Meet Your Representatives 2022-2023

Abigail Mellow Representative

Abigail Mellow

College of Fine Arts and Communication, Communication Studies, MA

Hobbies: If I'm not in the classroom teaching COMM 1310, you can usually find me reading mysteries/psychological thrillers, getting active (yoga, paddle boarding, volleyball), traveling the world, watching Broad City, or spending time with my fancé and two dogs. 

Research Interests: My research primarily focuses on conflict in parent-child and romantic relationships and how one leads to the other. I am particularly interested in the "icky" things (i.e., the intergenerational cycle/ transition of trauma, resentment, abuse).

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: GET A PLANNER...and use it! Time management is necessary. It is so important to have your time organized if you want to thrive or even just survive in grad school. 

Email Abigail

Anita Respondek

Anita Respondek

College of Health Professions

Hello! My name is Anita Respondek and I am from Mission, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley.

I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). After working in our field for almost 30 years, I decided to move forward into education. With my love of my profession, I went back to school after 25 years away and earned my BS in Respiratory Care (cum laude :) I am now a full-time instructor at South Texas College in McAllen. I am passionate about passing along the skills, knowledge, and compassion to the next generation of respiratory therapists who will be caring for patients for years to come. I am about halfway completed with grad school, and hoping to graduate in Fall 2023. My advice would be this, “You can do it! Find a few good companions with whom you can bounce your ideas and problems around. Make your goals and stick with them. You CAN do it!”  

My husband, Jeff, is an Air Force veteran who farms. This season's crops consist of corn, grain sorghum, sunflowers, and sesame. We have been married 30 years and have 2 wonderful young adult children who are both in Arlington. My pastimes include paper crafting, animal rescue, and finding the next excellent concert to attend with one of my kiddos. Our favorites are anything alternative but especially Twentyone Pilots.

Email Anita

Avery Limberg

Avery Limberg

College of Applied Arts, Human Development and Family Sciences, M.S.

Hobbies: I’ve always valued spending time with my family and friends because they continue to provide me with an endless amount of love and support every day. In addition, I really enjoy being outside in the sun whether that be hiking the trails in San Marcos or laying out by the river. I have a deep appreciation for music so going to music festivals and listening to live music allows me to truly be in the present and cherish the beautiful moments in life. Also, I’m a big foodie so I absolutely love trying new foods and restaurants!

Research Interest: Although I am not a thesis student, I have always been interested in how attachment to a caregiver in the early years of life can influence an individual throughout the course of their development. During my graduate school career, I have written a few research papers over this topic, and it continues to amaze me how crucial the aspect of attachment is to each of our developmental domains.

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Graduate school is filled with many ups and downs and that’s why it’s such a beautiful journey! The more that you are faced with challenges, the more you grow as a person. Embrace the difficulties that you are faced with in graduate school because that will give you many opportunities to assess other strenuous situations in your future career and in your personal life. Moreover, try to connect with your classmates on a personal level. Graduate school can be exhausting and even unfavorable at times. It’s crucial that you have a support system that understands exactly what you are going through because those individuals will be able to help you when you are feeling defeated. Lastly, always put your mental health first and find healthy ways to cope with stressors! When you prioritize your mental health, you won’t experience mental burnout, which will lead to more successful outcomes in your graduate school career.

Email Avery

Armando Sanchez

Armando Sanchez

College of Liberal Arts

Armando being a first-generation DACAmented, began his academic career at Austin Community College in 2017 and then later graduated with his Associate of Arts in General Studies in December 2019. In January 2020, he transferred to Texas State University at San Marcos - where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, minoring in Communication Studies. He graduated in the Summer of 2021 where he would also begin/currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Political Science at Texas State University, working as a Graduate Assistant for the Department of Political Science.

Throughout his academic career, he was able to develop skills that allowed him to adapt to different political settings, explain his concerns, and address current issues. The skills that he has developed have helped him advocate and research pertinent information. He has been able to draw upon these skills while being interviewed several times to discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) and other issues undocumented individuals face in Texas. Throughout his interviews, he was also given the opportunity to present his concerns about the Supreme Court ruling on DACA and discuss the Texas House Bill 1486, and also how it will impact undocumented students from being eligible for in-state tuition.

Armando is from Ixtapan de la sal, Mexico, where one of his fundamental goals is to continue to use his skills to advocate to reform in the treatment of the Latino community and the immigration system. Hoping for a better future for himself, his family, and the upcoming generation of Latinos.

Hobbies: If I’m not spending time on my studies and my additional responsibilities, I am at the gym or playing games. The gym is my happy place where I can release stress and take care of my mental health. I grew up playing video games going back to the Nintendo 64 days to the latest gaming, now playing on a PC, where I would play to feel like a kid again and casually enjoy the late nights with the bros. I also enjoy and value spending time with friends and family and have a deep love and connection for music, where music has helped me throughout tough times. I also enjoy playing and watching futbol, where most of my time is spent there looking forward to enjoying the 2022 World Cup.

