Our Council Members

Council members (or Board Directors) provide oversight, insight, and foresight to UCGPC as an organization. There are 9 council members who represent each active Graduate Student Association in each University of California campus. At this time, the following campuses have recognized associations: UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Francisco, UC Merced, UC San Diego, UC Davis, and UC Santa Barbara. The council consists of ex officio directors who serve as external vice president or executive vice president of each graduate student association. Associations with more than one external vice president will identify who will serve as a UCGPC voting director.

For more information, read our governing documents.

Attention Council Members

Visit your UCGPC Portal to access current information and resources.


Taylor Washington - eavp-ga@berkeley.edu


Himali Thakur is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English at UC Davis. Her research interests are in science fiction studies, science and technology studies, and Japanese studies. Her current research focuses on the use of science fiction in the conceptualization of smart cities.

Email - gsaexternalvicepresident@ucdavis.edu


Amalia Mejia is a Ph.D. Candidate in the department of Urban Planning and Public Policy at UC Irvine. She was born and raised in Santa Ana, CA. Her work focuses on the community supervision of Latinos. She earned a Masters of Public Policy at Pepperdine University and a Bachelors in Political Science and Sociology from UC Santa Barbara. Amalia has direct experience applying research to policymaking and a deep understanding of the communities these policies intend to support.

Email: vpexternal@ags.uci.edu

Los Angeles

Sonya Brooks, M.S., is a Ph.D. student in the Urban Schooling division of the Education Department and an MPH student in the School of Public Health specializing in Community Health Sciences at UCLA. Her research interests lie at the intersections of education, policy, law, community health sciences, and intergenerational narratives. Brooks is a devoted educator, researcher, advocate, disruptor, and scholar. Sonya is the founder and advisor for Soil 2 Soil and We Are Our Mother's Gardens, community-based programs in the Bay Area and Los Angeles that build gardens in schools in communities pushed to the margins and teach students how to mitigate food insecurity while using their agency to create healthier worlds for their families and communities.

Email: vpex@gsa.asucla.ucla.edu


Kotono Babaguchi is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at University of California, Merced. Her research interests include organic and organometallic chemistry and catalysis, specifically organo-, iron, and nickel catalysis. She has experience in leadership roles advocating for climate, diversity, and equity on campus.

Email: kbabaguchi@ucmerced.edu


Zaira J. Vidal-Cortes, is a Mexican, First-Generation, Third-Year Graduate Student in the Spanish Linguistics Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside, where she also earned my B.A. in Global Studies with a minor in Spanish and her M.A. In Spanish (Linguistics, Cultural Studies, and Literature).  She have an extensive background in Business Administration and social and behavioral Science. She is a DACA/immigrant ally. Her inclination for the sociological analysis of immigration, particularly with respect to race and ethnicity, social structure, political policy, and social behavior, inspired her to continue her education and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the graduate and professional student body. This could involve initiatives that address issues related to representation, access, and inclusion for underrepresented groups in graduate school and academia.

Email: vpea.gsa@gmail.com

San Diego

Arturo Chiquito - vpexternal@gsa.ucsd.edu

UC San Francisco (academic)

David Sung - david.sung@ucsf.edu

UC San Francisco (professional)

Sarah Shapiro - sarah.shapiro@ucsf.edu

UC San Francisco (professional)

Keya Patel is a second-year PharmD. candidate at UCSF School of Pharmacy, holding a B.S. in Psychology with a Minor in Biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She currently serves as the UCGPC UCSF representative, the External VP of the UCSF Graduate and Professional Student Association, and is the President of both the American and California Pharmacist's Association UCSF Student Chapter and the American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists UCSF Student Chapter. Keya's research interests include pharmacy care coordination and HIV PrEP/ PEP furnishing in California. In her free time, Keya enjoys traveling, live music, and trying new foods!

Email - keya.patel@ucsf.edu

UC Santa Barbara

As a third year PhD student, Miriam Burnett is a mother on a mission in higher education, working at her best to ensure the future of a promising education for Black students in the U.S. may become more accessible. reality.  Redressing promises of hopes and dreams within U.S. higher education based on  national retoricic of  the "American dream" is a top priority within her transformative research strategy.Engage with California communities is her commitment and motivation to persist within her field of science education. As a Californiaa local, raised in Compton, CA. Burnett is committed to ensuring that UC initiatives become more evident in acknowledging disparities in student demographics to stimulate more efforts to retain and recruit Black STEM students at predominantly non-Black colleges and universities.  Her work and advocacy offers insights into the deep-rooted legacy of racism and maintains of racial hierarchies in education which privileges dominant discourse as she  begins a transition into law school with hopes to address perceptions of distrust for DEI initiatives within contemporary education that have implications of ensuring black student achievement using critical race theory (CRT).

Miriam Burnett - miriamburnett@ucsb.edu

UC Santa Cruz

Stephanie Herrera is a first-generation Latina Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at UC Santa Cruz. Her research interests encompass robotics, controls, and bio-mechatronics. She graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Irvine. She is also a systems engineering contractor for Johnson & Johnson.

Email: gsaevp@ucsc.edu

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