HSGSA 2020-2021 Executive Team

The Health Sciences Graduate Students’ Association (HSGSA) is a sub-organization of the University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association (UMGSA) with the primary directive of representing the interest of health sciences graduate students of the Bannatyne and St. Boniface campuses. To further enhance the graduate community, the HSGSA organizes a multitude of events, academic programs, and student socials throughout the year, including: orientation, curling, paintball, dragonboating, holiday socials, visiting speakers, and research days.

We encourage all graduate students to visit our office in room 114 Brodie Centre (behind Tim Horton’s) in the Bannatyne campus, and we look forward to working with you in the upcoming year. For more information please browse this website or call the office at 1 (204) 480-1313 and leave us a message. Alternatively you can check us out on Facebook here.

Akshi Malik, HSGSA President

Akshi Malik, HSGSA President
Office hours: Fridays from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, Online via 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). 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.

During the pandemic, we faced unusual challenges and as part of HSGSA 2020-21 Exec team, I made sure that all of you were heard. I had the opportunity to support my fellow graduate students through virtual events, workshops, Upass support, and bursaries. My collaborative work practices with faculties, staff members, and students have equipped me with the understanding of diverse perspectives.

I am once again thrilled to serve as the President of the HSGSA and be the official spokesperson for health sciences graduate students. I will continue focusing 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.

Its time, we connect and thrive together.

Marina Costa Fujishima, Vice-President Internal

Marina Costa Fujishima, VP Internal
Office hours: Thursdays from 10:30am – 11:30am, Online via Zoom

Hello friends! My name is Marina and I am so excited to be serving as your Vice President Internal (VPI) once more this upcoming year. I am currently a PhD student in the Department of Immunology and my research focuses on the role of neutrophils in epithelial barrier disruption in women with non-Lactobacillus dominant microbiome and how that relates to HIV risk.

As your Vice President Internal, it is my responsibility to create a fiscal budget for this upcoming year and keep the council up to date on the HSGSA financial activity. Last year as your VPI, I took the lead on Dr. Forough Memorial Award, given out during research days with the support of Dr. Ed Kroeger. I personally made sure most students could receive some treats from HSGSA during the Christmas holidays while supporting local business, and I have also taken the lead on the HSGSA COVID-19 relief fund by making changes to our budget so that we could support the greatest number of students who were facing financial stress.

This year, main focus will be to ensure that the majority of the HSGSA budget is once again returned to the students in the form of awards, workshops and social events. I would also like to create some room in our budget for a professional development subsidy program, to help students afford additional training during their graduate studies, making them more competitive and successful. Please, feel free to come visit me or email me to setup a time to meet and chat about any issues you are going through, or see within the university. I am here to ensure all students are heard and their needs are met.”

Toby Le, Vice-President External

Toby Le, VP External
Office hours: Fridays from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Online via Zoom

My name is Toby Le and I am a PhD student in the department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (MMID). Before coming to Winnipeg, I did a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMSc) with an Honours Specialization in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Western, Ontario.

During my 2020/21 elected term, I brought to you Humans of Rady Faculty; an initiative that provides opportunities for students and faculty members to share their stories with the UM community. I also organized the Manitoba Discord platform to provide you a virtual networking space. At the start of the pandemic, I directed the HSGSA Opportunities Survey to learn about your needs and challenges. Additionally, I was involved in numerous committees and initiatives at UM to support graduate students during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the cultivation of these past experiences, I believe that I am equipped to serve you as your Vice President External for the 2021/22 term. I’m a very approachable person and I welcome the opportunities to discuss with you about your concerns/questions. Together we can work to ensure you have access to the opportunities and resources you need to be successful.

Javad Alizadeh, Vice-President Academic

Javad Alizadeh, VP Academic
Office hours: Mondays from 10:30am – 11:30am, Online via Zoom

Hi everyone, my name is Javad and I am a PhD student in Human Anatomy & Cell Sciences department, UofM.

During my M.Sc program and before coming to Winnipeg, I acted as our group (Molecular Biology Research Center) representative to the Dean’s office with the primary role of liaising with faculty, staff and students as a way of enhancing communication and student involvement in decision-making processes. I also had the honor of acting as Staff Advocate during my employment at the Pasteur Institute of Iran.

I moved to Winnipeg in 2015 and have been a fellow member of UofM ever since. I represented our department in HSGSA for three years as the Department Councilor where I organized academic workshops, as well as social inter-departmental events for our students.

I’m so excited to continue serving my fellow graduate students for the third consecutive year as HSGSA VP-Academic. With graduate students’ best interest in mind, I try to carry out my duties as best as I can through maintaining a good relationship with graduate students, and teamwork with my fellow executives. I want to make sure students’ voices are heard and they get the most out of their time here at UofM.

Sanjana Chauhan, Vice-President Marketing & Events

Office hours: Online via Zoom

Hey, I am Sanjana Chauhan, second year PhD student in the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre (SBRC). My research is mainly focused on the pathways involved in the neuroprotection and repair against the damage caused by diabetes. I have studied in India until my masters, where apart from being involved in different cultural activities, I have had the opportunity to host multiple international conferences as well. I believe this position demands translating novel ideas to the graduate students by navigating through different social media platforms. I am delighted to take the role of “VP Marketing and events” in HSGSA team that fosters the mission of students to grow personally and professionally.

I aim to create an environment for the students that will encourage them to participate in different social events. Amid Covid-19, considering social distancing, I am planning to organize the events for students to engage them in activities apart from their coursework or lab to sustain the pandemic situation.

“Effective teamwork begins with communication.” So, let’s communicate!! Please do not hesitate and reach out to me.

Rebeca de Oliveira Camargo, Vice-President St. Boniface

Rebeca de Oliveria Camargo, VP St. Boniface
Office hours: TBD, Online via Zoom

Hi everyone! My name is Rebeca. I hold a Medical degree from the Medical University of Faculdade Evangélica do Paraná / Brazil. Currently, I am a master’s student in the department of Physiology and Pathophysiology at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre (SBRC). My research project is focused on the investigation of molecular mechanisms of cardiac fibrosis.

During my medical degree I was involved in clinical and surgical academic leagues dedicated to promoting continuous learning and teaching experiences. As one of the scientific directors, I helped develop internships, combining them with research positions. Overall, this academic position expanded my leadership skills and provided me opportunities to help students in their academic success. Now, as your St. Boniface Executive, I believe my background adds to our executive team’s experience. I am determined to integrate health sciences graduate students from SBRC, HSC and Fort Garry to strengthen our academic community. In this upcoming year, my focus is to promote workshops and give you support for a successful educational journey. I am always opened to hear from you! Please, do not hesitate to reach out to me!