About RSG


The following students serve as RSG graduate student representatives for the Fall 2016 Term, and together form the Legislative Branch of the government. Their attendance and voting records are available for public review on this page. Each representative serves on at least 2 RSG committees, and holds periodic office hours that are open to the general student body. Jump below to learn more about and contact your student representatives, or meet them in person at one of these sessions.

Wondering what Division represents you?

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Division I – Biological and Health Sciences

Daniel Vallejo


Rosa Vasquez

Chemical Biology

Rosa is passionate about science, the arts and education. She graduated magna cum laude from Tennessee Tech University with a double-degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is currently completing her PhD in Chemical Biology at the University of Michigan focusing on engineering nature’s catalysts to facilitate the generation of complex molecules. In 2015, Rosa started her first non-profit organization, IMAN, in her native country (Peru) with the goal of promoting access to science and health education in high-risk populations in South America and continues to organize yearly educational events and workshops in collaboration with talented graduate students in Peru. Last but not least, she is also a professional dancer and has been invited to teach workshops in multiple countries worldwide.

Tom Jurkiw

Biological Chemistry

I am representing the Biological and Health Sciences Division. I am currently a 4th-year PhD student in the Biological Chemistry. This is my first term as a member of the RSG. I am most interested in helping to increase mental health awareness throughout the graduate school, as well as helping to increase diversity and inclusion in the various departments.

Paige Castle

Biomedical Engineering

DI – Vacant Seat

Interested in serving as a representative? Contact us and request an application to fill this open board seat!

DI – Vacant Seat

Interested in serving as a representative? Contact us and request an application to fill this open board seat!

Division II – Physical Sciences and Engineering

Sarah Bork

Electrical Engineering

I am a first year Electrical Engineering Ph.D. student representing Division II: Physical Sciences and Engineering. I received my B.S./M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Ohio State University in 2017. In my work with microfabrication, I am thrilled develop tools for neuroscience applications with the aim of unveiling the inner workings of the neural network. I am also actively investigating the methods required for active learning through my research in engineering education, enabling future incorporation of evidence based teaching methods in the classroom. Outside of academia, I find means to fuel my curiosities. Independently, I enjoy painting, reading, and horseback riding. With my partner and our two dogs, we enjoy traveling, hiking, canoeing, and movie nights.

Neal Sanna

Biomedical Engineering

I am a second-year graduate student in Biomedical Engineering. I always like to advocate for all students that may feel have no voice. I am most passionate about providing extensive academic resources for graduate students including mentorship programs. As a representative in RSG I get the opportunity to help all students that are part of a minority group. I have served as an RSG division II: physical sciences and engineering representative for a year now. I have enjoyed my time in RSG and hope to serve the graduate population in general. I also hope to represent my peers’ best interest and serve the graduate community effectively. If you have any question or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me anytime with any issues you may have.

Francesca Gandini


I decided to run as a RSG representative because after four years at UM, it is time for me to give back to the graduate student community. I want to work on improving the opportunities for professional development offered to graduate students. I am also passionate about the situation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM. Finally, as an international student, I recognize the pressure felt by foreigner instructors in US classrooms, and the challenges and opportunities that this situation affords.

Dinank Gupta

Electrical and Engineering and Computer Science

Michael Potter

Mechanical Engineering

I am a first year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering with a research focus in sport biomechanics. This is my first term as an RSG representative, representing District 2. I am passionate about fighting the many barriers that make it difficult for all students to succeed. These issues include research funding, student debt, and campus climate issues (to name a few). I am also determined to help ensure that students have a voice that reaches the highest levels of this university by having student representation at all regents meetings. I look forward to serving and hearing from you.

Lydia Mensah

Material Science

My name is Lydia I represent Division II. I am a rising 3rd year Material Science and Engineering, PhD student. This is my first year in RSG and I am excited to serve. I am most excited about potentially working with the legislative action committee to help spread the importance of graduate students and the work they do.

Tae Lim

Mechanical Engineering

I am representing a Division II: Physical Sciences and Engineering. Also, I am working as a graduate student representative for Building, Facilities and Infrastructure on Senate Assembly Committee on University Affaris (SACUA).

I am a first year master’s student at the mechanical engineering. This is my first year working as a representative and I am particularly interested in enhancing sustainability around the campus.

Nacona Sanders

Material Science and Engineering

Angela Kimber

Aerospace Engineering

Angela graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2017, where she studied optimization of ‘green’ propellant microthrusters, as well as characterization of a cluster of high power Helicon thrusters. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, and joins the Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory researching electrospray thruster array materials and design for scaling propulsion systems. Actively invested in leadership, Angela serves the Aerospace Engineering Graduate Student Activities Committee and Rackham Student Government this year as a Science and Engineering Representative, in addition to volunteering with the Students Advocating for Graduate Education (SAGE) Immigration Working Group. Outside of the lab, she loves spending time enjoying the outdoors and reading with her daughter, Guenevere.

Saurabh Mahajan

Electrical Engineering

My name is Saurabh Mahajan. I am a first year Master’s student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department. This is my first year as a Representative and I am passionate and motivated to create awareness about RSG’s initiatives among graduate students.

Mojtaba Akhavan-Tafti

Climate and Space Science and Engineering

Natacha Comandante Lou

biomedical engineering

I am a first year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering representing for the division of Physical Sciences and Engineering in the RSG. As an international student in the interdisciplinary field of bioengineering, I believe in innovation, collaboration, and diversity. My experiences as an international student have given me a thorough understanding of the unique challenges faced by students within this community. I am particularly passionate about promoting diversity and inclusiveness in our graduate student community, as well as improving access to academic opportunities and resources for all students.

Nicholas Arnold-Medabalimi

aerospace engineering

I’m a 2nd year PhD Candidate in the Aerospace Engineering program. I am representative of Division 2. (Physical Sciences and Engineering) This will be my first term as a RSG representative. I am most interested in fostering inter-department interactions and events.

Division III – Social and Behavioral Sciences

Ta’les Love

Communications Studies

Ta’les Love is a second year PhD student in the Communication Studies Department and serves as a Division III Representative for the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Ta’les has served as Representative on RSG since the Winter 2017 term and is passionate about advancing the options and opportunities of graduate students so they can function successfully.

Marissa Salazar


I am Marissa Salazar, a graduate representative for Division III: Social & Behavioral Sciences and a second-year Ph.D. student in Psychology. Firstly, as someone who has been extensively involved in student organizations and student affairs for the past several years, I highly prioritize our student organizations and securing funds to meet each organizations’ needs. Secondly, I serve as a representative on the Ann Arbor City Council’s newly formed Student Advisory Council where I speak on behalf of the graduate student population in Ann Arbor. In my position, I help to promote dialogue and collaboration among students and the City on policies, programs, and any other associated actions. Lastly, and most personally, as a woman of color, I take pride in ensuring proper representation and consideration to underrepresented groups. Fortifying access to academic, social, and financial resources for underrepresented graduate students is one of my principal concentrations.

Guangzhang Lu

Applied Economics

My name is Guanzhang Lu and I represent Division III. I am a first year Masters student, majoring in Applied Economic. This is my first year in RSG and first time serving in a student organizations. I am passionate about sharing International students’, especially Chinese students’, concern and suggestions with the board and helping international students involving into the society.

Amber Sizemore

Educational Studies

Eric Rodriguez

Public Policy

DIII – Vacant Seat

Interested in serving as a representative? Contact us and request an application to fill this open board seat!

Division IV – Humanities and the Arts

Bader AlBader


Ayesha Wahid


Vacant Seat

Interested in serving as a representative? Contact us and request an application to fill this open board seat!