Executive Committee

The GPSG Executive Committee (ExComm) is made up entirely of graduate and professional students. It consists of:

  • three elected officers– President, Vice President, Treasurer
  • five appointed officers – Diversity Officer, Awards Officer, Benefits Officer, Sustainability Officer, Health & Wellness Officer
  • two hired staff members (SAA appointments) – Communications Coordinator, Community Development Coordinator


If you are a current IUB graduate or professional student interested in serving on ExComm, visit the Apply section our website where 2017-2018 GPSG Executive Committee and Staff position openings are listed.


2016-2017 GPSG Executive Committee



Adam Reneker – Law


The President acts as the official liaison between IU’s administration, student body, student organizations and the GPSG. The President also oversees the functioning of the GPSG, and serves on the GPSG Executive Committee.

Adam is from Warsaw, Indiana. He is a third year JD/MBA candidate with the Maurer School of Law and Kelley School of Business. Adam also attended IU for his undergraduate degree where he studied Marketing, Spanish, and German. This is Adam’s third year with GPSG and he has served as a Law School representative, Awards Committee member, Vice-Chair of the Diversity Committee, and Parliamentarian. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, music, and being outdoors. Adam is excited to serve students through his position by amplifying student voices, improving structural efficiency, and informing students about the many opportunities available to them through IU. 

blakeVice President

Blake Forland – Physics


The Vice President represents the GPSG to the university at large and fulfills the duties of the President when they are temporarily unable to perform them. The Vice President also oversees delegates on university committees and serves as the chairperson for the GPSG Student Health and Wellness Committee.

Blake is originally from Denver, CO. He is a fourth year PhD candidate in Physics who attended Metro State University of Denver for is undergraduate degree where he majored in Physics, but also studied Chemistry, Mathematics, and Spanish. Last year Blake served as the representative for the physics department and sat on the Benefits committee. When not working or traveling, Blake enjoys doing all sorts of things, but your best bet to find him would be to check his favorite yoga studio. Blake’s motivation to serve the graduate students of IU this year as the Vice President came from his passion and desire to improve student engagement, mental health, and the overall impact graduate students have on campus.



Brian Shaw – MPA


The Treasurer maintains the GPSG’s financial records, prepares the annual budget for review by the Assembly, provides financial updates to the Assembly, requests disbursement of funds as required, works with the Awards Officer to ensure the timely execution of the Awards process, and performs other duties requested by the Executive Committee.



Alyssa Gonzales Specht – Law


The Parliamentarian is the authority on procedural questions. This officer ensures that the constitution is up-to-date and also conducts the annual membership audit.

Hello Hoosiers, My name is Alyssa Marie Gonzales Specht, I am a 2L at Maurer School of Law. Prior to law school, I worked full time and completed a master’s in public administration at the University of New Mexico; and I have a bachelors in government from New Mexico State University. I’ve held various leadership positions, which will help me with my role as Parliamentarian this coming year. During undergraduate I served, first as Associate, then as Chief Justice of the Associated Student of New Mexico State University. In this role I ruled over various hearings, advocated for transparency in student government elections, and wrote the first Renter’s Handbook. I look forward to working with all graduate students, leaders, and administration to continue to strive for excellence within Indiana University and specifically within the graduate departments at IU. Go Hoosiers!

Diversity Officer

Colton Ames – Religion


The Diversity Officer acts as a medium of communication between IUSA, BGSA, LGSA, ISA, other graduate student organizations and GPSG. The Diversity Officer also serves as a member of the External Relations committee.

Before coming to Indiana University, Colton received his undergraduate degrees from Northern Arizona University where he held leadership roles and taught classes that introduced first-year students to college life. He is now a second year MA student in the Department of Religious Studies, and studies religion in the ancient Mediterranean as well as religious trends in contemporary America. In his free time, Colton is an avid reader, movie fanatic, and home-cook (specializing in his native Italian food). He served as Vice Chair of the Diversity Committee in 2015-2016 and was drawn to serve in GPSG to bring greater awareness and advocacy to diversity issues across campus. As Diversity Chair, he hopes to lead the Diversity Team in making campus more welcoming and accessible for IU’s incredibly diverse graduate and professional student communities. 

