Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is dedicated to the advancement and development of Graduate and Professional Students at USC. It serves to advocate on behalf of the interests of nearly 7000 graduate and professional students at the University of South Carolina. The GSA works closely with administrators, faculty and staff to achieve its goals.

The GSA’s executive officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Graduate Council Representative) are elected by the USC Graduate Student Body and serve a one-year term beginning on May 1st of each year.

The GSA President recruits and appoints a Cabinet of graduate students that represent various interests and special populations. Together, the Executive Officers and Cabinet form a graduate student leadership team known as the GSA Executive Committee. The GSA Executive Committee holds biweekly formal meetings which are open to all graduate students who wish to attend.

If you have any concerns that the GSA can help address, please feel free to contact any of the executive officers directly, via our email at, by phone at 803-777-2631 or stop by the GSA Office in Byrnes Building 304.

GSA Social Media

GSA in the news

USC Times profile of Former GSA President Danielle Schoffman (2013-2014) | Full Issue
Graduate Student Association on a mission: To make life better for grad students


Brittany S. Walter, President |
Brittany Walter is the President of the Graduate Student Association and a third year doctoral student studying biological anthropology in the Department of Anthropology. Her research involves investigating the effects of urbanization on past populations of medieval London using skeletal remains. Before coming to USC as a Presidential Fellow in 2012, Brittany received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida as a Florida Opportunity Scholar and her Master of Arts degree as a Dean’s Fellow from the University of Central Florida. She was also chosen as a student spotlight for the USC No Limits campaign.

Brittany has served as the Graduate Council Representative, Programming Liaison, and also as member of the Graduate Finance Committee. She is a member of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues, Graduate Women’s Committee, and has assisted with several events and policies for graduate students at USC through the GSA since her entrance to USC. Upon her election as President, Brittany has pledged to represent and work on behalf of the diverse and unique nature of graduate student interests, and to build on the legacy GSA has recreated thus far. She looks forward to ensuring that current, effective policies are maintained and that new, exciting ideas are successfully implemented in the coming year.

Meagan Conway, Vice President |
Meagan Conway is a third year doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology. Her current research interests include colonialism and cultural change, materialization of identity, and household dynamics in frontier spaces. She is originally from Newport News, VA, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and English from the University of Notre Dame. She received a Master of Arts degree in Historical Archaeology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Meagan has served as GSA Treasurer, and also on the Finance Committee. Through this role, she has worked on many different events and programs. She also serves as supervisory staff on the Cultural Landscapes of the Irish Coast Archaeology Project, which explores thousands of years of island heritage through archaeological excavations, archival work, and oral histories.

Brianna E. Hughes, Treasurer |
Brianna Hughes currently serves as the Treasurer for the University of South Carolina Graduate Student Association. She is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and History from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, in Southern Maryland. Brianna is in the Library and Information Science program at USC and is pursuing her MLIS degree with a concentration in archives and digital collections. Additionally, she is working towards completion of the Museum Management Certificate. Brianna is the recipient of the Martha Jane Zachert Scholarship and also serves as the graduate student representative to the South Carolina Archival Association and the Thomas Cooper Society. Brianna currently is serving as the Graduate Assistant in the Folklife Resource Center at McKissick Museum. In that role, she is working on the digitization of the Center’s vast oral history collection. She is also a Special Projects Assistant in the Digital Collections Department and the Irvin Department of Special Collections and Rare Books at USC. Prior to her election as treasurer, Brianna served as the Student Health Insurance Liaison.

Danielle E. Schoffman, Graduate Council Representative |

Danielle E. Schoffman currently serves as the Graduate Council Representative of the USC GSA. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Danielle received a dual Bachelor of Arts Degree from Stanford University majoring in Human Biology and Anthropological Sciences. After graduation, Danielle worked as a project coordinator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, managing clinical trials for behavioral weight management. In the fall of 2011, she entered the Arnold School of Public Health’s Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior PhD program, and was awarded a Presidential Doctoral Fellowship. Danielle’s research interests include family interventions for obesity prevention and the use of mobile technologies in health behavior research. She is a Graduate Research Assistant for the USC Prevention Research Center, where she works on research projects related to community-engaged physical activity interventions. Danielle has been involved in GSA leadership for the past 3 years; prior to serving as the Graduate Council Representative, Danielle held the positions of President (1.5 years), Graduate Assistant Liaison (1 year), Programming Liaison (5 months), and Vice President (1 month).

The Cabinet

There are several vacant cabinet positions open for the 2014-15 school year. Brief descriptions for available positions can be found below.

If you are interested in a vacant Cabinet position, please submit a completed application.

