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Meet the Candidates: GPSG Elections 2021

GPSG Elections Meet the Candidates

Meet the Candidates Tonight! 

All graduate and professional students are invited to meet the candidates and ask questions TONIGHT (4/14/21) at 7pm. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.  

If you are unable to attend the session or simply want to submit your question(s) in advance, submit your question(s) here. (You can choose to include your name and college/program, or opt to remain anonymous.) Moderators Mackensie Graham and Ellen Kiser will include these questions in the Q&A; time limitations may apply so that all questions may not get asked. 

The more attendees the merrier; share the event with your network on Facebook!

Candidate Bios

Read on to read the bios the candidates submitted. If a candidate applied for multiple positions their bio will only be posted once  Click here to view the GPSG Constitution and scroll to pages 5–8 to read the position descriptions for each.

However, please note that per legislation passed on Sunday, April 11, 2021 the committee chair positions will henceforth be renamed as directors (ex. Sustainability Director). These positions will still chair their respective committees, but the title is now, GPSG believes, externally indicative of the positions' role within the executive team. The Constitution has not yet been updated to reflect this change. 

Note on President & VP 

Note that per GPSG's Constitution, the roles of President and VP alternate each year between prioritizing graduate students and professional students. 

For the 2021–22 year, the President is slated to be a graduate student and the VP is slated to be a professional student. (In 2022–23, that will flip.) Dual degree students, such as MD/PhD or JD/MPH for example, may satisfy conditions as both a grad and professional student. 

However, in the case where no student a part of the "priority" category (graduate or professional) for the term applies or is able to assume the role, students from the other category will be considered. For example, if no professional students have applied for VP by the time candidate applications are due, graduate students who have applied for the position may be considered. Thus, for President and VP the applicants are broken up into the categories of students. 

Ballot Rundown

President

  • Moala Bannavti
  • Redwan Bin Abdul Baten
  • John Piegors

Professional Students (only if graduate student applicants are not able to fulfill the role)

  • Hattie Frana

Vice President

  • Amber Crow
  • Hattie Frana
  • Walt Wang

Graduate Students (only if professional student applicants are not able to fulfill the role)

  • Redwan Bin Abdul Baten
  • Eric Field
  • John Piegors

Cabinet Director

  • Redwan Bin Abdul Baten
  • Amber Crow
  • Emily Mertz
  • Noah W. Goebel

Finance Director

  • Walt Wang

Communications Director

  • Eric Field
  • Emily Mertz

Grants Director

  • Moala Bannavti
  • Eric Field
  • Michael D. Tagliamonte

Graduate & Professional Allocations Committee (GPAC) Director

  • Eric Field

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Director

  • Eric Field
  • Hattie Frana

Interprofessional Director

  • Hattie Frana
  • Noah W. Goebel
  • Maya Sanaba
  • Michael D. Tagliamonte

Government Relations Director

  • Amber Crow
  • Noel Mills
  • Michael D. Tagliamonte

Health & Safety Director

  • Amber Crow
  • Eric Field
  • Hattie Frana
  • Noah W. Goebel

Sustainability Director

  • Eric Field
  • Hattie Frana
  • Ethan Fuhrman

Bios

Candidates in alphabetical order by last name. 

Moala Bannavti

(Running for President | VP | Grants Director | DEI Director)

I am Moala Bannavti, a third year PhD Candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering program. I have been a member of University of Iowa’s Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) since May 2019. Since my induction I have served as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Chair and a voting delegate from Graduate Student Senate (GSS). Today I write to you to humbly express my candidacy for the role of GPSG President.

Because of my years of leadership experience in GPSG thus far, I am mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared for presidency. Here is a summary of what I have seen as the disadvantages and advantages of undergoing GPSG leadership, and why I’d like to continue in such an impactful position.

1. It was difficult. But I grew from the challenges.


a. Time: While I was DEI chair, I spent about 5 hours a week average on committee/GPSG business. Sometimes its meetings for search committees, groups external to GPSG and our own meetings (general, executive and committee). This also included putting together bi-weekly or monthly update reports for the committee. It took me about an hour to put them together, but they were a great resource for people that couldn’t make it to every meeting. They also kept record of the University’s ever-changing DEI scene. I have as an official member on the Executive Director of Inclusion and Belonging (DSL), the Training & Organizational Development Specialist (DSL), and the Associate Vice President for DEI search committees. This means I spent several hours at listening sessions, student government interviews, and presentations. While it was a lot at times, I was motivated to maintain attendance knowing I may be the only graduate, woman, or BIPOC representative present.

As a voting GSS delegate, I consistently attended GPSG meetings and GSS meetings. This included meetings for the GPSG DEI committee which I remained an active member of and GSS Socials Committee meetings. Additionally, grading different technology grant applications, reading through nominating committee packets, and attending town halls are just a few examples of how I volunteer in student government outside of my assigned roles. All in all, I think student government leadership is about showing up and doing the work. I have exemplified over the past two years that I will be where I am needed and give 100% of my time whenever available.

b. Emotional Taxation: I know as President I may receive backlash for certain decisions. Just as I did when I was DEI Chair, I will spend a lot of time (often thanklessly) doing things for the betterment of specific people and the campus in large. So many people care about the wellbeing of graduate and professional students on this campus but so many people also do not. Conversations with nay-sayers can be disheartening and someone without the proper preparation can be more susceptible to mental harm. Sharing my own personal experience: I became DEI Chair April 2019 and by October 2019 I was not only ready to resign from being committee chair, but from the University as a whole. I am incredibly happy I did not as again, my decision to participate in GPSG has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. But I bring that up to say I know Presidency will require an amount of emotional taxation that I am adequately prepared for. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly from students to upper administration and have chosen to serve with my whole heart anyway. I have built a support system across different types of campus stakeholders internal and external to GPSG. I am excited to lean on them for support when necessary.

2. It has been amazing to serve thus far. I am excited to continue.

a. Connections: I have met so many great people through service in Graduate and Professional Government. I mean AMAZING people. I am sure one day some of these people will be writing my letters of recommendation for tenure or attending my wedding. The personalities, the laughs, the intense bonding over social justice that we share... it brings my heart indescribable happiness. When a committee you participate in wins (e.g. a discriminatory policy gets changed or a new position gets hired) you all win together, and when you lose (e.g. a key stakeholder leaves the university) you have shoulders to cry on and people to regroup with. I feel honored to have had the ear and respect of the University’s President, Provost, Vice President of Student Life and more. Almost overnight, I realized my ability to be a mouthpiece for stakeholders’ opinions increased 100x and I learned the skills needed to be a real catalyst for change.

b. Personal Growth: When I joined GPSG, I was a great person, but in no way was I the person I am today. I am much wiser. I am much more patient. I am a much better listener. I care about people now in a way you don’t unless you decide to dedicate your life to advocate for them. The past two years of service to my fellow graduate and professional students has humbled me. I am less judgmental and more open to change, even in my personal life. I am a better professional because of a new-found passion for organizing ideas and enacting plans. I know going up for a faculty position in the future what search committees favor because I’ve been on the other end of those types of high-stakes interviews. All in all, I was great, but service to GPSG has made me better. This is a core reason I would like to maximize my service.

c. Instituting Change: This is probably the most obvious advantage of becoming President, but arguably the most important. Though it is nice to meet people and gain administrative skills, nothing compares to making real change within graduate and professional student lives within the University. A lot of times I hear phrases from our constituents like “It doesn’t matter who gets elected for [insert position here], nothing will change anyway”. Serving as a GPSG delegate and chair has shown me ideology could not be further from the truth. For all the people that overlook graduate and professional students’ wellness there are many more people who do care. I promise to be a megaphone for voices that are undervalued. I will do this by putting all the skills I have listed above into ensuring that GPSG runs smoothly and efficiently. I will show up. I will vote in the best interest of my constituents whenever given the opportunity. My main goal is that people’s lives be affected positively by GPSG. That’s an honor very few people are granted, and I do not take the consideration for this position, or any other GPSG leadership position lightly.

