GSA Standing Committees
Composition & Current Membership

The work of the GSA is supported by the efforts of nine Standing Committees. Committee composition and mandate are provided below, with further information available in GSA Policy. The nine Standing Committees are:


Get Involved

The GSA has nine (9) standing committees and represents graduate students on dozens of bodies external to the GSA.

If you are interested in committee service, please watch for advertisements from the GSA Nominating Committee in the GSA Newsletter.

You may also e-mail gsa.nomcomm@ualberta.ca for additional information.


GSA Appeals and Complaints Board (GSA ACB)

GSA Appeals and Complaints Board Mandate Summary:

The GSA Appeals and Complaints Board is responsible for hearing and deciding appeals of GSA Chief Returning Officer (CRO) decisions and complaints about GSA Officers as allowed by Section 94(3) of the Post-Secondary Learning Act.

Click here to see the COMPOSITION and MANDATE of the GSA Appeals and Complaints Board (Section H: Performance, Conduct, Responsibilities, and Attendance, and the GSA Appeals and Complaints Board, GSA Policy, GSA Standing Committees, GSA Appeals and Complaints Board).

GSA Appeals and Complaints Board Hearing Committees, Sample Procedures for Hearings: FOR INFORMATION - NOT PART OF GSA POLICY

GSA Appeals and Complaints Board Hearing Summary Template Elements: FOR INFORMATION - NOT PART OF GSA POLICY

GSA Appeals and Complaints Board Membership:

Chair of the GSA ACB Antonio Bruni (Surgery), Member of GSA Council
Vice-Chair of the GSA ACB Justin Leifso (Political Science), Member of GSA Council

Member of the GSA

Hajar Amidian (Political Science)

Member of the GSA
Sarang Gumfekar (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Member of the GSA Liam Heffernan (Renewable Resources)
Member of the GSA
Benjamin Decardi-Nelson (Chemical and Materials Engineering
Member of the GSA  

Ahsan Ahmed (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Member of the GSA 

To be filled

Member of the GSA To be filled
Member of the GSA 
To be filled
Member of GSA Council
Radim Barta (Oncology) Alternate
Member of GSA Council
Sarah Prendergast (Business) Alternate


GSA Awards Selection Committee (GSA ASC)

GSA Awards Selection Committee Mandate Summary:

The GSA Awards Selection Committee selects the recipients of the GSA Council-approved GSA Awards and the Alberta Graduate Citizenship Award and is consulted about any proposed changes to the number, selection, criteria, names, and value of the GSA Awards.

Click here to see the COMPOSITION and MANDATE of the GSA Awards Selection Committee (Section O: GSA Recognition Awards, GSA Policy, GSA Standing Committees, GSA Awards Selection Committee).

GSA Awards Selection Committee Membership:

Vice-President External and Chair of the GSA ASC

Masoud Khademi (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Vice-President Labour and Vice-Chair of the GSA ASC

Sasha van der Klein (Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science)

Member of the GSA

Grant Norman (Neuroscience)

Member of the GSA

Krista McFadyen (Law; Educational Policy Studies)

Member of the GSA

Margot Challborn (Political Science)

Member of the GSA

Rebecca Horne (Human Ecology)

Member of the GSA

Honey Bhatia (Civil Engineering)

Member of the GSA

Bahador Rashidi (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Member of the GSA

Mostafa Tawfeek (Civil Engineering)

Member of the GSA

Alix Clarke (Dental Hygiene)

Member of the GSA  Yingzhou Li (Earth and Atmospheric Science)
Member of the GSA  Wade Michaelchuk (Physical Education and Recreation)
Member of the GSA  Preshit Verma (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Member of the GSA To be filled
Member of the GSA To be filled

GSA Board (GSAB)

GSA Board Mandate Summary:

The GSA Board is the senior administrative authority of the GSA and the discussion forum for the GSA Officers and Directors.

Click here to see the COMPOSITION and MANDATE of the GSA Board (Section F: GSA Standing Committees, GSA Policy, GSA Standing Committees, GSA Board).

