Volunteer Highlight: Emily Wuerch

Emily Wuerch, Vice Chair (Advocacy) of the GSA Diversity and Inclusion Committee

First, could you please introduce about yourself and your educational background?

My name is Emily and I grew up in Ontario and that’s where I did my schooling so far. So I did my undergrad at McMaster university. I then moved to Calgary for grad school, and I’ve been here for about a year. And in Calgary, I’m doing my master’s and I will be switching to my PhD in clinical neurosciences.

And my research focuses specifically on MS. And so I’m trying to combine on medication and exercise in a model of MS.

Thank you. And how did you get involved with the GSA?

I was really just looking to become more involved in the grad student community.

Especially during these times, it’s hard to form connections and get to know other students. And I thought that the GSA would be a great opportunity to do that.

Can you explain a little bit about your role or the GSA right now, especially with the EDI committee?

On the GSA, I’m the vice chair of advocacy on the equity diversity and inclusion committee.

Basically my role is to amplify the voices of people who are maybe underrepresented, and our GSA grad student body and just really create opportunities for grad students to advocate for others and for themselves through different events workshops, things like that.

Could you please let the students know about what the next plan for the EDI committee and especially in the advocacy world of EDI?

Essentially our plans for advocacy have two main branches. The first is that we’re really trying to promote involvement for individuals who haven’t had any experience in the EDI space so far. So people who are maybe new aren’t sure how to become an advocate either for themselves or for other communities. And we’re hoping to just give them the tools to do so and to feel confident when advocating and when engaging in these sometimes tricky conversations. The second part is to engage students who are already interested and passionate in advocacy and work to create meaningful partnerships there with other EDI focus groups, either on campus or in the greater Calgary.

Read recent EDI Blogs of the GSA:

To learn more about the GSA Volunteer Recruitment Program, visit here: gsa.ucalgary.ca/volunteer