Announcing the Fall 2021 Executive Board!
I'm excited about this opportunity to serve the graduate and professional community. In the upcoming academic year I intend to facilitate meaningful structural change that improves the lives of students, graduate students, staff, and faculty. Drawing on my political organizing experience, I will empower the GPSS within shared governance and draw from a diverse range of constituents to pass legislative adjustments to how the university operates. Including, but not limited to, enhancing the financial transparency of the university and foundation, instituting equity and ethics as core values under-girding all decisions, and democratic reforms to what has traditionally been a top-heavy administrative institution.
I am looking forward to providing a supportive role in securing equity, access, and well-being for the graduate student body at VT. Although the previous members of the executive board will be sorely missed, I know the group we have here is just as dedicated to advocacy and realizing quality-of-life improvements across the university. Thank you for putting your trust in me, and the other newly minted members of the board. I am proud to serve this community.
The graduate student body makes up a large portion of the student body population at Virginia Tech. As a part of that community, I have always valued organizations that actively strive to support the growth and well-being of their fellow members. I am hoping to use my position as an Executive Board member to further enrich the graduate student experience and help ensure that all voices on campus are heard.
My intention is to act as a team player as the Director of Finance position expands and evolves while GSA transitions. I wholeheartedly believe that it is the elected board members’ responsibility to execute tasks in a transparent manner to do right by the delegates of the organization and in turn the whole graduate student body. I intend to act with transparency and honesty as I facilitate the GSA budget and Graduate Student Budget Board.
My name is Micki and I am looking forward to serving as the Director of Programs for the remainder of 2021. My goals for this year are to focus on resources and programs that address mental health of graduate students and their financial security. I strongly believe that these two issues go hand in hand, and play a key role in the success of graduate students. I hope to address these issues by expanding awareness of current programs and resources provided by the GSA, and to help students navigate these resources in a timely manner so that they can maximize their benefit. Additionally, I plan to encourage approaching current objectives and new programs with aims of preventative action for our incoming and current students, while we work on long term correction for the benefit of future students. I am excited to be a part of a team that can bring changes for the benefit of our graduate students.
I am very excited to be a part of the GSA Executive Board and to continue the good work done by the previous board members. As Director of Communications, I will prioritize building solidarity among graduate students and increasing transparency regarding the GSA's goals and meetings, especially for students who are unable to directly engage with the GSA. One of my major goals is to use social media to publish statements against injustices that occur at Virginia Tech so that students affected by these injustices know that the GSA stands with them. I also hope to strengthen relationships with Virginia Tech staff and build a coalition of campus workers. Above all, I will serve as an advocate for my fellow graduate students. Together, we are stronger.
I am excited to serve as the Director of Events for this coming academic year! I plan to focus on coordinating accessible events that are as inclusive as possible. I will bring a proactive access lens to event planning, meaning that I will choose wheelchair accessible venues, label food ingredients, plan for multiple means of participation, and promote accessible presentation guidelines. I will follow accessibility guidelines in event marketing materials by using high color contrast, recommended fonts and font sizes, and image descriptions. I will post signs to restrooms, including locations of all-gender restrooms or single occupancy restrooms. I will give participants the option to include their pronouns on name tags and when introducing themselves. By prioritizing access, I hope to plan events that will make all students feel welcome to attend. I will plan a mix of social and educational events that give graduate students an opportunity to get to know one another and learn together. I will also build off the momentum of Director of Events from last by getting food from locally owned business and using biodegradable products. I look forward to getting started!
Phil Miskovic is a PhD student in the Center for Administration and Policy (CPAP), focusing his research on local government. Phil splits his time between Blacksburg and Crewe—a town of about 2,300 population in rural Nottoway County, about three hour’s drive from the main campus—where he serves as that town’s mayor. He says his motivation comes from a desire “to bridge the gap between theory and practice, especially in economically disadvantaged areas rich with strong communities and culture, but lacking in financial resources or the subject matter expertise of the modern public administrator.”
Phil has a Master’s degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BA in Religion from Hampden-Sydney College. He also serves as a graduate assistant in public relations for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and as the emergency planner for Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). Prior to his employment with DBHDS, Phil was a policy analyst for Virginia’s Secretary of Public Safety in the administration of then-Governor Bob McDonnell.