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, Queenie Cheong


Duties and Responsibilities: 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 am currently a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in Molecular Medicine. I have been part of GSS both as treasurer and a senator for the past two years. During my association with GSS, I have also served on professional development committee and student affairs task force. My association with GSS has been motivated by my desire to bring forth, advocate for, and help address issues and concerns of graduate students. I contributed to GSS efforts to shed light on issues of major importance to students (e.g., parking, security, information technology) by playing a leadership role in designing, administering, and advertising the graduate student life survey last year. I have shown strong commitment to issues relating to professional development by being an integral part of two professional development conference planning committee. I have shared my expertise in designing the conference, facilitated sessions, and managed catering for the conference. Moreover, I have managed and coordinated disbursement of Verhosek Fund (V-fund) travel fund. As the V-fund manager, I have received firsthand opportunity to observe a large gap between students' travel expenses and the amount of V-fund award. As a treasurer, I have also worked with different stakeholders to ensure effective allocation of GSS funds according to the needs of graduate students. Supported by the GSS executive committee, my concerted effort to effectively allocate GSS funds has resulted in the increased rollover of funds, part of which I'd propose to invest in V-fund endowment principal.

Statement of Intent:

If elected as the GSS president, I will bring my leadership experience to lead new initiatives on professional development and will also embrace existing GSS initiatives relating to parking and travel funds. More specifically, I will help:

  1. Work with the University Leadership to create and maintain a central and updated database of alumni who graduated from all schools.
  2. Create a CWRU Alumni Connection Series to provide networking opportunities for graduate students.
  3. Work with the Vice President to identify ways to make V-fund more sustainable; thereby opening a possibility of increasing the amount of V-Fund Award during my presidency.
  4. Work with the Graduate Professional Council and student leaders to ensure that unification is guided by a representation model that is inclusive, just, and accountable to all graduate students.
  5. Establish the GSS Outstanding Senator Award to recognize the significant role played by GSS senators in bringing graduate student community together
  6. Establish the GSS Outstanding Executive Award to recognize the time and leadership that GSS executives contribute above and beyond their graduate studies.

GSS Vice President, Raymond Horton


Duties and Responsibilities: 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: Ray Horton will be a second year Ph.D. student in the English Department, specializing in 19th - and 20th -century American literature, contemporary fiction, and interdisciplinary connections between critical theory and the philosophy of religion. He completed his MA in English at CWRU in 2012, and returned this past fall to begin the Ph.D. program. Prior to attending CWRU, he completed his BA in English at Mercyhurst University (2010), where he served as president of Sigma Tau Delta (English honor society), worked in the office of institutional advancement and alumni relations, volunteered extensively, received the university’s Alumni Recognition award (given to a graduating senior each year on the basis of academics, leadership, and service) and was inducted into Mercyhurst’s service honor society. During his second year at CWRU (2011-2012) Ray served as the founding president of the English Graduate Student Association and as the English Department’s GSS senator. Since that time, the EGSA has established itself as one of the most fully engaged GSS-affiliated organizations on campus, giving graduate students in the department an unprecedented voice with the department’s faculty and graduate committee. Furthermore, the EGSA is emerging as an active presence within the university community, organizing at least one or two events open to the whole campus each year since its inception. When Ray helped found the EGSA, working with current GSS senators Kate Dunning and Monica Orlando, among others, he facilitated the development of a new organization while carefully balancing the wide range of expectations, interests, and concerns of all parties involved: department graduate students, department faculty, and the Graduate Student Senate. This initiative required researching similar associations at peer institutions, drafting and acquiring approval for the EGSA constitution, identifying and prioritizing the EGSA’s goals and objectives, which included guiding plans for future fundraising, and acquiring GSS recognition as a student organization. All of the short-term goals initially outlined were accomplished within the first year, and Ray’s experience overseeing these initiatives as president provided him with substantial experience defining and communicating organizational priorities, delegating responsibility, and productively coordinating a diverse array of viewpoints and expectations among the new organization’s stakeholders.

Statement of Intent

As a candidate for GSS Vice President, Ray is particularly enthusiastic about two critical initiatives, to which he has much to contribute: first, spearheading new efforts to expand the V- Fund, and second, helping to facilitate conversations about the potential unification of GSS and GPC. Ray’s experience as a founder of the EGSA provides him with sensitivity to the needs, concerns, and expectations of all constituencies represented by GSS. He also recognizes that, although discussing unification will demand a considerable amount of the Senate’s time and attention, the Senate will need to continue its everyday operations and expand its initiatives, as well as communicate a consistent message to the university and all constituents. Ray is running for the position of Vice President because he understands the need for a seamless and comprehensive transition, should unification take place, but also for the continued support of existing GSS operations and initiatives. As GSS moves forward with these new and continuing endeavors, Ray is committed to bringing his experience with collaborative university leadership to the GSS executive board.

GSS Information Officer, Marzieh Ayati


Duties and Responsibilities: 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 am PhD student of Computer Science. My research mostly focuses on the computational analysis of Genome Wide Association data. I am working on some diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Psoriasis and MS. I have considerable experience with running a student and non- student organizations, as I am a founder of Case Iranian Society at CWRU and I am also a treasurer of Computational Biology Graduate Student Organization (CBGSO) at CWRU. Moreover, I am in the executive committee of Great Lakes Regional Student Group (RSG) which act in conjunction with the Great Lakes Bioinformatics Consortium to improve collaboration between students, academia and industry within the North American Great Lakes region, including the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the U.S, as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. My experience in different organizations taught me lots of universal skills such as communicating, organizing and optimizing resources.

