Student Groups

The Graduate Organization of GPS (GO GPS) is the student body government of the School. GO GPS and the many active student groups provide members the opportunity to focus on regions of study and professional development. Student-led regional focus groups are dedicated to increasing the understanding of a specific region’s culture, language, politics and economy through a variety of programmatic activities. We invite you to discover the current organizations.

Graduate Organization of GPS (GO GPS)

GO GPS is the student body government at the School. Its purpose is to represent and promote the academic, professional and networking interests of the students. It serves as a center for student communication, information and participation and as a forum for student development. GO GPS acts as a liaison to the faculty and administration. All registered full-time or part-time graduate students are members. 

The board consists of eight voting executive officers and two first-year student representatives. Four representatives to the Graduate Student Association (GSA) also are voting members of the GO GPS board. GSA representatives are the bridge between the School and the entire UC San Diego graduate community. They represent student interests by lobbying for university funding, voicing student concerns and facilitating School involvement in GSA programs and positions of leadership.

Executive Board

Victoria Holden, president
Meghna Jain, vice president of external affairs
Andrew Kincare, vice president of internal affairs
Mateo Villamizar Chaparro, vice president of academic affairs
Jem Marasigan, vice president of programs
Shunichi Muto, vice president of finance
Eamonn Wilson, vice president of communications/marketing
Adriel Taslim, vice president of events
Chen Liang, GSA representative
Bryce Thomson, GSA representative

Questions? Contact the board.


Asameshikai is an organization of students, faculty and professionals who share a keen interest in Japan's economy, politics, language and culture.

It presents a speaker series and holds informal roundtable discussions. Speakers typically are experts in areas such as Japanese business practices, trade and security relations, politics and political economy. Informal discussions may cover current events or Japanese society. Asameshikai also organizes social and cultural events that bring together students, fellows, faculty and members of San Diego's thriving Japanese community. 

The organization aids students in their career goals by creating links to local and overseas Japan-related businesses, foreign professionals and alumni. Information on internships, study abroad and job openings will help interested members with their Japan-focused job search. 

Asameshikai Officers

Shunichi Muto, president
Philip Voris, vice president of external affairs
Yaroslav Makarov, vice president of internal affairs
Matt Matsuyama, vice president of finance
Joanna Valle-Luna, vice president of marketing

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CeaseFire is a student-run organization dedicated to raising awareness about human rights violations in areas where there is political turmoil, civil war or intractable conflict. It also seeks to be a platform for them to express their opinions and to socially interact with community members that share the affinity for the international community. CeaseFire will pursue these objectives through documentary/triva nights, discussions regarding specific crises around the world, and a model negotiation conference whereby each student can be in a position of authority.

CeaseFire Leadership

Ashley Halabi, president
Shadi Matar, vice president of internal affairs
Bryce Thomson, vice president of operations
Reem Zubaidi, vice president of public relations

Alisar El-Rayess, vice president of events

China Focus

China Focus is the official student organization designed by and for scholars of the Greater China region. It provides an active forum for student, faculty and community participation in intellectual, academic, professional and social activities related to China and China's relations with the rest of the world.

China Focus organizes academic discussion forums and public lectures, networking and professional engagements, community service initiatives and cultural events for its community. It aims to provide a high-level forum for intellectual debate and discussion as well as a close-knit community of scholars centered around collective learning and networking as well as intellectual, professional and research collaboration.

Sign up for China Focus updates and event invitations, and visit the China Focus blog.

China Focus Board of Directors

Shuwen Li, president
Yushu Lin, secretary
Aaron Chua, vice president of internal affairs
Tang Li, vice president of finance
Jinji Lin, vice president of activities

Development Club

The Development Club is an organization for students interested in international development. The club brings in speakers, coordinates educational and entertaining activities, and collaborates with other student groups and the San Diego community. Activities include:
  • career panels featuring alumni and others currently working in development-related careers who discuss their experiences and finding jobs in government or nongovernmental sectors;
  • community engagement activities allow students the opportunity to learn more about local nonprofit organizations through service days; and
  • social events to combine international development outreach with fun activities.
The organization's Community Consultants Program is a student-run consulting group that provides services exclusively to the International Rescue Committee in San Diego. The program provides students with opportunities to apply the analytical skills they learn in the classroom to real-world scenarios to make a difference in the San Diego community.

