Complete nomination packages are received by the GSA office and verified by the GSA Chief Returning Officer (GSA CRO) prior to being listed on the GSA website. Candidates are then invited to submit their photo and bio for publishing on this website. 

Nomination packages were to be submitted in advance of the deadline of Tuesday, 14 February 2023, at 12:00 PM (MST).

Calling All Grad Students!

graphic image of a person at a podium

The 2023 GSA General Election Forum took place on Monday, 27 February. A recording can be found here.

Candidates for President

Bishoi Aziz


Bishoi was born in Egypt, where he obtained his MD degree in 2013. Following graduation, he started his residency training there in gastroenterology and hepatology. During the residency, he held the position of chief resident. As a chief resident, Bishoi advocated for his colleagues of physicians and nurses to obtain for them higher quality protective equipment, so they can work in a safe environment.

After that, Bishoi immigrated to Canada and started his clinical MSc studies at the division of gastroenterology at the University of Alberta in Dr. Andrew Mason’s lab. His research focused on studying autoimmune diseases of the gastrointestinal and hepatic systems. He graduated in 2021 and started working as a research coordinator with Dr. Eytan Wine at the division of pediatric gastroenterology at the University of Alberta. Working with Dr. Wine encouraged Bishoi to take the initiative and start his own Ph.D. project in winter 2022. He became passionate about using artificial intelligence (AI) to advance medical technologies. Bishoi’s project studies developing the next generation of smart colonoscopies that can identify autoimmune inflammatory lesions in the colonoscopy videos of kids’ colons and help the treating physician in the management decision-making process. AI is the coming technology revolution, and in his appreciation, it needs to be directed early to the welfare of mankind.

In his free time, Bishoi enjoys percussion on the Latin American drum, Cajón. He is also fond of diving especially in tropical seas where he enjoys playing around the colorful reefs and fish schools. He holds a diving license that permits him to dive in restricted national parks around the world.


Bishoi has a profound excitement about education and academia that started from his medical school years. He believes that students have a lot to offer to advance the academic experience when collaborate with the University staff members. During his MD years, he was the leader of the Standing Committee of Medical Education (SCOME) of the Egyptian Medical Students Association (EMSA) branch in Assiut University, Egypt. EMSA represented the Egyptian medical students in the World Health Organization (WHO). He and his team cooperated with the departments' heads of different medicine departments to start a shadowing program for the medical students, a program that wasn’t available before in his school. They had a vision to provide more hands-on training opportunities for medical students outside the classic teaching classes and rotations. Their insight was that facing real-life challenges early on will consolidate the learning process and enhance the medical students’ performance in the future. It was a joy and pride source for Bishoi when he had students shadowing with him a few years later when he became a resident in the teaching hospital of his home school, Assiut University.

 As a Ph.D. student at the University of Alberta, Bishoi represented the graduate students as the GSA VP Academic. He was involved actively in the discussions and debates of the different topics pertinent to academia and continued to advocate actively on behalf of the graduate students. His main principal during those discussions was to offer a robust and supportive academic realm for students to prosper. This gave him a deep understanding of the challenges that face graduate students at UofA. Bishoi’s priorities during his presidency term will be:

  1. Combating tuition hikes and their repercussions: Bishoi will ensure to obtain proper consultation process to all the graduate students’ population not only the GSA councilors to direct his advocacy discussions. He will continue also working on projects that aim to offset the tuition hikes impacts including the guaranteed Ph.D. minimum funding package and the redefinition of MSc degree duration for the purpose of tuition determination.
  2. Addressing the food insecurity among graduate students: Bishoi plans to strike a survey to understand the food needs and the financial situation of the graduate students. He will also work actively on supporting the campus foodbank.
  3. Supporting indigenization: Bishoi will work actively with the Indigenous Graduate Students’ Association and the Vice-Provost Indigenous Programming and Research office to inform the GSA support for indigenous graduate students.
  4. EDI: Bishoi will work on devising a long-term GSA EDI plan to inform a sustainable advocacy effort. This will entail a robust consultation with the various EDI-seeking groups on campus.
  5. Supporting international students: Bishoi will actively advocate for obtaining an immigration stream for international students to obtain a more stable residence status for the graduate students.

