GSAED General elections 2024!

Here, we present the diverse array of candidates vying for your vote to lead our student body. From impassioned advocates for change to seasoned leaders with a track record of service, our candidates bring a wealth of perspectives and ideas to the table.

Take a moment to explore their profiles, platforms, and visions for the future. Your vote has the power to shape the direction of our campus community, so dive in and get to know the individuals who aspire to represent you.

The Campaign Period will last from March 19 to April 8th followed by voting.

Voting will take place from April 9 to 11 inclusive.

You will receive your username and password and the link to vote in your uOttawa email account close to the voting date.

Meet the Candidates

Governance Commissioner

Marc Biglary

I am Marc Biglary, a doctoral student in political science at the University of Ottawa, deeply committed to advancing education and societal engagement. Serving as Governance Commissioner at the GSAED has been a privilege, where I’ve honed skills in student advocacy, communication, and leadership.

Within the Governance & Oversight Committee, I led a comprehensive review of the GSAÉD’s bylaws and prioritized defining the student-supervisor relationship with the University’s central administration, thereby enhancing our organization’s integrity. Additionally, I played a vital role in replanning Café Nostalgica’s opening to better serve the student community.

I’m now venturing into the Professional Development Program (PDP) Committee, focusing on analyzing the job market for graduate students, career development strategies, and digital platform utilization, reflecting my dedication to personal and professional growth.

As a candidate for Governance Commissioner, I’m driven by a commitment to student welfare. If re-elected, I’ll prioritize initiatives to enhance accessibility, mental health, and community cohesion. Together, we can ensure a successful year ahead for GSAÉD and all students.

Student life and equity commissioner

Dieudonné Stéphane Akaba

My name is Stéphane Akaba. I am a PhD student in International Relations, Security Studies at the University of Ottawa.

I am running in this election for the position of Student Life and Equity Commissioner. In this mandate, I will focus on 5 main objectives:

  • I will continue to work with Central Administration to build the student-supervisor relationship framework to provide key resources to ensure students success.
  • I will continue my work on the Professional Development Program working group for PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows.
  • I will represent and defend all minorities rights.
  • I will work on campus safety and prevention on gender-based violence. Every student should feel safe while attending Ottawa university.
  • I will develop a better liaison framework with the Central Administration, Ombudsman’s office, the student rights centre, and the human rights office.

I am counting on your vote! Thank you!

Nicholas Jeremy Dallaire

Hello! I’m Nicholas Dallaire, a first year Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at uOttawa. Having completed both my masters and bachelors at uOttawa, I have participated in and led numerous student associations. As Vice President of the graduate physics department l have organized or co-organized; workshops, fundraisers, career panels, merch sales, the annual BBQ and holiday party. As a member of the bargaining and strike committee in CUPE 2626 and a uOttawa student, I believe in our rights as students and I fight to retain, enforce and improve them during bargaining. As a recurring TA and Proctor, I know the struggles and the lack of support from uOttawa faculty.

I’m applying to be GSAÉD’s newest Student Life and Equity Commissioner because I want to see change and improvement in services such as the much needed Food Bank, resource centers and as a member of the LGBTQ comunity, better student representation. In the coming years, if I am to be elected, I want to see better spaces and events that give students chances to voice their concerns and talk to others facing similar situations; but also events that are fun, casual, uplifting and educational. Whether that be; learning about the cultures, lifestyles or challenges that people live in or learning a new creative hobby or skill.

In all, I want to see a more active sense of community, to help others with their needs so they can finish their education without added stress and finally, I want uOttawa to care about the community they’ve established.

University affairs commissioner

Steven Yannick Adekambi

Hello! My name is Steven ADEKAMBI, I am an international student from Benin, I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Education opt teaching and learning at the University of Ottawa.

I’m a social entrepreneur and founder of AGES, a consulting agency that offers educational and career development services to young students and professionals. I am also Director of Civic Education at the NGO New Type of Citizens.

I am applying for the position of University Affairs Commissioner to contribute to the academic, professional, and personal development of graduate students at the University of Ottawa. The graduate studies represent a very sensitive period in one’s life as it usually comes along with many responsibilities on the academic, professional, social, and family levels. Graduate students, therefore, need to receive the appropriate support and accompaniment that will help them navigate, balance, and succeed in this juggling period of their lives. My professional endeavors and my commitment to community service are great assets in fulfilling this responsibility once elected.

My duties will include but not only:

  • To represent and defend the rights and interests of graduate students before the various bodies of the University of Ottawa and any other organization where it is required.
  • In collaboration with other organizational leaders and partners, improve the various support and guidance system and services for the graduate student population at U Ottawa.
  • Promote intermingling among graduate students and community building through various activities and initiatives in collaboration with the students and various stakeholders of the community.
  • Contribute to improve the branding and image of our organization and consolidate the achievements of previous Commissioners in this position.

Senate – Humanities

Alexandre Gauthier

Alexandre Gauthier has been a doctoral student in French literature for several years at the University of Ottawa. His thesis focuses on the relationship between the Catholic imagination and dramatic writing in French Canada after the Quiet Revolution and on the way this imaginary contributes to the construction of male characters. A SSHRC recipient, he is also a part-time professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Ottawa, the treasurer of the Société québécoise d’études théâtrales and a professional actor. He holds a master’s degree in classical acting from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London (2017), and he has performed in about thirty shows in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

Since Alexandre began his graduate studies in 2007, he has been involved with his departmental association, contributing to the founding of the Graduate Student Association of the French Department. He also held the position of internal commissioner of the GSAÉD in 2009-2010. More recently, he has been involved in various GSAÉD committees in addition to representing the French department on the board of directors. Elected as representative of the humanities sector in the University Senate in 2023, Alexandre has taken a particular interest in issues relating to bilingualism and “la Francophonie” on campus, as well as issues relating specifically to research and graduate studies in the arts and social sciences and humanities. He wishes to be reelected and continue to be a strong voice for students in the Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences, Common Law, Civil Law, Education and Telfer School of Management, and to actively contribute to the establishment of clear, effective, and respectful policies.

Senate – Sciences

Antoine Labbé

My name is Antoine Labbé, and I am running for the office of Senator for the Faculty of Science in the upcoming GSAÉD General Election. I have been a student at the University of Ottawa since I started my undergraduate degree in 2018, and I am currently pursuing my PhD in Physics. Since joining the university, I have represented and been part of several organizations within the university. Such examples are having held the positions of treasurer and more recently president of the Physics Graduate Students’ Association, having been an elected member of the Faculty of Science council and having competed in the university’s intramural leagues.

As a senator, my primary goal will be to ensure that the voice and concerns of the graduate students are heard. Specifically, I aim to bring the mental health issues we face to the forefront and to make members of the Senate and the university aware of the financial challenges we also face as graduate students. For these reasons and in awareness of my goals, I invite you to vote for me from April 9th to April 11th , 2024.

Charles Russell Thickstun

Charles is a doctoral candidate in epidemiology conducting research on the spatial epidemiology of malaria and currently seeking re-election as the Graduate Sciences Representative to the University of Ottawa Senate.

Over the past three years on the Senate, Charles has been a vocal advocate against funding cuts to graduate programs, contributed substantially to the recent overhaul of the University of Ottawa Academic Regulations, and has consistently ensured that the student experience is centered in discussions at the Senate Council on Graduate Studies and the Executive Committee of the Senate.

If returned to his position, Charles hopes to continue his work advocating for positive changes to academic policy and campaigning for student interests at uOttawa.

Master Business Administration

Kamran Karim

I’m Kamran Karim, a proud student at the Telfer School of Management where I am currently pursuing my Professional MBA. As a technology project leader with extensive experience in leadership, management, and negotiation, I believe I possess the skills necessary to serve effectively as a member of the GSAÉD Board of Directors.

Throughout my career, I have been committed to promoting employee well-being and sustainable practices in the workplace. In fact, I am a self-proclaimed ambassador for these causes, advocating for them both within my organization and beyond. Now, I want to take my passion for supporting others and apply it to the role of Director, GSAÉD at University of Ottawa.

If elected, I plan to prioritize open communication between the Board and Telfer, ensuring that every voice is heard and considered when making important decisions. I also aim to advocate for policies that promote student well-being and support sustainable practices within the Association. My goal is to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to succeed.

In addition, I hope to leverage my expertise in leadership and negotiation to help drive positive change within the Association. This includes working collaboratively with other members of the Board to identify opportunities for improvement and develop effective solutions that benefit all students.

Overall, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my time, energy, and expertise to the GSAÉD as a Director. With a commitment to honesty, integrity, and collaboration, I am confident that together we can achieve great things and create a vibrant community that supports the success of all graduate students.

Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics

Louis Frank

I am an MA student in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics researching Arctic shipping, major infrastructure and Indigenous governance. In my personal life and as a researcher, I am passionate about better understanding and addressing the economic and social aspects of the Global Climate Crisis. Funding availability for students and high cost of living in Ottawa are very important issues for me. As well as promoting the interests of graduate students, as representative to the GSAÉD board I will work hard to make our department and university more sustainable and inclusive.

School of Information Studies (AÉSISSA)

Michael Wells

Hello everyone! My name is Michael, and I am happy to announce my candidacy for the Information Studies program seat on the Graduate Student Association (GSAED). As a second-year Master of Information Studies student pursuing my goal of becoming a librarian, I am deeply committed to enhancing the student experience and fostering a culture of well-being within our community.

Throughout my time as a student, I have seen the need for more resources for resources, and my decision to run for this position stems from my desire to amplify student voices and address the issues that matter most. One such issue is student wellness. Mental health and overall well-being are paramount for academic success and personal fulfillment. Wellness goes beyond just mental health; it includes financial wellness and social wellness. We must prioritize resources and initiatives that support the holistic wellness of our student body.

My involvement with AESISSA, our program’s student association, has given me valuable insights into the challenges students face and the opportunities for positive change. If elected, I will leverage this experience to advocate tirelessly for policies and programs that promote student wellness and foster a supportive environment for all.

I am committed to transparency, accessibility, and inclusivity in governance. Your concerns will be my top priority, and I will work diligently to represent the diverse interests of our department. Together, let’s build a stronger, more vibrant graduate community where every student can thrive.

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Daniel Ruiz Quintero

With over 15 years of experience as a filmmaker and film and television editor, I have become proficient in conducting thorough research for audiovisual projects in Latin America. In 2021, I decided to enhance my research skills in Cultural Studies by pursuing a master’s degree in an interdisciplinary program at the University of Guelph. I continue developing my skills by following a Ph.D. program in Spanish Program at the University of Ottawa.

I am drawn to this position for a couple of compelling reasons. Firstly, I am eager to foster connections among my fellow graduate students and across various departments within the university. I aim to facilitate informal gatherings and meaningful interactions among students from diverse disciplines, believing strongly that such engagement can significantly enhance our collective well-being and bolster our research endeavors. Secondly, I aspire to serve as a vital link between my Spanish graduate cohort and the Graduate Student Association (GSA), ensuring that my peers remain well-informed about pertinent institutional matters. Having previously served as the student representative within the department, I am committed to sustaining my contribution to these endeavors beyond my formal duties, driven by a genuine desire to support and empower my academic community.

School of Public and International Affairs

Victoria King

Victoria recently graduated from the University of Ottawa, where she earned a BSocSci (Hons) in Anthropology with a minor in Civil Law. Currently pursuing her Masters in a related field, Victoria is deeply committed to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is passionate about contributing to a more sustainable and equitable world. She has volunteered over 600 hours for various initiatives supporting human rights and environmental sustainability and founded Environtastic, an official club at the University of Ottawa promoting environmental awareness and sustainability. Victoria enjoys baking, gardening, and learning new skills, but her core passion is sustainable development.

James Khyata

James Khayata is a dedicated graduate student currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Affairs at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). With a background in legal studies and extensive experience in policy analysis and advocacy, James is passionate about making a positive impact on global human rights issues.

James’s journey towards international affairs began during his undergraduate studies, where he specialized in business law. His career path took him through various roles, including policy analysis in government departments and advocacy work at an indigenous non-profit organization focused on human rights. Through these experiences, James developed a deep commitment to advocating for underrepresented groups, including indigenous communities, refugees, and marginalized individuals.

Driven by his passion for advocacy and desire to effect change on an international level, James decided to pursue a Master’s degree in International Affairs. His involvement in volunteer activities, such as mentoring youth, and advocating for restorative justice, demonstrates his dedication to serving others and making a difference in their lives.

As a candidate for departmental representative for GSPIA within the graduate student association, James aims to enhance communication and transparency by establishing regular channels of communication between the board and GSPIA. He plans to advocate for student needs by actively seeking feedback and representing the interests of graduate students in board discussions and decision-making processes.

Furthermore, James is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives within the association and his department, fostering collaboration with other departments, and providing support services for students facing challenges. Through his leadership and dedication, James strives to create a supportive and inclusive environment where every graduate student feels heard, valued, and empowered to succeed.

School of Rehabilitation Sciences (RSSA)

Javier Armando Porras Gil

A fervent advocate for the integration of building communities, research, and clinical practice, Javier A. Porras Gil, a master’s in health science, physiotherapy graduate student at the University of Ottawa, is on a mission to bridge the gap between academia and practice/healthcare. With a keen interest in how evidence-based research can enhance patient care, Javier is dedicated to fostering a collaborative environment where graduate students from diverse disciplines can connect and share insights.

He understands that progress in science is accelerated when researchers and clinicians work hand-in-hand. As a student in a clinical master’s program with friends in many domains of graduate studies, he sees the need to connect with different researchers that can inform his and his colleagues’ future practice directly or even indirectly.

Javier will take on the initiative to create a forum for knowledge exchange if nominated to the GASÉD. This platform will aim to encourage interprofessional dialogue and cooperation, where the forefront of scientific inquiry meets the cutting edge of clinical application. By doing so, Javier envisions a future where the boundaries between research and practice are seamlessly blended, leading to more innovative and effective healthcare solutions. It will be a space where students can challenge the status quo, push the envelope of current knowledge, contribute to the advancement of science at an unprecedented pace, and do it all within the walls of their university so that when they enter practice, they have the skills to connect with various professions.

Faculty of Law

Parikshit S Chauhan

My name is Parikshit Chauhan. I am a Lawyer by profession (registered with the Bar Council of India), with 2 years of experience in litigation and advocacy. Currently, I am pursuing my Master of Laws (LL.M.) at the Faculty of Law, uOttawa. I have an intellectual inclination towards International Relations and Geopolitics. Outside the scholastic arena, I am a former National level athlete with an 8-year competitive career in Sports Climbing, Basketball, and Athletics.

My motivation to be a Board Member (Faculty of Law) pivots around representation, inclusivity and advocacy. I firmly believe that effective representation and communication is essential in shaping an environment that fosters growth and excellence. If elected, I am committed to leveraging my experiences to serve the student body diligently.

My primary goal for the coming year is to prioritize initiatives aimed at enhancing academic support services, promoting diversity and inclusion, and facilitating professional development opportunities for the law students. Exorbitantly high tuition fees (which is only increasing each year), limited opportunities for scholarships and bursaries, and minimal academic and professional development opportunities are some of the concerns I aim to address. Further, I aim to contribute to the creation of an inclusive and more integrated academic community where we can all thrive and succeed.

I am honored to present my candidacy for the position. I look forward to the opportunity to serve my fellow students and work collaboratively towards the advancement of our shared goals and aspirations.

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Olivia Steiner

Hi my name is Olivia and I am a first year MASc student. I am designated under the faculty of chemical and biological engineering but my degree is actually in biomedical engineering and my background is in biochemistry and Life Sciences. I am applying to GSAÉD to become involved in my graduate student community and work with those who want to make change and improve the quality of grad studies at UOttawa. If I am elected, I hope to represent the interest of the grad students in my faculty to the best of my abilities.

International Development and Globalization

Charles Jean Clark Marc

Bachelor’s degree in Legal Sciences from the Faculty of Law and Economics in Port-au-Prince, Master’s degree in Public Administration from the École Nationale d’Administration et de Politiques Publiques (ENAPP), Master’s degree in Law, Management and Economics from the Université de Nantes, graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, former technical advisor to the Comité Interministériel des Droits de la Personne en Haïti (CIDP) for the Government of Haiti, lecturer on leadership on numerous occasions, representative of francophone students at the International Development Students Association (GDVM) at the University of Ottawa, focal point of the association at the Action Committee of the University of Ottawa Union (SCFP-CUPE 2626), I am very interested by the position of departmental representative for two fundamental reasons: Primarily, to represent my department validly and with dignity and to take its grievances to the highest level; secondarily, to share my knowledge, my savoir-être and my know-how, in a perspective of mutual learning, for the success of the entire GSAED team. Thank you for your confidence in your humble servant.

