the Senate and the graduate student body, serving as the GSS website administrator and regularly informing graduate students about relevant events and forums. The Information Officer facilitates communication and the exchange of information both within the Executive Committee and the Senate's standing and ad-hoc committees.

Biographical Sketch:I'm an MA student/graduate research assistant with a dual appointment in the Department of Cognitive Science and the Department of Modern Languages. My work involves studying the role of cognition in humor and other written and spoken media using a combination of empirical and theoretical methods. In addition to this work, I am also a writing consultant in the Department of English.

Statement: I would like to help make the GSS a better platform for cross-disciplinary communication within the graduate student community. I also want to advocate for more options for graduate students to take courses outside their own departments where pertient, without increased financial burden.

GSS Secretary, Stacey Chung


Duties and Responsibilites: Maintains accurate records of business conducted by the GSS and its committees, as well as records of the GSS membership.

Biosketch: I attended Rutgers University where I graduated with a B.S. in General Biotechnology and minor in Biochemistry. I am currently finishing my third year as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Nutrition. As a member of Dr. Danny Manor’s lab, my research focuses on intracellular trafficking of vitamin E and how it is regulated by the vitamin E transfer protein. Starting in 2012, I have served as Senator for Nutrition and have also been involved with organizing activities in the Biomedical Graduate Student Organization. In my free time, I enjoy practicing kendo (the way of the sword), which I began as a freshman at Rutgers and have continued here at Case.

Goals: As GSS secretary, my goal is to ensure that all GSS records are well-organized and maintained for all meetings of the officers, school executives, senators and committees. I will also make sure that all members are up to date with decisions and activities planned after general assembly meetings. Attendance records will also be maintained for each meeting. I am also interested to be more involved with GSS initiatives and to increase graduate student awareness and involvement.

GSS Treasurer, Queenie Cheong


Duties and Responsibilites: Administers the GSS budget, maintains the Senates financial records and handles all funding and disbursement orders.

Biosketch: After high school, I came to the U.S. from Macao to attend the University of California, Berkeley, for a B.S. in Bioengineering. There I was actively involved in the Tau Beta Pi Honor Engineering Society for community services such as food drive and pet adoption. After graduation, I started to work in a biotech company ChemoCentryx, Inc. for drug discovery for 3 years. I decided to advance my knowledge and critical thinking skills by pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Medicine. In my second year, I started to get involved in the CWRU GSS as a senator. In addition to serving as a communication channel between my constituents and the GSS, I contributed to the design and marketing of the GSS Student Life Survey. I also helped in flyer design for the Graduate Student Appreciation Week.

Goals: I have enjoyed giving back to the CWRU campus community and made a positive impact on graduate students’ lives. My goal is to assume a leadership role in GSS as the treasurer to effectively and efficiently allocate GSS funds according to the needs of graduate students. I would also serve as a liaison between the University leadership and the student body.