Ask a Grad Life Fellow

Graduate Life Fellows (GLFs) are upper-level graduate students (both master's and doctoral) who understand how daunting graduate school can be. The GLFs are here to provide a listening ear to any graduate student, new or continuing, who may be dealing with challenges related to academics or otherwise. The GLFs are also in a position to help grad students make connections with other grad students, as well as provide the appropriate resources needed to ease the transition into graduate school.  Please email the if you have questions.

Nazmiye Gizem BakacsizlarNazmiye Gizem Bakacsizlar
Doctoral Student in Software & Information Systems

Hi All! I am a second year PhD student in the Department of Software and Information Systems (SIS). I come from the South; however, by “South” I mean the southern part of Turkey, specifically the city of Adana. At first it doesn’t sound similar to Charlotte, but the two cities share very humid and hot summers. So, with a touch of southern hospitality, I welcome all you newcomers to UNC Charlotte!

I lived in Istanbul for eight years while earning my B.S and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from Yildiz Technical University and Bogazici University, then moved to Charlotte in August 2014. In addition to my engineering background, I have started my PhD degree in SIS department to increase my understanding of data analysis and simulation modeling, enabling me to integrate them into my research area. Since then, I have been exploring Charlotte, and have found it to be a hybrid of dynamism and calmness! I am glad and honored to be a part of our GLF team for these two upcoming years! My biggest personal goal is to take part in building a stronger communication base and increasing the awareness in societies at multiple levels. If you would like to talk with me about anything about grad life, please feel free to contact me. I will be looking forward to hearing from you. Email me at:

Cara BlevinsCara Blevins
Doctoral student, Health Psychology - Clinical

I am a graduate student in my fourth year of the Clinical Health Psychology Ph.D. program working towards dissertation and clinical internship application. I grew up in the Northern VA/ Washington, DC area and received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from George Mason University. I moved to Charlotte in 2013 with my husband and we have come to call this area home.  I enjoy yoga, music, dancing, vegetables, painting, and spending time with family and friends. I have an affinity for the mountains, enjoy spontaneous adventures, and do my best to savor my moment-to-moment experiences.

I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as a Graduate Life Fellow and help support and strengthen the graduate community at UNC Charlotte. Connection and community are two of my most treasured values, and I am so excited to facilitate events and programs to help enhance your sense of each. Please reach out to me with any questions you might have related to professional development, academics, mental health, health/wellness, work/life balance, or anything else. Please come say "hello" during office hours or at our weekly Mindfulness classes and share any ideas/wishes you have for classes or programs. I look forward to meeting you soon! Email me at: