PRESIDENT – Nikhileswara "Nikhil" Reddy Naguru
Nikhil is currently doing his Masters in Electrical Engineering specializing in 'Smart Power' along with his MBA from Anderson School of Management. He started his life at GPSA as a volunteer and most recently served the Spring 2020 semester as GPSA Council Chair. He has also held positions on Council, Legislative Steering Committee and Grants Committee. He loves food and during free time, he likes to hike to burn his calories.
COUNCIL CHAIR – Bountouraby "Raby" Sylla
Bountouraby “Raby” Sylla is the GPSA Council Chair originally from Guinea, Conakry but now resides in Albuquerque by a way of life. She obtained her dual bachelor’s degree in Finance and International Management with a Minor in French from the University of New Mexico, Anderson School of Management. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Accounting at the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management with a concentration in Non-profit. Raby served GPSA last year as the Finance Chair and a Council member.
CHIEF OF STAFF – David Saavedra
David C. Saavedra (He/Him/His) is a native New Mexican, born and raised in Grants. He holds a B.A. in Public Communications with a minor in Business Administration from UNM. David is a first-year graduate student working toward obtaining a Master of Public Administration degree from the School of Public Administration. David’s interest in public sector leadership was sparked by the desire to make a difference and make an impact. In his free time, David enjoys playing tennis, long distance running, and traveling; it is always a plus when all three are combined! His favorite place that he has traveled to is Amsterdam, Netherlands and the next place on his list is The Greek Islands.
CHIEF JUSTICE – Jessica Martinez
Jessica serves as the Chief Justice of the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Court of Review. She is a third-year law student and a dual-degree candidate at the University of New Mexico School of Law and School of Public Administration. She is also pursuing an Indian Law Certificate. Before law school, Jessica worked as a legal secretary and was a community activist and leader. She has been a volunteer with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for over fifteen years and was elected to leadership positions locally and nationally.
Jessica is an enrolled member of the Chihene Nde Nation of New Mexico. The Chihene are descendants of Apache people throughout Southern and Central New Mexico. The Chihene Nde Nation’s mission is to preserve their language, culture, and traditions, including protecting historic and sacred sites. Jessica is currently the tribal parliamentarian for the Tribal Council. She is connected to the land and has a deep love for New Mexico. Jessica’s educational aspirations are motivated and energized by her desire to serve her community through public interest law.
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE – McKenna Mains
McKenna graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she is originally from. She came to New Mexico for Law School in 2018 and is currently completing her final year there online. She was an avid debater in high school and during her undergraduate, and the skills she accumulated during debate have helped her graduate career immensely, as well as her ability to be an associate justice for the Court of Review. McKenna comes from a big family and was taught to serve her community from an early age. She views this position as an opportunity to serve the University of New Mexico graduate community, and help them find fair and equitable solutions to their disputes.
ELECTIONS CHAIR – Mandela Bright Quashie “MbQ”
Mandela Bright Quashie “MbQ” is the Elections Committee Chair for the Graduate and Professional Student Association. He is a PhD student in applied mathematics. His main objective is to help conduct free and credible elections and to help transfer of mandate from one team to another to enhance continuity of GPSA. MbQ loves motivating people, computer programming, debate, cooking, writing, language, playing board games and traveling around the world. His motto is to make the world a better place than when he met it.
FINANCE CHAIR – Benjamin Parmoon
Benjamin is the GPSA Finance Chair. He is currently working on his Masters of Science in Information Systems and Assurance with a concentration in big data. Benjamin has also been a member UNM’s track and field team for four years.
FINANCE VICE-CHAIR – Katie Rodarte
Katie is currently pursuing an MBA in Management of Technology and an MS in Global and National Security. Outside of GPSA, Katie spends her time horseback riding, running, biking, swimming, hiking, camping, snowboarding and traveling. Katie classifies herself as an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys being able to explore new adventures.
Anu Khadka is currently pursuing her dual degree in graduate studies of Accounting and Information System and Assurance with a concentration in Cyber Security from Anderson School of Management. She is very involved on campus as she is associated with different school organizations i.e. ALPFA, ISMART and ASM Graduate Ambassadors. In her free time, she loves exploring new adventures, hiking up Sandia Mountains and cooking creatively with her friends.
LEGISLATIVE STEERING COMMITTEE CHAIR – Aaron Cowan
Aaron is a 3rd-year doctoral student in Learning Sciences, having earned master’s degrees in Learning Sciences and an MPA from the School of Public Administration. He is the President of the OILS Student Alliance and is currently serving as the GPSA LSC chair as well as a council representative. Previously, he was the GPSA Election Chair, an officer in PAGSA, a UNM Staff Councilor, and a Faculty Senator. He was also a journalist for the Daily Lobo and a Lobo League referee. In his spare time, he enjoys writing, traveling, and learning languages like Esperanto and Spanish.
Charles L. Scott is the Graduate and Professional Student Association's Lobby Chair. His objective is to facilitate the success and growth of graduate students through the research, development, and implementation of the legislative agenda throughout the university. He currently holds an MBA from Franklin Pierce University and is pursuing a Master of Architecture with University of New Mexico SA+P. His core philosophy is pragmatism. In his free time, Charles enjoys exploring architectural design, playing folk music on his acoustic guitar, exercising strategic positioning on the chessboard, fiction writing, and abstract painting.
MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS CHAIR – Hyrom Kim
Hyorim Kim is the GPSA Media and Communications Chair originally from South Korea. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She is currently pursuing her Master of Music concentrating in Flute Performance as a Woodwind Quintet Graduate Assistant. She loves spending time for cooking, hiking, and playing board games.
Jazmin Moreno is GPSA's Programs Committee Chair and is determined to highlight the culture of UNM’s Graduate students through her experience in organizing workshops, events and social opportunities as a community organizer in Southeast Los Angeles and previous student council board positions as President and Event Coordinator at Cal Poly Pomona. Throughout the years, she has learned to truly advocate for her local community and utilize the necessary tools to advocate for diverse student bodies. Jazmin is new to Albuquerque and is pursuing a Graduate Dual Degree in Community Development & Pubic Administration, with hopes to continue specializing in creating opportunities of environmental justice, social equity, and overall safer futures for Black and Brown folks who are overdue for a better quality of life.
STUDENT SUPPORT & ADVOCACY CHAIR – Bibek Acharya
Bibek Acharya is a graduate student in Political Science with a concentration in international relations and methods. Outside of GPSA, Bibek works as a Research Assistant at Cradle to Career Policy Institute (CCPI). He is engaged in conducting education policy and program evaluation that supports policymaking for children and families.In his spare time, he loves traveling and connecting with people.