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Graduate Summit

Saturday November 6, 2021     |    Virtual on Zoom 9:30AM-3:00PM


November 6, 2021 (Virtual!)
**Rescheduled from October 16**

At the UCGPC Graduate Summit, the Council will 

determine their advocacy agenda for the upcoming 

academic year. We encourage stakeholders to attend

and provide input on our priorities.


Advocacy topics include climate change, student housing affordability, increasing public transit, food security, and graduate labor issues. 


Contact your campus External Vice-President or the UCGPC Council Chair for more information. Contact information is listed on our Council Members page.

To get the most recent details, subscribe to our newsletter on the Home Page.

Update (Oct 15, 2021): Click here for the Attendee Packet.

Topic Presenters

 The Collective Action 

Student Labor:
Gwen Chodur,
UCGPC President

Climate Change:
Monica Nelson
Grace Sandel,
UC Green New Deal Coalition

Double the Pell:
Bailey Henderson,
UC Student Association

 Students Gotta Live 

Undocumented Students and Free Speech:
Ernesto Arciniega,
UCGPC Vice Chair

Heather Prentice-Walz,
UCSB GSA External VP

Student Basic Needs:
Cong Dinh,
UCSD MD/PhD Student

Public Transit Partnerships:
Jeff Flynn,
ASUCD Unitrans General Manger

Scroll down for Speaker Bios!

Summit Schedule*

09:30am            Welcome!

Introductions and UCGPC


Group A Presentations
The Collective Action




Group B Presentations
Students Gotta Live


Break for Lunch


Breakout Discussions


Regroup and Debate


Board Advocacy Agenda Vote


Closing Remarks

By UCGPC President Gwen Chodur.

Introducing attendees and explaining UCGPC as an organization.

Topics in this group are united by the theme The Collective Action; topics in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Topics in this group are united by the theme Students Gotta Live; topics dealing directly with student's well-being.

Freeform in depth, small group discussions to develop and finesse action items within each topic.

Discussion as a whole to consider the merits and achievables of each topic.

The Board votes on what to accept as part of the UCGPC Advocacy Agenda.

By UCGPC President Gwen Chodur.

*Schedule may be subject to change.

Speaker Bios

Monica Nelson

Affiliation: UCSD PhD Student

Monica is a third year PhD student studying physical oceanography with a focus on heat storage and transport in the ocean. Monica has been active in climate justice efforst on her campus, as a steering committee member of the Green New Deal at UCSD and is a member of the UC Green New Deal Coalition.

Over the course of her schooling, Monica has realized how much climate change puts people's safety and well-being in jeopardy. As a result, she has become very active in pushing for a rapid and just transition to a low carbon society.

Grace Sandel

Affiliation: UC Berkeley Undergraduate Student

Grace is a third year undergraduate student studying Society & Environment with a specific focus on U.S. environmental policy and management.

I am passionate about the UC Green New Deal because the UC System needs policy action that will catalyze a rapid and equitable shift to a carbon-free and sustainable future.

Gwen Chodur

Affiliation: UC Davis PhD Candidate


Gwen is a sixth year PhD candidate at UC Davis. She is the current UC Davis GSA EVP and has been the UCGPC President since 2020.


Gwen cares deeply about student labor because she believes that graduate students deserve the protection of a contract. 

Seat on public transportation
Heather Prentice-Walz

Affiliation: UCSB PhD Candidate

Heather (she/her/hers) is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at UCSB and is currently serving as the Vice President of External Affairs for the UCSB Graduate Student Association.


Heather is looking forward to collaborating with fellow graduate students across the UC community to engage with issues associatied with the ongoing housing crisis. This includes sharing information from each campus regarding housing policies, discussing lived experiences with housing insecurity and rent burdens, and putting our heads together to strategize how we can advocate for safe and affordable housing.

Bailey Henderson

Affiliation: UC Berkeley Undergraduate Student

Bailey is a third-year Political Science undergraduate student at UC Berkeley. He is also the Fund the UC Campaign Chair for UC Student Association (UCSA) where the current campaign goal is #DoubleThePell.

Bailey, having taken out large loans to finance his education, understands the stress and financial ambiguity of choosing the enter the UC system. He fights for access and affordability because higher education is one of the most important routes for social mobility and has substantial effects on the opportunities fo rlow-income, POC, and underrepresented students.

Cong Dinh

Affiliation: UCSD MD/PhD Student

Cong is a seventh year MD/PhD candidate, currently studying horizontal gene transfer within model microbiomes of cheese rinds. He enjoys spending his extra time cuddling with his cat, inverting on aerial silks and hoops, and sailing in Mission Bay.

His family relied on public programs as his parents went through academic, and he's been working in food security since the mid-2000's. He has been working with the UCSD Basic Needs Committee since he started his PhD program too many years ago and is currently co-chair of the UCSD Basic Needs Committe.

Ernesto Arciniega

Affiliation: UCLA PhD Candidate

Ernesto is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Literatures at UCLA and the Vice Chair of the UC Graduate and Professional Council. Ernesto is an advocate for student Basic Needs, undocumented students, and immigrant rights.

Ernesto is passionate about advocating for undocumented students within the UC and nationwide. His most recent project and advocacy efforts linked undocumented students at the UC, free speech, and civic and political engagement. The research project resulted in recommendations for the UC administration to better serve and protect undocumented students systemwide.

Jeff Flynn

Affiliation: UC Davis Unitrans

Jeff serves as the General Manager for Unitrans, the UC Davis and City of Davis public transit service. A graduate of UC Davis, Jeff fell in love with transit while working as a student driver at Unitrans and chose public transportation as his career path as a result. Before returning to UC Davis in 2017, Jeff served in transit planning and operation roles in private consulting, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority, and the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency.

Jeff believes in the mission of prublic transportation and multi-modalism to help create vibrant, sustainable communities.

Graduate Summit

Saturday November 6, 2021     |    Virtual on Zoom

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