#1 Tip for Surviving Grad School: Learn to put yourself first. Grad school does have its up and down moments which makes the journey even more meaningful but your physical and mental health is also important. Don’t be afraid to face your challenges and mess up. Embrace those difficulties because it gives the opportunity to grow and be better prepared as a student and as an individual for the next time you face difficulties. Connect with your classmates at a personal level and communicate/be transparent with your professors. They will understand what you are going through if you communicate with them which makes your life easier.

Email Armando

Elizabeth Wrightsman

Elizabeth Wrightsman

College of Science and Engineering

Hi! My name is Elizabeth. I am originally from Austin, Texas. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends, lifting weights, doing yoga, and watching Netflix. My favorite movie of all time is Matrix and my favorite TV series is Friends. I have one adult daughter (who graduated from TX State) and two cats.

Research Interests: I am earning my Ph.D. in mathematics education. My broad research interest is equity and inclusivity within mathematics education. More specifically, I am interested in understanding how we might ensure that reform-based educational practices are enacted equitably within the complex classroom environment.

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School:  Go easy on yourself! We, as graduate students, tend to be overachievers and perfectionists. It is impossible to be anywhere near perfect and do everything for everyone, especially when you’re dealing with competing deadlines, pressures, and the responsibilities of graduate school. Do your best and learn from your mistakes without being too hard on yourself. Give yourself some grace!

Email Elizabeth

Gentry Atkinson

Gentry Atkinson

College of Science and Engineering, Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization

Awards: My most cherished honors are my publications in a handful of conferences. Before joining grad school, I was honorably discharged from the US Army with the rank of sergeant. That came with some awards, but none that are interesting now. Also, my mom said I was the handsomest once.

Other Organizations: I am a member of two professional organizations: the AFCEA and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Hobbies:  My first passion is gardening and I try to spend at least a few minutes every day with my plants. I mostly grow food-bearing plants, but I have a few flowers around too for vanity's sake. Before Covid19, I participated in a local combat robotics league. We fought 3-pound and smaller, remote-controlled robots in an enclosed space. My combatant, Doozer, wasn't exactly the fiercest in the bunch but it was always a great weekend when I got to participate in a tournament

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School:  Come into it knowing what area of your field interests you. Undergraduate degrees can be very broad, but graduate work (especially on a thesis track) needs to be tightly focused. You don't need to know exactly what your research will be when you start but know what branch of your field is the most interesting. Also, learn to be comfortable sharing your writing with others. Showing non-academic work like stories or sports articles to friends can help get over the fear of exposing your words to the world.

Email Gentry

Katlyn Fritz

Katlyn Fritz

College of Applied Arts, Criminal Justice, PhD

Hi! My name is Katlyn and I’m your representative for Applied Arts! I am a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology here at Texas State. I worked for the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency as Managing Editor from Fall 2020 to Fall 2022, and I teach classes on Crime Theory and Incarceration in America. I am here to help make your graduate experience better in any way I can, so please reach out with any questions or concerns, from ways to improve your school experience, to just general questions about how to navigate graduate life, publishing, teaching, etc. I am here for you!

Research Interests: Mental health in all aspects of the criminal justice system, but especially treatment access in the correctional system, as well as qualitative studies relating to mental health and corrections.

#1 Tip for surviving grad school: Get to know your classmates, especially those from years above you. Other grad students are the people most likely to know what you’re going through and have advice on what to do for different professors to pass your classes and understand the material, plus studying with your classmates can really help cement the material while building relationships. Some of the best people I’ve met have been my classmates, and those relationships have really helped me survive grad school!

Email Katlyn

Kennedy Dickerson

Kennedy Dickerson

College of Health Professions

Awards and Honors: Deans List

Other Organizations: Healthcare Leadership Coalition (HLC) and Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA)

Hobbies: I have recently tried to get into photography, but I spend most of my free time finding new places to hike with my puppy. 

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Grad school can become overwhelming, so make sure to find something that allows you to step away and take a break. When I feel overwhelmed, I like to go on walks with my dog to help clear my mind. Another tip for surviving grad school is not to procrastinate and stay organized. I promise if you start on the assignment sooner rather than later it will pay off. Some ways I try to stay organized are by using a planner and making a short to-do list for the day. 

Email Kennedy 

Michael Ota

Michael Ota

College of Education, School Improvement, PhD

I have been an educator, behavioral analyst, editor, author, and consultant for over 20 years. Having experience in secondary/college-level classrooms and behavioral clinics from pre-K-12, my current pursuits are on social justice for individuals and families with autism in both educational and community settings.

Hobbies: I have many interests, like karaoke, mountain biking, and travelling, but in the last 3 years I’ve been participating as a rookie in triathlons… something I thought I’d never do!. In the last year I travelled to Hawaii, Florida, Washington DC, San Diego, and even Columbus! The farthest I’ve left home has been Israel. Plans for the next few years include NYC, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, and Japan!

