Graduate Students’ Advocates

Three Graduate Students’ Advocate positions represent the interests of the entire graduate student body at USC: the Graduate Students’ Advocate-Student Relations (GSA-SR), the Graduate Students’ Advocate-Diversity Outreach (GSA-DO) and the Graduate Students’ Advocate-Fellowships (GSA-F).

The GSA-SR, GSA-DO and GSA-F are representatives of the USC graduate student body, and they work to advance issues of importance to the University’s graduate students. They serve as resources for students who have questions or problems concerning TA/RA-ships, research, or other matters concerning the successful pursuit of a graduate degree. In addition, the GSA-SR , GSA-DO and GSA-F act as advocates within the Graduate Student Government (GSG).

Meet the Graduate Students’ Advocates

Graduate Students’ Advocate-Student Relations

Graduate Students’ Advocate-Diversity Outreach

Joshua L Gray (213) 740-9055
Location: GFS 315

About Joshua L Gray

I am Joshua Gray, a Ph.D. candidate in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering within the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and a certification student in the USC Health Technology & Engineering Program. My primary interest is in health systems and human factors; and I am currently working with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles on patient safety research. My interest in the development of health technologies and the utilization of medical devices derived from my decade of industry consulting experience with organizations such as GE Healthcare, the US Army Wounded Warrior Programs, US Department of Veterans Affairs and Genentech. My dissertation research focuses on identifying risk factors of harm when using medical technologies in non-clinical environments to model mitigation strategies for global health applications.

Prior to USC, I earned a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Florida State University (FSU) and a M.S. degree in Industrial & Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). While working in industry, I earned a Six Sigma Black Belt certification from the General Electric Corporation and a Project Management Professional certification at Booz Allen Hamilton. Over the past few years at USC, I have served as the Founding President of the American Society of Quality USC Graduate Branch and currently serve as the Founding President of the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society USC Chapter as well as the President of the Minority Engineering Graduate Association. Most of all, I have the honor of supporting USC graduate students as the Graduate Student Advocate for Diversity Outreach for a second term this year.

Graduate Students’ Advocate-Fellowships

Role of the GSA - Student Relations

The mission of the Graduate Students’ Advocate-Student Relations is to preserve and improve the quality of academic life and foster the development of an inclusive, scholarly community for graduate students at USC by:

  • Providing a channel of communication between graduate students and the USC administration.
  • Safeguarding the rights of graduate students on both the University Park and Health Sciences campuses of USC.
  • Protecting the confidentiality of graduate students.
  • Providing a basic resource for mediating and resolving disputes.

Role of the GSA - Diversity Outreach

The Graduate Students’ Advocate-Diversity Outreach, serves as both a voice and a sounding board for the unique concerns that under-represented graduate students face by:

  • Working with continuing students to address concerns regarding funding, academic issues, and degree completion.
  • Performing outreach to prospective under-represented students on matters of graduate school preparation, admission criteria, the admission process, and financial resources.
  • Fostering scholarly, professional, and social networks on campus critical to integrating under-represented students into the campus community.

Role of the GSA - Fellowships

The Graduate Students’ Advocate for Fellowships assists current PhD students in securing external fellowships by:

  • Organizing fellowship information sessions.
  • Working individually with PhD students to prepare competitive applications.
  • Developing programs for PhD students interested in applying for external fellowships.
  • Researching fellowship opportunities for PhD students from a variety of disciplines.


Duties common to all GSA positions include:

  • Holding regular office hours, for confidential discussion and assistance with conflict resolution;
  • Attending regular meetings with Sarah Pratt, Vice Provost for Graduate Programs, to devise strategies for resolving issues and concerns raised by graduate students and to improve the overall quality of life for the USC graduate student body;
  • Attending Graduate Student Government (GSG) meetings, to advocate for the graduate student body.

GSA - Student Relations
Email :
Phone : (213) 740-9033

GSA - Diversity Outreach
Email :
Phone : (213) 740-9055

GSA - Fellowships
Email :
Phone : (213) 740-9033

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