2015-2016 NAUS Executive Committee

The results of the online and in-person voting are in! Say hello to this year’s executive committee!

1. Co-presidents

i. Jaclin Simonetta

ii. Sandy Wang

2. VP Finance

Vivian Liu

3. VP Social Affairs

i.Victor Lee

ii. Amanda Cheung

4. VP Academic Affairs

Charles Lee

5. Secretary

Rania Faidi

6. Graduating Year Representative

Jessica Gosio

7. 3rd Year Representative

Claudia Tersigni

8. Webmaster and Online Presence Facilitator

Arjun Kaul

9. Graphic Designer

Maria Vorobeva

NAUS Elections!

Inversion

If you feel passionate about making a difference to the undergraduate neuroscience community here at U of T, then consider filling one of the following available positions:

– 2 presidents
– 1 VP Finance
– 1 VP Academic Affairs
– 2 VPs Social Affairs
– 1 Secretary

– 1 Webmaster and Online Presence Facilitator
– 1 Graphic Designer

– 1 Third-year representative
– 1 Graduating-year representative (**you have to be graduating NEXT year**)

Candidate speeches will be given on FRIDAY, MARCH 27th from 3-5pm in UC163, where you will be able to vote in person as well.

Online voting will open on FRIDAY, MARCH 27th at 5:00pm and will remain open until SUNDAY, MARCH 29th at midnight. You MUST be a neuroscience student or taking an HMB-code neuroscience course in order to vote – your student number will be checked against a database of such student numbers. The link for online voting is here.

Information about individual positions is available in our most recent constitution, available here.

Candidate blurbs will be available below as they are submitted.

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HERE ARE YOUR CANDIDATES FOR the 2015/2016 COUNCIL!

(Candidate blurbs will be available below as they are submitted – deadline for submission is Wednesday, March 25th by 11:59pm.)

1. Presidential Candidates

a) Sandy Wang

Hi everyone! My name is Sandy and I am running to be one of your co-presidents on NAUS for the 2015-2016 school year. I have been a part of NAUS since my second year first as a social committee member and then this year as a third year representative.

From helping with the Everything Neuroscience Conference to the Canadian University Life Sciences Challenge, I’ve learned a lot about the inner workings of NAUS, and about working together with a team to plan and promote events.

Neuroscience is a big program, and back in second year I was really trying to find my place within it.  Through my involvement with NAUS, it’s really allowed me to expand my circles, meet new friends and learn a lot about how an undergraduate student union runs. To me, community within a program is really important, and I think NAUS creates that community for neuroscience students.

If elected, I would like to continue to foster a sense of inclusion within the neuroscience community. I plan to make our office space a place where students can always drop by and provide neuroscience related resources for students during our office hours. Neuroscience is also a very interdisciplinary field and meshes with many other fields. Just this year, we had our Everything N conference on the topic of computational neuroscience! If elected, I would also like to expand the neuroscience field and bring my own interests into the mix. Personally, I would like to incorporate awareness on mental health issues and the current research surrounding the field into some of our events. This will not only be an educational piece on mental health, but will also be a great opportunity for us to collaborate with other student unions and groups.

Every year, NAUS is a little different, every new executive council brings forth different ideas and different visions for the council, next year, I hope to do that as well. If elected, I will do my best to put forth rewarding events and to continue to foster a sense of community within the neuroscience program!

b) Jaclin Simonetta

Hi everyone! My name is Jaclin Simonetta and I am running for co-president! I am in third year, doing a double major in neuroscience and molecular genetics.  I have been part of NAUS for two years now. This year, I was one of the third year representatives, along with Sandy, and in second year I was on the NAUS social committee. I have had a great year representing the 3rd year neuroscience students at UofT, and would love the opportunity to represent the neuroscience community in its entirety next year.

I have had an amazing time working with my fellow executive committee members over the last year. I especially feel so grateful to have worked with two amazing pairs of co-presidents these last two years. Seeing them organize and plan our various events has made me feel that I could take on the responsibility as co-president, and take a bigger role in planning the events NAUS hosts for the neuroscience community, such as CULSC and our undergraduate neuroscience conference.

One reason I love being on NAUS is because of the sense of family we had as a committee. It was evident that with each meeting or event we had, the committee got closer and were able to work better with each other. I would like this sense of family to span the entire neuroscience student body, and having an approachable executive team would make us a better fit to be a liaison between the neuroscience students and the Human Biology Department.

Next year, if elected co-president, I want to build a connection between the neuroscience faculty, the NAUS executive committee and the undergraduate neuroscience students. That being said, one event I would like to add next year is a NAUS neuroscience prof and student meet and greet, just as many other student groups do on campus.

I had a wonderful experience being a part of NAUS this year, as it has given me the opportunity to improve my team work skills, further my interest in the field of neuroscience and make great friends!  Vote for me for co-president, and I will guarantee an eventful and exciting 2015-2016 school year.  Thank you!

c) Stephanie Luu

Hi everyone! My name is Stephanie Luu and I’d like to run for NAUS’s co-president for the upcoming 2015-2016 year. Just a little bit about myself, I’m currently a 4th year neuroscience student and next year will be my victory lap. I’ve been involved with numerous clubs on campus and off-campus including Heart and Stroke foundation and Pre-Med Society. I was also Vice Chair of Science Rendezvous which allowed me to learn a great deal about working in a large team to achieve a collective goal, which was spreading awareness and love for science. In previous years I’ve worked on the NAUS team as a secretary which allowed me to learn all the crucial events that the organization holds, how to organize and coordinate them, manage a lot of the administrative work, and also work with all the other team members.

I am especially proud and excited to be apart of the neuroscience community at the university. We are known to have one of the best undergrad neuroscience programs in Canada and I would be honored to represent our students in this community. Even though UT is known as a commuter school, I believe that we should strive to foster a place where undergraduate students can get together to socialize and build a community where we can cultivate both ideas for research and networking opportunities. Neuroscience is a relatively new area of study and I find it important to work together inside and outside academia in order to develop this field.

This year I got to work with Science Rendezvous again to promote our love for science and even though the organization focuses on educating the public on science it also puts in a lot of effort to promote accessibility. Accessibility means to provide science in a way that is easy for people to enjoy and understand, as well as offer access to opportunities for people to learn about science on their own. And I hope to bring that to the table when I’m co-president for NAUS. I hope to provide an accessibility to the neuroscience community, so our undergraduate students can learn about research and job opportunities, as well as network and have fun.

I hope to continue offering our well-known events such as the Canadian Undergraduate Life Science challenge, NeuroFrosh, Everything N conference, as well as try to offer more seminars to provide research opportunities and hold more social events so undergraduate students can get to know one another. I think brilliant ideas come from bouncing ideas off each other and sharing knowledge as a community.

I am excited to be apart of the team and I hope you guys give me the honor to represent you as co-president of the NAUS next year! ​

2. VP Finance Candidates

a) Michelle Wan

Hi fellow Neuro-students!

I am Michelle and I would like to run for VP Finance on NAUS for the upcoming council term. I am a third year Neuroscience major and almost anything related to the brain fascinates me, because my (allegedly egoistic) brain loves learning about itself!

I believe my record involvement in a multitude of other charity driven and academia related clubs will give me an advantage in managing club affairs. My past positions are notably rooted in the marketing and financing sectors, including corporate relations with external organizations that demand a highly organized approach to tackle and manage various funding, sponsor and budget requests from various student unions and organizations. In addition, I also have a wealth of experience in organizing and executing fundraising activities, setting up booths with heavy involvement in the annual Clubs Fair, Bake Sales, Gala Concerts other than seminars, which have provided skills and personal nuances in being able to develop methods to efficiently sort out logistics matters.

Further, I pride myself on being a very transparent and morally upright person, which is particularly relevant to treasurer or finance-related positions. I would really like to strive for larger budget grants and take advantage of annual budget requests that can be obtained if the execution is timed correctly. I would also love to be part of a team that plans and organizes activities centred around a subject that I am passionate about, with other members who share common interests and backgrounds. I believe that NAUS has the potential to enrich the lives of undergraduates in neuroscientific studies, evidently shown by the innovative contests, seminars and events interweaving Neuroscience with other areas of study on campus. If you give me this opportunity to serve as a part of the NAUS, I will devote my utmost efforts into making Neuroscience not just a mere Subject POSt, but develop it into a community, a passion, an involvement for undergraduates intrigued by this field as well.

Thank You!

b) Vivian Liu

Seems like every councils got some cash

I wonder how they spend it all

With those bad ass cheques

And the big events

Just stop for a minute and smile

Why are NAUS execs so stressed out?

Cause they used their money to buy stuff

But you got me right here

Ill reimburse you fair

Our wallets will just be fine

Everybody Knows ASSU

Ill grab our funding from them(LEGIT)

Can you feel that (YEAH)

We’re spending that dough thats right

It’s all about the money, money, money

Eveythings so pricey pricey pricey

But you got me to pay ya

Forget about the price tag

I’ll run all the cha-ching cha-ching

When you buy all the NAUS ba-bling ba-bling

Trust me with your receipts

Finance people aint cheap

My name is Vivian and all jokes aside, I am interested in running as your VP finance for the following school year 2015-2016.  First off, for those of you who are running for the first time  I would like that you there are NO REGRETS.  This past year I was the secretary for NAUS and I have to say I got to know each and every member of the council so well and built pretty good friendships with them. This year I was in charge of NAUS gear, keeping track of orders, money and last minute changes.  I would say that my excel game is pretty strong … My organization skills have definitely been enhanced not only through NAUS, but over my undergraduate years juggling volunteer, research and intramurals.  I will keep reimburse every single one of you properly as long as you report to me what you buy, and I ensure communication will be met, not that I’m a creep or anything.  As for my goals this year as your VP finance, I will attend and listen attentively to the mandatory orientation and deal with the funding requests so we have the maximum budget to be the most awesome, efficient and engaging council that we ought to be.  Besides the housekeeping work, I will try my best to help all of you guys whenever you need it, because things do get hella busy especially during our biggest events such as CULSC (the life sci competition) and the neuro conference.  That being said, money never stopped true passion, so Imma make sure it don’t stop us.

3. VP Academic Affairs Candidates

a) Nasim Noroozbahari

Hello everyone! : ) My name is Nasim Noroozbahari and I am a candidate for VP Academic affairs for the upcoming year. I am currently a first year student, a member of NAUS, and will be majoring in neuroscience. As a first year student I was unsure about what I wanted to study and what major would best suit me so I attended numerous academic seminars and conferences that ultimately made me realize my passion towards fields in neuroscience, specially neurodegenerative disease. As a result of my exposure to great professors and people in the fields of neurosciences specially through NAUS, I became sure that I want to continue my undergraduate and graduate studies inneuroscience.

As an undergraduate it is crucial for us to explore different fields and it is also important to be familiar with different possibilities and opportunities that studying neuroscience can offer us. Neuroscience is no longer specific for medical fields, but it has also integrated with robotics, computer science, business and many more professions and I truly believe that it is important for all of us to be introduced to them. As we all know University of Toronto is among the top universities in the world for research and for numerous times its research and discoveries revolutionized studies in neurosciences. As members of this university and future graduate students and researchers, we can all agree that we all need to explore and get involved with the researches in our favourite field so that we can find our very own passion and topic for future research. Ultimately one day it is our findings and discoveries in neuroscience that will amaze the scientific world.

If given the chance as a VP of academic affairs, I would like to organize events in which undergraduate students are informed about the current research and opportunities in neuroscience in which they can learn from and connect with different researchers and professors in the university. Also, events that will introduce different professions in neuroscience will be held that allow undergraduates to discover how studying neuroscience can be integrated with medicine, technology, media, and other professions. Also, at certain point during the semester, different professors can be invited to talk about neuroscience courses offered which can help us to choose our future courses. I understand how important undergraduate experience and neuroscience program is to all of us and I would like to try my best to fully introduce you all to this fascinating field so that you are inspired and want to continue your studies inneurosciences.

b) Kezia Joseph

Hello everyone! My name is Kezia Joseph and I am running for the position of VP of Academic Affairs. I am currently in second year, doing a Specialist in Neuroscience and a double minor in Immunology and Physiology. I have had the privilege of getting to know members of the neuroscience community at the University of Toronto and find that we all have three things in common: passion, intellect and potential for stretching the boundaries of neuroscience.

Having conducted neuroscience research at Sunnybrook Research Institute, SickKids Research Facility (PGCLR) and through a Research Opportunity Program (ROP) at UofT, I believe I would be able to provide useful academic information pertaining to research opportunities, contacting scientists and/or professors and furthering the pursuit for involvement in brain sciences research. As a part of my responsibilities in this position, I would be more than happy to organize a seminar on the research process, including applications, interviews and conducting research in general. I have also become involved in many other groups on campus including Interneuron (the UofT student neuroscience journal) and Brain Day, which involves presenting an overview of the human brain to elementary school classrooms across Toronto.

Aside from the vast amount of academic knowledge that I’ve learned from these experiences, they have all allowed me to meet so many different people and create a strong, diverse and supportive network of students, scientists and professors. That is why I would love the opportunity to help lead and further strengthen the strong and vibrant community of NAUS.

I strongly believe that education is not at its full potential without community. Students should be able to freely share ideas, opinions, struggles and successes in an environment that is open and conducive to learning and friendships. If elected, I will do everything I can to create and maintain that type of environment through my friendly and outgoing approach to life at UofT. I am looking forward to getting to know every single one of you!

c) Ann Sheng

Hi everyone!

My name is Ann and I’m running to be your VP Academic Affairs.  I’m currently in my second year doing a Specialist in Neuroscience with Major in Physiology and Minor in Computer Science.  I have been involved in NAUS since the start of my second year, and I have gained valuable experience from attending events such as the Everything Neuroscience Conference to winning second place at CULSC.  NAUS has helped me find my passion by fostering a unique and welcoming community for neuroscience students on campus, and I am excited for a chance to give back to the community by becoming an exec.

Since neuroscience is such a growing field and continues to attract bright students like you who are eager to learn more, I believe it is very important to provide a variety of academic opportunities for you to explore your interests and build the skills you need to succeed.  In fact, I’ve been doing this ever since I started university, always being the person to help a friend edit their research application, to invite them to interesting conferences, and to relay important course information.

If elected, I would first and foremost like to hear from you what events you would like to see next year.  Some ideas that I would like to pursue include:

1. One-day conference, with top speakers discussing topics such as memory, artificial intelligence, neurodegenerative disorders, sleep, and the economics and ethics of neuroscience

2. Case competition about how to spread awareness for important issues such as addiction and mental health

3. Seminar and workshops for finding research opportunities for undergraduates and step-by-step guide through the process

4. Meet-and-greets with professors and researchers to learn more about different fields in neuroscience

5. Help make CULSC even better and more inclusive to all life science students

Together with the NAUS team, I also aim to collaborate with other neuro-enthusiastic student groups to bring diversity to our events, so that no matter what your interests lie within this broad field, you can find something that sparks your dopamine.  With my experiences in research, mentorship and leadership positions in various campus organizations, I believe that I have the skills and resources to help make your next year a more rewarding, intellectually-stimulating experience.

Good luck with your exams, and hope to see you next year!

d) Charles Lee

Hello Neuroscience-enthusiast!

I would like to first thank you for considering me to be your Vice President of academic affairs for the next academic year.

Having served as an executive member of two student unions (NAUS & LMPSU), I’ve helped organize all kinds of events ranging from three undergraduate inaugural conferences to the cross-country undergraduate life science competition. Thus, I understand what it takes to make events successful.

And as Vice President of Communications this year, I have conceived and executed 2 academic seminars. But more importantly, I have come to realize the importance of teamwork, communication, and passion in student-led initiatives.

