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Victor Wang

Council Chair

Victor Wang is a 4th year PhD candidate at UC San Diego. In addition to being Council Chair, Victor is also the current GSAUCSD Vice President of Academic Affairs, working on improving faculty-student mentorship quality. He has previously served as a UCGPC Board Member, representing UC San Diego. He is committed to supporting UCGPC’s growth as an organization and increasing the voice of graduate students in policy processes. When not setting meeting agendas or answering emails, Victor can be found at the research bench synthesizing molecules that forces us to reevaluate our understanding of carbon and organic molecules. In his spare time, Victor enjoys trying new foods, hosting wine nights pre-COVID, and going to the San Diego beaches (of course!).

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Gwen Chodur

President

Gwen Chodur is a 5th year PhD candidate at UC Davis in the Graduate Group of Nutritional Biology. She is concurrently serving as the EVP for the UC Davis Graduate Student Association, her fourth year as a member of that board, and as the Director of Social Justice Concerns at the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. When she’s not advocating for graduate students or working on her research, Gwen is a doting single parent to her cat and enjoys cooking and gardening.  

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Ernesto Arciniega

Vice Chair 

Ernesto Arciniega is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Literatures at UCLA. Ernesto’s research interests are Contemporary Latin American, Mexican, and Chicanx literatures and cultures, immigration law in the U.S., border studies, and protest art. Ernesto is a strong advocate for social justice and immigrants’ rights. He is the founder and former President of UCLA Hispanic Latinx Graduate Students Association (2017-2019), was the inaugural GSA Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at UCLA (2018-2019), has served on the ASUCLA Board of Directors (2019-2020), and was a National Fellow at the UC National Center for Free Speech (2020-2021). He currently serves as the UCLA GSA Director of Organizing under the Office of the GSA VP of External Affairs. Today, Ernesto is an elected Councilmember for the North Westwood Neighborhood Council in the 5th District of the City of Los Angeles, where he advocates for building student affordable housing, improving public transportation, and fighting for Westwood’s disfranchised. During his free time, Ernesto loves watching queer-themed films and series, practicing world languages, and hanging out with his friends in West Hollywood.

OUR LEADERS

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Valeria Dominguez

Treasurer 

Valeria Dominguez is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Riverside studying Higher Education Administration and Policy. Influenced by her identity as a first-generation Latina, Valeria’s work, advocacy, and scholarship has focused on equity and social justice. She has a distinct concentration on Women of Color who serve on governing boards at U.S. higher education institutions and their experiences navigating the trusteeship. Valeria has eight years of administrative experience in student affairs, student government, university service, mentorship, and higher education research at the University of California. She is the former Vice-President for the UC Riverside Graduate Student Association (2020-2021). In her free time, Valeria can be found outdoors spending time with her husband and co-parent to their two mini-Australian Shepherds.

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Francois Kaepellin

Director of Legislative Affairs

Francois Kaeppelin is a Master’s student at the Institute of Transportation Studies in UC Davis. Using his experiences growing up in Hong Kong, Francois is working to increase affordable housing and public transportation access in his community. He has served as a Bicycling, Transportation, and Street Safety Commissioner and as the Chair of the Unitrans Advisory Committee in Davis. When he is not advocating for graduate students in the Capitol, you can find him experimenting with coffee making techniques.

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Mikah Bertelmann

Director of Outreach

Mikah Bertelmann is a first-year Master of Public Policy student at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. He is studying to prepare for a career as U.S. Foreign Service Officer and serves at the UCSD GPSA’s Vice President of Academic Affairs with a focus on faculty-student mentorship, affordable and open course materials, and professional development opportunities. In his free time, Mikah can be found exploring the San Diego beaches and local eateries and breweries.

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Amanda Corona

Director of University Affairs

Amanda Corona is a first year PhD student in Educational Leadership at UC San Diego/CSU San Marcos. Amanda’s research interests include organizational leadership, the socialization experiences of Latinx women in graduate school and the nuanced factors that promote and or persistence and completion. Amanda is a transformational leader, higher education professional and nonprofit practitioner with experience working in the US, Latin and Central America. She is focused on making a difference in the world through the practice and advocacy of inclusive excellence. She received her BA in Biological Anthropology at UC San Diego (UCSD). She holds a MA in Nonprofit Leadership with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership from the University of San Diego (USD). Amanda is an active member of MANA de San Diego a 501 C (3) non-profit organization empowering Latinas through education, leadership development, community service and advocacy. Additionally, as an elected member of the University of San Diego (USD) Alumni Board she chairs the inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion taskforce.

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Salma Shaikh

Director of Organizing

OPPORTUNITIES

Salma Shaikh is a first-year Master of Public Policy student specializing in program design and evaluation at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. She is using her background in programming and advocating for underrepresented communities to work towards a career of improving data quality/analysis in decision making, especially when it comes to serving marginalized populations. In her spare time, Salma enjoys frequenting new coffee shops and spending time at the beach.