2017-2018 GSAC Meeting Schedule
July 26th, 9:00am, M3003
ab GPAC Information
The Alberta Graduate Provincial Advocacy Council (ab-GPAC) is a student-led, non-partisan organization that advocates to the provincial government on behalf of over 17,000 graduate students that attend the four Comprehensive Academic and Research Institutions (CARIs) in Alberta: Athabasca University (AU), the University of Alberta (U of A), the University of Calgary (U of C) and the University of Lethbridge (U of L).
The University of Lethbridge GSA has played a key role in ab-GPAC ever since its incorporation in March of 2015. Since that time, the U of L GSA has collaborated with ab-GPAC on multiple advocacy efforts including the submission of position papers to the provincial government on the subjects of labour relations, tuition and fees, funding model, and more. Every year, ab-GPAC also collaborates with its members to submit provincial budget recommendations, and attends regular meetings with both the Ministry of Advanced Education and its undergraduate counterparts the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) and the Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC).
Ab-GPAC works closely with its members to advocate for quality post-secondary graduate education and strives to improve the experience of graduate students in the province.
Current GSA Executives & Council Members
Brendan Cummins: I graduated with an Honours B.A. in History from the University of Lethbridge in 2016, and now I am working on my M.A. focusing on nineteenth-century American politics and religion. I have a deep attachment and connection with the U of L as a student and as a member of the community. I have lived in Lethbridge for fifteen years, moving here after living throughout Alberta and attending post-secondary institutions in Red Deer and Edmonton.
The GSA needs to be an accessible and relevant organization to all graduate students. We can achieve that by ensuring the programs and services we offer work for those who are using them. I would also like to see this cohort make plans for the future; preparing a strong and stable framework that can grow and evolve as the School of Graduate Studies grows. This requires looking forward to the kind of organization we want to leave for the next cohort, and how to make the U of L graduate experience the best it can be both now, and in the future.
I want to make the GSA more connected to the graduate student body by being available, accessible, and transparent. I want to hear what you have to say, and welcome ideas on how we can improve. With that type of connection, I can provide the strongest voice when advocating for the programs and services unique to the graduate school experience at the U of L.
VICE-PRESIDENT STUDENT LIFE
Faye Salins: Hello Grad Students! Thank you for letting me serve as your VP Student Life for another term.
In this new term I would like to increase the social media engagement with students. A lot of times students have missed out on event announcements, job postings or other news because of email fatigue. Implementing social media strategies would help getting the word out and connecting the grad student population.
I also feel like a lot could be done to improve the quality of social/wellness events that are hosted and I think we can only bring about an improvement (like time of events, days they are held, what kind of events are hosted) if we consult with the student body.
In addition, I have served on various external committees in this past term and am now better equipped to represent the GSA and the needs of graduate students to the University Management and ensure participation in University fund distribution and social activities.
About me: I am a MSc Management (Intentional Management) student and am researching Canada's legislative responses to workplace bullying. I have been an active part of the student councils in my home university in Bombay, India, and have need faculty-student liaison for the council in the four year that I was an instructor.
Multi-tasking school and work is tricky and a lot of us let our social lives and mental health suffer in the process. I'm here to help with that!
Please feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions/concerns.
VICE-PRESIDENT FINANCE AND SERVICES
Mohammed Abubakari: Hello everyone! My name is Mohammed Abubakari, a Ghanaian by birth, and I am pursuing my masters in Economics. You can find this Anglophone nation with over 27 million people of diverse cultures in the Western part of Africa bordered by three Francophone countries - to the West is Ivory Coast, East is Togo, North is Burkina Faso and South is the Gulf of Guinea. I come from the Northern part of Ghana. Ghana is the gateway to West Africa and a destination of hospitality. I recently have added tennis to my likings but I am an ardent follower of football.
I came asking for your mandate to serve you as VP Finance and Services, and you gave it to me.Gratitude to you all for your show of confidence in me. I am assuring you of my fullest commitment and dedication to a successful execution of the mandate of this position barring any unforeseen exigencies. As we all know, the life blood of every establishment is finance, and I understand that the quickest way to cause an end to an establishment like GSA, which I know will not happen any day, would be my inability to do what is expected of me as far as the management of finance is concerned. I therefore am not oblivious of the diligence and efficiency expected of me from now until April 30th, 2018. What I know, is that with your resounding support we can make our graduate experience an enviable one. Thank you!
GSA COUNCIL MEMBERS:
GENERAL GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE (SOCIAL SCIENCES)
Theresah Dossou: Hi, I am first year Economics graduate student interested in working with the GSA to promote the interest of students especially in the Arts and Social Science Faculty.
It is my goal to:
- Coordinate with the other executive members to increase student participation in Graduate School programs
- Be effective and vocal on the committees I am assigned on and represent the concerns of students
Thank you for this opportunity!
