FGS Awards Committee Election: Biographical Statements September 2017

Graduate Student Biographical Statements

Awards Committee (1 to be elected)

Kapil (Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering)
My name is Kapil Narwal. I am a graduate student, pursuing my doctoral studies (PhD) at the Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering, York University. I have my Bachelors in Technology (B.Tech.) in Mechanical Engineering, and Masters in Technology (M.Tech.) in Mechanical Engineering (Manufacturing Tech. and Automation), having four years of teaching experience in one of the renowned institutions namely Manav Rachna University, Faridabad (Haryana), India as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. While discharging my academic duties as an Assistant Professor in the university, I have successfully published research papers in the leading scientific journals, co-authored a book chapter in a book titled ‘Solar Drying Technology’ published by Springer; and another in a book titled ‘Renewable Energy Technology’ published by Narosa. I have successfully coordinated in the organization of AICTE approved two weeks Faculty Development Program on ‘Solar Radiations-Green Options of Energy’ in the department. I have also played a very active role in the administrative activities at the university amongst which the conduct of Board of Studies for the finalization of curriculum structure for Bachelors Program offered by the University is worth mentioning. I am determined to apply the knowledge gained during research work in further industrial development in the related areas, and aiming high to serve the society at large. I hope my qualifications and experience would help the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) in a very positive way.

Michael Laurentius (Graduate Program in Science & Technology Studies)
Michael Laurentius is a second-year PhD student within the Science and Technology Studies (STS) graduate programme and a Graduate Research Associate at the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. His research focuses on Canadian cultural and political narratives during the early to mid Cold War, particularly regarding the promotion of technoscientific expertise as a geopolitical force for ‘middle powers.’ During the 2016-17 academic year, Michael was a recipient of the Vernon Oliver Stong Graduate Scholarships in Science, and he will be receiving the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) this upcoming academic year. He currently serves as the Professional Development Fund (PDF) Coordinator and an Extended Health Benefit (EHB) Committee Member within CUPE 3903, the President of the Science and Technology Studies Graduate Student Association (STSGSA), and an Editorial and Technical Assistant for the John Tyndall Correspondence Project. Previously, he served as a STS Graduate Program Director Search Committee Member and the STS Graduate Executive Committee MA Representative within the STS graduate programme, a Funding Committee Member within the York University Graduate Student Association (YUGSA), and an Executive Committee Member for the Visions and Collaborations: 1st Annual York Graduate Student Research Conference – A Canada150 Initiative.

Anna Lippman (Graduate Program in Sociology)
Anna grew up in the United States, but has called Canada home for the past eight years. She is currently pursuing her MA in Sociology at York. Her research focuses on how marginalized youth build resiliency through hip hop culture. She currently serves as the MA Student Representative for the York Sociology Graduate Student Association. Anna holds a BAS from Quest University, where she studied legal and moral philosophy. During her undergraduate studies, she served as Vice President of her student council and Coordinator of the Learning Commons. Anna’s professional background is in community services. She is the only youth to ever manage her local youth centre in Squamish, British Columbia. She also served as a Young Workers Representative and Shop Steward for the British Columbia Government and Social Service Employment Union. Anna’s work in Toronto has primarily focused on helping vulnerable populations find and maintain affordable housing. Anna served as Vice-Chair of her local library and public art committee for three years in BC and currently sits on the board of Family Services Toronto. She is excited at the opportunity to serve on the FGS Awards Committee!

Jonathan Memme (Graduate Program in Kinesiology & Health Science)
Jonathan Memme is a first year PhD student at York University, studying Physiology and is a proud alumnus of York having received his BSc in Kinesiology as well as his MSc in Physiology. Following his MSc, Jonathan worked as a Management Consultant at Carly Rian Group before transitioning back into academia. His diverse professional and academic experiences have developed strong analytical, communication and critical thinking skills which he has vetted in various contexts. Jonathan was the recipient of the NSERC CGS-M, and a nominee for the Thesis Prize Awards at York for his MSc Thesis. As an incoming PhD student, he was also nominated by the Faculty of Health for the Elia Scholarship as the highest incoming GPA amongst candidates. Jonathan is also a member of the Muscle Health Research Centre Student Committee and the Graduate Management Consulting Association at York. While transitioning into management consulting he won the GMCA National Management Consulting Case competition at the University of Toronto, competing against Graduate and Post-doctoral students from across Canada, and worked on a pro bono consulting engagement with the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York U. Outside of his professional/academic life Jonathan is an avid supporter of child development and research promotion, volunteering his time with numerous charities and community groups in a variety of leadership positions, including: Ride to Conquer Cancer Ambassador, Camp Oochigeas Volunteer, Research Advisory Committee Member and Sports for Development Lead at MLSE LaunchPad, and volunteer fundraiser for the Ride for Heart and Stroke among others.

Andrew Molas (Graduate Program in Philosophy)
Andrew Molas is a PhD candidate in the Graduate Program in Philosophy at York University. In addition to presenting his research at over 30 conferences throughout North America and Europe, he is author of 7 articles and has received over 10 scholarships and awards. He earned his Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy at the University of Toronto and his Master of Arts in Philosophy at York. His doctoral research focuses on the role that empathy plays in our engagement with persons living with mental health challenges and how cultivating a phenomenological concept of empathy can reduce stigma. More broadly, he works on the ethics of care as a normative theory and its application within interpersonal and professional contexts. Andrew is currently York’s Student Representative for the Canadian Bioethics Society, a representative of the Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) chapter at York, and a member of the Canadian Philosophical Association’s Equity Committee. He is also continuing his role as a Teaching Commons Tutor and serves as a mentor to York’s graduate students. Andrew was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at the beginning of his undergraduate studies in 2007. Due to living with a chronic disability, he is sensitive towards others who are affected by health issues and, as a teacher, he aims to make his classrooms as inclusive and barrier-free as possible for all students. He is passionate about teaching and educational development and is constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of pedagogy offered at York University.

Dina Taha (Graduate Program in Sociology)
My name is Dina Taha. I am a third year PhD candidate in the Sociology graduate program at York University. Despite being a full time-student, a teaching assistant and a mother, my different roles have pushed me to organize my time effectively. My interest in refugee studies have led me into playing an active role at the Center for Refugee Studies (CRS) at York University where I am serving as an executive committee member directly involved in deciding on key strategic activities and budget determination. I am also chairing the CRS Student Caucus, where we are presently organizing the 12th annual international conference on refugee studies in October. One of the task that I am directly involved in is accepting travel subsidy applications from potential conference presenters and determining successful candidates. I also play an active role at the sociology graduate program assisting informally with various program events as well as serving as York Sociology Graduate Students Association (YSGA) Curriculum Committee representative (2015-2016). I hold a BA in Political Science from Cairo University and an MA in International Human Rights Law from the American University in Cairo where I acquired extensive experience with feminist and minority advocacy groups such as Nazra for Feminist Studies and Minority Rights Group International. I believe that joining the Faculty of Graduate Studies' Awards Committee would help me serve my fellow graduate students in representing their voices and actual circumstances which will assist the committee in making decisions based on merit, fairness and individualized circumstances.

Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu (Graduate Program in Leadership & Community Engagement)
Joannes is currently a Masters student in Leadership and Community Engagement at YorkU. He serves as Research Assistant at Ryerson University for a WHO/WV Niger funded program on the “Use of smartphones by WV trained CHWs in Niger, and how it affects their diagnosis and treatment of malaria, pneumonia and diarrheal diseases and also their performance”. He holds Graduate Certificate in International Development from the UBC and serves on the Youth Advisory Group for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and as a speaker with the Champions bureau program of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada. As a Global Youth Ambassador for A World at School and a One Young World Ambassador, Joannes has spent most of his youthful life advocating for access to quality education and working with children living with disabilities and communities orphaned by HIV/AIDS. His work on gender equality was featured as one of UN Women’s first IMPACT stories of HeForShe Campaign, a UN Women initiative that engages young men/boys to advocate for gender equality. Joannes’ work has been recognized globally including the 2017 UNLEASH Innovation Lab for Education/ICT, the 2016 Emma Watson's Tribe award, the 2016 CBIE Photo award, the 2015 Queens’ Young Leaders Award, the 2014 Youth Courage Award by Gordon Brown which honors youth who have personally demonstrated courage and leadership as agents of change for universal education. He is a Women Deliver Young Leader and a recipient of the African Youth Excellence Award for Public Service. Joannes is bilingual and enjoys photography and writing.