The Senate

The University of Tulsa Graduate Student Association Senate contains members pursuing 20 branches of study housed variously under the Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences, the Collins College of Business, the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, and the Oxley College of Health Sciences.


Mike Kaucher

Mike Kaucher is originally from St. Louis, MO. He pursued an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at TU, graduating in 2014. He then spent two years living in Louisiana, before deciding to move back to Tulsa for graduate school. Mike is currently pursuing a Master of Accountancy degree.


Paul Bowman

Paul Bowman is a prime example of why you should never judge a book by its cover.

He calls OKC home, but currently resides in Tulsa with his cat Felix. Paul is a former U.S. Marine and saw combat during Operation Desert Shield/Storm. He received his BA in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma back in the day, sparking a lifelong interest in the field that ultimately prompted him to return to school. He has 12 years’ experience in law enforcement in both Oklahoma and Texas, and interestingly spent the last 8 years raising buffalo (bison).

His current anthropological interests include the emergence/evolution of modern humans, the paleoarchaeology of N. America, BSM (bone surface modifications) within archaeological assemblages, and Forensic Anthropology. Additionally, Paul is a TA within the Department of Anthropology.

Paul plays bagpipes (you’ll find him at First Friday), though he prefers bluegrass mandolin. He likes single malt scotch, “red dirt” music, and pretty much anything involving garlic or limes (not simultaneously). And finally, he loves world travel.

James Hartley

I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. My research focus is on Paleoindians and Pleistocene megafauna in the Americas. I am interested in Paleoindian subsistence and the Pleistocene extinctions, using megafauna and small mammal fossils as proxies for environmental changes in the Late Pleistocene. My research covers Late Pleistocene sites (both archaeological and paleontological) in the Great Plains and Southwest


Devin Howell

I’m originally from West Palm Beach, Florida. I received my undergraduate degree from Florida Atlantic University, majoring in Anthropology. Currently, I’m working on my MFA in Painting.

Melissa Johnson


Anand Bahadur Karki

Kathryn Secrist


Taylor Tate

I have an extreme passion for anything related to The University of Tulsa. I received my undergraduate degree from here in Visual Arts Management (Emphasis on Design) and Minor in Advertising. I am now in the MBA program. In addition to being a GSA Senator, I am also involved in even more on campus. I am the Executive Director of Graphics for the Student Association, President of the Graduate Business Student Association, Co-President and Co-Found of TU’s new Quidditch Club, President of the Art Club, and Event Lead for Relay for Life at TU. I am an avid fan of television shows (whedonite and whovian). I love and appreciate all forms of art. I enjoy celebrating diversity and cultures.

Travis McClanahan

My name is Travis McClanahan. I graduated from Texas A&M University in 2015 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and moved to Tulsa to teach high school mathematics at Will Rogers College High School. I enjoy running (both sprints and long distance), playing basketball, nerding out with video games, and playing guitar/other instruments. One of my earlobes is attached and the other earlobe is detached. I am newly married to my wife, Erin, as of August 13th of this year! I am currently in the Master of Business Administration program here at TU and have plans to own my own business in the future (somewhere in the business technology/software industries) or continue my career in the financial risk management sector. 


Arpan Pal

I’m a PhD student in Chemistry. I completed my M.Sc in Chemistry at National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India. I joined TU in fall 2014.

Ebrima Tunkara

Ebrima is Gambian by nationality. He completed his BSc. (Chemistry) at the University of The Gambia in 2010 and later (2012) joined Bilkent University in Turkey for his MSc. (material/analytical Chemistry) degree. Upon completing his Master’s degree in 2014, he joined The University of Tulsa to purse a Ph.D. degree in chemistry. His research work at the University of Tulsa mainly focuses on synthesizing nanomaterials for solar filtering applications. Beside academic qualifications, Ebrima is friendly and has high respect for everyone. He also has great leadership skills, most of which he got while voluntarily serving in some students’ associations at the Universities he attended.


Dhyaa Kafagy

Dhyaa Kafagy is a Ph.D candidate and first year GSA Senate in Mechanical Engineering at Tulsa University. He came to Tulsa after he finished his MS in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University and MS in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Science Malaysia. His research field includes biomedical dental materials, artificial heart, modeling, FEA, CFD, 3D printing, and polymer chemistry. Dhyaa is a first author of five peer review scientific research papers and presented his research at two international conferences. His plan is to be an excellent educator and scientific researcher.


Indreesh Badrinarayanan

I hail from Chennai, India. Before joining TU, I worked as Research Executive at Unilever R&D, Bangalore, India. I completed my Bachelor’s degree from Anna University, AC Tech, Chennai. Currently, I am a 2nd year PhD student in the Chemical Engineering department. In my leisure, I like watching movies, reading books, listening to music, running and traveling. I am excited to be a part of the GSA team and get to know graduate students from various departments.

