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The Office of Graduate Student Life

Graduate Student Senate and Student Organizations

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The chief political organ for graduate students at Boston College is the Graduate Student Senate (GSS). Our Senate comprises representatives from (a) the Carroll Graduate School of Management, the Connell Graduate School of Nursing, the Lynch Graduate School of Education, the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Social Work, the School of Theology & Ministry, and the Law School, and from (b) the GSA’s three affinity groups: the Graduate Students of Color Association; the Graduate Pride Alliance; and the Graduate International Students Association. Together, the Senate cooperates on projects relevant to broad sections of the Graduate Student community, in addition to advocating for initiatives put forward by, or on behalf of, the Graduate Student body.

Any graduate student enrolled at BC is able to attend a senate meeting. Moreover, if any graduate student has a statement to make the Senate, that individual is entitled to a hearing by the Senate to be followed by a written response by the Executive Director of the Senate within two weeks.



Melissa Dilillo, Executive Director

Melissa is a 2nd year MBA student in the Carroll Graduate School of Management at Boston College. Melissa is a born and raised Chicagoan and graduated from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and a Minor in Chemistry. Before moving out East, she worked in consulting for the public sector as well as for The Walt Disney Company! Melissa has most recently worked as an MBA Associate for McGraw Hill Education with the Higher Education team in Strategy. Melissa is passionate about food and is always updating her Instagram food blog. Melissa has been told she’s the ultimate tour guide, so pick her brain on all things from food to entertainment to everything in between and she’ll send along her best recommendations!  Additionally, she loves traveling and is slowly making her way to visiting all the National Parks, aside from her visits abroad.

megan ottati

Roshan Chandapeta, Director of Programming

Roshan is a 2nd-year MSLA student in Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College, he holds a Bachelor's degree in Business & Administration from CV Raman University, India. He moved to Boston in January 2018. Prior to this, he worked as a senior consultant at a travel-based experiential learning platform for high school students where he piloted and developed an urban sustainability program in Singapore. Roshan also co-founded a branding agency in India with a large focus on design thinking and storytelling to help build successful brands and products. He is very passionate about sports, in particular, Cricket -- his passion and dedication led him to captain his school cricket team. He is an outdoor enthusiast and has been spending most of his weekends exploring the White Mountains. Also, a big foodie! loves to try out different cuisines and is always open for good recommendations.


Tyler Johnson, Director of Finance 

Tyler is a 1st year masters student in the Boston College Lynch School of Education, working towards an M.S. in Applied Statistics and Psychometrics. Tyler just graduated from Wake Forest University in North Carolina in the spring of 2018 with a degree in Mathematical Statistics. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Tyler is looking forward to 2 more years of miserable winters as he settles down in the Boston area. He has spent the past few years working on applied data science projects for various companies in Chicago as well as in his undergraduate coursework at Wake Forest. He is very excited to be applying some of these skills to the GSA Director of Finance position this upcoming year. In his free time Tyler loves watching sports, playing the drums, and eating lots of food, especially cheese. 


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Vicente Muñoz-Reja

Vicente Muñoz-Reja is the President of the Graduate Arts and Sciences Association. Vicente is a 5th year PhD student in the philosophy department, and currently teaches Philosophy of the Person and Spanish American Philosophy. He obtained his MA in Madrid and has researched in France, Germany, and England. His work focuses on metaphysics and the history of philosophy, particularly modern and contemporary, and he is also interested in Spanish philosophy and aesthetics.


James Hadaway

James is a second year master's student in the Lynch School of Education, pursuing a degree in Mental Health Counseling.  He is a Florida native, just having moved to Boston in the Fall of 2017 after graduating with a B.S. in Psychology from Florida State University.  As well as being a student, James currently works with kids on the autism spectrum, providing mental health services in the home to both the children and their families.  James' interest include music (both writing and playing!), tennis, and reading a good book when he's not reading everything else under the sun for classes.  He hopes to complete his master's program by the Spring of 2020 and is hopeful for what the future will bring!


