The GPSS Officers provide a critical link between students, administrators, faculty, the community, and the legislature. In the past, GPSS officers have advocated for improved family housing and better childcare on campus. At the state level, our Officers have fought to defeat tuition increases, increase state funding for childcare and mental health services on campus, reduce textbook costs and provide educational debt forgiveness to public interest lawyers.
GPSS Officers set the organization’s goals and implement Senate directives, communicate goals and actions to the University and students, report on progress toward achieving these directives, and account for 19.5 hours per week.
GPSS Officers select graduate student representatives to serve on over 150 University committees. These committees deal with such diverse issues as the quality of academic programs, sexual harassment, campus recycling and ownership of research, to name a few.
GPSS Officers also oversee the running of the Senate and its budget of over $250,000. They attend orientations for new graduate students, fund speakers and departmental programs, and publish a website to keep graduate and professional students informed of issues and events. Most importantly, they hold regular meetings of the Senate, a forum for graduate and professional students to air their concerns and give direction to the officers.
GPSS encourages all graduate and professional students to run for Officer positions. The job will be challenging and unforgettable, and your efforts will forever affect the future of graduate education at this University.
The 2015-2016 GPSS Officers are:
Alex Bolton, President:
Alex Bolton is a third year law student originally from Spokane. Alex is working to become a triple Dawg having graduated from UW with baccalaureate degrees in Economics and Political Science as well as an MPA from the Evans School. Both as an undergraduate and graduate student, Alex has been extensively involved in student government serving on the ASUW Board of Directors, GPSS Executive Senate Committee, GPSS Senate, ASUW Student Senate, and numerous other committees. In his second year at the Evans School, Alex served as the UW Student Regent. After graduating from the Evans School, Alex worked for former Governor, U.S. Senator, and Evans School namesake Daniel J. Evans, assisting him with his autobiography and other projects. Before starting law school, Alex worked in the UW Faculty Senate office supporting faculty governance and served on the UW Professional Staff Organization Board.
Last year, Alex served as the GPSS Vice President representing UW graduate and professional students in Olympia and advocating in DC. Alex also has governmental experience having interned in the State Legislature twice, the Washington Attorney General’s office, and for King County Metro.
In his limited free time, Alex enjoys traveling around the country and all of Washington. Saturdays in the fall, you can find Alex tailgating on Montlake and attending Husky football games.
Monica Cortés Viharo, Vice President of Internal Affairs:
Monica Cortés Viharo is a 2nd year PhD student in the School of Drama and a GO-MAP/McNair Graduate Fellow. She is a California native who graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in Dramatic Art and Political Science. Monica is also an actor, public speaking consultant, and a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and UAW4121. Her work focuses on the creation and impact of documentary and activist theatre. She is honored to serve as the first GPSS Vice President for Internal Affairs.
Brian Taubeneck, Vice President of External Affairs:
Brian is a 2nd year MPA student at the Evans School. He is pursuing a Nonprofit Management Certificate and hopes to work for an education policy-related nonprofit after he graduates in the Spring. Brian graduated from GWU with a degree in political science and has experience working in DC for Senator Ted Kennedy and for the think tank, the Pew Charitable Trusts. He's also worked as a librarian and substitute teacher. He is excited to have the opportunity to represent graduate students in Olympia and DC. In his spare time he likes to play tennis and soccer, attend live music shows, and lead his Chelsea Blues to victory in FIFA despite their current performance..
Kerstin R. Hudon is a second year MPA student in the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. She is primarily interested in public finance and budgeting. She received her bachelor's degree in 2014 from the University of South Carolina, where she studied Tourism Management. Ms. Hudon is also the Finance and Budget Officer for The Sidekick Collective and a member of the grants writing team for Seattle Inner City Outings. In her free time she enjoys dancing and being outdoors.
Soh Yeun (Elloise) Kim is a Ph. D student in English Department. Her dissertation studies the genealogy of kinship formation in the late 19th c. to contemporary American literature with a focus on orphans and adoptees. She wants to examine how literary representations of a figure of the adoptee/orphan in the pre-1950 years conditioned the ground for the cultural production of post-WW2 transnational and transracial adoptees. The GPSS has been a very important part of her student life since she joined it in 2013. After working as Senator of English Dpt. and Executive Senator, she feels very honored to get a chance to serve as Secretary. Besides what she is required to do, some of her goals for this year include: making the GPSS materials and records more organized, concise, and colorful; improving the GPSS website's functions and design; increasing the attendance rate of Senators; connecting Executive Liaisons to the Senate meetings. What she loves to do outside school work are attending performances and concerts, traveling abroad, and reading books for fun without worrying about how to analyze them as a literary scholar.