 It is difficult to get projects finalized during one term, therefore Bishoi is passionate to continue his advocacy activity through a second term as a Directly Elected Officer as a GSA President to continue his hard work supporting graduate students.

Candidates for Vice-President Academic

Aizle Bernardo

I am Aizle Bernardo and I am running for the position of VP Academic. I would like to acknowledge that I am a settler on Treaty 6 Territory as I immigrated to Canada from the Philippines. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Honors Psychology at the U of A wherein I received the Students' Union Award for Global Connection. Inspired from my diverse experiences, I focused my undergraduate thesis on early childhood resilience and adverse childhood experiences. Currently, I am a first year student in the Master of Library and Information Studies program. I am a recipient of the Alberta Graduate Excellence Award and the Robert & Gretchen Brundin Scholarship in Library & Information Studies.

My dedication to services that focus on overall student life and success comes from the awareness that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be a student while juggling multiple other roles. I know that there is a huge emphasis placed on our academic life & performance but we also want to thrive in the other aspects of our lives. I stand here as an advocate for all students within the university community. I am well-versed in university policies & procedures. I am not here to make any grand promises, but what I can promise is that I will work hard, genuinely listen, and act in the best interest of the students. My experiences within the U of A is complemented by my community experiences within the greater Edmonton area. Currently, I am part of the Student Advisory Committee for Advancing Racial Justice, and the Student Services - Service Management Committee. My various academic, employment, & community experiences focus on people and community service. If you would like to find out more about my leadership and community experiences please click here.


Rija Kamran

I am a PhD student in Rehabilitation Medicine and am running to be the next VP Academic for Graduate Students’ Association. I was born in Pakistan where I got my Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree in 2019. After graduation I started working in Neurological rehabilitation, working with people who have chronic neurological conditions like stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis among others. Throughout my career, I have been committed to advocating for student and medical professionals' rights and promoting positive change.

I moved to Canada in early 2021 to pursue my graduate studies and currently work with people who have Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in community-based participatory research, that keeps community and people at the center of decision making. During the past two years, I have served as a councillor for the International Students’ Association (ISA) at the University of Alberta and as the department representative for the Rehabilitation Medicine Students’ Association (RMSA). In addition to that, I served on the Dean’s selection committee and awards committee in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. This work has allowed me to connect with graduate students across different faculties and to advocate for them. 

If elected as your VP Academic, I plan to advocate for tuition hikes, guaranteed minimum funding for graduate students and most importantly transparency and accountability.  I am committed to ensuring that the GSA is transparent and accountable to graduate students. I will work to establish regular communication channels with graduate students to keep them informed about GSA activities and initiatives, and to solicit their input and feedback on key issues affecting graduate students.

Additionally, I will work to ensure that graduate students have a meaningful voice in shaping the strategic directions of the GSA for the upcoming year. To learn more about me and my agenda, please connect with me on LinkedIn

Divya Maisuriya

divya.jpgHELLO! NAMASTE!

People called me DIVYA MAISURIYA and know me as a passionate environmental engineer. I was born and brought up in INDIA and landed in Canada this fall of 2022 to extend my educational degree to a Master's level in Environmental Engineering Field. I have nominated myself for VP-ACADEMIC 2023-2024 to support graduate students of the University of Alberta. I took this opportunity as my pleasure to serve the students as I know how difficult it is to get into the shape of the new Education system and excel in your academics when almost all of us are international students.

I previously established the Nature Club at UPL University, India for delivering social and environmental services by educating students, people, and industries.

I have been honored with the Certifications such as Cleaner Production Assessor 5S and awards such as “Student of the Year”, “Academic Excellence”, Cash awards for peer learning Initiative Program, Silver Award for 5S by QCFI, “ECOFREAK” and many more.

All I received is due to empathizing with the feeling of the one with whom I am associated & doing such a thing gives me gratification for contributing something to the one who deserves it.

TECHNICAL BACKGROUND: I worked with the industries after completing my Bachelor's degree and have done many projects with global industries and have developed a broad-ranging knowledge of Environment, Chemicals, Sustainability, Health Safety, Utility, Commissioning- Design-operation-Process of Industrial Plants, and Community Services.

