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Graduate Student Association

Executive Boards 2023-2024

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies consists of three executive boards, one for each division in the Graduate School.

Biomedical Science GSA Executive Board

Gina Cusimano: Graduate Student Association

Gina Cusimano

President

Gina Cusimano is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Microbiology & Immunology program at Drexel University. Her research interests are in immune modulation to further the development of novel vaccines, vaccine adjuvants and immuno-oncology therapies. In her role as BSGSA president, Gina is a passionate student advocate that is dedicated to improving the student experience within the Division of Biomedical Sciences. Outside of the lab, Gina enjoys crocheting, binge watching shows on Netflix and eating her way through the many great restaurants of Philadelphia!

Abhishek Rao: Graduate Student Association

Abhishek Rao

Vice President

Abhishek Rao is a fourth-year Microbiology & Immunology PhD candidate in Dr. Carey's laboratory. His research is dedicated to unraveling the intricacies of neonatal innate immune responses to influenza A infection, with a strong passion for understanding infectious diseases and the complexities of host-pathogen interactions. Having obtained his MS in biomedical engineering from Drexel University in 2011, Abhishek possesses a multidisciplinary background that fuels his scientific endeavors. Before embarking on his PhD journey at Drexel, he served as a dedicated researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, where he contributed to characterizing lung cancer phenotypically and functionally. This experience further nurtured his fascination with the intricate mechanisms underlying disease progression. Abhishek is dedicated to improving student experiences by fostering a supportive and inclusive community. He values active listening, encourages idea exchange, and respects feedback from all individuals. His goal is to create a transformative educational experience for current and incoming students where everyone's voice is valued. During his leisure time, Abhishek enjoys exploring new places, seeking out novel experiences and immersing himself in the dynamic culture that surrounds him in Philadelphia.

Ashraful Islam: Graduate Student Association

Ashraful Islam

Vice President of Finance

Ashraful Islam is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience program at Drexel University College of Medicine. His current research involves elucidating the mechanism behind increased axon regeneration of damaged neurons after chemogenetic activation. Ash became interested in the role of VP of finance after attending business classes at Drexel LeBow during his second to fourth years of his PhD. When he’s not in the lab, Ash enjoys photography, watching standup comedy and going on long rides on his motorcycle.

Emily Konopka: Graduate Student Association

Emily Konopka

Vice President of Operations

Emily Konopka is a third-year PhD candidate in the Microbiology & Immunology program at Drexel University. She graduated with a BS in cell and molecular biology from Lycoming College in 2021 prior to joining the PhD program at Drexel. Her research interests are focused on immune correlates of protection and the effects of aging on Clostridioides difficile infection and recurrence susceptibility in addition to vaccine efficacy. Emily enjoys networking with other researchers and getting to know her fellow BSGSA board members. Outside the lab, Emily also enjoys baking, scuba diving and playing volleyball.

Adam Hall: Graduate Student Association

Adam Hall

Vice President of Professional Development

Adam Hall is a third-year PhD candidate in Neuroscience program. He received a BS in neuroscience and psychology from Regis University in 2013. He enrolled as a PhD student in the Neurobiology & Anatomy program in 2020. His research focuses on combining cellular transplants with a rehabilitative strategy called intermittent hypoxia to repair the cervical spinal cord after injury in Dr. Michael Lane's lab. Adam's work investigates changes in connectivity between cell transplants and host tissue, while also studying recovery of breathing and upper limb function after treatment. Outside of the lab, he serves as a program coordinator for the Drexel Neuroscience Summer Camp and acts as a teaching assistant for the medical neuroscience course.

Kenneth Kim: Graduate Student Association

Kenneth Kim

Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Kenneth Kim is a third-year PhD student in the Microbiology & Immunology program at Drexel University College of Medicine. He graduated with a BS in general biology from the Pennsylvania State University. He then received the Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) post-baccalaureate research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute and graduated with an MS in biomedical science with a concentration in immunology/virology at Hood College. His research interests are translational and clinical applications focusing on harnessing biomaterials, immunology and immune engineering to develop antigen-specific immunotherapy for autoimmune diseases. Ken is the vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for BSGSA, where he is passionate about promoting DEI at Drexel and is dedicated to representing and advocating for all students.