 Development Club Leadership

Alisar El-Rayess, president
Ashley Halabi, vice president of external affairs
Sean Walsh, vice president of finance
Jonathan Andritsch, vice president of faculty
Layna Lowe, vice president of marketing

Export Access

Export Access Global Consulting is a graduate student-run global market research and consulting group housed at the School.

Its mission is to provide high-quality, high-powered and cost-effective market research and consulting services to North American and foreign enterprises while offering real-world business experience to graduate students.

A unique business model has allowed Export Access to grow from humble beginnings to a group with the practical business experience and expertise to provide international business solutions to firms ranging from small-sized to Fortune 500 companies.

Export Acces Leadership

Adrian Bissdorf, director of business development
Alec Workman, director of strategy
Daniel Rust, director of operations

Journal of International Policy Solutions (JIPS)

GPS students connect with their peers, share information and ideas, cooperate across institutional boundaries and, most importantly, find concrete solutions to international problems. It is for these reasons the School's student leaders created the journal. Visit the blog to view current and past issues.

Brenna McKee, editor in chief
Mateo Villamazar, managing director
Yaroslav Makarov, communications director
Ashley Halabi, publications director
Spike Hemans, content director

Latin America Student Organization (LASO)

LASO is a student-run organization dedicated to increasing the understanding of Latin American politics, economics and culture. It seeks to provide students with opportunities to interact with fellow students and its community. LASO's program foci are community service, cultural enrichment, professional opportunities and social activities for its members.

Past activities include blanket drives in Mexico, the Preuss School Mentoring Program, public speaking and cultural events and the annual Latin American Festival. In addition, LASO serves as a liaison between the School’s administration, alumni and businesses to ensure that Latin American interests are represented.

LASO Leadership

Manuel Valdes, president
Lya Freitas, vice president of external affairs
Sofia Calderon, vice president of finance
Kyle Benzinger, vice president of social media
Joanna Valle Luna, vice president of events


Mannam is a student-led graduate organization for those interested in learning about Korea. Its objective is to promote cultural understanding and cross-regional networking with other members of the community. It does this while enhancing academic and professional interests in all aspects of Korea, including politics, economy, language and society. Mannam seeks to:

  • promote connections to help create an interactive network within the School’s community, enhancing academic and professional opportunities for Korea-focused students;
  • promote dialogue on contemporary issues relevant to working with and in Korea by hosting academic seminars and events on current issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula; and
  • continue pursuing relationships with the Korean community on campus and in San Diego, as well as with other regional focus groups.

With increasing interest in Korea, Mannam's membership and activities have been growing steadily. One of its goals is to create an innovative networking system between current students, visiting scholars and alumni. Mannam currently is developing a mentoring program to help incoming students make their transition to the School easier.

Mannam Leadership

Noori Kim, president
Annie Brown, vice president of marketing

Net Impact

Net Impact is an international movement of people committed to using the power of business and innovation to solve the world's most pressing social and environmental problems. The new paradigm of what makes good business includes ambitious social and environmental goals. The free market is the powerful catalyst for social change, and Net Impact seeks to integrate these social advancement goals into the marketplace.

The UC San Diego GPS chapter aims to create a networking platform for members to engage in formal and informal advancement of their career goals in sustainable business.

Net Impact Leadership

Daniel Rust, president
Dana Kozhakhmetova, vice president of external affairs
Shuwen Li, vice president of internal affairs
Ambar Valles, president of finance
Yaroslav Makarov, vice president social media
Meghna Jain, president of events

Public Policy Series (PPS)

PPS seeks to expose GPS community members to policy from different sectors, encourage the expression of different points of view, and further social interaction with community members that share the affinity for policymaking. PPS will pursue these objectives through events that promote increased consciousness and better understanding of issues in need of policy intervention. Main events seek to bring students close to the issue, think about current policy and be agents of change in the form of volunteer projects.