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Mohammad Savari

Mohammad Savari is a third-year Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at the University of Ottawa. After completing his undergraduate studies in electrical engineering at the Arak University of Technology, he was rewarded with a DAAD scholarship, allowing him to pursue a direct Ph.D. in robotics and automation. Mohammad showcased his academic and research success, along with his leadership skills, while he was an undergraduate, as president of the Performance Art Club, and an active member of the Electrical Engineering Club.

As the current departmental representative, Mohammad is running for re-election to advocate for the mechanical engineering students and guarantee their voices and requests are heard on the GSAED board. His top priority is to build a cooperative and supportive environment for all mechanical students to reach their utmost capacity in their studies and to work with other student associations to ensure students’ rights are respected. Mohammad’s proven leadership skills, academic achievements, and research contributions make him the ideal candidate to represent the interests of the mechanical engineering community.

Institute of the Environment

Jay Batu

Hello! My name is Jay Batu. I’m a master’s student in Environmental Sustainability at the University of Ottawa Institute of Environment. I’m putting my name forward for the open departmental representative position on the GSAÉD board. I hope that I can earn your vote to advocate on behalf of both the master’s/PHD programs, and ensure we have a strong voice at the table advocating for environmental sustainability students. This position also entails serving on the uOttawa Campus Sustainability Committee (SUSCOM) to help shape the University’s sustainability strategy.

I have previously held an elected student position at uOttawa, serving as the VP Equity & Sustainability for the Economics Students Association in 2020-2021. I have also previously volunteered as a board member of the Downtown Brockville Business Improvement Association, and have been an executive member of the LGTIRL NDP electoral district association (EDA) for five years. Most recently, I was elected Vice President of the EDA, and am maintaining my position as Sustainability Officer.

Through these roles, I’ve developed strong communication and planning skills which are essential for effective collaboration on boards. My previous experience in student leadership has taught me how to listen to the needs and concerns of my fellow students, and translate those conversations into meaningful action.

One project in particular that I hope to help spearhead is the formation of an official refurbishment plan for 1 Stewart that will see our home building renovated to be greener, more energy efficient, and more aesthetically pleasing. This high-profile area building should be a source of pride for our program, for the incredible organizations we share this space with (SPI and Ecojustice), and for the University as a whole.

I am excited to represent your interests and work to create a more sustainable campus and academic institution that serves the needs of current and future students.

Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies

Camille Emmanuelle Cottais

My name is Camille Cottais and I have been a master’s student in feminist and gender studies since last September. However, I am studying at the University of Ottawa since 2019, since I completed my bachelor’s degree in political science here. I am running to represent the small community of feminist and gender studies students on the GSAED Board of Directors.

I am very familiar with the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies and the programs and services it offers, as well as the union and association scene on campus. In particular, I was briefly president of the feminist and gender studies undergraduate students’ association, and I have just started as Francophone Coordinator for the graduate students’ association, again in feminist and gender studies.

As an international and francophone student, I am particularly committed to defending their rights on campus. My priorities will therefore be inclusion and accessibility, in terms of francophonie and bilingualism, the rights of people with disabilities, international students and other minorities.

Institute of Public Health and Epidemiology

Sumali Mehta

My name is Sumali Mehta and I am currently in the second year of the MSc in Epidemiology program. As the Vice President of the SEPHGSA this past year, I had the opportunity to develop a strong understanding of how the SEPH student community is impacted by other graduate departments and faculty-level decisions and processes, and I would like to continue to work towards strengthening the SEPH student voice in faculty affairs, and extend my role to identify and facilitate conversations between SEPH and the broader graduate student network at uOttawa.

The GSAED Board Member position will allow me to be able to successfully create stronger bridges between students within the SEPH department, and indirectly between all graduate students departments to the department, which ultimately allow me to create a smoother environment within the graduate student community at SEPH. As this position requires being able to represent the interest of SEPH students, I hope to bring my previous experiences as Vice President Equity in my undergraduate residence council, where I represented my residence at higher level residence council meetings, to aid, along with my experience as Co-President of Kitchen on a Mission – Montreal.

Most of all, through this position, I am hopeful to work with team to create as great of an environment possible for students and the department at SEPH and strengthen my leadership skills in the process. Through my contributions, I ultimately hope to strengthen the SEPH and GSAED student communities with a welcoming, comfortable, and accessible environment for all.