Graduate Student Council

For all graduate students at CWRU
Rita Tohme - President 

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 

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!


Tanya Singh - Vice President of Finance 

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 

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 

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 :)


Melissa Perlman - Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion

I am currently a 1L at the Law School here at Case, and I have taken over the VP of Diversity and Inclusion position on the GSC for the spring semester. I am originally from Massachusetts but spent my childhood in Arkansas. I did my undergrad at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. I studied business administration with a double concentration in global business management and legal studies. I hope to take my business background into my legal career to work with entrepreneurs and other small businesses to create social change. 


Andrew Schilb - Vice President of Professional Development 

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


Dhvani Valia - Vice Present of Social & Special Programs 

Hello, I am from Mumbai, India.I completed my BS and MS from India before enrolling in my second Masters at CWRU. During my undergraduate degree program, I was involved in the organization and planning for the annual college festival. I am here to plan and organize events which will help the students of different schools interact and come together. These events give you all the time and opportunity to meet new people and create new friendships. Hope you all enjoy the spring semester!


Faraz Ahmed - Vice Present of Social & Special Programs 

I am from New Delhi, India and I am currently studying Master of Engineering and Management. I have a passion towards meeting new people, connecting with them and sharing ideas/thoughts. Since my undergraduate years, I have been actively involved in organizing and managing cultural and social events. Being the member of the cultural committee of my college in India, I have organized events hosting at least 3000 students from various parts of the country. Keeping in mind my passion of meeting with new people and creating opportunities that would result in mutual benefits of all the people connected with me and with my event management background, I believe I can leverage my competencies in order to provide a better graduate life experience for the students. As the VP of Social and Special Programs, I constantly aim to provide a platform so as to facilitate social engagements between students that would make graduate school life exciting and memorable.


Zoe Yang - Vice Present of Student Life

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.


Esmaeel Asadi - Vice Present of Student Organizations

Hi, I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Civil Engineering at Case School of Engineering. I like learning and teaching and have been a community college instructor before joining CWRU. At CWRU, I am working on sustainable and resilience buildings and infrastructure systems for future eco-friendly communities. For the past year, I have been working with GSC Professional Development Committee and now, as VP of Student Organizations, I am so excited to serve all grad students of CWRU. With over 89 organizations throughout the campus, student organizations are the main body of the GSC. I want to be their voice in GSC and create a direct link between student organizations and GSC exec board. 




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