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Ashley Sorrell, PhD

Assistant Director

Office of Graduate Student Professional Enhancement


Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) role: Senior Faculty Instructional Consultant

Ashley Sorrell

Executive Board

President: Tori Stanton

My name is Tori Stanton. I received my BS degree from UNC Asheville and have a MS in Plant and Soil Sciences and a MS in Statistics from UK. Currently I am in the 5th year of my PhD in Statistics. Outside of academics, I enjoy volunteering at the Lexington Humane Society and playing board and video games with friends.


Tori Stanton

Vice President: Edward Olajide

Edward Olajide is a veterinarian with special interest in the Equine species. Edward received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He is currently working toward a doctoral degree in Equine Infectious Diseases focusing on Equine Herpesvirus. Edward is a member of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). He has interests in Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine, Animal Welfare, and One Health. He volunteers as a mentor at the Lexington Leadership Foundation. Edward loves traveling, community outreach, and playing soccer.


Edward Olajide

Chief of Staff: David Lu

David Lu is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering and is being advised by Dr. Isabel C. Escobar. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky before joining the UK Center of Membrane Sciences. David’s primary research focus include the manufacturing scale-up of polymeric membranes prepared using recyclable polymers and eco-friendly solvents for water purification; bio-fouling reduction during membrane filtration; and membrane fabrication sustainability assessments. Additionally, he is a trainee in the UK National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (UK NRT) and the UK Superfund Research Center (UKSRC). In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, hiking, going to concerts, and socializing with classmates and friends.


David Lu

Secretary & Professional Student Affairs: Michelle Graham-Smith

Michelle Graham-Smith, has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and holds certification as a Certified Rehabilitation counselor, a License in Social Work, and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor through the state of Kentucky. She has seven years of experience working with adolescents and adults with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders co-occurring disorders providing various services which assist in case management, family dynamics, and transitional care plans. Michelle has worked in case management and advocacy with individuals with multiple disabilities for the last 17 years. She continues her advocacy by providing vocational evaluations, coordinating transitional work services, career exploration, resume building services, and job development and training skills. Michelle currently is a full-time professional and attends the University of Kentucky College of Education, earning her Doctorate E.D. in Educational Leadership with a research focus on remote work and how to build a stronger connection within the workplace.


Michelle Graham-Smith

Treasurer: Pegah Safavi

Pegah Safavi is a diligent and accomplished Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Under the esteemed guidance of Professor Guoqiang Yu, her research endeavors focus on developing a pioneering wearable fiber-free optical sensor, designed for the continuous monitoring of cerebral hemodynamics on different subjects. Her academic journey is distinguished by numerous accolades, including being recognized as a top-ranking student in both her Master's and Bachelor's degree programs in Medical Radiation Engineering in Iran. Pegah has contributed to the advancement of scientific knowledge through the publication of several peer-reviewed papers and the presentation of part of her research findings at esteemed conferences. She has actively embraced leadership roles within student organizations alongside her scholarly pursuits. Previously, she held the position of Secretary for both the Biomedical Engineering Student Society (BMES) and SFB chapters, demonstrating her commitment to fostering a vibrant academic community. She has also served as the Treasurer for the Society for Biomaterials (SFB) Student Chapter at the University of Kentucky. With her distinguished academic background, research accomplishments, and proven leadership capabilities within student organizations, she brings a comprehensive and valuable skillset to her role as Treasurer for the Graduate Student Congress for the 2024/2025 Academic Year.



Pegah Safavi

Institutional Affairs Officer: Adeola Oladeji

Adeola Oladeji is an accomplished academic and researcher with a profound dedication to enhancing student success and fostering inclusive educational environments. She’s currently at the ABD (All But Dissertation) stage of her Ph.D. in Higher Education. Adeola holds a Master of Social Work; Master of Education in Adult Education & Community Development; and Master of Science in Sociology of Development, which has provided her with a robust interdisciplinary foundation to address educational matters. When she’s not studying, Adeola loves to spend time with her family, and she enjoys cooking.

Adeola Oladeji

External Affairs Officer: Madison Flory

Postdoc Affairs Officer:

Student Government Association (SGA) Representatives: Upama Dev

Upama Dev is a PhD candidate in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Kentucky. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Botany from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Upama's academic journey reflects her passion for plant sciences and her commitment to advancing knowledge in this field. Outside of her research, she enjoys spending quality time with her family, including her 3-year-old son. Upama finds joy in cooking and gardening, hobbies that complement her professional interests in plant life and soil sciences.



Upama Dev

Committee Chairs Appropriations & Revenue Committee Chairs

Awards Committee Chairs

Communications & Documents Committee Chairs

International Student Concerns Committee Chairs

Professional Development & Networking Committee Chairs

External Affairs Committee Chair

Institutional Advocacy Committee Chairs

Institutional Research Committee

Mental Health & Wellbeing Committee Chairs