Executive Board

Sarah Saunders

President

I started my journey at VCU in 2013 where I pursued a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering, and now I am still here, working as a doctoral candidate in VCU's Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering department. My research focuses on engineered tissue vascular graft development in vitro and the effects on in vivo inflammatory foreign body response in rats. I am passionate about volunteering with local elementary and high school programs to increase interest in STEM fields among young women and hopefully increase their numbers in future generations! My other interests include eating/cooking amazing food, seeing live music, and sitting around campfires. I had a wonderful experience last year serving on the GSA Executive Board as the Events Chair, so I am thrilled to be taking on the role of President this year. I look forward to working for the graduate and professional students at VCU and encourage all to get involved with GSA and become a part of this thriving community!

Jair Lecky

Vice-President

My time at VCU started back in 2015 when I arrived as an undergraduate first year student. During my undergraduate years, I prided myself in being involved in the VCU community, and the Greater Richmond Community as well. I graduated in 2019 with a double major in Psychology and Social Work. I honestly love VCU and the Richmond area so much that I have come to call it home. Currently, I am in the Counselor Education program pursuing a M.Ed with a concentration in Student Affairs. I also work at VCU within Residential Life and Housing serving first year students, which is a passion area of mine. Whenever I get some free time, I enjoy watching basketball games, singing & listening to/writing music, playing video games, and trying (emphasis on trying) to make new recipes. Serving on the GSA Executive Board is an opportunity I am excited to be involved with this school year, and I am looking forward to being a positive voice for change for the graduate community here at VCU.

Ashaé Williams

Secretary

I have been a VCU Ram since 2013 and obtained my bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2017. Currently, I am an MPA student in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. I am also a full-time employee here at VCU in the Office of Admissions. There, I work with undergraduate prospective student populations from all over the world in getting them interested and excited about higher education (especially VCU!). I love Richmond and have not left since arriving here in 2013. Richmond and VCU have stolen my heart, and I will continue to serve here in as many capacities as possible. In my free time, you will often find me volunteering with assisted living facilities, illustrating quirky characters, playing video games, or listening to all kinds of music. I am ecstatic to begin working with and representing graduate students across VCU!

Molly Creighton

Treasurer

A Charlottesville native, I obtained my BS at VCU in Psychology with a concentration in Life Sciences. For a little over ten years, I worked in a pre-clinical behavioral lab before deciding to change careers. I am currently a second-year Master's student in the Bioinformatics Program. My primary interest is in learning how to apply predictive statistics and machine learning to pharmacogenomics. I served as the GSA's Secretary last year with Sarah Saunders and look forward to continuing on initiatives in the Treasurer's role this year. I enjoy reading fantasy of all kinds, bragging about my two Cornish Rex kitties, eating/cooking delicious food, watching VCU basketball games, and going to Kpop shows.

Ann Kee

Communications Chair

I am a PhD student in the Integrative Life Sciences Doctoral Program, studying mast cells in Dr. John Ryan’s lab. My research is focused on repurposing an SSRI, Prozac, in allergic inflammation, as well as investigating a possible sexual dimorphism. During my free time, I read fantasy novels, dye my hair blue, play guitar, and see local bands perform. I’ve been active in other student organizations in the VCU community since I started here as an undergraduate in 2013, and am excited to be part of the executive board as an advocate for the graduate student body!

Jackie Knight Wilt

Events Chair

I joined the VCU community in fall 2019 as a PhD student in Social and Behavioral Sciences. I obtained my BS in Psychology from James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA is also my hometown), before relocating to Columbia, SC where I completed my MPH in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior at the University of South Carolina. I stayed on at UofSC working for Student Health Services to serve the Healthy Carolina vision of a healthy campus environment for all. When considering schools for doctoral studies, VCU was at the top of my list since it brought me back to Virginia and provides opportunities for my personal and professional pursuits. I'm an Enneagram Type 2, love the outdoors, have a passion for travel and all things hygge. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to connect with and bring together our graduate student body community in the role of Events Chair for GSA.

Sarah Collins

Appropriations Chair

I joined VCU in fall 2019, and I'm so happy to be a part of this community! I'm originally from Virginia Beach, and I went to Virginia Tech for both my bachelor's and master's degrees. After I finished my MPH in 2015, I worked at UCONN Health Center as a clinical dietitian in Connecticut. Now, I'm working on my PhD in Healthcare Policy and Research here at VCU. I'm thrilled to be back in Virginia and I'm absolutely loving Richmond life. Outside of school and research, I love baking, reading, trying out new restaurants, snuggling with my dog, doing yoga, and doing day hikes around Virginia. Thanks for the opportunity to be involved with GSA!

Shabana Shaheen

Research Symposium Chair

I came to VCU as an undergraduate transfer student in 2013, graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science in 2015. I then attended graduate school at VCU, earning a master's of science in sociology in 2017. During that time, I served as graduate assistant in the political science department as well as the executive director of the Association for Ethnic Studies. I am currently a doctoral student in the public policy and administration program in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. I also work in the Wilder School's Center for Public Policy, serving as the research coordinator for The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute. My research interests are in racial and gender equity, with special focus on the impacts of carcerality on historically marginalized communities. I am also deeply passionate about community organizing and mutual aid efforts in the Richmond community. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my cat, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, and reading. I am excited to be a part of the executive board this year as the research symposium chair and look forward to connecting with the grad student community!

Shelley Jordan

Advisor

I have worked at VCU for almost 20 years, serving the last 13 years in the Graduate School. I received an AAS degree in Biology from Southside Virginia Community College, a BS degree in Business Information Systems from VCU, an MBA from Strayer University, and will complete my doctorate in Education Leadership from VCU in 2022. My role in the Graduate School consists of data analytics/reporting, technology, and communications. As an advisor to the GSA, it is my honor to support and guide graduate students as they complete their academic journey and become the change agents of the future.