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Meet Your Graduate and Professional Student Council Members

From left, Hana Putnam, Claudia Diaz-Combs and Alma Hernandez.

From left, Hana Putnam, Claudia Diaz-Combs and Alma Hernandez.

MPH students Claudia Diaz-Combs, Hana Putnam, and Alma Hernandez from the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, are newly appointed members of the UA Graduate and Professional Student Council.

This academic year the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has a significant presence in the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) with the addition of three students in the master of public health (MPH) program.

The purpose of the GPSC is to promote the academic, economic, and social aims of the graduate and professional students of the University of Arizona, to establish effective communication among graduate students, and to facilitate communication within the University and with other organizations.

The two representatives on the general council are Claudia Diaz-Combs, a dual degree master’s program enrollee in Public Health and Latin American Studies in Tucson; and Hana Putnam, a first year MPH student in the Public Health Practice track based on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Serving in the position of elections commissioner is Alma Hernandez, a second year MPH student with a concentration in Health Services Administration.

Diaz-Combs and Putnam are poised in a unique position to meet these goals as representatives of different geographical locations of students. The two representatives have formed plans to increase cross-campus collaboration, bringing graduate students at both campuses together. One shared goal the representatives have is to develop and organize a Social Justice Symposium on the Phoenix campus, similar to the annual event in Tucson.

Other goals and services the representatives hope to champion includes, increasing awareness of available funds to graduate students such as travel grants, professional development funds, and club funds. Diaz-Combs and Putnam plan to hold workshops on how to successfully apply for travel grants in particular so that our UA Zuckerman College of Public Health graduate students are not denied important experiences due to lack of funds.

Hernandez’s position as elections director is to plan and coordinate the elections and the entire election process. This includes anything related to filling positions, special elections and making changes to the election code to ensure a transparent and fair election process.

The elections director assures that the GPSC elections are carried out in a fair and equitable fashion, allowing each college the opportunity for representation.

“My major goals for the coming year are to engage more graduate students and encourage them to get involved and run for positions within the student council and promote the programs and assistance offered that many graduate students may not be aware of,” said Hernandez.

“We look forward to getting to know the needs of our constituents in the College of Public Health and advocating for them.”

If you have questions about GPSC programs, please contact Claudia Diaz-Combs ( or Hana Putnam ( For information on the elections process and cycle contact Alma Hernandez (

The University of Arizona