Pedro Amorim

I am a second year Ph.D student in Chemical Engineering. I was born and raised in Brazil and, because of that, I really like going to the beach a lot. Seems like I my choice of coming to Tulsa was poorly made, however I consider Tulsa to be home! In my free time, I enjoy going to lakes and relaxing there (it’s not the ocean, but it does a good job), going on hikes, runs and playing sports (basketball and volleyball are my favorites).


Nathan Hutchins

Nathan Hutchins is a Computer Engineering Ph.D. student. This means he lives in Rayzor Hall and only leaves to eat and shower, occasionally. His duties in the ECE department include, but are defiantly not limited to (as the ECE professors are constantly reminding him) teaching the Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering Class to the new freshmen. The only enjoyment he receives on a weekly basis is the three hours of pain he inflects on his students. In his free time (Ha Ha, free time), Nathan enjoys working on his thesis, creating new labs, and taking off the occasional Sunday afternoon to represent his department in the GSA. Nathan has said in the past, that if he was allowed to have fun, he would like to go outside and run or maybe go to a movie or eat real food, he thinks that would be nice. Nathan’s super power is a little known ability called environment mockery, which gives him the ability to take the seriousness out of any situation and see the true comedy at hand. If you were to put Nathan on a scale of super heroes, he would fall somewhere between Edward Blake and Tony Stark. QED.

Reid Johnston

I’m a teaching assistant working on a Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering. I’m originally from Kansas City, but moved to Tulsa in 2011 to do my undergraduate (Engineering-Physics) at TU.  When not trapped in Rayzor, I enjoy being outdoors and backpacking.  If this whole EE thing falls through, I plan to move to northern New Mexico to work as a trail conservationist.  I also enjoy board games, terrible science fiction movies, and DIY home automation.


Jayanth Nair

I am a final year Ph.D. student in Petroleum Engineering researching gas lift applications in horizontal wells. It’s my fifth year at TU and I’ve enjoyed many GSA events and luncheons in my time here. I am very happy to be serving as a PE Senator! When I’m not working in North Campus, I am usually at home trying to earn the affection of my cat, or trying to rank up in CS:GO. I like experimenting with pasta which mostly includes adding different varieties of ketchup and I also pretend to know things about wines. I also enjoy reading Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams and P.G Wodehouse, amongst others. I also like casually dropping Frasier and 30 Rock references.

Yilin Fan

Yilin Fan earned her B.S. in Oil and Gas Storage and Transportation Engineering from China University of Petroleum (East China) in 2009. She joined University of Tulsa in Fall 2010 as a Research Assistant in TU High-Viscosity Oil Projects (TUHOP) and received her master degree in Petroleum Engineering in 2012. She joined in TU Fluid Flow Projects (TUFFP) as a Research Assistant in 2012 to pursue her Ph.D. degree in Petroleum Engineering.  Her Ph.D. project title is “Onset of liquid accumulation in oil and gas pipelines”.  As a product of the research efforts, she was awarded with the best paper of the 17th Multiphase Production Technology Conference in Cannes, France in June 2015. This is an extremely prestigious award within the petroleum industry.  Now she is serving as the graduate student association senator for 2016 – 2017.


Michael Halfmoon


Nicholas McMillan

Hi, I’m Nicholas McMillan. This is my second year attending graduate school at the University of Tulsa and my first year as a GSA senator. I am a graduate student in the English Language and Literature department, and I spend a great deal of time reading books and writing. As a teaching assistant, I work in the Writing Center which is on the third floor of McFarlin Library. Also, I lead workshops a couple days a week for the English’s department’s composition courses. I find TU to be a welcoming and stimulating campus where a student is able to be both challenged by the curriculum and supported by instructors and classmates. Hailing from Spokane, Washington, I arrived in Tulsa at the same time that I arrived at TU, and I’ve found the city to be as exciting a place as the University. There are endless cultural activities, restaurants, and parts of town to check out in Tulsa. Outside of Tulsa, I enjoy hiking in the numerous nature preserves and state parks. It’s a pleasure to be living here, studying at TU, and I’m excited to be a member of the GSA senate this year!

Natalie Merrick


John Blackwell

My college career began in Aug of 1983. I attended Northern Michigan University in Marquette MI on a football scholarship. After 2 years I transferred to Wayne State University (WSU) again on a football scholarship and continued my education. I was a Biology/Pre-med major with aspirations of doing medical research while I practice internal medicine. Between course conflicts and football, into what would be my senior year at WSU I had burned out and needed a break so I join the U.S Army and for four years was an 82nd Airborne Paratrooper. While serving I earned and expert Infantrymans badge and attended Ranger School. I also submitted an application to Officers Candidate School (OCS) and was excepted but chose to leave the military and return to school to finish my degree aspirations. Having a family now I attended Oakland Community college receiving two associates one in general liberal arts and the other in International Business and Commerce (Magnum Cum Laude). Using this degree I supported my family and then returned to WSU where once again I was blessed with a full football scholarship for my remaining athletic eligibility and in Dec of 1998 graduated with my B.A in Biology. I applied to WSU’s Medical school and was accepted but put on a waiting list that put me 3rd in line if a spot were to open but unfortunately that did not occur and having enjoyed college immensely but taken my time in completing my degree had to make the hard decision to table that aspiration–my eldest child was a sophomore in high school and I could not afford to not work for four to eight years pursuing a medical degree at that time. Fast forwarding to the present, through the military I was afforded the opportunity to return to school, and chose to pursue a B.S in Geology at TU. I graduated in 2015 with my B.S and was accepted to the geoscience graduate program.


