Meet The Candidates

Spring 2022 Student Government Candidates

Executive Candidates 


 Clara Downey and Thomas Elias

President/Vice President-Candidates


Clara Downey and Thomas Elias are running for President and Vice-President of Student Government for the 2022-2023 academic year. Clara is a junior political science and public policy student with a minor in history and concentration in legal studies. She is from western Massachusetts, and has dedicated her college career to campus involvement and student advocacy. She has served as a senator on Student Government for the class of 2023 since the Fall 2020 semester, and since has proved to be an agent for change amongst the Senate. She currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Academic and Scholastic Affairs Committee and as a member of the University Planning Committee, focusing on driving improvements and addressing concerns for students in the academic sector of the University. She is active in both state and municipal government, currently interning in the Office of Elizabeth Warren and having interned in the Office of the Mayor of Scranton. Thomas Elias is a sophomore philosophy and theology double major with a minor in physics from Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania. His college career and extracurriculars have been devoted to an education that seeks social justice. He has served as a senator for the Class of 2024 on Student Government since Fall 2020. Since then, he has taken on an active role in the Senate, dedicated to increasing opportunities for student engagement. This year, he serves as the Chairman of the Safety, Justice, and Service Committee, as a student representative on the Board of Trustees’ University Advancement Committee, and as a representative on the Board of the Ellacuría Initiative, tying in his passion for social justice. In these roles, he has worked to emphasize diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus and to prioritize student issues and feedback. Clara and Thomas have proven to be driven, innovative, and effective on a multitude of different topics and issues. They believe in proposals that are feasible, but are not afraid to stand up for the student body in novel, deliberate ways. Among a stronger, more specified approach to the student role in diversity and inclusion efforts, Clara and Thomas will prioritize direct concerns of students, such as efficacy and equity issues within the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and STEM programs, specifically. Furthermore, they will place an emphasis on educating our students to be active and knowledgeable voters amongst their own communities through established programs. With values of timeliness, intention, and efficiency, Clara and Thomas are prepared to lead the Senate and the student body in new ways, and they appreciate your support.



Claire Sunday and Caitlin Doughton

President/Vice President-Candidates 


Hello Royals! Claire Sunday and Caitlin Doughton want to represent you as Student Government President and Vice President respectively. Claire Sunday is currently Vice President of Student Government and a junior. She is a Theology and Philosophy major with minors in Spanish and Political Science. Claire is a passionate member of SJLA and the Honors Research Program. For the past three years, Claire has been a dedicated member of Student Government. As Vice President, Claire has advocated for students during COVID-19 and voiced dining concerns during the pandemic. She also served as the student representative for the University Planning Committee and the Board of Trustees Education Committee. As a prior Class of 2023 Senator, Claire was appointed Chairwoman of the Campus Life and Dining Committee and was on the Academic and Scholastics Affairs Committee. Outside of Student Government, Claire is treasurer for Alpha Sigma Nu, a Jesuit Honors Society that values service. She is Vice President of the Faith and Reason club, works for Admissions, and was an Orientation Assistant for two years. Claire is from the local area and highly values getting involved in her community. She was a volunteer for Mayor of Scranton Paige Cognetti’s campaign and worked for her through an internship. Claire knows the great work Student Government can do for the University and hopes to work alongside Caitlin, as President and Vice President, to make our campus feel like home for all students! Caitlin Doughton is a current sophomore, Class of 2024 Senator on Student Government. She is a Biology and Philosophy double major, with a Latin minor and Health Humanities Concentration. Caitlin is a member of SJLA and the Alpha Sigma Nu Honors Program. Since her freshman year, Caitlin has been a Class of 2024 Senator on Student Government. Within the past two years, Caitlin has been appointed Liaison for the Jane Kopas Women’s Center and Dining Services. She is also a student senate representative on the University Governance Council, which comprises Student, Faculty, and Staff Senate members. Caitlin’s campus involvements outside of Student Government include serving as the 2022-2023 Vice President of the Remote Area Medical Club and working as a Writing Consultant in CTLE. Caitlin is also a member of the Health Professions Organization and Biology Club. She is extremely passionate about her off-campus job as an Emergency Department medical scribe at Geisinger, alongside participating in service at the Leahy Food Pantry. Caitlin is Scranton born and raised, and loves to be involved in the community’s Habitat for Humanity foundation. Claire and Caitlin want to make the University of Scranton’s campus the best place it can be for every student. Particularly, Claire and Caitlin hope to foster immense inclusivity on campus, along with targeting mental health. All students should have a voice on this campus, and every individual should feel safe and comfortable. These are the goals that Claire Sunday and Caitlin Doughton are setting out to actualize as President and Vice President, and they hope that you will join them!