It is for the reasons listed above that I feel confident in my ability to lead the University of Iowa’s Graduate and Professional Student Government as its 2021-2022 President. If the delegates do not vote in my favor for presidency, it is for these same reasons that I believe I am qualified for a different leadership position within the organization.

Redwan Bin Abdul Baten

(Running for President | VP | Cabinet Director)

I am running for a position in GPSG to serve fellow Graduate and Professional students. Over the past years, I have served in various roles across campus. Faced with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, as Health and Safety Chair of GPSG I led several initiatives including the Covid-19 survey, which helped the University administration and GPSG make informed policy decisions. Being a Public Health and Health Policy researcher, I had the background, technical expertise, and passion to deal with Student Health and Mental Health issues during the pandemic.

Advocacy has also highlighted prominently in my work. Due to discriminatory policies from the federal government, international students went through a very difficult phase this past year. As graduate co-chair of the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB), I dealt with the situation and provided positive, and proactive leadership during that period of uncertainty. Very humbly, I bring to the table – experience gained through research, activism, and advocacy; nuanced understanding of student issues; research-oriented approach towards policymaking; and teamwork approach inspiring collaboration. These skills will be vital next year when a steady hand will be needed during the transition to a post-covid era under new leadership at UIowa. To achieve a
smooth transition and to prepare GPSG for the future, I am planning many creative programs, initiatives, amendments to the GPSG Constitution etc., which I hope will improve and advance GPSG as the representative body for all graduate and professional students.

I would like to end by sharing a quote from Barack Obama, which relates very well with my circumstances. While writing in A Promised Land about the experiences of nominating Justice Sonia Sotomayer to the Supreme Court, President Obama wrote he: ". . . had witnessed firsthand the tendency to move the goalposts when it came to promoting women and people of color. Not only were Judge Sotomayor’s academic credentials outstanding, but I understood the kind of intelligence, grit, and adaptability required of someone of her background to get to where she was. A breadth of experience, familiarity with the vagaries of life, the combination of brains and heart—that, I thought, was where wisdom came from.”

With these principles in mind, I look forward to serving the graduate and professional students of UIOWA.

Amber Crow

(Running for VP | Cabinet Director | Government Relations Director | Health & Safety Director)

Hello! My name is Amber Crow and I’m from Truro, Iowa. I’d greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve as the Vice President, Cabinet Director, Governmental Relations Chair, or Health and Safety Chair this upcoming year. Currently, I’m a 1L at The University of Iowa College of Law and have thoroughly enjoyed my time thus far. I graduated with honors from The University of Iowa in 2019 with a BA in Ethics and Public Policy, BA in Journalism and Mass Communications, and a minor in Criminology, Law, and Justice.

While in undergrad at Iowa, I had the pleasure of co-founding the Clothing Closet at Iowa, which provides free professional clothing to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Additionally, while in undergrad I held leadership positions in Active Minds (mental health & suicide prevention organization; Vice President & Treasurer), the University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government (co-chaired the Health & Safety Committee and served as a senator and committee member for Governmental Relations, Academic Affairs, and Justice and Equity), and also sat on a Campus Planning Committee, the Undergraduate Education Policy and Curriculum Committee, as well as the Student Advisory Committee on Sexual Misconduct, all while working closely with students as a Resident Assistant. Some of my proudest moments were raising the mental health fee to add an additional staff member to the University Counseling Services as well as facilitating the contract to get the Kognito suicide-prevention training available to all students, staff, and faculty. I’ve also sponsored legislation for composing in residence halls; sponsored several resolutions to support land rezoning for a community access center for homelessness and those struggling from mental illness as opposed to police making arrests or drop-offs to expensive emergency rooms; and a resolution to relocate student disability services from Burge Residence Hall’s basement; and countless other projects.