Awards Officer

Adrian Paneto – Neuroscience


The Awards Officer oversees the awarding GPSG Travel and Research Grants. This involves working with GPSG accounts manager, the GPSG Excomm, and the Awards Committee.

Adrian is from Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He is in his second year in the Cognitive Neuroscience Ph.D. program, with a focus on substance abuse. Adrian has held a number of leadership positions in academic and service organizations while completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida (Go Gators!). In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing euro-style board games. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career teaching, conducting research, and mentoring underrepresented students. As Awards Officer, Adrian strives to insure that graduate students are supported both financially and professionally by the GPSG.

Benefits Officer


Haley MacLeod* – Health Informatics


The Benefits Officer addresses the benefit needs of Student Academic Appointees (SAA’s) and student employees, specifically health insurance, stipends, fee remission structure and related employment issues. The position seeks to recommend improvements to benefit and compensation policies for all graduate and professional students.

Haley is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada where she did her undergraduate degree in business and computer science. She’s currently a PhD candidate in Health Informatics, interested in the potential of technology for people with rare diseases. She’s been involved with the Informatics department’s graduate student organization (GISA) for the past three years, and joined GPSG as an Informatics assembly representative in 2016. Haley is excited to be taking on the Benefits Officer role to advocate for graduate student needs and interests in benefits and policy matters within the university.

*Haley was voted into her role by the GPSG Assembly on 12/2/2016 

linusSustainability Officer

Linus Platzer – MPA


The Sustainability Officer addresses issues related to sustainability within the GPSG and campus communities. Examples of issues addressed are recycling, transportation, carbon emissions and sustainable growth.

Linus grew up in Freiburg, Germany, and has lived in Sweden, Argentina and the US. He is in his second year in the Master of Public Affairs program at SPEA, concentrating in Energy and Policy Analysis. He has worked as student representative since his high school times, and demonstrated leadership in organizations like the Student Council and Model UN. In Indiana, Linus has served as representative to SPEA and in various other roles advocating sustainability. He enjoys the outdoors and social events, is an avid soccer player, and appreciates thoughtful conversations. In the next years Linus hopes to gain experience in sustainability consulting and public leadership to tackle the big picture of global environmental solutions. Linus is excited to make IU more sustainable as the GPSG Sustainability Officer and will bring social, economic, and environmental sustainability closer to graduate students.

marianaCommunications Coordinator

Mariana Lopez-Owens – MPA


The Communications Coordinator facilitates committees, representatives, and student communication. The Communications Coordinator also resolves student concerns, prepares the assembly agenda, and ensures all are properly informed and organized.

Mariana was born in the City of Cuernavaca, Mexico, but grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is currently a second year MPA student in SPEA concentrating in Economic Development and Local Government Management. Mariana enjoys staying busy and is currently on GPSG’s Diversity Committee, the Treasurer of Local Goverment Management Association, and the Vice-President of Advocacy and Action for Students for Equity in Public Affairs. She loves advocating for Graduate students at Indiana University and is thrilled to be the primary point of contact of GPSG during the 2016-2017 school year. She is excited to welcome and meet many graduate and professional students at IU this year!

dscn2086-1Community Development Coordinator

Karisa Millington – Music


The Community Development Coordinator is responsible for community building. Working with the programming committee, the Community Development Coordinator plans the parties, activities, and events that matter to graduate and professional students.

Karisa, a native of Ohio, is in her final year of doctoral studies at the Jacobs School of Music. She completed a Masters of Music from Westminster Choir College in 2013 and a Bachelor of Music Education from Cedarville University in 2008. She also worked with international students in Beijing, China from 2008-2011. At IU, she has served on campus with the PFF (Preparing Future Faculty) Conference Committee, worked with professional organizations to encourage students to explore arts and culture, and developed student and faculty/staff programming with the IU Office of First Year Experience Programs. She is excited to use her experience in academia and abroad to cultivate diverse programming for IU graduate and professional students looking to establish professional relationships, celebrate diversity, and support one another during their time at IU.

Previous ExComm Members