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.


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.


Christopher Yendt, UMGSA President

Christopher Yendt – UMGSA President: pres@umgsa.org (He/ They)

Office Hours: Wednesdays – 10am-12pm – please book an appointment ahead of time.

Hello Bisons!

My name is Christopher Yendt (he/they) but you can call me C! I am a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education, and I am delighted and excited to be serving as your UMGSA President for 2023-24. My research explores the experiences of queer student leaders within post-secondary spaces and the associated mental health impacts.

I am passionate about student government and have been involved at various levels throughout both my undergraduate and graduate studies over a decade! At my alma mater, as an undergraduate student I served as a VP, Finance and Administration and Board Chair. As a graduate student I served two terms as VP, Finance and three as GSA President. While a student I also served three years on Board of Trustees and five on the Senate. At UM, prior to becoming UMGSA President I served as a Program Representative on UMGSA Council, Co-Chair of the Executive Review Committee, and as VP, Finance of EdGSA.

I am also a certified teacher and registered mental health consultant.

I am thrilled to serve as UMGSA President this year, and to work on your behalf to improve the graduate student experience here at the University of Manitoba.  Advocacy and service define our purpose, and together these tools can elevate the voices of graduate students and lead to change where and when it is needed most. This year our team is united in our approach to challenging systems with a passion to create change all around us and benefit all members of the UMGSA. I most excited to engage with as many of you as possible, as we look to create a Strategic Plan for the UMGSA, a first in our organization’s history. It is your visions, collectively, for what graduate students need which will serve as a roadmap for how we get there as a community. It is collaboration, ongoing, throughout the year that holds the potential to meaningfully address the challenges we face as graduate students. This outreach and engagement are central to my commitment to serving our communities, both at the university and beyond.

It is together that we can create change and improve the student experience for all graduate students at the university, and it is this vision I am committed to enacting as your President. I encourage you to connect and share your experiences with all of us, so please reach out if you have any questions, comments, or just want to say ‘Hello!’


Julie Xue, Vice-President Finance & Administration

Julie Xue – VPFA: vpfa@umgsa.org (She/ Her)

Office Hours: Fridays – 1pm- 3pm – please book appointment ahead of time.

Hello, graduate students!

I’m Julie Xue, and I’m very excited to and honored to serve the role of VP Finance and Administration. I’m and MBA candidate in Asper school of Business, and have a background in business and finance. I’ll be dedicated in ensuring the timely operation of conference grants (a grant to subsidize attended conferences) and holiday hamper, revising the budget for UMGSA, as well as serving the UMGSA finance committee and bylaws committee. You’re welcome to contact me should you have any need or concern.



Hanieh Rezasoltani, Vice-President Academic

Hanieh Rezasoltani- VPA: vpa@umgsa.org (She/ Her)

Office Hours: Thursdays – 9am-11am – please book appointment ahead of time.

Hello graduate students, I am Hanieh Rezasoltani. I am a Ph.D. student, sessional instructor, and teaching assistant in the Chemistry department. My bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in polymer engineering from Tehran, Iran. During my undergraduate and graduate studies, I was active in several student associations.

Being a student and community member allowed me to gain tremendous experience in leadership and sharing of information.

As I started my studies at the University of Manitoba, I attended the most graduate, library, and career workshops on campus and developed skills in different aspects of society and academic life.

At the University of Manitoba, I volunteered on several positions like a Welcome mentor to help and support new international students for living in Canada, organizing the Career fair booth and registration desk, participating in library events and leading orientation days on campus as a volunteer and tour leader. In 2022, I’m honored to receive UMSU’s Influential Woman Award. Besides, I am grateful to have been selected as a recipient of the Women in STEM award by UMSU Women’s Center in 2023.

I am currently Vice President (chemistry graduate student associate) and social media coordinator of CGSA.

As part of my major, I am a trainee executive board member of the BSC (Biophysical Society of Canada). During the annual BSC Meeting, the BSC Trainee Executive organizes the BSC Trainee Symposium as its main initiative. As a result of this initiative, trainees will have the opportunity to present their work Orally. In addition to networking with a variety of guest speakers, trainees will be able to gain insight into scientific careers outside of academia by presenting their work orally, connecting with other trainees, and learning about science careers outside of academia.

It is a privilege to serve as Vice President Academic on the current UMGSA Executive. Like you, I spend a lot of time at university. The challenges you face are real, and I will do my duty to ensure your voice is heard by those in charge. Increasing the number of workshops, you need is my goal. I will provide you with access to the software you need that is not covered by the university. My plan is to increase graduate student grants and awards. It is true that inflation has grown in Canada, but your paystub has remained the same. I hope to achieve all my goals. Thank you for your trust.



Timilehin Oluwajuyitan, Vice-President Services & Support

Timilehin Oluwajuyitan – VPSS: vpss@umgsa.org (He/ Him)

Office Hours: Tuesdays – 2pm-4pm – please book appointment ahead of time.

Hello graduate student!

