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The Graduate Student Government, or GSG, is the governing body of graduate students at UAB. The GSG Senate is composed of student representatives from all departments. The organization recently held elections for its 2020-21 officers. Welcome to the new GSG leadership team.


President: Jazmine Benjamin

Program: Graduate Biomedical Sciences, third/fourth year

Goal(s) for the year: Ensure that graduate students have access to the best available resources for their holistic wellness, minimize barriers to academic scholarship, and cultivate an inclusive and collaborative community within the graduate student body.

Fun fact: I have an adopted Border Collie mix named Cersei. She's the total opposite of the Game of Thrones character.


Vice President: Vishal Sharma

Program: Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology , 5th year

Goal(s) for the year: To advocate for those that are unheard or under-represented and to commit to an excellence of inclusiveness within GSG by 1) Providing support, resources to aid in the success of the graduate international student body, and 2) Advocating for the graduate LGBTQ+ student body.

Fun fact: I have never met a camera (or a mirror) that I did not like.


Secretary: Meagan Jenkins

Program: Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Micro/Immunology theme, incoming 5th year Ph.D. student

Goal(s) for the year: Advocate for the mental health and availability of physical needs/resources of graduate students.

Fun fact: I love running and baking.


Chief of Staff: Jason Floyd

Program: Graduate Biomedical Sciences Ph.D., 2018

Goal(s) for the year: Increase LGBTQ+ advocacy and representation from non-GBS departments in GSG.

Fun fact: I own far too many plants (if that’s possible?).


Treasurer: Elise Keister

Program: Rising 4th year Ph.D. student in the Biology Department.

Goal(s) for the year: Continue prioritizing financially supporting students (via the Graduate Student COVID-19 Emergency Fund, etc.); minimize rollover; and increase involvement of GSG budget committee members in funding allocation for graduate student organizations.

Fun fact: I really enjoy playing intricate (RPG style) board games on the weekends and I miss pre-COVID-19 game nights.


Travel Grant Officer: Silvienne Sint Jago

Program: Graduate Biomedical Sciences, P3 theme, rising 4th year

Goal(s) for the year: Create system to archive past awardees/unused awards and update FAQs on website and travel award guidelines.

Fun fact: I can speak four languages.


Parliamentarian: Kirsten Reeves

Program: Graduate Biomedical Sciences, BSB theme, 3rd year Ph.D. student

Goal(s) for the year: Adhering to constitutional guidelines and enhancing our legislative initiatives to better represent and support our fellow graduate students.

Fun fact: I am blessed to be a mom to a wonderful 1.5 year old little girl.


Community Service Committee Chair: Amareshwari Konutham

Program: 3rd year doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemistry

Goal(s) for the year: Form a learning network of community leaders to coordinate and organize community outreach events that we have been organizing with UAB and the Birmingham community. Collaborate with student organizations to increase awareness and interest across diverse groups to ensure meaningful community representation.

Fun fact: I spend a lot of time gardening. I love cooking, coming up with new recipes and exploring different cuisines.


Professional Development and Leadership (PDL) Committee Chair: Boyi Guo

Program: Rising 4th year Ph.D. student in Biostatistics

Goal(s) for the year: For the upcoming year, I would like to keep organizing workshops for students. Meanwhile, realizing the unsurmountable amount of freely available resources that UAB offers locally and other institutions offer remotely, I would like to start a platform that collectively compiles these information so that it is more easily accessible.

Fun fact: I love statistics, and am a huge advocate for statistical training. How to properly analyze and interpret data is utterly pivotal in the era of information. In my spare time, I am learning blues guitar now. Hopefully someday, I would make a living in music.


Communication and Marketing Committee Chair: Sabrina Heiser

Program: 5th year Ph.D. candidate in Biology

Goal(s) for the year: Reach even more graduate students than we currently reach (through our monthly newsletter and social media).

Fun fact: I spent 2.5 years in Antarctica and was the youngest person on station for both of the winters.

Not pictured:

  • Community Service Committee Chair: Shervonne Poleon
  • Social Activities: Krystle Ong
  • Webmaster: Gunars Osis

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