Graduate Advocates

Graduate Life Ambassadors

Graduate Life Ambassadors (GLA) are volunteers who help run Center for Graduate Life and Learning (CGLL) events, promote events/programs to fellow students, and suggest new initiatives for the CGLL.

As a GLA you will:

  • Have the chance to impact the graduate student experience at UNC Charlotte
  • Have service opportunities to include on your resume/cv and stories to talk about in your interviews
  • Get free food and swag
  • Be a part of a positive, supportive, and driven community

Interested? Fill out this form.

Graduate Life Fellows

Each year the Graduate School's Center for Graduate Life and Learning appoints a group of continuing graduate students to serve as Graduate Life Fellows (GLFs).  GLFs are awarded $5,000 for the academic year. Application information can be found in the Spring semester.  

2021-2022 Graduate Life Fellows

Erin Lewis
Ph.D., 4th Year
Curriculum and Instruction

My name is Erin and I am a fourth year doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction program. After completing my B.A. in English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina, I moved to Charlotte to teach Middle School Language Arts while pursuing my M.A. in English at UNC Charlotte. My research interests include College and Career Readiness, Multicultural Education, and Gifted/Advanced Education for Students of Color with the ultimate goal of improving life outcomes for BIPOC students through teaching, consulting, curriculum development, and written works. Outside of school, I enjoy creative writing, exercising, and spending time with my spouse and our furbaby. While the pandemic has taught us several lessons, the undervalue and loss of human connection was eye-opening for many of us. Therefore, my goal as a GLF is to support the enhancement of our connections to each other as graduate students. As we continue to navigate the “new normal”, we are especially committed to recreating a graduate student community of support as your new GLFs. Reach out to me anytime at:


Khyati Mahajan
Ph.D., 4th Year

Computer Science

Hello hello! I’m Khyati, now a 4th year PhD student at UNC Charlotte. I was a dual enrolled MS & PhD student, and am now continuing my PhD after earning my MS right here! UNC Charlotte has been my home away from home, and the coziest place here for grad students is the Center for Graduate Life and Learning (CGLL), located in Cone behind After Hours — come and share some coffee/tea with us! It’s a place where grad students can get any and all the support they might not get otherwise in their academic program - be it wellness (also checkout CAPS) or writing support! Grad life can be isolating and difficult, and with the COVID-19 pandemic it has only become more so. As an introvert, this is a time when I have become even more of a homebody than I was before, but there is a lot to be learned by stepping out of our comfort zones, and I’m truly excited that you and me will be on this journey together. If you’re an extrovert, please help us out as we navigate the social wilds again! My research focus is in Conversational AI, I’m an active part of the Club for AI Research (CAIR — join us if you're interested in AI!), and in my spare time I love learning new crafts! If you want to learn more about me, visit, or feel free to reach out at!


Sayantan Datta
Ph.D., 4th Year

Computer Science

Hi everyone! My name is Sayantan and I'm in my fourth year of Ph.D. in Computer Science. I had my bachelor's in Computer Engineering back in 2014. My research is currently about robot exploration in unknown environments. My work is interdisciplinary and stems from different backgrounds such as Engineering, Operations Research, Mathematics, and Computer Science. My interdisciplinary research gives me immense motivation to make students in UNC Charlotte feel more connected.  My goal as a student fellow in the Center for Graduate Life and Learning (CGLL) is to make sure more students of different departments connect in the university. The resources at CGLL are abundant. CGLL already hosts a wide variety of events that bring the graduate student community closer together.  I want to encourage students from different departments to be a part of the events so that they feel that they are a part of a larger student community and they never shy out of a conversation. Please feel free to reach out to me at



