Two College of Liberal Arts & Sciences students are among the seven leaders chosen as Graduate Life Fellows for the 2014-15 academic year. They are Kristen Reynolds, a master’s student in English and Alyssa Vela, a doctoral student in health psychology, chosen from 45 applicants.
Graduate Life Fellows offer guidance and promote engagement through first-hand experience, peer mentorship and graduate student events. The group will work with incoming graduate students and provide opportunities for students to network across disciplines. GLFs receive an award annually for their contributions to the UNC Charlotte graduate student community. GLF programming is through the Center for Graduate Life.
Vela is the secetary for the Graduate and Professional Student Government organization. She completed her master’s degree at UNC Charlotte in Clinical/Community Psychology before beginning her doctoral studies. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Oakland University in Michigan, where she also competed on the varsity swim team. Her research and clinical interests include eating disorders, health behavior changes, cultural influences, and chronic pain and illness.
Away from school, she enjoys cooking, reading, spending time outside, and attending the many festivals and cultural events Charlotte has to offer. She said she looks forward to forming new connections with fellow graduate students, and helping other students form new social and collaborative relationships with students from across disciplines.
Reynolds is pursuing her master’s degree in English and a graduate certificate in Africana Studies. She describes herself as a “proud Air Force brat” who moved to Charlotte nearly 10 years ago. She earned a second bachelor’s degree before pursuing her master’s degree. Her research interests include race and gender in global and domestic settings. She enjoys writing and reading.
Away from school she enjoys baking, yoga, dancing, learning music and photography, video games and travel. As a fellow, she hopes to help her peers feel like they are part of a community that validates them and their needs. One of her primary goals is to create long-lasting relationships with people from the diverse array of colleges at UNC Charlotte.
The other fellows are:
- Sabrina Brown, a doctoral student, educational leadership, College of Education
- Chen Fu, a doctoral student, mechanical engineering, Lee College of Engineering
- Arpit Ghosh, a master’s student, computer science, College of Computing and Informatics
- Shannon Hosey, a master’s student, architecture, College of Arts + Architecture
- Erin Walker, a master’s student, social work, College of Health and Human Services
Edited and compiled by Angelina Murdasova. Image by Coren O’Hara. Reynolds is front row, far left; Vela is back row, far left.)