As the semester comes to a close, the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) has elected a new Executive Council to continue the work that graduate students have made progress on. Meet the 2020-2021 GSS Executive Council, below. We look forward to all of their accomplishments to come in the next academic year.

Avery Rasmussen – President
Avery (she/her/hers pronouns) is a student in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program and works at the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP). As Vice President for 2019-2020, she had the opportunity to support and lead the largest and most representative Senate body in GSS history. One of her goals as Vice President was to prioritize efforts to provide a more equitable graduate student experience. As a first step towards identifying these gaps, she analyzed graduate student responses to the Campus Climate Survey (CCS), presented the results to the Senate, and facilitated the first set of GSS Open Forums to gather additional insights from our grad student community. She looks forward to continued collaboration with UVM Professional Development and Living Well to implement the three-part bias training series in response to the CCS findings (postponed due to the pandemic).

Aayudh Das – Vice President
Aayudh is a fourth-year Plant Biology PhD student working on climate change and its effect on grassland. Besides teaching and research, he enjoys serving for various UVM organizations, including as Treasurer of GSS and Vice-President of the Indian Students Association (ISA). Traveling and driving are activities Aayudh cherishes the most. He loves connecting with nature, so national parks are his ideal destination. Connecting with people and communicating socially is what he loves to do.

Jaspreet Singh Nagi – Treasurer
Jaspreet has represented the Bioengineering Department as a GSS Senator for the last two years. In that time, he has worked on student concerns such as stipends, transparency in student fees, and appropriate GTA training. He has also reviewed GSS mini-grants for three cycles each year. As President of the Indian Students Association (ISA), he has had the opportunity to promote diversity on the UVM campus by hosting a number of events. Jaspreet is hopeful that the new Executive Council will continue to do the same in all future GSS events.

Rosie Chapina – Communications Director
Rosie is a second-year PhD student in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. She works with Dr. Jason Stockwell on evaluating migration patterns in a zooplankton species, Mysis diluviana. She also serves as the graduate student representative on the Rubenstein Board of Advisors. Rosie believes the communication and leadership skills she has acquired will help her strengthen communication between the GSS and graduate students. One of her goals as Communications Director is to organize events that foster a sense of community, specifically for underrepresented students.

Mike Hoaglund – Secretary
Michael is a current Masters student in the Medical Sciences program. He is proud of his time serving as a Senator and is looking forward to stepping up his involvement in GSS. He hopes to improve the dialogue between the graduate student body and UVM administration to better serve the graduate student community.


Jessica Leigh Bocanegra