GSA Executive Board of Directors

The GSA 2017-2018 Executive Contact Information:

The President is the chair of the GSA’s Board of Directors and enforces the by-laws of the organization. They are the official spokesperson of the GSA. The President sits on the Board of Governors as the GSA’s representative.

The VP Student Life is generally responsible for all matters that pertain to the GSA and internal organizations of the university that relate to non-academic matters of the student experience. Some aspects of their portfolio include: DGAs, social events and discounted ticket sales, and overseeing the graduate newsletter.

The VP Finance and Services is responsible for overseeing the general operations of the GSA and the services it provides such as the health and dental plan and the mentorship program. Some aspects of their portfolio include: overseeing the Finance Standing Committee and organizing GSA workshops.

The VP Academic is responsible for all academic matters that affect graduate students at the University of Calgary including awards, bursaries, and grants.

The VP External is generally responsible for all matters that pertain to the external relations of the GSA. They maintain an awareness of current issues and developments related to all levels of government. The VP External, along with the President, are responsible for the participation in student advocacy organization.

The GSA is always looking for volunteers.

To get involved and volunteer, please email


Brit Paris • President 2017-2018

Brit is a graduate student in Educational Research at the Werklund School of Education, completing her MA in Summer 2017 and beginning the PhD program in Fall 2017. Brit also holds a BA in German, a BA (Honours) in Linguistics, both from the University of Calgary, and a BEd in Secondary Education from the University of Alberta. Her research interests lie in the intersect between language learning, classroom assessment, and student experience.

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Taha Afyouni • VP Student Life 2017-2018

Taha is a Master’s student in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering with an interdisciplinary specialization in Environmental Engineering. He discovered his passion for sustainability and environmental remediation during his BSc degree where he specialized in Environmental and Water Engineering at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

During his free time, Taha enjoys hiking and playing board games. He is also an active presence on campus and has planned numerous events for the graduate student body since joining the University of Calgary.

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Christiana Manzocco • VP Finance & Services 2017-2018

Christiana is in the second and final year of her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) specializing in Finance. Her professional experience has taken her across a diverse variety of sectors, including management consulting, marketing and sales, and business operations, working for firms from oil and energy to startups to women’s fashion. She is passionate about business strategy and positively contributing to the financial strength of the GSA.

Christiana loves to travel any chance she gets, her adventures spanning 24 countries and counting. She also enjoys spending time in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, hiking and camping (more like glamping).

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Negar Mohammadi • VP Academic 2017-2018

Negar is entering the final year of her Master’s of Clinical Neuroscience at the Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Hotchkiss Brain Institute. Negar’s field of research is to delineate the seizure onset zone in patients with epilepsy to better guide epilepsy surgery and improve post-surgical outcomes.

Negar loves to serve and support all of the graduate students at the University of Calgary to ensure their academic success.

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Willem Klumpenhouwer • VP External 2017-2018

Willem is a PhD Candidate in Transportation at the Schulich School of Engineering. Willem is a strong believer in the need for clearer thinking about how people move in cities and is an advocate for walking, cycling, and transit-oriented projects in Calgary.

For fun, Willem volunteers as an actor and backstage improviser at Calgary’s Loose Moose Theatre. He has performed in productions of Snow White and Several Dwarves (as a dwarf) and Elves and the Shoemaker (as an elf). When you meet him, the irony of these roles will become clear.

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