Dean’s Advisory Board

The Graduate School Dean’s Advisory Board brings together a group of graduate students with a range of experiences, degree goals, fields of study, and perspectives. Members of the 2020-21 board have been involved with community and student organizations in their areas; served as research, teaching, and project assistants; held fellowships at UW–Madison and other campuses; and served in a variety of civic capacities. The members are in different stages of their graduate careers and at different points in their career paths overall, bringing diverse viewpoints to the table.

As an advisory board, students will discuss policy proposals and provide feedback to the dean. Members will also be able to talk directly with the dean about their or their peers’ concerns.

Read more about each member of the 2020-21 Dean’s Advisory Board below.

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Barbara Alvarez

Barbara AlvarezBarbara Alvarez is a PhD student in the Information School and a research assistant at UW-CORE (Collaborative for Reproductive Equity). Barbara is also a member of Student Title IX Advisory Committee and teaches classes on library and information science. Barbara’s research focus is on reproductive rights and information behavior. She plans to pursue a career that allows her to conduct research and work with non-governmental and policy organizations.

Kate Bakhuizen

Kate BakhuizenKate is a PhD student in Rehabilitation Counselor Education specializing in counselor supervision and working alliance. She has taught courses on psychosocial aspects of disability, foundations of rehabilitation, and has led an undergraduate internship experience. She plans to pursue a tenured faculty position.




Katherine Bultman

Katie BultmanKatie is a PhD candidate in Microbiology studying a marine bioluminescient bacterium called Vibrio fischeri and the differences between isolates from various bobtail squid hosts from around the globe. She has shared her research widely through outreach activities including Science Expeditions at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and talking with fifth and sixth grade students through the Skype a Scientist program. Katie is also a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

She is part of the Biotechnology Training Program, through which she will have an internship in industry in summer 2020, and has served as a teaching assistant at UW–Madison. Katie is exploring career options, including teaching, science communication, or opportunities in industry.

Trisha Chanda

Trisha ChandaTrisha is a PhD student in Human Ecology. Her research and scholarship focus on family policy, household bargaining power and intersectional analysis of labor market outcomes, and stakeholder participation in policymaking. She is currently a research assistant and a graduate research fellow at the Institute for Research on Poverty. At the School of Human Ecology, she serves as the chair of the Consumer Science Students Association and is a founding member of the SoHE Graduate Student Organization. She also serves as a steward for the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA) and remains involved with the TAA International Student Caucus. Previously, she has worked as a project assistant.

Trisha’s goal is to pursue a career in research and be able to translate that research into action. She plans to work with a think tank or policy organization after graduating.

Matisha Dorman

Matisha DormanMatisha is a PhD candidate in Chemistry researching physical-organic chemistry, specifically astrochemistry. Her research group is interested in collecting and analyzing lab data that astronomers use to search for and catalog molecules that exist in the interstellar medium. Detecting these molecules – which exist in a brutal environment that serves as an “interstellar nursery” – may help explain their origins on earth.

An Advanced Opportunity Fellow, Matisha has also volunteered with two programs in the chemistry department that focus on increasing and assisting students from diverse backgrounds at the undergraduate and graduate level (CHOPs and Catalyst). For the Department of Chemistry, she serves on the graduate student admissions committee and works with graduate student recruitment. She has taught courses including general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry and quantum mechanics. In her career, Matisha is passionate about student affairs, specifically related to mental health, inclusion and diversity, and academic support.

Tricia Fry

Tricia FryTricia Fry is a PhD student in the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Comparative Biomedical Sciences program studying wildlife ecology, specifically wildlife health and disease. Her research investigates how climate change influences polar bear health. She aims to define the most useful biomarkers of polar bear health that consider both biotic and abiotic factors and their interactions in the context of the biological, social, and ecological systems.

Previously, Tricia earned a master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology at UW–Madison, serving as a teaching assistant for the Biocore Honors Biology program and the Departments of Wildlife Ecology and Forest Ecology. She was also an instructor at the Kemp Natural Resources Station for Forest and Wildlife Ecology Summer Programs.

Before returning to UW–Madison for her doctoral degree, Tricia worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Wildlife Research Center, and as course coordinator for ecology in the Botany Department. Tricia is also raising two daughters. She hopes to use her PhD to promote research and education between the sciences of veterinary medicine and wildlife ecology.

Ankur Goswami

Ankur is a PhD student in Computer Science interested in machine learning.

Yuxuan Li

Yuxuan LiYuxuan is a master’s student in Agricultural and Applied Economics. She is interested in applied economics and econometrics for environment and health. She has worked as a project assistant in her department looking at the effect of health insurance status on the length of stay for hospital patients with mental health conditions.

Yuxuan is eager to apply economic analysis to help health care decisions, and is on the job market seeking a position in consulting firms, especially those with expertise in health and outcomes research. She says the professional master’s degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics has prepared her with strong background knowledge as well as programming and analytical skills.

Samm Newton

Samm NewtonSamm is a first-year PhD student in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology and a graduate associate in the Nelson Institute’s Center for Culture, History, and the Environment. Her research focuses on coupled marine-human systems, specifically the relationships between the techno-scientific practices of geology and geophysics, ocean territoriality and governance, and slow violence in contemporary history. Samm is also an artist whose work aims to pair this marine humanities scholarship with creative practice.

Samm is a first-generation PhD student who didn’t consider graduate school until her early 30’s. She previously earned a master’s degree from Oregon State University where she served as a teaching assistant and held fellowships, including as a trainee with the National Science Foundation Interdisciplinary Graduate Training Program. At OSU, she worked on a project with scientists from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and engineers from the University of South Florida through the National Academies Keck Future Initiative. NSF funding now allows Samm to continue that collaboration, this time on a children’s book about pteropods, interdisciplinarity, and how we ask questions about the world. In her career, Samm hopes to continue teaching and researching within the academy.

Jennifer Stevens

Jen StevensJennifer is a PhD student in Nursing researching emotional distress to improve detection and management for people with cancer. She has served as a curriculum committee member at her master’s program at the University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing, and is a Graduate Student Nursing Academy Liaison for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. She has served as a teaching assistant for nursing courses and is currently a project assistant.

Jennifer is pursuing graduate education because she wants to make a difference in improving cancer care and invest in the future of nursing as a profession. She aims to have a career in academia which will provide her with a platform for broad impacts through collaboration, research, and education.

Zongshen Wu

Zongshen WuZongshen is a PhD student in Computer Engineering interested in millimeter wave communication and sensing, protocol architecture, real-time systems, machine-to-machine communication, and hardware design. He has served as an instructor for math courses, a teaching assistant for a computer sciences course, and a research assistant for a project focused on millimeter waves.

Zongshen is pursuing a graduate degree due to his curiosity and passion for learning and research.


Miranda Zahn (ASM Representative)

Miranda ZahnMiranda Zahn is a fifth-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program area of the Educational Psychology department. She received a BS in Psychology and Human Development & Family Studies from UW–Madison. Her current research focuses on comprehensive systems for school mental health and systems-level consultation to support social, emotional, and behavioral needs in public K-12 schools. She currently serves as a research assistant on a federally funded research project investigating school-based behavioral supports. Additionally, Miranda has held teaching positions at UW–Madison and serves on several department, university, and national professional committees. She plans to pursue an academic position focused on research and clinical training in the future.