I believe my previous experiences have cultivated my skills to be a significant change-maker and make me uniquely qualified for these positions. I have a deep understanding of how this university functions as well as how to collaborate with the shared governance model we use, which would allow me to get to work as fast as possible. It would be an honor to serve on the Graduate and Professional Student Government and collaborate with you all to enhance our experiences here at The University of Iowa. Thank you for taking your valuable time to consider me.

Eric Field

(Running for VP | Communications Director | Grants Director | GPAC Director | DEI Director | Health & Safety Director | Sustainability Director)

I have multiple identities. Father, husband, school psychology student, researcher, weight-lifter, performer, Hawkeye. With this last identity, I would like to give back to the University of Iowa community and serve on the Graduate and Professional Student Government. I am interested in running for Vice President or a committee chair/director position because I have the leadership skills to listen, collaborate, and work toward the solutions we need to make our student experiences even better. As we adjust to long-run changes because of the past twelve months due to the pandemic, new concerns and challenges are going to arise, and I would like to make myself available to hear the concerns from not just my department (Psychological and Quantitative Foundations) or college (College of Education), but from all of you as well. I have the experience serving as an officer and committee chair in various organizations, and I can work with the other committee chairs and officers to help enhance our academic experiences and give back to the university, which is already giving back so much to us.

Hattie Frana

(Running for President | VP | DEI Director | Interprofessional Director | Health & Safety Director | Sustainability Director)

I am interested in running for the selected GPSG positions because I believe I can bring a unique focus to GPSG as a disabled student. I have physical and learning disabilities and believe these conditions have impacted my educational journey in a way that helps me see what our fellow graduate and professional students expect out of a school environment. I want to work with other the other colleges on campus to bring more diversity to the school in any way possible. I believe that the schools should work together to benefit all students, not just one department or college. I’ve been told I’m a good communicator and want to put that skill to use when setting and meeting our school’s health and sustainability goals. 

Ethan Fuhrman

(Running for Sustainability Director)

I am the incumbent Sustainability Chair, and I am reapplying to continue my work in this position. Sustainability permeates every aspect of my professional, academic, and extracurricular lives. I am a second year chemistry PhD student under the advise of Dr. Betsy Stone, who's research group has played an important role in assessing the pollution of the campus power plant and presently continues to be a strong force advocating for the campus Green Lab Initiative. If allowed to continue my tenure in this position, I plan to expand this initiative through a partnership with Environmental Health and Safety. In the academic realm, I have taken (and continue to take) courses focusing on the chemistry and physics of air pollutants. This coursework focus on air pollution ties into my desire to tackle sources of air pollution, including carbon air pollution, that the University generates. The largest generator of air pollution on campus is the coal-fired power plant, and the largest user of electricity is UIHC. I would like to continue to my work on shifting the University off of coal and fossil fuel usage and towards renewable energy sources in accordance with its 2030 sustainability goals and 100% renewable energy pledge set to take effect by 2045. I also plan to implement the following initiatives before my current term ends: 1) a nitrile lab glove recycling partnership with Kimberly-Clark, 2) a single-use mask recycling plan, 3) a campus-wide compositing ramp-up plan, 4) a battery recycling service, and 5) a move-out waste/donation collection event. 

