Graduate Students’ Advocates
Two Graduate Students’ Advocate positions represent the interests of the entire graduate student body at USC: the Graduate Students’ Advocate-Student Relations (GSA-SR) and the Graduate Students’ Advocate-Diversity Outreach (GSA-DO).
The GSA-SR and GSA-DO are representatives of the USC graduate student body, and they work to advance issues of importance to the University’s graduate students. They serve as resources for students who have questions or problems concerning TA/RA-ships, research, or other matters concerning the successful pursuit of a graduate degree. In addition, the GSA-SR and GSA-DO act as advocates within the Graduate Student Government (GSG).
Meet the Graduate Students’ Advocates
Graduate Students’ Advocate-Student Relations
Location: GFS 315
Tue/Thurs 11:00 a.m - 2:00 p.m. & Friday by appointment
About John Polansky
Graduate Students’ Advocate-Diversity Outreach
email@example.com (213) 740-9055
Location: GFS 315
Tue/Thurs 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. & by appointment
About Letisha Wyatt
"I am John Polansky, a Ph.D. candidate in Astronautical Engineering in the Viterbi School of Engineering. My research primarily concerns electric propulsion and lunar surface charging. In recent years, the lunar polar regions have become significant areas of exploration interest due to available solar power and the discovery of water ice. My objective is to determine the impact of lunar surface charging due to solar wind flow on potential human or robotic missions in these regions. I have also spent one summer at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, and two summers at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Kitakyushu, Japan, in support of this goal.
An additional goal of mine is to advance education within the local community, and during the past three years I have worked as a part-time mathematics instructor at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College, as a private high school tutor, as CAHSEE to College program coordinator, and as an elementary school basketball coach. I find it very rewarding to assist individuals in the pursuit of learning. I look forward to the opportunity to promote and to assist academic progress and achievement for all graduate and professional students at USC as your GSA-SR. "
"I am Letisha Wyatt, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Molecular Pharmacology & Toxicology Program in the School of Pharmacy. In 2005 I graduated from the University of California, Davis, where I earned a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior with a Minor in Music. My primary interest is in the science of addiction, and I am currently working in the Alcohol and Brain Research Laboratory on the Health Sciences Campus. The focus of my dissertation is the study of the effects of alcohol on ATP-gated ion channels found within the central nervous system and the behavioral implications of an increased or decreased expression of these particular receptors. I hope that my research will aid in a more complete understanding of the molecular targets of alcohol and their contributions to alcoholism, as well as the development of novel therapeutic agents.
As GSA-DO, I assist in the design and administration of programs that institute and enhance diversity at the university, I advise and mentor students, and I facilitate academic services and professional development initiatives for both graduate and undergraduate students. The passion I have for promoting academic pursuits and my experience working with students from various-disciplines and stages of academic, professional, and personal development, gives me great enthusiasm about being a liaison and source of support for students at USC. Fight on!"
Role of the GSA-SR
The mission of the Graduate Students’ Advocate-Student Relations is to preserve and improve the quality of academic life and foster the development of an inclusive, scholarly community for graduate students at USC by:
- Providing a channel of communication between graduate students and the USC administration.
- Safeguarding the rights of graduate students on both the University Park and Health Sciences campuses of USC.
- Protecting the confidentiality of graduate students.
- Providing a basic resource for mediating and resolving disputes.
Role of the GSA-DO
The Graduate Students’ Advocate-Diversity Outreach, serves as both a voice and a sounding board for the unique concerns that under-represented graduate students face by:
- Working with continuing students to address concerns regarding funding, academic issues, and degree completion.
- Performing outreach to prospective under-represented students on matters of graduate school preparation, admission criteria, the admission process, and financial resources.
- Fostering scholarly, professional, and social networks on campus critical to integrating under-represented students into the campus community.
Duties common to each position include:
- Holding regular office hours, for confidential discussion and assistance with conflict resolution;
- Attending regular meetings with Sarah Pratt, Vice Provost for Graduate Programs, to devise strategies for resolving issues and concerns raised by graduate students and to improve the overall quality of life for the USC graduate student body;
- Attending Graduate Student Government (GSG) meetings, to advocate for the graduate student body.