HSGSA 2023-2024 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 email us at president@hsgsa.org or vpmarketingevents@hsgsa.org and we look forward to working with you in the upcoming year. For more information please browse this website or alternatively you can check us out on Facebook and Instagram.

Akshi Malik, HSGSA President (She/ Her)

Akshi Malik, HSGSA President

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.

Lauren MacGowan , Vice-President Internal (She/Her)

Lauren MacGowan, VP Internal

Hi everyone! My name is Lauren MacGowan, and I am a 2nd year MSc student in the department of Community Health Sciences at the CARe lab. My undergraduate experience was in psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and I focused on examining how stress and enrichment affects spatial learning in rats with Alzheimer’s Disease. My current research surrounds mental health in Canadian adolescents and young adults with substance use dependency.

Since moving to Winnipeg last year to pursue my graduate studies, I have had the privilege of serving students in my department and faculty. This year I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to serve Rady Faculty of Health Sciences as Vice-President Internal and collaborate with university administration, staff, and students with the goal of advancing student success. Please, if you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me. I will do my utmost to help however I can. Thank you!

Jamie Sookhoo, Vice-President External (He/ Him)

Jamie Sookhoo, VP External

Hi all! I’m Jamie Sookhoo and I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Immunology and have been involved in HSGSA activities for the past 3 years. In 2020-2021, I served as President of the Immunology GSA where I sat on several committees for the HSGSA. In 2022-2023, I was the President of HSGSA and now I see myself putting my experience and abilities to use as the HSGSA VP-External. I intend to put my full effort into bringing you all new opportunities and experiences in the coming year. I believe that my years of experience in various administrative and leadership roles as well as my longstanding dedication to and involvement in the HSGSA over the past 3 years sets me as an excellent candidate to serve you all as VP-External.

Several of my closest friends are past members of the HSGSA executive and I’m proud to say I stand on the shoulders of giants. I intend to fulfil my role as successfully as my predecessors, building on their successes in advocating for the benefit of the students, supporting each and every one of you to the best of my ability.

Shahin Shabanjpour, Vice-President Academic (He/Him)

Shahin Shabanipour , VP Academic

Hello, I am Shahin Shabanipour, a Ph.D. student at the College of Pharmacy. Prior to starting my doctoral program, I obtained my master’s degree in the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science at the University of Manitoba.

Throughout my academic journey, I’ve been driven to contribute to the academic community and create opportunities for personal and professional growth for my fellow students. During my master’s degree, I served as the VP of the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science for one year, which enabled me to develop important event planning, networking, and communication skills. I was involved in organizing several scientific events and workshops within the department, helping to foster a more collaborative and engaging academic environment.

Currently, I hold the Basic Science VP at the College of Pharmacy and HSGSA VP academic in Bannatyne Campus positions. I’m dedicated to providing students with academic and career-oriented opportunities while contributing to the planning and execution of social events and workshops. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any queries.

Samuel Akinola, Vice-President Marketing & Events (He/Him)

Samuel Akinola, VP Marketing & Events

Hello everyone! My name is Pelumi Samuel AKINOLA, and I am excited to serve as the Vice President, Marketing and Events for the HSGSA. I am currently pursuing an MSc degree at the College of Pharmacy.

I have had an interesting and diverse educational journey, having graduated from the University of Pecs in Hungary with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, and from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria with a Bachelor’s degree in microbiology. During my undergraduate studies, I was actively involved in several student organizations, including the student representative council, where I represented students’ interests at the senate level. These experiences have given me a deep understanding of student advocacy and community building.

Currently, I am also serving as the President of the College of Pharmacy Graduate Students’ Council, where I am passionate about advocating for the needs and interests of my fellow students. However, outside of academia, I am also a recording and performing artiste, with more than 700,000 streams across all streaming platforms. I have organized and performed on several big stages in Europe and Africa, which has given me the opportunity to hone my event planning and marketing skills.

As the VP Marketing and Events for the HSGSA, I am committed to creating exciting and engaging events that foster community building, promote student wellness, and support academic success. My diverse experiences have taught me the importance of collaboration and creativity in achieving success.

I am thrilled to be a part of the HSGSA community and look forward to working with all of you to create a memorable and rewarding academic experience. Thank you for your support, and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together!

Leena Regi Saleth , Vice-President St. Boniface (She/Her)

Leena Regi Saleth , VP St. Boniface

Hello! My name is Leena Regi Saleth and I am a 2nd year PhD student from the department of Physiology and Pathophysiology working at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre. I hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in the field of Biotechnology from Chennai (Tamil Nadu), India. Although I enjoy spending time in the lab, I am also passionate about finding ways to better my community and serve those around me.

During my bachelors, I was part of the worldwide student entrepreneurial organization ENACTUS- that encourages emerging student entrepreneurs to envision business as solution to address social issues. My commitment to the organization got me elected as the Vice-President and President in the consecutive years. I have also been a part of other student associations and have been actively involved in organizing/ leading social/academic events. Before starting my PhD, I worked as personality development teacher and confidence building trainer through the medium of theatrics.

My primary work now is at the St. Boniface Research Centre, working on the development of functionalized nanomaterials to be used in field of cardiac tissue engineering. As your Vice President – St. Boniface, my goal is to build a better community for every student on St. Boniface campus and unify our student body through a better network. I aim to ensure that both the St.B students and HSC students, receive all eligible benefits towards the betterment of their academic and research ventures. I am willing to go above and beyond to encourage and empower, each and every HSGSA student.

I consider myself an empathic, affable person, who is always open to organic interactions innovative ideas. So, feel free to reach out!