About the GSA

GSA Senator 2020-2021

Marla Palakkamanil

"The Senator is the GSA's representative to the University of Alberta Senate" (GSA Bylaw and Policy, Section D: GSA Officers, GSA Bylaw, Section D.BYL.3.3.b).

E-Mail: gsa.senator@ualberta.ca



Hi everyone! I am Marla Palakkamanil. Born and raised in Edmonton, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at the University of Alberta. As a clinical pharmacist, I developed a special interest in Canada’s opioid crisis, a complex health and social issue that requires evidence-based research to inform policymakers about opioid drug use and its impacts. Uniquely positioned as a healthcare professional to promote health and disease prevention, my desire to effect change led me to pursue my master’s degree in public health, and now my PhD, specializing in epidemiology. Apart from academics, I am a professional dancer with 20+ years of training in the classical Indian dance form, Kathak. Over the years, I have trained and instructed over 150 students, and taken part in over 200 performances in cities across Canada, United States, and India. This dedication to the cultural arts has been an integral part of my identity from since I can remember. I also enjoy running, playing sports, and listening to different genres of music.


I served a 2-year term as a board member of the GSA Appeals and Complaints Board. In my position, I was responsible for hearing and deciding appeals of decisions and complaints as allowed by Section 94(3) of the Post-Secondary Learning Act. 

This is my first term as Senator at the GSA.