GSA Board Membership:

President and Chair of GSAB

Sarah Ficko (Renewable Resources)

Vice-President Labour

Sasha van der Klein (Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science)

Vice-President Academic

Firouz Khodayari (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Vice-President Student Services

Alireza Talaei (Mechanical Engineering)

Vice-President External

Masoud Khademi (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Member of GSA Council (non-voting)

Michele DuVal (Biological Sciences)

Member of GSA Council (non-voting)

Radim Barta (Oncology)

Member of  GSA Council (non-voting)

Alicia Cappello (Humanities Computing/Library and Information Studies)

Senator (non-voting)

Jane Traynor (East Asian Studies)

Speaker (non-voting)

Sulya Fenichel (Elementary Education)

GSA Executive Director (non-voting)
Courtney Thomas
GSA Director of Operations (non-voting)
Heather Hogg
GSA Associate Director (non-voting)
Julie Tanguay
GSA Assistant Director (non-voting) Lisa Hareuther


GSA Budget and Finance Committee (GSA BFC)

GSA Budget and Finance Committee Mandate Summary:

The GSA Budget and Finance Committee advises the President and management on the financial affairs of the GSA and provides for the long-term financial health of the organization. Members are expected, by GSA Council, to rise above any local departmental views or issues and to take into account the needs of the GSA as a whole.

Click here to see the COMPOSITION and MANDATE of the GSA Budget and Finance Committee (Section K: Finances, GSA Policy, GSA Standing Committees, GSA Budget and Finance Committee).

GSA Budget and Finance Committee Membership:

President and Chair of the GSA BFC

Sarah Ficko (Renewable Resources)

Vice-President Labour and Vice-Chair of the GSA BFC

Sasha van der Klein (Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science)

Member of GSA Council

Dasha Smirnow (Business)

Member of the GSA

Karen Vera Lyn Turpin (School of Public Health)

Member of the GSA

Sina Yansori (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences)

GSA Executive Director (non-voting)
Courtney Thomas
GSA Director of Operations (non-voting)
Heather Hogg
GSA Accountant (non-voting) Shirley Ball
GSA Financial Manager (non-voting)
Dorte Sheikh


GSA Elections and Referenda Committee (GSA ERC)

GSA Elections and Referenda Committee Mandate Summary:

The GSA Elections and Referenda Committee advises the CRO on all matters pertaining to elections, referenda, and by-elections. The GSA ERC also reviews Elections and Referenda Bylaws and Policies and makes recommendations annually to GSA Council.

Click here to see the COMPOSITION and MANDATE of the GSA Elections and Referenda Committee (Section I: Elections, GSA Policy, GSA Standing Committees, GSA Elections and Referenda Committee).

GSA Elections and Referenda Committee Membership:

Chair of the GSA ERC (Member of GSA)

Leigh Spanner (Political Science)

Vice-Chair of the GSA ERC

To be filled

Member of the GSA

Runzhi Xu (Chemical and Materials Engineering)

Member of the GSA

Jennifer Bertrand (Physical Education and Recreation)

Member of the GSA

Kurtis Broda (Mechanical Engineering)

Member of the GSA

Carolyn Gibson (Renewable Resources)

Member of the GSA

Megan Vernon (Business MBA)

Member of the GSA Council

Ahmed Najar (Renewable Resources)

Chief Returning Officer (non-voting)

Carolina Martinez (Business MBA)

Deputy Returning Officer (non-voting)

Darcy Bemister (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)


GSA Governance Committee (GSA GC)

GSA Governance Committee Mandate Summary:

The GSA Governance Committee (GSA GC) advises GSA Council on GSA Bylaw and matters of GSA Policy not in the purview of any other Standing Committee and reports recommended changes to GSA Council. The GSA GC also makes any routine or editorial changes to the governance documents as deemed necessary by the Committee.

Click here to see the COMPOSITION and MANDATE of the GSA Governance Committee (Section F: GSA Standing Committees, GSA Policy, GSA Standing Committees, GSA Governance Committee).

