BGSA is a registered graduate student organization that serves as a support group to many graduate and professional students. We foster an academic, professional, and social environment for our members. We also serve as an aid in advocating the needs and concerns of black graduate and professional students. BGSA wants you to get involved so you will have the opportunity to expand your network and support from students who look like you!

2021 – 2022 Executive Board




I’m Vanessa Kwarteng, a 4th year PhD student and NSF Fellow in the School of Mechanical Engineering studying sociotechnical modeling and reinforcement learning in residential communities. I have served as the Academic and Professional Development Chair and now I am the President of BGSA. In my free time I enjoy playing tennis.


Vanessa Kwarteng


Vice President

Hi! I’m Myson Burch and I am a 5th year PhD student and NSF Fellow in the Computer Science department studying computational techniques in genetics and data science. I have served as the Undergraduate Outreach Chair and now am the Vice President of BGSA. I am a video game and anime fan and love to play basketball!


Myson Burch




Brandon is from Raleigh, North Carolina, and is pursuing a M.S. in Materials Engineering with support from the GEM Fellowship and Lawrence Livermore National Lab. His research focuses on improving the production efficiency of a nozzle-based encapsulation system by modeling the types of failure that occur during the collection stage.


Brandon Wells


Social Chair

Zachary Brown is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication and serves as Assistant Director for Student Recruitment and Retention within the Agriculture Office of Multicultural Programs. Zac graduated with honors from Southern University in 2015 and received his master’s at Iowa State in Agricultural Education in 2018. His research focuses on race-related factors influencing Black student departure, persistence, and retention within agriculture. Zac has a passion for motorcycles, nature photography, and hiking.


Zachary Brown