GSA 2019-2020 OFFICERS

Christina Baze, President

Christina Baze (she/her/hers) is a doctoral student in STEM Education (expected graduation: 2022). Christina completed her Bachelor’s of Science Education - Biology (dual major; 2011) and her Master’s of Arts in Science Teaching (2017) at Northern Arizona University in her beautiful hometown of Flagstaff, AZ. She has taught in a variety of both informal and formal educational settings, from elementary to undergraduate students. Currently, Christina works as a GRA on two separate projects: a research project through the STEM Center in the College of Education, ending summer 2019, and evaluation services through the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Christina served as the primary representative from STEM Education for two years and served on the Student Libraries Committee before becoming the GSA President. Outside of academia, Christina lives in Manor, TX, with her husband, two daughters, three horses, numerous chickens, dog, and ball python. She enjoys being with and riding her horses and reading science fiction/fantasy novels on the rare occasions she has the time. Christina serves on the Admissions and Registration Committee, the GSA Admissions Committee, the GSA Agenda Committee, and the President's Student Advisory Council.

Kathleen Holloway, Vice President

Kate Holloway (she/her/hers) is a third-year doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences. Her research interests focus on the influence of racial discrimination on family functioning and separately, the ways White parents talk to their children about race and race relations. Kate received her Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2017 (MIZ...). Prior to her role as Administrative Director, Kate served as the Human Development and Family Sciences representative for one year. In her free time Kate enjoys hiking with her dog Lola, spending time with friends, and working out. Kate is looking forward to working with graduate students to improve assembly meetings and creating an inclusive environment for representatives and guests. Kate serves on the Calendar Committee, the Council for Racial and Ethnic Equity Diversity, the President's Student Advisory Council, and the Vice Provost for Diversity Student Advisory Council.

Administrative Director

Jacqueline (“Jacque”) DeAnda (she/her/hers) is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences. Her broad research interests focus on family structure influences for families’ long-term social and economic outcomes. Jacque received her Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and Human Development from Boston College in 2014 and her Master of Arts in Human Development and Family Sciences from UT in 2017. Prior to her role as Administrative Director, Jacque served as the Human Development and Family Sciences representative for one year. Jacque is looking forward to working with graduate students to improve assembly meetings, as well as creating transparent pathways of communication for GSA members and non-members alike. Jacque serves on the Election Supervisory Board (ESB) Selection Committee, as well as the Orange Santa Steering Committee. In her free time, Jacque enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with friends, and finding new restaurants to try in the Austin area.

Ashley Bennett, Academic Affairs Director

Ashley Bennett (she/her/hers) is a third-year PhD student in Educational Psychology, focusing on human development, culture, and learning sciences. She previously completed her Bachelor's in Psychology (2017) at the University of Kansas. Her research is focused on gender issues in education. After graduation, Ashley plans to complete a post-doc and ultimately become a professor and mentor. This year as Academic Affairs Director, Ashley plans to focus on ensuring access to useful academic resources and support for graduate students. Ashley serves on the Research Policy Committee, the GSA Academic Committee, the Student Library Council, and the University Faculty Gender Equity Council. 

Paige Erin Wheeler, Communications Director

Paige Erin Wheeler (she/her/hers) is a third-year PhD student in the Linguistics department. Her research focuses on language documentation, and she currently studies languages in the Enlhet-Enenlhet language family, which is spoken in western Paraguay. Originally from Indiana, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and linguistics from Grinnell College (Iowa) in 2016. Before coming to graduate school, Paige Erin spent a year working with unaccompanied immigrant children at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle. She served last year as the GSA representative from Linguistics, and she looks forward to facilitating even better communication and engagement between the GSA and the graduate student population next year as Communications Director. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, and spoiling her pet guinea pigs. Paige Erin serves on the Student Library Council and the Responsibilities, Rights, and Welfare of Graduate Student Academic Employees Committee.

Sebastian Prez, Finance Director

Sebastian Prez (he/him/his) is a first-year master’s student of the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. Originally from Colombia, Sebastian received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Florida. He also serves as the Graduate Student Representative in the Society of Petroleum Engineers. As the GSA Financial Director, Sebastian works to benefit as many members of the graduate community as possible.