GSA Governance Committee Membership:

President and Chair of the GSA GC

Sarah Ficko (Renewable Resources)

Vice-President Labour

Sasha van der Klein (Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science)

Member of GSA Council

Maryse Ndilu Kiese (Religious Studies)

Member of GSA Council

Justin Leifso (Political Science)

Member of GSA Council

Nicole Noel (Biological Sciences)

Speaker (non-voting)

Sulya Fenichel (Elementary Education)

GSA Executive Director (non-voting)

Courtney Thomas


GSA Labour Relations Committee (GSA LRC)

GSA Labour Relations Committee Mandate Summary:

The GSA Labour Relations Committee discusses issues of concern regarding graduate student assistantships and assists the Vice-President Labour on issues with graduate student assistantships as well as with the interpretation of the Collective Agreement(s).

Click here to see the COMPOSITION and MANDATE of the GSA Labour Relations Committee (Section F: GSA Standing Committees, GSA Policy, GSA Standing Committees, GSA Labour Relations Committee).

GSA Labour Relations Committee Membership:

Vice-President Labour and Chair of the GSA LRC

Sasha van der Klein (Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science)

Vice-President External and Vice-Chair of the GSA LRC

Masoud Khademi (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Member of the GSA

Hannah Madsen (Library and Information Studies)

Member of the GSA

Michal Juhas (Psychiatry)

Member of the GSA

Amanda Daignault (English and Film Studies)

Member of the GSA

Jennifer Nafziger (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Member of the GSA
Tommy Clark (Physics)
Member of the GSA Elaheh Davari (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Member of the GSA
Stephanie Ibsen (Renewable Resources)
Member of the GSA
Brent Kelly (Political Science)
Member of the GSA
Janine Tine (Elementary Education)

Member of the GSA

Ahmed Najar (Renewable Resources)

Member of the GSA

Dasha Smirnow (Business)

Note: The number of members is determined in consultation with the Chair of the GSA LRC and the GSA Nominating Committee Administrative Chair. 


GSA Negotiating Committee (GSA NC)

GSA Negotiating Committee Mandate Summary:

The GSA Negotiating Committee reviews the Collective Agreement between the GSA and the University of Alberta, prepares the Opening Position, and negotiates the Collective Agreement, including salary, benefits, policy, and regulations governing graduate student assistantships and finalizes the agreement with the University.

Click here to see the COMPOSITION and MANDATE of the GSA Negotiating Committee (Section F: GSA Standing Committees, GSA Policy, GSA Standing Committees, GSA Negotiating Committee).

GSA Negotiating Committee Membership:

Vice-President Labour and Chair of the GSA NC

Sasha van der Klein (Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science)

Vice-President Academic and Vice-Chair of the GSA NC

Firouz Khodayari (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Member of the GSA

To be named by the GSA Board

Member of the GSA

To be named by the GSA Board

GSA Labour Professional (non-voting)

Heather Hogg


GSA Nominating Committee (GSA NoC)

GSA Nominating Committee Mandate Summary:

The GSA Nominating Committee selects and replenishes graduate student representatives to Councils, committees, and bodies requiring such representation other than ex-officio representation by the President, Vice-Presidents, or Directly-Elected Officers.

Click here to see the COMPOSITION and MANDATE of the GSA Nominating Committee (Section E: Nominating, GSA Policy, GSA Standing Committees, GSA Nominating Committee).

GSA Nominating Committee Membership:

Member of GSA Council and Chair of the GSA NoC

Radim Barta (Oncology)

Member of GSA Council and Vice-Chair of the GSA NoC

Antonio Bruni (Surgery)

Member of GSA Council

Michele DuVal (Biological Sciences)

Member of the GSA
Obunikem Eziuzo (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Member of the GSA
Ahsan Ahmed (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
President (non-voting)
Sarah Ficko (Renewable Resources)

GSA Executive Director (non-voting)

Courtney Thomas


Note: Committee members listed have provided consent to have their names listed on the GSA website.