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 3rd year Math PhD candidate, studying geometry. This summer, she explored the mountains of the southwest, and wrote songs about her visions for a happier, more just society. 

Nick Christo (he/him)


Nick is a 3rd year Math PhD student. 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 3rd 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 third year math PhD student, studying combinatorics and machine learning. As Organizing Chair, Bethany leads efforts to further GEO’s goals to serve members, increase membership and continue unionization efforts. 

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 first-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.