Monica Mohseni, Membership Director

Monica Mohseni (she/her/hers) is a doctoral student in the program of Comparative Literature. Her research focuses on issues of identity, cultural expediency, and mechanisms of corporate neo-colonialism. Monica served as the Comparative Literature representative at the assembly for two years before joining the executive board in 2017 as Membership and Outreach Director. In the spring of 2018, she also served as interim Vice-President before assuming the role of Programs Director for the 2018-2019 term. This coming academic year as Membership Director she looks forward to helping the GSA encourage community building, inter-departmental friendships, as well as establish a stronger support system for graduate students across campus.

Kathryn Abercrombie, Legislative Affairs Director

Kathryn Abercrombie (she/her/hers) is a second year master’s student studying public affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan where she studied political science and social work. Originally from Chicago, Kathryn moved to Dallas in 2015 to serve as an AmeriCorps volunteer with City Year Dallas and has lived in Texas since. During the 2018-19 academic year, Kathryn was appointed as the GSA Legislative Affairs Director, represented UT while working with the Student Advocates for Graduate Education coalition (SAGE), and served as the GSA Student Representative for the LBJ School. She looks forward to continuing to facilitate positive change for the UT graduate student community through the 2019-2020 academic year at federal, state, and local government levels. Kathryn serves on the President’s Student Advisory Council, the Joint Resolution Committee, and the Vice President for Student Affairs Student Advisory Council.

Michelle Daniel, Programs and Events Director

A graduate of the Butler School of Music, Michelle Daniel (she/her/hers) has enjoyed a productive career as a performing artist, screenwriter, novelist, script doctor, essay coach, and development executive with an L.A. film production company. Her strong interest in Russia and the surrounding region has led to her present pursuit of an MA in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on radio broadcasting to and within the Soviet Union, highlighting in particular the work and methods of the BBC World Service developed during periods of crises in the twentieth century. She is working on three books on the subject: the first covers radio diplomacy during World War II, the second examines the capacity for radio messaging to incite cultural revolution during the Cold War, and the third analyzes present media and media technology usage in terms of what is and isn't working for the U.S. today. In conjunction with her research and to "practice" what she "preaches", she has started an international chat show for the CREEES department which is both a podcast and YouTube channel aimed at public diplomacy (visit for more information). The podcast is a prototype for what she envisions as a larger reorientation of higher education to be more diplomatic, connected to general audiences, and therefore interactive with populations domestically and abroad.campus. Michelle serves on the Recruitment and Retention Committee, the GSA Administrative Committee, and the President's Student Advisory Council. 

Maya Fehler Student Affairs Director

Maya Fehler is a second year student getting her MSSW at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She is from Los Angeles and received her B.A. in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduation, Maya plans to complete her clinical hours in order to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. This year, as Student Affairs Director, Maya plans to focus on the mental health and well-being of graduate students, particularly first year students. She looks forward to connecting with graduate students of all disciplines and helping implement positive change on campus. Maya serves on the Student Life Committee.

Mikael Rubin, Graduate Student Health Agency Director

Mikael Rubin (he/him/his) is a fifth year doctoral student in clinical psychology. Mikael received his B.A. in Art History from McGill University in 2010 and an MA in Psychology from The City College of New York in 2015. His research focuses on attention and psychopathology. He is currently examining virtual reality and eye movements in the context of assessment and treatment for social anxiety disorder. He looks forward to enhancing awareness of and resources for graduate student wellness. In his free time, he enjoys making pottery, cooking, and reading. Mikael serves on the Counseling and Mental Health Center Student Advisory Committee.

Noah Minor, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Agency Director

Noah Austin Minor (he/him/his) is a member of Dell Medical School's inaugural class and pursuing a dual MBA at the McCombs School of Business. Prior to medical school, Noah learned to love the challenges of entrepreneurship: product-managing a mobile app for a venture capital firm, consulting for both private practice and non-profit health groups, and testing the market viability of numerous minimum viable products. As an undergraduate at McCombs, he was awarded the Texas BBA Student Leadership Award, featured in McCombs Magazine as a future healthcare leader, and showcased a community health prototype at the Wellness Network All-Member Conference. 