I highly recommend considering my LinkedIn profile as a resource to better understand my professional profile, my achievements and much more you want to know -

I love to connect with many students and professionals for future engagements and can be reached at - Here is my Instagram ID - divya_maisuriya_99 feel free to connect with me.

Additionally, I would like to ask for a vote as “I NEED YOUR SUPPORT TO SUPPORT YOU”

If you select me as your VP of ACADEMIC I would like to share a brief of my focus work on is the Growth in resources for Funding and Scholarships for Phd and MSC students and Developing Funding and scholarships, especially for MEng, Platforms for students to get an association with real-world Technologies, “Education to Success”, Tuition fees Hike, Course Structure, Respect and Awareness of Students Rights with their academics, Cases associated with Academics. Moreover, if you have additional concerns feel free to contact me.

Thank you!

Go to the GSA website or emails to vote for your choice of candidate. Don’t forget to vote!

Candidates for Vice-President External

Hamid Hassani

hamid-hassani.jpegHamid Hassani is a dedicated and accomplished individual with a proven leadership record and a successful track record. During his undergraduate studies, he served as the Head of the Student Astronomical Society and was a member of the Society of Physics Students. Their hard work and dedication paid off when the society was elected as the best student society in both research and outreach activities.

As a Ph.D. student of Physics at the University of Alberta, Hamid studies the formation of massive stars in the local universe and how dust grains impact the evolution of galaxies. With his passion for scientific research, astronomy and the James Webb Space Telescope, he has authored a paper titled "PHANGS-JWST First Results: The 21μm Compact Source Population," showcasing his expertise in the field. Read more about his discoveries at  the NASA webpage:

Additionally, Hamdi was the proud recipient of the Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship, a prestigious award that recognizes exceptional academic achievement.

In addition to his academic achievements, Hamid is a current board member and GSA Nominating Committee member with firsthand knowledge of the issues faced by graduate students. He is excited to run for the Vice President External position at the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) of the University of Alberta and has outlined three top priorities.

First, as a graduate student, Hamid understands the challenges of pursuing higher education while facing financial constraints. He is concerned about the University of Alberta's plan to increase tuition fees for domestic and international students by 5.5% and 6.5%, respectively, effective in 2023/2024. As VP External candidate, he will work to advocate for more government and external funding to mitigate the impact of these tuition hikes on graduate students.

Second, Hamid is dedicated to working with his fellow GSA executives to obtain more funding and support for the Campus Food Bank, a critical service for graduate students, especially for those who represent 60% of its users. Recent reports indicate that the usage of the Campus Food Bank has doubled from 2021 to 2022, underscoring the need for more fundraising efforts to sustain this vital resource.

Lastly, Hamid fully supports the efforts made by the current GSA executives to lead the Alberta Graduate Provincial Advocacy Council and prepare a submission for a dedicated immigration stream for graduate students in Alberta. He will work to raise awareness and garner more support for this important cause, which is to facilitate the path to permanent residency for international graduate students.

With his leadership experience, passion for research in astronomy, and dedication to advocacy, Hamid is a candidate who truly stands out. If elected as Vice President External, he will undoubtedly be a champion for graduate students and work tirelessly to ensure that their needs are met.

Saad Arslan Iqbal

Educational and Professional Background

I am a Pakistani international student, a guest researcher on Indigenous lands pursuing a Master of Educational Policy Studies in the Faculty of Education, U of A. Pursuing Bachelor and Master of Architecture degrees, my research has been around nature and its health and wellbeing aspects particularly the healing aspects of nature in healthcare environments.

Before coming to Canada, I have worked as an academic for over seven years teaching undergraduate students in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. During this time, I have also worked as a Quality Coordinator for the undergraduate program of Landscape Architecture at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University. This is where I gained considerable experience and insights for completing all accreditation related matters including Program and Course Specifications, Annual Reports, Key Performance Indicators, Internal and External Benchmarking and Strategic Planning and Self-study Reports for continuous improvements. Most importantly, I learned how to utilize the available resources and ensure that tasks are completed under strict deadlines to achieve targeted results.

