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- Now taking applications!

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.  

2020-2021 Graduate Life Fellows

Shreya Goyal
Ph.D., 4th Year

Hello all, my name is Shreya Goyal(she/her/hers), I am a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on Molecular and Cellular Biology and I am currently working on characterizing a novel protein involved in cellular trafficking using yeast as a model organism. I moved to the United States from India in fall 2016, and   Charlotte has been my home ever since. Navigating a career in a new country has been both
exciting and terrifying at the same time and I am lucky to call the Graduate committee at UNCC my home away from home! As an international student for the past 4 years, I have had the opportunity to have some pretty cool and unique experiences while making new friends from all around the globe, learning about different cuisines, languages, art and traditions, all that I am eager to bring to CGL and my fellow graduate students! Currently, I am a member of the International Student Advisory Committee (ISAC) and have served as the Secretary of International Graduate Student Affairs for the Graduate and Professional Student Government (2018-2019). As a GLF, I hope to connect more graduate students to the networking events, social activities, seminars, and wellness programs organized by CGL and organize social events to get the graduate students together and relax after a hectic work week. My main aim is to create a space in the CGL where international graduate students feel part of a community and meet their peers to engage, network, and learn. Finally, I would like to encourage more collaboration between CGL and on-campus facilities such as Venture Outdoor Leadership, UREC, ISSO, ELTI, etc to host more social and networking events and cater to the diverse community of graduate students. Feel free to reach out to me at:


Roshanak Ashrafi
Ph.D., 4th Year

Infrastructure and Environmental Systems

Hello everyone! My name is Roshanak (Rosh) and I am in my fourth year of Ph.D. studies in 
Infrastructures and Environmental Systems. I had my bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and my master’s in Architectural Engineering. I studied one year of Master of Architecture (M.Arch) at California State Polytechnic University and then transferred to Charlotte in 2017 to start my doctoral studies. My research is currently about using thermal imaging devices to read people’s skin temperature and learn about their health status in the built environment. With the start of the pandemic, we are trying to use this system for detecting fever in public areas and improve public health and safety. My interdisciplinary background gave me the chance of knowing people from different disciplines in both Engineering and Arts, and learn about their motivations and concerns. My goal is to use this background as an opportunity to have a holistic approach to serving the Center for Graduate Life (CGL). My other inspiration is assisting graduate students to create a balance in their life by paying more attention to their everyday life needs in addition to their studies. The CGL had helped me to experience this balance by getting engaged in the graduate community activities. I hope that as a Graduate Life Fellow (GLF) I can help more students to get engaged and have a stronger sense of belonging to our graduate community. Please feel free to reach me at:


Farida N. YADA
Ph.D., 2nd Year

Health Services Research

Hi everyone! I am a second year Ph.D. student in the Health Services Research Program. My 
undergraduate degree is in Biology and I completed my Master's of Public Health here at UNC Charlotte. I am passionate about most things related to health and my research focuses on health disparities and the use of health services among women, immigrants, and marginalized populations. I am currently working on a project examining suicidal behaviors and risks among gender diverse populations. I am currently serving as Senator for The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR – UNC Charlotte Student Chapter) and am a member of The UNC Charlotte Research in Women’s Health Interest Group (R-WHIG). Throughout my five years at UNC Charlotte, I have attended many events/workshops, and developed lifelong friendships at the Center for Graduate Life (CGL). The resources available at the CGL have tremendously helped me progress towards my academic and professional goals and I invite all graduate students to discover how the CGL can brighten graduate life. Graduate school is challenging. We should stick together and be each other’s biggest supporters, that is why I am honored to be serving as a Graduate Life Fellow this year. If you ever need anything, feel free to reach out at:


Monica Rasmussen
Ph.D., 2nd Year

Infrastructure and Environmental Systems

Hi everyone! My name is Monica (she/her/hers) and I am a geologist currently in my second year as a Ph.D. student in the Infrastructure and Environmental Systems program. Since receiving my B.A. in Anthropology and my B.S. in Geology in 2009 from Tulane University in New Orleans, I have worked in the oil industry, traveled to all seven continents, taught classes, volunteered, been everything from a dishwasher and housecleaner to global manager, quit my job to eat my way through Asia, and finally found my way back to school. My current research focuses on the ways that rocks physically break down on earth’s surface, the rates of these mechanisms, and the influences of temperature and moisture. In my free time, I like to cook, hand sew, travel, and take long meandering walks around Charlotte to visit all the best breweries. Of course, as a geologist I also love to get outside and hike, camp, and generally get my hands dirty. Graduate school can be a hectic and wild ride, and I am very excited to help the UNC Charlotte graduate community learn from each other, support each other, and generally keep everything in perspective. We are an awesome, educated, intelligent, diverse group, and our connections as a team will benefit not only ourselves but the greater Charlotte community. Feel free to reach out any time at:


Dylan Turner
Master’s, 2nd Year

Ethics and Applied Philosophy

Hello! My name is Dylan Turner. I am a second year student in the Master’s of Ethics and Applied Philosophy program. Prior to coming to UNCC, I lived in Boone, North Carolina where I received my bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Appalachian State University. I am a North Carolina native, and I have enjoyed my time thus far getting acquainted with Charlotte. My research interests are in agricultural, environmental, and food ethics, and I try to carry those interests into my everyday life by gardening, and purchasing produce from our local farmers. I enjoy being outdoors, and I intend to bring that enjoyment to my role as a Graduate Life Fellow (GLF) by encouraging activities for graduate students to socialize and de-stress in nature. As graduate students, we often spend most of our time in one building focused on a handful of issues within our respective fields, and I find that the Center for Graduate Life is a great place for students from all subject areas to meet one another, share their experiences, and foster cross-disciplinary connections. As a GLF, I hope to encourage fellow graduate students to visit the Center for Graduate Life so they can learn about all the resources available to them, and all the events and opportunities where they can further incorporate themselves into the larger UNCC graduate community. You can reach me at:


Davanta Parker
M.Ed, 2nd Year 

Educational Leadership 

Hello!  My name is Davanta Parker, and I am a native of Charlotte, NC and a second year Master's student in the Educational Leadership program. As a future Higher Education professional I plan to find innovative ways to contribute to providing a holistic academic, career-focused, social, and intellectual experience for the students that I encounter, as well as setting the bar high for student success and achievement. Using the knowledge of key principles and adult learning strategies in my current major will prepare me for directly collaborating and engaging the UNC Charlotte graduate community. Additionally, I currently work as a graduate assistant for the office of student involvement where I directly assist in overseeing the operations of the Campus Activities Board. As a graduate life fellow, I look forward to working and getting connected with the UNC Charlotte graduate community by establishing connections and fostering relationships sure to be vital in the matriculation of graduate students continuing their education. Please reach out to me:


Shannon McGevna
Master’s, 2nd Year

Communication Studies

Hello! I am a second-year Master's student in the Communication Studies program. My research focus is on organizational communication with an emphasis in workplace satisfaction and what makes people love (or hate!) their jobs! Before grad school, I actually attended UNC Charlotte for my undergrad where I majored in Business Management and Organizational Communication. I served as an orientation counselor and was involved in Greek life as well. I currently serve as a graduate assistant in the Communication Studies and get to interact with students on a daily basis, which I absolutely love. In my free time, I love to garden, spend time with my dogs, and fight for things that really matter. In becoming a Graduate Life Fellow I hope I can aid in bridging the gap between graduate students and the resources that are made available to them. I am committed to finding creative ways to engage graduate students so that their time in Niner Nation is memorable!