Our Executive

The Executive Committee is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the UMGSA. All of the Executive Members are elected during the UMGSA general elections held each March.  If you would like to suggest ideas, raise your concerns, or meet with any of our Executives for any reason, call us at 204-474-9181 to make an appointment, or drop by our office anytime Monday to Friday, 9pm to 4pm.

The executive includes the President, who is responsible for ensuring that the UMGSA runs effectively and sits on the U of M Board of Governors, the Senate, and chairs the Executive Committee. The Vice-President External is responsible for liaising with outside organisations that affect graduate student life, like government or labour organisations and other student associations in Manitoba and Canada. The Vice-President Academic is responsible for coordinating academic events, providing services for students in financial need and providing advocacy on academic issues on behalf of graduate students. The Vice-President Internal looks after Policies and Bylaws, the UMGSA budget, conference grant funding, and other services. The Vice President Marketing and Events is responsible for communications that promote our services, events, and activities. Additionally, three Senators represent graduate student interests in the University Senate.

The 2018-2019 UMGSA Executives took office on May 1st, 2018. Scroll down to meet your representatives!

Carl Neumann – President


Hello Grad Students! As the President of the UMGSA, I am the official spokesperson for the Association, and I am here to ensure that all Grad Students and their interests are well-represented both within and beyond the University. Please do not hesitate to contact me and the rest of our team with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have.

I am pursuing my MA in Philosophy here at the UofM. I am entering my second term as President, and over the past year I served on more than 35 committees, councils, and boards. Prior to that I was active on the UMGSA Council and on several of its committees, including as Chairperson of the IDRSC. I was the VP and then President of the Ethics Center Students’ Association, and I have also repeatedly been a Teaching Assistant for several courses in Philosophy including both Environmental and Business Ethics.

Before my time at the UofM I completed my BEd at OISE at the University of Toronto, and then worked as a substitute teacher in the Winnipeg School Division. During that time I was also an Executive-at-Large with the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association, and a member of their Council for several years. I completed my undergraduate degree at Carleton University with a specialization in Philosophy, Ethics and Public Affairs, and a minor in Economics. During that time I served as a student Senator for three years and a Student Association Council Representative for two years.

Carmine Slipski – Vice President Health Sciences


Hi, my name is Carmine Slipski and I am a PhD student in Medical Microbiology and Infectious diseases studying antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in bacteria. I am very excited to represent health science research students here at Bannatyne campus as the HSGSA President for 2018-2019! I have lived in Winnipeg my whole life and completed my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Microbiology here at the U of M so I know this city very well.

During my graduate studies, I also served on the Med Micro student council (MMSC) as a supporting member in 2016-17, as well as President from 2017-18. During this time, I designed a new logo for the department, designed and ordered t-shirts and hoodies for students to proudly represent Med Micro, and organized academic workshops, as well as social inter-departmental events. I am eager to bring my leadership experience and fresh ideas to the HSGSA to make sure this an exceptional year for students!

As a student, if you have any ideas or concerns, we want your voices heard! I am very friendly and approachable, so please don’t hesitate to email or visit me during my office hours. I’m here to work for you!

Silvia Araujo  – Vice President Academic


I am a 3rd-year Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Civil Engineering who has completed my B.Sc. and M.Sc. at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. I’ve had a long history of student representation, stretching back to when I was 9 years old! Since my first week at the University of Manitoba, I’ve volunteered in positions with the university before becoming further involved with the UMGSA.

In early 2017, I served as UMGSA representative for Civil Engineering and afterwards was elected to the position of Senator. In both positions I served in various committees and spoke in favour of graduate students, emphasizing needs like student funding and office spaces, and our will to have them heard and solved. As your Vice-President Academic for the upcoming term, I hope to Advocate for the graduate students on academic matters, collaborate to strengthen the bonds between the graduate student body and the Alumni, and Continue to expand the improvements of the UMGSA Awards.



Skye Kushner – Vice President External


I’m a M.Sc. student in the Department of Environment and Geography studying trace-metal fluxes from Central American volcanic systems. Prior to this, I graduated with a B.Sc. in Geological Sciences from the University of Manitoba.

As a graduate student, I served as a Senator for the UMGSA for the 2017-2018 term and have acted as president for the Environment and Geography Graduate Students Association for the 2016-2017 term. As an undergraduate student, I served three terms as President of the Society of Earth Science and Environmental Students. Throughout these positions, I held an active role in representing student issues at a University and Faculty level.