My name is Timilehin Oluwajuyitan (Timi), a PhD student of Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences. My PhD work focuses on extraction and purification of proteins and peptides, which may serve as health promoting nutritional tools to remedy diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure and dementia (Alzheimer’s).

  

I have gained wide experience in student leadership and volunteering roles. This includes 2022/ 2023 University of Manitoba Graduate Student Award Assessment Committee; Evaluation committee in sharing of holiday hamper, University of Manitoba; Graduate Student Representative of Food Science and Technology Department, Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Nigeria; Secretary student social and welfare committee, FUTA Student Union, during my first- and second-degree program from home country (Nigeria). This and many more have made me interact with students on different platforms seeing the challenges encountered daily. 

My vision as your Vice president service and support is to create an enabling environment by organizing different workshop and social activities to make our daily academic pursuit easier. As a team-player, good listener, and communicator, be rest assured of effective service and support to all graduate students.

Thank you,

Timilehin Oluwajuyitan (He/ Him)


Akshi Malik, HSGSA President

Akshi Malik – HSGSA President: president@hsgsa.org (She/ Her)

Namaste! My name is Akshi Malik. I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre (SBRC). My research is focused on the chemotherapy induced heart failure and the role of endoplasmic reticulum stress. I did my Bachelors and Masters from Delhi, India where I have always been a part of student associations and was involved in organizing and leading social as well as academic events. 

I have been serving HSGSA members since 2020 in different leadership roles. This year, I am happy to serve as the President and consider this position as a responsibility to enthusiastically support my fellow graduate students at Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and work towards collaboration and inclusiveness as they make their way through academic and co-curricular endeavors. As part of HSGSA, I have worked closely with UofM Deans, administration, and fellow students which has equipped me with the understanding of diverse perspectives. On a personal level, I get along well with other people and consider myself to be a strong communicator, presenter, and listener. Do not hesitate to reach out to me for anything and everything.



Uche Nwankwo, Senator 1

Uche Nwankwo – Senator 1: senator1@umgsa.org (He/ Him)

Office Hours: Wednesdays – 10am-12pm – please book appointment ahead of time.

Hello Friends and Colleagues, my name is Uche Nwankwo, you can also call me Focus. I am doing my Master of Natural Resource Management at the Natural Resource Institute. My research focus, which I am currently ongoing, is devoted to learning and working on Indigenous issues, with particular interest on sustainable livelihood, Indigenous food system knowledge and food security.

Thank you once again for giving me this privilege and opportunity to serve you as Senator 1 in the current UMGSA Executive. I am excited to be part of this executive and committed to serving you in this capacity. I regard this privilege as a way of serving humanity and giving back to the academic community. Among my passion and commitment in serving as Senator 1 is to assist graduate students accomplish their academic and non-academic goals.

I am dedicated to playing strong community and student advocacy roles within and outside the university environment, while prioritizing issues of equitable and affordable access to education.  This is because I strongly believe that quality education tailored to solving human problems, can contribute to reducing societal inequalities. Thus, I promise to be a dependable strong voice for you.

This promise is premised on several years of quality leadership and mentoring roles that I have played within and outside the university community. Therefore, I will leverage on my vast innovative and compassionate leadership experience acquired from three continents. I have travelled extensively to many countries, which presents me with robust interpersonal relationship skills to easily network and interact with all students in multiculturally diverse university community like ours.

 I am committed to mentoring students, playing role model obligations, and advocating for all students. Issues faced by the Indigenous students will be prioritized, as well as the restoration of the universal healthcare coverage for international students. I have broad network within and outside the academic community which can easily be mobilized when students have issues and challenges. Together with my colleagues and your supports, we will ensure that our campaign promises are achieved through dedicated and honest service laced with integrity.

As a leader, I place emphasis on networking, consulting, listening, and acting, using the tools of diplomacy, compassion, and positive assertiveness in resolving conflicting issues. I will work hard to improve the teaching and learning experience of the students based on my over seven years of organizing train the trainer workshops. I understand that returning to in-person learning has become a bit of a concern, but my colleague and I are committed to making the transition less burdensome.


Armin Aghajani, Senator 2

Armin Aghajani – Senator 2: senator2@umgsa.org (He/ Him)

Office Hours: Mondays – 12pm-2pm – please book appointment ahead of time.

Hello, fellow graduate students!

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and a senator at the University of Manitoba Graduate Students Association (UMGSA). As a senator, I represent graduate student interests in the University Senate and advocate their concerns and interests.

Working with other members of the UMGSA, I strive to develop and implement programs and initiatives that benefit graduate students. Regular communication with graduate students is also a priority to keep them informed about the activities and decisions of the UMGSA.

 

In addition to my role as a senator, I have been appointed to serve on various committees of the graduate student association, including the Senate Committee on Admissions, Senate Committee on Appeals, Senate Committee on Curriculum and Course Changes, and Senate Committee on Instruction and Evaluation.

As an advocate for graduate student issues and concerns, I collaborate with university administration, faculty, and other stakeholders to ensure that graduate students are well-represented and that their voices are heard. Overall, my goal is to ensure that graduate students have a positive and productive experience during their time at the University of Manitoba.