Carnegie Mellon University
The GSA Executive Board is comprised of the President and six Vice Presidents that specialize in a particular area. We also have a full time Administrative Coordinator. We recently added on Advocate positions to address particular topics of the graduate student community.

Travis Carless

Travis Carless

President, Engineering and Public Policy

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Travis is a PhD student in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP), where he is studying the competitiveness of legacy and next generation nuclear power plants. He received his B.S. in Computer and Systems engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a M.S. in Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He previously served as the President of the Black Graduate Student Organization  and GSA Representative for EPP. In his free time Travis  enjoys playing basketball, throwing day parties, and maintaining and expanding his collection of over 30 mint condition and new Jordans ( 50 sneakers total). *Fun fact Travis is GSA's first Black president. He took inspiration from Barry O.

Brad Sommer

Brad Sommer

VP of Campus Affairs, History

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Brad Sommer is a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of History, where he studies African American, urban, and working-class history. From a Bruce Springsteen-esque town in Ohio, he received his BA from the University of Toledo and his MA from the University of Cincinnati.  When not adding books to his library of over 1,000 volumes, he can be found doing crossword puzzles in ink, collecting vinyl records, texting in complete sentences, and consuming large quantities of breakfast foods.  He also played football and used to do a lot of musical theatre.

Surya Aggarwal

Surya Aggarwal

VP of External Affairs, Biological Sciences

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Surya D. Aggarwal is a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences, where he studies the molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and pathogenesis of the bacterium, Streptococcus pneumoniae. He originally hails from Punjab, a state in north India. After receiving his Bachelors from Amity University in India, Surya has been globetrotting to pursue his passions and further his education. He completed his Masters in Biotechnology from the University of Edinburgh in UK before starting his PhD in the US. Surya is a theatre enthusiast, and misses his days directing and acting in dramatic productions during his undergraduate years.

Tobi  Adekayne

Tobi Adekayne

VP of Graduate Student Life, Engineering and Public Policy

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Tobi is a PhD student in the Engineering and Public Policy Program (EPP) at CMU, where she is looking into energy efficiency programs and policies in buildings around the U.S. Prior to joining CMU, she completed her Bachelors program in the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She then joined the Energy Science, Technology and Policy program (ESTP) in CMU for her Masters degree. In her free time, she enjoys looking for new brunch spots around Pittsburgh, making crafts (even though she can’t draw a straight line to save her life), and traveling!

Dacen Waters

Dacen Waters

VP of Communications, Physics

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Dacen is a fourth year Physics PhD Candidate. His research interests consists of surface and interlayer properties of two dimensional semiconductor materials and their potential application for electronic devices.  From a not very-Bruce Springsteen-esque town in Arkansas, he received degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Physics. Dacen is not really a theatre enthusiast, and did not direct and act in dramatic productions during his undergraduate years. *Fun fact Dacen is not GSA's first Black president.

Cole Gleason

Cole Gleason

VP of Internal Affairs, Human Computer Interaction

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Cole is a Ph.D. student in the Human Computer Interaction Institute, and his research focuses on creating new assistive technology for people with vision impairments. He grew up in Illinois, a great place despite all of the corn, where he received a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois. In his free time, Cole roasts coffee and smokes BBQ ribs.

Antoine Remond-Tiedrez

Antoine Remond-Tiedrez

VP of Finance, Mathematical Sciences

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Antoine is a fourth-year PhD student in the mathematics department, where he studies some of the many fun equations underpinning fluid dynamics. Hailing originally from the suburbs of Paris, Antoine grew up mostly in Luxembourg, before spending is undergraduate days at the University of Warwick. Recently, he’s found that a good way to spend his time when he’s not doing math is to go climbing – someone told him it was a good way to stay balanced.

Rahul Ladhania

Rahul Ladhania

International Student Co-Advocate, Heinz College

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Rahul is a fourth year PhD student in the School of Public Policy at Heinz College, and his research attempts to answer questions in the healthcare policy space using a mix of statistical and machine learning methods. He grew up in Calcutta (India), and received his B.Tech in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at IIT Madras (Chennai). When not scrambling to meet deadlines, he can be found obsessing over adjectives, indulging in animated discussions over the importance of centrism, or attempting pseudo-yoga poses in public places.

Steven Rich

Steven Rich

International Student Co-Advocate, Mechanical Engineering

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Steven Rich is a fourth year PhD student in mechanical engineering, where he studies soft robotics and wearable technologies. Originally from Florida, he spent his undergraduate studies at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He continues to be surprised at the yearly snowfall and lack of hurricanes.

Deepa Butoliya

Deepa Butoliya

Partners & Families Advocate, Design

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Deepa is a PhD. Candidate and Instructor in School of Design. Deepa's research focuses on designing and speculating futures in the framework of critical making practices of the Global South. Deepa is from India and has received her masters from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Industrial Design. Deepa is raising her 5yr old son and enjoys spending time with friends and family. 

Brittani McKenna

Brittani McKenna

GSA Administrative Coordinator

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Brittani is GSA's Administrative Coordinator. She originally hails from the tiny state of Delaware. She has a degree in Business Marketing from Eastern University and a Graphic Design degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In her free time, she enjoys being outside in any capacity, eating tacos and exploring Pittsburgh.