2017/2018 operations TEAM


Annual Plan

Every year the incoming GSA president compiles a list of each initiative and advocacy effort the incoming management team agrees is important to pursue in the upcoming year. Many of these items are first recognized, documented, and discussed during the GSA's annual retreat and it is updating on an ongoing basis internally to document the completion of each task. This document is also used to reflect the goals outlined in the strategic plan.

2018 Annual plan

This plan will be developed during May and June and was presented to our Board of Directors during their June meeting for approval.

 Kathy Bazinet

Kathy Bazinet

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Nathaniel Khaleel

Nathaniel Khaleel

 
 
 
 
 
 
 Aman Deep Sharma

Aman Deep Sharma

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Alyson Cunningham

Alyson Cunningham

 
 
 
 
 
 Brendan Pinkofsky

Brendan Pinkofsky

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Carly Tward

Carly Tward

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Cody Groat

Cody Groat

 
 
 
 
 
 Jeremy Wagner

Jeremy Wagner

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Joseph Antwi

Joseph Antwi

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Judy Tran

Judy Tran

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Madison Aucoin

Madison Aucoin

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Vladimir Rakic

Vladimir Rakic

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Zhuoyi Zhao

Zhuoyi Zhao

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Ellen Menage

Ellen Menage

 
 
 Cassandra Salatas

Cassandra Salatas

 
 
 
 Patrick McMahon

Patrick McMahon

Official Title: President & CEO
Email: kbazinet@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? My two daughters, Hailey and Samantha, who both in their own ways, demonstrate on a daily basis, their drive and passion for being the change they wish to see in this world!
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? I am happiest amongst the trees, out in nature, on a hike.
What are some causes you care about? I give my time and financial support to a number of different organizations, companies and charities that are socially conscious focused. Two examples would be: Free the Children – youth based projects that are designed to address the root causes of poverty and remove the barriers to children’s education in the developing world with the goal of ending child slave labour; and, Nature Conservancy – working towards conservation and protection of important natural habitat in communities across southern Canada.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? To complete my MA in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy and to work with a team of dedicated and passionate individuals to enhance the graduate student experience here at Laurier.
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them? It is my hope and desire to take my years of experience in the areas of wellness, planning, service/program implementation, evaluation, communication, and advocacy in order to continue to improve the graduate student experience here at Laurier.

Official Title: Vice President
Email: nkhaleel@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? Ellen Menage for
keeping this ship afloat.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? Wellness is a central part of my life. I'm at my best when I'm active, specifically boxing and running.
What are some causes you care about? Encouraging people to become their best selves is probably a central theme that underlies many of the causes that I am passionate about.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? I would LOVE to spread my entrepreneurial wings and see my venture find a way off of the ground within the next year.
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them?
My optimism, will power, and calm demeanour haven't led me astray thus far so I'll run with those. I believe these three can be utilized to keep our operations team cognizant of our vision for the GSA without losing sight of the day-to-day steps that are necessary to see it actualized. I'll also be relying heavily on the poise enabled by my demeanour to help in preventing any one crisis from compromising that vision.

Official Title: International Student Representative
Email: asharma@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? The person I admire most is my mother. Why? She is always there for me and never turns her back on me. She loves me even when I disagree with her or do something wrong! Her love for me is unconditional and I have innumerable reasons to admire and love her the most.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? I'm happiest when I'm chatting and spending time with my family. I also love meditation and visiting spiritual places.
What are some causes you care about? I am a big supporter of equal human rights, LGBT rights, sex education and eradicating discriminations of all forms.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? To secure a good co-op job in an innovative and niche industry so that I can work with passionate and creative minds in a challenging environment.
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them?  I think my design thinking skills, collaboration skills and the ability to promote a positive work environment would help to improve the graduate student experience at Laurier. I believe that I could make a valuable contribution to GSA by effectively promote education policies and putting my presence with the best of my efforts in facilitating planned or unplanned events.

Official Title: Social Work Constituency Representative
Email: acunningham@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? My sister, Karen. I greatly admire her confidence, sense of humour, and non-judgemental nature. She is one of my greatest teachers in life this far.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? I am happiest spending quality time with my family, friends, and partner. I also enjoy snowmobiling and spending time by water. What are some causes you care about? I am passionate about suicide prevention, and about busting stigma about mental health and addiction.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? In my advanced placement for the 2 year MSW program, I hope to further develope my one-to-one counselling skills, and be able to better define myself as a social worker.
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them?
One of my best skills is my ability to listen on multiple levels. I hope to use this skill to support WLU graduate students in their goals and wellness.