Noah W. Goebel

(Running for Interprofessional Director | Health & Safety Director)

My name is Noah Goebel and I am running for the Interprofessional Director. I am from Ames, Iowa and moved to Iowa City 5 years ago to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. Today I am pursuing my Doctor of Pharmacy degree. I have been involved in the Interprofessional Committee throughout this semester and we have made a large impact on bringing graduate students together during COVID-19. Most of our events have been online, but now that vaccines are starting to roll out we plan to end the semester with a couple in person events. My goals for this committee are to keep developing events that allow connections to form between students across our graduate and professional colleges. Without interprofessional development at our school, students will be missing out on a key part of education: getting to know our peers. Throughout my time in this committee I have enjoyed meeting students at other colleges and receiving positive feedback from my classmates on events we have held.

Beyond my current role in student government, I think my background at the College of Pharmacy has prepared me to take on this position. We have a unique interprofessional program at our college which involves multiple courses. I have also taken on other leadership positions to prepare me for this role. Some of these positions include being a member of Phi Lambda Sigma honor society, a member of the American Pharmacists Association, a member of University of Iowa Pain Management, Substance Use Disorder, and Palliative Care, and being treasurer of the National Community Pharmacists Association at our school. Finally, in my free time I enjoy volunteering at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. 

Emily Mertz

(Running for Cabinet Director | Communications Director)

Happy Spring! My name is Emily Mertz. It would be an honor to serve as either Cabinet Director or Communications Director for Graduate & Professional Student Government. As an individual who served on Student Government Association’s Executive Board at Webster University during most of my undergraduate experience, I am very passionate about representing and advocating for students. I have served as the Founder/President of a nonprofit student organization during undergrad, Secretary for Student Government, as well as numerous other Executive Board positions and am confident I have the skills these positions require.

As Cabinet Director, I would like to implement the following:

  • Advise and assist the President, Vice-President, and other Executive Members to assure they have the resources they need to efficiently carry out tasks and projects
  • Organize, promote, and run productive meetings, check-ins, and evaluations
  • Continue to identify the ever-evolving changes and needs of graduate and professional students
  • Effectively communicate with the Board to work through the transition from virtual to in-person events in compliance with all school regulations and ensure our events are carried out in a way that makes everyone comfortable during this difficult time (and always)

As Communications Director, I would like to implement the following:

  • Record and distribute detailed meeting minutes and agendas to ensure organization, consistency, and transparency for every meeting
  • Create and distribute communication via social media, the GPSG website, and email platforms in an eye-catching, but professional manner
  • Represent and promote GPSG’s efforts to administrators, students, and the broad Hawkeye community
  • Proactively work with the entire team to assure all events and information is made public to the community in a timely manner
  • I currently serve as the Media Strategist & Graphic Designer for Food Pantry at Iowa and will be serving as the Digital Coordinator for The Outlaws (LGBTQ+ Organization) at Iowa Law. Both roles function similarly to the Communications Director, providing me with the experience, skills, and learning opportunities to effectively represent GPSG in this role.

I would greatly appreciate your consideration for either of these roles and look forward to seeing what GPSG continues to accomplish this upcoming year!

Noel Mills

(Running for Government Relations Director)

I am writing to express my interest in running for the position of Governmental Relations Committee Chair because my experience in the Undergraduate Student Government, as well as my studies in the Master of Public Affairs program, make me uniquely qualified to serve in the position. During my time as Senator, Deputy Director of Finance, Director of Finance, and President of the University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government, I participated in numerous governmental relations initiatives. My involvement gave me the opportunity to regularly connect with both state and federal legislators, advocating for issues concerning higher education and student affairs. While serving as President, I attended and spoke at Board of Regents meetings, went on a summer legislative road trip to visit state legislators in their hometowns, advocated for students in Washington, D.C. during Hawkeye Caucus on the Hill, and went to Des Moines every Wednesday of the Spring 2020 semester to lobby for student government’s legislative agenda before the pandemic put our efforts on pause.

