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Graduate Student Association

Executive Boards 2024-2025

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

Andrew Lockhart: Graduate Student Association

Andrew Lockhart


Kenneth Kim: Graduate Student Association

Kenneth Kim

Executive Vice President


Tyler Gray

Vice President of Finance

Emily Konopka: Graduate Student Association

Emily Konopka

Vice President of Operations


Alison Bashford

Vice President of Professional Development


Ijeoma Okoye

Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion


David Joyner

Vice President of Community Service and Outreach


Lindsay Barger

Vice President of Event Management


Grace Giddings

Vice President of Public Relations and Communications


Isabella Bendorf

First-Year Liaison

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Interdisciplinary and Career-Oriented GSA Executive Board

Henok Ermias: Graduate Student Association

Henok Ermias


Henok Ermias is a second-year master’s thesis student in Drug Discovery and Development at Drexel. He is from Seattle, Washington, and has lived in New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Texas before Philadelphia. He graduated from Weatherford, Okla. with his BS in Chemistry and plans on applying to the PhD program in Physiology and Pharmacology during the 2024-2025 cycle. He currently works in a research lab on a debilitating psychiatric disorder here at Drexel focusing on Schizophrenia. He 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.

Lucie Stein: Graduate Student Association

Lucie Stein

Vice President

Lucie Stein is a second-year student in the Pathologists’ Assistant program. She grew up in a family of artists in Vermont and in 2017 earned her BS in Medical Laboratory Science from the University of Vermont. After working in Boston, Mass. for a year at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in hematology, she worked at the University of Vermont Medical Center in microbiology for four years before applying to Drexel. With her background in art, she delights in the detail-oriented work of pathology and enjoys educating others about science. In her free time Lucie loves rock climbing, tennis, hiking and making art and rave costumes for her and her husband.

Samantha Heinlein: Graduate Student Association

Samantha Heinlein


Samantha Heinlein is a second-year student in the Pathologists’ Assistant program. She was born and raised on Long Island, N.Y. and earned her BS in Psychology at Fairfield University in Connecticut. She had been working as a licensed pharmacy technician prior to moving to Philadelphia to start the MS in PathA program at Drexel. Being here for over a year with her husband and two dogs, Philadelphia is now home. In her free time, she enjoys reading, true crime podcasts and exploring the city. She was introduced to GSA last year as a class representative and is excited to be more involved this year as a board member.

Jesty Patel: Graduate Student Association

Jesty Patel

Event Coordinator

Jesty Patel is a second-year year Master of Science in Drug Discovery and Development student at Drexel. She is a Doctor of Pharmacy graduate from India and moved to Philadelphia in the fall of 2023. She has prior event management experience and is looking forward to working as an event coordinator for ICO-GSA, organizing meaningful as well as fun events for students.

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Pre-med/Pre-health GSA Executive Board

Arathi Pillai: Graduate Student Association

Arathi Pillai


Arathi Pillai is a second-year MS student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program. She holds a BS in Biology with minors in Writing and Communication, and an MPH in Community Health and Prevention from Drexel University. Her research interests are focused on understanding the intersections of public health and medicine, particularly exploring health outcomes using the social determinants of health as a framework. In her role as PMPH GSA President, Arathi is dedicated to fostering camaraderie among the student body, engaging students in the PMPH community, building strong alumni relations and representing the student voice. As a Philadelphia local, she aims to connect the student body with the community. Outside of her academic pursuits, Arathi enjoys watching horror movies and cooking fusion foods.

Ameer Ghaderi: Graduate Student Association

Ameer Ghaderi

Vice President

Ameer Ghaderi is a second-year MS student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program. He holds a BS in Chemistry from Georgia State University. His research interest lies in spinal cord injury and how the immune system responds to such injuries. In his role as PMPH GSA Vice President, Ameer is dedicated to fostering a tight-knit community within the student body and planning events to help his classmates reach their professional goals.

