Graduate Student Council

For all graduate students at CWRU

Rita Tohme - President 
About Rita
I am a fifth year doctoral candidate in the Molecular Medicine PhD program at the Cleveland Clinic. I am passionate about Cancer research, a field that has been my main focus for the past 7 years.
This past academic year (2016-2017), I ran for the VP of Social and Special Programs position on the Graduate Student Council and was elected to serve on the council. This upcoming year (2017-2018), I will be serving as the President of the Graduate Student Council and I am more than excited to work with the executive board on improving the graduate students life experience at CWRU.

Jasmine Gajeton - Vice President of Internal Communications 
About Jasmine
I am originally from the Bay Area in California and went to college at UCLA. Shortly after graduating, I came straight to Cleveland to join the Molecular Medicine PhD Program. I am starting my fourth year as a Ph.D. Candidate currently working in Olga Stenina's Lab at the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

This is my second year in the Graduate Student Council - I was the VP of Public Relations last year (yeah, I'm *that* Jasmine, who spammed everyone with events and the GSC newsletters haha). This year, I am taking my experience with communications with the group and now working as the Vice President of Internal Communications. My goal for the year is to make what GSC does more transparent with the graduate student body by making governing documents, minutes, etc. more accessible and organized on our OrgSync portal. I hope to fill all the GSC Representative spots, or at the very least have one representative from every school.

I'm looking forward to a new year with GSC!

I love trying new food places - If you know a place, let me know!!

. Tanya - Vice President of Finance 
About .
My name is Tanya. I am a second year MBA student. This past year, I worked with GSC Special Programs Subcommittee. Now, I get this wonderful opportunity to serve as the Vice President for Finance at GSC. I feel privileged and fortunate to take the roles and responsibilities. I will be deliberate, considerate and efficient while allocating funds for the various activities held at the University. I will work with Executive Board closely to make sure that CWRU graduate community priorities and concerns are heard and addressed at the best. I will strive to ensure that each graduate gets most out of budget allocated and that everyone is heard and respected. My driving values are 'Diversity', 'Integrity', and 'Inclusion'.

Leah Plasek - Vice President of Public Relations 
About Leah
Hi, I'm Leah Plasek. This is my second year as a PhD student in the Molecular Biology and Microbiology Department where I study human gene regulation during HIV infection. I received my undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College in my home state of Minnesota. There I was involved in several different student organizations, including a Girls in STEM initiative and Interfaith Coalition. I have a passion for art and design, which I would probably choose to study if I weren't in the science field. I had fun advertising events for GSC's Social and Special Programs Committee last year and decided to get more involved this year as Vice President of Public Relations. My goal is to communicate all of GSC's happenings to you in the most effective way possible!

Sahil Gulati - Vice President of Academic Affairs 
About Sahil
I am originally from New Delhi in India where I did most of my schooling. Soon after graduation, I came to CWRU to pursue a doctorate in Pharmacology. Now I am a fourth-year doctoral student working on vision disorders in the School of Medicine.

While pursuing our academic degrees, I am sure most of us experienced some administrative difficulties that remained either unheard or unresolved (some big and some small). In order to mitigate the gap between graduate students and the administration, I started getting involved in the CWRU student community and the Graduate Student Council (GSC). This year, I am the Vice President of Academic Affairs in the GSC with a goal to improve the graduate school experience for our current and prospective students.

I look forward to working with you all in this initiative :)

Brandon Benjamin - Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion 
About Brandon
I am a second-year Master’s student in Cognitive Linguistics in the Department of Cognitive Science. My work focuses on the cognitive underpinnings of grammatical phenomena such as focus reduplication, case assignment, and apposition, and I additionally pursue work on co-speech gestures, internet communication, and psychocinematics. I hold my B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh.

As VP of Diversity and Inclusion, I look forward to building meaningful relationships with university administration and community partners in order to eradicate barriers to student achievement by promoting action-oriented programming and advocacy.

Outside GSC, you can find me playing rugby, serving as a teaching assistant, or catching up on reading in Crawford Hall.

Andrew L Schilb - Vice President of Professional Development 
About Andrew
Biomedical Engineering 3rd year PhD student in Dr. Zheng-Rong Lu's Lab to develop genetic material delivering nanoparticles to treat various forms of cancer. I have been a part of the Professional Development Committee for 2 years now and have aided in the Professional Development Conference as well as the Alumni Networking Night. Professional Development is crucial to our careers, so if you believe that you may have an exciting way to develop the Graduate Students of CWRU feel free to contact me at

Vice President for Society For Biomaterial
Vice President for Professional Development Committee

Daniel Burns - Vice President of Social and Special Programs 
About Daniel

I'm Daniel, a second-year student at the Case Western School of Law! As the new Vice-President of Social and Special Programs, I am incredibly excited for everything the Graduate Student Council is planning. This year, the social events are going to be bigger, the graduate programs more familiar with each other, and the divisions between us will be torn down (through food, drink, and merriment).

I can't wait, and I hope to see you there!!

Ruolin Yang - Vice President of Student Life 
About Ruolin
Hi my name is Zoe Yang. I am a first year Masters of Accountancy student and a BA Music Performance major. I am very excited to serve as VP of Student Life in GSC to advocate for student issues, educate students about campus resources, and improve students' quality of life. Most importantly, I want to build community and help each student have an amazing CWRU experience! Outside of GSC, I serve as president of Beta Alpha Psi honors fraternity, Director of Business Operations of The Observer campus newspaper, and Resident Assistant. In my free time, I like to attend campus events(GSC events are the best!), play the violin, and explore Cleveland.

Rachel E Stegemann - Vice President of Student Organizations 
About Rachel
I am currently a fourth year graduate student in the Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. My dissertation work deals with epigenetic inheritance of diet-induced obesity resistance in a mouse model. For the current academic year (2017-2018) I am the President of the Biomedical Graduate Student Organization and I am continuing my role as the VP for Student Organizations within the Graduate Student Council. I am passionate about connecting with people and about volunteering with non-profit organizations such as the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. If you have questions pertaining to my role in the GSC, feel free to email me at If you have any questions pertaining to my role in the BGSO, feel free to email me at

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