The Graduate Student Assembly Executive Committee is elected by the graduate student body and is comprised of the President and seven Vice Presidents. The Executive Committee is responsible for convening monthly general body meetings, advocating for graduate student issues, and contributing to the creation of a holistic graduate student experience. GSA also has two dedicated staff members, our Program & Events Coordinator and our Financial Assistant, who support the day-to-day operations of GSA.
Vice President, Internal Affairs
Preom Sarkar is a 3rd year PhD student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Preom is a Pennsylvania native, hailing from the suburbs of Philly. Her background is in Bioengineering; she graduated with her undergraduate degree from Lehigh University located in Bethlehem, PA. Preom came to CMU after undergrad to pursue her M.S. from CMU 2018-2019. After her master’s, Preom was in a fellowship with the National Energy Technology Laboratory for 2 years before she decided to return to CMU in 2021 to pursue her PhD. Her PhD project is regarding biological wastewater treatment for contaminant remediation and stabilization, where she utilizes molecular ecology, biogeochemistry, and particle characterization approaches. Her interests lie in utilizing bioengineered or bio-inspired approaches to solve some of the world’s climate issues.
Vice President, Campus Affairs
Anthony Cheng is a 3rd year PhD student in Engineering and Public Policy. After growing up in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, Utah, he graduated from MIT in 2020, where he majored in Materials Science and Engineering with a double minor in Computer Science and Energy Studies. Anthony’s general research interests lie around understanding manufacturing and commercialization of clean technologies needed in the energy transition, with recent research focusing on battery electric vehicle supply chain vulnerabilities. He is very passionate about advocating for improved transportation (especially bike infrastructure), public art, sustainability, and other topics on campus. Outside of his role on GSA Exec, Anthony enjoys going to the gym, visiting museums, and beatboxing with the CMU C Sharp a cappella group.
Vice President, External Affairs
Zia Lyle is a 4th year PhD student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department and Engineering and Public Policy department. She is from Austin, Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Plan II, an interdisciplinary liberal arts honors program. At CMU, Zia’s research currently focuses on helping drinking water utilities prepare for the effects of climate change hazards on utility operations and understand future changes in reliability.
Vice President, Finance
Bruce Li is a 2nd year graduate student in the Masters of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Sciences (METALS) program. He was born and raised in New Jersey through high school. He completed his undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Business Administration with a minor in Design for Learning. He went on to be a Venture for America Fellow in pursuit of a path in entrepreneurship. As a VFA Fellow, he worked as a Business Development Analyst for 1.5 years at Lazurite, a medical device startup in Cleveland. He came back to CMU to pursue his interests in education and technology and hopes to found an edtech startup of his own in the future.
Vice President, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Byron Daniel is a 5th year PhD candidate in the physics department. He is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University in Physics. During his time at Yale, he spent a lot of time either volunteering via community outreach or participating with the Science Technology and Research Scholars (STARS) Program. Currently, his research focuses on nuclear and molecular physics. The goal of the STARS program is to support women, the economically underprivileged and underrepresented minorities in STEM. At Carnegie Mellon University, Byron continues his research from undergrad in nuclear physics with a heavy focus on neutrinos. While researching at CMU, Byron is heavily involved with EDI efforts of the Physics Department and Mellon College of Science. Those EDI efforts include serving as the first ever Diversity and Outreach TA for the Physics Department, speaking on undergraduate and graduate student panels about EDI, helping to create a NSF AI Summer Research Program, and developing a physics outreach program with Pittsburgh Public Schools where CMU physics professors and students travel to these schools and teach their students about physics.
Vice President, Academic Affairs
Hunter Wood is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Chemistry from the San Francisco Bay Area. He stayed in California for undergraduate studies, where he attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and earned a B.Sc. in Chemistry. In the year following, he worked in biotech as a process chemist before deciding to pursue his doctorate. At Carnegie Mellon, his research is focused on a broad range of biomedical applications ranging from drug development to biomaterial synthesis. His recent work involves collaboration with UT Southwestern to develop drug overdose remediation technology and FDA clinical studies with UPMC for a new antibiotic. Outside of the lab, Hunter enjoys staying active through gym or biking and is always looking for new things to do around Pittsburgh.
Program & Events Coordinator
Haley Kenney joined the GSA team in April 2022. In her role, Haley handles much of the administrative needs and event coordination for GSA and serves in an advisor role for the Executive Committee and GSA Reps. Haley received her Bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in 2018 and her Master’s in Higher Education from the University of Pittsburgh in 2020. In her free time, Haley can be found hanging out with her pets (4 of them!), tending to her many houseplants, reading, or exploring the city.