Statement of Intent: I think that updated website as well as on- time newsletter is the best way to present the valuable achievement of GSS and all graduate organizations. I would like to help GSS to spread information regarding the events and activities of graduate organizations as quick as possible. I have noticed that the GSS calendar on the website is almost inactive. I have plan to use GSS calendar more efficient and comprehensive to show the efforts of GSS and other graduate organizations.

GSS Secretary, Brylee Tiu


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

Biosketch: Brylee Tiu is a PhD candidate in the Dept. of Macromolecular Science and Engineering (EMAC) and a member of the newly organized Polymers for Energy and Transformative Research in Oil and Gas (PETRO Case) Consortium. Prior to attending CWRU, he acquired his bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of the Philippines Diliman and spent a few years as a research and teaching assistant at the University of Houston in TX. In 2012, he became a member of the Macromolecular Student Organization (MSO) where he has actively participated in organizing department events including the Polymer Initiative of the Northeast Ohio (PiNO) Conference. The following year, he then served as the Graduate Student Senator for the Polymer Department. Outside research, Brylee enjoys roadtrips, musicals, and lots of...karaoke..

GSS Treasurer, Francis Enane


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

Biosketch: I graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Biotechnology. While at Purdue I was actively involved in student activities. I initiated the current Purdue University Chemistry and Physics Club, where I served as the president of the club. Additionally, I also served as Purdue University student ambassador and participated in supplemental instructing program. After graduation, I joined Case Western University School of medicine as a PhD student in Molecular Medicine. While at Case over the last three years, I have been actively involved in GSS, serving as the vice-chair of the Molecular Medicine Diversity Initiative Group (MMED- DIG). My responsibilities include acting as GSS liaison to the group and I am responsible for ensuring that the MMED-DIG student organization is recognized by GSS through adherence to the GSS Bylaws annually. Hence, I ensure that MMED-DIG is in good standing by updating the bylaws and communicating them to the members of DIG. As a MMED-DIG I have participated in multiple events geared towards voicing the needs of students to faculty members and ensuring that the student community is well served by the campus community. I was a part of the organizing committee that recently invited guest speakers Dr. David Wilkes from Indiana University sponsored by Diversity Initiative Group ($ 500) and GSS ($250) to give a career development talk to Molecular Medicine graduate students. The selected speaker provided a moving talk that was well received across all attendees including faculty staff members. As a student, I understand the need to have a voice that connects us to our campus community, and I strongly believe that student bodies provide this opportunity in abundance. Henceforth, I intent to be in a position to serve my fellow students by any means available.

Statement of Intent: My objective is to be in a position to serve the CWRU campus community. At the moment I am interested in the treasury position for a number of reasons: Given the number of student organizations across campus, there are multiple events being organized on a weekly basis that require allocation of funds in a timely manner. I believe I have a strong opportunity to guide this process and ensure that all GSS approved events are allocated their reimbursement funds in a timely fashion. Additionally, I will work with the executive committee to generate a unique funding mechanism to enhance the approval process of allocating funds in a sustainable effective and efficient manner. This will ensure a projected annual budget and a well balanced budget throughout the year. These are skills that I have contributed to other student organizations that have proven successful over the years. If given this opportunity I will ensure that the duties of the treasury position are carried out to its completeness. Additionally, I will be available to provide any help whenever necessary. Having worked with Student organizations before I have a personal commitment in voicing the needs of students, and it is my belief that student bodies provide a much needed opportunity to carry this role. Therefrom, I will not only adhere to GSS bylaws but will also ensure that I work closely with the executive committee to carry out the roles of the assumed position. I hope this overview proves useful in my evaluation to accomplish the goals of the GSS treasury as well as substantiate my ability to fulfill the mission graduate student senate.


GSS Secretary, Doug Brubaker (resigned, Feb 2015)


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

Biosketch: Doug Brubaker attended CWRU for undergrad where received a BS in Mathematics. He is finishing his first year in the Systems Biology and Bioinformatics Ph.D. program. As a member of Dr. Mark Chance’s lab, his research focuses on the –omic causes of preterm birth, mathematical modeling of pregnancy, and network biology of pregnancy. He has been an active member of the Case rowing team and served two years in the Undergraduate Student Government at CWRU. There he served as a representative for his residence hall and as the Parliamentarian for the organization. He worked on issues of campus security, student merit scholarships, adjudicated disciplinary matters, kept order in meetings according to Roberts Rules, and amended the USG Constitution and Funding Bylaws extensively to improve service to students. As Parliamentarian, he also served actively on the USG executive committee and took minutes when the secretary could not attend.

Statement of Intent: As GSS secretary I intend to maintain the high standards set by my predecessor. Minutes will be sent out and posted within 48 hours of meetings, attendance records will be maintained on a google-spreadsheet. Internally, I aim to make sure GSS runs smoothly and that information flows freely from the committees to the membership and graduate student community. I am also interested in this position because it gives me the opportunity to contribute to GSS and observe how GSS runs, attend multiple committee meetings, and pursue initiatives related to professional development.