As VP academics, I will organize more engaging academic seminars in addition to the standard ones, in which we simply invite professors to give talks about certain topics. We can collaborate with other student unions such as Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence Students’ Association (CASA) and Psychology Students’ Association (PSA) and have professors from different backgrounds demonstrate how topics can be approached from different angles.

Ultimately, my primary goal is to make sure that your voice is heard by the exec team, the HMB department, and the greater U of T community. I will create online forums where all neuroscience students can voice any concerns or opinions. I will ensure that you enjoy being part of the neuroscience program as much as I do.

Thanks again for your consideration ^_^

Cheers,
Charles Lee

4. VPs Social Affairs Candidates

a) Victor Lee

Hi Everybody!

My name is Victor Lee and I’d like to run for VP Social. I was VP of social affairs with Ella this year and we hope that we have done a good job hosting the pub nights and game nights. I have been attending and being involved with NAUS since I was in my first year and it has truly been a great community to me. Bringing students together to promote community is something that I think is very important on campus since the university could have a difficult atmosphere to be in sometimes. It’s unfortunate how some students just come to class and then go straight home. That is something that I would not like to happen.

I will make sure that there is free food at every event, and that they are more exciting foods than cheese and pepperoni pizza. If anybody was there, you’d remember the exciting pizzas that we got for CULSC this year. That was something that I suggested.

One of my biggest ideas for next year, above the pub nights that we still have, is an all you can eat sushi night (free of course, like our pub nights). This is something that I couldn’t do this year but I would really like to try to include that for next year. I strive to push for an inclusive environment where everybody can be friends and get along and I’d like to do that through continuing the role of VP social.

And also, as exam time is coming, keep calm and neuron!

b) Atiya Shaikh

Hello everybody,

My name is Atiya Shaikh and I am running for the position of VP Social . I am a third year undergraduate student pursuing  a major in neuroscience and a double minor in immunology and psychology. I have previously been a part of the social committee on NAUS, and trust me when I say I had an absolutely amazing time .

As  part of the social committee, I have closely worked with the previous executive committee and helped them organize and promote various events. I am very proud to say that we have organized some great events like Neurofrosh and The Canadian Undergraduate Life Science Competition (CULSC). These  events have taught me team work and made me realize the importance of having committees like NAUS.

Coming to university, I had always known I wanted to do neuroscience as it has always fascinated me. The human brain is a mystery in itself. Stanley Prusiner has rightly said, “Every human brain is different – the brain makes each human unique and defines who he or she is.”

The Neuroscience committee on campus is huge and I would like it to become even bigger. If I get a chance to become your VP Social, I would definitely organize some great events and make sure we have free food and drinks.  One of my major motives for next year will be to include  more of our second year undergraduates and make them feel comfortable in our community. As an executive member, my target would be to foster a sense of unity and solidarity among us. As a VP Social, I would make sure to include events catering to everybody’s needs. I have some great ideas for next year that include a treasure hunt game, games night, movie night, jeopardy competitions and many more.

If elected, I would try my best to bring our Neuroscience community closer together and organize some fun events next year.

Thank you and study hard:)

c) Amanda Cheung

Hey you, neuroscientist!

Are you always seeing that guy you sit with in class all the time, but don’t actually know? Or are you instead stuck in that awkward elevator ride to HMB200? BOTH? Well…

My name is Amanda and I am running to be your VP of Social Affairs for NAUS in 2015-2016! I am currently a second year student working towards a double major in Neuroscience and Physiology, and a minor in French. I have had the pleasure in meeting wonderful individuals of the neuroscience community this year, but I feel that there are so many more people and personalities that should come together!

To answer my question above, I am not promising that you will become BFFs with everyone in your neuroscience class (seriously now); however, I can promise that you will have various opportunities to meet your fellow classmates and be more involved in the neuroscience community! Through pub nights, study sessions, or even a dodge ball tournament, it will be a great way to actually KNOW who your classmates are, behind those faces you always see!

Academics are important and obviously highly regarded, but building valuable relationships and having strong support for what you do is just as important! As VP of Social Affairs, I hope to encourage more involvement within NAUS events and really promote a sense of community in neuroscience. Because let’s be real, it is a shame to simply go to class and leave right after (without knowing a single person)!!

I look forward to working with NAUS, and seeing YOU at future social and academic events (that you would definitely go to)!!

THANK YOU!

5. Secretary

a) Shikha Kuthiala

Hey everyone my name is Shikha and I’ll be going into my 4th year of neuroscience, while it would be my first time on NAUS, I have a ton of student council experience. I have been a senior member of the Innis Residence council for 2 years and have been on the committee for 3 years. I am also the current co-chair for Innis Fit and have had to be in charge of budgeting, organizing events, working with other groups and keeping it all organized! I think these experiences would help me be a great secretary for NAUS.

I love neuroscience, as soon as I started working with brains I couldn’t image anything else that could be nearly as interesting and complex and ever challenging! I think that my passion for neuroscience and my need to be organized and on top of things makes me the perfect fit for the position of secretary. I like to be able to keep things organized, plan meetings and making sure that the whole team is aware of what is going on. I believe that I would be able to excel in this position and help the whole NAUS team function like a well myelinated neuron.

Some ideas I have for the position of secretary are to implement an events newsletter to keep everyone more involved as well as open minutes of the meeting to all neuroscience undergraduates so that they are able to have a role in the NAUS team as well.

Neuroscience is wonderful, being organized can be a hassle, so let me do it for you

Vote Shikha for secretary

b) Rania Faidi

Hi everyone!

 My name is Rania and I’m currently a second year student  enrolled in the Neuroscience specialist program. This year I’ve had the greatest pleasure of working with a group of fantastic people as part of the second year social committee, along with the VP Socials Ella and Victor. For NAUS 2015-2016, I decided to run for Secretary and therefore  remain  an active part of the NAUS Famjam next year!

 In addition to my position as member of this year’s  Second Year Social Committee, I have helped in the planning of Neuro-Frosh, Games night and CULSC,  all of which I hope were a great success. Outside of NAUS, I am heavily involved in mentorship and tutorship activities (with the First Year Learning Communities at Trinity College  and the Saturday Program) and as an Arts and Science Student Ambassador with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences  and the  Office of Recruitment and Student Life.

 A lack of a neuroscience department at UofT can mean a lot of things for students, but most importantly it means we don’t quite get the benefits of having  a wide variety of Neuro-specific  resources and events. I am therefore happy that this year, along with the many accomplishments we have achieved, we were able to collectively add new position to council that only serve to push us forward in the right direction. As secretary of  NAUS next year, I only hope that I could further improve  the logistics and workings of NAUS, play a proactive role in various events, cooperate with our team of executives and work closely with the co-presidents in assisting them with NAUS administration. I also look forward to having a strong and constant presence in all of our General and Executive meetings as well as representing  NAUS’s presence in all  New College meetings. This way, I will be able to serve as the relay between our council and New College, given that we are an NC club.

This year NAUS managed to pull off fantastic seminars and events and I am confident that next year we would be able to focus on increasing the recurrence of these events that definitely  draw in students from various years and sometimes from various  disciplines too! I think this is important in providing a solid presence of a well-knit neuroscience community at UofT. I also look forward to finally unleashing my inner hobby in interior design (JK guys) and redecorate our office, I mean we can all agree a little Neuro-Swag renovation won’t hurt anyone! In all seriousness, I believe that creating a positive environment in our office space will encourage  our executives to look forward to office hours, and would make Neuro students feel more welcomed into our cozy warm office space that reflects our cozy warm hearts!

 I look forward to a bright and successful new  year with NAUS  as the Secretary and I can only think of the tremendous future opportunities this position offer in excelling my role within council. I have a whole lot of enthusiasm and excitement to come back to the dynamic and well-knit community that is NAUS next year! I believe that with the collective efforts of everyone on council next year, we will continue to move forward in creating a more energetic Neuro community at UofT!

Good luck on your exams and Thank you in advance!

c) Shubham Sharma

​Hello my fellow brain enthusiasts!

My name is Shubham and I’m currently a second year student enrolled in a Neuroscience and Psychology double major because, you guessed it, I am in awe of everything a tiny 3 pound organ can do. It’s one of those marvelous creations that is bigger on the inside; the other being TARDIS, of course (for all you Doctor Who fanatics out there). Jokes aside, I knew that I wanted to study the brain and the mind and all it has to offer, and what better way to feed my interest than collaborate with other like-minded individuals to learn more and provide opportunities for emerging neuroscientists like you to appreciate the brain.

I have decided to run for the position of Secretary for NAUS 2015-2016 to be more actively involved with like-minded people. In case you are wondering: yes, I do have experience working with a team, organizing events, and serving a community of more than a thousand people. Currently, in terms of council experience, I hold the positions of Education and Philanthropy Director in the New College Student Council and House Representative in the New College Residence Council, in addition to being a Brain Day volunteer and having participated as a Frosh Leader for NC Frosh last summer. So, I have experience dealing with other organizations, student groups and students as a whole; I have also been part of monthly meetings and help run and lead events catered to New College students; I have also presented to classrooms of teeny-tiny 4th-6th graders about the marvelous brain and why we should actively prevent injury to it.

I feel like I would be a good fit for the position of NAUS Secretary because of my past experiences and my current enthusiasm; looking at the NAUS constitution, I believe I can be of great assistance to the Presidents and VPs in administrative businesses and keep diligent records of our meetings, in addition to keeping our office space a fun space and attending all New College meetings. Furthermore, I feel like I can provide some meaningful suggestions and manual aid in the great events that NAUS hosts. I personally enjoyed the events NAUS hosted this year, especially the CULSC, and I definitely wish to contribute to more future success for such events. I believe in transparency, because it’s only right for the student body that you’re serving to know what it is that we actually do and believe in. As a secretary, I would like to open up the minutes for all Neuroscience students to see and ensure the smooth flow of meetings.

Let me be your astroglia so I can cooperate with all the other neurons in NAUS and maintain homeostasis in the brain that is the field of Neuroscience. Let me be a part of your wonderful year next year and help build a stronger, well-connected community at UofT.

What did the neuron say to the glia cell? “Thanks for the support.”

Vote Shubham/Shabba/Shubby for Secretary!​

6. Webmaster and Online Presence Facilitator

a) Arjun Kaul

Hello! My name is Arjun Kaul, and I’m running for the position of webmaster and online presence facilitator for the NAUS. It’ll be my second year next year at UofT (although, academically, my third year; I came here from Quebec, and… educational switches are bureaucratic and complicated. I’m in year 2 right now… from what they’ve told me). I’m doing a double major in Neuroscience and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, with a minor in English. This year, I’ve had a fantastic time attending the talks and events organised by the NAUS. I’ve also had a brilliant year attending my classes and getting more involved with the neuroscience community; in my spare time, I volunteer in a neuroscience/psychology lab in the Ramsay Wright building. If anything, I’ve had a ton of “epiphany” moments where I’ve thought about it and decided “wow, brains really are for me,” or, something along those lines. Basically: I’ve grown to appreciate how much I love neuroscience and its community and I want to do more, especially within the NAUS!

The position of webmaster and online presence facilitator is a crucial one. I definitely have experience with the required tasks. At my previous school, Marianopolis College, I was the communications director for my student council, school model United Nations team, and biology club; I was responsible for maintaining the member listservs and communicating with all club members and administration via email; graphically designing any media or announcements; communicating with any potential sponsors as well as professors who we would invite to give talks and seminars; and maintaining an online presence – so I have experience juggling multiple social media accounts, as well as building and managing a website, which includes some knowledge of Java and JavaScript, as well as some practice with HTML. I can definitely recognise that communications are an important and integral part of how the NAUS, and any student organisation is run. The university student is a sleepy, fickle, and unfocused beast, and the way you phrase a newsletter or email, how you design it, or the intricacies of when and how it’s sent is likely to be a large part of keeping the members of the NAUS interested. (Our model UN team was ranked among the top 50 in the world by Best Delegate – an association that actually devotes time to ranking these sorts of things – so we were doing something right with communication!)

If I’m elected, I plan to revamp the newsletter and website design (I’d like to make the website a little more interactive, especially!), as well as work closely with the executive committee to plan more talks and communicate more social events. I’m incredibly passionate about the subject of neuroscience, and being webmaster and online presence facilitator will not only be a fun and engaging job in itself, but it’ll help me connect more to the NAUS members – after considering the challenges, I am definitely up to taking on the responsibility of the position.

7. Graphic Designer

a)  Maria Vorobeva

Sup nerds I’m Maria. I’m a second year student in the neuroscience specialist program here at UofT. I’m also taking a minor in philosophy and I Kant think of pun to make ;). This would be my first year applying for a position on the NAUS.

Now I’m gonna tell it to you straight. I wanna make your posters.

I have done art for a really long time (drawing, painting, design) and you can say I’m obsessed. My parents enrolled me into graphic design classes when I was 12 because I would not stop hogging the computer to make crappy animations using Microsoft Paint and Windows Movie Maker. I moved up in the world and now use big girl programs. Needless to say I was and still am that passionate about computer art. I also attended a high school that specialized in the arts (RHSA – literally a block away from UofT) and was part of the visual arts stream.

 I have mainly been using my Photoshop super powers for evil and if any of you are members of the “Accepted – University of Toronto (St. George), Class of 2018″ you may have seen one of my beautiful Photoshops (I’m the “Boundless Graduation” poster person). I’ve also recently worked on a logo for a new start-up company (Syntegra Labs) and I’ve done small personal projects in my free time.

As the graphic designer I promise to make sweet posters for all our events and also to provide some humorous Photoshops to brighten dreary days of studying.

 c) Tianyu Wang

Hey everyone! My name is Tianyu and I am running for the position of Graphic Designer for the 2015-2016 school year!  I’m currently a second year undergraduate student pursuing a specialist in Neuroscience and a major in Immunology. I have had the pleasure of attending some of the great NAUS events this year, and I hope to join the team and contribute to make next years events even more amazing! Although I will be new to the NAUS council, I sincerely wish to get to know each and every one of you in the neuroscience community!

Graphic design and video making have been my biggest hobbies since elementary school, and although I have mainly been developing these skills on my own, I have also taken digital illustration classes in order to gain some professional tips and techniques. I am always working on my own creative projects, as well as projects for clubs, mainly using Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

During my first year at U of T, I was on the Humber River Hospital Student Association’s marketing team and I made posters, flyers and logos for their events, such as the pub night, bake sales and sports tournaments. As well, I was a layout designer for The Victoriad (Victoria College’s yearbook). Last summer during my job as an intern at the YMCA, I was asked to design posters, business cards and templates for the School-Age program. Currently, I am in the Pre-Medical Society as VP Digital Media, and I am also a layout associate for the Journal of Undergraduate Life Sciences.

A large part of hosting events and reaching out to fellow neuroscience students is to get their attention first, and as graphic designer for NAUS, I will make posters, flyers and other promotional materials for NAUS events that are eye-catching, funny, meaningful and visually appealing!

 

8. Third-year representative

a) Dilpreet Moti

Hello brainiacs! If you are looking for a dil-igent and moti-vated individual as your Third-Year Representative, I hope that I, Dilpreet Moti, can be of service. While I am a fresh face to NAUS, the leadership skills that I have developed and refined through my involvement in a host of other campus clubs will be put to the best of uses if elected for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Neuroscience certainly is a fascinating field of study, however in the hustle and bustle of a student’s academic life, this fascination is sometimes momentarily diminished. By working closely with other members of NAUS, I hope to bring the alluring appeal of neuroscience back to its future investment: students! One way to go about achieving this is by getting students involved in academic and social events held by NAUS; and the first step to getting students involved is by getting them in the know. If elected, you can definitely expect energizing and enthusiastic class announcements that will keep NAUS affairs at the tip of your fingers (or should I say, forefront of your mind!).

Another approach of increasing student participation is by finding out what exactly students would like to get involved in. If you ever have a comment, suggestion, concern, or idea, feel free to approach me, and I will be sure to relay your voice back to the NAUS team. Furthermore if there are any matters that you may have, I will gladly lend you my auditory cortex and hear you out.

