Featured Faculty Member


Featured Graduate Student


Graduate Student Association

Biographical Sketches

Candidates for President

Samantha Cote View

My name is Samantha Cote and I am running for the next GSA president. I am a focused, hard-working 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Dept. of Pharmacology & Physiology. I am a UMDNJ Foundations and Alfred P. Sloan scholar, as well as the recipient of grants from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and part of an NIH training grant. Since starting at UMDNJ, I have tried to be involved in organizations or activities that benefit students and our surrounding community. I have been a teaching assistant for both the Ph.D. IBMS course and the master’s Fundamentals of pharmacology course. I have participated in the SLAM (students learning about medicine) program, I have volunteered a few times at the SFHCC (student family health care center), and in my hometown in CT, I am a mentor at The Children’s Home. These positions and awards have given me skills I feel a GSA president needs, as well as given me motivation to increase our community outreach through the GSA.
During this past year, I have been involved in the GSA on the events committee. I have loved working alongside the other committee members, as well as the cabinet in planning events that many of you have attended. This past term, I played a big part in both the fall and spring formal. I was so pleased to see so many students, and even faculty attended these events. As GSA president, I want to keep this momentum going and continue to improve the GSA social agenda. As the president, I would be open to ideas from all students on what types of events or programs YOU would like to see. I am currently communicating with our Dean Dr. Scotto as well about having a career fair that caters to the types of positions we the students are interested in, whether they are the traditional academic route, or non-traditional careers like patent law. Working on the events committee this past year has shown me the “ins & outs” of how the GSA works, and I feel I am ready to take on more responsibility and execute ideas for increased social, career-development, and community outreach events as the next GSA president. I would like to thank you for your time and consideration, and the current GSA members for the opportunity to work with such a great group!

Jessian Munoz View

My name is Jessian (Jesse) Munoz, and I have been nominated for Graduate Student Association President for the 2012-13 school year. I am currently a 3rd year MD/PhD candidate in the department of Medicine within Dr. Rameshwar’s Stem Cell Biology Lab. I accepted this nomination in full belief that actions speak louder than words. Throughout my time at the UMDNJ-GSBS I have been an active member of the GSA, as treasurer for the 2011-12 cabinet as well as Vice President of the Stem Cell Education Society (SCES). As Treasurer of the GSA, the GSA was registered with the IRS as a non-profit organization and was granted tax-exemption status, allowing for us to obtain a business level bank account, free of UMDNJ stipulations. I also aided in the success of the other GSA events including our annual research symposium. As part of the Stem Cell Education Society (SCES), I provided lectures and seminars to middle school, high school, medical, and graduate students on recent advances in the field of molecular medicine and applications to the future. I believe that the GSA should have a greater impact on our community, I have been the recipient of 2 community service grants from NJMS and I think the GSBS should also have such mechanisms for its students to fund community service initiatives. I think we should have closer ties with the medical and dental school; this may also lead to an ultimate solution with respect to the establishment of a shared lounge. I am in full support of continuing the newly “minted” annual fall and spring formals. I would appreciate your support to continue the great work of the GSA and include new concepts in the graduate school here at UMDNJ-Newark.

Candidates for GSA Senate

Dan Li View

My name is Dan Li, and I am running for GSA Senate. I am a 5th year PhD student in the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. I am running for the GSA Senate because I hope to expand the role GSA plays in enriching students’ lives. This includes: helping students with future careers by providing students with career development information through a series of clubs and workshops; building better connections with other institutions and industries in the greater New York area; and even getting discounted rates to shows, performances, and concerts.
I have had a lot of leadership experience from college, where I was the President of my class and Vice President of the Student Association. I initiated a bi-monthly academic seminar series focused on the hot topics in life sciences, which lasted for 2 years, and where more than 200 students from the School of Life Sciences had benefited from. I also organized various extracurricular events, such as camping trips, galas, and volunteer programs for different charities.
I hope to work with the other members of the GSA Senate to create new programs that will benefit the students more directly. Our GSA is growing and improving with the efforts of each Senate, and I believe I will contribute many new ideas and improvements.

Candidates for Secretary

Archana Gopalakrishnan View

My name is Archana Gopalakrishnan, a second year graduate student from the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine nominated for GSA Secretary for the term 2012-2013.

I strongly believe that any student association is one of the most influential bodies in a social community. There are several contributions, we as graduate students can bring about to the society. As part of the senate, I would like to take our student body to be recognized not only for the quality of research but also to the different communal services we can be involved with. Needless to say this would be motivated with fun, social and career oriented events that can prove to integrate the students from the varied departments. Since high school, I have had the opportunity to represent my educational institutes in several cultural and social programs such as public speaking and debates. I have actively participated and won accolades for my Institution in several National level Biotechnology Symposiums in India. My management skills and team spirit have been acknowledged during my undergraduate education; wherein I have had the opportunity to lead and represent my class in several inter school events. I have been actively involved in several GSA events the past year, including the Fall and Spring Formal, GSA Symposium and in leading the new student welcoming committee last Fall. I am very approachable and have always tried to be a listening ear to the incoming students to help them acclimatize to the new environment. Graduate life is a unique experience and my goal as part of the senate is to make each and every member here at NJMS feel this IS truly home away from home!