Chair for External Affairs
School of Medicine
Matt Schaff is the Chair for External Affairs and a neuroscience Ph.D. Candidate at Penn. Matt comes to the position with a driving goal to transform the way that GAPSA does advocacy. Under his plan to collect survey and focus group data across the 12 schools, prioritize advocacy issues from that data and assign those to “Issue Czars”, and then set loose the czars to push on the levers of power, Matt hopes to achieve a more robust, sustained, and data-driven mapping of the needs of Penn graduate students to the machinery of their government. He aims to build a GAPSA that fights for everyone, not just those with loud voices.
Matt also serves as the lead developer for IdealCampus.org the website that helps empower GAPSA’s IDEAL Council to make Penn a safe and equitable space for all members of the Penn community, as well as the lead developer for NeuroNet, a social network for Penn neuroscientists. Prior to arriving at Penn in 2016, Matt worked as the lead developer of Science News for Students at the Society for Science and the Public, and before that served for two years as the Manager of Science Outreach and Education at the Foundation for Biomedical Research, and before that graduated with degrees in neuroscience and economics from the University of Pittsburgh. Matt is a self-taught web developer who was inspired to learn coding to build Sci-Inspire, Inc , a 501(c)3 nonprofit social network for science outreach operating in New York and Washington, D.C. that connects K-12 educators with university science college students to boost science attitudes and aptitudes in American youth. In his spare time, Matt enjoys hiking with his dog, strumming on his guitar, and building web applications for his friends.
If you have ideas as to how to improve Penn grad life or suggestions you would like to share about GAPSA, please do not hesitate to contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.