GSA Executive Team 2020-2021

President:

Christopher Yendt, MEd Candidate

Hello! My name is Christopher Yendt and I am a Masters candidate in the Faculty of Education and the current President of your Graduate Student’s Association. During my time in graduate studies, I’ve had the privilege of serving the GSA in several capacities such as a Board Member, Committee Chair, VP Finance and Deputy President. Since 2019, I’ve served as your President, and over the last year, we have accomplished a lot! The GSA restructured its fees to respond to the Student Choice Initiative and saw one of the highest retention rates of any student association in Ontario. We launched two referenda that allow graduate students a say in campus programming and graduate access. Plus, we have started developing a new strategic plan, the first in GSA history. Today, I am asking for your vote so we can move forward, finalizing projects already underway while pursuing other innovative graduate opportunities. These include a home to call our own; dedicated graduate space on campus which could include: a café, larger lounge, meeting spaces, offices, and bookable event space. They also include a reorganized and restructured executive team that better reflects and models other graduate student associations across the province and country. As we look forward, we have an opportunity to create a GSA that is home for everyone and reflects our growing student population and the desires of membership. Together, I am confident we can turn that vision into reality. Please VOTE YES to Christopher Yendt, GSA President 2020-2021. Thank you.

Vice President, International:

Daislyn Vidal, MSc Applied Health Sciences

“And then I realized adventures are the best way to learn”-Unknown. I’m sure that this quote resonates with you, the international graduate students as it did with me. We took the risk to embark on an adventure just to learn. Being an international student myself, I know the highs and lows that we face while on this adventure. Most of us are far from home or the familiar and have stepped into this new environment to further our education and pursue our careers. Therefore, we’ve faced the struggles of making new friends and connections on and off campus, learning how to boost our academic performance and leadership skills, all while trying to deal with homesickness or other mental health issues like anxiety. Being an international graduate student and having faced some of these struggles myself, I Daislyn Vidal am running for the position of Vice President International of the Graduate Student Association. If elected, I am determined to help reduce some of these issues by hopefully, achieving these three goals: (1) to promote unity and connections between the international and domestic graduate cohort (2) to provide workshops and resources geared towards boosting the academic and leadership skills of students and (3) to be an advocate for and provide support for the mental well- being of international graduate students. If any of these goals resonate with you, vote for me Daislyn Vidal to be your next Vice President International of GSA to help you excel and be well during this adventure!

Vice President, Equity and External Affairs:

Mohammad Moinul Hassan, MBA-ISP

My name is Mohammad Moinul Hassan, and I am running to be your Vice President, Equity and External Affairs for Brock University Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) 2020-2021 Executive Election. Since last year, I’m working as a member of the Board of directors and Student Experience Committee at GSA. I was also a part of the organizing team of this year’s GSA Starlight Gala, which was a very successful event. Being on the board and committees allowed me the opportunity to be the eyes and ears of the association and empowered me to contribute in making large scale decisions. Through my involvement with the GSA, I have gain tremendous knowledge and experience which will allow me to better represent and advocate on your behalf externally.

If elected, I’ll develop advocacy strategies with external organizations to hire more graduate students from Brock University. I’ll try to bring improvements to the graduate students’ connections with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) at both provincial and national levels. I’ll also work for better liaison with Member of Parliaments (MPP), CUPE 4207, Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), Brock University Human Rights and Equity. Together, we can fight to uplift the graduate experience at Brock University. Ensure your voice is heard and let those in power know we are listening! I hope I can count on your vote on the 25th and 26th!  Feel free to contact me with any questions and concerns at mh18fe@brocku.ca  #UpliftBROCK

Vice President, Finance:

Upinder Singh, MSc Physics

Develop strong financial policies and procedures to bolster the Strategic Plan in the four key areas: Funding, Leadership, Communications, and Partnerships. I have worked closely with GSA Council to initiate a process to improve the governance and management system. I have already initiated my efforts to develop relationships among senior staff management, volunteers, officers, and committees. If elected, I will work to ensure GSA continues to operate on sound business management principles while preserving the graduate student culture and character. I strongly believe in expanding membership to foster the next generation of leaders.
Thank you for your support and vote!

Vice President, Communications:

Marina Casavecchia, MSc Biology

My mission in the VP Communications position is to enhance the educational experience and quality of life for all graduate students at Brock University. In the past year, I have volunteered for both the GSA Student Experience Committee and the HRE, and I hope to continue this outreach with a broader scope in the VP Communications position. Following my participation in the Graduate Student Mental Health Summit, I was made even more aware of how isolating the graduate experience can be. A key area for improvement appears to be the absence of a comprehensive strategy for advertising news and events to graduate students by various Brock organizations, including the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Student Wellness and Accessibility Center and Human Rights and Equity. I aim to facilitate improved communication on behalf of the GSA and develop a simplified dissemination strategy that not only informs students of pertinent information, but also engages student interest in Brock events.

Vice President, Internal:

Hannah Young, MSc Kinesiology

My name is Hannah Young, and I am finishing my first year at Brock as a Masters of Science in Kinesiology student. During my undergrad in British Columbia, I became highly involved in student affairs – I presented at three national leadership conferences and served in many student leadership roles, eventually being hired as a full-time Student Engagement & Transitions Coordinator upon graduation. My event planning experience ranges from small-scale workshops to large-scale Orientation events for thousands of students. I am a passionate advocate of student health and wellness and want to apply my knowledge and skills to improve the graduate student experience at Brock.
Graduate school can take a toll on student health and wellness, which is why I want to advocate for more events and resources focused on wellness. I believe the best way to advocate for students is by creating dialogue. I hope to gather information from students through polls, surveys, and conversations to best serve the needs of our community. I intend on using a collaborative approach and work with different campus groups to find partnerships and resources that will benefit graduate students.
From orientation to convocation and everything in between, our GSA can help students achieve social, physical and mental wellness through events, information sharing, and allocation of resources. I want to apply my previous experience of advocating for students, organizing events, and public speaking to serve you as the Vice President Internal, while building a better graduate experience at Brock.

Senate Representative:

Adil Naik, MBA

I, Adil Naik, am a CPA-MBA candidate at the Goodman School of Business.  My work history includes credit analysis at S&P Ratings and public accounting and volunteering at student-run organizations. With respect to the GSA, it is hard for graduate students to understand its mission and efforts, due to smaller size of the student body, limited time and different priorities of graduate students alongside the limitations of the association and its activities.  It is noteworthy that relative to undergraduate students, the graduate student body is richer in diversity.  That implies highly fragmented body with fewer similarities. Throughout my work experience, I always empathized with the customers while keeping employer interests and boundaries in mind.  Every person is unique and is seeking something different, and systems constantly fail at catering to unique needs in their efforts to maximize profit/outreach.  Personally, I have always believed in win-win situations.  If one does good, they are always recognized and rewarded.  This has always been the case for me, fortunately, aside from the satisfaction received from helping people.

Through the position of Senator, I want to reach out to as many students as possible, understand their different needs, empathize with their problems and use creativity to come up with realistic solutions within GSA limitations for providing awareness and support.  I endeavor to aggressively reach out to every small voice and represent it on the Board, with your help, I will be able to do so.  Help me hear you.