2017-2018 GSA Vice-President Academic: Firouz Khodayari
"The Vice-President Academic is responsible for academic matters and affairs concerning graduate students" (GSA Bylaw and Policy, Section D: GSA Officers, GSA Bylaw, Section D.BYL.2.2.b).
I am a PhD candidate in Mining Engineering at the University of Alberta. I completed my undergraduate and master degrees in mining engineering and feasibility studies in Iran. After finishing my MSc, I started my professional career as a specialist in Mine Planning, and after one year I was promoted to serve as the head of the mine planning and optimization department in KMCE (one of the top three consulting engineering companies in Iran). This position helped me to improve my leadership skills in a new non-academic environment.
As an undergraduate student, I was active both in my departmental and university student associations at the Isfahan University of Technology. During my MSc, I worked for the Technology Development Center at Tarbiat Modares University which gave me the opportunity to experience academia’s collaboration with industry and the public sector. Since fall 2014, I have been a TA each semester in my department, and I am also a research assistant in the Mining Optimization Laboratory. Being part of many volunteer activities such as the GSA, Let’s Talk Science, Week of Welcome, and Heritage Festival with the U of A students has not only improved my teamwork skills but also given me the opportunity to be in touch with more students across campus. This is my second term serving as Vice-President Academic of the GSA. Working closely with other stakeholders at the University, I actively try to improve the academic and non-academic experiences of all graduate students at the University of Alberta.