Incoming Executive Board 2022-2023

Thank you to all who participated in our GSA 2022-23 Executive Board Election! It is our pleasure to introduce your new graduate student leadership for the 2022-2023 academic year:

  • President: Alexander Grindstaff
  • Vice President: Amanda Weller
  • Treasurer: Krista Meder
  • Student Relations: Ashley Loper-Nowak

The current and new E-boards will be transitioning over the month of April; We hope to see you at our April 7th Assembly Meeting where the current E-board will be saying goodbye and welcoming the new officers! You can read the bios and purpose statements of the new leadership below:

Executive Board Bios and Purpose Statements


Alexander Grindstaff



My name is Alexander Grindstaff and I’m a third year PhD student in Nanoscience, currently serving as the GSA Student Relations Chair. I grew up in western North Carolina and became the first person in my family to pursue higher education. I love languages and grew up hearing Cherokee as a child and studied Arabic and French during my undergrad; currently working on ASL and Spanish. My research interests center around how pathogens (viruses and fungi) survive outside hosts and what genetic pathways are activated. Outside of the lab I enjoy traveling, going to the Farmers’ Market and cooking with friends. I love being outdoors and one of my goals while at UNCG is to visit all 41 of NC’s State Parks (Currently 18).

Purpose Statement

Experience: I started coming to GSA meetings three years ago and during my second year I volunteered to be a senator for my department to serve on the Programming Committee and the Faculty Senate as a graduate representative. In that time I learned the value of having graduate students speak up and work with administrators as well as the effort it takes to keep GSA running. After my term ended, I was elected to the Executive Board as the Student Relations Chair and have spent the past year with the Board to make sure graduate students are represented across campus. I chaired the Student Engagement Committee and we are working on a document to outline where GSA can support graduate students next year.
Why I’m Running: I have three years of experience with GSA as a student, a Senator, and an Executive Board Member; and now I want to take those lessons and lead GSA with your help. These past few years have taught me the importance of institutional memory and how effective we can be when students and student leaders work together. This organization has a wealth of opportunities for advocacy and I see so much potential in what we can do together. I’ve enjoyed working on the Executive Board this year and I want to continue that service to build a supportive community for graduate students as your president.
Goals for GSA 2022-2023: Advocacy, Funding, & Support

  • I have spent two years with the Faculty Senate and want to maintain that bond with them so that graduate students have a voice among the faculty.
  • Coordinate with university departments and community partners to provide graduate students with the resources they need.
  • GSA bylaws say that we must spend 75% of our budget on students and I want to work with senators to see if we can maximize our direct support of graduate students.
  • Create a committee for university-wide delegates and online/international students.
  • Continue to showcase the strengths and diversity of our graduate students.

Long-term: GSA is one of the few organizations on campus where graduate students of all departments can come together with one voice. Our current and past Executive Boards have done a lot of work to keep in touch with students during a pandemic and make sure that their concerns are heard. I want to build on that successful outreach to create an atmosphere of advocacy among senators so that we can be more effective in representing graduate students.


Amanda Weller



My name is Amanda Weller, and I am a second year PhD Environmental Health Sciences student in the Biology department. My research focuses on subterranean small mammal evolution, and I use genetic/genomic data to look for signatures of subterranean life. I also use functional morphology (i.e., shape of limb bones) comparisons to look across all subterranean rodent diversity. I moved to Greensboro from Ohio during the summer of 2020, right in the middle of peak restrictions from the pandemic. While it was difficult to feel incorporated into a new city when I couldn’t do most things in person, the GSA provided opportunities for me to feel a part of the UNCG community. I believe that the GSA is an important organization for graduate students, and I would be honored to serve as the Vice President. I have a diverse background that has prepared me to take this role and will strive to represent and account for all graduate students.

Purpose Statement

My previous student government experience includes serving as Vice President for my senior year of high school. I also have extensive experience that makes me a unique candidate to represent graduate students in the GSA as Vice President. I worked for 3 years as an event manager at a historic home venue. The location hosted a variety of events including large weddings, birthday parties, and even political fundraising events. I would coordinate with vendors, guests, and staff and ensure that the events ran successfully. Also, I spent a year as an AmeriCorps Vista at the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Northwest Ohio. My role at the board was to develop, coordinate, and host events from trainings for professionals in the mental health field to large scale community events. As the GSA Vice President, I will chair the programming committee where I would be responsible for planning events and distribution of swag. I have the experience to do this successfully and efficiently.
I am interested in the role of VP for the GSA because I would like to represent and advocate for graduate students across campus. Along with the general duties, I would like to hear about and plan events that are most interesting and beneficial to graduate students. To do this, I will survey members of the GSA for preferences and will weigh what will be most beneficial for the most recipients. I believe that I would be a great addition to the GSA E-board and if elected, I would push for diversity, inclusion, and parity for the graduate student population.