Community building among third-year students with each other, peers from other years, and the department, is an initiative that I would like to drive forward for next year. By fostering an atmosphere of inclusivity and camaraderie, I hope that it not only creates an aura of positivity within the classroom walls, but also extends into the greater University of Toronto community. With a large student population, being able to seek out and make new companions through a crowd really does wonders in encouraging students to try new things and to get involved too.

Spirited and sincere, friendly and focused, determined and dynamic, I hope I fit the bill for being your ideal third-year representative. With a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of inventiveness, my goal is to share my excitement for neuroscience with students, and to assist NAUS with branching out to other campus groups for innovative collaborations.

Where there is a will there is a way, and if you elect Dil, I’ll be sure to make your day!

b) Claudia Tersigni

Hello fellow neuroscientists!

My name is Claudia Tersigni and this year I will be running for YOUR Third-Year Representative! I am currently in second year pursuing a double major in both Neuroscience and Psychology, as well as a minor in Music History and Culture. Although I am a fresh face here at NAUS, I hope to contribute my skills, qualities, and talents to your team during the upcoming academic year.

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated with the world of science! This infatuation was ignited when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at just 10 years old. Being a student is tough, but being a student with a disability gives new life to the word “challenge.”  Living with IBD has opened up my eyes and heart to the scientific community, inspiring me each day to continue to flourish and develop in my field. I have since been involved in research at the Hospital for Sick Children and Toronto General Hospital. These opportunities have allowed me to form many connections and gain academic and interpersonal tools, making me a potential asset to the NAUS team.

At U of T, I have demonstrated my leadership qualities in various ways. This year, I was a passionate advocate for the student body of my HMB220 class. A few dedicated classmates and myself both fundraised and promoted several events in support of the Geneva Centre for Autism Foundation. Our main goal was to give the gift of communication to children with autism who otherwise struggle with the everyday social interactions that we take for granted. Through this experience, I have gained an understanding of how to organize and plan events, how to be an impactful leader, and above all else I have gained a deeper appreciation for teamwork: the hidden key to success in any club at the University of Toronto. I plan on bringing all of this to NAUS in order to enhance the undergraduate neuroscience experience!

A “representative,” to me is someone who accurately embodies the lives of the students. My record exemplifies a motivated, organized, passionate and self-driven advocacy coupled with a friendly and outgoing personality. With my diverse background, connections, and leadership experience, it would be an honor to represent the neuroscience student body! If elected, I will focus on building a compact community amongst all neuroscience students. I look forward to meeting you all, and thank you for considering me to be a part of NAUS.

Help me help YOU make a difference!

9. Graduating-year representative

a) Jessica Gosio

Hello everyone!

My name is Jessica Gosio and I am a third year neuroscience specialist student going into my fourth and final year here at the glorious U of T. I want to be your graduating year representative because in my opinion neuroscience is the most fascinating and imperative topic out there to be studying and I want all neuro-students to feel this way! Neuroscience is a fairly new field in the world of research, with new discoveries being made daily and historic perceptions of the brain being re-vamped regularly. What this field needs right now is creative and out-of-the-box thinkers to continue advancing research and medicine and that is exactly the kind of students U of T is breeding! I have no doubt in my mind that our graduates will go on to be leaders in the field of neuroscience, and I want to help all students get to that point by coordinating different events that will support students academically as well as mentally.

I plan to do this by setting up a networking and future-bridging workshop early on in the year that will allow students to talk to graduate students and professors who come from a common background in neuroscience and find out where their career paths lead them to help inspire graduating students. Another initiative involves the idea of promoting proper brain health by providing stress reducing tips and tricks not only to neuroscience students, but all students throughout the school year, as we all know how important proper brain health is!

If elected a member of NAUS, I vouch to bring my responsibility, hard work ethic, and team player attitude to all meetings. I have previous involvement in a number of U of T clubs and running councils in high school so I come with experience and enthusiasm! I am also approachable, open to new ideas, and enjoy public speaking!

Please vote for me for Graduating Year Rep so I can continue to help NAUS show this campus just how amazing neuroscience truly is!

5th Annual Canadian Universities Life Science Challenge (CULSC 2015)

Poster2

Anatomy! Genetics! Microbiology! Psychology! By your powers combined, you can WIN the 5th annual Canadian Undergraduate Life Sciences Challenge!

Undergraduate university students from across Canada are invited to participate in an intense weekend filled with competition, socials, and seminars in breakthrough lectures. Teams of up to four undergraduate students must register in advance for this event, for only $10/participant. This reserves your spot in the competition, gives you access to social events, and includes 2 days of breakfast, and 2 days of lunch.

The competition itself will be held in 6 rounds spread out over the weekend. Each round will consist of questions in various subjects, with each round increasing in difficulty. The topics covered include:

(1) Neuroscience and Psychology
(2) Molecular Biology and Genetics
(3) Physiology
(4) Anatomy
(5) Pathobiology, Immunology, and Microbiology
(6) Biochemistry and Pharmacology

The top team will receive a monetary prize and a trophy. There will also be prizes awarded for the most spirited team, the overall highest scoring university, and more.

Online registration is available now at http://tinyurl.com/culsc2015, so start forming your teams! There is no limit to the number of teams each school can send.

The deadline to register for the 2015 Canadian University Life Sciences Challenge will be Friday, March 6th at 5:00 pm. Last minute teams will be permitted to register on March 6th between 5:00pm-6:30pm.

3rd Annual Everything Neuroscience (∑N) Conference: The Digital Brain

Everything N: The Digital Brain

TITLE: Everything Neuroscience (∑N): The Digital Brain
DATE / TIME / TICKETS: November 8th, 2014 / 10:00AM – 3:00PM / $5.25 (includes breakfast, lunch), purchase here
LOCATION: Medical Sciences Building – Stone Lobby, 1 King’s College Circle, University of Toronto
DESCRIPTION:
The Neuroscience Association of Undergraduate Students (NAUS) at the University of Toronto is pleased to present our 3rd annual undergraduate conference entitled ‘Everything Neuroscience (∑N): The Digital Brain’ on the topic of the fruitful intersection between neuroscience and computer science.
Neuroscience today has been dramatically augmented by technological innovations such as fMRI, widescale genetic mapping, and computational modelling, which all require the sophisticated algorithms and analytics of computer science. At the same time, many disciplines, including computer science, continue to share theoretical insights into the inner working of the brain. We are pleased to present a wide variety of exciting topics – from modelling individual neurons to how activity is integrated accross the brain – and encourage students from neuroscience, cognitive science and computer science alike to attend.
We are especially delighted to have as our keynote speaker Dr. Randy McIntosh, director of the Rotman Research Institute and The Virtual Brain Project, an initiative seeking to provide the world’s first open, individualized simulation of the entire brain.
We will also be holding an undergraduate research poster session during the lunch hour. We encourage undergraduate students to submit any neuroscience-related research project to naus.utoronto@gmail.com with the phrase “Everything N Poster Submission” in the subject line and a 250-word abstract, title and author list. The deadline for poster submissions is October 31th, 2014.
Please refer to the itinerary below for further room location, event and speaker details. Continue reading

NAUS 2014-2015 Election Results

Thanks to all the candidates who ran in this years election, and to everyone who voted!

Here is your 2014-2015 Exec Team:

Co-Presidents: Filip Miscevic & Hamza Arshad

VP Finance: Audrey Zhang

VP Social: Ella Lew & Victor Lee

VP Communications: Josephine Chan & Charles Lee

Secretary: Vivian Liu

4th Year Representative: Shahin Khodaei

3rd Year Representatives: Sandy Wang & Jaclin Simonetta

Congratulations to all of the successful candidates!

 

 

NAUS 2014-2015 Election

The voting period has now ended! Votes are being verified and counted. The new executive team members will be announced by the end of the week. Thank you for your patience!

The time has come for us to elect next year’s executive team!

All of the candidates’ speeches can be viewed below. When you are ready to vote click here to access the voting page. I would like to remind you that only students currently enrolled in the Neuroscience Major or Specialist POSts are eligible to vote. This will be verified by student number.

—————-

VP Social (2)

Ella Lew, Victor Lee

Ella Lew

Has UofT and studying brought your serotonin and dopamine levels down? My name is Ella Lew and I am in the pursuit of happiness…as well as a valuable education at UofT as many of you are too. But I truly believe that life needs balance and to balance your large workload we need to have an equal level of fun. Now, you can play league of legends and have your own solo fun but I’m talking about good ole group social bonding kind of fun. I want to bring us, neuroscience students, together.

I want a smart and supportive neuroscience community where we can meet and cry on each other’s shoulders from the last HMB200 midterm but also go out and release some endorphins together. I propose a regular fitness plan that will not only increase our mood, make it easy to meet new friends, but a healthy way to release all the stress we accumulate as UofT students.

Not only that, I want us to have the same level of networking opportunities that engineers have. I want socials with amazing neuroscience professors like Dr. Ju and also to meet the bright neuroscience majors and specialists students at UofT.

I’m Ella Lew and I want to be your NAUS social VP to bring a healthy balance and ample opportunities for undergraduate neuroscience students to succeed.

Victor Lee

Hi Everybody!

My name is Victor Lee and I’d like to run for VP Social. I was on your social committee this year along with Sandy and Jaclin and I hope that we did a good job facilitating events and hosting the neurofrosh. I think many of you have seen me around or when I am sending out mass emails, posting on Facebook groups, or holding a flag of myself to run for the UTSU (which I won, thank you all for your support). I have always wanted to make the university a better place and aside from improving the mental health services on campus, that involves planning events for such a great community that we have.

I will make sure that there is free food at every event, and that they are more exciting foods than cheese and pepperoni pizza. If anybody was there, you’d remember the exciting pizzas that we got on neurofrosh (that was my idea).One of my biggest ideas for next year, above the pub nights that we still have, is an all you can eat sushi night (free of course, like our pub nights). I strive to push for an inclusive environment where everybody can be friends and get along and I’d like to do that through being the VP social. Last year, I ran for a position on NAUS but unfortunately didn’t get onto the executive team. Being a first year last year, I felt like it was hard to gain support since

I didn’t have any neuroscience classes yet and have had less exposure to the university. However, I feel as if being here an extra year, I have gained the support of many of you. And if you feel that way, please vote for me, Victor Lee for VP social. And also, as exam time is coming, keep calm and neuron!

 

VP Finance (1)

Audrey Zhang, Jaisie Sin

Audrey Zhang

My name is Audrey Zhang and I am running for the position of NAUS’ VP Finance.

I have been a part of NAUS for the past two years and would like to continue my involvement with this awesome student union. I have learned a lot with regards to general procedures that student unions have to follow, to how NAUS liaises with the student body and the HMB department, and other course unions.  In particular, I served as VP Finance this past year and thus, I am very familiar with the process of budgeting, writing grants, filling in receipt forms, and so on and so forth.

In addition, my involvement with the Biochemistry Undergraduate Student Society and NAUS has broadened my overall understanding of how to plan and implement events, and coordinate with other student unions. I’m reliable, meticulous, and motivated, but I’m also easy to talk to and will get along well with people. For the record, I have my own chequing account and I’ve never overdrawn.

VP Finance has a lot of responsibility, but I’m enthusiastic about participating in NAUS and have the time to give this course union the attention it deserves. I’m very appreciative of the fact that the neuroscience community is quite active and I strongly believe that while having an academic career is important, involvement with the neuroscience community, whether academically or socially, would really facilitate that and provide an overall memorable undergraduate experience.

 

Jaisie Sin

I want to be the very best,
Like no one ever was.
To count money is my real test,
To manage it is my cause.

I will travel across the department,
Searching far and wide
Each golden loonie, to understand
The power that’s inside.

The ASSU!
It will not stop me
I know it’s my destiny
Neuroscience!
Oh, brainy students
Your votes make my moments.

VP Finance!
It’s my dream, so true!
Your votes will pull me through.
You choose me and I’ll serve you
To my fullest ability!
Gotta keep calm
Gotta/And neuron!!
VP Finance!

Hi. My name is Jaisie Sin and I am running for VP of Finance. I am currently a third year student studying neuroscience and computer science.

A year ago, I was fortunate enough to be voted in to become the current year’s Treasurer of the CSSU, which is the Computer Science Student Union. As a result, I ended up gaining a ton of experience managing a great deal of money, over 20 thousand dollars in fact when the CSSU ran Canada’s largest coding competition last September. I also was in charge of writing budget proposals to request money from the Department of Computer Science and the ASSU and I am very confident about being able to do the same for NAUS to the Department of Human Biology and the ASSU.

So, if you would like someone who’s experienced, trustworthy, and dedicated, when filling out your ballots, please remember my name, Jaisie Sin, this crazy Pokemon fangirl with a love for golden loonies. Please vote for me to be the next VP of Finance!

Submitted for your consideration and approval.

Thank you.

 

VP Communications (2)

Josephine Chan, Anthony Zhao, Albert Park, Charles Lee, Justin Huang

Josephine Chan

Hey everyone, my name is Josephine! I am finishing up my third year and am currently one of the VP Communications on NAUS.  A bit about me outside of NAUS: I have a double major in Neuroscience and Cinema Studies, I like being involved with Innis college because that has been my residence for the past three years or so, I love exploring Toronto, playing some ultimate frisbee, and playing the guitar/singing in a band with my two other bros called “Beaches Gone Wilde” (because b****** is a tad too inappropriate and Wilde like Oscar Wilde).

Being a part of this council has given me the chance to learn what this organization is about – especially the various events that I did not even know existed when I wasn’t on council. Furthermore, I felt that I have made some friendships with my previous exec members that I otherwise would not have and I greatly value these relations with my peers. But more to the point, this past year I was able to learn from the other VP Comm, Ben – who has been on council for longer than I have – the responsibilities of the position. However, the position is not independent from the rest of the team.

I learned a great deal about a number of things including the initial planning, the advertising, the prepping, and the importance of being present during the event, even if I did not have the most crucial role, to ensure that the event runs smoothly. If elected, I believe that I would be comfortable with the position because I know so much about it already. Moreover, I would take what I have learned, evaluate what worked and what didn’t to improve for next year, and I would be super stoked to be working with old members and new members as well.

Anthony Zhao

Hi everyone. My name is Anthony and I am running for VP Communications. As VP Communications, I would be responsible for updating and maintaining social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and as well as the NAUS website. I am an avid programmer with experience with Java, C+, Python, MySQL, HTML and XML. These skills will allow me to update and make our website look as awesome as possible. In addition, I am a frequent user of Facebook, like any typical university student, I am quite familiar with posts made by student groups. Most importantly, I believe that I have the abilities and motivation to fulfill my responsibilities and help make NAUS the best student association at this school.

Albert Park

My name is Albert Park and I’m running to represent NAUS as one of its VPs of Communications. I’ve fought a tough three years at this university up to this point and, despite numerous disappointments as I’m sure all of us have experienced, have come to love this university and the opportunities that exist for its students. I’m a new neuroscience student this year and have found a love for the subject, its complexity, and the way it can explain so much about the way we behave and think and then serve to improve the human condition. My studies in this subject area this year have focused my career goals and what I plan on pursuing after graduation, which largely includes a graduate degree in this area.

All of this aside, I decided that part of optimizing a degree in this program means having to collaborate, share knowledge, and give other support when we need it. Becoming a NAUS Executive would mean being able to play an active part in organizing this community and allowing me to share my skillsets and passion for neuroscience to support individuals who might be struggling in their courses and create a vibrant community.

The VP of Communications is chiefly responsible for the maintenance of the NAUS website, advertising & communication of upcoming student events, and other administrative duties. My experiences as an executive with the student volunteer organization VIDA and as a health educator with the Department of Health & Wellness at this university have led me to understand how to communicate with external organizations and how to get comfortable with working with people through social and communicative media. As an avid graphic designer, I have the ability to create graphics and promotional material for our events and our website. It’s a responsibility that I’m more than enthusiastic to occupy, but I’ll only be able to accomplish this with your approvals!

I’d like to thank you for listening—best of luck in your examinations!

Charles Lee

Hi folks,

I’m Charles K. Lee, currently a 2nd year neuroscience student, and I’m running to be your next VP of communications!

Through attending various NAUS events, I’ve had the privilege of meeting bright and hard working neuroscience students and faculty members.  In addition, being involved in the NAUS conference as an undergraduate research presenter, I have come to appreciate the importance of neuroscience research and genuinely enjoyed the event. For NAUS to continue on such large and meaningful events, I believe communication among execs, student bodies, and faculty members is vital, and I believe I have the necessary experience and traits to act as an effective liaison.

I’ve been involved in school newspapers since the beginning of my high school career, and have always been in tune with the student body. In my capacity as a senior editor, I organized various events to reach out to students and project their voices through the school newspaper. In addition, I’m also currently an exec member of an NGO called SAINTS and I act as a main liaison among various student volunteers, elders who need assistance, and the NGO itself.

As your VP of communications, I hope to reach out further to ensure all neuroscience-enthusiasts are aware of NAUS events and share their passion with us.  If elected, I will be committed to assisting the goals and purposes of the NAUS in the upcoming year.

Thanks for reading!
Justin Huang

Hello members of NAUS. My name is Justin Huang and I am entering my 3rd year in September as a Neuroscience Major as well as a Physiology Specialist. Today I am running for the VP of Communications of NAUS for the 2014-2015 school year. I believe I am well-suited for this role as I do have a bit of experience from being Webmaster for the MSSU as well as the VP of Communications for the CNIBUT, a new club that a few colleagues and I have formed to fundraise money for charity and to spread awareness about eye diseases. Therefore, I should already be familiar with many of the tasks performed by this role, including news publications, promotion of events, managing the social media trends, as well as ensuring the connection between the community and the council is maintained. I am also experienced in using Photoshop which will help me design those fabulous posters that we love to see on just about every single board at UofT.

I, Justin Huang, want to be the VP of Communications because I want to be there for you guys. I’ve shared many classes with you, and have had the pleasure to meet many of you personally as well. I think the neuroscience community encompasses a broad range of students and I want to do something for it. If elected VP of Communications, I, Justin Huang, will strive to perform my duties in a manner that is mindful of the NAUS community, AKA, you! I will keep you guys up-to-date about the seminars, social gatherings, and other fun events! And I will make sure your voices are heard when addressing your concerns and opinions! So if you guys are confident in my ability as one of the VP of Communications, vote for me, Justin Huang, and allow me to pay you back through my service. Thank you for your consideration and have a good evening.

4th Year Representative (1)

Shahin Khodaei

Hello everyone! My name is Shahin and I’m running to be the 4th Year Representative on NAUS for the 2014-2015 academic year. Neuroscience has been something I have been passionate about since high school, and over the course of my university career I have gone from a neuroscience major to a specialist after realizing how much I actually love this field. I’m the guy with the moustache you might’ve seen in your classes; I think I’m the only one. Apart from loving neuroscience and growing moustaches, I spend my time running a trivia club (yes yes, pretty geeky), drinking an unhealthy amount of caffeine, and desperately trying to find a research position.

I want to be a part of NAUS to share my passion with others in the program, and to try to make the neuroscience community at UofT even a little bit more tightly knit. Classes at UofT are definitely not particularly good places for making friends, and I believe that NAUS can provide an opportunity for people in the neuroscience program to get to know each other; After all, it’s always quite nice to know people in your classes, even if it’s just to steal notes from. I plan to take a lot of the 300-400 level neuroscience courses next year, which would put me in a good position to tell 4th years in the program about the various events organized by NAUS. I think I would do a good job as the 4th Year Rep, and I would very much appreciate your vote.

 

Secretary (1)

Vivian Liu, Carl De Buzman

Vivian Liu

Hi all, my name is Vivian Liu and I am currently in my second year of neuroscience at UFT.  I am here today because I really really wanna become your secretary for NAUS for the following school year. Everyone one of us here has way more interest in the brains than the average student so let’s keep the fun going! To me, the most important factor in the club is the members and the interactions between us, because if as a team, if we can show that we are passionate about what we do, we make ourselves that much more attractive ;)

Honestly speaking, what better way is there than to learn something while mingling with someone at the same time?

That’s where the socials come in.  We hope to bring to you a year filled with intellectual talks, educationally awesome events and of course, lots and lots of friends.  With the help of other NAUS members, and your support, I can confidently say that this club will be action –packed and can reach out to many more stimulating events that will positively shape the experience of many young neuroscientists at our campus.

This brings me to a quote by Billy Crystal.  He’s the main male lead form the old classic movie “When harry met sally” He says” You owe it to yourself to make the sacrifice in taking the time to dig into yourself, and find the brown spots on apple, use that and spin the straw into the gold.

So I think this fall, we got a mission to complete.

I think I wanna spin some straw into gold for NAUS, so we can all get brainwasssssssshhheeedd together!

Thanks for listening, peace!

Carl De Guzman

Wow this is spontaneous.The role I am running for is secretary. I’m qualified because I was a secretary for the day at my work.

I’m organized, I was in three departments at work, accounting, logistics, and sales support. I’m second year and the brain is awesome. I’ve been to a lot of NAUS events, I think they’re awesome and I would like to be a part NAUS; a friendly, intelligent and genuinely helpful organization.

Vote for Carl the missing piece! (there was no one running for it before). *points to sign.

 

3rd Year Representative

Sandy Wang, Shikha Kuthiala, Ashima Agarawal, Jaclin Simonetta, Ariba Alam

Sandy Wang

Hey everyone, my name is Sandy, and I’m running for your 3rd Year Representative on NAUS for the upcoming school year.  This year I was on council as a member of the second year social committee.

The thing that I like the most about NAUS and student unions in general is that it gives students a sense of community in such a big school. It’s a place where neuroscience students can go for advice, to meet new people, and to make U of T a little bit less daunting. Through my experience with NAUS this year, as part of the social committee along with Victor and Jaclin, I’ve had the chance to help with and attend academic seminars, plan Neuro-Frosh, helped with the Canadian Universities Life Sciences Challenge, and  learned a bit about all the hard work that goes into an event and the team effort that it involves. It also gave me a chance to meet new friends. And at the end of the night, after a stressful but successfully event, the best part for me was always the pub nights, to meet new people, to celebrate, and really mostly just for the free alcohol.

If elected, I will work as a bridge between all of the third year neuroscience students and the program to help put together more events, and get as many opportunities out there as possible for neuroscience students. Mostly I want to make new friends, convey the ideas and suggestions of all the neuroscience students and do my best to foster a sense of community within our program. And as clich? as it sounds, at the end of the day, the most memorable times of our university career will be at events, meeting new people, and having a good time. I hope that I can help create that environment as the 3rd Year Rep on NAUS for next year. I can’t make any grand promises, but I can say that I will listen to the voices and opinions of all of you, and I will do my best and work hard on NAUS. So vote Sandy for 3rd Year Rep!

Shikha Kuthiala

Hi, my name is Shikha and I’m running to be the third year rep for NAUS. I think I would make a good candidate because I’m passionate about neuroscience and I have experience working on other councils. I have spent the last 2 years on the Innis residence Council where I am responsible for planning events, organizing academic events and bringing a community together. I also spent this past year as the second year rep for MoGen where I assisted with planning academic seminars, making and selling merchandise and assisting with Pub nights. I really would like to be the third year rep for NAUS because I think I could bring all the third year neuroscience students together and be your voice for events your would like, merchandise you would like to see and topics of seminars you would like to attend. I’m a hard worker, I’m very organized and I would love to represent all the neuroscience third years in the 2014-2015 calendar year.

Thanks!

Ashima Agarawal

Hi, I’m Ashima Agarwal and I would like to be your 3rd year rep for the Academic year 2014-2015.