As a medical student, Noah represented Dell Medical School at the Graduate Student Assembly for two years, launched and leads the Student Innovation Fund (a component of the Texas Health CoLab), and serves as the director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Agency. He looks forward to enhancing and promoting entrepreneurialism among graduate students. 

Miti Shah, International Student Agency Director

Miti Shah is a third-year PhD student in Social Psychology, focusing on understanding prosocial behavior and motivations for collective action. She previously completed her Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (2017) at Christ University, India. She has been involved in multiple social engagement projects since her undergraduate career, such as collaborating with Teach for India to provide holistic education to children from low-income schools and starting a self-help group called "Distinctly Alike" for migrant students at her college. Using her experiences as an international student, Miti wants to provide the international student community assistance and support in adjusting to different academic and cultural environments. Through a mentor system and resource assistance program, Miti wants to help ease international students' transition from their respective backgrounds to UT.

Lesley Willard, QGSA

Lesley Willard (she/her/hers) is a doctoral candidate researching the professionalization of fans within the U.S. media industries with emphases on promotional strategies, affective labor, and social media platforms like Tumblr and Twitter. She is currently a founder and organizer of the Fan Studies Network (North America), the Shepherd Editor for The Velvet Light Trap, and a research fellow under the Media & Entertainment Industries Program. She has previously served as a research fellow in UT's Computational Media Lab, an assistant editor for Big Data & Society, a co-managing editor for Flow: A Critical Forum on Media Culture, a Graduate Student Representative of the Fan and Audience Studies (FaAS) SIG at SCMS, and a coordinating committee member for the Flow Conference ('16 and '18). She served as the RTF graduate representative for the GSA in 2018-2019 and will continue on as the director of UT's Queer Graduate Student Agency in 2019-20. Lesley serves on the Technology Enhanced Education Oversight Committee, the Vice Provost for Diversity Student Advisory Council, and the Council for LGBTQ+ Access, Equity, and Inclusion. 

Sarah Heise, Voting Graduate Student Agency Director

Sarah (she/her/hers) is a graduate student in the Department of Government. Her research is on American voting behavior and public opinion broadly, and cross-pressured voters and partisan defection specifically. Sarah received her Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University in 2018. She is also a data analyst for the Texas Politics Project, which fields multiple statewide public opinion polls each year. She is also a co-organizer of Women in Political Science, which works to address the problems that women face in political science and academia more broadly. She looks forward to increasing registration and turnout among graduate students.

Natalie Cha, Undergraduate Mentorship Agency Co-Director

Natalie Cha (she/her/hers) is a second year Public Health undergraduate student in the College of Natural Science. She, along with Rachel Wong, serves at the co-director of the Undergraduate Mentorship Program, a program that strives to connect incoming UT students (freshmen and transfers) with graduate students to help them find their passion and niche at UT. She is also the 2019-2020 UT Student Government Deputy of Membership, helping to recruit students for Student Government in the new school year. Additionally, she is the VP of Prayer for International Justice Mission UT chapter, an organization that fights and advocates for the eradication of human trafficking around the world. She previously was an undergraduate researcher in the FRI (Freshmen Research Initiative) in the nanochemistry stream.  She hopes to help many students find their potential through her various roles. In her free time, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and reading. 

Rachel Wong, Undergraduate Mentorship Agency Co-Director

Rachel Wong (she/her/hers) is a second year undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. She was a member of the Undergraduate Mentorship Agency her freshman year and had the pleasure of serving the community, bonding with twenty other first-years, and finding her passion within GSA. Along with being Co-Director of the Undergraduate Mentorship Agency this year, Rachel is also the Public Relations Director for the Chinese Student Association and the Secretary for Emancipet on Campus. With Natalie Cha, she looks forward to helping first-year undergraduates find their home on campus while facilitating relationships with graduate students to foster a positive experience for all students on campus. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and learning new languages.

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