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

Dacen Waters

Dacen Waters

President, Physics

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Dacen Waters is a 5th year PhD Candidate in the Physics Department. His research is on two-dimensional materials, using scanning tunneling microscopy to explore novel physical phenomena for potential application in the next generation of electronic devices and quantum computing. Dacen is originally from Arkansas, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and mechanical engineering. He spends his free time either in one of his multiple softball and baseball teams that he plays for, listening to podcasts, or playing his Nintendo Switch.


Kristen Allen

Kristen Allen

VP of Campus Affairs, Engineering and Public Policy

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Kristen is a fourth year PhD student in Engineering and Public Policy.  Her research adapts computational tools to estimate people’s mental health risk from their language use.  She grew up near Baltimore, MD, did her undergraduate degree at Swarthmore College (land of the labeled trees), and worked near DC for a few years before moving to Pittsburgh.  Last year she was a GSA rep for EPP.  In her free time, she enjoys yoga and tabletop gaming.

Divyansh Kaushik

Divyansh Kaushik

VP of External Affairs, Language Technologies Institute

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Divyansh Kaushik is a first year PhD student in the Language Technologies Institute, where he studies ways to develop fair and robust machine learning methods for understanding and reasoning over natural language text. He is a native of Chandigarh, the first planned city of independent India. Divyansh received his Bachelor's from Thapar University based in the royal city of Patiala, following which he completed his Master's in Language Technologies at Carnegie Mellon. He has previously served as Subcommittee Chair for Federal Affairs for GSA in 2018-2019. Divyansh loves a good cold brew, and is an ardent Manchester United supporter who loves Pittsburgh for its sporting culture more than anything.


Michael Sinko

Michael Sinko

VP of Graduate Student Life, Physics

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Michael Sinko is a 6th year Ph.D. candidate in the Physics Department. His research focuses on the properties of atomically thin superconductors and their potential applications in superconducting circuits. He grew up in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh then attended Miami University in Oxford, OH where he earned a BS/MS in Physics before moving back to Pittsburgh to attend CMU. Prior to this position, he was one of the department social chairs for 2 years, then served as a GSA rep from the Physics Department for another two years. In his copious free time, he enjoys reading, gaming, binging the latest shows and getting outside to hike. He is happiest when making s’mores over a campfire he built himself.

Josh Gyory

Josh Gyory

VP of Academic Affairs, Mechanical Engineering

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Josh is a 3rd year Ph.D. Candidate in the Mechanical Engineering Department. His research focuses on human-AI collaboration in engineering design problem solving. He’s originally from eastern Pennsylvania, but has called Pittsburgh home for the past 8 years after completing his bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his Masters degree from Carnegie Mellon prior to starting this Ph.D. In his free time, he enjoys binging TV shows, trying the newest restaurant in town (or just eating in general), and working out.

Santiago Carrasquila

Santiago Carrasquila

VP of Internal Affairs, Biomedical Engineering

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Santiago is a fourth year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering. His exciting research is in the development of transplantable corneal tissue using natural biomaterials to treat corneal blindness. He was born in Colombia, lived in south Florida, and graduated from the University of Florida (Go Gators) prior to starting at CMU. In his little free time Santiago dances and teaches Salsa and Bachata at Tartan Salsa, bikes, and runs. Additionally, Santiago appreciates the use of the Oxford comma.

Aamer Rakla

Aamer Rakla

VP of Finance, Tepper School of Business

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Aamer Rakla is a 1st year MBA Candidate in the Tepper School of Business. Aamer also earned his undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Humanities and Arts in Information Systems and Drama: Production & Stage Management, from the BXA Program at CMU (2012-16). During his time as undergraduate student, Aamer managed the finances for multiple organizations, was heavily involved in Spring Carnival, and was a Resident Assistant (RA). Aamer is originally from Houston, TX and is most recently from Seattle, WA where he worked as a tech consultant before returning for his MBA. When he isn't working on class or student org work, he is discovering the nooks & crannies of CMU, learning about aviation, working on his language skills, catching up on various shows, or playing his PS4.

Sandra Fomete

Sandra Fomete

International Student Co-Advocate, Chemical Engineering

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Sandra is a second year PhD candidate in the Chemical Engineering department. Her research work focuses on developing a better understanding of atmospheric organic nitrogen through novel measurement techniques in an effort to evaluate its role on the global nitrogen cycle. Originally from Cameroon, West Africa, she obtained her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University (Gig'em Aggies!). During her leisure time, she enjoys spending time with family & friends, cooking, traveling, playing tennis, working out, and engaging in thought provoking conversations.


Yue Zhao

Yue Zhao

International Student Co-Advocate, Heinz College

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Yue is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Heinz College. His research focuses on applying machine learning algorithms to solve real-world problems. He is also an encaustic open-source developer who initializes multiple leading Python machine learning libraries, such as PyOD and combo. Prior to joining CMU, Yue finishes a BS in computer engineering from University of Cincinnati and an MS in computer science from University of Toronto. He has an interesting combination of professional experience in software engineering and technology consulting. Writing tech blogs and fiction takes most of his free time. 

Adam Stein

Adam Stein

Partners & Families Advocate, Engineering and Public Policy

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Adam is a second year PhD candidate in the Engineering and Public Policy Department where he studies the future of nuclear power. Originally from the Pittsburgh area, he studied Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh during his undergraduate years. After graduation he worked in the power industry for several years, started his own firm, and earned a Masters Degree in Business. He lives about 25 miles outside of the city with his wife, 1-year-old son, and numerous pets. (Yes, the commute is tough). For the last 11 years he has taught music and performance arts as the Assistant Band Director at a local school district. Coffee is a key component of his work-life-sleep balance.

Sarah Meyers

Sarah Meyers

GSA Program and Events Coordinator

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Sarah is GSA's Program and Events Coordinator. She’s a Pittsburgh native and proud of it. She has degrees in both Anthropology & Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Her interests include crafting, eating nachos, checking out new breweries, and wondering if it’s too early for lunch.