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University Council

The purpose of University Council (UC) is to promote and advocate for the interests and welfare of all the students at SUNY Downstate as related to campus-wide issues and activities.

All Student Activity free paying members of Downstate's student body are members of University Council .

UC funds various clubs and organizations at SUNY Downstate and meets monthly. Your University Council, with representation from all 5 colleges/schools, serves as a liaison group between students and administration for all pertinent matters to the total student body. The council deals with university-wide issues such as SUNY budget cuts and tuition increases, as well as stays informed about state-level discussions via affiliations with the SUNY Student Assembly and SUNY Council. UC funding co-sponsors activities such as Winter Ball/Spring Fling, an annual semi-formal dance, the Multicultural Fair, a Service Learning Poster Competition, and the Thanksgiving Dinner.

Do you have any suggestions/ideas for improving anything at our institution? Please fill out the University Council "Suggestion Box" Form:

Here are the e-mail addresses, plus a little information about your UC leadership representatives:



Email Address


Abhimanyu Amarnani


College of Medicine and School of Graduate Studies

Abhi is an MD/PhD student currently in his 3rd year of graduate studies. He has previously been a SUNY SA Representative and Treasurer of University Council. Additionally, he has held leadership roles in Downstate’s American Medical Association/MSSNY club and Medical Entrepreneurship Club. He also has been a student leader in the COM Ethics pathway and Medical Educators pathway.

Michelle Garcia

(Vice President)

College of Medicine

Michelle is a part of the College of Medicine Class of 2019. She previously held the title of University Council Secretary and Latino Medical Student Association Treasurer. Currently she is also the Vice President of LMSA and takes pride in her dedication to volunteering, mentorship, and remaining an active member of the Downstate community via programs and organizations such as HPREP, BFC, Residential Life and Services Staff member, Admissions Office Tour Guide, and more.

Shelley Jain


College of Medicine

Shelley is a second year MD student and is the treasurer of University Council. She is the Class of 2020 AAMC Student Representative and on the board of Humans of Downstate. She has been involved as a volunteer with the Brooklyn Free Clinic, Students for Social Responsibility Club, and Orientation Leader. Additionally, Shelley is involved with the Global Health Club and Medical Educator Pathway.

Kristen Lu


School of Graduate Studies

Kristen is a PhD student currently in her 4th year of graduate studies. She was previously the Co-President for the Downstate Medical Entrepreneurship Club and currently serves as the Vice President for Downstate Dialogues. She is also a facilitator for the College of Medicine Ethics Pathway.

Andrew Hasenzahl

(SUNY SA Representative and College Council Member)

College of Medicine and School of Public Health

Andrew is an MD/MPH student currently in his second year of medical school and a graduate of School of Public Health. Along with his UC roles, his is also the chair of the Student Liaison Committee for his graduating year of medical school. He has previously been the Educational Chair for theAmerican Medical Association/MSSNY cluband a RISE counselor at the Brooklyn Free Clinic. He has returned to the School of Public Health as a guest lecturer to discuss how to approach your political representatives to enact change in your community.

Stephanie Ngan

(College Council Member)

College of Health Related Professions

Stephanie is in her third and final year of the Doctorate in Physical Therapy Program. She was formerly the Vice President of the SUNY Downstate Physical Therapy Club as well as a former volunteer Student Physical Therapist at the Brooklyn Free Clinic. She is currently a member of the Student Center Governing Board and acts as one of the representatives for the College of Health Related Professions.

Maria Munoz-Sagastibelza

(SUNY- SA Representative)

School of Graduate Studies
Maria is a fourth year PhD candidate in the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) program. Last year, she served as the Secretary for the Graduate Council. Maria is involved in the organization of the Annual Cancer Health Disparities Symposium at Downstate. In addition, she has been the tutor for MCB students and volunteered for the EME summer program.

Julia Hess

College of Nursing

Julia is currently in her first year of the Family Nurse Practitioner program. She graduated in 2017 from the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Downstate, where she served as Admissions Representative to the Nursing Student Council, a Nurse Volunteer and RISE Counselor for the Brooklyn Free Clinic, and a volunteer for Downstate Students for Social Responsibility.

Zaki Azam

College of Medicine

Zaki is an MDstudent currently in his 3rd year of graduate studies. He has served leadership roles inDownstate'sOphthalmology Club & Brooklyn Free Clinic and is anavid leaderin the Medical Educators pathway.

Lauren Demaria

College of Medicine

Lauren is a 4th year medical student who is applying for an ophthalmology residency this year. She has been working at the student center since first year and has been an anatomy and medical knowledge tutor since second year. She choreographs yearly for the student faculty show, and has participated in the Brooklyn Free Clinic as a junior volunteer.

Maggie Tappitake

College of Health Related Professions

Maggie Tappitake is a 2nd year Occupational Therapy student in the CHRP program. She is currently the AOTA representative for her class.

Ankuri Desai

College of Medicine and School of Graduate Studies

Ankuri is an MD/PhD student currently in her fourth year of medical school. She has served on the board ofUniversityCouncilfor the past four years. Additionally, she works extensively in Residential Life and Services as a resident director and previous resident assistant.


The University Council Leadership Communication Structure



Your University Council co-sponsors funding for clubs across campus, and allocates funds to clubs for the full academic year every March. Bylaws, meeting minutes, and the financial documents outlining whether or not your club has funding from different student councils can be found here:



If you are interested in becoming a leadership representative of University Council or want further information please contact Amy Urquhart through eMail or call 718-270-2485.