Graduate Students' Association

The Graduate Students' Association (GSA) at the University of Lethbridge is a student body of graduate students, elected by our peers to represent graduate student issues at various levels of the university. Our mandate is to identify graduate student needs in order to ensure policies across the university advocate for students appropriately.

GSA Council 2017-2018

Congratulations to the new Council

President - Brendan Cummins

VP Student Life - Faye Salins

VP Finance & Services - Mohammed Abubakari

General Graduate Representative (Natural Sciences) - Mirela Ambeskovic

General Graduate Representative (Social Sciences) - Theresah Dossou

General Graduate Representative (Management) - David Adebesin

General Graduate Representative (International) - Betty Wanjiru

General Graduate Representative (Independent Representative) - Kris Cormier

General Graduate Representative (Independent Representative) - Nathan Hill

General Graduate Representative (Independent Representative) - Rachel Dombowsky


GSA Council 2017-2018

Our New Council Members

Name: Brendan Cummins

Department: Arts & Science-History

Position: President

Biography: Good day. 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.

I would like to make the GSA an accessible and relevant organization to all graduate students by working to ensure 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.

As president I would strive to make the GSA more connected to the graduate student body by being available, accessible, and transparent. I would like to hear what you have to say, ideas on how to improve, and ways you think we can give our GSA the strongest and clearest voice when advocating for the programs and services unique to the graduate school experience.

If you have any questions, you can find me most mornings in my office, A838. Stop by, say "Hi", and make me work for you and your vote. I look forward to hearing from you.





Name: Faye Salins

Department: Management

Position: VP Student Life

Biography: Hello Grad Students! Thank you for letting me serve as your VP Student Life for this term, it was a privilege and a fantastic experience! I would like to run for the VP Student Life position in this election as well, since I have a lot of new first-hand insights that I would like to implement this time around and the GSA would benefit from the continuity.

Firstly, 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.

Secondly, I 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.

Thirdly, 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!

I hope you choose to re-elect me as the VP Student Life of the GSA for 2017-2018!




Name: Mohammed Abubakari

Department: Economics

Position: VP Finance and Services

Biography: Everyone has the right to dream so, do I. Dare to dream, but I dream big, always. Whatever I do that draws me closer to my dream, I remain passionate about it and committed to doing it well. My service to colleague students and the university as an institution takes me a step closer to my big dream and for which reason giving out my best is non-negotiable. I want to be that person that I see in my dream, a servant keeping track of the allocation and the use of resources of my country. I have a springboard now which is service among other things the governance of University of Lethbridge. I am therefore excited to submit myself to serve as VP Finance and Services for the Graduate Students Association.

I aspire to enhance:

1. Efficiency and effectiveness in the financial systems of the GSA.

2. Timely delivery of financial information to appropriate end users.

3. Active representation of GSA on platforms as assigned for the participation of the VP finance and services.

4. Commitment to working and cooperating with all stakeholders in the chain of service to graduate students.




Name: Mirela Ambeskovic

Department: Neuroscience

Position: Representative Natural Science

Biography: 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.

Thank you!



Name: Theresah Dossou

Department: Economics

Position: Representative Social Science

Biography: 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.

Its 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!



Name: David Adebesin

Department: Management

Position: Representative Management

Biography: 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.




Name: Betty Wanjiru

Department: Management

Position: Representative International

Biography: 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.



Name: Kris Cormier

Department: Neuroscience

Position: Representative Independent

Biography: 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.




Name: Nathan Hill

Department: Chemistry & Biochemistry

Position: Representative Independent

Biography: 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 would be a privilege to act as a representative to the GSA, and to be an advocate for the graduate students.



Name: Rachel Dombowsy

Department: Neuroscience

Position: Representative Independent

Biography: My name is Rachel Dombowsky. I am M.Sc. student in the Neuroscience department studying the development of rodent vocalizations, and plan on completing my M.Sc. and start my PhD this summer. I completed my B.Sc. in Neuroscience here at University of Lethbridge. I have been apart of many labs in the neuroscience department as well as the physics department. I feel that this work with other departments will give a fresh and multifaceted look at the university experience the GSA provides.

I would be pleased to serve as a graduate student representative with the GSA for the 2017-2018 year. I served as the Independent Representative this past year and loved being a part of the GSA. I was able to advocate for my fellow students and create new relationships with individuals from many other faculties. My goal for the upcoming year will first, to ensure the new council is prepared and up to speed with all the work we have done this past year. My previous knowledge of last year will ensure consistency with the governance of our Graduate Students Association.