Complete guide for the 2019 GPSA Senate election

Polls opened at 7 p.m. Monday night and close 5 p.m. Friday night


Here is the complete list of graduate and professional students running for seats in the GPSA senate for the 2019-2020 academic year.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen deputy news editor

The listed graduate students at WSU will fight for a seat on the GPSA Senate. Graduate and professional students can now vote online through 5 p.m. Friday.

Susan Williams, GPSA director of Internal Affairs, provided all the information, including personal statements. Some statements have been edited for brevity.

Twenty-one Senate seats have no candidates. Some candidates are running for two positions. An ‘(I)’ indicates that the candidate already holds a position on the Senate.

Representative for the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences

Jennifer Johnson, environmental and natural resource sciences (I)

I have had years of experience residing in a college representative position and know how to work with a committee and understand the expectations and time-commitment required for the position.

Representative for the College of Arts and Sciences

Andrew Gillreath-Brown, anthropology (I)

I have been a GPSA Senator for two years. I joined the GPSA Senate because I am passionate about advocating for graduate and professional students. GPSA provides a platform and a safe environment for voicing concerns.

Kristen Johnson, chemistry (I)

I have the experience necessary to strengthen the College of Arts and Sciences collaborative presence. My commitment to this cause makes me the best choice for the college representative position.

Ernesto Martinez-Baez, chemistry (I)

Within my strategic planning committee in GPSA I have helped to analyze data using innovative tools and computer programming.

Carsten Voelkner, biological sciences (I)

I joined GPSA as a senator just weeks after I arrived in the USA to start my graduate career and have been an active member of the senate ever since. I want to hear your voice and what you want to see of us to make your time at WSU the most memorable.

Representative for the College of Education

Adnan Mohamed, language, literacy and technology

I am here to listen to concerns, create a plan and take action. If I am chosen, I will ensure that I am your voice and your representative.

Rachel Wong (I)

As a college representative, my goal is to increase student engagement and involvement at both the college level and at the university level because it will help students gain a well-rounded experience.

Representative for the College of Engineering & Architecture

Ehdieh Khaledian (I)

I have been engaged in WSU and higher school organizations such as GPSA, Grad Society of Women Engineers and the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students for the last three years.

Haley Mikeska, mechanical engineering (I)

I have been a GPSA Senator for the past two years. As a college representative, I plan to continue to be an active voice for student needs.



Tiffany Alvarez (I)

I  want to continue to be a part of GPSA because the organization is committed to developing solutions capable of addressing the complex inequities that plague the communities I both am and am not a part of.

Andrew Gillreath-Brown, anthropology (I)

Arian Karimi, cultural anthropology

I want to improve my anthropological training by learning alongside fellow GPSA senators how to navigate the university’s political landscape and create better conditions of advocacy for graduate student well-being.


Ernesto Martinez-Baez, chemistry (I)

Jessica Carder

I would like to be a GPSA senator because I think that graduate students deserve to have a say in what their program does, and what resources they would like to see made available to them.

Criminal Justice

Angelo Brown

I want to represent my department as well as learn more from others in GPSA. I believe this service would be beneficial to GPSA as well as myself.

Fine Arts

Mohsen Bchir

I believe I can bring more diversity to the senate council and be another active voice. On another level, as a graduate student, this is both an opportunity and a challenge that I would like to be part of.


Matthew Hitchen

I am running for this position to represent history graduate students at WSU and maintain amicable relations between the administration.

Samantha Edgerton

If elected as a senator, I will strengthen graduate communication between GPSA and the history department. I would also strive to implement professional development programs.


Allison Fisher (I)

I have served on the Campus and Community Task Force, which was charged with finding solutions to bring better health care resources to the WSU Pullman campus. I will continue to come up with creative solutions for issues that face graduate students.

Dami Olabode (I)

I had the chance to serve as a senator and on the travel grant committee. The experience gained during my time as a GPSA senator increased my world view and I look forward to bringing in the enthusiasm and team-working skills that I possess in any capacity that I can.

Debasmita Das, 3rd year, statistics

I am confident that I will be able to take the skills I have learned through my experiences and leadership opportunities to work to better the student body, overall campus environment and the college community as a whole.

Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs

Mohammad Ghaedi (I)

I have been a GPSA senator this year and with the experience I acquired, I can serve better next year.

Helary Yakub

I am running for senator because I am not afraid to ask questions, raise concerns, issues and opinions during the GPSA meetings even if they are not the most popular.

Biological Sciences

Alex Howell (I)

Keeping others informed and involved is a major goal of mine, and as a GPSA senator, I would have the perfect opportunity to elaborate upon my own goals.


Sadie Ridgeway (I)

I want to be a part of this organization and work with other graduate and professional students to help create the environment we want to exist here at WSU.


Michael Craven (I)

As a graduate student on the budget and fiscal health committee, I believe that I have been able to use my skills to strongly advocate our needs and concerns, and I would like to continue to do so.

Business Administration

Rebecca He, first-year, management, information system and entrepreneurship

As an international graduate student, it is not easy to live in Pullman without family members around. Therefore, I want to find a community or a group that can promote friendship, cooperation and bring closer relationships among all graduate students.

Gurdeep Singh Raina

I am a people person and I enjoy exchanging information and ideas to help add value to the setting and the processes I am a part of while adding value to self through learning from the environment.

