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The Executive Officers implement and advocate the interests of graduate and professional students to the university administration and handle the day-to-day operations of GPSG. The Executive Branch functions by coordinating numerous events, working alongside student leaders, and leading efforts to improve the graduate and professional student experience.

Theodore Nollert 

Theodore is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the English and Comparative Literature department. At UNC, he has taught a wide range of courses on literature. These have included courses on classical epic, Roman and English satire, the global short story, American poetry, and early modern poetry, prose, and drama. He dreams of one day teaching a course on Laurence Sterne’s masterpiece, Tristram Shandy. His goal for this year is to use GPSG to ensure that grad students are really well informed about how the university operates – especially in terms of finance – so that they can win higher stipends. In addition to grad student pay, he hopes to help the university develop more robust career services offerings for graduate and professional students. Theodore encourages any and all students who have ideas about improving campus to email him .

The President shall be empowered to call and conduct Senate meetings, to appoint committees, to organize a GPSF Cabinet and designate positions therein, to represent the GPSF at all University functions, to speak on behalf of the graduate and professional students, and to initiate and oversee any projects, business, or programs necessary to fulfill the purposes of this organization, so long as these activities are consistent with the Constitution.

Senior Vice President
Elena Vidrascu

Elena is a native of Rochester, New York, which is home of the wonderful garbage plate. She holds an M.S. in Biomedical Sciences (concentration in physiology/pharmacology) from Wake Forest University, and a B.S in Neuroscience with a minor in Philosophy, from Bucknell University. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience program, studying the neurocognitive biomarkers of alcohol use disorder and the use of mindfulness meditation as an intervention to prevent cognitive deficits resulting from adolescent alcohol use. Elena is passionate about mentoring first-generation students and disseminating scientific findings to the lay public. In her spare time, Elena enjoys playing tennis, hiking, traveling, reading, and spending time with her partner and 3 fur children (1 dog, 2 cats). She served as Director of Community Engagement of GPSG for the past two years (2020-2022).

The Senior Vice President shall serve as the President of the Senate, the legislative body of the GPSF. These duties include running Senate meetings, increasing Senate participation, securing University administration and other external representatives to speak before the Senate, increasing knowledge inside and outside of Senate about the role of GPSF and the Senate, facilitating dissemination of events and information amongst departments, and overseeing the Senate committees.

Chief of Staff
Emily Youree

Emily is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, focusing on late Middle English outlaw literature and political poetry. Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, she received her BA in English, with minors in Classics and General Business, from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. She looks forward to putting her organizational skills to good use by facilitating connection and communication among GPSG members this term. When not scheduling Cabinet meetings or researching Robin Hood and Piers Plowman, Emily enjoys crocheting, tending to her many houseplants, and chipping away at her long to-read list of sci-fi and fantasy novels.

The Chief of Staff shall be responsible for selecting, organizing, advising, and supporting the GPSF Cabinet, which shall include members and positions as designated by the President. During the first meeting of the GPSF Senate each academic year, the Chief of Staff shall present a “GPSF Cabinet Charter” outlining the current positions, appointees, and the responsibilities of appointees. This charter shall be approved by the Senate by a majority vote of the members present and voting. The powers of the Chief of Staff shall not be limited to those presented here as the President of the GPSF may encourage him or her to take on additional duties or responsibilities.

VP for Advocacy and Government Affairs
Samantha Golden 

Samantha Golden (she/her) serves as the Vice President for Advocacy and Government Affairs of Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) for the 2022-2023 academic year. Samantha is a third year MA/PhD student in Hispanic Linguistics.  She studies multilingual language acquisition with a focus on Spanish, and her master’s research centered on infant trilingual lexical acquisition.  Prior to returning to UNC for her graduate degrees, Samantha worked in Strategy and Operations for a Fortune 500 company in Seattle after she graduated from UNC — go heels! — with a dual degree in Business Administration (B.S.) and Hispanic Linguistics (B.A.). Using the knowledge and experience she has gained from her experiences at Carolina as both an undergraduate and graduate student, as well as the love she has for the University, she hopes to improve higher education by advocating for graduate and professional student needs.  When she is not working on research or teaching, she enjoys baking, playing tennis and practicing yoga, and spending time with her dog Reggie.

The VP for Advocacy and Governmental Affairs shall be concerned with business outside the realm of the Senate, serving as a liaison between the GPSF, University administration and the community, and be responsible for compiling regular reports on the activities of University Standing Committees, Advisory Committees and Boards and all other duly established committees external to the GPSF, and reporting those activities to the Executive Committee.

VP for Communications
Kat Goodpaster 

Kat Goodpaster is a second-year Global Studies MA student on the Russian and Eastern European Studies concentration. In May 2021, Kat graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with her bachelors in Peace, War, and Defense with a minor in Russian Language and Culture. During her time in undergrad, Kat was involved in the Carolina Union Activities Board, the Residence Hall Association, and Campus Recreation. Currently, she also serves as the Program Associate for the UNC Russian Flagship Program. 

The VP for Communications shall be responsible for keeping the minutes of meetings of the Senate, the Executive Board, and the GPSF Cabinet, as well as for maintaining attendance records of GPSF Senators. The Secretary shall maintain all records and files of the GPSF, as well as maintain a current copy of the GPSF Constitution, and shall arrange for permanent preservation of these documents. The Secretary shall publish a list of all representative units, their Senators, and contact information. The Secretary maintains the GPSF Website and Newsletter.

VP for Diversity and Inclusion
Zehra Razai 

Zehra Razai, originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, is a second-year pharmacy student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She previously attended UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad (go heels!) where she majored in chemistry and pre-pharmacy. On campus, Zehra is actively involved in volunteer work, mentorship, and student organizations. She is excited to be a part of GPSG’s exec team this year and is looking forward to advocating for the diverse needs of our community. Beyond her professional endeavors, Zehra enjoys spending time with friends and traveling!

The Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion shall oversee all GPSG initiatives related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and advocacy on behalf of currently and historically marginalized student populations.

VP for Finance
Harsh Agarwal

Harsh is a student at Gillings School of Global Public Health and is a part of the global health concentration. He is a part of various research projects focusing on sexual reproductive health and more specifically on HIV/AIDS. Prior to coming to UNC, Harsh has been involved in program management and implementation of public health programs in India. He is also an author and a filmmaker. As the VP of Finances, his goals are concentrated around efficient utilization of available funds, smooth processing with improving systems, and integrating an equity lens in the GPSG finances.  

The VP for Finance shall be empowered to oversee the annual budget, to requisition funds, to keep all financial records, to keep a physical properties list consistent with expenditure of GPSF allocated funds and to conduct all other financial affairs pertaining to the GPSF as necessary.

Minutes and Documents

All minutes can be found at the GPSG archives.