GASP stands for Graduate Association for Students in Psychology, the wonderful family that comprises graduate students in the psychology department of USC. As the GASP executive board, we are responsible for helping organize student orientations, Town Hall, and community events.  We also share resources for professional development and are the liaison between students and administrative staff.  Most importantly, we build a community of friendship and support by organizing events and outings for students such as game nights, Halloween parties, and comedy events, with lots and lots of delicious food. As GASP, we are here for you, and strive to make your PhD experience as welcoming and enjoyable as possible. The GASP Mentor-Mentee Program has been a success in getting new students to feel welcome and helping them get oriented with the PhD program and life at USC. Every new psychology student that begins a PhD at USC gets matched with a current student and learns some tips and tricks for navigating the grad life from them.

GASP Executive Board 2023-2024

Meet the GASP Executive Board for the 2023-2024 school year!

Joshua Inwald

I am a third-year social psychology student, working with Wändi Bruine de Bruin and Joe Árvai.  My research focuses on applying insights from behavioral science to climate change and human well-being policy issues.  As a GASP co-president, I’m committed to 1) planning and executing killer events for grad students, 2) advocating for student interests as we navigate the complexities of life in academia, and 3) fostering a supportive department culture. Outside USC, I spend my time at Los Angeles’ wonderful live music venues, venturing around greater LA to find new restaurants and wine, and planning my next international backpacking trip.

Contact: inwald@usc.edu

Morgan Lynch

I am a fourth-year PhD student in Clinical Science working with Dr. Chris Beam. I study modifiable psychosocial risk factors, and biological markers, of dementia risk. I’m so excited to be Co-President of GASP again this year. As Co-Pres, I help make the school year a social, engaging, integrated experience for Psychology graduate students. Josh and I also work with the Psychology department administration to advocate for student needs. Outside of school and work, I like to boulder, hike, bike, attempt pottery, and go to comedy shows and concerts.

Contact: morgan.lynch@usc.edu

Ellie Xu

Professional Development Chair
I am a third-year PhD student in Clinical Science working with Dr. Jonathan Stange. My research involves studying emotion regulation dynamics in everyday life in depression. I’m excited to serve as the Professional Development Chair to support students’ career development. Recreationally, I enjoy hiking, reading, exploring new neighborhoods, and trying new cuisines.

Contact: epxu@usc.edu

Ellen Herschel

Dornsife Representative
I am a fourth year PhD student in Brain and Cognitive Sciences working with Assal Habibi, Jonas Kaplan and Antonio Damasio. My research looks at the impact of music on hearing and well-being in older adults, and the ways in which rhythmic interpersonal entrainment impacts ingroup-outgroup bias, social identity, and empathy. I believe strongly in creating connections, sharing resources, and forming community. I’m looking forward to taking on the role of DGSA rep for GASP, and acting as a liaison with the rest of dornsife as well as the greater grad student community through GSG by acting as an advocate for current students to gain greater resources and support based on our needs. Outside of USC, I spend my time hiking and camping, playing with my rescue dog, traveling to new places, and crocheting socks and sweaters for friends and family.

Contact: herschel@usc.edu

Suhaib Abdurahman

Mentor Program Coordinator
I am a third-year student in social psychology working with Morteza Dehghani. My research focuses on grounding computational methods, especially machine learning and natural language processing, in psychological theory and applying it to problems in social psychology and social science. My main interests lie in understanding how morality and values manifest in language and behavior and how these insights can help us understand the dynamics of hate & conflicts but also pro-social behavior, mental health, well-being, and more.

Contact: sabdurah@usc.edu

Gabriel (Gabe) Leon

DEI Climate Officer
I am a third-year PhD student in the Clinical Science area working with Dr. Darby Saxbe. I study the biopsychosocial processes that strengthen social bonds and regulate stress in families. Within GASP, I am the chair of CLIMATE, a student-led and faculty-supported group that advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our department. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, weightlifting, playing hoops, listening to hip hop, and watching MMA.

Contact: gleon3596@gmail.com