GENERAL GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE (NATURAL SCIENCES)
Mirela Ambeskovic: Hi, Grad Students!! My name is Mirela; I am a Ph.D. student in Neuroscience. I completed both BSc and MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge. My research focuses on investigating the effects of ancestral prenatal stress on brain and behavior across the lifespan. During my studies, I have been an active member of the University student body and participated in many events and organizations such as Let's Talk Science Outreach Program, Brenda Millner Lecture Series, Brain Awareness Week, and the GSA.
First, I would like to thank you for letting me serve as your VP Finance the last term; it was a great experience. In this position, I have always advocated for the graduate students within both university and Lethbridge community, improved the GSA operational services, and increased the transparency of the GSA office. I believe that the GSA would benefit from continuity in the governance and need loud voices to represent it.
I would be pleased to work with the GSA again in the year 2017-2018. My experience within both university and the GSA will allow me to advocate for the fellow grad students effectively. I believe I have ambition, academic and life experiences, and leadership skills needed to be an active voice for the graduate student body. If elected I will be advocating for new funding for students, more transparency, and improved operational services within the GSA. I will work hard to ensure that all graduate students have a positive experience during their studies and that you voices are heard.
GENERAL GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE (MANAGEMENT)
David Adebesin: I remain my humble self, David Adebesin. I'm a mindful personality and also entertain equality and liberalism. I'm interested in representing the voice of the Management Graduate Students by ensuring that the concerns of the students are communicated to the right party. I hope that you guys will give me the opportunity to serve this position. Thank you all for your anticipated support.
GENERAL GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE (INTERNATIONAL)
Betty Wanjiru: I am a graduate student with the Faculty of Management, under the MSc. Management (Accounting) program. One of the goals I would like to achieve as the International Representative is to increase the visibility of international students at the University of Lethbridge and promote the incredible multi-cultural aspect of this fraternity within the U of L community.
GENERAL GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE (INDEPENDENT REPRESENTATIVE)
Kris Cormier: Hi! I'm Kris Cormier. I am a Master's student in Neuroscience and I study how the brain produces behavior. I have served on the GSA as a representative for the 2016/2017 year and found that I have helped effect positive changes for our graduate student body. I welcome and greatly value another opportunity to serve the graduate student population. I have a genuine interest within the filed of politics and the university institution. Specifically, the relationship between graduate students and the University of Lethbridge.
As a representative on the council, I work well with others and can offer institutional memory for our new and upcoming council members. It is my goal and focus to ensure that the GSA continue to act in accordance with the interests of the graduate student body. It is important that the GSA continue to evolve and thrive through greater graduate student involvement. My role in voicing graduate student concerns will help this progression and ensure that graduate students will benefit. I look forward to serving on the GSA this year in an even greater capacity than I did last year.
GENERAL GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE (INDEPENDENT REPRESENTATIVE)
Nathan Hill: Hi, my name is Nathan Hill, and I am a M.Sc. student in chemistry. I am working in the Boere lab on a class of compounds called "redox-active ligands", about which I would happily talk your ear off at another time. I have lived in Lethbridge for 9 years, and I completed my B.Sc. degree here at the U of L, so I am quite familiar with the community in the city and the university.
My goal as a representative is to maintain an active dialogue with you the graduate students. and bring your thoughts and ideas to the GSA council. I want to make your concerns the concerns of the GSA, so that we can make your experience as graduate students as pleasant and stress-free as possible. I am passionate about education, and creating an environment that is conductive to learning. A big part of that is to take care of the well-being of the students, and to promote policies that have your best interests at heart.
It is a privilege to act as a representative to the GSA, and to be an advocate for the graduate students.
GENERAL GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE (INDEPENDENT REPRESENTATIVE)
Rachel Dombowsky: Hello all! I am M.Sc. student in the Neuroscience department studying the development of rodent vocalizations. I plan on completing my M.Sc. and start my PhD this summer. I completed my B.Sc. in Neuroscience here at University of Lethbridge. During my time here I have worked in many research labs in the neuroscience and physics department and spend my free time volunteering with Let's Talk Science.
I am dedicated to my research and community and will continue to bring this aspect to the 2017/18 GSA council. It is absolutely my pleasure and honour to continue to advicate for my fellow graduate students.
GENERAL GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE (FINE ARTS)
Cassandra Allenby: The New Media department in the faculty of fine arts is where I teach as often as I can, and where I do graduate research. I am a lover of the maker movement and game development. All of my research revolves around augmented and virtual reality, cognitive psychology, and ubiquitous computing that empowers he user.
Though my time as a graduate student is almost up my initiatives for the new semester are to bring more of the arts to this years Meeting of the Minds. Perhaps together we can also get the ball rolling on a smaller, multi-disciplinary colloquium where graduate students and professors from the FFA can share and collaborate.
Graduate students are a reclusive sort. Being a representative for the FFA gives me the opportunity to communicate with and bring graduate students from out of their natural state of isolation. Concerns are voiced in private, sometimes never reaching the GSA's open ears. Email me, tweet me, grab me while I'm getting coffee and chat. My job is to be your loudspeaker, your proxy, so that you can have the best graduate experience possible here at Uleth.
GENERAL GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE (HUMANITIES)