Meet the GSA Executive Board
The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is the primary student body that represents every graduate student on campus. The Graduate School is unique in that it includes doctoral and masters students working within each of the 7 professional schools; participation in GSA allows graduate students to form diverse inter-professional collaborations. Through many of its efforts, the body aims to support and improve the academic and extracurricular lives of students. To learn more about the GSA, visit our website.
Emily Smith, President
Emily is a fifth year PhD candidate in the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology program of GPILS. She works in a lab in the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health. She works under the mentorship of Dr. Eileen Barry and studies how a special type of E. coli (Enterotoxigenic E. coli) causes intestinal disease in humans with the goal to create a vaccine against it. She has been involved in GSA for almost 4 years, and started out as an alternate rep for her program. Outside of busy graduate school life, Emily loves hiking in state parks and camping in her RV with her husband, family, and friends. She also loves anything cat related and enjoys supporting the local ice cream places in the city! (Charmery is her favorite)
Lauren McCarthy, Vice-President
Lauren is a fourth year doctoral student at the School of Social Work working with Dr. Bethany Lee on the mental health and well-being of child welfare involved youth, with a focus on racial and economic equity. This is her fourth year participating in GSA, and her second year serving on the executive board. She is a musical theater nerd who enjoys social justice activism, hiking with her dogs, and running.
Fun fact: Lauren will be the third member of her family with a doctorate in Social Work.
Hadley Bryan, Secretary
Hadley is a fourth year in the Human Genetics program working in the Rizzo lab. Her work focuses on ciliary calcium signaling within the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas and how changes in the primary cilia can alter glucose sensing and metabolism. This is her first year serving on GSA's executive board after two years as a HGEN program representative and she is looking forward to her new role. Outside of lab, Hadley enjoys singing in Old St. Paul's choir, collecting plants for her apartment, and cooking new meals with her fiance under the constant supervision of their cat.
Gillian Mbambo, Treasurer
Gillian is a rising fourth-year PhD candidate in the Program in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. She is interested in using immunology and bioinformatics approaches to understand malaria host-pathogen and pathogen-pathogen interactions. She was born and raised in Malawi and moved to Maryland, USA at the age of 14. She attended University of Maryland, College Park (Go Terps) and majored in Cell Biology and Genetics. She was a GSA rep for MMI for 2 years and this is her first year on the eboard. In her free time, Gillian enjoys working out, hiking, watching soccer and football (Go RAVENS), trying vegan food/restaurants, taking pictures, leisure walks, and dancing!
Sydney Ashton, Public Relations Officer
Sydney is a fourth year PhD candidate in the Program in Neuroscience where she works under the mentorship of Dr. Margaret McCarthy. She studies sex differences in the early life development of the reward centers of the brain and how these impact social play behavior at the juvenile age. This is Sydney’s second year of involvement with GSA and her first year on the executive board. She also holds a leadership position in UMB’s Neuroscience Outreach and Volunteer Association. Outside of grad school life, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dog, playing video games and watching sports.
Fun fact: Sydney plays 6 instruments and performed in the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with her college marching band.
Katie Gwilliam, Graduate Council Rep
Katie is a fourth year in the Human Genetics program in Dr. Ronna Hertzano's lab, studying hearing loss and transcription factors necessary for inner ear development and maintenance. She is excited to serve her first year on GSA's executive board after serving as the Human Genetics representative last year. In her freetime, Katie enjoys cooking and baking, teaching herself the ukulele, sailing, and hiking.
Fun fact: Katie was born in Australia.