Graduate Advocates

Graduate Life Ambassadors

Graduate Life Ambassadors (GLA) are volunteers who help run Center for Graduate Life (CGL) events, promote events/programs to fellow students, and suggest new initiatives for the CGL.

As a GLA you will:

  • Have the chance to impact the graduate student experience at UNC Charlotte
  • Have service opportunities to include on your resume/cv and stories to talk about in your interviews
  • Get free food and swag
  • Be a part of a positive, supportive, and driven community

Interested? Fill out this form.

Graduate Life Fellows

Mission Statement
Graduate Life Fellows (GLF) serve as advocates for the Graduate School to increase awareness of opportunities and resources, and provide support for graduate students from orientation through graduation. Working with the Graduate and Professional Student Government, they coordinate activities that foster diverse social and academic engagement. They strive to build graduate community and enhance student life, with the ultimate goal of elevating graduate education at UNC Charlotte.

Each year the Graduate School's Center for Graduate Life appoints a group of continuing graduate students to serve as Graduate Life Fellows (GLFs).  GLFs are awarded $5,000 for the academic year. Application information can be found in the Spring semester.  


2019-2020 Graduate Life Fellows

Fateme Barancheshme
Ph.D., 4th Year
Infrastructure & Environmental Systems (INES)

I am a fourth-year Ph.D. Student in the INES program. I received my Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and my Master's in Environmental Engineering. My research focuses on Water and Wastewater treatment methods. I am currently working on novel advanced oxidation technologies to remove Algal toxins from drinking water. I am a member of the American Water Works Association-UNCC Student Chapter and have served as Secretary and Vice-President over the last two years. During my graduate studies at UNC Charlotte, I observed the positive effects of the Center for Graduate Life (CGL) resources on several aspects of my graduate life. Serving as a Graduate Life Fellow (GLF) is a great opportunity for me to give back to the CGL and assist prospective graduate students at UNC Charlotte; to become familiar with the resources provided by CGL. As a GLF, I encourage students to engage more with the graduate community and benefit from its advantages. As graduate students, we all can build a strong sense of belonging, trust, and interactivity to support stability and promotion of the graduate community. Feel free to contact me at:  fbaranch@uncc.edu

Tia Dolet
Ph.D., 2nd Year
Curriculum & Instruction, Department of Middle, Secondary and K-12 Education

Hello! My name is Tia Dolet and I am from the Washington, D.C. area. I am a second year doctoral student pursuing my Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Urban Education. My research centers on girls of color, school environments and issues of school safety—particularly looking at areas of under-protection and criminalization. I am also the head graduate researcher for the Urban Education Collaborative’s School Discipline Taskforce at UNC Charlotte and a co-editor of the Urban Education Research and Policy Annuals. As an educator by trade, I have a holistic approach to student success and strive to foster a supportive community for fellow graduate students. I know what it’s like to be holed up in the library and overwhelmed with research.That is why I’m a huge advocate for grad students to find a balance, get out of our silos, and experience what the Center for Graduate Life and UNC Charlotte have to offer! Reach out to me at:  tdolet@uncc.edu

Daniel Fogal
Masters, 2nd Year & Graduate Certificate
Anthropology & Human-Computer Interaction

Hey there! My name is Daniel Fogal (He/Him/His). Before officially enrolling at UNC Charlotte I was a post-baccalaureate student taking graduate courses for personal fulfillment. I have two areas of interest: linguistic anthropology and user experiences. My research in the Anthropology Department focuses on how language choices are negotiated in a household setting, what influences said choices, and how this could be connected to the topic of identity. Beyond this I am also interested in user experience research, understanding user wants and needs, and advocating for these during the design process. Alongside my position as a GLF I am a TA for the anthropology department. I am also an active member in the greater Charlotte community of user experience professionals. My goal as a GLF is twofold. First, I aim to serve as a connection for graduate students - whether degree seeking, certificate seeking, and post-baccalaureate – to the larger graduate community at UNC Charlotte and the CGL. Secondly, I hope to be able to make as many events as possible hosted by the CGL more accessible to all graduate students, mostly through VODs and live-streaming events when possible. You can reach me at: dfogal@uncc.edu

