Meadows Graduate Student Council

About MGSC

The Meadows Graduate Student Council (MGSC) is a student organization that provides financial assistance for the academic, artistic, and professional development of students in Meadows School of the Arts graduate programs.

The by-laws below will go into effect on June 1, 2018.

MGSC Forms

MGSC Officers


Destiny Perez, President

Destiny Perez graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing in Dance Production & Pedagogy. As an SMU dual degree M.A./M.B.A. candidate, Perez is studying Arts Management & Arts Entrepreneurship in both the Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business. She is also currently in the North Texas Business Council for the Arts Leadership Arts Institute Class of 2023.


Laura Martin, Vice President

Laura Martin is a second-year student in the RASC/a: Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture M.A. program. She studies sacred art and its function within the religious imaginary of the early modern global Hispanic world.


Jennifer Laffick, Treasurer

Jennifer Laffick is a third-year Art History Ph.D. student in the Meadows School for the Arts. Her research focuses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French visual culture, particularly art concerning France's colonial and imperial projects in the years surrounding 1800. She has served on Meadows Graduate Student Council board as Treasurer since arriving at SMU from sunny Florida in 2020.


Sam Rushing, Internal Communications

Sam Rushing is a second year M.A. student in Art History. He earned a B.A. in Art History from the University of Oklahoma. His research interests include the intersection of art and politics in modern and contemporary art. His current project focuses on Peruvian artist Fernando de Szyszlo and the formation of cultural identity in 1960 Latin America.


Maria Bastos-Stanek, Public Relations Chair

Maria Bastos-Stanek is a first-year Ph.D. student in the RASC/a: Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture M.A. program. She holds degrees from Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. At SMU, Maria studies the art and visual culture of the Americas, with a particular focus on nineteenth century Brazil.


Ella Ekstrom, External Liason

Ella Ekstrom is a dual-degree M.A./M.B.A. graduate student in both the Cox School of Business and Meadows School of the Arts working toward an M.B.A. with a focus in Customer Loyalty & Engagement and an M.A. in Arts Management at Southern Methodist University. Prior to joining the program, Ella received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University’s Performing & Media Arts program. This year, she is both the External Liaison to the Meadows Graduate Student Council, as well as President of the Net Impact Club in the Cox School of Business.

Staff/Faculty Advisor

Dr. Gretchen E. Smith, Associate Dean for Students and Head of Theatre Studies

Questions or Concerns? Contact MGSC by email at