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Graduate Student Advocate

The Graduate Student Advocate (GSA) for the 2023-2024 academic year is Alexandra Checkers, MBA, a graduate student in the Social Work program. The Graduate Student Advocate can assist graduate students in finding solutions to challenges and works closely with other units such as the Graduate Student Organization, the Graduate Dean and the Ombudsman.

A Conversation With Alexandra Checkers

Alexandra Checkers

What are you currently studying?

I am currently in the final year of the Master of Social Work program in the School of Social Welfare. My career goals including becoming a school social worker, working to make mental health treatment equitable and accessible for underserved populations. Additionally, I am passionate about ending the stigma against mental health and suicide prevention efforts. I also am a research coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry studying neuroinflammation and depression to find alternative treatments for those with depression.

What interested you about becoming the Graduate Student Advocate?

 I was interested in the GSA position because I felt it was the perfect opportunity for me to connect my passion for helping others and supporting fellow students. Graduate school is difficult and given the current circumstances, it isn’t much easier. I wanted to be someone students felt they could go to when they were struggling who was there for them and had their best interest in mind. I felt I was someone students could connect with as a 1st year student who was learning to navigate graduate school during these difficult times.

What are some examples of issues graduate students can come talk to you about?

Students can come to me for a wide range of issues. You can reach out to me anytime you have a serious problem or concern that you don’t know how to handle, such as, issues you may face with a professor or other student, struggling with coursework, funding opportunities, finding resources on or off campus, or explaining University policies and procedures.

What is one thing you want grad students to know about the GSA?

My goal as the GSA is to make your life easier and help you navigate issues you may be experiencing. I want you to know that you are not alone; myself and the rest of the GSO is here to help make your experience at Stony Brook as positive as possible. While I am a resource for you to have when dealing with conflicts, I also want to be a friendly face. If you see me on campus, don’t hesitate to say hello! I love hearing about thoughts/ideas you may have over a cup of coffee!

How can students get in contact with you?

You can contact me via email at