Graduate Student Representatives


Graduate Student Representative

Current Grad Rep: Yodit Tesfagiorgis – ytesfagi@uwo.ca 
Member Elect: Robert Kuiack – rkuiack@uwo.ca
 
Responsible for preparing reports for and attending all faculty meetings (typically monthly) and conveying any pertinent updates from the student body to the faculty and vice versa. Coordinates the graduate student and PDF representatives on all other committees, manages elections for these positions, and organizes the graduate student and PDF Meet-and-Greet in September. Controls the graduate student accounts/finances and secures funding from the department for events. Gives orientation talks to incoming students. May be required to recruit students for external reviews of the department and recruitment meetings, as requested by the Dean’s office. This position is typically held by a PhD student in their second year of study or beyond.

Graduate Studies Committee Representative 

Current Rep: Yodit Tesfagiorgis – ytesfagi@uwo.ca  
 
Attends all Graduate Studies Committee meetings, as the student representative. The Grad Studies Committee is responsible for making decisions on the distribution of finances for student awards and scholarships (the student rep is not involved in decisions pertaining to whom scholarships are awarded), revising the graduate curriculum and course design, and implementing changes to the program (e.g. the 1-year MSc). The student rep also typically organizes the annual town hall meeting, may participate in external reviews of the graduate program, and serves to represent the interests of MNI grad students on the Grad Committee. This position is best suited to a PhD student.

Undergraduate Education Committee Representative

Current Rep: Smriti Juriasingani (Simi) – sjuriasi@uwo.ca  
Second Rep: Blake Shannon – bshanno2@uwo.ca
 
This position is open to any graduate student in M&I, with preference for those that completed their undergrad at Western. This student works with the Undergrad Committee to develop curriculum at the undergraduate level in the department.

Outreach Committee Representatives 

Current Rep: Blake Shannon – bshanno2@uwo.ca
 
Works with Outreach Committee faculty members to recruit student volunteers for open houses and other promotional events advertising the M&I department to prospective students. Notifies undergraduate and graduate students of these events via e-mail, and creates a volunteer schedule based on availability. Serves as a coordinator and ensures the display for M&I runs smoothly on the day of the event. This position is open to any graduate student in M&I.

Appointments Committee Student Representative (non-voting)

Current Rep: Yodit Tesfagiorgis – ytesfagi@uwo.ca  
PDF Rep: Mariya Goncheva – mgonchev@uwo.ca
 
This student/PDF representative is a non-voting member of the faculty Appointments Committee, and is responsible for attending meetings with regards to hiring of new faculty members, as well as attending appointment seminars. Ideally this representative is a senior PhD student familiar with the department.

Seminars Committee Student Representative 

Grad Rep: Faizah Alotaibi – falotai3@uwo.ca 
PDF Rep: Mariya Goncheva – mgonchev@uwo.ca
 
The student representative on the Seminars Committee is responsible for attending meetings throughout year to discuss potential speakers for the R.G.E. Murray Seminar Series. This position is typically held by a PhD student.

Graduate Student Representative to Schulich 

Current Rep: Scarlett Puebla Barragan – spueblab@uwo.ca
 
The responsibilities of the MNI Grad Student Rep to Schulich include: 1) attending approximately 1 meeting/month throughout the school year on campus, 2) keeping MNI graduate students up to date on Schulich events and graduate student issues as they arise via both email and announcements in seminar class, and 3) motivating MNI grad students to attend Schulich social events, and 4) motivating MNI grad students to give their opinions (both positive and negative) to you so you may open dialogue with grad students from other departments during Schulich grad rep meetings. Please note that this is a council made up of your student peers charged with bringing both positive and negative situations to the attention of other graduate students and to the Associate Dean of Research (Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies). Meetings are attended by your peers from other Schulich departments and sometimes attended by the Associate Dean. This position is typically open to any graduate student in MNI.

SOGS Representatives 

Current Rep:  Katherine Ferguson – kfergu49@uwo.ca  
Second Rep: Robert Kuiack – rkuiack@uwo.ca  
Alternate Rep: Mackenzie Joseph Dodge – mdodge@uwo.ca
 
The representatives to the SOGS council are responsible for attending all SOGS council meetings and representing the interests of the MNI students at these meetings, as well as communicating any relevant changes/elections within SOGS to our department. Two students are required to attend each meeting, a third rotating student may be selected to ensure that all meetings are attended. The department receives a stipend for each meeting attended to fund graduate student events, so attendance at these meetings is essential.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Union Representative 

Current Rep: Steven Trothen – steven.trothen@uwo.ca
 
The student holding this position must be a Teaching Assistant for the M&I department.

Infection and Immunity Research Forum Committee 

Chair: Michelle Lim – mlim57@uwo.ca  
Co-chair:  Steven Trothen – steven.trothen@uwo.ca

Representative to Let’s Talk Science  

Current Rep: Katelyn MacNeil – kmacne9@uwo.ca
 
Conveys information with regards to volunteer opportunities available through Let’s Talk Science to M&I grad students. This person must be hired as an official volunteer through Let’s Talk Science.

Representative to the Canadian Society of Microbiologists 

Current Rep: Blake Shannon – bshanno2@uwo.ca
 
Conveys information regarding the annual general meeting of the CSM, funding opportunities, and other relevant information from the society to M&I grad students.

Representative to the American Society for Microbiology 

Current Rep: Izabela Batko – ibatko@uwo.ca
 
Conveys information regarding the annual general meeting of the ASM, funding opportunities, and other relevant information from the society to M&I grad students.

Representative to the American Society for Virology

Current Rep: Yiying Zhang – yzha3294@uwo.ca
  
Conveys information regarding the annual general meeting of the ASV, funding opportunities, and other relevant information from the society to M&I grad students.

Representative to the Canadian Society for Immunology 

Current Rep: Yodit Tesfagiorgis – ytesfagi@uwo.ca
 
Conveys information regarding the annual general meeting of the CSI, funding opportunities, and other relevant information from the society to M&I grad students.