Graduate Student Association

The GSA and the Graduate School work together to assist students with travel costs for academic conferences. The GSA places students on campuswide committees to ensure concerns of graduate students are heard.


2018-19 GSA Executive Committee

The GSA Executive Committee advocates for the graduate student population by addressing student concerns, promoting events, and encouraging involvement in the graduate community.  The GSA Executive Committee can be contacted at

GSA general meetings:

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - Monroe Park Campus, Location and time: TBD

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - MCV Campus, Location and time: TBD


Executive Committee:‌‌

Emily Williams, President

I am currently a Master of Public Administration student in in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. I also work part-time as a Graduate Assistant in the School of Business. While I completed undergrad at Longwood University, I am excited to return to my Richmond roots here at VCU. I am excited about this opportunity to serve both the VCU and Richmond communities

Chaneika Barber - Vice President

I am a pursuing a M.S in Criminal justice at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. I graduated from VCU with a dual Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice with Honors. I work as a Student-Athlete Tutor in the Siegel Center teaching various courses in psychology and criminal justice. When I am not studying or teaching my tutees, I enjoy watching crime shows such as Criminal Minds and NCIS Los Angeles, traveling, reading crime books, shopping and volunteering at MLK Middle School. I am the newest officer to GSA and excited to see the many opportunities GSA will offer.

David Hampton - Communications Chair

I am a PhD student in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MCV, doing my dissertation work in the lab of Nicholas Farrell. My research interest is in the therapeutic use of metals such as platinum and cobalt. The development of metal compounds that target Triple Negative Breast Cancer and the HIV virus through glycosaminoglycan binding has been both challenging and rewarding. I look forward to using the spirit of Ut Prosim that I gained at Virginia Tech to serve the graduate and professional student communities here at VCU.

Brandon LaReau - Event Chair

I am currently an MFA student in the Theatre Department.  I'm very excited to be representing the School of the Arts. I have enjoyed teaching theatre history and literature classes and I am looking forward to bringing my enthusiasm and excitement to the GSA. Prior to my time here at VCU, I was a corporate event manager for major companies in the hospitality industry. I am eager to start working to bring grad students from every department together so that we may continue to learn from each other.

Jacob Steckman, Treasurer/Appropriations Chair

My VCU journey has led me from a Bachelor’s in Business to studying advertising at the VCU Brandcenter. While at school, I took an online job teaching English to Chinese students in Beijing. When I’m not studying or teaching, I enjoy exploring RVA with my dog

Ria Fyffe-Freil, Symposium Chair

VCU has been a part of my life for the past 6 years: I began in 2012 as a Pre-Medical Graduate Certificate student, then completed my MS in Addiction Studies, and am currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at the School of Medicine. My research focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms of liver preservation injury in transplantation. I volunteer with LifeNet Health as a Community Educator and also serve on the VCU Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Portal Program student advisory committee. Research has been a part of my academic career for over 10 years and I am excited to be involved with GSA this year, not only with the research symposium, but also with the fun social events hosted by the GSA. When I’m not working on my dissertation, I enjoy spending time with my husband and 7 pets, as well as tending to my urban (front-yard) garden at our home.

Ashley Catterton, Secretary

My name is Ashley Catterton and I am currently a graduate student in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program (MURP) for the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.  I received my second bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and also have a bachelor’s Degree in History from VCU.  Being accepted into the MURP program has not only interested me academically, but it has reached into the depths of exactly where I see myself career wise.  I’m definitely a “workaholic”, whether it be working multiple jobs supporting myself through school or working internships to gain experience professionally, it’s all proven to be worth it.  I’ve learned to not expect the easiest route in life, but to work hard in order to be successful.  The phrase “spreading your wings” has become quite clear in graduate school.  I am excited to take this next step within the GSA and advocate for all my fellow graduate students here at VCU.