Theodore Nollert, the incoming president of the UNC Graduate and Professional Student Government, hopes to improve life for graduate and professional students through mentorship, career preparation and GPSG reform.
Nollert, a third-year doctoral student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, defeated information science and law student Zachary Boyce, the UNC Board of Elections announced Wednesday.
“There are certain kinds of problems we just can't solve in isolation from one another,” Nollert said. “My challenge is, how do I convince people that it's worth solving those problems and joining those communities to do so?”
His platform focuses on building a foundation to tackle both long-standing systemic issues and smaller problems.
By engaging the community, Nollert also hopes to organize in a way that would build on long-term projects, like increased stipends for graduate students.
In addition, Nollert noted dignity and university governance as part of his platform for improving quality of life among graduate and professional students at UNC. But his immediate priority is filling seats on the executive branch and the cabinet.
“I'm very invested in the idea that there are going to be a lot of people participating in a lot of different communities who are going to be closer to the ground on issues than I am,” he said.
He previously served as president of the Comparative Literature and English Graduate Student organization and is the director of employment affairs under current GPSD President Neel Swamy.
“I'm, first and foremost, extremely excited for Theodore,” Swamy said. “I was really impressed by his vision for building a coalition of graduate professional students who can come together from different disciplines to contribute to the solving of complex problems.”