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DC GSA Elections

Candidate Statements for DC-GSA Elections 2022

Voting runs through Dec 15, 2022.  To vote online, use this Google Form (you must be logged in to your VT account).


Jaswanth Sai Reddy 

Degree and Major: M.S. ECE


Hello! My name is Jaswanth Sai Reddy, a first-year master of science student in the ECE department at Virginia Tech’s NCR campus. I also work for the CCI lab in Arlington under the supervision of Dr. Aloizio De Silva.

I have a Bachelor’s of Technology in ECE from Vellore Institute of Technology, India. After working for four years in Accenture and Alethea Communications companies in various related job positions, I decided to pursue my Masters at Virginia Tech starting spring 2022.

Along with academics, I have shown interest in other extra-curricular activities whenever I have an opportunity. During my undergraduate program, I headed the operations and management of the IEEE club handling tasks like organizing webinars, marketing events and the related logistics. I was also the head of the Logistic department for the Tech fest for my undergraduate college. During my time at Virginia Tech as a masters student, I played an active part in CCI’s first time participation was Mobile World Congress 2022 (MWC22). I led a team of 4 graduate students into the conference and handled the project development and logistics to ensure smooth running of the system.

From my experience for one semester at the NCR campus of Virginia Tech, I feel that there is a lot of scope of improvement in campus life for students. With most of the classes being conducted online, the interaction between students has been very low. I understood the importance of events in the campus and organized ‘Holi : Indian festival of colors’, with the help of a few friends. I initiated a conversation with the Indian student association at Blacksburg campus about organizing the event. The conversation did not reach an expected conclusion as there was no student association at NCR campus. I had to fallback to campus alumni in my network and willing participants of the event to fund for colors. We got support from the MSBA department to sponsor food for the event, and organized t-shirts and music for the event. As a GSA president, I will like to ensure that the students in the campus have a great campus life. I feel that GSA lacks visibility amongst the students at the NCR campus as the events are planned and executed at the VT Research Center. I would like to give more visibility to the association, by organizing events at all the places and inviting the students to all these events. The students should be more aware about the presence of the body to approach in case of any queries or concerns. Many students have graduated from the college and many will graduate in the future. I foresee the opportunity to make GSA a strong binding platform between the students at the university and the alumni.

I have experienced student life for almost 2 semesters and I am aware of the problems faced by my friends and me because of the lack of a college environment. I also have a strong connection with the students in the college and alumni of the campus. As a result, I feel that I am a perfect fit for the position of President at the GSA. With this email, I would like to present my candidature for the position in the elections.

Mehraneh Davari

Degree and Major: PhD Architecture and Design Research


I am thrilled to mention as a 3rd year PhD student at Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) and the current interim President of Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), I am leading diverse groups of students in several situations. Besides my current position as a leader of GSA, I have graduate degrees both in Information Technology (IT) and Architecture, with several years of professional experience in telecommunication companies and architectural firms. Hence, obtaining several abilities including communication, organization, supervision, cooperation, and time-management position me ready for this opportunity. I am interested in staying in touch with students, hearing their concerns and being an advocate for them, gaining knowledge of their experiences, and becoming more familiar with diverse cultures. Hence, I am eager to continue the Presidential position in the GSA to guarantee the continuing professional, warm, and friendly environment here at Virginia Tech.

Pragya Sharma

Degree and Major: PhD Computer Engineering, ECE

I am applying for the position of President of VT-DC GSA because as a graduate student who has spent two years in the NCR region of Virginia Tech, I am well-aware of the problems the student community faces over here. There is a lack of cohesiveness among the different campuses of VT in the DC area, and I hope to bring forward all the issues faced by the students to school authorities to make this region closer to a student-friendly environment like Blacksburg. A year ago, I took the initiative to start a slack workspace for the VTRC-A building on which students can connect to each other and will work as an informal medium for announcements and discussions. I have been serving as the campus representative of Arlington campus this year, being directly involved in event planning with the administration which has equipped me further with the necessary experience for this leadership role. Some of the many items on my agenda as the GSA president include:

  1. Organizing more social events and mixers in collaboration with different offices of graduate school to have more incentives for student participation like food, drinks, prizes.
  2. Forming a bridge between the NCR campus and the Blacksburg campus so that students here can have more of the university-like experience which is essential.
  3. Collaborating with graduate school to bring in more school provided/subsidized services such as transportation, health services for the increasing student population.
  4. Streamlining communication between students, GSA and the university administration to ensure transparency. 

