Autumn is a candidate for the Masters of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, GSPIA. She studies Security and Intelligence Studies as well as Cybersecurity, Law and Policy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Duquesne University in English Literature, Philosophy, and Political Science. Previous to Pitt, Autumn held various leadership roles that have prepared her for candidacy as the GPSG President. She has experience with executive level management from her time as a District Manager with ALDI, and served for two years on the National Board of Directors for the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. During her undergraduate career, Autumn was the President for three honor societies simultaneously: Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Sigma Tau Delta. While holding these positions, she also performed as a top member of the Duquesne Track and Cross-Country Teams. Autumn continues her commitment to leadership and service today as an Assistant Track and Cross-Country Coach at Duquesne in addition to her studies at Pitt.
As a first-generation college student and the first person in my family to attend graduate school I intimately understand how intimidating graduate studies can be for students unfamiliar with the process. As president, I will commit to making sure students like me who are not as familiar with academia get the support they need to be successful here at Pitt. In addition to this initiative, I want to build off of the good work from this year’s GPSG board and continue their work and commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, and greater accessibility to mental health services. I want to make sure graduate students are not forgotten by Pitt, and that our unique needs are recognized and prioritized by the administration. Graduate school can be overwhelming in so many ways, and everyone deserves to feel that they belong and that they are heard. Please give me the chance to make sure you’re heard and represented here at Pitt.
As the current Vice President of Committees I have advocated for graduate and professional student interests, making it my duty to facilitate the representation of the full breadth of our diverse student experiences, as well as advocate for student well-being. I proposed and wrote the GPSG resolution “Self-Care for All,” which overwhelmingly passed and supported designating the two self-care days this semester as official University holidays.
I am a current second year PhD student in History studying race and power in colonial Latin America. Prior to my doctoral studies I earned a BA in History and an MA in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology before spending three years serving as the Honors Program Coordinator at my alma mater.
I have a long track record of successful leadership. Beyond serving our student population as the GPSG Vice President of Committees, my work as an Honors Program Coordinator prepared me to serve as GPSG President. I served on multiple university committees, planned and facilitated events of all sizes for alumni and students, and mentored and advised undergraduates. As an undergraduate, I spent three years serving as a Student Senator, Committee Chair, and then Chief Justice on the Student Government Association.
Through my current role serving the Pitt graduate student community, and my prior roles, I have demonstrated a record of experience, efficiency, and most important: advocacy.
As GPSG President, I will continue the important work of advocating for student interests. Based on my experiences over the last year there are three main issues I will champion at every opportunity.
Student well-being is a key concern as we persist through the Covid-19 pandemic. As a university, it is vital that we support students’ health, providing accessible, effective resources for mental, physical, and financial wellness. Additionally, we must establish concrete, proactive policies for how the University will support students in their professional and personal development post-pandemic.
I will continue making diversity a priority by advocating for the implementation and expansion of anti-bias and anti-racism training across schools and programs. On a personal level, I am committed to advancing the causes and elevating the voices of BIPOC students. From a university standpoint, we must make the inclusion of marginalized members of our graduate student community a priority, and I will use the office of GPSG President to drive that change.
Our graduate and professional students represent a wide array of professional experiences, across many diverse fields. It is crucial that we provide resources for students to explore the shifting professional frontiers available to them. As such, I plan to augment those opportunities by facilitating professional development events, proposing increased funding for professional conferences, promoting cross-department networking, and creating opportunities for leadership development to supplement academic studies.
Graduate and professional students are a crucial part of the University. As GPSG President, I will be a strong advocate and asset for representation of graduate students and their interests in our University community.