Kellie Wilkerson, Candidate for President

Kellie Wilkerson, Candidate for President

Doctoral student, Sociology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (full-time student)
Expected date of graduation: Spring 2024

At what campus is your academic department located?
Fairfax

At what campus(es) do you attend classes, work, and/or reside? 
Fairfax

Biography and Candidate Statement

Biography:

Kellie Wilkerson is a doctoral student in the Public Sociology program at George Mason University. She holds an MA in Public Sociology from Humboldt State University and received her BA in Applied Sociology from the University of Tampa. Recently, Kellie served as President for the Public Sociology Association where she oversaw the planning and implementation of the 2021 Public Sociology Conference, revamped graduate student advocacy positions within the department, hosted and organized workshops and opportunities for professional development and supported graduate students needs during the 2021-2022 academic year. Kellie worked on developing a peer-mentor ship program with her colleagues dedicated to easing the first-year transition for incoming graduate students. She recently won the Devlin Family Scholarship, an award given to a sociology student invested in leadership in the community by advocating for social justice. Kellie is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Social Science Research and has been involved with the Democratizing NOVA (DNOVA) project since 2020. This semester, she worked closely with four of the Next System Fellows interning with DNOVA to build an assessment of democratizing initiatives in the Northern Virginia region and organized the Democratizing NOVA Summit in April which was recorded by GMUTV and Fairfax Public Access. She is also engaged with a large network of sociologists interested in applied and public research and is the current Graduate Student Representative for the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology and enjoys being active in the local research community by acting as a lead research assistant and mentor for the Social Science Research Lab.

Candidacy Statement:

Service has always been an important part of my life and academic career. After a year of supporting sociology graduate students, I am continuously encouraged to improve the graduate student and professional student experience across George Mason University’s campuses. From raising issues and challenges that are facing graduate students, to voicing concerns and informing decisions; I am committed to centering the voices of graduate students in the institutional processes that impact their lives at George Mason. I believe I would bring value to GAPSA and the students they serve because of my dedication and commitment to advocating for the overall well-being of graduate students and my previous experiences in how to navigate supporting student interests within existing institutional constraints.

Will you be able to meet the time commitments and expectations of the position? Describe your probable availability for the 2022-2023 academic year, as well as other on-going time commitments (e.g., classes, work, organizational involvement).

I will be able to meet the time commitments and fulfill the expectations of the President. I am currently wrapping up the coursework portion of my degree program and taking my comprehensive exams in August. In the 2022-2023 academic year, I will be reducing my credit load to complete my dissertation proposal and begin the dissertation process. I’m a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Social Science Research conveniently located on the Fairfax Campus with flexible hours to attend meetings and perform other responsibilities desired of the President of GAPSA.