Annie Rappeport, President
Annie Rappeport is a current International Education and Policy Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland, College Park and an Ann C. Wylie Dissertation Fellow for 2021. Her research focus areas are memory construction, peacebuilding and conflict transformation after conflict and natural disasters. In 2020, Annie received the University of Maryland Outstanding Graduate Student Distinguished Service award for her two years of service as the Graduate Student Government President, as an active representative on university task forces related to mental health, affordability and access in higher education, diversity and inclusion and civic engagement. Annie is an active member of both Student Advocates for Graduate Education (SAGE) and the National Association for Graduate and Professional Students (NAGPS). Her service also included being an active undergraduate transfer student mentor, which is close to her heart as a former transfer student herself.
Before returning for her Ph.D. degree, Annie obtained her M.Ed. from the University of Virginia and worked for over 5 years for the Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) known for the Semester at Sea program. As an international student advisor and Associate Director for International Programs, Rappeport worked to support students, faculty and staff from around the world. Prior to her work at ISE, Annie was based at the University of Arizona where she worked in student conduct and helped build the university’s first transfer student services center.
Annie is an intern for the National Association for Dialogue and Deliberation and alongside her dissertation, pursues research related to strategic listening and effective dialogue towards health democracies in the United States and in the Israeli-Palestinian context. Her work in dialogue and listening in healthcare setting led her to Dublin, Ireland to speak for the International Listening Association. Annie has testified repeatedly at the Maryland General Assembly for student related issues including the Student Voter Empowerment Act
Annie is excited and honored to be a part of USMSC as President after serving two years as a student representative. Her philosophy is to be a servant leader for the 172,000 students across the system. She is focused on inclusion and obtaining full (and active) institution representation on the council. Annie strives to listen and respond to the needs of her constituents and ensure voices are heard at the state level by the Chancellor and Board of Regents.
Bernetta Reese, Vice President of Undergraduate Affairs
Bernetta Reese is a native and life-long resident of Maryland with more than 20 years of public service across the federal government and alongside the military. She has worked with almost every U.S. Cabinet-level department, including the Departments of Defense, Justice, Agriculture, and Homeland Security, as well as the White House. She has also served as a community volunteer on behalf of public schools and universities, museums, national parks, churches, festivals, youth programs, and non-profits.
Bernetta currently serves in a supervisory role at the Department of Defense for the Department of the Navy and United States Marine Corps. Over her decades-long career, Bernetta made a significant impact becoming known as a positive change agent while helping to lead and support several federal initiatives, including America’s first-ever Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit, the President’s 2014 and 2015 State of the Union, the U.S. Public Participation Playbook, NASA Social’s Launch America, OPM’s Federal Women Lead campaign, the 2015 Digital Government Summit, the 2014 “Our Ocean” Conference with the Secretary of State, launch of a new federal agency—FirstNet, and DHS' TalkToTSA public outreach campaign. In 2019, Bernetta also received USDA’s FSA Administrator's Award for Service to Agriculture.
Bernetta believes that success is attained through hard work, dedication, engagement, and education. She is finishing her degree at University of Maryland Global Campus while continuously pursuing her career.
Bernetta also serves as the Executive Chair of UMGC's Student Advisory Council. She is committed to strengthening the University System of Maryland, advocating for students, and expanding opportunities for all.
Laura Belko, Vice President of Graduate Affairs
Laura Belko is a current graduate student in the Nonprofit and Association Management Master’s program at the University of Maryland Global Campus. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rutgers University and is a 2020 Forward Focus Fellow at the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University.
Laura is a veteran of the United States Navy where she served as an Aviation Structural Mechanic Chief Petty Officer. While stationed in Japan, Laura completed several deployments onboard the USS Kitty Hawk, USS George Washington, USS Lassen, and USS Antietam. In between overseas assignments, she completed a tour of duty as a drill instructor and high-risk training facilitator at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. Laura was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and qualified as a Master Training Specialist and an Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist. In 2016, Laura received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for a decade of leadership and participation in community programs at home and abroad. After service, Laura worked for the Rutgers University Office of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics.
Laura believes in ethical leadership through open communication, enthusiasm, integrity, civic engagement, and the continuous pursuit of equity for all. She measures success through the achievements of her community and is honored to serve as an advocate for all graduate students at the University of Maryland as the USMSC Vice President of Graduate Affairs.
Board of Directors
Co-Directors of Diversity & Inclusion
Paige Blake (BSU)
Tangala Nore (UMB)
Co-Directors of Communications and Marketing
Nailah-Bena Chambers (UMBC)
Niv Hegdkar (UMB)
Co-Directors of Governmental Relations
Yvonne Harper (UB)
Arsalan Siddiqui (UMCP)
Co-Directors of Student Affairs
Benjamin Enyinnaya (UMGC)
Daniel Koshkepazi (UB)