While I vowed to leave student government in my past when I enrolled in the Master of Public Affairs program, I felt a piece of me was missing this year. Student advocacy is part of who I am, and I do not want my institutional knowledge and experience to go to waste a moment longer. In addition, my ongoing education in public administration has given me newfound skills that would make me an even more effective voice for students. Through classes like Bureaucratic Politics & Public Administration, American State Politics, Public Management, and Public Policy Analysis, I have gained a deeper understanding of the workings of state politics. Having been able to connect this new information with my past experiences in higher education and state lobbying, I am confident in my ability to lead GPSG’s governmental relations efforts.

If there ever was a time to be concerned about these efforts, it would be now. Amidst attempts to cut tenure, decrease financial allocations, and endanger freedom of speech for Iowa’s public universities, students have a responsibility to act. Graduate and professional students also face their own unique issues regarding state and federal policy, and oftentimes their needs get overlooked. As Governmental Relations Committee Chair, I would work closely not just with the President, but with all members of GPSG on the annual legislative agenda. I would also coordinate with members to get a wide variety of voices involved with advocacy and lobbying efforts, not just folks who have specific experiences or who are studying specific disciplines.

Every graduate and professional student is impacted by the choices of our state and federal legislators, and so every student should have the chance to have a say in those choices. My experience in the Undergraduate Student Government and my current studies in public affairs would be helpful to me as Governmental Relations Committee Chair, but my dedication to student advocacy is what I know would drive me in the daily duties of the position. Student government is where my heart is, and I hope to serve alongside you in the pursuit of shared governance and effective representation in the coming year. Thank you for your time.

John Piegors

(Running for President | Vice President)

I have a strong vision for improving the lives of both graduate and professional students here at the University of Iowa that involves maintaining the wide array of positive relationship GPSG currently has with various groups around campus, while continuing to identify and forge relationships with an ever-wider array of students whose voices need to be heard. 

In GPSG this year, I believe my thoughtfulness, willingness to engage in critical discussion, and professional demeanor have all contributed to the development and discussion of ideas and concrete actions that can, and have, positively impacted graduate and professional student lives. In addition, I believe my tenure as GSS President, combined with the experiences I've accumulated in my position on the Presidential Search Committee, Graduate Council, and others has prepared me for the rigors of the position. Even in the midst of this unique year, GSS has succeeded in helping fund a tech equity campaign, beginning a review of ESL testing procedures, and much more. 

In short, both graduate and professional students have distinct voices, concerns, and focuses that need to be heard; and I could facilitate exactly that via my commitment to the fundamental aspects of GPSG's goals, combined with my personal characteristics, experience, and vision.

Maya Sanaba

(Running for Interprofessional Director)

Hello! I’m running for the position of Interprofessional Director of GPSG because I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of connecting people with varying interests through effective communication.

Having been born in Kentucky and then moved to India, where I stayed for all of middle and high school, I’ve developed an affinity for bonding with people no matter their background. I experienced a huge culture shock when moving to Bangalore at the age of 11, and then again at 19 when I moved back to the US, and both of these situations have helped me grow into an adaptable and self-motivated person.

I graduated from Purdue University last May with a B.A. in Communications, and immediately started law school. Though we have been mostly online, I have utilized my interpersonal strengths and self-motivation to build lasting bonds with my classmates and have become heavily involved within the law school. This past year, I have served as the Iowa Student Bar Association (ISBA) delegate to GPSG, which has allowed me to observe and participate in GPSG’s primary functions of connecting graduate and professional students and making sure we are heard.

As Interprofessional Chair, I hope to organize a multitude of fun and engaging events for students to meet people from other programs, as well as ensure efficient communication among the different programs.

Michael D. Tagliamonte

(Running for Grants Director | Interprofessional Director | Government Relations Director)

I am interested in joining GPSG to give back to the University, the community, and my fellow students. I have already been with the University of Iowa for 5 years throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies, and I am fortunate to be able to call Iowa City home for another 5 years as I begin a PhD. I was involved in multiple student organizations as an Undergraduate student. I miss two things the most about this involvement. First, I miss getting to work with, be around, and collaborate with a diverse group of creative and passionate students. Second, I miss being involved in initiatives to better something that I care about. I have grown both as person and as a student during my time here due to my classmates and teachers. I want to do my part to make sure that graduate and professional students have ample opportunity to learn and grow in this environment.