Official Title: PhD Representative
Email: bpinkofsky@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? I greatly admire my grandmother May Clarke who single-handedly raised 10 children (and others) in Trinidad and the GTA.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? I enjoy exploring my creativity in music, poetry and visual art (or some combination). I like to cruise on my skateboard and I am a gamer (both video and tabletop).
What are some causes you care about? Some concerns that are deeply important to me include issues of social justice and equity, labour rights and environmentalism.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? I am excited to begin my dissertation research on Anansi The Spider, a West African trickster god. I am currently focused on drafting my proposal: Spidered Lens: Anansi in the New World and New Media of Afri-Canadian Diaspora. I would also like to have some of my writing published this year.
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them? I acquired my master's in Communication Studies at Laurier and I am now a PhD student in English and Film. I am also a graphic designer with almost a decade working for organizations like the University of Toronto Students' Union. My academic experience and my understanding of communication gives me a unique perspective on the concerns of graduate students at Laurier. I am eager to find creative ways to support, celebrate and bring together the graduate community with the GSA. 

Official Title: Science Constituency Representative
Email: ctward@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? The first person that comes to my mind is my father. I admire him for many things, but one of the most impactful attributes is his sense of proactivity in everything he does. He doesn’t wait for things to fall into place, but faces his goals head on and doesn’t give up on something he is passionate about.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? I am happiest when I am investing time in the things most important to me, my family, my friends, my health, and personal growth.
What are some causes you care about? One cause I am especially invested in is mental health advocacy and awareness. I have volunteered for a mental health advocacy group for multiple years and I still continue to acquire various certifications in mental health first aid to further my education and ability to help others.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? To complete my research based MSc in Integrative Biology and to give others a platform in which they can present their research and share their knowledge.
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them? I have always been a proactive individual. Along with being detail oriented and having great time management, I have a consistently upbeat attitude to work. I strive to use my positive attitude and great work ethic to help in any capacity that I can in order to improve the graduate student experience here at Laurier.

Official Title: Indigenous Student Representative
Email: cgroat@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? I admire quite a range of people for a variety of reasons, ranging from portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh to Senator Murray Sinclair, but mostly its people who I randomly discover through buying biographies at Chapters.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? I'm often happiest when I'm reading a good novel or biography and can have long conversations about it afterwards with others who have also read it. 
What are some causes you care about? One of the biggest causes I care about it the protection of historic sites and buildings from destruction. 
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? A goal I have this year is to read more leisure books around the academic books I have to read for school.
What do you think are your best skills that you’d like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them? I think that my best skill is trying to see all projects I'm a part of through to completion. 

Official Title: School of International Policy and Governance Representative
Email: jwagner@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? I admire my partner, Emily, who everyday challenges me to be a better person and contributor in my community.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? I am happiest when I am outside on a long run, preferably in the mountains, and preferably somewhere I’ve never been. Physical activity is a major part of my wellness—movement is my medicine!
What are some causes you care about? I care deeply about health and wellbeing, and I think food and food culture are areas where we can build communities that better support both. When was the last time you shared a meal with someone you don’t know?
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? My goal is to survive my first year as a PhD student and, in the process, help build the GSA presence on campus in ways that reflect graduate student needs. Running a marathon and traveling to South East Asia are also high on the priority list!
What do you think are your best skills that you’d like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them? I hope that my experience in advocacy, event planning, and collaborative group work can help build an inclusive and supportive campus environment for graduate students.

Official Title: Brantford Representative
Email: jantwi@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why?
My Parents, J.kTano, and AmaFinwaa. They are the reason for my academic success. My parents did not get the opportunity to go to school but invested most of their time, resources and income in my education. My parents are the epitome of motivation, and the greatest source of inspiration for me and parents who would otherwise see illiteracy as a barrier to their children’s education.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?
My happiest moments are the time I spend with friends and family. I enjoy watching soccer and Nigerian Comedy.
What are some causes you care about?
Encouraging people to embrace the spirit of Utilitarianism. I believe in supporting activities that will help create a better society for all its members. I am always happy to see the underprivileged having the“we feeling” factor; the sense of belonging. This to me is an antidote to living fulfilled lives, peace, social and economic developments in our communities.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?
To get more experience in fair leadership and also work towards the completion of my M.A in Social Justice and Community Engagement.
What do you think are your best skills that you’d like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them?
To apply the knowledge acquired in Journalism, Public Relations, and marketing to increase GSA’s presence and foster greater participation among all graduate students’, to create a welcoming environment for addressing issues impacting graduate students’ in my Constituency. I will also help GSA organize results-oriented programs that will help build good rapport among all Graduate students’ in all Wilfrid Laurier University campuses. As a Brantford student, I will help GSA engage in some developmental projects in the Brantford Community as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility.

Official Title: Toronto Representative
Email: jtran@wlugsa.ca

Who is someone you admire, and why? My mother. She raised me as a single parent and has sacrificed a lot for me. She is my biggest supporter, and I can't thank her enough for a lifetime of love and support.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? When I'm not working or in school, I'm happiest out in the community volunteering. I'm currently involved in several organizations that provide awards and scholarships to high school students to encourage them to continue their post-secondary education.
What are some causes you care about? Having earned an Honours Bachelor of Science and being the only person in my family to study science, I'm extremely passionate about science outreach. I love teaching and helping children and youth build their skills and confidence in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? I would like to help increase student engagement and programming for Laurier Toronto students and community. There are some challenges with respect to student engagement that I believe are unique to Laurier Toronto students; for example, the campus only offers part-time programs and most students work full-time, and I look forward to trying to overcome these challenges and connect students together.
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them? Having previously been involved in many student groups in my undergraduate and professional, I have a lot of experience event planning, and I'm hoping I can leverage these skills to plan some fun events for Laurier Toronto MBA students. 

Official Title: Faculty of Arts Representative
Email: maucoin@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why?
I most admire my parents. They taught me the value of hard work and have supported me at every part of my academic and personal journeys. They have always pushed me to pursue my passions, regardless of what they have been over the years. 
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? I'm happiest socializing with friends and family, as well as volunteering. I also love doing anything that allows me to improve myself, whether it's reading a new book, blogging, or researching a topic I'm passionate about.
What are some causes you care about? I'm passionate about mental wellness as well as social justice for all. This year, I'm hoping to bring my passions for these causes to the GSA and collaborate with my fellow constituency representatives to tie my personal interests into larger initiatives that are important for all graduate students. 
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? In the next year, my goal is to graduate with my Masters degree in History and find a job in my field. 
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them? I would love to be able to use my communication skills and my willingness to collaborate to the GSA this year. I also love planning and executing projects, and I hope my creativity and organization will help launch some great initiatives this year. 

Official Title: Martin Luther University College Representative
Email: vrakic@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? Martin Luther King is somebody i deeply admire. The reason for this that we live in a place and time where in my opinion individuality has intertwined itself with arrogance and selfishness, but that he is a recent example of someone that sacrificed his own safety and security to challenge the status quo to better the lives of millions of people. His selflessness to a cause that was greater than himself in constant reminder and ideal that we as humans should live up to in order to create lasting purposeful change in a world that too often demonstrates and even promotes individual well being, even if its at the cost of others.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? Traveling, mountain biking, reading and spending time with good friends.
What are some causes you care about? Anything to do with the betterment of conditions of marginalized groups. I, myself, am an refugee from a war torn country and therefore I am big supporter of anti-war efforts and peace and conflict resolution groups as well.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? To create an event that helps facilitate the interaction and relationship between professors and their students. I was lucky enough to have made important connections with several professors during my time at Laurier, and I understand the significance it can play in making one feel to not only be part of a school, but a family that cares more about you that just your tuition fees.
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them? I think one of my greatest strengths is to facilitate groups, and hope to use that skill to help create healing spaces where grad students can come to de-stress and share their struggles with other grad students as well. 

Official Title: Lazaridis School of Business and Economics Representative
Email: zzhao@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? I admire Noam Chomsky for his continuous advocacy of human rights, passion in supporting freedom of speech, and dedication to the fields of linguistics, philosophy and cognitive science.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? Anything related to music – singing, dancing or simply listening to it. Reading about consciousness also gives me great pleasure.
What are some causes you care about? I care about open knowledge, because it enables us to independently strive for our better selves. Knowledge creation should be acknowledged, but knowledge itself should not be a privilege. I also care about freedom and human rights. The Earth is fundamentally everybody’s land. Categorizations like country or race are arbitrary concepts that aid our cognition. Thus, no one should be mistreated for those reasons.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? In the next year I hope to be able to defend my thesis proposal, support graduate students to make their time at Laurier more memorable, and a fun one - do front split (yay!)
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them? My work and study experiences in Asia, the Middle East and North America have equipped me with skills to connect with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. These skills will help me to establish effective communication with students and improve their experiences at Laurier.

 

Official Title: Executive Director & COO
Email: emenage@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? I admire my dad for this lifetime of commitment to community service.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? Watching live sports.
What are some causes you care about? I have volunteered in the past for Testicular Cancer Canada, and a variety of provincial election campaigns. I currently serve on the school councils for the locations where my children attend school, and I am passionate about education.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? I would like to plan a trip to somewhere my family has never been.

 

Official Title: Communications & Administrative Coordinator
Email: csalatas@wlugsa.ca
Who is someone you admire, and why? My dad for choosing to immigrate to a country where he didn't know anyone or the language and becoming an entrepreneur in hopes of creating a better life for himself.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? Learning or trying something new.
What are some causes you care about? I have contributed to the Walk for Alzheimer's in Oxford County ever since my great-mother was diagnosed with the disease. I have also been a micro-lender for entrepreneurs in developing countries for the past few years and have served on a committee fostering entrepreneurship for youth.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? To learn hand-lettering.

 

Official Title: Operations Manager, Veritas Café
Email: pmcmahon@wlugsa.ca
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? Beachcombing
What are some causes you care about? Social justice for all, food security, truth and reconciliation, ending unjust and illegal wars.
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year? To continue to be healthier in my personal life and to use the newly renovated Veritas Cafe to expand the GSA presence on campus. 
What do you think are your best skills that you'd like to bring to the GSA and how do you plan on using them?  I think my relationship building skills are going to help grow the Veritas brand.