Class Of 2023 Senator Candidates


Diya Patel
Hi! I am Diya Patel, a rising senior in the class of 2023. I am a double major in Political Science and Criminal Justice with a Legal Studies Concentration. In the Fall of 2019 I was elected by our class to the Student Government Senate and am once again seeking a seat as a representative of our class on the Senate. I have a passion for helping others and igniting positive change in the world and our community. As a part of the Senate, I hope to bring attention to the challenges that our peers experience on a daily basis and act as a liaison between my peers and the senate. I have experience on the University's Student Government Senate, have served as an Orientation Assistant, a Royals of Color Kickoff Mentor, and as a panelist for diversity programs. I hope to count on your vote for Class of 2023 Senator and promise to work to make our senior year an unforgettable one! Vote Diya Patel for Class Senator!

Jillian Haller 

Jillian Haller is a Neuroscience student in the class of 2023. On campus, Jillian is a current member of Student Government as a Residential Senator on the Safety, Justice, and Service Committee. In addition to Student Government, Jillian is also a campus tour guide, neuroscience research assistant, the Webmaster of the Health Professions Organization, an interpreter and volunteer at the Alice V. Leahy food pantry, and a member of the University Review Board.

Olivia Zehel

Olivia is a junior biochemistry, cell & molecular biology and philosophy double major on the pre-med track in the SJLA program. She works on campus as a Work Study in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean's Office and as a Note Taker for the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). Olivia is also cofounder and Vice President of the Society for Biomedical Ethics and a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Biology Club, CSSJ, and the Philosophy Society. Outside of class, Olivia enjoys volunteering at Nativity Miguel School Scranton, where she tutors 5th grade students in math and reading and teaches art after school. As a Scranton native, Olivia strives to remain actively involved in her community through volunteering at soup kitchens, nursing homes, and a community health center. In high school, Olivia participated in student council as the Vice President of her senior class, and she would be grateful to resume this commitment to her peers as a Class of 2023 Senator. Olivia has continued her dedication to the public by working as a clerk of elections in a Scranton district. This role has provided unique insight into and a better understanding of the benefits of honesty, transparency, and representation in governmental processes. She is passionate about social justice and believes strongly in the Jesuit commitment to service. As a Class of 2023 senator, she promises to uphold these Jesuit ideals while also aptly voicing the concerns and requests of her peers.

Class Of 2024 Senator Candidates



David Reese

David Reese is a sophomore computer science major from Lebanon, New Jersey. He engages in his campus community through extracurriculars such as a Class of 2024 Senator, Orientation Team Leader, CTLE tutor, and a member of the Praise and Worship club. In Student Government, he is a member of the Student Transitions and Appropriations Committee as well as a member of the University Governance Council. David believes in equality for all and strives to advocate for an even more accepting university community. He strives to create an inclusive environment where every student not only feels that they belong at Scranton but know they belong at Scranton.

Elaine Musa

Elaine Musa is from Mamaroneck, NY. She is a sophomore accounting major. She loves martial arts and earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She loves math and history especially American History. She is running for Class of 2024 Senator. As Senator she will serve all Royals with transparency as well as add more classes about America. She will lastly listen to what concerns the students the most.

Karla Shaffer

Karla Shaffer is a sophomore running for Class of 2024 Senator. Karla is from Doylestown and is a Political Science Major with an Environmental Studies Concentration. She hopes to pursue a career in environmental policy and work for the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) or another environmental agency. Karla is in the Honors program. She works in the Office of Sustainability and starting next semester, she will be the Programming Director for Sustainability in the Society of Sustainability and Conservation club. Karla is also part of the Scranton Democrats Club. Her interests include music, photography, hiking, fashion and thrift shopping, fitness, reading, and healthy eating. As a 2024 Senator, she will push for greater emphasis on social justice, sustainability, and wellness for our campus. She also hopes to engage in more Scranton community involvement and host events that bring locals and students together. This is Karla's first time running for Student Government and she is very excited about this opportunity!