Pierce Gordon
Masters, 2nd Year
Applied Philosophy and Ethics

Hi everyone! My name is Pierce Gordon (he/him/his) and I am a second year Master's student in the Applied Philosophy and Ethics program. Origianlly from Dallas, Texas, I moved to Charlotte in 2018 after graduating from Oklahoma City University with my Bachelor's degree. In my spare time I hike the mountains of North Carolina and surrounding states with my girlfriend. I also explore Charlotte and all the things that this rapidly growing city has to offer. My research focuses on the intersection of ethics and political philosophy especially on an ethical standard known as Cosmopolitanism. As a Center for Graduate Life Fellow (GLF) I hope to better incorporate the students from my program into the broader graduate life experience. Further, as a GLF I also hope to make the graduate program more accessible for the students in my discipline. You can reach me at:  sgordo34@uncc.edu

Laura Markstein
Masters, 2nd Year
School Counseling

Hello, my name is Laura Markstein (she/her/hers) and I am a second year Master's student on the School Counseling track in the Counseling program. My goal is to be a school counselor at the middle or high school level. I am passionate about the opportunity to not only support students individually but also advocate for system-wide changes to create public schools where all students are able to thrive, not just survive. I currently serve as the School Counseling Track Representative for Mu Tau Beta, the Counseling Honor Society chapter of Chi Sigma Iota. I am also a graduate assistant in the Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement where I facilitate LGBTQ+ and other social justice programming for both undergraduate and graduate students. I am thrilled to serve as a Graduate Life Fellow to help graduate students find a sense of belonging not just in their programs, but as members of the wider graduate community at UNC Charlotte. It can be extremely challenging to find time for community as a graduate student who is balancing multiple life responsibilities, so I am excited about finding creative ways to connect graduates with each other and with CGL’s resources. Feel free to contact me at:  lmarkste@uncc.edu

Freyan Pochkhanawalla
Masters, 2nd Year
MBA, Marketing Analytics

Hello fellow graduate students! I’m a second year MBA student pursuing my degree in Marketing Analytics. I am originally from Mumbai, India where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai.  At the age of 16, I received a scholarship through the Rotary International Student Exchange Program and spent a year in France as part of the exchange. My motive to become a GLF was to increase collaboration between the Center for Graduate Life and fellow students in the Belk College of Business. Charlotte is a growing, vibrant city and there is boundless opportunity for graduate students to grow professionally within UNC Charlotte's expanding network. I have twice found myself in a new country, once where I didn’t speak the language. I hope to be a sounding board to students who find themselves in a similar situation at UNC Charlotte. Graduate programs are taxing, and often daunting. The Center for Graduate Life aspires to help students navigate through these years with professional development programs and social events that forge new relationships. You can reach me at:  fpochkha@uncc.edu


Yash Tadimalla
Masters, 2nd Year
Computer Science

Hi, my name is Yeswanth (Yash) (He/Him/His), I am a Second year Master's student in the Computer Science program specializing in Data Analytics. I moved to Charlotte from India in 2018. My field of research involves using Data/Business Analytics tools for more effective corporate strategy development and on methods to enrich user experience. I love to be involved in as many activities as possible (when my course schedule allows it) ranging from painting, cooking, and gardening to trying to burn off a few more extra calories by attending various events across the campus. I am a Student Involvement Ambassador (Fall 2019-Spring 2020), a member of the Student Union Advisory Board and the Secretary for Internal Affairs in GPSG. As a GLF, I hope to create more collaboration between the CGL and other on-campus facilities such as ISSO, the Student Health Center, the McMillan Green House, the Student Union, the Office of Disability Services, and existing student clubs so that more inclusive and diverse programs/activities for the graduate community are considered and implemented. My aim as a GLF is to ensure that as many students as possible have the opportunity to experience the joy and love that I have personally received -- by taking that one step to help them become involved and to provide them with a channel or link to gain similar benefits. Email me at:  stadimal@uncc.edu