While serving in senate, I have enjoyed sitting on university committees advocating for graduate student interests. Now I would like to expand on that role by advocating for larger graduate student matters with the provincial and federal government. The University of Manitoba consists of over 75% of the Provinces graduate students and we should be a strong participant in policy considerations affecting graduate students. I would like to work towards establishing ties at a governmental level to ensure that when education is a topic of conversation, graduate students are a part of the story.


Cody Ross – Vice President Internal


My name is Cody Ross and I am a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Department of Geological Sciences. I have also completed a M.Sc. in Geological Sciences and a B.Sc. (Honours) in Environmental Sciences, both at the University of Manitoba.

Since becoming a graduate student, I have participated as a UMGSA councillor in the IDRSC (2016/2017) and Bylaws and Policy Committee (2016-present). I have also served as a department representative in Geological Sciences and am currently an executive member of the Canadian Young Hydrologic Society.

Through those experiences I have recognized how important the UMGSA is in ensuring graduate student representation. As Vice President Internal, I hope to advocate for students and help make the UMGSA as effective as possible. Specifically, during the 2018/2019 term, I am focused on working towards more consistent and accessible governance documents. It is my privilege to represent graduate students as VPI and am excited to contribute to meaningful work throughout the executive term.



Sakib Rahman – Vice President Marketing and Events


My name is Sakib Rahman and I am a third-year graduate student pursuing a PhD in Particle Physics at the University of Manitoba (U of M). Previously, I completed a B.Sc. degree with first class honours in Physics and Mathematics from the U of M. As the VPME, I hope to increase graduate student involvement in UMGSA by establishing direct communication with the general students and holding multi-department events. There are more than 3000 full-time graduate students at the U of M but only a few hundred vote in the general election and attendance at UMGSA events is even lower. I recognize the reality that this is due to the diverse graduate student demographic. There are off-campus students, students with parental duties, students who prefer activity-based events instead of socials etc. Orientation events that serve newer students will continue, but I hope to bring more events that serve students in their later years of graduate studies. I will make myself accessible to general students and open to any suggestions that will make UMGSA an organisation where all members feel comfortable. My office hours are Mondays and Tuesdays between 12 noon and 1 pm. Feel free to drop by during my office hours at the UMGSA office (221 University Centre) or send me an email at vpme@umgsa.org if you have any questions/suggestions.



Felix Nwaiwu – Senator


My name is Chidiebere Felix Nwaiwu, a third year PhD student in the department of Mechanical Engineering. I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nigeria, both in Mechanical Engineering with majors in Automotive Engineering and Energy & Power Engineering respectively.

At the University of Manitoba, I served on the 2017-2018 UMGSA Bylaws & Policy committee and the Faculty of Graduate studies Appeals Committee. As a member of the UMGSA committee, we reviewed the existing Bylaws and Policies and amended the conference grant section of the Financial Policy. We also amended the Election and Referendum Policy to ensure a more transparent electoral process. As a member of the FGS Appeals Committee, I served on a couple of appeal cases, protecting the interest of graduate students while upholding the university regulations.

As a senator, I seek the review of a section of the appeals procedure to better position graduate students in the appeal process and to provide trustworthy and courageous representation on issues of concern amongst Canadian and International students.


Laura Forsythe – Senator


Laura Forsythe dishinikaashon. En Michif la vaalii rivyeer roozh oschiniya. Laura Forsythe is my name. I am a Michif from the Red River Valley. I am descended from the Morin, Cyr, Huppe and Berard lines. I am descended buffalo hunters. I am descended from Voyagers. I am descended from victors at Frog Creek. I am descended from farmers, ranchers, teamsters, seamstresses, and tradesmen. I am not descended from a long
line of academics. I am not descended from doctors, lawyers and engineers. I come from the working class that built Manitoba and the Metis Nation. I hold a BA in First Nations Studies, a B.Ed. specializing in Indigenous Perspectives in Education and a Post-Baccalaureate in Early Learning from Simon Fraser University. I am currently PhD student working in educational sovereignty.
During the 2018-2019 year, I will represent the UMGSA on the following Senate committees: Academic review, Planning and Priorities, University Research, and Instruction and Evaluation. Starting this August, I will participate on behalf of the UMGSA in the Chancellor Search Committee. As the chair of the Indigenous Ad Hoc committee, I invite you to join
our committee by contacting me directly. As one of the organizers of the UMGSA sponsored NSGSA Rising Up: A Graduate Students Conference on Indigenous Knowledge and Research I invite you to participate in our International conference by submitting your research, attending the conference or reading the past year’s publications. I hope to meet you all at one of our various social activities or council meetings this upcoming year.