Candidates for the 2020 Governing Council Elections - Graduate Students


Humanities and Social Sciences, Divisions I and II
1 seat – 6 candidates

Ada Adanna

Governing Council is an opportunity for us to contribute to the long term vision of this University in our short time here. I ask to represent you. In my spare time, I enjoy reading up on the history of the university, its many reports and its strategy for the future. I’ve been privileged to have insightful discussions with some of you over these findings. It takes informed research to ask questions, offer feedback and support long-term strategy. I figured I could put all that knowledge to some use volunteering on this council. So, here I am:

Hanné Becker

My name is Hanné Becker, DMA Candidate in Organ Performance at the Faculty of Music. My interest in serving on the Governing Council stems from a desire to more deeply understand and contribute positively towards strategic planning and decision making processes involved in keeping university programs relevant in today's fast-changing world. I believe interdisciplinary conversations involving diverse faculties are integral to facilitate collaborative efforts towards building a better future together. Besides being a TA for three consecutive years, I have also been involved in leadership roles on campus as a residence Don and on the Knox College student committee.

Akshay Mohan

A flourishing student community is foundational to academic excellence. As a first year international PhD studying mental health, I have direct experience with and understanding of the financial, social and health needs of our community. For fifteen years, I have held student leadership roles to advance these complex issues, engaged stakeholders, built coalitions and launched initiatives to improve student quality of life, mental health and resource access. Your vote for me is necessary, so I can continue to use my experience and expertise to represent our needs, and ensure university policies and practices are aligned to building a flourishing community.

Mozynah Nofal

I am a third year PhD student in Education Leadership and Policy at OISE. I have a Master’s degree in educational policy from the OttawaU, and a Public Policy Bachelors from Carleton University. Between these three institutions I have a combined experience of 10 years of students' activism work, and 10 years of training in education policies. Professionally, I have worked for a scholarship management company, two private schools, the United Nations and the World Bank. Besides my professional and academic training, I am passionate about providing an inclusive campus, with a mentally safe environment and fair policies for students.

Gaurang Paranji

I am Gaurang Paranji, and I am a first year Masters in Finance student. As a graduate student I bring to the table experience gained living and working in 4 different countries, including previous leadership experience. I currently hold the elected position of MFin Director for the Graduate Business Council. I have previously acted as a liaison, and I promise to be proactive whenever I see something that could be improved, whether academically or otherwise. I assure you that your trust in me will not be mislaid. Vote for someone who will represent you. Vote for Gaurang Paranji.

Branden Rizzuto

Branden is a 5th year PhD Candidate in Anthropology. He has been a student at the University of Toronto since 2008 and has served on over 20 university councils and committees. Currently serving his 5th term on the Arts and Science Council, Branden was also a 4-term Executive at the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU). Branden has played a lead role in the creation of new bursaries and awards for graduate students and currently spearheads the UTGSU’s legal proceedings against the Ontario Ford Government’s “Student Choice Initiative”. He is committed to strengthening graduate student representation and the voices of graduate students broadly.


Physical Sciences and Life Sciences, Divisions III and IV
1 seat – 4 candidates

Jasmine Carter

As a Graduate Student in the Life Sciences Division I would like to run for a position on the Governing Council. Currently, I am a PhD student and Co-President of the Pharmaceutical Science Graduate Student Association in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Faculty of Pharmacy studying human health with focus on pharmacoepidemiology and molecular mechanisms. I have published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine and Clinical Medicine. Formerly, I have been a Governor on the Academic Board and Academic Policy and Programs Board. Outside of my studies, I enjoy rowing and row on the University of Toronto Rowing Team.

Amin Kamaleddin

“The Highest Result of Education is Tolerance”. Having your trust in me, together with my experience as the President of International Students’ Caucus and contributions to Neuroscience and Engineering communities will enable me to: Improve the mental health resources, Facilitate transparent access to information, and Create an environment where all students can thrive; Assure that UofT continues its efforts toward the improvement of students’ communication and interpersonal skills that are essential to their career development; Build a community of inclusion where EVERYONE is welcomed; and, Consult regularly with graduate students and Coordinate efforts centered around their common interests and concerns.

Sophie McGibbon-Gardner

Sophie is a fifth year PhD candidate in Physics. She has served as the Academics and Funding Commissioner for Divisions 3 and 4, and as the Finance Commissioner at the Graduate Students’ Union. She has been involved in student governance throughout her post-secondary education, serving on six university governance bodies. On these bodies, she has focused on environmental justice initiatives, improving supervisory relationships, access to conference funding, and improving student mental health through community building and needs-based solutions. She hopes to continue to advocate for increasing the quality of the student experience as a Governing Council Representative.

Helen Yang

I’m Helen Yang, an IMS MSc student. I had the privilege of serving on the A&S council and its subcommittees as an elected undergraduate student representative. When reviewing student appeals and policy changes, I provided a strong empathetic student voice to the faculty and staff. To date, I continue to be an active member on the A&S Mental Health Committee. I am also a Co-Chair on the LMP Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. I will passionately advocate for academic, financial, and mental health support. I will also encourage open dialogue to better represent your voice. Please strongly consider my candidacy.