Brandon Gaskew is a senior in the Political Science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a minor in Criminology Law & Justice. His plan post-graduation is to pursue a J.D. in international and comparative law. Ideally, he aims to work on foreign policy issues at the State Department.
Mr. Gaskew has been active in the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) for close to three years. He has held the positions of assembly member, chairman of the appropriations committee and is currently the vice-president. During his tenure as vice-president, Mr. Gaskew’s focus has been directed toward assisting homeless students on campus. The first initiative he worked on was a service called Emergency Go Bags in collaboration with the UIC Wellness Center. Emergency Go Bags is a service that dispatches a bag containing clothing, toiletries and other comforts to identified homeless students on campus.
During the summer of 2014, Mr. Gaskew and Carol Petersen, the Associate Director of the UIC Wellness Center, proposed the creation of a food pantry at the UIC campus. This lead to the launch of the UIC Pop-Up Pantry during the 2014 Fall semester. The Pop-Up Pantry offers canned goods and non-perishable items to homeless, low-income and any student who is in need of the resource. Mr. Gaskew and Mrs. Petersen worked strategically to launch this service by collaborating with several campus departments and gaining the support of the University administration. At the grand opening, the Pop-Up Pantry served over 100 students and the two subsequent operations severed nearly 200 combined. Mr. Gaskew has worked with the Greek Programming Board, and various other departments organizing food drives to solicit donations from the university community to support the Pop-Up Pantry. Moreover, thanks to the support of former Chancellor Dr. Allen-Meares, the Pop-Up Pantry has been linked with the Chicago Greater Food Depository to assist with continued donations.
Mr. Gaskew currently maintains a spot on the UIC Dean’s List and in the Spring of 2014 earned the UIC Chancellor’s Student Service and Leadership Award. In addition to his work with the USG and the Pop-Up Pantry he serves as a student representative in the UIC Faculty Senate and on the UIC Student Conduct Board. Mr. Gaskew is truly a UIC Black History Maker full of compassion, dedication and a willingness to address the needs of the less-fortunate students on the UIC campus