Teddy Nguyen: Graduate Student Association

Teddy Nguyen

Vice President of Community Service and Outreach

Teddy Nguyen is a fouth-year PhD student in the MCBG program. He is in the Golemis Lab at Fox Chase Cancer Center. His research interests include understanding the role of aurora kinase A in the regulation of glycolysis in the setting of head and neck cancer. As the vice president of community service and outreach, Teddy aims to improve the communication within Drexel University’s various graduate programs, as well as with the community of Philadelphia. Outside of the lab, Teddy enjoys pursuing street photography and weightlifting.

Andrew Lockhart: Graduate Student Association

Andrew Lockhart

Vice President of Event Management

Andrew Lockhart is a fouth-year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience program. His research interests lie at the intersection of robotics, computational neuroscience and locomotion. With a specific focus on spinal cord injury, Andrew explores innovative ways to utilize robots as a tool for studying and understanding the complexities of the nervous system. In his role as vice president of event management, Andrew actively engages in planning events that foster a sense of community between the programs and organizes insightful gatherings that promote interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange. In his free time, Andrew enjoys hiking, reading, gaming and listening to music.

Kyra Woloszczuk: Graduate Student Association

Kyra Woloszczuk

Vice President of Publication Relations and Communication

Kyra Woloszczuk is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Microbiology & Immunology program at Drexel University. Her research interests include immunological memory following vaccination and viral infection, vaccine development and biological markers of clinical severity. In her role as BSGSA vice president of communication and public relations, she is dedicated to improving communication between the student body, BSGSA and faculty members. Outside of the lab, Kyra enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her friends and family, and discovering new restaurants in Philadelphia.

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Interdisciplinary and Career-Oriented GSA Executive Board

Nicholas Wilson: Graduate Student Association

Nicholas Wilson

President

Nicholas Wilson, a dedicated researcher from Ghana, is currently pursuing a master's degree in Drug Discovery and Development at Drexel University. With an undergraduate degree in doctor of pharmacy from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, Nicholas has a strong foundation in pharmaceutical sciences. His research focus lies in the field of cancer immunotherapy, where he aims to develop targeted therapies and enhance immune response for effective cancer treatment. Nicholas is a 4D fellow conducting his research in collaboration with Janssen, a leading pharmaceutical company. This prestigious fellowship program provides him with unique opportunities to engage with industry experts and contribute to cutting-edge advancements in cancer immunotherapy. With his strong work ethic, team spirit and excellent communication skills, Nicholas is driven to make a significant impact in the field, bringing transformative innovation to the forefront of cancer treatment research.

Keziah K. Adjei: Graduate Student Association

Keziah K. Adjei

Vice President

Keziah Adjei is a second-year student in the Molecular Medicine program. In 2019 Keziah earned her BSc in biotechnology and molecular biology from University for Development Studies, Ghana. Prior to gaining admission she worked as a research assistant at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, where she was involved in diagnosis and research concerning SARS-CoV-2. Keziah is a current Fulbright Foreign Program awardee and lab member of Professor Jain Pooja working on cancer cell-derived exosome effects on dendritic cells. Keziah's research interest is on immunopathogenesis of viruses (such as HTLV-1) with focus on translational research in the development of therapeutic strategies. Keziah looks forward to working with fellow ICO GSA executive board members and making the experience of ICO graduate students at Drexel exciting this year.

Grace Holstein: Graduate Student Association

Grace Holstein

Event Coordinator

Grace Holstein is a second-year Master of Molecular Medicine student at Drexel. She is from Upstate New York, but has lived in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont and Utah prior to Philadelphia. She graduated from Springfield College with her BS in sports biology in 2021, and plans on applying to medical school during the 2023-2024 cycle. At Springfield, Grace was an RA and acted as a board member for multiple organizations. She currently works in a research lab here at Drexel focusing on malaria parasites. She is excited to work with the ICO GSA executive board this upcoming year and looks forward to helping put together plenty of engaging events and activities for our students!

