GSA Executive Board of Directors

Roles and Responsibilities

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. 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.

Thinking about running for an Executive position?

Learn more details about GSA Elections by emailing the GSA President or visit the Elections page by clicking the button underneath.

GSA Elections


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.

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Mary Zhang • VP Finance and Services

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.

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Kabita Baral • VP Student Life

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. 

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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.

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Kirsten Neprily • VP External

Kirsten Neprily is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology. She has been a member of student governance for many years (McGill 2013-2017; UCalgary 2018-present). Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, she served as a Co-President on the Graduate Programs in Education Student Association (GPESA), as the GSA Graduate Representative Council Speaker, and GSA Judicial Board Chair. Within these roles, she managed executive teams (10-15 students), represented student voices on multiple committees, supported the creation and execution of Quality Money initiatives, and advocated for student mental health through research partnerships with Student Wellness Services and the Campus Mental Health Strategy. In addition, she led the GSA Graduate Representative Council meetings and resolving a dispute with the Judicial Review Board.

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