Three graduate students named to Graduate School Alumni Society Board

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Graduate School Alumni Society (GSAS) Board of Directors has announced its three graduate student representatives for academic year 2021-22. The graduate students were nominated and selected due to being top academic performers, possessing a service orientation, and for serving as advocates for graduate students at Penn State.

The mission of the Graduate School Alumni Society is to foster relationships between alumni and graduate students, enhance the graduate student experience, advance graduate education and research, and increase graduate alumni membership in the Penn State Alumni Association.

The new student members are:

Ricardo Andrade

Ricardo Andrade is the Penn State Global international student representative. A doctoral candidate in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese in the College of the Liberal Arts, Andrade’s primary research interests include contemporary Latin American literature and sound studies. Andrade holds a bachelor’s degree in literature and bachelor’s degree in communications from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, and a master's degree in Hispanic studies from the Universidad de Sevilla. Andrade has also co-directed and taught in the Summer Education Abroad Program in Ronda, Spain.

Schönn Franklin

Schönn Franklin is the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) student representative. From Memphis, Tennessee, Franklin is working toward a master's degree in international affairs in the School of International Affairs, focusing on international security policy and conflict resolution. Franklin is president of GPSA, treasurer of the School of International Affairs Black Student Association, and vice president of the Model African Union. Franklin holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Savannah State University. As a Charles B. Rangel State Department Fellow, Franklin will serve in the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service diplomatic corps in July 2022.

Alexander Vera

Alexander Vera is the Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs student representative. From New York, Vera is a doctoral candidate studying materials science and engineering. Vera’s research includes working on air-stable two-dimensional metals, stabilized by a novel synthesis technique Vera’s group pioneered. Vera is the treasurer of the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), member of the Earth and Mineral Sciences Diversity Council, and Lab Safety Officer in the Millennium Science Complex.

To view the entire member list, visit the Graduate School Alumni Society website.

Last Updated October 20, 2021