Faculty Advisor

The Graduate Student Assembly of Virginia Tech is advised by Dr. Karen DePauw and Monika Gibson.

Dr. Karen DePauw, Dean of the Graduate School

Dr. Karen P. DePauw is Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education, and a tenured Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Prior to employment at Virginia Tech, she served 22 years on the faculty and as an administrator at Washington State University. Since her arrival at Virginia Tech, her major accomplishments include success in building a strong diverse graduate community, the establishment of the innovative Graduate Life Center (GLC), and the signature initiative known as Transformative Graduate Education (TGE). As Graduate Dean, she teaches three graduate courses: Preparing the Future Professoriate, Citizen Scholar Seminar, and PFP: Global Perspectives seminar annually.

Dr. DePauw earned a B.A. in Sociology from Whittier College, M.S. in Special Education from California State University, Long Beach, and a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Texas Woman’s University. Her scholarship has focused on inclusion, equity issues, social construction of disability, and sociology of the body. Throughout her academic career, she has served in leadership positions for national and international associations, received numerous honors and awards and has worked extensively with the United States Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the Olympic & Paralympic Congresses since 1984.


Monika Gibson, Assistant Dean and Director of Student Services

Monika Gibson is responsible for the development, implementation, management and assessment of programs and services that support the academic and professional development of graduate students and improve their quality of life.

Monika has worked in various professional positions at three higher education institutions since 1991. She has extensive experience in graduate student services, international and immigration advising, program development and management, policy development, event planning, and public presentations. She played a key role in the establishment of the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown in 2005.

Monika earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management in Hungary and a master’s degree in higher education, leadership and policy studies in the United States. She was nominated for the Governer’s Award for Teamwork in 2005, and received the Graduate Student Assembly’s Outstanding Advocate Award and Virginia Tech’s Supervisor Spotlight Award in 2011 and 2013 respectively.