Candidates for GSA 2016-2017 Officer Elections

Please check back as we’ll be updating this page periodically.



Katrina Brock, Animal Behavior


“I see advocating for graduate students, both on and off campus, as the core mission of the GSA. In my role as Vice Chair, I have chaired the Mentorship Workgroup, served on the Sacramento Services Steering Committee, and served as ex officio member of Graduate Council. Through my work with these groups I have learned to listen to graduate students’ concerns and work with faculty and administrators to address those concerns. As chair, I will continue to do so. I anticipate that in the upcoming year, much for our agenda will carry forward including mentorship, sexual assault, holistic health, and services for Sacramento students.  I am also eager to hear from the GA and other GSA member about new issues that impact them.”

Vice Chair

Carlos Ruvalcaba, Mechanical Engineering


“Hello GSA General Assembly! First and foremost, I would like to introduce myself: my name is Carlos Abraham Ruvalcaba, and I am in my 3rd year of my PhD program in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. My hometown is in Southern California in the city of Pomona and I spent several years living in Boston, MA and Seattle WA. As many of my fellow Californians will attest to, the weather is truly difficult to give up.

My research revolves around modeling fluid flow in the lung. In particular, we are interested in understanding how respiratory diseases effect how we breathe, and how we can use the same equations that describe fluid flow around airplanes to the air that is expired during breathing. I hope that one day we can use some of these models to help anyone with asthma, cystic fibrosis, and other obstructive diseases.

My involvement with the GSA began when I attended the departmental orientation, where there was a soon to be vacant spot as a GSA representative for our department. This means I’ve come (almost consistently) to the GSA monthly meetings for about 3 years. Following that, I soon became involved in several student and administrative programs that involved, on some level, GSA involvement. Working as the GSR for Graduate Studies under the Graduate Diversity Officer for the STEM disciplines, I became involved with several campus wide organizations including the GSA Academic Senate committees, Graduate Ally Coalition, and CGPSA. This ultimately in ended with more involvement on GSA specific workgroups and committees. The last couple of quarters, I worked with Rebeca and the rest of the excellent IGPS planning committee to give students a venue to discuss their research to audiences that are not part of their immediate area of focus.

These experiences have helped me understand how UC Davis administration and the GSA can work together to ameliorate the graduate lives of each and every one of us. Most recently, I have been involved with the GSA Subcommittee on Mentorship. I find mentoring to be one of the most detrimental aspects of graduate school if you get “unlucky”. This is something that I feel that will be essential to continue to work on through next year. I am more than happy to take up the work that our current Vice Chair, Katrina, and the rest of the subcommittee has worked diligently to set up.

Thank you for your consideration!”

External Chair

Amory Meltzer, Genetics


“Hello!  My name is Amory and I am running for External Chair.  I have been an active representative in the GSA General Assembly since 2012, including as a continuous member of the By-Laws Committee since 2013.  I have worked hard over the years with GSA Secretaries and other reps to craft relevant and constructive documents.

I have also represented grad students on the Graduate Student and Postdoc Welfare Committee since 2011.  I have helped to write and edit university policies, including new ones for family leave, childcare benefits, faculty diversity, and open access.  In addition to serving on other campus-wide committees, I have worked closely this year with the Vice-Chair, GSADC, and other committed GSA members as part of a Mentorship Workgroup, actively coalescing ideas and proposing plans to Graduate Council in order to advance and improve graduate student mentorship while preventing and punishing bad and negligent mentors.

I am passionate and actively engaged in graduate student concerns, and in 2014 joined the External Chair in lobbying senators and assembly members in Sacramento on behalf of graduate students at UC Davis and UC-wide.  We pushed increased UC funding, gender equality protections, and increased student access.  I will be doing this once again this year with our current External Chair.  I believe I possess the ability to convey the concerns and experiences of graduate students, and would love the opportunity to represent you on a larger scale as the 2016-2017 External Chair.  Thank you for your consideration!”


Jonathan Favero, Music


“I am impressed by The University of California, Davis, Graduate Student Association in that it ensures a dynamically authoritative presence for the graduate and professional students amongst the faculty and administrators here at UCD, and within the UC system. The magnitude of this role cannot be understated. I will consider it a dutiful honor to serve the GSA in its mission to facilitate, not only meaningful relationships with, but also a powerful voice for, the graduate and professional students it represents within the academy.”


Laura Emberson, Soils and Biogeochemistry


“I am running for treasurer because I see a need to keep the GSA financially stable. I plan to continue the efforts the Graduate Student Funding committee began this year to increase the GSA funding. I believe I can smoothly step into the role of treasurer because I have been working with the current treasurer since November 2015 and have helped with many aspects of the job already. “

Campus Organizing Director / IGPS Coordinator

Matthew Mayeda, Public Health


“I believe that UC Davis Graduate Students are among the smartest in the world; however, there are many stresses and obstacles that prevent us from reaching our full potential. Thus, I am inspired to serve as the Campus Organizing Director / IGPS Coordinator to ensure that students have the wellness resources and career development opportunities to succeed in their academic pursuits.

Having served as UC San Diego’s Well-being Cluster Student Advisory Board chair for two years and played a leadership role at two UCSA Conferences, I feel confident that I have the experience to grow the Holistic Health Initiative and continue the success of IGPS.”

Public Relations Officer

Laura McGowan, Atmospheric Science


“I am applying for the position of Public Relations Officer because I have the experience and ability to continue to build on the strong foundation that has been established. I have acquired much of the needed experience for this position. At Pennsylvania State University, I was the Graduate Student Social Chair, which serves many of the same roles as the GSA Public Relations Officer. In this role, I planned and created events based on the needs of the graduate student population. After creating the events, I rallied people to attend events, found funding resources, and maximized event budgets. If given this position, I would keep all current events as well as work in Holistic Health Initiatives previously mentioned. “


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