Jeremy Dickinson

Jeremy Dickinson is from Hyde Park, NY and is a sophomore nursing student at The University of Scranton who is running for Student Government as a Class of 2024 Senator. Jeremy was honored to serve as a Senator for the Class of 2024 during his first and second years on campus. He is hopeful to continue his Student Government journey during the 2022-2023 school year. As the Chair of the Campus Life and Dining Committee, Jeremy enjoys advocating and being a source of strength for his constituents. Jeremy has collaborated with his fellow Senators on several projects, including a Dining Q&A Session with Joe Boyd for students to ask their dining questions and hear about new dining changes, as well as host a Thankfulness Project on 3rd Floor DeNaples this past November. In addition to Student Government, Jeremy is an active member of the university’s Liva Arts Company. As a cancer survivor, Jeremy believes it is important to help those in need, which has inspired him to pursue a career in nursing. After receiving a Make-A-Wish in 2006, Jeremy has had the pleasure of serving the foundation as a fundraiser, Speaker's Bureau member, social media volunteer, and most recently, Alumni Committee participant. Jeremy feels he is qualified to be a Senator for his class because he is dedicated to making a positive difference during his time as a Royal. Finally, Jeremy is eager to establish outlets that will provide students with a sense of acceptance and belonging at Scranton.

Class Of 2025 Senator Candidates



Amanda Campbell

Amanda Campbell hopes to become one of your Class of 2025 Senators. She is an Occupational Therapy major, but is changing her major to Nursing. She is from Long Island, NY and she is also a Presidential Scholar here at the University of Scranton. Amanda has a lot of experience in Student Government, as she was an officer in her high school’s Student Government every year. She was also an officer of numerous other organizations, such as National Honor Society President and National Art Honor Society Secretary, making her extremely well suited for the role of Senator. Here, she has learned to use her voice for others, to be a leader, and how to work well with others, each of which are necessary qualities for a Student Government Senator. Once she is elected, Amanda plans on advocating for not only your ideas, but also for more art and murals on campus, student sections at sports games, different variations of food trucks on campus, and more. She wants to work alongside the students and represent the Class of 2025 to advocate and promote their ideas on how to better the University of Scranton. Vote for Amanda to not only better the school, but to have your ideas heard and to have the best experience possible here at the University of Scranton.

Gabrielle Lyons

Gabrielle Lyons is a first-year student running for Class of 2025 Senator in hopes of creating a stronger community within her class and supporting them every step of the way. She is a Biology major with an Environmental Studies Concentration and is involved with CSSJ, the Society for Sustainability and Conservation, and intramural sports. Being your Class of 2025 Senator, Gabby would make sure to be a friendly and welcoming face around campus, as well as encourage feedback from her classmates to help make our university a better place.

Joseph Agnone

My name is Joseph (JJ) Agnone, and I hope to represent the class of 2025 as a Student Senator. As a Phoenix native, you may have seen me across campus wearing an oversize flannel and a cubs hat, poorly adjusting to the new weather. Otherwise, I spend my time tutoring in the CTLE, playing intramurals, doing Neuroscience research, or washing dishes at the Jesuit Residence. These are the day-to-day activities that have made Scranton feel like home. I love talking to people, and I’m not afraid to speak up and represent your interests. Thank you for your time, and remember to vote JJ Agnone for the Class of 2025 Student Senator.
Lamar Bishop
Lamar Bishop is a KSOM student attending the University of Scranton, majoring in Business Administration. Born up North in Bronx, New York, but later moved down South to Georgia, Lamar is the eldest of 3, having a younger brother & sister. Incidentally, he's also a first-generation student. Extensively involved in clubs/organizations throughout high school, it's not a surprise to say that Lamar is quite involved around campus as well, being a member of FBLA-PBL, PILLAR, Student Government, and more. Lamar is also a RA and works for the Office of Admissions. Personality-wise, he's friendly, observant, honest, and ambitious. Lamar is also known to be responsible, dependable, and trustworthy. His hobbies are vast, extending to writing books, playing video games, creative planning, tutoring, and coding. Additionally, Lamar has played numerous competitive sports such as soccer, football, and baseball and has participated in band & theater. He dabbles in a bit of everything, to say the least. Currently, Lamar's aspiration is to strengthen and embolden the Scranton experience for students here at the University of Scranton and his long-term goal is to earn his MBA.

Maria Stephen

Maria "Ri" Stephen is rerunning for Class of 2025 Senator. She is a double major in history and political with a minor in philosophy and a legal studies concentration. She is part of the university’s mock trial, pre-law society, Asia club, and is currently one of the class of 2025 Senators. This past year she served on the Safety, Justice and Service as well as the University Planning Committee. Over the year she worked on planning her own event called “Speed Faithing” (which will be on April 21). She also worked with Joe Boyd on having options for Ramadan and wrote bills for different clubs. She hopes to continue her work in student government by working on being more inclusive for all students and working on more events for students.