Interviews for Cabinet positions will take place in early September and decisions for appointment by the President will be made shortly after. We welcome incoming students to apply for Cabinet positions as well. Please direct any questions to Meagan Conway at

Michaela Schenkelberg
Michaela Schenkelberg serves as Secretary for the Graduate Student Association (GSA) as well as the GSA Liaison for the Arnold School of Public Health’s Dean’s Student Advisory Council. Prior to these roles, she served as the Events and Community Service Liaison. A Nebraska native, Michaela graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis on Exercise Science and a minor in Spanish. She earned her Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis on physical activity from Kansas State University and is currently a second year doctoral student in Exercise Science – Health Aspects of Physical Activity. In the summer of 2014 she served as the Physical Activity Director for Camp P.A.L.S., a camp for individuals with social skills deficits, which she helped develop with a post-doctoral fellow in Psychology. Michaela is also a volunteer with the Columbia Council for Internationals, a non-profit organization, which offers assistance to international students in Columbia and surrounding areas.

Financial Committee Chair
The Finance Committee Chair serves as the leader of the Finance Committee of the GSA, advising committee members and enforcing on allocation regulations. The Finance Committee makes decisions on budget requests submitted from all graduate student organizations and clubs for GSA funding of their events and activities. This position will oversee allocation responsibilities of the Committee and will work closely with the Treasurer in ensuring that graduate organizations are aware of how to request and be reimbursed for events through the GSA.

Communications Coordinator
Emily Garnett
Emily Garnett is a fourth year PhD student in the Neurolinguistics Lab in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She received a B.S. in Psychology in 2005 and a M.S. in Speech Pathology in 2009, both from West Virginia University. She is an ASHA-certified Speech-Language Pathologist who uses behavioral and neurophysiological methods (e.g., fMRI and HD-tDCS) to investigate speech production, specifically in disorders such as cluttering, stuttering, aphasia, and apraxia of speech. Emily is a 2012 recipient of the New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship from the America Speech Language Hearing Foundation. She also received a SPARC Graduate Fellowship from USC and a grant from the National Stuttering Association for her work involving cortical stimulation in people who stutter. Emily received an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award from The Graduate School in 2014. She teaches undergraduate and master’s courses at USC, and will be an Adjunct Instructor at Winthrop University in the Fall. In her free time she plays French horn in the Columbia Community Concert Band.

Diversity Affairs Liaison
The Diversity Affairs Liaison creates and maintains meaningful connections with organizations and populations around the University that promote a diverse campus (e.g. The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, LGBT Programs, and the Black Graduate Student Association). This liaison strives to maintain an environment at USC that promotes inclusion and appreciation for differences, multiple points of views, and opinions. The Diversity Affairs Liaison should be dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment within the USC community by educating about diversity in its complexities and exposing students to new experiences. This liaison should strive to be responsive to the need of civility and cultural awareness on campus by hosting various programs that embrace differences, celebrate unity, and commit to social justice.

Health Liaison
The Health Liaison helps to ensure that graduate students have access to support for healthy lifestyles. A major part of this position will be working with the staff of Healthy Carolina to represent the graduate student population on a number of university committees. Other projects will flexible and can be defined by the liaison as need and interest arise. This liaison maintains a relationship with the Student Health Center to communicate concerns held by graduate students about their health. This liaison will also help to make graduate students aware of resources (e.g. stress workshops, nutritional counseling), and host events that promote a healthy lifestyle. This liaison will also work with the Executive Council on a health literacy initiative this year.

Graduate Assistant Liaison
The Graduate Assistant Liaison strives to help students locate resources for potential GA positions and aid current or potential GA’s in resolving any issues that may arise within their assistantships. The Graduate and Assistant Liaison also serves as an advocate for GA’s whenever necessary and seeks to promote a sense of community and support amongst GA’s across the University. Time will be dedicated to planning workshops and forums based on topics that graduate assistants have expressed interest in learning more about, as well as including tips for potential and current GA’s in the GSA newsletter.

Teaching Assistant Liaison
The role of the Teaching Assistant Liaison is to represent the concerns and needs of TA’s across the university. As specific issues arise, the teaching assistant liaison is responsible for researching and presenting any student concerns to the GSA President and Graduate Council Representative, as well as assisting in the preparation of white papers to voice GSA positions on these issues. This position will work with the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Career Center to hold workshops and other events aimed at the needs of TA’s on campus, including attending TA orientations. The liaison will also work with TA’s on dealing with issues such as classroom management, ethics, and looking for other available teaching positions throughout the summer and rest of the school year.

Event Coordinator
Dominic Casali
Dominic Casali serves as the Event Coordinator for the GSA. Dom is from Melbourne, Florida and received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is a Presidential Fellow at the University of South Carolina and is in his fourth year in the chemical engineering Ph.D. program, researching biomedical applications for supercritical fluids. Previously, Dom has served for a year and a half as the GSA’s Graduate Student Life Liaison. Now, as Event Coordinator, Dom helps to organize the GSA’s various recreational and professional events and intramural sports teams.