My current research at the U of A focuses on the issues of environment, land, and nature with particular emphasis on ecological crises, environmental awareness, meaningful land acknowledgments, and the role of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) – Indigenous land-based education and Indigenous Research Methodologies (IRM) in effectively addressing these challenges. As an international student, I believe that my research would be beneficial for others like me who co-inhabit the Indigenous lands but know very little about the Indigenous histories and the effects of colonization.

My Student Leadership and Volunteering Experience

Throughout my educational endeavors, I have been extensively involved in volunteering as a student leader under various capacities. I have recently completed my term as the Vice President - University of Alberta Pakistani Students’ Association (2021-22) and currently working as the Vice President of Academic Affairs - University of Alberta International Students’ Association (2022-23 and 2023-24). I have also worked as Member of the Department Council and the Research & Scholarship Committee of the Educational Policy Studies Graduate Students’ Association (2021-22). Some of my focus areas during these responsibilities have been on providing supports to students related to their academic needs, mental health and wellness resources, as well as tailored initiatives for international students like navigating cultural differences in communication.

 During my previous educational pursuits, I have also worked as the Secretary and Acting President of Rotaract Club of Lahore Liberty, Member and later Faculty Advisor of the Punjab University Model United Nations, Member of the Curriculum Development Committee for the Government of Pakistan’s Technical Educational and Vocational Training Authority, District Chairman for Education – Rotary International District 3272, and student leader in various university level event management committees.

All these experiences have trained me to utilize the best of my abilities and extend all sorts of supports to the targeted communities. The people I have worked with as a student leader can confirm that I am always eager to serve those around me with a great deal of motivation, dedication, and sincerity.

Overview of My Agenda as VP External

Completing a Master of Educational Policy Studies with a specialization in Educational Administration and Leadership, coupled with over 8 years of experience as an academic as well as a student leader, I have been able to pinpoint several areas of concern that will be my prime focus, if I am trusted and voted by the Graduate Students Community at U of A.

While some of the issues are shared among domestic and international graduate students, I also realize that both also have unique and distinctive needs as well which means providing tailored responses so these distinctive needs may be met effectively. A brief overview of my Agenda is as follows:

1. ADVOCACY: Advocating against some of the most pressing issues of our times primarily the rising tuition fee, housing, and living costs for domestic and international graduate students. However, notwithstanding the importance of strong opposition, and cognizant of the fact that even the University administration may find its hands tied due to certain Provincial and Federal legislations, and the restructuring of the faculties, I would also like to extend advocacy towards other ways of curbing the ill-effects of these issues and creating pools of resources that can be extended towards easing the pressure on our graduate students.

Other areas include continuing the efforts already made by the current VP External and other GSA Executives in advocating for International Student Stream, public transportation issues (bus delays), distinctive educational and financial challenges for underrepresented student communities, couples with children/single parents etc.2

2. OUTREACH: While advocacy is crucial, so is outreach and collaboration with internal and external organizations and government, private bodies to increase services and facilities for all graduate students. One of my focus areas (from learning through ISA) would be to avoid duplication of services and collaborate and strengthen ties with existing student groups and offices within the U of A as well as government and private organizations to ensure that the unique and distinctive needs of our graduate students especially the underrepresented groups and communities are addressed timely and effectively.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY: I would like to enhance transparency of information to all graduate students, ensuring that they are well-informed about all matters of concern through regular updates, and empowered in decision-making. As a student representative, I would ensure that graduate students feel that they are not only heard but are also a part of the process in every step! This will also extend towards making sure that underrepresented student groups and communities are at the forefront of these discussions.

Candidates for Vice-President Student Life

Tiffany Kung
tkung.pngI am a third year PhD student in the Department of Psychology. I completed my BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Alberta in 2020, during which I had the opportunity to conduct research on septum development, retinal maturation, nociception, and stroke. Currently, I study rodent models of intracerebral hemorrhage, focusing on how to mitigate brain swelling, and successfully translate benefits found in rodents to people.

