GSA Executive Board of Directors
Roles and Responsibilities
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.
Tanille Shandro • President
Growing up in Central Alberta, Tanille moved south to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Calgary, where she found her passion for research. She is currently pursuing a MSc in Biophysical Chemistry in the MacCallum Lab with research focusing on protein-small molecule binding interactions for biosensor development.
Tanille has worked with UCalgary’s Residence Services for four years, was an event coordinator for the Chemistry Graduate Students’ Association and was the previous chair of UCalgary’s Residence Athletic Association. In addition to that, she ran her own small business for four years before entering graduate school.
In her free time, Tanille loves being outdoors hiking, skiing, and camping.
Mary Zhang • VP Student Life
Mary is a Chinese international student pursuing a PhD degree in Geoscience currently. her research focuses on the geomechanical implications of free phase gas formation in the subsurface.
She first came to University of Calgary in 2015 as a visiting student through a “3+2” international collaborative program. As an international student, she has always valued events that create a closer and more involved community for students. These events lead to important personal connections that ultimately benefit and enrich the lives of all participants. Therefore, in the past few years of her time at UCalgary, she has been heavily involved in the management of student events with multiple organizations as a way of giving back to the student community.
Kabita Baral • VP Finance & Services
Kabita, originally from Nepal, is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, Department of Veterinary Medicine. She works on Bioinformatics side of project on Neural Stem Cells. She completed her undergraduate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Nepal and Master’s degree in Bioinformatics in Texas, USA. Besides school, she loves cooking, reading and board games.
Alex Paquette • VP Academic
Alex is a PhD Candidate in the department of Geoscience. His research area combines microbiology, biochemistry and bioengineering. Alex received his M.Sc. in Cell and Systems Biology and B.Sc. in Life Science from the University of Toronto. He also has prior experience with the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Graduate Student Association as Vice President Student Life and President. Over his last two years at the University of Calgary, Alex was a member of various GSA committees and has worked with UCalgary’s Residence Services. Alex is passionate about advocating for graduate students and student with disabilities.
In his free time, Alex likes to explore the beautiful nature that Alberta has to offer. He also loves sports and plays hockey and lacrosse.
Christine Cao • VP External
Christine is a M.Sc. Student in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, specializing in applied machine learning for urban design. She obtained her B.Sc. in Geomatics Engineering from the University of Calgary, and has past experience working as a software developer. From undergraduate to present, Christine has been very involved in student advocacy through different department councils, societies, and DGAs.
In her free time, Christine enjoys baking, watching cooking shows, and playing video games. She is also a rock climbing/bouldering enthusiast, and plays volleyball recreationally.