Krista Meder



My name is Krista Meder, and I am a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Kinesiology Department with a concentration in Applied Neuromechanics and an Educational Research Methodology minor. I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio, where I received my BA in Exercise Science and Pre Physical Therapy from Baldwin Wallace University. I was a student ambassador in the Health and Physical Education Department and Vice President of the Exercise Science Club. I went on to earn my MS in Exercise Physiology with a focus on Biomechanics at West Virginia University (WVU). My thesis involved postpartum women, pain and alignment. I worked on a variety of research projects and became very interested in gait and overall function, which was one of the reasons that brought me to UNCG. UNCG has a reputation for promoting a student-centered environment, which is something that caught my attention. Dr. Christopher Rhea’s research is what ultimately led me to UNCG because he investigates movement variability in a multitude of areas involving gait and balance while using advanced technology. My current research is studying gait asymmetries and virtual reality. I work as a GA for the RISE Network, which supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education on campus and in the community with a diversity, equity and inclusion focus. When the pandemic began and the university switched to online classes, I was an instructor of record for a 300-level course. I also work as a TA for an upper level undergraduate course in Kinesiology.

Purpose Statement

My position as the RISE Network graduate assistant has provided me the ability to learn the budget at a higher level of organization with multiple funding sources from state funding to local donations. I also was in charge of finding STEM kits for elementary students for a community engagement project. I obtained quotes from the companies, provided a breakdown of the budget and number of kits we could buy based on the price and packages available. In my undergraduate career, I was Vice President of the Exercise Science Club and in charge of the budget for the speakers, food and gifts. My experience in addition to my knowledge of math and statistics makes me well suited for the GSA Treasurer position. I want to be the next GSA Treasurer because I want to ensure equality and equity in funding opportunities for all graduate students. As a graduate student, I know the financial burden we encounter and I want to make sure that everyone is fully aware of what opportunities are available and when. I will ensure announcements for funding opportunities are sent with sufficient time ahead, so students have the appropriate time to plan and complete funding applications. Further, I will send reminders for applications for optimal utilization of the funds available, as they have been underutilized in the past. I will make certain that funding instructions are clear and easy to follow. I want to provide transparency of the budget by creating visual diagrams of GSA funding from past to present. It’s very important to me that the funds are distributed equally and equitably to all graduate students to aid in quality education and research, as well as alleviating some of the financial burden we encounter. I believe that I can make that happen.


Ashley Loper-Nowak



My name is Ashley Loper-Nowak (Low-per No-walk) and I am a fifth year PhD candidate in the History Department. My dissertation research focuses on Vietnamese refugees resettling to North Carolina after the Vietnam War. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, baking, and spending time with my cat and dog.

Purpose Statement

I am also the graduate assistant at the Center for New North Carolinas (CNNC) and work under Naglaa Rashwan, the interim co-director. My main responsibility at the CNNC is to manage the Fellows Program. The Fellows Program mission is “to strengthen immigrant and refugee communities through participatory research, evaluation, community education, and engagement.” The Fellows are mostly comprised of community-based academics, professionals, practitioners, and graduate students. I help organize the monthly Fellows meetings where we invite guest speakers to discuss a variety of issues pertaining to the immigrant and refugee communities in Greensboro. In addition to setting the agenda, I am responsible for taking minutes, recording the meetings, and disseminating information that might be of interest to the Fellows. I also help organize meetings with the Fellows advisory council and subcommittees where they focus on specific issues related to immigration including: Research and Evaluation, Curriculum, Policy and Practice, Community Engagement, and Publications and Presentations. I assist these subcommittees with their projects and goals for each semester. For example, the Curricular/Co-Curricular subcommittee organizes an annual symposium each fall where I was responsible for collecting submissions, organizing the presentations into different sessions, recruiting chairs for each session, and sharing information about the symposium to the participants, registrants, and the general public.
In addition to managing the Fellows program at the CNNC, I also work with the undergraduate social media interns. We meet weekly where the interns pitch their ideas about what to post on the various social platforms. I have also created and made occasional posts including the CNNC’s “Year at a Glance” and its Annual Report. I also help with managing, editing, writing, and posting stories to the CNNC website. Over the last semester, I have become quite versed in the social media world and with website management.
I believe my experiences as a GA at the CNNC will transition well to the GSA Student Relations chairperson position where I will solicit the appointment of senators from graduate program directors, chair the student engagement subcommittee, manage social media, the website, and other marketing, and maintain meeting records and minutes. Working with the Fellows Program has allowed me to navigate relationships, ideas, and further facilitate engagement between and among the diverse group of Fellows. I believe this experience will transition well to working and engaging with graduate students who come from different disciplines, departments, and backgrounds. I hope to continue to create a space within the GSA where graduate students feel safe to express their concerns and grievances, become more actively involved within the university, and encourage new relationships and ideas. I hope you consider me for the 2022-23 GSA Student Relations chairperson position.

Qualifications for GSA Executive Board Officer:

  1. UNCG graduate student that is enrolled in the 2022-2023 academic year
  2. Minimum 3.0 cumulative graduate GPA
  3. Maintains academic good standing within their department
  4. Experience as a GSA senator or other student government/leadership experience

You can find the E-Board position descriptions and a full list of qualification requirements in our constitution.

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Page last updated: 22 March 2022