Brittany Schleeter: Graduate Student Association

Brittany Schleeter

Treasurer

Brittany Schleeter is a Pathologists’ Assistant student at Drexel. Brittany was born and raised in rural Ohio before obtaining her BA in forensic biology at The Ohio State University. While at OSU, she worked as an undergraduate anatomy TA and aided in cadaveric dissection for the anatomy department. Immediately after graduation, she moved to Philadelphia to join Drexel’s Pathologists’ Assistant MS program. She is very excited to soon be working as a PathA! In her free time, Brittany enjoys drawing, being active and spending time with her pet rabbit. She also loves to explore Philadelphia with her friends and family.

Samantha Heinlein: Graduate Student Association

Samantha Heinlein

PathA Program Representative

Samantha is a first-year Pathologists’ Assistant master’s student here at Drexel University. She earned a BS in psychology at Fairfield University and had been working as a licensed pharmacy technician on Long Island prior to moving to Philadelphia. Having experience in retail, hospitals and outpatient cancer center pharmacies, Samantha is now focusing on becoming part of the health care team involved with patient diagnosis. She enjoys being a dog and plant mom and spending time with her husband. She’s excited to expand her involvement here at Drexel through GSA!

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Pre-med/Pre-health GSA Executive Board

Arinze Ubadike: Graduate Student Association

Arinze Ubadike

President

Arinze Ubadike is a second-year Interdisciplinary Health Sciences student at Drexel University. He was born in Nigeria, lived in Michigan, Maryland and now, Philadelphia. His research interest is in the implementation of effective school-based substance abuse prevention practices in the Philadelphia region with a strong interest in neural circuit mechanisms of post–traumatic epilepsy. In his role as the PMPH GSA President, Arinze is dedicated to fostering a tight-knit student community, elevating the culture of camaraderie for an improved student experience, while addressing mental health issues for students. Outside of his obligation to the PMPH student body, Arinze runs a non-profit organization called Funnel Heart based in Maryland. And in his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, watching and playing sports, lifting weights, going to musical concerts and new experiences.

Jyothii Kulasingam: Graduate Student Association

Jyothii Kulasingam

Vice President

Jyothii Kulasingam is a second-year MS student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program at Drexel University. Her research interests are in glioblastomas and health outcomes based on one’s socioeconomic status. In her role as PMPH GSA vice president, Jyothii is dedicated to providing resources and planning events to help fellow classmates to succeed in their personal and professional goals. Outside of school, Jyothii enjoys playing with her dog Jack, playing basketball and exploring new places.

Clara Motino: Graduate Student Association

Clara Motiño

Treasurer

Clara is a second-year MS student in the IHS program. Her interests are in pre-hospital and emergency department management of opioid use disorders and substance abuse management. As a harm reduction advocate and EMT, she's spent considerable time getting to know the communities she lives in and contributes to local harm reduction initiatives in Philly and back home in Minneapolis. Her role in PMPH GSA includes managing all financial aspects and contributing to an effective and student-oriented executive board. Outside of school, you can find Clara working nights in the emergency department and cooking up a storm in her tiny kitchen.

Dina Elias: Graduate Student Association

Dina Elias

Secretary

Dina Elias is a second-year student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program at Drexel University. In 2020, she earned her BS in cell and molecular biology from the University of Rhode Island. Prior to attending Drexel, during COVID she established a tutoring service for children in her community and became a medical assistant at a dermatology clinic. Dina looks forward to interacting with her peers and making a great experience for her fellow graduate students. Outside of classes, Dina enjoys dancing at her dance studio, watching anime and reading a plethora of books in her home library.

