GSA Executives

2018-2019 Overview of GSA Officers and Responsibilities

President: Cierra Raine Sorin

Cierra is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department with an emphasis in Feminist Studies, and her current research focuses on consent and community policing within the BDSM community. She also serves as a member of the TA training committee for the Sociology Department, works as an anti-sexual violence activist on campus, and is currently a Graduate Teaching Fellow for the "Foundations in the Humanities" Prison Correspondence Program through UCSB's Interdisciplinary Humanities Center. In her spare time, Cierra enjoys playing video games with her partner James, wrestling with her German Shepherd puppy Lilith, practicing yoga, and expanding her garden.

The President is the chief executive officer of the GSA and presiding officer of the GSA Assembly. The President is the official representative and spokesperson for the GSA. 

Contact Cierra at

GSA Bio Pic

Vice President, Internal Affairs: Heather Prentice-Walz

Heather is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology. Her work as a sociocultural anthropologist focuses on the ways in which international nongovernmental organizations impact local food systems in rural Haiti. Heather’s work is highly interdisciplinary and she is pursuing Ph.D. emphases in Environment and Society and Global Studies. Heather was mostly raised in Juneau, Alaska. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Reed College in Portland, OR, and received her Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL.

The Vice President of Internal Affairs (VPIA) is the chief operating officer of the GSA and assists the President in the administration of the internal operations of the GSA. The Vice President of Internal Affairs also assists the President in representing GSA interests in matters of campus infrastructure and capital planning.  

Contact Heather at

Vice President, External Affairs: Leihua Ye

Leihua is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science. His research interests include public opinion and behaviors, election and voting, government accountability, and research methodology. For his leisure time, Leihua enjoys watching movies, reading books, running, swimming, surfing, and doing other sports. So far, Leihua has travelled to and studied in Asia, Europe, and America.

The Vice President of External Affairs (VPEA) assists the President in representing UCSB Graduate Student interests beyond the UCSB campus and serves as the chief delegate of the GSA in external matters. 

Contact Leihua at

Leihuei Ye

Vice President, Student Affairs:  Jennifer Selvidge

The Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA) assists the president in representing GSA interests in matters of UCSB student affairs. 

Contact Jennifer at

Vice President, Academic Affairs:  Raphael Chinchilla

Raphael is a PhD student in Electrical Engineering. His research concerns the use of robust control strategies based on online learning relying on statistical and inference methods. He earned his master's degrees from Télécom ParisTech and from the University of Paris-Saclay and his bachelor's degree from the University of São Paulo. Raphael has occupied analogous positions to his current one both during undergrad and grad school, always aiming to bring student's perspective to faculty and the administration.

The Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) assists the President in representing GSA interests in academic affairs and serves as the primary liaison with the Academic Senate, the Library, and faculty.  

Contact Raphael at


Vice President, Communications and Records: Paulina Ramírez-Niembro

Paulina is a fourth year Ph.D. student within the Chicana/o Studies Department. Her research focuses on undocumented communities using affect as an intentional means of resistance. Paulina graduated from UNAM in Mexico City in 2015 with a BA in Social Psychology. In her spare time, Paulina enjoys hot yoga, running on the bluffs and hanging out with friends, her partner and her dog.

The Vice President of Communications and Records (VPCR) is the chief information officer of the GSA and serves as public relations officer and archivist. The Vice President of Communications and Records ensures that GSA Assembly meeting minutes are recorded and published and that copies of the Constitution, By-laws, and enacted resolutions are available to all GSA members. 

Contact Paulina at

Vice President, Budget and Finance: Luke Rosedahl

Luke graduated from the University of Minnesota in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering (magna cum laude): Emphasis Neural Engineering. Here at UCSB, he is a Ph.D. student within the Dynamical Neuroscience department studying human learning and the visual system. For more information on his research, check out his research site at: his spare time he enjoys reading, dancing, working out, hiking, surfing and general adventuring.

The Vice President of Budget and Finance (VPBF) is the chief financial officer of the GSA and assists the President in representing GSA interests in the area of campus budget and financial planning. 

Contact Luke at


Vice President, Committees and Planning: Amanda Rodriguez

Amanda is a second-year M.A./Ph.D. student in sociology with a doctoral emphasis in feminist studies. Amanda earned her bachelor's degree from Whittier College, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. She published her bachelor's thesis, "Form, Function, and Structure: Online Dating While Fat" in 2016. Currently, Amanda's work focuses on how differently raced fat women use Instagram to construct and deploy their sexual subjectivity outside of "traditional" notions of femininity. When she's not on Instagram "doing research," Amanda loves to play with her two dogs, Ivy and Penny, crochet, and spend her day sending her friends funny memes. 

The Vice President of Committees and Planning (VPCP) assists the President in promoting a diverse population of UCSB Graduate Student Representatives on UCSB committees and serves as the primary liaison with campus committees, Graduate Student Representatives, and GSA. The Vice President of Committees and Planning is the chief planning officer for all GSA public events. Graduate Students interested in committee service or GSA public events should write to the VP of Committees and Planning.

Contact Amanda at