Since 2020, I have served as the Co-chair of the Psychology departmental students association. This has given me the experience of connecting and advocating for students, and has allowed me to connect with other students across the university. I also currently serve as a graduate student representative on the ACUC at the University, reviewing ethics applications for the biosciences committee. I previously sat on FGSR council, which has given me applicable experience working within the University infrastructure. As an intersectional student, I’m passionate and motivated about improving the quality of life for marginalized students. To read more about my campaign, go to:
Hadi Mokarizadeh

I am Hadi, a second-year Ph.D. student in Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta with a strong background in Chemical Engineering, and I am running for the position of Vice President of Student Life for the Graduate Student Association. Currently, I am working on developing novel and environmentally friendly materials for the degradation of toxic contaminants through solar-driven advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). I have previous experience working as a TA for various chemical engineering courses during my Master's program. Currently, at the University of Alberta, I have continued this work and have been a TA for three different courses over the past year.

My passion for improving water quality and environmental equity inspired me to begin volunteering with the International Water Association Young Water Professionals (IWA-YWP) in March 2022, and currently I am serving as the Communications Director for IWA-YWP Canada. I also had the opportunity to lead the Iranian Students’ Association of the University of Alberta (ISAUA) from November 2021 to November 2022, and we organized different events, activities, and initiatives alone and in collaboration with other associations inside and outside the campus. Due to my passion for being involved with community, I have also been serving as a councillor at the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) since September 2022.

With my academic achievements, research and teaching experience, and leadership skills, I am committed to making positive impacts on the community and advocating for the needs and concerns of all graduate students at the university level.

To read more about my previous experiences, please check out this link




Candidates for Vice-President Student Services

Peyman Aghdasi

peyman-aghdasi.jpgBorn in Iran and now residing in Canada since 2021, I have dedicated myself to pursuing a PhD in Materials Engineering. Throughout my academic journey, I have immersed myself in the world of scientific research, with my current project focusing on investigating the interfacial bonding between reinforcement and matrix for composite and multiphase materials. My dedication to this field has led to numerous successful publications and presentations. In addition to my research achievements, I have also developed a strong set of soft skills. Through my involvement in various group projects and cooperative scientific works during my MSc study, I have honed my abilities to effectively communicate, collaborate, and lead others towards shared goals. These skills will be beneficial in my role as VP Student Services. Furthermore, my commitment to serving the academic community has led me to take on a position as a GSA representative in FGSR Policy Review Committee and FGSR Council since 2022. Through these experiences, I have gained a deep understanding of the needs and challenges facing both faculties and students, and have learned how to work collaboratively to address these issues. Overall, I believe that my academic background, research achievements, soft skills, and dedication to service make me an ideal candidate for the position of VP Student Services. I am eager to apply my experiences and skills towards improving the lives of students at University of Alberta.


I am a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a candidate for the VP of Student Services for the upcoming 2023 GSA elections. I did my master’s degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in 2018. While at KFUPM, I was the Secretary of KFUPM - Pakistan Student Corner. It was in my term as Secretary that KFUPM approved additional working hours for graduate students to work in research centres at the Deanship of Research Institute. In late 2021, I moved to Hong Kong Polytechnic University where I worked as a research assistant for 4 months and also served as a member of Pakistan Students' Association of PolyU. I was actively involved in the campaign run for the first Pakistani now Senate President. Early 2022, I moved to Canada to pursue my current PhD degree where my main research is focused on the machine learning-based robust control of power converters. I am also working on anomaly detection for industrial processes using novel artificial learning architectures and the toxicity analysis of contextual data scraped from the Nextdoor app by using transformer-based sequential models.

Over the last year, I have volunteered for different organizations and has had the opportunity to work closely with international students in my personal capacity. As a student who has faced stigma and discrimination, I understands the importance of creating a campus environment that is inclusive and supportive for all students. That is why I am eager to introduce myself as a candidate for the Vice President of Student Services with a strong commitment to inclusivity.

