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GSA Delegate Assembly Candidates

Below you will find the candidates running for the Delegate Assembly in GSA.

The election for the new GSA leadership has begun! You can get to the online ballot at this link: (If you have not logged into CatLife before, you will be first prompted to activate your account).

Name Position Personal Statement
Janice Disla Psychological
Albert Dibenedetto Physics My name is Albert DiBenedetto and I’m running for the Physics Delegate Assembly position in GSA. Being a first year PhD student in the physics program, I felt the need to step up to a leadership position within GSA as a way to pay it forward and help secure a good future here at UC Merced for generations of graduate students who are both incoming and outgoing.
One goal of mine is to serve as a representative for the physics graduate group within the graduate student community.  In fulfilling the duties of a delegate assembly member, I will approve the GSA budget prepared by the Treasurer and vote accordingly on any actions taken by the Executive Council.
Shannon Proksch Cognitive &
Information Sciences
Thank you for the nomination for the GSA Delegate Assembly. From what I gather there has been general discontent with the GSA, but I have also heard of a number of very dedicated and passionate individuals running for GSA officer positions for the 2019-2020 term. I am optimistic to work with these individuals to (re)establish a strong voice for the UC Merced graduate student body in general and my fellow Cognitive & Information Sciences graduate students in particular. In this delegate role I will be prompt and forthright in communicating activities of the GSA back to CIS graduate students, and in giving voice to any questions or concerns that arise from any of us in CISespecially as these concerns apply to a safe and welcoming academic and workplace climate.
Shaina Stanta Cruz Public Health

Hi all,

My name is Shaina Sta. Cruz, and I am a first-year student in the Public Health PhD program. I would like to express my interest in acting as your Public Health delegate. I'm relatively new to UCM, and the thing that has surprised me most is how open and committed our students are to changing our school for the better. In welcoming me into the program, the students from older cohorts have demonstrated there is a lot of good we can do to help shape the culture at UCM. I would like to be a part of that and contribute to the efforts of the Graduate Student Association, the Public Health program, and our students.

During my time as an undergraduate, I had been lucky to start and lead many community-based projects and committees. For example, by talking to students and faculty, I was made aware my department could benefit from more opportunities to learn about the needs of culturally diverse populations. Collaborating with existing organizations and faculty, my team and I created an academic sub-chapter focused on student learning and community health, and I served as chair before ushering in the new executive board.

Similarly, in the hopes of being a positive force for my community, I would like to listen to the needs of the Public Health students and serve as a mediator between the students and the GSA. In the interest of accountability, I plan to hold office hours for the Public Health students, as well as send regular emails to update our students on GSA discussions. I also hope to work with the up-and-coming Public Health student committee in creating bylaws and shaping the structure for the new group.

I'll do my best to represent us well, and I am excited for what's to come. Thank you for your consideration.

Dylan Moses Political Science I promise to provide no constituent services, bring home no pork and to do the absolute minimal job as your delegate. Vote for me. You don’t have another choice.
Ekta Kandhway Interdisciplinary Humanities I am a second year PhD student in the IH program. Though the position of IH delegate in GSA, I aim to facilitate better communication between the IH folks and GSA.
Farhana Sharmin Mechanical Engineering

It would be an honor to represent such an outstanding and vibrant group of scholars in this astounding University with a spectacular future ahead. As UC Merced is rapidly expanding, I presume the University will also allocate more resources and have a better understanding of the needs of the graduate students. I will make sure that the graduate students of Mechanical Engineering get the resources they deserve and can make the best out of it. The GSA budget will be properly allocated and the voice of the ME student body will be as strong as it can be in the student executive board. 

I an joining UC Merced as a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering from the fall of 2019. In my previous University, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), I served as an elected General Secretary at BUET Career club and Vice President at BUET Robotics Society. Apart from that, I have also worked as a Delegation Liaison Officer (DLO) at the United Nations (UN), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and with Climate Tracker for several months and had the opportunity to gather highly valuable experience in working at exciting, diverse and multicultural environments. I intend to fully utilize the effective and challenging leadership experience that I have achieved through holding such responsible positions in the academic clubs and organizations, into any of my future roles.

I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing community and with immense interest, I look forward to being employed in this unique opportunity. Thank you all, for your attention and consideration. All your efforts are highly appreciated.

Thank you for informing us about this opportunity which we all look forward to. Your effort and help are highly appreciated. I wish you and Your whole team the best.

Edgar Perez-Lopez Mechanical Engineering
As an alumni from UC Merced in the Mechanical Engineering, it is sometimes difficult to find the right people to talk to and the right place to go. I believe my seniority and leadership experience developed at UC Merced during my undergraduate career as well as my first year in the program has allowed me to learn about the needs of students in the Mechanical Engineering department.  I would be able to represent the Mechanical Engineering graduate group while also helping the rest of the University.