The Executive Committee provides structural, financial and organizational support to the GPAC committees. This includes the establishment of a strategic plan and mission statement for the organization as well as updating and maintaining the GPAC Bylaws. In addition to providing structural support within GPAC, the Executive Committee represents the organization in the Graduate Professional Student Senate (GPSS) and USC Student Affairs to secure resources for its membership.
President – Justin Tandingan
Justin Tandingan grew up in Portland, Oregon and went to the University of Oregon where he earned a dual degree in Ethnic Studies and Planning, Public Policy, and Management. He joined Teach For America after graduating and taught 4th grade literacy at a charter school called Rocketship in San Jose, CA. After two years of teaching, he moved to Los Angeles to work with the non-profit Teach For America doing recruitment, and he’s currently working on his Master’s in Public Policy with a focus on Education Policy.
Vice President – Jackson Hite
Jackson Hite grew up in California’s Central Valley and attended University of Oregon where he earned dual degrees in Planning, Public Policy, and Management and Environmental Studies. Jackson served for a variety of communities in California and Oregon working in land use planning, community development and city management offices prior to attending USC. At USC Jackson is pursuing a Master in Public Administration with a focus on Local Government. He is also a member of ICMA@USC, YGL at USC and is a City/County Management Fellow. He maintains professional memberships with American Planning Association (APA), Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC) and International City/County Management Association(ICMA).
Executive Officer – Melinda Grodsky
Melinda Grodsky is currently a second year MPA and Executive Officer of GPAC. Since graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in Politics, Melinda has been drawn to public sector work. In her most recent non-profit position, she oversaw a green jobs training program for at-risk young adults. Returning to school has been an opportunity for her to explore new career paths by interning with the VA hospital addressing quality of care issues as well as interning with a non-profit that helps cities meet their sustainability goals. As Executive Officer, she plans to create a welcoming environment for all students and put on noteworthy events that strengthens friendships and expands the Price network.
Communications Officer – Stephanie Shimada
Stephanie Shimada is a 2nd year MPA/MPL student from Orange County. Prior to USC, she worked in public relations and advertising where she helped serve a wide range of clients, from the EPA to Apple. She graduated from Boston University with degrees in international relations and journalism. With her MPA/MPL, she would like to work for a nonprofit focused on affordable housing and building equitable communities in Los Angeles. As an avid long distance runner who loves to travel, she would like to run all the major marathons around the world.
Finance Officer – Greg Kwolek
Greg Kwolek earned a B.A. in Philosophy and English Literature from Hunter College, City University of New York. He worked for seven years in adult education and workforce development, eventually managing a YouthBuild program at a community-based non-profit in Reading, PA. He is currently completing a Master of Public Administration degree and is interested in local government management.
GSG Senator – Thomas Chang
Thomas Chang grew up in North Orange County and earned his BA in Economics from University of California, San Diego. After graduation, he has worked for Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics as a Senior Economist. He is currently earning a Master in Public Administration. For fun, he enjoys surfing and playing guitar.
GPAC Ambassador – Alice Wang
Alice comes from a small town in southeast China but moved around a lot as a child since age eleven. She strives to always aspire to be a better person and is thankful that she is always blessed in meeting awesome friends and having tons of diverse experiences. Alice’s interests include affordable housing and economic development in cities. She enjoys Chinese painting, classical music and anything outdoors. She plans to help GPAC build more connections with other organizations within or outside of USC. She prides herself as always having an “open door” policy – friends are very welcome at any time!
Sacramento Representative – Tera Hannah
Tera is a second-year MPA student at the USC State Capital Center, and a Graduate Assistant who coordinates executive leadership programs for the California Institute for Mental Health and the National Conference of State Legislatures. She currently serves as Sacramento Ambassador to the USC Graduate Policy Administration Community in Los Angeles, as Class Representative to the Graduate Public Affairs Regional Council in Sacramento, and as a Student Board Member for the American Society for Public Administration-Sacramento Chapter. In her free time, Tera volunteers with the Sacramento Habitat for Humanity, WALKSacramento, Project Birthday, and the Sacramento City Management Academy. She is also active in the Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association, the USC Alumni Club of Sacramento, the Asian Pacific State Employees Association, California Women Lead, and the Sacramento County Young Democrats.
Alumni Relations Officer – Greg Papazian
Gregory Papazian is a graduate student at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing his Masters of Public Administration Degree and a Homeland Security and Public Policy certificate. Gregory earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California Santa Barbara where he majored in Political Science. Gregory has completed internships at the federal and local government level and is passionate about public service. He also has experience working in the private sector real estate industry and enjoys helping organizations and individuals solve complex problems. Greg enjoys traveling, camping, hiking and fly fishing.
Webmaster – Laura Martinez
Laura is a second year MPA student with an interest in emergency management and homeland security. She has her B.A. from Sacramento State with a major in government and a minor in music. After graduating from undergrad, she hopped between fellowships in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., working at the California Emergency Management Agency and a small non-profit. Laura is currently a DHS Fellow with the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) at USC and an intern with the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department. When she is not busy as webmaster for GPAC, she enjoys NCIS, board games, and getting to know L.A.