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Welcome to GSS

Dear Graduate Students,

With our unconventional semester well underway, we at the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) would like to give you a warm (virtual) welcome back to the Bobcat family, Ohio University! You are joining a unique community of diverse, inclusive, and enthusiastic students here. You will meet students from all over the globe, and you will experience many cultures. You are going to be a global student! GSS is the leading student body government at OHIO representing the needs, interests, and opinions of all graduate and professional students. We strive to ensure just representation and treatment of all graduate students and to enhance your academic and social experiences at OHIO. Each academic college/department/program, as recognized by the Graduate College, is eligible for representation in GSS. You are encouraged to represent your college and department as a College Senator, Department Representative, or Commissioner. And as a leader in GSS, you can:

-Learn the latest issues affecting the graduate population
-Bring individual graduate student and departmental needs to the general assembly
-Vote on issues and concerns impacting graduate student life
-Represent graduate students on university committees

If you are interested in GSS, but want more information, please feel free to email us at gss@ohio.edu or visit our website www.ohio.edu/gss. We want you to get involved and make your voice heard.

All the best,


Kaelyn, GSS President with mask

Kaelyn Ferris, President
Kaelyn is a 4th year PhD student in the department of Physics & Astronomy. Her research focuses on developing quantum simulation algorithms built for currently available quantum computers to help answer outstanding problems in condensed matter physics. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, she enjoys the hills and Appalachian geography that Ohio University is nestled within. She is also a part of the constellation of local activists within both Athens city as well as the county, and her decision to join GSS came partly because of her experiences there. As President, she tries to facilitate conversations, initiatives, and advocacy efforts that will materially help graduate students navigating their program and hopefully leave the graduate student community better and more organized than she found it.

Amal, GSS Vice President with mask

Amal Shimir, Vice President
Amal is a second-year graduate student in the International Development Studies program majoring in Development and Conflict. Amal is an International student from Iraq. Amal currently serves as the Vice President of Graduate Student Senate (GSS), the President of Fulbright Scholar Association, and the Director of International Student Concerns for the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students, Midwest Region. Amal is also a part of the Real Talk About Big Questions - Programming Sub-Committee, which is part of the big conversation of Diversity and Inclusion at OU. Being a part of GSS has given me the opportunity to serve the graduate community, and it has helped exhibit her leadership skills. She participated in helping the fundraising event for international students during the summer when COVID-19 impacted many. She has also been working to help students voice their concerns and issues affecting the graduate and professional students here at Ohio University. She is now working with GSS and the administration to advocate for graduate students to subsidize the health insurance and other issues that matter to graduate and professional students. 

Amid, GSS Treasurer with mask

Amid Vahedi, Treasurer
Amid is a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, performing research in Biomedical Engineering areas. His research involves studying and engineering the plasma membrane of the cells to understand and alter cell-cell interactions. He joined the GSS to have a voice in solving graduate students’ issues and problems and had been a departmental representative in the GSS for two years prior to being elected as the Treasurer. He handles the GSS financial matters and budget requests with the help of the budget committee. He is also responsible for overseeing the process of awarding the Original Work Grant and Travel Awards.