Serena Martin

Serena Martin is your current class of 2025 senator running for reelection next semester. She is a political science major with a legal studies concentration from Bronx, New York. Also, she is involved in numerous clubs like the Black Student Union and United Cultures Organization, to name a few. She is hardworking and dedicated to bringing forth the change you seek in this school.

Theresa Pham

This is Theresa Pham and she's running for the Class of 2025 Senator. She was elected as senator last semester and she absolutely loves being a part of student government, so it would be amazing to have the opportunity for her to do it again! She knows how many different types of people we have at Scranton, and she wants to be able to make our college experience fun for everyone! It is a goal of hers to make sure that we are able to look back at Scranton and feel lots of love and happiness when remembering everything we did here. She is always open to meeting and talking to new people, so please never feel scared to say hi or start a conversation with her, even if you don't know each other. Whether she's in LSC or Denaples or wherever else you might see her, definitely say hi! She hopes these next 4 years can be fun and memorable for all of us, and she thanks for all your support!

Residential Senator Candidates



Dominic Finan

Dominic Finan is a Neuroscience and Philosophy major in the Class of 2023 from Malvern, Pennsylvania. He currently serves as a Residential Senator on the Academic and Scholastic Affairs Committee and is seeking re-election. Finan helped implement the Dean's Ambassador Program in the College of Arts and Sciences and successfully negotiated a pay raise for tutors in the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. Aside from Student Government, he enjoys volunteering at Geisinger Community Medical Center, playing intramural volleyball, and running through Nay-Aug park.residential_middleton.jpg

Josie Middleton

Josie Middleton is a Junior Biology Major and has been on Student Government since her Freshman Year. She has worked diligently with Athletics and Programming for the last two years, and currently holds the Chair Position for that committee. In addition to Student Government, Josie likes to stay actively involved within her community by participating in ROTC, Relay for Life, and volunteering at the Gino Merli Veterans' Center. She truly enjoys advocating for students and hopes to represent you again as a residential senator in this upcoming, playing intramural volleyball, and running through Nay-Aug park.


Commuter Senator Candidates



Vanessa Moylan

Vanessa Moylan is running for a Student Senate seat to represent the University of Scranton commuters! She is currently a sophomore business administration major who lives in Jefferson Township. She serves in other extracurriculars on campus including New Student Orientation as an Orientation Assistant, KSOM Dean Search as the student representative, member of the Women's Business Honor Society and Business Club, volunteers actively with the We Care program of CSSJ, and will be a co-president of the Neurodiversity Inclusion Association next year. She is employed as a work-study student in the Estate and works downtown at the Giving Tree Wellness Center. She was honored to show her previous leadership on Student Government this academic year. She is currently chair of the Appropriations and Student Transitions Committee and serves on the University Governance Council. Through this experience, she feels confident to take on a position in Student Government again to continue advocating the needs of commuters on campus while working with other senators and the executive cabinet in a collaborative effort. She believes she has to potential to strengthen and continue her previous work and leadership skills in the association and is passionate about increasing others’ awareness. Vanessa promises to not disrespect her standing as a representative by fulfilling her duties to the best of her ability. Look out for her name on the ballot on April 12th!

International Senator Candidates



Jack Burke

Jack Burke is a first-year international student from Dublin, Ireland, who is currently running for the role of International Senator. Jack is a hard-working, conscientious person who always strives to get work done to the best of his ability. Jack has won many awards, most notably the Irish Presidents Award. He is an all-rounded person who likes to meet new people and connect with them. Jack is involved in several clubs on campus, such as Performance Music, International Students Club, Irish Culture and Society Club, and Rugby club, to mention a few. He has had experience in leadership positions in the past and has always succeeded in expectations. 


Off-Campus Senator Candidates



Kiera Flannery

Kiera Flannery is a second-year student running for the position of Off-Campus Senator for the 2022-2023 school year. She is from Scranton, Pennsylvania and is majoring in political science with a legal studies concentration. Beyond graduation, she hopes to attend law school and implement advocacy for others into her career and daily life. Having had the opportunity to serve on Student Government this past year has been an honor she would love to continue this upcoming year. Kiera is always looking for ways to help improve our great Scranton community and will listen to any off-campus students' concerns to advocate on their behalf. She would consider herself hard-working, compassionate, easy to approach, and dedicated to all that she does. Aside from student government, she is an active member on campus. Flannery was recently elected treasurer of the Pre-Law Society, is a member of Habitat for Humanity, and completed the Scranton Emerging Leaders Program her freshman year.

Michael Krumenacker