Personal Statement for Paul Gavaza Graduate students at UT face many challenges including limited affordable housing, tuition fees, low salaries among others. Many of these challenges can be addressed if we as graduate students put our heads together and if we have effective GSA leadership. I have a strong passion and desire to make a difference in the quality of life graduate students. Specifically, I would like to see more family housing, higher pay for teaching and research assistants, better working conditions for TAs and RAs and increased funding for activities for graduate students. I am confident of succeeding as a GSA vice president given exceptional experience working with graduate students in various capacities. Since joining UT Austin in 2005, I have served in various student leadership positions, including serving as Vice-President of Pharmacy Graduate Students Association (PGSA)2006-2008, College of Pharmacy Alternative Representative to the Graduate Student Assembly (2007- 2008), GSA Membership and Student Affairs Director (2008-2009). I have also served as a Member of the Tenant Advisory Board (2008-present) in addition to being a Teaching Assistant (UT- Austin) in the College of Pharmacy. As a Membership and Student Affairs Director in the GSA, I worked closely with most graduate coordinators, GSA representatives, and some university administrators in recruiting GSA representatives from many departments across campus. I gained invaluable experience in the way the university works, and this experience has prepared me to take on bigger responsibilities as a GSA vice president. I am PhD candidate in Pharmacy [Pharmacy Administration and Pharmacoeconomics]. I hold a Master of Science (MS) in Pharmacy (UT), MSc in Planning and Management, and BSc. in Economics. In 2008, I was awarded a University Fellowship, and also got several awards for outstanding academic progress during my four years at UT. Besides being smart, I am a keen listener, a planner and above all I enjoy working with fellow students. I am innovative, and have excellent critical thinking skills. I believe these are the skills needed in a prospective GSA Vice President. I am looking forward to applying my skills, experience, maturity and energy towards uplifting the welfare of all graduate students. To do this, I need your vote. Go Longhorns!
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