My top priorities for the VP of Student Services role are:

  1. Ensuring one card access-based secure entrance for pedways.
  2. Augmenting the funding for emergency support services (at least it should cover the one-year tuition fee).
  3. Kickstarting the campaign for parental insurance service.
  4. Better Wi-Fi service and increasing the number of working outlets in the library.
  5. Advocating for renovating HUB residency. Just because something is less expensive doesn't mean that it is okay to have bugs and mice feasting on your eatables.
  6. Improving parking meters and raising awareness among students to use the app in case of extreme weather.
  7. Advocating for a better ETS bus service during the peak morning campus times, especially during winters. Predictable bus times.

I also understand the challenges students are facing in terms of tuition fee hikes and I am ready to support the VP of Academic Affairs to have a strong and vibrant voice for students in all discussions and decisions. As Wayne said, "Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change." I am eager to bring this positive mindset to my role as VP of Student Services and create a more supportive campus for all students.

Pruthak Patel

My name is PRUTHAK PATEL and I am from India. I came to Canada to pursue my Master’s Degree in Construction Management and Engineering during the last fall term. I have nominated myself for the position of VP-STUDENT SERVICES for 2023-2024. My objective is to deliver graduate students about the various support services available on campus and off campus, and to provide them with the best that UofA has to offer. 

I chose this position because I believe that the student phase of life is precious and that, in addition to studying and developing as professionals, we should enjoy our student life. As such, it is my interest to familiarize myself and my fellow students with the services offered by the university. I have experience in this kind of work, having previously served as a Student Ambassador at LJ University, where I organized an academic writing workshops. 

In my field experience, as a site engineer, in India has given me a deep understanding and knowledge in the field of construction and management, as well as in related areas such as Environment, Science, Technology, Civil development, and safety. 

I am eager to connect with my fellow students to learn about their perspectives and needs from the university. Please feel free to contact me at or via LinkedIn at You can also find me on Instagram at pruthakpatel_1099. 

I would like to provide an overview of the areas of focus that I am expected to prioritize. If elected, I will work tirelessly to ensure that our campus remains a welcoming and inclusive community, where students from all backgrounds feel supported and valued. Additionally, I will collaborate with student organizations and campus resources to enhance opportunities for students to engage in meaningful activities, events, and initiatives that will enrich their university experience. 

I believe that I have the skills, experience, and dedication required to be an effective Vice President of Student Services. With your vote, I promise to work towards making our university a better place for all students. So, please vote for me, and let’s make our voices heard together! 

I kindly request that you visit the Graduate Student Association (GSA) website or access your email correspondence to exercise your right to cast your ballot for your preferred candidate in the upcoming election. I would like to remind you of the importance of exercising your democratic privilege by submitting your vote. 

Maya Shinde

Born and raised in Bangalore, India, have completed my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management. I started Engineering Management at the University of Alberta for the Winter 2023 term. In my final year of my bachelor’s, I got an opportunity to present my project topic “Prevention of water clogging using smart street lamps” to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (Municipal Corporation). Post graduation I worked as a Product Specialist at Byju’s an Ed-tech company, where I mentored over 1000 students, providing them feedback for improvements regularly and helping them out with any technical difficulties.

During my school days, I served as a part of the student’s union, helping organize inter and intra-school events, and during my bachelor’s, I represented my department at various international conferences and events. Planning, organizing, and managing events is something that I was passionate about. Ever since I was a kid, I used to take initiative in my friend circle to participate in any upcoming community activities and persuade them to be a part of the events. I plan to use my experience, and enhance the student life experience at the University of Alberta  with the help of other members present at GSA.

Candidates for Associate Vice-President Labour

Sonalika Patel

sonalika_patel.jpgWith the desire of moving to a new country and following my career interests, I joined the University of Alberta in September 2020 to pursue Master of Science in Chemical Engineering. I did my schooling and Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from Mumbai, India and later, worked at a pharmaceutical company for a couple of years.

Currently in the final year of my degree, I have been a part of various activities and events with APEGA, University of Alberta, Technology Alberta, etc. in different leadership or supporting roles. I served as the Co-chair of Marketing with the International Student’s Association (ISA) in the year 2021-2022. I also played a major role in the organization of the Faculty of Engineering Graduate Research Symposium (FEGRS) 2022 as the Vice-President Program Coordinator and will be working as the Co-chair of Advertising and Marketing for FEGRS 2023.

