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RGSA Executive Board

Gates wearing a black rain jacket with the hood pulled up. The jacket says Run Mag Mile in rainbow text on the left shoulder.  She is wearing brown sunglasses, and her short brown hair (her bangs) are poking out under her hood.  Behind her, the base of the Roanoke Star is visible, though obscured in fog.  Because of that, the background is mostly green bushes.

Gates Palissery (she/they)

Gates Palissery is a 2nd year TBMH PhD student in the Chiu and King-Casas labs.  Her research focuses on social influences on behaviour, particularly where risky decision making is concerned.  In her free time, she writes, travels, and trains for/runs marathons.  She’s currently training for the 2021 New York Marathon, where she is a charity runner for the Endometriosis Foundation of America.  Her long-term goal: 50 States, 50 Marathons.

As RGSA exec chair, Gates’s primary mission for this year is to foster a sense of community on the Roanoke campus, which is much needed given these pandemic times.  If you want to talk to her about anything Roanoke-related, drop her an email at or find her on Twitter: @Gateskp


Caroline de Jager

Caroline de Jager (she/her)

Caroline de Jager is a second year TBMH student in the Theus Lab. She worked with Frankie Edwards last year to help organize the first Wellness Week at FBRI. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, weight lifting, and baking. 

As the Wellness Chair, her goals for the Wellness Team this year are 1) to hold another Wellness Week during the spring of 2022, 2) continue increasing accessibility to health services for students on the Roanoke campus, and 3) plan a cooking demo to promote nutritional wellness (may or may not happen due to covid).

If you’re interested in participating/planning in wellness related activities, don’t hesitate to reach out to Caroline at

William wearing a purple shirt, diagonally striped tie, grey vest, and herringbone trilby.  He has rectangular glasses and a full dark beard.  The background is a slightly out of focus wooded area of deciduous trees.

William Adams

William is a 3rd year TBMH student working in the Poelzing lab.  His current work focuses on calcium handling and EC coupling.  A relapsing pursuant of many different hobbies, William consistently enjoys SciFi/Fantasy literature and media, being in the outdoors, and nearly anything that lets him work with his hands. As treasurer of the RGSA, his goals are to ensure the financial stability of the organization, help develop clear procedures for the transfer of powers and responsibilities between outgoing and incoming executive board members.  His goals for RGSA more broadly are to help the organization become a common reference point for all grad students living or working here and Roanoke, and to help establish and direct students toward the university resources available to them in this city.  He can be reached by email at or by dropping by his desk in the second floor bullpen or Riverside 2.  Twitter: @willdoscience

Joseph Owens

Joseph Owens is a second year TBMH student in the Sheng Lab where he studies the use of novel peptide based therapeutics in the treatment of resistant melanoma. When not in the lab, Joseph enjoys hiking, painting, reading, traveling, and gaming.

As the social chair his primary goal for this year is to foster a sense of community via social events. If you have any suggestions for events that you would like to happen or any questions about the school or the local area feel free to contact Joseph at

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