Scott Noddin

Scott is a second year MBA student in the Carroll Graduate School of Management and President of the Graduate Management Association.  Scott is from Halifax, Nova Scotia where he received his undergraduate degree from Saint Mary's University in Accounting and Finance and completed his Chartered Accountant's designation. Prior to BC, Scott worked in public accounting to ensure various stakeholders received the financial information necessary to make investing decisions. As is common amongst Nova Scotians, Scott is a big Boston sports fan and likes to play sports as well. On any given day you might find Scott running around the Reservoir, golfing, skiing or playing hockey. If not, chances are you'll see him at TD Garden, Fenway Park, or occasionally Gillette Stadium.


Photo of Rita Ortiz

Rita Ortiz

Rita Ortiz has come to Boston College to study Clinical Social Work with a focus in mental health. She is very passionate about the emotional and mental well-being of people and desires to have a career in the field of mental health and arts. Travelling is one her greatest hobbies and she plans to incorporate travelling into her future career. As Chair of the GSCA, Rita desires to connect graduate students of color to one another so that they can serve as a mutual supportive resource for each other, now and in the future.

Photo of Margaret Summerfield

Margaret Summerfield

Margaret is the president of the Graduate Pride Alliance. She is a third-year English PhD who studies early modern literature and currently teaches Lit Core. She likes beekeeping, beading, and coming up with a third alliterative activity for her list of interests. She doesn't always manage it. 


Sophie Savelkouls

Sophie is a 5th year PhD student in the Psychology Department at Boston College finishing up her degree this May. Sophie was raised in Switzerland and first came to the United States for college. She graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Child Development and went straight through to grad school to continue her studies in Developmental Psychology. As President of the Graduate International Student Association (GISA), she hopes to help other international students feel welcome in the United States and is excited to introduce new students to the many great opportunities in Boston. In her free time, Sophie loves to explore the Greater Boston area and partake in typical New England activities from apple-picking in the fall to discovering new beaches in the summer months. Sophie also started salsa dancing a few years ago and performs with her salsa team at various places around the city. 


Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo is a second-year student at the School of Theology and Ministry (STM) and the Moderator of the STM Student Forum. He's originally from Stratford, CT and graduated from Holy Cross in Worcester, MA in 2014. Before coming to the STM, Anthony did a year of service in Oakland, CA with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and then completed a Masters in Higher Education Administration at BC's Lynch School of Education, focusing on spirituality, faith, and formation in higher education. Anthony enjoys brunch, going for walks, and watching This Is Us. 


The Graduate Pride Alliance (GPA) provides community, support, and fellowship for LGBTQ students and their allies. The Graduate Pride Alliance organizes social, educational, and advocacy events for the Boston College students. GPA sponsored Boston College’s inaugural Lavender Graduation in 2013 and the University’s first march Boston Pride Parade in partnership with the Rainbow Alliance. The GPA launched Boston College’s Safe Zone Program in 2014.

You can learn more about the GPA through our Constitution.


Like us on Facebook and sign up for our listserv.

President: Margaret Summerfield   
Treasurer: Divya Bhagia, MCAS


The Office of the Dean of Students offers a website listing resources for students who identify as LGBTQ or who have questions arising from their sexual or gender identity. These resources are available in a printable format here.  You can also obtain a printed copy of this resource brochure at the Murray Graduate Student Center.



Chair: Rita Ortiz 
Treasurer: Alexis Briggs

The framework for Graduate Students of Color Association celebrates, supports, and engages the students at Boston College who come from various racial and ethnic minority backgrounds.

We’ve summarized what we’re about in these three pillars: Identity, Advocacy, and Community. But, remember, this is just a framework. In order to fill it out and to be the best organization we can be, we need you!  Get involved!