Fatima Zubedi

Fatima Zubedi

Philanthropy and Community Outreach Chair

Fatima Zubedi is currently pursuing a master of science through the Drexel Pathway to Medical School Program (DPMS). Before joining Drexel, she earned a bachelor of science in neuroscience with a minor in biology from Washington State University. Fatima's previous research primarily focused on neurophysiology and the intricate dynamics surrounding substance use disorders, particularly with opioids and their profound impact on society. With a keen awareness of the ongoing crises in Philadelphia, Fatima, serving as the PMPH philanthropy and community outreach chair, is dedicated to implementing initiatives that foster healing within our immediate community. Her focus revolves around addressing mental health challenges, substance use disorders and supporting marginalized individuals. Additionally, she is committed to advocating for those often overlooked within the community, providing them with a platform to voice their concerns and needs.

Taleah Reid: Graduate Student Association

Taleah Reid

Events Coordinator

Taleah Reid is a second-year MS candidate in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program at Drexel University. Her research interest is in the effect of socioeconomic status on academic performance of the youth to highlight the importance of after-school athletic, tutoring and mentoring programs. As the GSA events coordinator, Taleah is committed to the task of organizing memorable experiences for the PMPH community. Aside from academia, Taleah enjoys buying new plants, collecting vinyl records and making playlists on Apple Music.

Haley Hoffman: Graduate Student Association

Haley Hoffman

Biomedical Studies Representative

Haley Hoffman is a second-year student in the Master of Science in Biomedical Studies (MBS) program. She is originally from South Florida and interested in pursuing a career in orthopedic surgery following her completion of the program. In her role as the PMPH MBS representative, Haley is dedicated to advocating for her peers and building relationships between students of different programs. Outside HSB, Haley enjoys watching and attending many different sporting events.

Vershawn Hansen: Graduate Student Association

Vershawn Hansen

Drexel Pathway to Medical School Representative

Vershawn Hansen is a MS candidate in the Drexel Pathway to Medical School Program (DPMS). Prior to attending Drexel, he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Vershawn is passionate about promoting health advocacy and aspires to become a physician who will work to mitigate health inequities by improving access and health literacy across medically underserved communities. As the PMPH DPMS Representative, Vershawn plans to advocate on behalf of his peers, while implementing inclusive programming to provide a productive and safe learning environment for all. Aside from school, Vershawn’s hobbies include cooking, listening to music and watching movies.

Kyle Lu: Graduate Student Association

Kyle Lu

Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Representative

Kyle Lu is a second-year IHS student who plans to apply to medical school upon completion of this program. Kyle is from NYC and completed his undergrad with a BA in psychology and English. He is part of Drexel’s Men’s Volleyball Club and has played volleyball for many years. Kyle is also this upcoming year’s IHS Representative. As the IHS Representative, Kyle will strive to generate camaraderie among the first- and second- year students. Geared mostly toward our mentorship program, he also aims to create events that are inclusive and fun for everybody. He will act as liaison to our e-board regarding any concerns that our student body may have and hopes to create the best possible environment for us to thrive as both students and peers. Cheers to the year ahead.

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About the Graduate Student Association (GSA) of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies

The Graduate School GSA represents over 800 students and provides a variety of services to enhance the Drexel experience. The GSA executive boards oversee but are not limited to:

  • Creating a community within their respective programs, divisions and the Graduate School as a whole.
  • Creating and supporting professional and career development opportunities.
  • Student representation and voting on the Graduate School Committees, including the Graduate Council.
  • Travel awards for the biomedical science programs.
  • Supporting annual events such as orientation, commencement and faculty awards.
  • Student mentoring program.
  • Networking and social events.
  • Oversee community outreach, initiate service projects and volunteer opportunities.

As stated in the GSA bylaws, the purpose of this group is to:

  • Operate in compliance with the by-laws of the Biomedical Graduate Student Association;
  • Advise the University Student Council on matters of mutual concern to the School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies and the School of Medicine;
  • Provide a channel for communication among the graduate students, the University, and the community;
  • Serve the graduate students and represent their interests in the University and the community;
  • Promote understanding and intellectual stimulation among graduate students, the University, and the community;
  • Improve the position of graduate students in academic and extracurricular matters;
  • Elevate the quality and standards of graduate education;
  • Guarantee the rights and privileges of graduate students as members of the University and the community.

Read the GSA bylaws [PDF].

 
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Drexel graduate student attending Careers Beyond the Bench 2016.

Upcoming Events

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