Biological Systems Engineering

Zongmei Gao

I see the position of a senator as an excellent way to be a part of a team that is involved not only in the current student’s lives but also the bigger picture of providing a better place for future extension students.

Yonas Gezahegn (I)

My motives to continue as a senator includes the excellence of GPSA in creating strong learning platforms from elite and experienced professionals, and the practical leadership and communication skills that I will develop in the position.

Lina Martinez Valencia, third-year, biological system engineering

I would love to have the opportunity to represent the graduate student voice as senator for the upcoming school year by attending and voting at the GPSA Senate meetings.


Benjamin Lee

I believe becoming a GPSA senator will help me to better my fellow students, both within my department and throughout WSU, by allowing me to continue to organize and advocate for student rights.

Plant Pathology

Jonathan Eagle (I)

I have served on a different university committee every year, President’s Student Advisory Board, UREC Board and the Academic Integrity Hearing Board. I look forward to serving as a senator next year.

Economic Sciences

Zhazira Alisheva (I)

I am grateful to GPSA for the great experiences I have had. I have met many awesome people and grown my network. I would like to continue working as a senator and making WSU a warm and welcoming place for graduate students.

Syed Badruddoza

I believe that information and learning how to communicate are the keys to scholastic and professional development. Food Sciences

Hannah Coker, first-year food science, (I)

If I were to be elected, my main goal as a senator would be to ensure that graduate students’ needs and interests are addressed to the best of our capabilities. I also want to make sure that we highlight the resources that we already provide.

Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology

Rachel Wong (I)

Teaching and Learning

Amira Albagshi

I would like to expand on my leadership skills and refine my personal and communication skills. I believe that my work and life experiences allow me to serve in the community.

Jo Ann Arinder

I look forward to serving in any capacity and hope that I can give a voice to students without the luxury of attending committee meetings and other events.

Adnan Mohamed, language, literacy and technology

Chemical and Bioengineering

Maryam Davaritouchaee (I)

I have obtained great experience by serving as GPSA senator since August 2018, and it would be a wonderful involvement for me to expand this practice by being selected for another year.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Haneen Abusharkh

I have been told frequently by my colleagues that I have all the qualities of a good leader. Strategic goal setting, early planning and considering group input has repeatedly made me a reliable leader.

Neda Khosravi

With commitment and integrity, I wish to serve as a representative on behalf of students to meet their needs and protect their interests.

Ayumi Manawadu

I think GPSA is a great platform to interact with fellow students, engage in dialogues that matter to graduate students and develop as a professional.

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Jinlu Shen

I would like to help connect my fellow graduate and professional students with the school. Having been in WSU for 2.5 years, I noticed graduate students are relatively less involved in campus activities than undergraduates.

Neda Zarayeneh

I think some small steps will result in big achievements, we just need to be together, fight for each other and move forward no matter how hard it is.

Ehdieh Khaledian (I)

Parisa Mohammadalizadeh Shabestari

Running for a senate position in GPSA will give me the chance to be more involved in WSU communities. As EECS senator, I can share graduate students concerns with GPSA.

Rabayet Sadnan

Being an international student, I know the struggles that students like me face. It will be a pleasure to learn more about the resources available to graduate students, especially for international students so that I can help others.

Chandan Dhal, second-year Ph.D., electrical engineering

As an amputee, one of my major concerns as a Graduate Student Association member was to create social awareness on accommodating disabilities in academics.

Carla De Lira, computer science

I want to go beyond empathizing with my peers and transform concerns into actions. For this reason, I am running to become a GPSA senator to have the opportunity to act.

Anwesha Chatterjee

I will be happy to contribute more to my university than my academic responsibilities only. I want to participate in the decision-making process of relevant issues for us graduate students.

Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Seyed Hossein Mamanpush (I)

I served as a senator for the Mechanical and Materials Engineering department for the 2018-2019 term and that was a great experience for me. I want to develop my leadership skills by being an active member of GPSA.

Haley Mikeska (I)

Molecular Plant Science

Vishnu Ellur (I)

I am a senator currently and I am part of the Professional Development Initiative too. I enjoy working with GPSA and the department to solve the problems.

College of Communications

Stephanie Gibbons (I)

Last year I served as senator for the Murrow college, so I am confident in my knowledge to help serve for another year.

Anastasia Vishnevskaya

If elected to serve as a senator for the College of Communication, I intend to develop better strategies for communicating information between the College and GPSA to maximize the academic and professional opportunities for graduate students.

Veterinary Medicine

Amelia Silva (I)

This past year as a senator has been an invaluable experience to better understand the interworkings of the university and learn more about the resources that are available to students.

Naomi Wallace (I)

If elected, this would be my third year serving as a GPSA Senator. During my previous terms, I have greatly enjoyed serving my constituents and working with the other Senators to improve conditions for my peers.

Physics and Astronomy

Islam Khan (I)

I have served on the GPSA Senate for two terms, and throughout that time I realized the importance of strengthening the relationship between us, graduate students and the community at WSU.

Graduate School

Yini Chen, apparel merchandising, marketing and economics

I agree with GPSA’s mission statement and believe that I could contribute to fulfilling that.

This has been updated to reflect the first four ballot seats are representatives, not senators.