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Meet Your Representatives

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Amanda Faggard

Chairperson, Graduate House Diversity Committee

Criminal Justice Master's Program, College of Applied Arts

Graduate Assistant, School of Criminal Justice

Research Interests: Tracking with K9 Units, Hostage Negotiations, Criminal Profiling

Other Organizations: Alpha Phi Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, Society for Police and Criminal Psychology

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Talk! Get to know your fellow students and your professors. If you have a question - ask it! Grad school becomes so much easier when you ask for help and talk about what's going on. 

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Amarilis M. Castillo

Chairperson, Graduate College Events Advisory Subcommittee

Developmental Education Doctoral Program, College of Education

Doctoral Research Assistant

Research Interests: Latinas in higher education, Latina college students' motivation and persistence, integrated reading and writing, and digital technology literacy. 

Hobbies: running, sewing (always learning), and watching movies (when possible).

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Find a time management tool that works for you and stick to it. You will have many responsibilities (expected and unexpected), but try as much as possible to take care of yourself first.

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Brittany Davis

Graduate House Secretary

APCE Doctoral Program, College of Education

Doctoral Assistant for Graduate Student Professional Development, The Graduate College

Research Interests: relationships in learning, graduate student support, correctional education, and international student support.

Other Organizations: APCE Graduate Student Organization President, American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, NASPA, Running with the Graduate Deans

Hobbies: cooking, running and strength training, cuddling my fur-babies, listening to podcasts, kayaking, and gardening.

#1 Tip for Surviving Grad School: Use a planner or other method to manage your time and be sure to include time for yourself!

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Anthony Gallardo

Communication Studies Master's Program, College of Fine Arts & Communication

Instructional Assistant, Communication Department

Research Interests: Finding ways to effectively and easily communicate social support

Hobbies: Reading and watching sports

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Take time to eat, exercise, and sleep. Mental health helps with your academic performance. 

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Thi (T) Nguyen

Communication Design Master's Program, College of Fine Arts and Communication

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Research Interests: Design literacy, human-centered design, and data-driven graphic design.

Other Organization: American Institute of Graphic Design (AIGA)

Hobbies: Drinking coffee, being outdoors, people watching, practicing contemporary dance and hand-lettering, playing sports/music, and watching dog videos. 

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Be patient with your success, be kind and sleep tight!

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Emada (Emily) Igunbor

Chairperson, Budget and Finance Committee

Master's of Healthcare Administration, College of Health Professions

Graduate Instructional Assistant, Healthcare Administration 

Research Interests: economic forces that impacts access and quality to care.

Other Organizations: American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) 

Hobbies: traveling, cooking and eating good food, being outdoors, interior design, and writing.

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Take it one day at a time. Get to know the students in your cohort and beyond your cohort (alum). Find a professor/mentor who understands you and is willing to vouch for you.  

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Lorraine Lobo

Chairperson, Graduate House Campus Life Committee

Master's of Healthcare Administration, College of Health Professions

Graduate Instructional Assistant

Research Interests: Public health and healthcare financial management

Other Organizations: UAB Case Competition Team 

Hobbies: running, painting, reading, hiking, cooking 

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: When you study, make it efficient. Efficient studying can go a long way for your grades and mental health. 

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Maël Le Noc

Graduate House Leader

Geography Doctoral Program, College of Liberal Arts

Graduate Assistant, Department of Geography

Research Interests: Geography of the Holocaust, Qualitative GIS

Other Organizations: Alpha Chi, Geography Graduate Forum

Hobbies: Gardening, cooking, and eating.

#1 Tip for Surviving Grad School: Talk to your professors.

Email Maël

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Kelly Gourluck

House Parliamentarian

Sociology Master's Program, College of Liberal Arts

Welcome Center Specialist for Undergraduate Admissions

Research Interests: Higher education, gender/race relations, mental health

Other Organizations: Sociology Graduate Student Organization

Hobbies: Being nerdy (I'm a Whovian, Scooby, and Browncoat, to name a few of my favorites) and cat lady-ing.

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Use the resources available to you! Resources can include the "official" resources you pay for with tuition (the library, grad college offerings, the counseling center) or the people you work with (professors, colleagues, co-workers). Don't try to do it alone. 

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Blair Didion Sr.

Co-Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee 

Master's of Business Administration, McCoy College of Business

Graduate Assistant for the McCoy College Foundation

Research Interests: Veteran employment transition into the civilian workforce

Other Organizations: McCoy Graduate Student Association, Society for Human Resource Management, Veterans Alliance of Texas State

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Organization and time management skills

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Jessica Ramos-Karmaker

Master's Business Administration, McCoy College of Business

Research Interests: Hidden Bias, Diversity, Stereotyping, Sexual Abuse, Human Trafficking.

Other Organizations: McCoy Graduate Student Association (VP of Round Rock), Beta Gamma Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, National Association of Women's MBA, Student Leadership and Activites Organization, Alpha Gamma Pi, Terry Foundation Scholars, FunNation Foundation (VP Board of Directors) 

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Smile, it's contagious. Breathe,  its necessary. Don't Procrastinate, you'll regret it. 

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Jenn Idema

Chairperson, Graduate House Campus Life Committee

Aquatic Resources Doctoral Program, College of Science and Engineering

Instructional Assistant and Steward for the R/V Manta during the summer

Research Interests: I do visitor studies research for zoos & aquariums, to help provide evidence for why these places matter. My dissertation focus is how culture influences how we learn, think, and act towards marine conservation.

Other Organizations: NOAA Volunteer Corps, Texas Parks & Wildlife Volunteer, International Zoological Educators Association, Informal Science Educators of Texas, and the North American Association for Environmental Educators. 

Hobbies: Travel the world and experience new cultures, SCUBA diving, and photography. 

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: As insane as your schedule may be, be sure to take time out for yourself. Devote time every week to doing something you love that isn't necessarily school related. Go see that movie, float the river, or go for a hike. It's good for your sanity.

Email Jenn