Each year the Neuroscience Association for Undergraduate Students organizes many events; academic, social and career-oriented. For Neuroscience students, this sounds like the ultimate dream- all the opportunities localized into one facebook page and email account. What could get better?

But unfortunately, we forget to mention all of the emails and the other facebook pages we have liked. All the celebrity pages, all the selfies, all the pictures from last night that clog up our dashboard. All the emails of students asking for notes, not once, not twice, but 8 times! In this, it seems that it is quite easy to miss out on an important event; the information gets lost in the spam of our everyday lives.

Let’s not even mention the countless memos we put up for ourselves, or the hundreds of alarms, and then realize at 9pm that the event ended at 8pm. I know I wish I had a reminder set up an hour or the day of the event just to ensure I actually make it.

I want to be that link to the NAUS for you. To bring you closer to the events that you are so interested in, and the events you want to go through. Reminders when you want them, and if you want them. We’ll work out a system that works solely on your conditions.

Additionally, I want to expand the 3rd year Neuroscience base. There are many other students out there who may be interested in NAUS’s events, but unfortunately are not informed of them. I want to be the liaison that reaches out to those students as well.

So Support me the elections for 3rd year rep! Thank you for your time!

Jaclin Simonetta

Hello everyone! My name is Jaclin Simonetta and I am running for the position of third year representative.  I am in second year, doing a double major in neuroscience and molecular genetics & microbiology.  I am currently on the NAUS social committee and would love to be part of the NAUS executive team next year to represent the 3rd year students in the neuroscience program at UofT.

Working alongside social committee members Sandy Wang and Victor Lee this year was awesome!  We had a great time planning Neurofrosh for our fellow second year students and getting to know our classmates.  I also enjoyed working with the other members of the NAUS executive team on events such as academic seminars, the Undergraduate Neuroscience conference and CULSC.

Often I hear people say that UofT is so big that it is impossible to make a good group of friends or have a sincere conversation with their classmates.  This can easily be confirmed by almost half of the posts on Spotted UofT!  I believe that getting to know your classmates is an essential part of university.  It’s not just about acquiring the knowledge you need for your future profession, but also making friends with your classmates and learning from one another’s experiences that makes university the greatest time of our lives.  NAUS has given me the opportunity to feel a sense of belonging in such a fast-pace university, and I would like to share this feeling with all the 3rd year neuroscience students next year.  A great way to do this is if we had socials just for the 3rd year neuroscience students and another for 4th years, so the students can continue to build these essential relationships with their year.

I had a wonderful experience being a part of NAUS this year, as it has given me the chance to improve my team work skills, further my interest in the field of neuroscience and make great friends!  I would be grateful for the opportunity to be on NAUS for the 2014-2015 school year if you chose to vote for me as your 3rd year representative. Thank you and enjoy what’s left of the semester!

Ariba Alam

Hi guys, my name is Ariba, and I’m currently finishing my second year. I reason why I would like to be a part of NAUS is because of one major reason. I am enrolled in Intro to Neuroscience, and I absolutely love all the knowledge I am getting from it. I can say I understand probably the basics of how the brain develops to how synapses are made, which leads to formation of memories, generating thoughts, and all that good stuff. It’s surely an addicting subject to read about, and I am glad I picked this major. Studying Neuroscience has influenced me to represent this field of science, and by joining NAUS will allow me to show my passion for it.

I would like to run for  3rd year rep, and I promise I’ll invest in all my effort to put a voice to the student body. I will be willing to meet every week to plan events, host GALAs, plan study sessions, and most importantly, interact with my peers who are also studying neuroscience! I’ll be available through facebook, email, phone to anyone who needs to contact me.

I was part of Students Offering Support (SOS) last year, and this year I am volunteering at Sick Kids as an administrative assistant. I am dedicated to what I enjoy doing, and prefer to put my time into one thing at a time !

So if you guys believe I will be suitable for 3rd year rep, then please vote Ariba Alam!

 

President (2)

Filip Miscevic, Hamza Arshad, Peter Mai

Filip Miscevic

Hi, my name is Filip Miscevic and I am running for co-president of NAUS on the 2014-15 executive committee. By now, many of you may know me as the handsome fellow in your neuroscience classes, but I am more than just a pretty face. I have served tirelessly for two years on the NAUS executive council, first as a second year representative, and this year as co-VP of social affairs, which has given me the opportunity to appreciate the nuts and bolts of the inner workings of the NAUS council. With my fellow council members, it has been extremely rewarding brainstorming, planning, and bringing you exciting and engaging events ranging from academic seminars, to pub nights, to professional development seminars.

As NAUS co-president, I’d like to expand on this year’s initiatives in bringing focus to non-academic aspects of student life where support from the NAUS community may be helpful, such as coping with stress; developing good academic practices; getting informed and involved in research opportunities; getting advice on navigating neuroscience and related POSts; and on opportunities in the field of neuroscience. We have held successful cross-disciplinary events, and I want to continue this collaborative trend.

One issue that I’d like to address which I and many of my fellow students have felt in our time in the neuroscience program is the need for an updated neuroscience course offering. In particular, neuroscience at U of T is largely based in anatomy and physiology, reflective of the areas of study in which neuroscience historically began. Today, though, reading any major neuroscience publication will suggest the quantitative nature of neuroscience today, and the integrative insights it gleans from other disciplines such as physics, computer science, cognitive science and even philosophy. Seeking to bridge these gaps in my own education, I have pursued a triple major in neuroscience, computer science, and cognitive science. Having set foot in each of these departments, I want to share how cross-disciplinary discourse has enhanced my neuroscience education and foster greater communication between these student bodies with the hopes of likewise enhancing others’.

Thank you.

Hamza Arshad

Hello young Neuroscientists! My name is Hamza and I’m running to be one of your Co-presidents for next year. Specializing in Neuroscience, I am crazy about learning new things about the brain. Being one of the largest programs on campus, neuroscience brings students from various different backgrounds, together over what they all love – The brain. Though learning about the brain is not enough, it’s about sharing what you love with people that are just as motivated as you. That’s what NAUS is all about really, it’s about bringing all you neuro-fanatics from all across this campus, over what you all love and adore – Neuroscience.

NAUS offers many great events throughout the year, including the EN conference, the Canadian Life Science Challenge (CULSC), and various academic seminars. Though, like any important tract in the brain, it must travel a great deal, if it is to reach its target audience. Likewise, we need students to get involved, participate, and reach out to grasp all that neuroscience and NAUS have to offer. As Co-president, I hope to evolve the mentorship program, so that the next generation of neuroscientists can learn from the experience of upper year students. I hope to extend your love for neuroscience beyond the classroom, and into an environment that fosters creative thought, amongst peers that motivate you to reach new heights. So as the Co-president of NAUS, let me be your radial glial cell, and watch as you migrate to places you never thought you could reach

Thanks

Peter Mai

A man will always show his best hit when he’s given another chance before his 3rd strike at bat. Good afternoon colleagues, my name is Peter and I’d like to run for the position of the NAUSian King for a 3rd year with NAUS. Most tyrants would simply take the post; I’m a very congenial individual, so I’ll let you decide.

It has been a wondrous journey these past 2 years; first as a Social Committee Exec and then as a 3rd year rep and I must remark that it has been a great adventure filled with learning and laughter. The past 4 leaders before me promoted events that brought out fresh neurons and our astrocytic exec team has helped pruned and form new synapses and friendships.

I am not going to cast an illusion with promises of a million neuroscience initiatives. Instead, I can guarantee increased quality of all of our traditional NAUS events; our informative seminars, our thought provoking conference, our proprietary CULSC, our enjoyable socials and the sort. I desire to shape the future NAUS team into a team of leaders; if elected, you’ll see 14 pseudo-presidents by the end of the year. I will personally guarantee a mutiny and another election next March.

As for myself, I desire to complete my journey with NAUS, which has always been like a family to me. I would like an opportunity to rise to the challenge after watching it thrive so well under my grandparents and parents.