Tabitha Orr

I’m Tabitha Orr, I am getting my Masters in History. I graduated from the University of Arkansas this Spring with degrees in History and African American Studies. My research interests are 19th and 20th century American race and labor relations.  I am a mom of six great kids. I enjoy art museums and travel. But also watching television and going to the movies. I look forward to digging around in Oklahoma archives


Amanda Seiders

Brian Hail


Danielle Culp (graduated Dec 2016)

My name is Danielle Culp and I am a second year Museum Science and Management masters student. I am originally from Claremore and earned my bachelor’s degrees from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. My undergraduate degree is in Cherokee Cultural Studies with an emphasis on language revitalization. In the museum program my area of focus is education. I also currently work for the Gilcrease Museum in digital collections.

Alex London

Alex London is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and is currently pursuing a MA in Museum Science and Management here at TU. He enjoys reading and watching basketball in his free time.


Natalie Helman

Hello! My name is Natalie Hellman, and I am in my second year of the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. My primary interest is in researching the ‘scar’ of interpersonal violence, or how the body responds to a physical or sexual assault. Specifically, I am interested in how risk and resilience factors within the aftermath of a trauma can impact the development of subsequent problems (PTSD, chronic pain, etc.). My clinical interests are providing therapy for young children and women who are currently in domestically violent situations or recovering from interpersonal violence. I grew up in a small town outside of Raleigh, NC, and I received my undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After Greensboro I moved to Nashville to work at Vanderbilt for 2 years, during which I avoided country music as much as possible. After I graduate, I plan on entering academia and hopefully becoming a principal investigator of my own research group. Outside of school, I enjoy playing video games, crafting, watching trashy reality TV shows, and partying with my cat Godzilla.

Daniel Guzman

Hello, my name is Daniel Guzman and I am a second year Clinical Psychology Doctoral student. My main area of research is clinical neuropsychology and traumatic brain injury. My clinical interests focus on cognitive rehabilitation, testing measure validity, and symptom validity measures. I am originally from Orlando, FL and received my undergraduate degree at the University of Florida and my masters at the University of Central Florida. I plan on doing both clinical and academic work in the future. When not working at my GA or at school, I spend my time playing card, board games, video games, and reading a lot of comics! I also volunteer at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center on weekends.

Chelsea Shotwell-Tabke

Chelsea Shotwell Tabke is a fourth year Clinical Psychology doctoral student. Prior to coming to TU, she earned her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from University of California, Davis, and her M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Chelsea loves the graduate student community that has been created and fostered by the GSA. She is excited to serve as a senator this year and looks forward to advocating on behalf of graduate students at TU. 


Valeria Herrera

Hello everyone! My name is Valeria Herrera and I am a GSA Senator representing the department of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I am originally from México, where I lived for 10 years. I finished my undergrad in Psychology at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley and am now pursuing my Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. My hobbies include playing the piano, photography, watching movies or series, and travel. I look forward to working with everyone and making this year a very productive one!

Bret Arnold


Kristen Keene


TJ Mobra

My name is Tyler Joe Mobra (T.J.) I am 34 and I grew up in Claremore, OK. I joined the Army a couple of years after high school and it was the best decision of my life. I served for 6½ years and deployed to combat three times as a scout.  I was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, ARCOM with Valor and more.  In November 2009 I fulfilled my obligation to the Army and was honorably discharge. I then worked in the Environmental business for a while obtaining many license’s from the state of Texas.   In August of 2010 I decided to get an education because I needed something I could keep and not have to renew every year. I started my bachelor’s degree at Northeastern State University in Environmental/Health and Safety Management. After completing my bachelors, I went on to get my masters in the same field.  Recently I decided to switch fields to Education because my ultimate goal is to teach at the college level. The current degree I am seeking is a Master of Science in Math and Science Education (MSMSE) from TU.

I am currently married to my beautiful wife Mindy and we have two children, Tayler and Eva who are 10 and 12 years old. I also have a dog named Harliee, she is a Boxer.  My hobbies include coaching basketball, watching and playing sports. I mostly only play basketball and golf.  Unfortunately, golf is an expensive hobby so I do not get to play as often as I would like.

Kelsey Kindbom

My name is Kelsey Kindbom, and I am a first year Masters student in the Department of Urban Education. I graduated from TU in May 2015 with a B.A. in English and Secondary Education. After teaching 7th Grade Reading with Tulsa Public Schools for a year (and loving every second), I decided to go back school full-time to expand my knowledge base and skill set – to be a better teacher! Now I am pursuing my Masters of Teaching Arts degree with an emphasis in English, and I look forward to working with GSA to make our learning community the best it can be.