At BC, it’s not just our minds that are admitted here—no matter how brilliant ours might be. Our bodies are admitted here as well, bodies that have histories and identities, stories and treasures—embodied legacies of pain and triumph. Here at GSCA, we are convinced that a truly educational experience cannot be exclusive of or diminutive of our racial and ethnic self-understandings. That’s why we hope this group is a must-join for individuals who come to BC from backgrounds representing racial and ethnic identities that have been the occasions of societal short-sightedness, misunderstanding, and even hatred: African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans. Moreover, enlivened by this core identity, GSCA hopes that all BC graduate students will join. After all, we are—all of us, really—persons of color. Bring yours.

Our campus—like our world—is imperfect, and both continue to pose challenges based in race and ethnicity (to say nothing about the challenges based in gender, sexual orientation, ability, body type, and others that GSCA members confront as well). At GSCA, we contemplate justice; we advocate for policies and programs that bring awareness to issues that are happening in our communities of accountability; and we ask questions of as well as partner with campus organizations in order to make our world better. That is, after all, why we came to grad school. Be about it.

We celebrate color! It means that we celebrate the traditions, insights, and—of course—recipes and art forms that have come to us as grateful descendants. It means that we celebrate each other; encourage each other; and try our best to help make the campus experience one that is as diverse and as inclusive as our Jesuit mission inspires us to be. So let’s eat together; let’s share open-mic nights together; let’s go to sporting events together; and let’s network together. Come around!

Membership is open to ALL graduates students at Boston College. Students of color and those from underrepresented backgrounds are especially encouraged to join. All members must abide by the constitution.

To learn more visit our Facebook page!

GISA is a student organization run by graduate international students at Boston College. Our mission is to provide educational, social and cultural opportunities to the graduate international student community at Boston College. In addition, we seek to promote and enhance positive interactions among American and International graduate students.  We therefore organize and sponsor events that are open to and encourage all graduate students to take a break from their busy academic lives and have some fun while learning about each other's cultural heritages and our diverse world community.

Leadership 2017-2018

President: Sophie Savelkouls
Director of Programming/ Treasurer: Hans Harmakaputra

Stay up-to-date with GISA:



Join our listserv:
1. Send an email to from the address you want to subscribe to the list.
Sympa is not a person but a mailing list management robot.

2. In the subject line of your message, type in: subscribe gisa-bc FirstName LastName (replacing FirstName LastName with your information).

Past Event Highlights:

GISA Afternoon Tea

Group Dinner and a Movie

Blue Man Group Outing

GISA Spring Party

Wine Tasting Outing

Opera Evening

Resume & Cover Letter Writing Workshop

Diwali Celebration

GISA Mini-Cultural Nights (Featuring Boliva, Bulgaria, China, India, Pakistan, Rwanda, Turkey, etc.)

"A Quick Look at Ramadan & Eid around the Muslim World" Mini-Cultural Night

Graduate Student Group Tickets to the BC Football Game (co-sponsored with the GSA)

GISA/GSA Holiday Party




Graduate Christian Fellowship 

The Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF) at Boston College is a graduate student led group with three primary aims:

1) To offer companionship to the university gradaute student community.
2) To take a fresh look at the life and message of Jesus.
3) To help Christian gradaute students and faculty to grow spiritually and live faithfully as they devlop their gifts and talents for service in the world. 

Our vision is to be an organization of graduate students who follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; growing in love for God, God's word, God's people of every ethnicity and culture, and God's purposes in the world through spiritual, intellectual, physcial and social pursuits. 


BC GCF is open to all graduate students, faculty members, and staff in the Boston College community regardless of your spirtual/religious background. 

2016-2017 Graduate Christian Fellowship Leadership: 

Sara Balajthy, President

Sarah Heacock, Treasurer

Eric Hsu, Worship Leader -

Marianne Smith, Campus Staff -

Roy Y. Chan, Founding President & Advisor -


The Senate aims to be a body that represents the interests of its student members. Here are the projects that we are currently working on. Have an idea? Write to your Senator or write to a member of the executive board.


