Candidates for 2017-2018 GSA Officer Elections

This page will be updated as new candidates come forward and provide their statements.  The list of duties can be found by clicking here.



Roy Taggueg, Sociology
It has been my honor to serve as your Vice Chair these past few months, and I hope to continue to my service to our community as Chair of the GSA. I have worked tirelessly to develop relationships with the current administration, learning how to navigate the system and developing an understanding of the way things work. I have listened to students from across the UC Davis campus to learn what issues affect you the most. I can confidently say that should I be fortunate enough to be elected as Chair, I am ready to hit the ground running.

UC Davis is approaching a time of considerable transition. With the arrival of a new Chancellor, it is incumbent upon the Graduate Student Association Executive Council to communicate the issues Graduate Students are facing and to make it absolutely clear to administrators that we are a priority. Their success is dependent upon our success, and any significant steps towards progress presupposes our involvement in the decision-making process. As Chair, I believe that beyond my responsibility in representing all Graduate Students, it will be my charge to push administrators not only towards meaningful discourse, but also to consistently remind them of their responsibility to our student body.

Vice Chair

Elyssa Fogleman, Sociology
My name is Elyssa Fogleman and I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology. Since beginning my graduate education I realize that many consequential decisions concerning students are made without their knowledge or consent. As Vice Chair, I will continue to develop my knowledge of how UC Davis functions and work alongside my colleagues to represent the interests of all graduate students. We have the right to be supported as we pursue our degrees. To this end, I believe we can find solutions to ensure financial security, and it begins by advocating for transparency and allyship.

We must make it a priority to tackle issues that inhibit the ability of graduate students to learn, to teach, and to conduct research. Lack of transparency in how financial decisions are made has been a problem that impacts all graduate students directly or indirectly, such as the sudden increase in the SISS International Student fee. Additionally, there are issues that extend beyond the UC Davis campus that have very real consequences on the experiences of our students. I believe that allyship is vital for fostering a sense of community and support. If elected, I will uphold the goals of the General Assembly to the best of my abilities and will actively promote a campus culture that is invested in the success of graduate students.

Thank you for your consideration.

External Chair

Jeremy Prim, Sociology
Greetings! My name is Jeremy Prim, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. The University of California, Davis has been a consistent leader within the state of California and during this tumultuous time in our country’s history will be expected to lead the response to the changes that are occurring within the UC system. Throughout my time in Davis, I have found the amount of brilliant and inspiring graduate students I have encountered a privilege and an honor. Graduate students form the foundation that this campus relies on to mold young minds. You deserve a leader that can advocate your concerns to our sister campuses, the University of California Student Association, and the UC Office of the President. If granted the opportunity to serve and represent the GSA as External Chair, your voice will be my voice, and we will be heard.

As a native of California, my current research focuses on exclusionary discipline practices in the Los Angeles Unified School district and the impact this has on historically underrepresented students access to quality education and the neighborhood outcomes of students that these discipline practices affect. I am very passionate on demanding quality education access and resources for those who lack that voice. If granted the opportunity to represent GSA as External Chair, I will bring that same passion and diligence when advocating for policy changes and demanding more access for graduate students.

My numerous conversations with faculty, administrators, and staff lead me to conclude that we are unaware of so many of the things occurring within the UC system and the UCOP. If elected, I will ensure that the graduate students of UC Davis are informed. It is no secret that graduate students at UC Davis are the minority, but our voice and presence are stronger than we know. I will represent your wants and needs through demanding equity and transparency in funding and policy decisions that are made within the UC system and UCOP. I will fight for our voice to be heard and ensure that as graduate students our needs are prioritized. Together we will demand to be heard, and together we will reach new heights. Thank you for your consideration!


Yiwan Ye, Sociology
My name is Yiwan Ye, and I am a Ph.D. student in the department of Sociology. As an international student in a non-STEM field, my funding situation has been precarious. However, my colleagues recently helped me negotiate with both our faculty members and Graduate Studies, and ultimately I was able to receive full funding for the spring quarter. I see running for the Treasurer position as a way for me to give back to the student community, which has played a huge part in why I stand before you today.

Because of this experience, I am conscious of the many challenges students face, and will be a staunch advocate for improving financial support to all graduate students. Before joining UC Davis, I worked as a data analyst and researcher for a non-profit, a real estate company, and a medical education company. The diverse organizational settings have provided me with the substantial training and bookkeeping skills to be effective in this role.

If elected, I will work diligently to fulfill my duties as a Treasurer, to actively engage in graduate student affairs, and to facilitate other GSA operations with the hopes that my efforts will be a step towards making sure that you are free of financial hardship. Coupled with my collaborative spirit and prior organizational experience, I believe I would be a strong candidate for this position.


Gwen Chodur, Nutritional Biology
I have been involved with the GSA since starting at UC Davis, first as a representative of my department and currently as the Campus Organizing Director. I seek to continue and expand upon my involvement by running for the Secretary position. If elected, I plan to spend next year working on initiatives to address broad areas of concern to graduate students, including mentorship and finances. Adequate mentorship support and freedom from financial hardship are necessary for graduate students to succeed and thrive and I see the Executive Council as an opportunity to advocate on behalf of graduate students.

I was honored by your support in confirming me as Campus Organizing Director. Given the changing scope of roles within the Executive Council, I recognize the importance of continuity and want to be in a position to provide support to the new Public Relations Organizing Director while also having the opportunity to develop my own initiatives to improve the experiences of my fellow graduate students. I look forward to having the chance to build on the success of this year’s Executive Council and I thank you for your support.

Public Relations Organizing Director

Laura McGowan, Atmospheric Science
The new PROD position will require someone with both experience and a desire to improve graduate students’ overall wellbeing. My experience on the GSA Executive Council from 2016-2017 has given me the understanding of how to accomplish my goals of improving student wellbeing and activism.

As last year’s PRO I significantly improved CBDD by
1. providing healthier food options (oatmeal with healthy add-ins, more and varied fruit, organic and decaf coffee options, etc.),
2. starting composting,
3. increasing food options (lactose free milks, more nut butters, etc.),
4. improving the quality of the donut and bagels, and
5. the total cost will be over $1000 under budget.

During my time as PRO, I found that most of the positions time, energy, and focus went to CBDD. I wanted to use more of my time to start student initiatives/activities and am excited that this is now possible with the GSA EC having two deputies running CBDD. With this said, as PRO I still maintained all previous event activities (movie night, art night, therapy dogs) and added additional events to benefit graduate student wellness (meditation events and writing nights).

My current plan of action is to set up sub-committees based on what students see as their most important issues. From Sarah Messbauer’s initial feedback of the Great Big Graduate Review, areas of focus could potentially be:
• Wellness
• Financial/budget and tax advice
• Mentorship
• Community building
• Interdisciplinary social events (trips, hikes, etc.)
• Writing and work space

It will then be my responsibility to materialize the sub-committees’ ideas.

Again, I think I would make a great candidate because of my experience on the Executive Committee and because I already have initiated plans to increase the number of graduate student events/activities, grow student engagement, and improve student wellbeing. I appreciate all your considerations!