PPS Leadership 

Gabriela Rubio, president
Corey Fujikawa, vice president
Yuri Naumov Corbera, chair of external affairs
Jem Marasigan, chair of internal affairs
Ambar Valles, chair of public relations


The mission of QuIRPS is to foster community among queer and nonqueer members of the School and raise awareness of the challenges faced by queer people around the world, as well as fostering professional development for queer students and allies.

Visit the QuIRPS Facebook page for news and events.

QuIRPS Leadership

Jem Marasigan, president
Brenna McKee, vice president of internal affairs
Bryn Philibert, vice president of external affairs
Monique Da Cunha, vice president of finance

Southeast Asia Link (SEAL)

SEAL is a student-run organization that is dedicated to fostering an in-depth understanding of the diversity of Southeast Asian nations in terms of their unique culture, politics and economy. SEAL works with the community and faculty to create an innovative speaker series, which is its cornerstone academic offering that takes place over the course of the academic year.

SEAL serves as a liaison between the School and the Southeast Asian world at large by creating volunteer opportunities in the San Diego area and by linking Southeast Asia regionalists with current Southeast Asia professionals, jumpstarting career opportunities for graduates.

Creating a sense of community within SEAL, as well as within the broader community, is an important aspect of the organization. Events like the annual SEAL cooking class give Southeast Asia students and their faculty an informal opportunity to discuss current events, regional concerns and future goals.

SEAL also collaborates with other regional student events and organizations in order to facilitate cross-cultural understanding, such as the Asian New Year Festival held every winter quarter.

SEAL Leadership

Pui (Duangruetai) Surasakjinda, president
Joanna Valle-Luna, vice president of internal affairs
Abraham Valles, vice president of external affairs
Dana Kozhakhmetova, vice president of operations
Daniel Rust, vice president of finance
Alex Leader, vice president of media
Abby Fu, vice president of events

Strategic Community Consulting (SCC)

SCC was founded in 1995 at the School. Leveraging the specialized skills of graduate students, SCC provides nonprofit, nongovernmental and development organizations with quality, affordable and individualized management solutions that enable organizations to better serve their target communities.

SCC Co-directors

Sean Walsh

Strategic Studies Group (SSG)

An interdisciplinary forum for the study of strategy and security policy, SSG was founded by student professionals in the MAS-IA program at GPS, and is open to all students at GPS. SSG seeks to focus the ideas and expertise of UC San Diego students, professors and practitioners toward difficult strategic questions facing nation states in the 21st century.

The group meets bimonthly. It hosts guest speakers, professional development clinics and networking socials at group meetings. Guest speakers include university professors and security professionals from the San Diego area. In spring quarter, the group hosts a capstone to showcase its ideas, contributions and lessons learned. 

In addition to advancing strategic studies at UC San Diego, SSG also serves as a networking and professional development organization for students and professionals pursuing careers in national security. Members are encouraged to engage San Diego-area security resources through participation in field exercises, strategic conferences and strategy lectures. The success of the organization relies on the active involvement of its students, university professors and sponsoring security professionals.

Like SSG on Facebook.

SSG Leadership

Kevin Edes, lead chair
Derek Goeriz, chair of outreach
David Boman, chair of finance
Meridith Spry, chair of protocol and events

John Edwards, alumni advisor

Women Going Global

The mission of Women Going Global is to increase awareness and the development of women in future leadership roles within international professional and academic realms. Women Going Global offers an opportunity for students, faculty and the Greater San Diego community to exchange in discourse that promotes women’s issues on a global level.

Visit the Women Going Global Facebook page for news and events. Email us to learn more.

Women Going Global Leadership

Victoria Holden, president
Gabriela Rubio, vice president
Brenna McKee, vice president of internal affairs
Bryn Philibert, vice president of finance
Meghna Jain, vice president of events