I am running to contest for the position of Associate Vice President Labour. If given a chance, as GSA’s Associate Vice President Labour, I will try my best to have policies that are in students’ best interests and my goal would be to help and benefit all graduate students in every way possible.  With the help of leadership and people skills that I have gained over the years and from my past experiences, I am confident that I will be a good fit for this position.

Muneeb Masood Raja

My Bio:

I was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and obtained my undergraduate degree in Mechatronics Engineering from the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST). Following my graduation, I pursued a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Wright State University in the United States. Subsequently, I worked as a faculty member at NUST for three years, during which I engaged in teaching undergraduate students and overseeing a full batch of undergraduates as a mentor and coordinator. Currently, I am in the third year of my PhD program in Electrical and Computer Engineering, where my research is focused on developing advanced conventional and data-driven control and fault diagnosis techniques for power converters.

Summary Resume:

During my academic career, I have demonstrated a strong commitment to leadership, seeking out opportunities to not only further my own personal growth but also to contribute to the development of my peers. As a faculty member at NUST, I have been a coordinator for a batch of undergraduate students for three years. I have had the opportunity to help students navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with pursuing a degree and protect their rights. Through one-on-one meetings, group discussions, and workshops, I have provided guidance and support to my mentees, helping them develop the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve their goals. This experience has allowed me to develop a strong relationship with my students, learn about their unique backgrounds and experiences, and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges that students face and ways to solve them. As a result, I have become a better listener, communicator, and leader which will allow me to effectively contribute in my capacity as the Associate Vice-President GSA.


Candidates for Councillor-at-Large (10 positions)

Eric Beaudry


I was born and raised in Edmonton and completed my bachelor’s degree at the University of Alberta in mechanical-biomedical engineering. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I completed several industry and research co-op work terms. It was through these experiences that my passion for biomedical technologies flourished. In 2022, I started my MSc in mechanical engineering under the supervision of Dr. Lindsey Westover. My research focuses on the development of a technology that can quantify the stability of transfemoral osseointegrated implants. In other words, the final device will be able to communicate the health of bone-implanted lower-limb prostheses. Outside of my engineering, work, and volunteer pursuits, I greatly enjoy staying active and spending quality time with family and friends. I am currently training for multiple marathons and take every chance I can get to escape to the mountains to go hiking, climbing, or skiing!


During my undergraduate degree, I served as a youth leader for Young Life of Canada, where I organized and participated in events for junior high students in Edmonton. After graduating, I volunteered for ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre and The Steadward Centre at the University of Alberta, where I currently work as a program lead. At The Steadward Centre, I organized two of the first para powerlifting events in Alberta. I was also fortunate to coach Canadian athletes at the 2022 World Para Powerlifting Para Pan American Open Championships in St. Louis. I am currently a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters and frequently attend community days with HIV Edmonton to serve the ever-growing houseless community in Edmonton. In 2022, I was fortunate to be elected as a Councillor-At-Large as well as serve on the GSA Appeals and Complaints Board and Labour Relations Committee. I am excited be involved with student governance again and look forward to advocating on behalf of graduate students. You can expect me to have a strong voice when it comes to backing student life initiatives, benefits, financial security, post-graduate opportunities, and fighting back against tuition hikes. I also belief it is imperative to approach these key issues through a lens of equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization.

Arseniy Belosokhov
Haroun Elyasir


Haroun was raised on an olive farm, where hard work, persistence, and resilience were daily values instilled in him. With a passion for solving problems and a keen interest in science and technology, He pursued a degree in engineering, determined to positively impact the world.

Haroun completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Regina, where he was involved in many sports and academic committees that delivered outstanding services to students.

Currently, Haroun is pursuing a PhD at the University of Alberta, he is engaged in advanced research that will utilize engineering and law principles to enhance the sustainability of the construction industry.

If elected to the GSA, Haroun is committed to representing the needs and interests of his fellow graduate students. With a deep understanding of students’ challenges and a strong desire to make positive changes, Haroun is eager to work collaboratively with others to make the graduate student experience the best possible.