Diego Molina: Graduate Student Association

Diego Molina


Diego Molina is a second-year MS student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program. He earned his BS in Biochemistry from Stony Brook University, where he also minored in Biomedical Engineering. Originally from Long Island, New York, Diego is enjoying living in a new city and experiencing everything Philadelphia has to offer, from dining and museums to parks and cafes. As a student and new member of this community, Diego engages in volunteer work with the Red Cross and participates in extracurricular activities, including the Drexel chapter of Doctors Without Borders. In addition to academics, he enjoys watching soccer (his favorite team is FC Barcelona) and exploring new foods and sights. As PMPH GSA Treasurer, Diego understands the importance of student involvement in adapting to a new city and school. He is committed to working alongside his fellow GSA members to provide the best environment for growth, exploration, and success for both current and future classmates.

Christine Ukubiwe: Graduate Student Association

Christine Ukubiwe


Christine Ukubiwe is a second-year MS student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program. She holds a BS in Biology from the University at Albany. Her clinical interests include harm reduction for individuals battling substance use disorder. As an EMT, Christine has witnessed many disparities toward that community and is dedicated to eliminating stigma in healthcare. She is also passionate about mentoring first-generation students navigating the collegiate world, with goals to create a youth center in underserved communities. In her role as Secretary, she aims to foster a sense of community within the PMPH program, bringing together students from all programs to ensure their time at Drexel is enjoyable and memorable. Outside of academics, Christine enjoys recreating new recipes she finds online.

Andrea Roguer: Graduate Student Association

Andrea Roguer

Events Coordinator

Andrea Roguer is a second-year MS student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program. She earned her BS in Healthcare Administration from The University of Texas at Dallas, as well as her EMT-B certification. As a former National Science Foundation REU Fellow, she researched the roles of socioeconomic status and household chaos on the sleep quality of Hispanic and Latino parents with young children. Currently, Andrea is a member of the Detloff Lab, where she contributes to various projects investigating neuropathic pain and the immune response after cervical spinal cord injuries. Outside of research, Andrea volunteers at Puentes de Salud, a clinic bridging the gap between Philadelphia’s Latino population and their access to equitable health care. As an Ecuadorian immigrant herself, Andrea finds her time at Puentes de Salud to be incredibly rewarding. In her role as Event Coordinator, Andrea is eager to bring all programs together through fun and meaningful events, create a welcoming environment, and foster a strong sense of camaraderie within the division. In her free time, Andrea enjoys catching a Phillies or Sixers game, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Hemani Patel: Graduate Student Association

Hemani Patel

Philanthropy and Community Outreach Chair

Hemani Patel is a second-year MS student in the Biomedical Studies program. She earned her BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Holy Family University. Her interests lie within neurology and psychiatry, fields in which she hopes to build a career after completing her program. She actively served as a Crisis Counselor, an experience that reinforced her dedication towards serving the community and promoting mental well-being. Additionally, she held several roles within organizations that strived to cultivate a positive and welcoming community throughout her undergraduate experiences. In her role as Philanthropy and Community Outreach Chair, she’s committed to serving as a liaison for many community service-related and pre-professional activities. She wants to improve accessibility towards these resources for the student body and help foster a strong, goal-oriented community within Drexel University. During her spare time, Hemani loves to learn new languages and create paintings/greeting cards.

Chinonye Charles-Obi: Graduate Student Association

Chinonye Charles-Obi

IHS Representative

Chinonye Charles-Obi is a second-year MS student in the Interdisciplinary Health Science (IHS) program. She holds a BS in Biology with a minor in Mathematics from Duquesne University. Her research interests focus on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), particularly in managing symptoms through natural remedies. Upon moving to Philadelphia, Chinonye actively contributes to the community by volunteering with the American Red Cross and Dawn’s Place. As IHS representative, she is dedicated to advocating for IHS students by voicing their concerns and assisting incoming students in navigating their way through the program. She is also committed to bridging the gap between IHS and other PMPH programs by promoting unity within the student body. Outside of her academic pursuits, Chinonye enjoys completing puzzles, knitting and reading books.

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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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