Tippie Senate, the student government of the College of Business, is the organization that has made me most equipped for GPSG. My past experience in student government has equipped me with skills that make me prepared for a GPSG position. I have experience working in teams, delegating tasks, and managing deadlines. But more importantly, I have a desire to improve the student experience and ability to take criticism and implement feedback.

I am running for three positions: 1) Grants Director 2) Interprofessional Director 3) Government Relations Director. My preferred position is Grants Director, although I would be honored to serve in any of the roles. In this candidate statement, I will only specifically discuss my vision for Grants Director. Nonetheless, I will give any position my maximum attention and make succeeding in it my top priority. I have a background and foundation that make me confident in any of the three positions, but more importantly, the willingness to learn and adapt.

Last term, a priority for Grants Director was to increase the number of reviewers, which was done by recruiting and training. I'd like to keep this as a primary focus going forward. A greater number of skilled reviewers allows for a more streamlined and efficient process. It allows for a fairer process with less variance, more collaboration, and more data to work with to be able to improve the application experience. Another priority of the previous administration was to incorporate a DEI component to grant applications. This was not well received by applicants. However, this is a worthwhile pursuit that must be continued. It cannot be abandoned due to the negative reception. I plan on working with other members of GPSG, specifically the DEI Director, along with grant applicants to determine how we can continue to incorporate DEI elements into the grant application process.

Walt Wang

(Running for VP | Finance Director)

I am honored and grateful to be considered for Vice President and Finance Director as I strive to better advocate for and serve the needs of the many Graduate and Professional students represented by GPSG.

Over the last two years, I have had the fortune to work together with many of you as we strived to help improve the lives of each graduate and professional student here at the University of Iowa. During the first year, it was with the team on the Health and Safety Committee. During this last year, we provided funding recommendations for student organizations through GPAC and developed a more equitable funding model for the member governments through the Finance Committee. I would like to continue this teamwork as we strive to better serve each and every one of our constituents.

The main purpose of the VP is to facilitate teamwork and collaboration among both the executive team and the many delegates. By working together, we can serve the needs of our constituents better as we represent them in front of the University leadership, the other leaders in shared governance, and the broader community as a whole. To that end, I want to improve the transparency of communications within the executive team to improve our accountability to the delegates. With the passage of D.B. 11, the GPSG Constituency Liaison Act, I also plan to seek out constituency groups to have more voices at the discussion table and better represent the diverse needs and opinions of our constituents.

The VP also serves in supporting the President in ensuring graduate and professional students continue to have their voices heard and their impacts left on each strategic decision by the University. As such, I also plan to continue to battle for student involvement in strategic decisions like awarding and allocating grant funding from the University's public-private partnership (P3). With at least $75 million in funding over the next 50 years, it is critical for all members of shared governance to have a seat at the table and participate in the discussions. The current lack of student involvement in the process is detrimental and severely hinders our accountability to our constituents.

I am also running for Finance Director because I want to continue and grow upon the great work completed this year by the Finance Committee. While the funding model developed this year accounts for base funding for each member government, funding per student in each member government, and scaling potential outliers in student populations, potential shortcomings may still exist. In particular, determining the percentage of funds used for population scaling and adjusting for years with significant funding changes (e.g., shortfalls in years with reduced enrollment or surplus in years with particularly high enrollment) are two key areas I would like to focus on this upcoming year. In addition, I want to continue having active discussions on how we can further improve the funding model to serve the needs of our constituents better.

I believe this next year will be full of many challenges as we move from primarily virtual learning to a more in-person, post-pandemic normal. In facing these challenges, I look forward to working with all of you. Thank you very much for your consideration.