The GSA in concert with the GEA (Graduate Education Association) and the GPA (Graduate Pride Alliance) is currently working with The Office of Transportation and Parking to create more convenient transportation options for Boston College graduate and undergraduate students. In particular, the GSA and BC administrators are looking to potentially implement new alternative shuttle routes. These shuttle routes would provide graduate students flexibility in terms of getting to and from school. Additionally, the new shuttle routes would connect undergraduate students to the neighborhoods surrounding Boston College and will also connect them to destinations downtown. Just as significant, students--both graduate and undergraduate--would save hundreds of dollars by using these new shuttles instead of purchasing a parking spot from Boston College. Finally, by implementing new shuttle routes, the University would address the shortage of parking on campus.

Our work with the Office of Transportation and Parking began when graduate students began to complain about increased parking rates as well as about a lack of available parking. In response, the GSA drafted a proposal that would address the needs of these students. This proposal eventually received the attention of the Heights, Boston College’s student-run newspaper.

In its plan of action, the GSA requested that the Office of Transportation and Parking either significantly reduce the annual increase in parking rates, create a parking plan proportionally priced for certain days on which pass holders are on campus, or create new and more accessible ways for students to get to campus. The BC administration was open to the third option, and discussions on potential alternative shuttle routes began in March of 2016.

In May 2016 the GSA, in collaboration with the GEA and GPA, created a survey to which approximately 600 graduate students and 350 undergraduate students responded. The data collected provided salient information that Boston College administrators plan to use in order to create the most convenient shuttle routes possible.This survey is still open for your participation through October, so participate in order to have your voice heard before decisions about expanded shuttle routes are finalized!


Recently (February 2016) the GSA completed a revision of its constitution .

Committee Members:

Craig A. Ford, Jr., Senator and Chair, Graduate Students of Color Association (Committee Chair)

Kiara Manosalvas, GSA Director of Programming

Anatoly Arlashin, Senator, Graduate Association of Arts and Sciences

Three developments summarize our work. The first development was our discovery of the scope of our project. Initially, we interpreted our charge to be the reform of the portion of the Constitution directly pertaining to the Senate (Art. IV of the current constitution). It became clear to the committee during its deliberations, however, that a responsible reform of article IV depends on a reform of nearly every part of the Constitution. Accordingly, our efforts enlarged themselves beyond Art. IV into every part of the Constitution, up to and including a re-ordering and re-articulation of the Constitution’s articles.

The second development crucially addressed our philosophy as a reforming body. Our committee’s deliberation prioritized the existence of the Senate in view of its existence as the most democratic body currently constituted within graduate student life in Boston College. In view of this, we articulated roles for the Executive Board and the Office of Graduate Student Life, respectively, that formalized processes of decision-making that privilege consensus among the Executive Board, the Office of Graduate Student Life, and the Senate, as appropriate. As a secondary priority, our committee espoused strongly the ideal of modeling the circulation of power in ways that support social justice. One way we have done this is to require gender diversity within Senate appointees from all of the student groups. Finally, we espoused democratic process in our understanding of the Senate itself, and have thus proposed the existence of standing Finance, Disciplinary, and (Executive Board) Election Committees to aid in the annual functioning of the Senate.

A third and final noteworthy development within the committee has been a more definitive conception of the responsibility that the Senate has to the student body as a whole — an item that, in the past, has been delegated to the Executive Board within the GSA. In this Constitution, it is now clear that the Senate serves at the pleasure of the students whom the Senators represent, and, to this end, we have put into place processes allowing for the immediate hearing of any graduate student appearing before the Senate for any reason, along with a process for speedy written follow-up. In doing this, the Senate claims a space of institutional power that it has not in the past--a space of truly campus-wide, institutional advocacy based in each graduate school and recognized affinity organization on campus.



The Office of Graduate Student Life
The John Courtney Murray, S.J. House
292 Hammond Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
PH: 617-552-1855    E: