Election of Graduate Students and Faculty Members on FGS Standing Committees: Biographical Statements

Faculty Members' Biographical Statements

Appeals & Academic Honesty Committee

Janessa Drake (Graduate Program in Kinesiology & Health Science)
Dr. Janessa Drake is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science.  She specializes in the area of Spine Biomechanics. At York she has taught anatomy, introductory and advanced biomechanics of human movement, and clinical biomechanics at the undergraduate level, and instrumentation, signal processing and modelling at the graduate level. She was awarded the Faculty of Health, Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013.

Currently, her research is focused on understanding the acute and time varying responses and neuromuscular control of the spine, and the possible associated injury mechanisms and resulting pain pathways due to combined loading of exercise and industrial exposures. Her work includes examination of the effects of modifying factors including sex, age, fatigue, and fitness level. She also investigates anatomical relationships of spine passive and active structures using ultrasound and MRI.   Her goal is to enhance injury prediction, prevention, and rehabilitation.  Dr. Drake is currently funded by a five year NSERC Discovery Grant, and has been funded by Ministry of Labour: Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders grants and a MITACS Accelerate.

Ute Lehrer (Graduate Programs in Environmental Studies and Geography)
Ute Lehrer is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University and a member of the CITY Institute. She held academic positions at Brock University, SUNY Buffalo, ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Lehrer is the Principal Investigator of a SSHRC funded research project on identity constructions of municipalities within global regions, and the co-editor of a book on the suburban land questions. Currently, she is in the process of writing a book on the condominium boom in Toronto.

At York, Lehrer has been actively involved in various aspects of governance. She was the Graduate Program Director, the Coordinator of the Planning Program, the Chair of two Search Committee and served on the Dean’s Search Committee.  She served on award’s committees, and was a delegate of York University for international agreements with Arizona State University as well as Fudan University, Shanghai. She is a key member of an International PhD program between universities in Berlin, New York and Toronto.

At York, she has supervised one PhD student, 19 Masters’ students and 2 Bachelor’s Thesis, and was the advisor for about 5 dozen Master students.

Margaret MacDonald (Graduate Program in Social Anthropology)
Margaret MacDonald is a medical anthropologist specializing in gender and health with particular interests in women's reproductive health. She is the author of At Work in the Field of Birth: Midwifery Narratives of Nature, Tradition and Home (Vanderbilt University Press 2007) which is an ethnographic account of midwifery in Ontario in the wake of its historic transition from the margins as a grassroots social movement to a profession in the public health care system.  She is currently engaged in several new projects concerning the culture and science of contemporary midwifery in Canada.  Dr. MacDonald also conducts research in the area of global maternal health and is completing a major research project that looks at key debates and emerging tools in the campaigns to address maternal mortality around the world including the controversial place of traditional birth attendants in maternal health, the production and uses of photography and film in global campaigns as affective, aesthetic information about maternal mortality, and the emergence of new biomedical-technical solutions to persistent health problems. Her regional focus in this work is Senegal.

Georges Monette (Graduate Program in Mathematics & Statistics)
I have been at York since 1982 where I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the Faculty of Science.  I have been at various times chair of the department, director of its statistics section, coordinator and associate coordinator of the Statistical Consulting Service affiliated with the Institute for Social Research. Through consulting, I have worked with a large number of faculty researchers and graduate students at York.  My current interests centre on the visualization of statistical theory, statistical pedagogy and the analysis of complex data.

Awards Committee

Karen Burke (Graduate Program in Music)
Karen Burke developed an interest in choral conducting at McMaster University, completing her Honours Bachelor of Music Degree in 1983. Burke also holds a Master of Education degree from York University and ARCT Diploma in Piano Teaching from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Karen and her husband, Oswald, own Burke Music Inc., a Gospel music company which also offers production and publishing services, consulting, choral workshops and lessons.

In 1988, Burke co-founded the Juno award-winning Toronto Mass Choir; a gospel choir comprised of singers and musicians from across the GTA, and continues to serve as its artistic director, developing the choir’s touring schedules and choral arrangements. Since its inception, she has also written many original songs for the choir’s recordings.

After fifteen years teaching at the elementary and high school levels, Burke became a Professor in the music department at York University in 2005, developing the first post-secondary gospel music curricular courses in Canada including the 100-voice York University Gospel Choir. Her busy music career continues as a guest speaker, conductor, songwriter, classical piano teacher and clinician has offered gospel music workshops in Canada and overseas.

Burke has offered workshops for many schools and organizations including the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, the Ontario Music Educators Association, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Toronto District School Board and the Metropolitan Separate School Board. Burke has also spearheaded other initiatives to share gospel music such as the City Youth Gospel Project.

Dorothy DeVal (Graduate Program in Music)
Professor de Val served as Associate Dean with responsibility for Research and Graduate Studies in what is now AMPD from 2004 to 2007, and then served on FGS APPC from 2007-2009. She was appointed GPD of Dance (MA and PhD Studies) from 2009-2011. She has been active with graduate students in her home department, first as interim GPD in 2001-02 and subsequently as the organizer of numerous conferences at York involving graduate students as speakers and volunteers.  She is also active as a supervisor and committee member on various MA and PhD projects in Music and Dance on a wide variety of topics, and is currently on two committees in Interdisciplinary Studies.  In addition she has examined theses and dissertations in Music, Dance, English and Theatre over the past 16 years.

Her research deals with the first English folk revival; her monograph on Lucy Broadwood (1858-1929) won an honorable mention for the Pauline Alderman Award for outstanding research on women and music in 2013, and her most recent article on Percy Grainger appeared in a landmark volume devoted to this composer published last year. She is also a member of the Victorian Studies Network at York and presented a paper at their meeting last October.

Other research interests involve music and disability, especially blindness; the role of Dalcroze eurhythmics in musicianship and theory pedagogy; piano culture in nineteenth-century Britain; and music for social dance, where she is active as a performer with her ensemble, Playford’s Pleasure, throughout Ontario.

Marina Erechtchoukova (Graduate Program in Information Systems & Technology)
I am an Associate Professor at the School of Information Technology, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. My primary research interests are in the fields of model-driven and data-driven decision support in environmental sustainability including application of AI to water resources management and assessment, simulation modeling of complex systems, and semi-structured data modeling. I am also working on optimization of schedules in healthcare management systems. Since joining York University, I served on the Adjudicating Award Committee for LA&PS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Committee on Student Academic Petitions, Committee on Student Appeals and Academic Integrity, ITEC Nomination Committee, ITEC Curriculum Committee, SASIT T&P File Adjudicating Committee.  I was an ITEC Coordinator of Technology Internship Program. Since 2012, I am an active Board member and the Secretary of the International Environmental Modelling and Simulation Society. I was involved in adjudication of students’ works for Best Student Paper Award at International Congresses and adjudication of peers’ research papers which resulted in the Outstanding Reviewer Award, Journal of Environmental Modelling and Software, Elsevier.

If elected, I will put my efforts to actively participate in the Awards Committee meetings and functioning to run its operations smoothly and efficiently.

R. Darren Gobert (Graduate Programs in English and Theatre & Performance Studies)
R. Darren Gobert is Professor of English and Theatre & Performance Studies. He is editor of the journal Modern Drama and author of The Theatre of Caryl Churchill (Bloomsbury) and The Mind-Body Stage (Stanford UP), which won best book prizes from both the Canadian Association of Theatre Research and the American Society for Theatre Research. In recognition of his pedagogy, he has been awarded both the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching (LAPS) and the President’s University-Wide Teaching Award in the category of senior faculty. He would bring to his work on the Awards Committee a variety of experience in collegial governance at the Department, Program, and Faculty levels. His previous contributions to Graduate Studies at York include terms on the Admissions, Curriculum, Executive, Petitions, and Scholarships committees of two programs; membership on Faculty of Graduate Studies Council; and service as Graduate Program Director of English. In that capacity he has previously served on university-wide selection committees for both CGS Masters and SSHRC Doctoral Scholarships.

Tara Haas (Graduate Programs in Biology and Kinesiology & Health Science)
I am an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science.  I conduct research that examines the factors that regulate the growth and maintenance of blood vessels within skeletal muscle.  To date, I have been primary supervisor of 6 PhD students and 13 Masters students.  Previously, I served as graduate program director of the Kinesiology and Health Science graduate program (2008-2011).  I also have been a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Academic Policy and Planning Committee, and the Awards Committee.  I have served on the Faculty of Health Petitions Committee (2007-2011), over-seeing undergraduate student petitions.   I am interested in serving on the Appeals and Academic Honesty committee of Faculty of Graduate Studies, as I feel strongly that academic honesty is a critical value to uphold among our academic community, particularly as it pertains to research-related issues.

Hyejin Ku (Graduate Program in Mathematics & Statistics)
Professor Ku’s primary research interest includes mathematical finance (pricing and hedging of derivatives, risk measurement and management) and stochastic analysis (stochastic processes, stochastic differential equation theory). She has won a “best paper” award in 2010.

Prof Ku was a visiting research scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, a visiting assistant professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, an assistant professor at York University,  a visiting associate professor at Kyoto University, a visiting associate professor at Seoul National University, and has been working as an associate professor with tenure at York University since 2008.

Prof Ku has been teaching many graduate courses at York University every year since she was hired in 2003. She taught Stochastic Calculus in Finance, Stochastic Processes, Probability Models, and some Reading courses.

She has been an invited visiting fellow at the Isaac Newton Institute at University of Cambridge in 2014, the Fields Institute in Toronto in 2010, the Institute of Economic Research at Kyoto University in 2009, the Institute for Mathematics and  it Applications at the University of Minnesota in2004.

She has given many invited talks, including University of Cambridge in UK, ETH in Zurich, Fields Institute in Toronto, University of Waterloo in Canada, Hunan University in China, Korea Institute for Advanced Study in Korea, and many workshops/conferences in New York, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto, and Seoul.

Zijiang Yang (Graduate Programs in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Information Systems & Technology and Mathematics & Statistics)
Zijiang Yang joined York University in 2002 and has served in many committees at various levels including department, faculty and university level. Her primary graduate appointment is with Information Systems & Technology. She also has graduate appointment in Computer Science & Engineering and Mathematics & Statistics. She has been serving in FGS Awards Committee in last six years. She is very familiar with all the guidelines, regulations, and rules in Awards Committee. In addition, the nature of her multidisciplinary research area provides her the insight of many different fields, which will be a great asset in helping her assess applications from various disciplines.

Petitions Committee

Simone Pisana (Graduate Programs in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Physics & Astronomy)
Simone Pisana received his B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science and M.A.Sc. (Hons) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2002 and 2004, respectively. He then continued his graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, where he received his Ph.D. degree in Engineering in 2008. His graduate studies focused on electronic and optical properties of semiconductors and novel nanostructured materials. In 2008, he joined Hitachi Global Storage Technologies as a Postdoctoral Researcher and continued on to become Research Staff Member in 2010 and Senior Research Manager in 2014. While in the industry, he worked on nanoscale magnetic field sensing devices and energy-assisted magnetic recording technologies. Simone joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University in 2014 as Associate Professor. His research is aimed at exploring transport phenomena in nanoscale devices & materials for energy efficient nanoelectronic device engineering. He is Senior Member of the IEEE, and has authored 39 refereed journal articles with over 3,000 citations.
At York University, Simone has contributed to the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science departmental activities as member of the Graduate Executive Committee and in 2 search committees (one as chair). Simone is passionate about student matters and has been member of the Lassonde School of Engineering Academic Petitions and Appeals Committee for 2 years, and is eager to contribute in a similar role at the Faculty of Graduate Studies Petitions Committee.

Man Wah Wong (Graduate Program in Mathematics & Statistics)
In the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, I was Graduate Program Director in 1991-94, Undergraduate Program Director in 2003-06 and Chair in 2006-12. In FGS, I have served on the Executive Committee in 1995-97 and the Academic Planning and Policy Committee in 2004-06. In my own areas of expertise, I have to date successfully supervised 11 Ph.D. dissertations, 1 M.A. thesis and 2 M.A. survey papers at York in Analysis related to Partial Di erential Equations and Mathematical Physics.

Graduate Students' Biographical Statements

Awards Committee

Jacob Bermel (Graduate Program in English)
Jacob Bermel, BA (Hons.) and MA in English (Brock University), is a first year PhD student in English at York University. His recently completed MA thesis, entitled “Infinite Gestures: Militant Empathy and the Mitigation of Neoliberal Desire in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest,” examines the question of whether empathy is able to incite social change and evidence a politics outside, or counter to, “neoliberalism.” His current research focuses on the formal, cultural, and ethical interstices of avant-garde/experimental poetry and film, Black Mountain poetry/poetics and its transnational influences, as well as neoliberal rationality/discourse and the textualization of depression in contemporary American and Canadian fiction. Aside from his research interests, Jacob is also an avid poet and creative writer who is currently working on a collection of poetry that will address the exilic self, nostalgia, and the ontological differences between text and image in the Polaroid photographs of Andrei Tarkovsky.

Vanessa Fleet (Graduate Program in Art History)
I am a Vanier Canada Graduate scholar and a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Culture at York University. As a curator and photo-historian, I study the relationship between photographs and cultural institutions, considering photography’s power to provoke meaningful reflections on identity and history, and its ability to be an agent of social change.

I have been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships and am experienced with the processes and procedures for creating, developing, and reviewing academic grant and prize applications. On the strength of my research ability and awards profile, I was invited in 2015 by the Graduate Center at the City University of New York to present a workshop titled “Creating a Competitive Grant Application: Sell-out Strategies for the Humanities,” a peer-led session designed to help graduate students build effective narratives for framing fund-able academic projects (or: how to sell yourself without selling your soul).

I wish to serve on the Awards Committee in order to be involved in advising, policy, and decision-making concerning governance – particularly as it affects scholarship terms and conditions for students in the current climate of the modern university. I value transparency and equal opportunity for economic access, and I will uphold democratic principles of inclusivity if I am elected to this committee.

Abu Haque (Graduate Program in Communication & Culture)
Abu Haque is first year graduate student in Communication and Culture, his interest is in line with the inquiry of identity issues, ethnic minority & marginalized groups, media (mis)representation, hegemonic cultural and diaspora.

He is interested to combine research and creativity- either documenting the research findings through a creative process or using creative process as a means to inquiry.

Abu has an MBA in Finance from The People's University of Bangladesh and MA in English from National University. He also completed a post Graduation on Videography: Broadcast Journalism/Documentary from Conestoga College and is The Winner of Ken Mackenzie Memorial Award & Bell Media Videography Digital Media Award.

He has made a few documentaries and produced a number of newscasts for 519 Online News as well as anchored the show. He produced a promotional video for Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) and was the editor of a Bengali literary magazine “Odoito”.

He writes in many different formats, such as blogs and columns, editorials and commentaries, reports and criticism. His writings covered a variety of topics including arts and culture, education, governance, lifestyle, fashion etc. He is also passionate towards painting and photography and had two solo exhibitions.

Wambui N Kabage Graduate Program in Law)
Wambui is a UK, Kenyan and Australian trained lawyer, currently a graduate student at
Osgoode Professional Development. Her diverse background and training allow her to work with and appreciate people with different perspectives, who are from varied backgrounds and cultures. She is also an internationally qualified mediator; able to handle conflict in a manner that builds relationships rather than destroys them. She is currently pursuing two qualifications at Osgoode Professional Development, a Master of Laws in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution and a Graduate Diploma in Justice Systems Administration. She is a wife, mother of 4 and a new immigrant to Canada. Wambui is a hard working, disciplined, balanced compassionate person. Whilst in Kenya Wambui was the managing partner of a medium sized law firm and lecturer at The Kenya School of Law. She strongly believes in volunteering to better serve those around her. She is currently a volunteer faculty member of Justice Advocacy Africa (a not for profit organization) that instructs African lawyers in Trial Advocacy and is a volunteer mediation instructor at the Osgoode Mediation Clinic. She also appreciates the need to acknowledge people who work hard, produce exemplary work, and show ingenuity in what they do. Wambui would therefore be of value to the Awards Committee because she brings with her two critical perspectives, that of a graduate student and as a person who has worked as faculty in a tertiary education institution.

Kyo Maclear (Graduate Program in Education)
Kyo Maclear is currently a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar and a doctoral student at York University (Faculty of Education, 2014-2018) where her areas of research include: contemporary art and cultural responses to disaster from the nuclear age to climate change. She has published peer-reviewed articles in Curriculum Inquiry, Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, and Resources for Feminist Research.

In addition to her scholarly work, she has written widely on visual art and contemporary culture for publications including Prefix Photo, The Literary Review of Canada, and The Guardian. She has been a national arts reviewer for Canadian Art magazine and a monthly arts columnist for Toronto Life.

As a literary writer and essayist her work has found a readership across a public-to-academic spectrum. She has garnered nominations from the National Magazine Awards, the Governor General’s Literary Awards and twice been a recipient of the Chalmers Arts Fellowship. Her ten books have been published by major houses and by university presses, translated into eleven languages, and printed in sixteen countries. Her scholarly work, Beclouded Visions: Hiroshima-Nagasaki and the Art of Witness (New York: SUNY, 1999), examined cultural responses to the atomic bombings.

Kyo is on Faculty with Humber College's School for Writers and a former Writer-in-Residence with the TDSB (2013-2015). She has sat on numerous awards juries, including most recently: the Governor General’s Literary Award (2013), the Ontario Arts Council Works in Progress Grant (2011) and the K.M. Hunter Artists Award (2010).

George Martin (Graduate Program in Communication & Culture)
In September of 2015 I joined the Joint York-Ryerson Communication and Culture PhD program after working professionally for several years. In making this shift, I understand the importance of financial and institutional support in furthering academic studies and research. For this reason, I’m interested in working with the Faculty of Graduate Studies Awards Committee.

I hope to add a perspective gained as a former member of student-faculty committees at Ryerson University and the University of Hong Kong and as a student with a range of academic experiences.

At Dalhousie University I learned as an undergraduate how universities provide students and faculty freedom to engage new ideas. Later, while studying at Ryerson University’s urban planning program I witnessed scholarship engaging real-world practice, in supporting the financial and social aspirations of students and in advancing social equity. While completing graduate studies at the University of Hong Kong, I came to understand how universities operate in a global context in building trans-national social, academic and cultural networks.

The community at York similarly incorporates such a combination of academic freedom, engagement, and global perspective. This is why I value being part of it as a PhD candidate and tutorial leader and why I with to further my involvement through the FGS Awards Committee.

Maseehullah Stanikzai (Graduate Program in Public Policy, Administration & Law)
Maseehullah Stanikzai was born in 1988, in Afghanistan. In 2012, he achieved Bachelor of Business Administration major in Human Resources Management. In 2005, he started working as Sr. Marketing/Sales executive IO-Global Internet Services Limited. In 2007, Maseeh was given the role of Country Administrator, at an international non-governmental organization based in Sweden. Furthermore, Maseeh served as Special Assistant, Country Representative, The Asia Foundation (2010-2011). In 2012 he became Program Officer, Survey of the Afghan people at TAF. In this role he was supervising a project with cash flow of up-to 10 million dollars; funded by international donors and development agencies. Prior to his move to Canada he was in charge of two socio-political projects in Afghanistan, including Public Awareness, Elections and Youths Capacity Development (2012-2013). In September 2015, Maseeh was accepted as candidate for Masters of Public Policy Administration and Law, York University.

I (Maseehullah Stanikzai) am willing to volunteer at the FGS award committee. This opportunity will develop my professional background. As a member of the committee; I will have the opportunity to expand my professional network and learn from other professionals at a policy level. Participation in academic and governance affairs will allow me to learn new ideas and experiences from other professionals; it will contribute in my decision makings on complex issues in a practical platform. I will learn a new skill on my flexible time. At the same time, I can apply my skills and ideas in a professional environment.

Petitions Committee

Kurosh Amoui-Kalareh (Graduate Program in Social & Political Thought)
I am a second year PhD student at the Social & Political Thought (SPTH) program. I currently sit at the Senate of York University as the elected representative of York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA), and I also act as a student member of the executive of SPTH. I had previously sat on the PhD admission committee of SPTH, as well as the search committee for SPTH’s graduate program director (GPD), and served as an organizer of SPTH’s 29th Annual Graduate Conference, Strategies of Critique. For the second year in a row, I am the elected member of the International Graduate Students Committee (IGSC) of CUPE 3903, and I am glad to see that the difficult financial situation of our international graduate students has nearly come to a solution.

I got my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology at the University of Tehran, Iran, my first Master’s in English at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and my second Master’s in Religious Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston. My experience of being a graduate student at UBC, Queen’s, and now York, has provided me with great insight on how graduate studies works both province-wide and national-wide. I look forward to bring my experience at the administrative level to the FGS Petitions Committee to enhance the graduate studies at York, and to be the voice of our graduate students’ community at this important committee.

Jonathan Petrychyn (Graduate Program in Communication & Culture)
Jonathan Petrychyn is a PhD candidate and SSHRC Doctoral Fellow in Communication and Culture at York University. He holds an M.Phil. in Humanities (Memorial) and a B.A. Hons. in Fine Arts (Regina). He was named a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies at Memorial University and was awarded the Faculty of Fine Arts Medal at the University of Regina. His PhD dissertation, “The Affective Economies of Queer Film Festivals on the Canadian  Prairies,” will develop a history of the queer film festival culture in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Jonathan currently sits as a PhD Representative for York on the Executive Council of the Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, with his term ending September 2016. In the past he served on the board of directors of the UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity and the Regina Public Interest Research Group in Regina, SK, and of St John’s Pride in St. John’s, NL. He also served on the organizing committee of the Canadian University Queer Services Conference in Regina (2012) and St. John’s (2013).

Most recently, Jonathan was on the organizing committee of the Film Studies Association of Canada’s 2016 Annual Graduate Colloquium. As part of this team, he developed an “uncolloquium” that provided graduate students in-depth feedback on their projects and developed skills useful to pursuing careers in academic and non-academic fields. He facilitated a workshop based on this experience, “Reimagining the Graduate Conference,” at The Future of the PhD in Humanities Conference in Ottawa in May.

Melinda Julie Phuong (Graduate Program in Education)
My name is Melinda Julie Phuong and I'm a first year Masters of Education student. My research is focused on how specific post-secondary education policies and government policies affect student access and subsequently, their educational success. I would like to serve as the student representative on the FGS Petitions Committee.

In the 2013-2015 academic years, I had the privilege of serving on York University’s Senate as a senator through the Faculty of Education Students’ Association. In this capacity, I also served on several subcommittees including the Senate Appeals Committee (SAC), which is where students and faculty can appeal Faculty committee decisions on petitions. As an educator, this perspective was, and still is crucial in helping me understand the multi-dimensional complexities of students and situations. My experience on SAC taught me a lot about the procedural aspects of petitions and appeals at York University but more importantly, it was an eye-opener in realising the major obstacles students sometimes face while working towards their degree, affecting their educational success.

Serving as Masters Representative this year on the York Graduate Students in Education has allowed me to learn through faculty members and colleagues about structural changes in the university as well as its effects on graduate students. Student involvement in university governance is important to me- both for the student voice and to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of the institution. I hope to be given the opportunity to serve as your student representative on the FGS Petitions Committee next year.

Shubha Sandill (Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies)
Shubha Sandill is a community activist, researcher, entrepreneur, and fourth year PhD student at York University’s Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies. Shubha has a diverse academic career that began with a PhD in Urban Geography from Agra University in India in 1991. She shifted gears to the corporate world after immigrating to Canada, acting as Director of Richa Enterprises Inc., a private corporation that operated a lucrative chain of retail businesses. In 2010, she returned to academia to pursue her second Masters in Globalization Studies at McMaster University. Subsequently, in 2012, Shubha commenced her second PhD at York University, focusing her research on women in family entrepreneurships, women’s economic empowement and gender justice.

Alongside her academic endeavours, Shubha holds the position of Director on the Executive Committees for both the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas Federal Liberal Riding Association, and the Hamilton Mountain Federal Liberal Riding Association. She is a member of the Hamilton Organizing for Poverty Elimination (HOPE) Committee, a subsidiary of the Hamilton Social Planning and Research Council. She supports Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum’s art and heritage initiatives in Ancaster through her role on its Volunteer Committee. Shubha is also the Group Manager for the United Nations Group on LinkedIn, with a global membership of over 45,000, as well as the United Nations Business Partnerships Group. At York, she has sat on the 2015 Sexuality Studies Visiting Scholar Adjudication Committee. Shubha is the 2016 recipient of the Peneleope Jane Glasser Award from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Romi-Lee Sevel (Graduate Program in Financial Accountability)
My name is Romi-Lee Sevel and I am a Chartered Professional Accountant with over five years of professional experience.

I attained an Honors Bachelor of Arts at the University of Western Ontario and a Certificate in Accounting at York University before writing my professional designation exams. I am currently a student in the Masters of Financial Accountability Program (MFAc), focussing on the improvement of accountability and governance relationships in private and public organizations.

Through the MFAc program I am learning practical tools and gaining the knowledge required to deal with organizational, ethical and legislative matters in various contexts.
I consider my communication skills, both written and verbal, to be outstanding. I am a flexible and open-minded individual, highly organized and have an eye for detail. I serve on various committees thus I have experience collaborating effectively on a team.

My strong attributes and the skills I have gained through my professional experience and during my graduate studies are aligned with the responsibilities of the Council of FGS and, specifically, the mandate of the Petitions Committee.

Serving on the Petitions Committee will be advantageous to the committee, who will value my meticulous methodologies for tackling issues and my dedication to upholding fairness and integrity in all decisions I make.

Further, serving on the Committee will allow me to (1) gain insight into York’s Graduate Studies administration, (2) apply the knowledge I have learned regarding governance, and (3) make a positive contribution to the fair and systematic enactment of York’s regulations.