Haroun started his career as a farmer, where he developed a strong work ethic and a deep connection to nature. Seeking new challenges and opportunities to grow, Haroun transitioned into the oil and gas industry, working as a field operator for several years.

Inspired by his experiences and the potential for innovation in the field, Haroun went back to school and earned a degree in engineering. Since 2012, he has been involved in a variety of engineering projects, ranging from designing and building pipelines to optimizing processes in a manufacturing plant. In 2016, Haroun was elected as GSA vice-president of communication at the University of Regina.

Shubham Goswami
Sandeep Kumar


I have come here at U of A from India for my graduate studies.  In recent time I attended several events organized by U of A related organizations and student clubs. Such events influenced me to get involved in similar activities. After observing the GSA, it’s roles and services, I get inclined to run for one of the Councilor-at-Large position. As GSA is working on vast fields which are directly related to the betterment of student’s life and study on the campus. I would be obliged to work in GSA. I have communication skills, teamworking spirit, critical thinking, working in public interest etc. which I gained/acquired from my previous studies, life experiences, and job experience in government services in my home country. I am much positive to continue that saga of working beyond my capabilities, learning and progressing in life while executing the tasks and activities which involve mutual cooperation, futuristic outreach and challenges as well. GSA Councilor-at-Large position will make me aware and provide me wonderful experiences & opportunities for working in different committees of GSA. This will also provide me broader outlook so that I may contest for GSA VP and President positions in upcoming years.  I am all set to raise, work on solutions and resolve the problems and concerns of my respected graduate fellows by getting involved in student government (GSA).


I am currently doing my Masters in Food Safety and Quality specialization under faculty of ALES. I did my Bachelor of Science at Kurukshetra University, India. I was working in Animal Husbandry and Dairying department in India for last 5 years. Currently I am getting insight of food quality, safety, government legislations, rules, standards etc. Importance of food will remain utmost for present and future generations. So, ensuring a hygienic, safe, and acceptable quality standard food is a challenging field, and I am working on this under the guidance of well renowned faculty of U of A like Dr. Michael  Gaenzle, Dr. Jonathan Curtis, Dr. L Chen etc.

 I would like to thanks you all on having me here. I assure you that I will perform my best for graduate students’ issues and will work with my GSA colleagues to do the best for all of us. 

Laura Manerus


As a graduate student and member of the union body for University of Guelph teaching assistants, I was the Women’s Caucus Chair and established the first functioning caucus in union history. As a caucus chair I also sat on the equity committee which was responsible for mitigating diversity related issues for teaching assistants as well as attending the Universities Human Rights bylaws meetings to advocate for union members. This positions gave me valuable experience in organizing fundraising events, running meetings, liaising with PI’s, and working in partnership with university and department administrators. I am running for a Councillor-at-Large position as it provides me the opportunity to grow and develop my previously acquired skills and work with the students in the GSA community to improve the lives of graduate students at the University of Alberta.


Currently I’m a second year PhD student at the University of Alberta and have been involved with the GSA as a Councillor-at-Large since I started my program in Winter of 2021. I did my Undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph in Animal Biology doing undergraduate research in cod genetics. After that I got my MSc degree in Bioinformatics where I studied maize genetics and the ancestry of Canadian maize populations. My current research focus here at the University of Alberta is examining the pine pathogen Cronartium harknessii. My academic career has taken me through many different disciplines and has cemented the importance of collaboration and understanding differing perspectives. I look forward to being able to hear and learn from all the voices in the graduate student community and being able to advocate with the GSA and University administration.

Rob McWeeny
Rajdeepsinh Solanki

 Bio and Resume 

I was born in Songadh, Gujarat, India, and completed my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from R. N. G. Patel Institute of Technology, after graduating I did my internship in various construction companies where I got interested in construction management, as a virtue of which I moved to Canada to pursue my Meng in Civil Engineering - Construction Management to learn about improving productivity and attain sustainability in the field of construction. 

I was actively engaged in student involvement activities during my bachelor's where I volunteered and managed various events and was actively involved in student politics as a student representative. I’m looking forward to being elected as a member of Councillor at Large to advocate various student issues faced. 

Goldy T.R.