Graduate and professional students outnumber Duke’s undergraduate population—a fact often forgotten on a campus that emphasizes the undergraduate experience. Leading and advocating for this population can be difficult when the needs are so diverse and the population is so diffuse.

Rashmi Joglekar, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Nicholas School of the Environment, serves as president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council. She is also a student in the Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program and previously served as vice president of GPSC. 

During her term, Joglekar has focused on unifying the graduate and professional student population and making their issues understood by administrators.

Her election came during a contentious time, after the failed graduate student unionization push. 

“I think the most important lesson that we learned last year is that the students do want to have a voice, and they do want to build this relationship with administrators to a point where if they ask for things, they're actually heard and listened to,” she told The Chronicle after she was elected.

With administrative support, she helped lead the creation of a GPSC food pantry to serve graduate students in need. Joglekar was also behind efforts to restructure the financial relationship between GPSC and Duke University Union. The changes reduce the money spent by GPSC for DUU services and allow it to use the funds elsewhere. She also played a role in advocating against proposed tax changes that would have negatively impacted graduate students. 

Editor's Note: This profile is part of our new initiative called The Chronicle 18. We are highlighting 18 people and groups who are defining what it means to be at Duke this year. Read about the project and more of our selections.