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 or e-mail us to make an appointment.

Please note that given the recent events surrounding the global outbreak of COVID-19, the UMGSA Office will be closed to the public for the remainder of the term. The Executive will still be working their regular hours and will be available for contact by e-mail and at request by Zoom. Thank you for your understanding.

The Executive is headed by 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 Finance & Administration looks after Policies and Bylaws, the UMGSA budget, conference grant funding, and other services. The Vice-President Services & Support is responsible for liaising with outside organizations and planning events to help improve graduate student life at the University. 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 HSGSA President represents the interests of Health Sciences students at the Bannatyne and St. Boniface campuses. Additionally, two Senators and the Vice-President Academic represent graduate student interests in the University Senate.

Silvia Sekander, UMGSA President

Silvia Sekander, UMGSA President
Office Hours: By request on Zoom

Hello, fellow grad students! I am Silvia Sekander and I have been an international student here at the University of Manitoba (UofM) for more than 5 years.

As the President and the spokesperson of UMGSA, my goal is to ensure that the interests of all the graduate students get represented.

I have completed my M.Sc. program here at UofM and currently I am pursuing my Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. During my M.Sc. and Ph.D. program, I have received prestigious “University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF)” award.

I worked as Sr. Software Engineer in “Samsung R&D Institute Bangladesh” for three years where I got the opportunity to lead a team of software Engineers for “Regional Handset Development Project” in Korea. I also worked as Post Manager in “Samsung Electronics, Dubai” and “Samsung Noida Mobile Company (SNMC)”.

From 2018-2019, I was Graduate Students Representative of University of Manitoba Bangladeshi Students’ Association (UMBSA) under the umbrella of University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) where I got the opportunity to work closely with many graduate students, learned about different aspects and problems of their day to day life. This has really been a true eye opener for me to feel the necessity of the fellow grad students. From 2019, I have been working as the President of UMBSA which caters around 1000 students in the UofM campus. This has given me an unique experience to work for a large group of student body. Being the President of UMBSA, I had got the opportunity to work closely with the UMSU executives in various projects including “Health has No Border” and “U-pass referendum” program. During my tenure, I worked with the city of Winnipeg to get the permission of “Bangladeshi Flag Raise in City Hall” for the very first time in Manitoba at 16 December, 2019.

Last but not least, I have organized several collaboration programs including different student groups such as MSA, PSA, Laksh etc. in the campus to serve large number of students and make networking stronger. Besides working in the student organizations, I have been actively involved with outside campus community groups. I am the current Assistant General Secretary of Canada Bangladeshi Association(CBA), Manitoba and also served as the Assistant Sports Secretary there. CBA always celebrates diversity and multiculturalism. Being part of the association, I have achieved hands on experience of applying for government funding, organizing events such as “High Commission Service Program”, “Mental Health Workshops” etc. While organizing these, I have developed effective and efficient communication skills by networking with the city delegates.

Nora Ampomah, Vice-President Finance & Administration

Nora Ampomah, UMGSA Vice-President Finance & Administration
Office Hours: By request on Zoom

Hello graduate students! I am excited to be on this journey with you, as your representative on the UMGSA as Vice -President Finance and Administration.

I am Nora Ampomah, a second-year masters’ student in Political Studies. I have a bachelors’ degree from the University of Ghana and experience in the Administration and Finance field from both the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs. I have served as a Programs Assistant at the Immigrant and Refugee Committee of Manitoba (IRCOM) where I performed many administrative (but not limited to) duties and a Teaching Assistant with the Political Studies department.

My number one goal will be to work together with you to expedite and further streamline conference grant processes as well as investigating opportunities for incorporating other funding sources into the UMGSA. Feel free to send your suggestions, questions and concerns. I believe we will have a great year together, cheers!

Rubel Chandra Talukder, Vice-President Academic

Rubel Chandra Talukder, UMGSA Vice-President Academic
Office Hours: By request on Zoom

Hello Grad students, I am Rubel Chandra Talukder, and I am currently doing my Ph.D. in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. As part of my program, I am exploring the possibilities of designing new ultrafast solid-state lasers which will provide new functionalities in spectroscopy, nonlinear microscopy, and biomedical imaging techniques. I have also completed my M.Sc. degree in the aforementioned discipline at the University of Manitoba.

I have served on the Senate Committee on Appeals from July 2016 to May 2017. I helped to determine whether a student should be granted Authorized Withdrawal (AW) or not based on the submitted documents. I believe that my experience on the Appeals Committee is particularly well suited for the VP Academic position as this job also requires one to serve on numerous Senate Committees among other things.

