Karin Diaconu, the University’s Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) President, will be stepping down from her position for the current academic year.
Diaconu was elected president of the GSA for the second year running in June and was initially expected to hold the position until September 2013.
The former president has been awarded a PhD scholarship from the University of Birmingham and so will be leaving the University of York.
Diaconu, who was born in the German-speaking town of Sibiu in Romania, completed her undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at York, and was pursuing a MSc in Health Sciences (specialising in Cancer Epidemiology) during her first term as GSA president.
Her focus during her presidency was on issues such as postgraduate employability, integration and internationalisation.
Diaconu was widely respected by graduate students, staff and GSA officers. Kallum Taylor, YUSU president, stated that she, “led from the front in a professional, yet effective, manner”.
Jane Grenville, Deputy-Vice-Chancellor, said that Diaconu, “has been a tireless advocate for postgraduates, totally committed and alert to the issues that affect the postgraduate community, ready both to raise problems with the University and to join with [the University administration] to promote positive campaigns to improve the postgraduate experience”.
The GSA Council nominated Abdulkarim Oloyede, the Services Officer studying for a PhD in Electronics, to be the acting GSA president until a replacement is elected in the coming weeks.
A by-election will be held on 21st-28th October, and nominations for candidates are open until the 12th October.