I also have prior experience of leadership in student councils and organizational bodies. I previously served as the Web Nominee of Institute hostel affairs council during my undergraduate at IITB in India and I’m also serving as the current President of IITB alumni DC chapter. My duties have ranged from interacting with students, alumni, university administration to organizing meetup events while managing finances. I firmly believe I can represent the graduate students at Virginia Tech in the DC area and consolidate their issues to initiate change and make this extended campus more conducive to students' needs.

Arlington Campus Representative

Ashton Bliss

Degree and Major: Master of Public and International Affairs


Hi all! My name is Ashton, I’m a masters student in Arlington and I would be thrilled to be your next representative for the Arlington Campus! I love being a part of the Virginia Tech community here in the DC metro area, and being a part of the wider Virginia Tech community across the state. I want to help every Arlington student get the most out of their time living and learning in the nation’s capital, and help you be connected to VT happenings through meet and greets, social events, and I would implement a feedback/suggestion form for your voices to be heard.

As the Arlington Campus representative, I would create a campus specific newsletter that is curated and targeted to Arlington students. As well as wider Virginia Tech happenings, this newsletter would feature a rundown of public events here in the greater DC area including talks, Think Tank events, festivals, outdoor activities, and museums! Join me as we learn together as an Arlington community, Virginia Tech community, and DC metro community.

Md Hasan Shahriar

Degree and Major: PhD Computer Science and Applications


Hello, I am Hasan, a second-year PhD student in CS from Arlington Campus. Since the beginning of my graduate studies here at the NCR campus, I have encountered the same limitations as you. Therefore, I have some ideas for adding color to the bleak lives of the grad students. Currently, I am organizing a weekly soccer game at Arlington and planning some indoor games in local parks. To promote diversity and create an inclusive environment among grad students from different cultures, I plan to organize events on international cultures, especially on music. In addition, I plan to make some working groups to collaborate on hot research topics, arrange daylong hikes in the nearby national parks, advocate for improving the quality of grad life, and so on. Thank you!

Vice President

Venkata Adithya Chekuri

Degree and Major: M Eng Computer Engineering


I believe that development and update at every stage in life is a good move for an organization in order to sustain. I am contesting for Vice President of GSA, because good communication skills and social responsibility are the key features for a person to be in a leadership position and I strongly believe that I am very good at both. If I become the Vice President, I assure students that I will work to bring changes in many aspects like monthly gatherings (with a great agenda), establish networking between students in all three campuses in the DC area, in coordination with Blacksburg, and plan for more events where all the students can get involved.

Communications Chair

Anahita Nazerieh

Degree and Major: M. Arch


I'm Anahita, a first-year Master of Architecture student at the WAAC. I have a few years of experience working in the architectural area, and I have also been painting for more than ten years. My career in the arts and architecture has given me a wealth of experience in the creative realm.

As an interim campus representative in this short time, I've noticed that the majority of requests from students are related to the lack of exciting events in the WAAC. I'm interested in taking part in various events because they help you to keep progressing. On the other hand, I analyze every aspect of the event that has a significant impact on participants. In this case, I would be delighted to take responsibility as the social chair because I have many innovative suggestions for fascinating events to plan at the university.

Falls Church Campus Representative

Minho Cho

Degree and Major: MEng Computer Science and Applications


Before school, I have been traveling around Asia and Europe and during that time, I organized and scheduled trips but most importantly, I learned that I enjoy meeting new people and that taking this job would be the perfect opportunity for me to continue this while contributing to the school community. As an avid traveler, I am more than interested in learning about NOVA and the DC area. Also, as an international student who's been in the United States for over 10+ years, I believe I could bring more to both domestic and international students at Falls Church. I'm also working as one of the library staff at the NVC starting this semester so I'm more involved in school than ever.