Officers and Committees

Graduate Student Council Officers and Committees 

Our Graduate Student Council (GSC) is made up of student officers and faculty advisers. These groups work together to improve and maintain a standard of excellence in the graduate student experience. Get to know our officers and find opportunities to get involved in different committees within the GSC.

GSC Officers

Swetha Thiyagarajan
Ph.D. Student - Pharmaceutical Sciences

Swetha Thiyagarajan Bio

Hello, I am an international doctoral candidate in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. I am from Tamil Nadu, India and joined NDSU in Spring-2016. My research is currently focused on understanding the role of a protein called ‘RAGE'. During my undergraduate study, I had volunteered and served for a non-governmental organization 'Green Nest' that promoted underprivileged children's right to education. I strongly feel that serving the community you belong to brings the best satisfaction in life. Past year I had served as the treasurer of GSC; as a team, we contributed towards the welfare of grad school population of NDSU. We are hoping to do more this year as well.

Seseer Mou-Danha
Vice President
Ph.D. Student - Communication

Seseer Mou-Danha Bio

I am a doctoral candidate and I explore presentations of terrorism (and sometimes other crisis) in the media. My home of origin is Abuja, Nigeria and my academic journey in higher education started with a Bachelor’s degree from Bowen University in Nigeria. Then I got a Master’s degree from Western Michigan University before joining the NDSU community for my Ph.D. I have worked or/and held voluntary positions like Student Outreach Coordinator, tutoring Program Assistant, Course Instructor, Vice President of press board among other roles, as an undergraduate, graduate assistant, and staff at the various universities. I like the benefits that heartfelt service brings to others and myself and I am excited to serve the graduate students of NDSU over the coming year as Vice President in whatever capacity my position permits.

Logeeshan Velmanickam
Ph.D. Student - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Logeeshan Velmanickam Bio

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with Bio-medical emphasis at NDSU. I received a BS degree with First Class Honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. My Ph.D. research focuses on development of Lab-on-a-chip device to detect single disease related biomarkers in biological assays such as blood, serum or saliva. Currently I am in my final year of Ph.D and expecting to graduate in summer 2019.

Raquib Hasan
Ph.D. Student - Pharmaceutical Sciences

Raquib Hasan Bio

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and my research topic is to deliver antibiotics into the bone to fight bone infections. I have joined NDSU in fall of 2015. Prior to joining NDSU, I completed my Bachelor of Pharmacy and Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Alongside my studies, I am involved with different campus organizations such as College of Health Professions Ambassadors, NDSU Student Government and NDSU Graduate Student Council. I like to travel and gain new experiences. I like to meet new people and learn about their cultures. I believe that graduate students should organize more to voice their needs and concerns, so that they get the best out of their graduate school experience.

GSC Advisers

Claudia Tomany, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies

Brandy A. Randall, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies

Margaret Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Human Development and Education

Kelly Rusch, Ph.D.
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Robert Mejia, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Communication

Jill Motschenbacher, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Office of Teaching and Learning

Jane Schuh, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research and Creative Activity

Nonnie Tangen
Business and Operations Manager, College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies

GSC Committees

The GSC has four different committees each with a specific goal to serve the graduate student body. You may join any of the GSC committees of your interest to get involved. Please contact the respective committee chair(s) for more information.


Strategic Planning Committee

Addresses issues related to the graduate student body, such as health insurance and student activity fees.

Committee Chairs:

Kenechukwu "Kenny" Ezekwem, Transportation and Logistics

Amanda Savitt, Emergency Management

Muhabbat Yakubova, Communication


Governance and Finance Committee

Supports and manages the budgetary planning and finances of the GSC and its committees.

Committee Chairs:

John Repko, Software Engineering

Logeeshan Velmanickam, Electrical and Computer Engineering (Ph.D.)


Public Relations and Outreach Committee

Increases communication amongst graduate students across the NDSU community.

Committee Chairs:

Fleming Gudagunti, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Blessing Okafor, Communication

Serap Vatansever, Plant Sciences


Professional Development

Develops and carries programs that enhance learning and networking to graduate students.

Committee Chairs:

Md Daulat Hossain, Transportation and Logistics

Dipankar Mitra, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Curtis Sullivan, Communication

Masahiro Toyama, Developmental Science

GSC Position Descriptions
Graduate Student Council President
  • Is the principle executive officer
  • Presides at all meetings of the organization
  • Coordinates with the Scribe of the Graduate Student Council in preparing meeting agenda
  • Calls special meetings of the organization
  • Approves all activities coordinated by other officers and/or members
  • Appoints internal and external committee chairs without objection
  • Gives final approval for the annual budget
  • Is the final approving authority on committee or officer use of university allocated resources including university appropriated funds
  • Represents the Graduate Student Council in all matters of the University and State as needed
  • Acts as a liaison between the Graduate Student Council, NDSU Student Government, and the university officials
  • Performs other duties and responsibilities as required
  • Temporarily assumes duties and responsibilities of the President in case the President is on leave of absence
  • Coordinates all of the speakers for monthly meetings
  • Coordinates with all committee chairs
  • Serves as the Congress of Student Organizations (CSO) delegate
  • Coordinates with the Scribe of the Graduate Student Council in maintaining prope rmeeting minutes
  • Coordinates with the Treasurer of the Graduate Student Council in keeping trackof expenditures and deposits of funds
  • Keeps a record of all members of the organization
  • Keeps a record of all activities of the organization
  • Keep a record of all minutes of the organization
  • Maintain a record of all internal committee proceedings and special committee requests
  • Coordinate with the Public Relations and Outreach Chair for posting and distribution of information pertaining to the Graduate Student Council
  • Notify all members of meetings, via email, poster etc.
  • Prepare and file any report required by the University
  • Chairs the Governance and Finance Commission of the Graduate Student Council
  • Keeps all financial records for the organization and its committees
  • Prepares annual budget and all budget requests for funds
  • Maintains the master budget and special budget requests approved by the President
  • Prepares and submits financial reports to the members during general meetings
  • Becomes familiar with the University accounting procedures and policies
  • Coordinates with the President in approving special funding request
  • Coordinates any necessary fundraising along with the Scribe