Military Affairs Liaison
Aubrey L. Sejuit
Aubrey L. Sejuit is a doctoral candidate in the Counselor Education and Supervision Ph.D. program and serves as the Military Affairs Liaison for the GSA. Aubrey earned her A.A. in Letters, Arts, and Sciences in 2004, a B.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in History in 2007, and an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum in 2009—all from Penn State. She earned her M.S.W. in Social Work in 2012 from Syracuse University. She deployed to Baghdad, Iraq with the 203D MI BN as an Intelligence Analyst during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Aubrey is a licensed master social worker (LMSW) and a credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counselor (CASAC) in New York. She is the Ritual Advisor for the Lambda Theta Chapter of Phi Mu and the Doctoral Student at-Large of Chi Sigma Iota, the counseling honor society. Aubrey’s research interests include addictions, military affairs, at-risk youth, educational attainment, and LGBTQI populations.

International Affairs Liason
Md Hassan Zamir
Md Hassan Zamir serves as the International Affairs Liaison of University of South Carolina Graduate Student Association. He is originally from Bangladesh. He is currently pursuing his PhD in the School of Library and Information Science as a “Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellow” awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). His research areas revolve around information retrieval, social informatics and data mining. He has earned his Undergraduate and Master degree in the Library and Information Science from Bangladesh. Prior to joining the PhD program, he worked in the digital libraries and information technology departments in various reputed multinational organizations. Currently he is involved with the analyses of tweets with a focus to find more convenient ways of organization, classification and user-need based retrievals of these social media data. Previously Zamir was the GSA Secretary was primarily responsible for composing the meeting agendas, recording minutes and updating the GSA website and social media accordingly. With his new position he is involved with bridging connections between the USC international students and the Graduate School.

Social Media Coordinator
Anais Parada
Anais Parada serves as the Social Media Liaison for the University of South Carolina Graduate Student Association. She is a first year doctoral student in cultural anthropology in the Department of Anthropology, and working toward completion of her master’s thesis. Her research interests include the anthropology of fashion and dress, cultural property and indigenous identity, appropriation and authenticity, social media, transnational movement and memory. Her previous fieldwork was conducted in Quito, Ecuador. Before coming to USC as a master’s candidate she received her BA in Anthropology at the University of Illinois. Anais has also served as the co-president of the Anthropology Graduate Organization for Research, Action and Ethics. In this role she organized off campus conferences, facilitated a strong relationship with the undergraduate association and the community, and initiated a new lecture series. She is looking forward to working with GSA and expanding their social media reach.

Spouse and Family Liaison
The Spouse and Family Liaison advocates for the many graduate students who are also spouses and/or parents. Spouses and children of graduate students often experience many of the pressures that graduate students also face. This liaison supports graduate students and their families while they make the transition to USC, and works to increase social and professional development events on campus that recognize this multi-faceted nature of graduate students and their families. This position provides opportunities for graduate students and their families to participate together in activities on campus to better include the families of graduate students in the USC campus community.

University Affairs Liaison
The University Affairs Liaison acts to coordinate between the Graduate Student Association, the Undergraduate Student Government, and Student Life, assisting with collaborative initiatives and fostering communication between the organizations. This liaison will work closely with the President and Executive Committee to ensure that GSA goals and events are effectively shared with the Student Government, and likewise that GSA is aware of general university events and opportunities. Additionally, the liaison will assist with two new initiatives to increase student collaboration across the state of South Carolina and across the SEC. The responsibilities of this position include attending SGA meetings as necessary to further the needs and goals of graduate students and to share undergraduate goals with the GSA. This liaison is a valuable asset for increased communication between the undergraduate and graduate communities.

Graduate Organization Liaison
The Graduate Organization Liaison advocates for the registered graduate student organizations. This role is responsible for informing student organizations about the support they have through the GSA as well as the resources offered through Student Organizations. This position also reaches out to organizations to elicit feedback on the GSA in order to better understand how to improve communication and how to facilitate resources to organizations to assist them in functioning efficiently. This liaison will work closely with the Diversity Affairs Liaison to reach out to various campus organizations and create programming to best support the graduate student community. Additionally, this liaison assists in networking organizations with similar interests and goals to further the goals, which is communicated to GSA, USC Student Organizations and the Graduate School.

Community Service Officer
The Community Service Officer coordinates and creates community services opportunities for and by graduate students. This officer keep the graduate student community informed of these opportunities and keeps graduate students engaged with the needs of the larger campus and Columbia community. This officer also serves as a liaison between the Director for Community Service Programs in the Student Organizations office and the graduate student body. This officer seeks to bring people together to increase open communication and foster effective interactions among community members.

GSA Elections Information: