Each year, the University of Pennsylvania honors student leaders who are graduating from Penn or about to graduate with the President & Provost’s Honor for Developing New Initiatives in Graduate & Professional Student Life. According to the Grad Center at Penn, Lee’s volunteer work for the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) has been a catalyst for transformative change and enhanced graduate and professional student life at Penn. Matt’s history of dedicated service as GAPSA’s mental health deputy chair and vice president were highlighted. His efforts focused on promoting graduate student wellness and changing perceptions of mental health on campus.
Through his roles in GAPSA and as a graduate student representative on University committees, Matt has helped coordinate and promote a range of wellness programs and has been a tireless advocate for addressing graduate student mental health. In 2018-19, Matt founded the Penn Franklins, a peer-to-peer graduate student support organization modeled on the successful Penn Benjamins undergraduate peer support group. As the vice president of GAPSA in 2019-20, Matt worked closely with president Greg Callaghan (above) to develop a plan to reorganize GAPSA to better meet the needs of its members and the broader Penn graduate and professional student community. In addition to shepherding GAPSA through a period of major transitions, Matt played a key role in ensuring the successful approval of the GAPSA restructuring plan in March 2020.