UIC GEO Steering Committee

The GEO Steering Committee is elected each Spring by GEO members. The Steering Committee members volunteer their time to help improve the working conditions of graduate employees at UIC. 

Marty Heath (they/them)


Marty is a 4th year PhD student in the Communication department. Marty enjoys baking, retellings of Greek mythology, and analyzing the representation of gender, sexuality, and (dis)ability in narrative media.  They’re always down to talk about musicals or GEO’s new contract. 

Jennifer Vaccaro (she/her)


Jenny is a 4th year Math PhD candidate studying hyperbolic geometry. She enjoys reality TV, and hates getting no for an answer.

Nick Christo (he/him)


Nick is a 4th year Math PhD candidate. Nick was born in Chicago Heights, IL, and is a frequent enjoyer of hotdogs, boards games, and the Bean. 

Ronan Rock (they/them)


While they may or may not be 17 praying mantises inside a human suit, Ronan is definitely the union secretary and a 4th year in the Curriculum & Instruction PhD program. They come from a long line of labor organizers and community activists. They passionately believe that unions are a powerful tool for social change. 

Bethany Austhof (she/they)

Grievance Chair

Bethany is a fourth year PhD candidate in Mathematics. They study Machine Learning with an interest in Combinatorics. As Grievance Chair, their mission is to fight to protect worker rights through procedural and organizational efforts. Outside of School Bethany has an interest in wood burning, mixed media art, and wearables.

Javin D'Souza (they/he)

Chief Steward

Although they are beginning their Ph.D. in Disability Studies in Fall 2023, Javin has been a proud member of GEO for two years while being a higher education administration GA (unironically...). With a background in culture work and event planning, they strive to empower and unify community members as Chief Steward.

Erik Elshire (he/him)

Organizing Chair

Erik came to UIC as a former high school English teacher who had some questions about schooling in America. He's currently thinking with school abolitionists. He spent eight years of my last ten in New Orleans but is originally from Oregon. He loves dungeons and dragons, pickup basketball, and people power. He hopes to build a stronger, more diverse, and joyously vibrant membership in GEO that lasts beyond his time here.

Matt Weed (he/him)

Outreach Chair

Matt is a second-year Ph.D. student in Biological Sciences. As the Outreach Chair, he works to build community and solidarity across the campus and student organizing groups. He loves to stay active by playing sports but also loves to chill out and cuddle with his two cats.

Sian Roberts (she/her)

Communications Chair

I am a sixth-year English Literature Ph.D. student, writing about representations of labor and the working class in popular culture. As communications chair, I'm looking forward to finding ways to increase membership and build solidarity across campus.