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

Caroline Novit, President 
Alana Laanui, Vice President of External Affairs 
Ben Swearingen, Vice President of Academic Affairs
May Thach, Vice President of Programming
Leo Do, Vice President of Events
Caitlyn Khuu, Vice President of Internal Affairs
Sam Beu, Vice President of Finance 
Carmen Lai, Vice President of Communications/Marketing
Ashley Schmidt, GSA Representative
Tenzin Chomphel, GSA Representative
Kexin "Kathy" Zhang, 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

Erim Gulum, President
Yuichi Sakai
, Vice President
Yuma Yamada, Vice President of Events
Seiya Uchinami, Vice President of Finance 

Join us on Facebook!

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

Songyue Zhang, President
Sonia Tan, Vice President
Yucong Li, Vice President of Finance
Rolando Almada, Vice President of Internal Affairs
Alex Wyckoff, Vice President of Events
Aaron Lien, Vice President of Logistics

Chaoran Li, Vice President of External Affairs
Kexin Zhang, 21CCC Liason

Development Club

The Development Club (DevClub) is a pre-professional student organization that serves as a platform for students to learn about international development issues and also engage with the greater development industry through hosted events.

The main goal of DevClub is to raise awareness at GPS and the greater UC San Diego community about pressing development issues in the world today and how to respond to those issues in a sustainable, positive and culturally sensitive manner. A secondary goal is to engage the larger student population to the faculty and their work focused in the development field.

The major activities of DevClub include hosting Development Night, a series of events that focus on the different career aspects of the development industry, and coordinating events that bring development practitioners and the student body together.

Development Club Leadership

Dominic Palazzolo, President
Tanvi Jaluka, Vice President of Faculty
Marcelo Colombo, Vice President of External Affairs 
Mikenna Montgomery, Vice President of Events/Marketing 
Gabriel Alejandro Mayan, Vice President of Finance
Ama Debrah, Vice President of Internal Affairs

Journal of International Policy Solutions (JIPS)

The Journal of International Policy Solutions is a student-led academic journal at GPS that provides a space for students to write about politics, international issues, current affairs and much more that contribute to the ongoing dialogue on creating effective policy solutions. For over twenty years, the journal has published new editions highlighting the work of graduate students from around the world.

Visit the JIPS website to read past issues and view our student blog. Have questions? Please contact us.

Mikenna Montgomery, Editor in Chief (Events)
Alex Wyckoff, Managing Director (Events)
Topher Taylor, Communications Director
Rolando AlmadaPublications Director
Claudia Fernandez, Content Director
Kyle Rose, Vice President of Finance

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. LASO's program foci are community service, cultural enrichment, professional opportunities and social activities.

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

Gabriel Mayan, President 
Rachel Rozak, Vice President of Events 
Chandler Katschke, Vice President of Communications 
Marcelo Colombo, Vice President of External Affairs 
Damin Curtis, Vice President of Finance
Leo Do, Vice President of Internal Affairs


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

Becky Christofferson, President 
Ashley Schmidt, Vice President of Marketing 
Kelly Wun, Vice President of Finance 
Sam Beu, Vice President of Events

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 a 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

Elise Hanson, President
Dominic Palazzolo, Vice President of External Affairs
Ryan Ellis, Vice President of Internal Affairs

Marco Gutierrez, Vice President of Finance


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

Joe Bettles, President
Caroline Novit, Vice President of Finance
Ama Debrah, Vice President of Events
Trevor Hill, Vice President of External/Internal Affairs

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

May Thach, President
Topher Taylor, Vice President of Finance
Alana Laanui, Vice President of Events

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

Julio Flores, Chairman of the Board
Mike Poor, Vice Chairman and Director of Finance
Samantha Beu, Director of Programming
Devin Dugard, Board Member
Paul Kim, Board Member
Tu Le, Board Member
Alex Schiller, Board Member

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.

Email us to learn more.

Women Going Global Leadership

May Thach, President
Marianna Garcia, Vice President of Social Programming
Becky Christofferson, Vice President of Political Programming
Rachel Rozak, Vice President of Communications
Alana Laanui, Vice President of Internal Affairs (Finance)