Congress of Graduate Students



COGS Executive Board Profiles

Executive Committee

Ben Elwood

Speaker: Ben Elwood


Benjamin Elwood has served the Congress of Graduate Students since the 23rd Congress as a PhD student in the Department of Physics, studying stellar astrophysics. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, he received his B.S. in physics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and has been a part of Florida State University since 2014.

As Speaker and Chair of the Executive Committee, Ben presides over all COGS functions, creates and oversees their implementation, and appoints representatives to all standing and ad-hoc committees. He also ensures that the COGS Code, Budget, and the Florida State University Student Body Statutes are faithfully executed and performs all other duties and responsibilities as may be required by law and the Florida State University Student Body Statutes and Constitution.















Deputy Speaker for Finance: Matthew Uttermark

Matthew Uttermark is a representative for the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, serving since the 22nd Congress. Originally from Duluth, Minnesota Matthew received his B.S. from the University of Iowa in 2014. He is currently a doctoral student in political science specializing in research on U.S. state politics and federalism.


As Deputy Speaker for Finance, Matthew oversees the COGS budget, issues reports on the balance and expenditure of COGS accounts and prepares budget request for ratification by the Assembly. He also oversees the disbursement of COGS travel grants and assists the Speaker as needed with the administration of COGS.












Joshua Scriven

Deputy Speaker for Judicial Affairs: Joshua Scriven 

Joshua Scriven is a representative for the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. Hailing from the Bahamas, Joshua obtained his B.S. and MSc. from the University of Central Florida and University College London, respectively. Joshua is a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science, where his current research interests are immigration and identity in the context of international and comparative politics.

As Deputy Speaker for Judicial Affairs, Joshua audits the COGS Code and bylaws to ensure continued compliance with the Florida State University Student Body Constitution and Statutes. He is also spearheads the effort to fill vacant seats in the Assembly, informs new members of their duties, and assists the Speaker with the administration of COGS as needed.












Deputy Speaker for Communication: Vivianne Asturizaga


Vivianne Asturizaga has served in the Congress since June 2014. She graduated from the National Conservatory of Music of Bolivia, her home country. At FSU, she obtained Master’s in flute performance, Arts Administration, and Spanish, and she is currently in the Musicology program at the College of Music.

As Deputy Speaker for communications, Vivianne informs members of meeting dates and happenings, creates and supervise COGS announcements and bulletins, acts as the public relations liaison between COGS, Florida State University, and public press domains.


















COGS | SGA Staff Profiles


COGS and SGA are supported by a team of professional staff, who ensure that our student officers, representatives, and constituents get the most out of our student government. The full team is listed on the SGA website.

COGS Program Associate: Whitney Brown












Director: Danielle Morgan Acosta 












COGS Advisor: Josh Kinchen















SGA Business Manager: Kim Dicks