As VP Academic, I will advocate for graduate students on academic issues, represent graduate students’ interests in Senate as a senator, arrange different academic workshops, and facilitate graduate student and teaching awards. I will also consult with graduate students to find out what academic workshops are needed and then organize those accordingly. Furthermore, I will increase involvement in Senate as a senator to better represent the academic issues faced by graduate students.      

I was also involved with the UMGSA as a member of Events Committee from Fall 2019. During that time, I gained experience about organizing different events and particularly how to make a successful one!

Etinosa Osemwota, Vice-President Services & Support

Etinosa Osemwota, UMGSA VP Services & Support
Office Hours: By request on Zoom

Hello, graduate students! My name is Etinosa Osemwota, and I am a second-year master’s student in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences. I am currently researching the physicochemical and structural properties of lentil proteins, with the aim of discovering ways to incorporate lentil protein isolates as functional ingredients in food formulations. I have been involved in the organization of several academic, religious, and social events or workshops, and I currently volunteer at Bicycle Valet Winnipeg, as well as St. Amant. When I am not working, I love reading books, cooking, and learning new crafts.

As your UMGSA Vice President Services and Support (VPSS), I will work diligently with you and for you to ensure that all graduate students can make the best out of the time spent while studying. To do that, I will continue the improvement of various aspects of student life, including mental health care, active living, health care, and social engagement, among other pressing issues.

It will be great to hear any concerns, suggestions or feedback you may have, so feel free to contact me by email or at the UMGSA office during my office hours. I look forward to a remarkable year with you all!

Akshi Malik, HSGSA President

Akshi Malik, HSGSA President
Office Hours: By request on Zoom

Namaste! My name is Akshi Malik. I am a PhD student in the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre (SBRC). My research interest is focused on doxorubicin induced cardio toxicity and role of SR stress.

My previous education is from India, where I have always been involved in organizing and leading social as well as academic events. I was an active volunteer with NGO UMEED and had taught under privileged children and adults in slum areas of Delhi, India. I am also a certified yoga trainer and would love to share this interest with you.

I am thrilled to serve as the President of the HSGSA and be the official spokesperson for health sciences graduate students. As part of HSGSA, I will focus on promoting and providing graduate student community to have a great university experience. In the course of COVID-19 situation, I understand the need of support and networking, thus me and my team will make whole-hearted efforts to make these tough times endurable for all of us.

Looking forward to having good time with you all.

Akeem Azeez, Senator 1

Akeem Azeez, UMGSA Senator 1
Office Hours: By request on Zoom

My name is Azeez Akeem Abiodun and I am a second year PhD candidate in the Biomedical Engineering program under the supervision of Dr. Rodrigo Franca. I had my BSc and MSc in Physics from University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a MSc in Materials Science and Engineering from African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, Nigeria. I am a recipient of Nelson Mandela and Petroleum Development Technology Fund (PTDF) Scholarship awards.

I served as the Public relation officer (PRO) for the Faculty of Science Student Association (FASSA), University of Ibadan chapter 2009-2010 where I was the mouthpiece of the association. I also served as the Vice President Education (VPE) for MIA Toastmaster club in Winnipeg, Manitoba 2019-2020. As a VPE, I monitored the speaking and vocabulary growth of each member of the club and I offered advice on how to further develop themselves.

As a senator during the 2020-2021 term, I will represent the interest of the graduate students on different Senate and Council committees.

Bill Dowie, Senator 2

Bill Dowie, UMGSA Senator 2
Office Hours: By request on Zoom

Hello graduate students, my name is William Dowie and I am currently working on my thesis in the Master of Environment program on urban ecological design. I am a strong proponent of interdisciplinary research, pursuing my current project through the NRI here at the U of M, in conjunction with the research units of environment & geography, city planning, and biosystems engineering. I am self-proclaimed naturalist, a lover of ecology, and follower of Aldo Leopold’s landscape ethos.

Outside of the university, I am a thirty year plus environmental consultant. I hold an Applied Management Certificate for non-profit organizations, a Masters Certificate in Project Management, and am a certified permaculture designer, master gardener and an accredited LEED (O+M) professional. A former Instructor in Prairie Horticulture (arboriculture), I continue to coach homeowners as an independent Ecological Landscaper. I am a past vice-president of UMGSA and have served on several boards and committees — within universities, non-profits, and government. In addition to this, I am a Past-President of the Green Action Centre – the province’s largest environmental non-profit organization.

My current position in the UMGSA is as one of your graduate student Senators, and dedicated representative on the University of Manitoba Sustainability Committee.