Pouria Karimi
Ph.D., 3rd Year

Mechanical Engineering

Hello everyone! My name is Pouria Karimi and I am in my third year of Ph.D. studies in the Mechanical Engineering program. My research focuses on Control and Dynamics Modeling and I am currently working on designing control algorithms for autonomous vehicles (Self-driving cars) in a traffic network. My undergraduate degree is in Mechanical Engineering and I started my direct Ph.D. program in 2018 at UNC Charlotte. I have completed my master’s degree in the same major in 2020 at UNCC. Having the opportunity to live in several countries such as Iran, India, UK, and the US, introduced me to a wide variety of special and awesome experiences in learning about different cultures, traditions, and languages. Being acquainted with different cultures motivates and excites me to bring similar experiences to the graduate students’ community. Currently, I am serving as the president of the “Iranian Students Organization” (ISO) at UNC Charlotte. The purpose of the ISO is to promote an understanding and appreciation for Persian culture and art and sponsor education and social events. Last year, I was the program director of the ISO and I oversaw coordinating social, cultural, and academic events sponsored by the organization. Besides, my contributions to ISO, I am also collaborating with the community of my professional carrier. Additionally, I am the secretary of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Piedmont-Carolina Section. As a Graduate Life Fellow (GLF), I hope to connect more graduate students to the networking events, social activities, seminars, and wellness programs organized by the Center of Graduate Life and Learning (CGLL). My main inspiration as a GLF is to be the voice of the graduate students and engage more students in graduate school activities. You can always find me at:


Kaitlin Klotz
Ph.D., 2nd Year 

Biological Sciences

Hi everyone! My name is Kaitlin Klotz (she/her/hers) and I am a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on RNA-protein interaction analysis in the telomerase protein of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei. I came to Charlotte by way of Williamsburg, VA in 2005 and I’ve really grown to love our little corner of the world. I am a UNC Charlotte lifer-I have completed a bachelor’s degree in biology (2016), a graduate certificate in bioinformatics applications (2017) and a master’s degree in bioinformatics (2018). Before beginning my doctoral studies, I spent a year and a half working at Levine Cancer Institute in the Cancer Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics research group. Over the last 7 years, the Center for Graduate Life and Learning has helped me successfully apply to graduate school as an undergraduate, land my first post-grad job through career courses during my master’s degree, and become a more confident and effective presenter of data in the first year of my Ph.D. studies. It is only fitting that I should give back to the center that has given me so much. During my time at UNC Charlotte, I have discovered a love for advocating for my community. Years of experience with this amazing university have familiarized me with the resources available to students to ensure academic, professional and social success. My goal as a GLF is to connect graduate students with each other and the excellent campus resources offered to them so that they can make the absolute most of their UNC Charlotte graduate school experience so that they leave this place excited and ready for their futures. Let’s connect-please feel free to reach out at 


Kaylah Jenkins
Master's, 3rd Year
Health Administration

Hi all! My name is Kaylah Jenkins, and I am a third-year student in the Master of Health Administration program. I am also a second-year student in the Gerontology Graduate Certificate program. I graduated in May 2020 with an Operations and Supply Chain Management Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree from UNC Charlotte. I entered the Master of Health Administration program as an early-entry student in Fall 2019, and I began working on the Gerontology Graduate Certificate in Fall 2020. I also participate in the Gerontology Club/Honor Society here at UNC Charlotte, and I serve as the current Director of Recruitment. Working with and serving older adults is a passion of mine, and I plan to continue working with older adults in my career. As a graduate life fellow, I hope to bring more support and resources to other early-entry students in various graduate programs. I also hope to connect with all types of graduate students to provide an opportunity to network with not only fellow graduate students, but with other professionals in the community. After a long year of social distancing, I hope I can organize some activities that allow graduate students to come together and spend time getting close again. Please feel free to email me at to talk and connect!


Tanya Wasson

Business Administration

My name is Tanya Wasson and I am an MBA student at Belk College of Business. After completing my Bachelor's degree in Finance at the University of Nebraska, I moved with my family to Charlotte to pursue my Master's degree. I am multilingual and I can speak Hindi, Punjabi, Spanish, conversational French, and Mandarin. I have an interest in AML/financial crimes and therefore I would like to pursue a degree in the legal field. On campus, I serve as the Treasurer for the Graduate Business Association (GBA) and also I serve as the Vice President for Hindu Youth for Unity, Virtues, and Action (Hindu YUVA). I was a participant of the International Friendship and Cultural Exchange Program (FACE) as I love to interact and learn about people from diverse backgrounds, which helps me broaden my horizons. Also, I served as a Graduate Life Ambassador (GLA) last summer and I see myself as a good fit for leadership positions in the future. I look forward to the upcoming school year and I hope everyone excels in their academics.