Research and Advocacy Interests: A unique mix of advocacy training, graduate education in critical disability theories, and professional and personal experiences with autism spectrum disorders affords me the tools in providing innovative solutions to challenging and inequitable situations. In addition, I serve on advisory committees, on non-profit boards, and with advocacy groups, having been a key advocate in passing policy, regulation, and legislation benefitting college students with ASD both locally and nationally.

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Use the writing center! The tutors help so much in all aspects of writing. This is especially true for when you’re tackling your thesis or dissertation.

Email Michael 

Olivia Vance

Olivia Vance

College of Liberal Arts, Spanish, MA

Hobbies: Outside of teaching and studying I love to go outside as much as possible to go camping, hike, paddleboard, or float the river. I spend my downtime watching TV and movies or trying new restaurants around Austin with my husband and dog, Evaluna. When I’m not in Austin, I’m usually traveling to Spanish-speaking countries including Mexico, Spain, Colombia, and Costa Rica.

Research Interests: My research interests center around Mexican and Chicanx literature especially concerning themes of motherhood, immigration, and identity.

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Find small healthy activities that make you happy and relieve stress whether it be a form of exercise, a creative outlet, or even particular TV shows that can soothe you. It is so important to remember that you are a person outside of your identity as an academic. Do those small things when you’re feeling overwhelmed and when you have downtime to stay connected to yourself while navigating the constant pressure to be productive and come up with new ideas and research

Email Olivia

Quinten Pigg

Quinten Pigg

College of Education, Health and Human Performance Department, Exercise and Sport Science program, Master

Howdy! I come from a small town called Leakey, TX which is a river community similar to San Marcos. I went to Texas A&M University to receive my undergraduate degree in Sport Conditioning with a minor in coaching and psychology. I am now finishing up my Masters in exercise and sport science with a concentration in health and rehabilitation science with dreams of pursuing a PhD in exercise phisiology.


My hobbies include hunting on the weekends and going to the gym. I am an outdoor person and love to travel so I am frequently going to explore new areas and seeing what hidden gems the wonderful state of Texas has to offer.

Gig’em & Eat’em up cats!

Email Quinten 

Samuel Kimmel

Samuel Kimmel

McCoy College of Business, MBA


  • Texas Business Hall of Fame’s 2022 Future Texas Business legend
  • 2nd place winner Texas State University’s M.S.E.C. Business Plan competition
  • Best Virtual Presentation, Student Technology And Research Showcase Symposium
  • Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas State University
  • Outstanding Lab Instructional Assistant, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas State University

Other Organizations: 

  • American Chemical Society
  • The Electrochemical Society
  • Material Research Society
  • Sons of the American Revolution
  • Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center volunteer
  • Future Farmers of America


Mr. Kimmel’s hobbies include fishing, hunting, sailing, rock climbing, gardening, and cooking- though he doesn’t have much time for them during the semesters

Research Interests:

Mr. Kimmel has a MS and BS in Chemistry and is simultaneously pursuing a Material Science, Engineering, and Commercialization Ph.D. as well as an M.B.A. His research focuses on cost-effective, safe, energy dense rechargeable batteries as an alternative to fire-prone lithium ion. For the past five years, Mr. Kimmel has been working on collaborative research project designing next generation rechargeable batteries with staff scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C.- results that were published a peer-reviewed manuscript entitled “Capacity and Phase Stability of Metal-Substituted a-Ni(OH)₂ Nanosheets in Aqueous Ni–Zn Batteries,” in Materials Advances in 2021.  

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: 

Your program is only as good as you make it. The student-community at Texas State is really strong, embrace the grad student life, engage with your classmates, talk to your professors, stay involved.

Email Samuel

Thibault (Tebow) Géhin

Thibault (Tebow) Géhin

House Leader

McCoy College of Business, MBA with Supply Chain Emphasisis

I was born and raised in a small French village of only 200 inhabitants, near Germany and Switzerland. I had the chance to come as an exchange student near Dallas, TX. I received my B.B.A. in Management in 2015 from TxState, then worked in-country and abroad. Now I am back to continue my education and thrive to add value to my communities. I currently work at Texas State University as a Graduate Assistant for the McCoy College of Business, Marketing Department. 


  • I-Corps Grant Recipient - July 2022
  • Certificate of Completion for Graduate & Career Professional Development - Shop Talk Series 2021-2022
  • Hardest-Worker Award - Muy'Ono - Sept. 2018
  • World's Nicest Frenchman - Kalypso L.P. - Sept. 2015
  • Forever Bobcats

Hobbies: Hiking and running for sports. Learning Spanish, so if you guys want to practice with me, let's go! 

#1 Tip for Surviving Graduate School: Don't take on too much. Learn to say "No." Do just a few things correctly and do it full-heartedly. That will advance you much more than doing a lot of things poorly.  

If you have more questions, don't hesitate to reach out!

Email Thibault 

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