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Rolling the credits for another great year

Alex Moszczynski

Congratulations on completing another successful academic year. We have instructed, taken courses and written exams, all while working on our research and hopefully maintaining some form of social life and extracurricular interests.

As we head into the summer months, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on some of the things we have accomplished this year.

In the fall we welcomed Nandni Khera as the representative for the Master of Public Health Program to ensure that all graduate programs at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry are represented on the Council. For the first time, we also introduced a social committee — comprised of Tana Saiyin, Kehgan McKay and Vy Ngo — and a secretary/treasurer position, which was filled by Maebdh King. Jessica Blom, representative for the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, took on the new wellness representative sub-position on the Council and organized the outdoor fitness sessions and the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry fitness challenge in the fall.

Since these new members joined the inaugural positions, things have run much more smoothly and we owe a great deal of gratitude to them for the work and dedication they have shown to the Council and all graduate trainees.

Our fall and spring trivia nights, organized in conjunction with Strong Bones, Strong Minds, Strong Muscles (SBSMSM) were successful thanks to Yiwen Xu and Jake Bedore, and all of the SBSMSM volunteers and Council members who were involved. We also held an open mic night, which saw the Grad Club filled with people singing along while many of our peers performed on stage.

In September, we hosted the first awards applications discussion panel, which featured professors who have served on reviewing panels (Alison Allan, PhD, Jane Rylett, PhD, and Dr. Rob Hegele) and trainees who have received CIHR and NSERC awards (Sali Farhan and Laura Rosen). We received very positive feedback for this event and plan on repeating it in the fall of 2016.

Jake Bedore organized the London Health Research Day workshop on careers in academia in March, which featured an expert panel of academics from different career stages. It was highly attended and applauded by keynote speaker Dr. Peter Libby from Harvard University.

This year has seen a push toward integration with the medical students thanks to Paxton Moon. The annual Schulichpalooza concert was open to graduate trainees for the first time. We are currently working on more integration events and will update you with details once they are confirmed.

I would also like to thank Jesica Hurst and the entire Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s Communications and Marketing team for helping the Council out with these monthly messages and providing us with a voice in Current Affairs. Thank you to Jessica Blom and Zachary Hawley for co-authoring the October and January messages and providing insights and ideas I could not have had on my own. 

Planning for additional events is currently underway, and all of us on the Council look forward to seeing you attend as many events as you can this summer and into the next academic year. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work on the Graduate Student’s Council this year, and I would like to thank all members for their hard work, care and dedication.

See you all soon!

Alex Moszczynski
PhD Candidate, Department of Neuroscience
Chair, Graduate Students Council, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry