HERE ARE YOUR CANDIDATES FOR the 2015/2016 COUNCIL!
Please note not all candidate speeches are updated at this point.
Click here to vote!
Click here to read our constitution.
Voting is open until Sunday April 3rd at 11:59pm.
1. Presidential Candidates
a) Rania Faidi
My name is Rania, I’m currently in my third year doing a Neuroscience Specialist and Biochemistry major. I have been involved with NAUS for two years now, in my second year as part of the then existing second-year social committee and this year as the secretary. I’m running for the co-president position of NAUS for the next academic year. I’m going to try to keep my speech short and sweet because I strongly believe being a president, or any other higher executive position on a club, is no rocket science. I think the key lies in a bit of organization, and a whole load of people skills, creativity and sometimes even a teeny tiny bit of dictatorship – as in the kind that gets people on their toes to be active in club matters all the time. But rather than flaunt using every single positive adjective in the English dictionary, I will instead lay down a setoff pre-planned changes I thought of that could strongly solidify our student council, better serve the neuroscience community at UofT and take a few extra steps in connecting the Human Biology department with us students.
1. Hold a legitimate “Neuro-frosh” inspired event: can be a small dinner coordinated with the department to welcome second-year students into the program.
2. Add a first-year rep position: there’s absolutely no reason why we don’t have a first year rep. Sure they could change their mind and switch their POSt but is that really too bad? It would be like NAUS has helped a first year choose a POSt, and that in itself is some form of positive mentorship. But a first-year rep could be an excellent bridge between us and keen first years.
3. Since the CRISPR team is coming to UofT in October, EN for the next academic year could take place at the time they’re in town, and be on the topic of Neurogenomics this means BIGGER TURNOUT because something like the Gairdner Awards is actually only accessible to VERY few students.
4. Build a summer research program: LMP has it, Mol.Gen has it, BCH has it, WHY do we not have it? A neuroscience summer research program would be a great project for NAUS for next year: it won’t happen overnight, will take strong convincing for the department, professors who’re doing research in neuroscience related projects but are not part of HMB to convince but if there is one thing I can do right is put a strong argument why our students really need such opportunities to be available. We can start small, with only a few participating professors but this is something I see growing in the next years. We have some of the brightest students at UofT in our program, it shouldn’t be hard to go look for interesting neuroscience projects especially when we don’t have a department of our own.
5. Work on CCR recognition with next year’s secretary hopefully over the summer there shouldn’t be any reason why you don’t get credit for the work you put in
6. Work on the JUMP Mentorship Program idea with CPIN that was proposed to NAUS earlier this year: this is something that the VP academics and graduating year rep can work on.
7. Host a semester Executive Appreciation Night and launch an Executive Award, invite the department heads, professors, students – can be an end of year thing to celebrate NAUS’s achievements. This will help not only encourage our team to work hard, but it would appreciate the efforts and dedications that so many wonderful NAUS executives put into our council.
This year I’ve seen spectacular improvements in our events, especially CULSC, EN and an overall improved leadership. I hope that next year the executive team will give it 200% of their effort, creativity and dedication to NAUS. My expectations will be high for next year, but just like everything else in life: You either Go Big or Go Home & I really don’t want to “Go Home”.
Good luck to everyone graduating and leaving this year & Thanks for listening!
b) Maria Vorobeva
“MAKE NAUS GREAT AGAIN”
Hi I’m Maria. I’m a fourth year neuroscience specialist and I’ve been a part of NAUS for the past year as the graphic designer. Working here I made a lot of friends and had a lot of laughs. I see a lot of potential in NAUS and I want to be part of its growth. This year our team was amazing. We all meshed and worked well together so events like CULSC and Everything Neuroscience ran smoothly. Participating in CULSC didn’t feel like a job or a chore it was fun and a lot of great memories were made there. This sense of camaraderie is something I hope to foster for anyone working on the exec team. It was also incredible to see how much fun the student body had and how much they enjoyed our events. But beyond the good I also see the things that can be improved upon to make a more efficient team. A president should inspire each and every one of their executive members to work harder for the sake of all the people depending on their work. So I want to do weekly checkups with every team member to know if they’re on task or if they need help. I also promise to keep the executive team up to date on all things regarding budget and planning. In general I want NAUS to really focus more on helping the neuroscience community with their academics. If I were to become a co-president I would try to set up study sessions for neuroscience related courses led by people who have already graduated the course. This would also allow older students to volunteer and give back to their local neuroscience community while getting something to pad their co-curricular record with. Most of all I want all neuroscience students, executive members and first year students that are interested in neuroscience to come to me with their ideas and feedback on all the events and activities we host. Your voices are important and I want you to know that. And to put my money where my mouth is here’s my email, firstname.lastname@example.org (please don’t sign me up for spam) where you can reach me with any ideas or feedback you have. I want to hear it. Alas I’m not very good at writing out speeches but I sincerely hope you’ll consider me.
P.S If I become president NAUS is going to YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!
c) Claudia Tersigni
Hello fellow neurobuddies!
My name is Claudia Tersigni and I am currently the Third Year Representative on NAUS. For the upcoming 2016-2017 academic year, I want to take on more responsibility and have a greater say in the changes that goes on in the neuroscience community at the University of Toronto, which is why I am running for co-president. I am currently in third year, pursuing a double major in both psychology and neuroscience. I started becoming involved in the neuroscience community in second year in HMB200, where I spear-headed several fundraisers for the Geneva Centre for Autism Foundation. After this experience, I knew that I wanted to bring even bigger changes to this amazing program so I decided to run for NAUS. Being a part of NAUS this past year was the best experience of my undergrad career thus far. I gained a lot of experience in team building, responsibility, cooperation, and friendship. Working alongside this wonderful team was an opportunity I hope to recreate for the executive team this upcoming year.
All of the events NAUS hosted this year were a great success, and I hope to continue and even better them in the year to come. Firstly, as most people do not feel as though they are part of the neuroscience community until the second semester of their second year, I feel like it will be important to advertise NAUS to those in first year to spark interest and create a sense of a ‘neuro family’ early on for these students. After this, we should add a first-year rep position to our team to foster a greater connection with that year group.
If I am elected as co-president, another change I wish to see is the addition of executive team bonding and appreciation events. Throughout this entire year, the executive team kept saying how much we wanted to bond outside of the club’s events and we just never got around to it. I hope to create events for the executive NAUS team to build a sense of community within us first and foremost so we are better equipped to unite the entire neuroscience student body moving forward.
I am also greatly interested in research and would like to see more research events in the upcoming year outside of our normal academic seminars. This would include a ‘speed dating’ type of event in which students can mingle directly and one on one with potential supervisors within a field of research that they are interested in. Academic seminars are great, but I believe that this type of event will allow for deeper networking connection.
I would also like to add NAUS to the list of student unions which are CCR certified as I believe that the hard work done by the executive team deserves to be credited.
One last event I would like to implement is a meet and greet for the entire neuroscience student body with NAUS and other neuroscience alumni. A lot of UofT grads are on to greater and better things which deserve recognition. This event would also help the current neuroscience students in understanding and inspiring them with amazing career and job opportunities that they can pursue with their neuroscience degree.
If you want to see these types of changes within the neuroscience community, get out there and vote! Help me help the neuroscience community be NAUSOME!
Thanks for listening🙂
2. VP Academic Affairs Candidates
a) Simon Spichak
Hi my name is Simon and I want to be your next VP of Academic Affairs. I have experience organizing Academic seminars as a Commuter don and a former Academic and Mentorship Co-Director for the Human Biology Students’ Union. If elected I would like to implement a guide detailing research opportunities and how to get them, as well as a research seminar in first seminar to prepare Neuroscience students for finding summer research. I am also very passionate about new topics in neuroscience and would do my best to have the finest researchers at the University present for us. I would also love to implement a guide for current neuroscience courses that we can use for course selection in subsequent years. As your VP of Academic Affairs, I would be committed to improving your academic and research experiences within the program! And remember, Simon says vote for Simon on your ballot!
3. VPs Social Affairs Candidates
a) Amanda Cheung
Hello my fellow neuroscience students!
My name is Amanda Cheung and I am currently one of the Vice-Presidents of Social Affairs! I am hoping to be elected once again as your VP Social for the 2016-2017 school year! It’s been an amazing and memorable year working with the wonderful NAUS team: from planning the Everything Neuroscience Conference and hosting CULSC, to picking up famous scientists (aka Feng Zhang aka CRISPR-Cas9 God) from their hotel lobby. I am SO excited to see where next year takes us!
I am confident you are in great hands to organize your social affairs, and you will be sure to see several opportunities to meet your beautiful classmates! Perhaps you’ll finally meet that cute guy/girl you’ve been eyeing in Con Hall. With pub nights, games nights, movie nights (A Beautiful Mind or 50 First Dates), and arts nights (a Paint Lounge knock-off or neuro-related colouring book session) in mind, let’s make your next year of undergrad an outstanding one!
b) Luke Bannon
Hey fellow neuroscientists!
My name is Luke Bannon and I am running for the position of VP Social Affairs on the Neuroscience Association for Undergraduate Students. I am a second year student aiming to major in Neuroscience and Physiology. (You may recognize me from HMB200 :D) I hope to combine my passion for neuroscience and past experience of organizing social/educational events, on student unions & associations, in order to best serve you students!
In my most recent event coordinator position, I managed a budget of about $6,000 and organized events for hundreds of students (every event I organized this semester had the most attendance in each event’s history).
I have already taken steps to learn more about NAUS, how the association works, and what my role would entail as VP of Social Affairs. By reading the NAUS Constitution and reaching out to current members of NAUS like Victor Lee, the VP of Social Affairs for the last two years, I feel I have become more informed and better prepared for the position of VP Social Affairs.
If elected, I would want to continue the amazing events NAUS organizes such as its pub nights and the CULSC. Some new ideas I would like to bring forward are to have a type of competition event with students against professors from the HMB department or to have a “speed dating” type event with professors in order to help students get past their fear of approaching professors. Another idea I have is told neuroscience group study sessions with socials afterwards. Finally, since I believe my main role is to serve you Neuroscience students, I would want to hear from you on what other types of social events you would want to attend and to hold an online poll each semester to allow for you to vote on which social event you would want from NAUS.
If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns do not hesitate to talk to me in person or message me. And good luck on exams everyone!
c) Emily Cheng
Hi everyone! My name is Emily and I am currently in second year doing a major in neuroscience and a specialist in pathobiology. I will like to be your NAUS VP social affairs for the 2016/2017 school year.
I am currently the finance director for the University of Toronto Public Speaking Club (UTPS). Aside from my financial duties, as an executive, I have implemented various workshops and social events. My involvement in UTPS events has given me experience in working out the technical aspects of planning a successful event, such as booking a venue, working out the logistics, marketing the event, and making sure that the event is accessible to everyone. I hope to use these skills and experiences to bring to you many fun and well-planned NAUS events/socials!
Aside from the technical aspects of event planning, I have a lot of new social ideas for the upcoming year. As the VP social affairs, I want to instil a sense of inclusion and camaraderie between NAUS students, and make your year a bit more relaxing and a lot more fun! I’ve noticed that game nights and pub nights seem to come up quite frequently throughout the year. I would definitely continue with these socials, but I would also like to add other events as well for people who are less inclined to come to these events, and also to bring to NAUS students a variety of events throughout the school year. Some of the ideas I have in mind include: skating outings, movie nights, baking socials, and interdepartmental water balloon fights — just to name a few. One of the events I really look forward to bringing to everyone is an escape room social. For this social, we can book multiple rooms and have 4-8 people in each room working together to find the clues, solve the mystery, and escape the room. I believe this is a great way to build memories and friendships.
Last but not least, I hope to bring my energy and passion to all the NAUS events/socials. I also really want to take this opportunity to build lasting friendships with each and everyone of you!
d) Justine Bajohr
Hello, my name is Justine and I’m a second year neuroscience specialist running for VP Social Affairs. My passion for neuroscience lead me to a couple of NAUS events this year. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the people and would love to have the opportunity to get more involved with the club. I’ve always loved taking on a position of leadership and planning events whether it be in school or in my community. This year I was the events coordinator for the Neurodegenerative Disease Society of Toronto at U of T and played a key role in organizing our first ever conference, which had speakers such as Dr. Sandra Black and Dr. Anthony Lang. In high school I was the president of student life where I was in charge of organizing and executing all of the events for the school. In my graduating year I successfully organized the beginning of year barbeque, as well as the 3-day student life camp. In addition, I proposed and implemented new school events such as a school-wide Easter egg hunt. Through this I learned the skills to work with a team, budget and think on my feet. After I graduated, I continued to seek leadership opportunities at my CEGEP and took on the position of student ambassador. In addition to all this my outgoing and enthusiastic personality makes me happy to promote any events I’m a part of. I will make an excellent VP of social affairs for NAUS with my experience, willingness to take initiative and sociable nature.
e) Golsa Shafa
Hello everyone, My Name is Golsa and I’m a second year student majoring in neuroscience and psychology and I’m running for the VP of social affairs.
Well as we all know the truth, the atmosphere in U of T can be really intimidating for life science students. Starting with GPA struggles, sense of competition and restless efforts for getting into a professional school. I felt all of those for the past two years, but what always kept my spirits up was joining social events on campus. That’s why I want to make a contribution and make the life science experience at of U of T bearable by bringing fun and social events with an academic purpose or for a charitable cause.
As a VP of social affairs, I will try my best to stand beside the president and other members to come up with new ideas for social events that will distinguish this club from others and make more students interested in joining the club and I think it’s a good idea to make this happen in collaboration with other clubs too. My relevant research experience to neuroscience would be my ROP project in the department of psychology, which I’ll be continuing it as a UTEA award recipient during the summer. Over the past years, I’ve been the vice president of the genetics society of u of t club and the external director of students fighting cancer club. I believe that these roles have prepared me for taking the responsibilities of the VP of social affairs.
I’d be really happy if you could give me the chance of being a part of this club. Thanks!
4. VP Communications Candidates
a) Emerson Daniele
Hey everyone, for those of you that don’t know me, I am Emerson Daniele; your outgoing NAUS second year social representative.
I cannot easily put into words how wonderful it was to work with the rest of the NAUS executives this year to put on events like our pub night, annual everything N conference, and the Canadian University Life Sciences Competition.
The executive team has become like a second family to me, but I want everyone in neuroscience to feel the kind of connection to their fellow peers that I have made with the executive team…. the ultimate NEURO FAM, if you will.
My goal as your VP of communications is to grow this neuro fam into one that any other department would be jealous of through improved social media outreach. Not to mention, this would put my social media procrastination skills to good use.
So if you want a fam that will make all of the other departments say damn,
Vote me, Emerson Daniele, for your VP communications.
b) Seam Ihn
Hi everyone! My name is Sean Ihn, and I am a second year student studying neuroscience and molecular genetics. Currently, I am the treasurer and media chair for the Student Society for Stem Cell Research. As the media chair, I built and currently manage our website, and I maintain and promote our presence on social media, like Facebook, and online via sending out emails with listserv. I was also webmaster for the Foundation for International Medical Relief for Children, with the same responsibilities I have for the Student Society for Stem Cell Research, such as keeping the website updated, paying close attention to the visual details, and promoting the activity on social media.
I went through the NAUS website, and like many other student union websites, it was made with WordPress – WordPress allows for nice-looking, functional websites, but I can make a sexy, functional website, not with WordPress, but with another domain called Wix. Right now, the NAUS website has the URL, “nausuoft.wordpress.com.” That doesn’t represent the professionalism and the legitimacy of this student union. I have already made a step-by-step plan to use Wix, to make a beautiful website with a domain name that belongs to NAUS, like nausuoft.org. Wix is commonly used for E-commerce, so you might be able to guess that Wix puts a lot of emphasis and resources into visual appeal – the sexy factor. I can take every single element and information on the current website, and transfer it onto a new, stunning, and professional website, with better organization of the material, and better presentation of what NAUS can offer. I also have experience with listserv email functions, like ways to make a visually customized email that is pretty, catches the eye, and sells the story that we are trying to tell through our email.
I am well accustomed to the position of VP Communications, and I would absolutely love the opportunity to bring positive change to the image and presence of NAUS online.
5. VP Finance Candidates
a) Waleed Khan
My name is Waleed and I am a second year immunology specialist and neuroscience major. I have currently been serving as your second year representative at NAUS and now I am running as VP of Finance because I truly believe that I have the skills and dedication for this role.
In the past I have served as academic chair and funding co-chair on the Student Society of Stem Cell Research (SSSCR). I was part of their conference planning committee and together we were able to raise up to 2000 dollars that made our conference a huge success. I have also been the finance co-chair of EarthTones2015. EarthTones is a charity ball and it is an initiative under UTHIP (one of the largest charities on canons) to raise funds for charities helping children in need. The event ended up being so successful that we raised more than 10,000 dollars for charity.
One of the biggest skills that I have for this role is that I feel no shame in begging for money. Be it ASSU, HMB department or any corporate sponsor, I will make she that we have the funding and monetary resources to bring the best events for you.
To improve the reimbursement process in NAUS I would like to implement an E-Transfer mechanism and an online platform for members if the council to request for a reimbursement. I also want to establish a digital record of all the receipts that we have to improve organization and transparency.
So please vote for me. Thank You.
6. Graphic Designer
a) Wazaira Kahn
My name is Wazaira Khan and I am running to be the next Graphic Designer for NAUS! Much like all of you guys, I am so mesmerized by the complex organ that resides in our skull, that I have decided to spend my entire undergraduate career in understanding how it works, while contemplating its inexplicable characteristics. Currently a second year student pursuing a double major in Neuroscience and Immunology with a minor in Physiology, I feel fortunate enough to be surrounded by such a great undergraduate Neuroscience community, and want to continue to unify and solidify it through various online platforms. From creating professional online website, to creating engaging promotional posters, to giving YOU the opportunity to design our departmental apparel, I will be your go-to for the creative platform (the right hemisphere, if you will) of NAUS.
Here is why I think I would make a suitable fit for the Graphic Designer position:
1.I enjoy making sketches and experimenting with Photoshop in my free time (whenever I’m not bombarded with assignments and tests) and have developed a skill in graphic design. As well, having worked on the online platform for the Arthritis Society and on my High School’s yearbook committee, I have experience in creating visually appealing pieces.
2.This position allows for the greatest creativity. Likewise, I have been involved in various events/projects that require out of the box thinking, from starting campaigns to implementing different, more effective assays to use for experimental tests, and would love to be able to apply these skills through this position.
3.I want to make our NAUS website more professional and interactive, by venturing out and using other website design software (i.e. Web.com, Wix.com) rather than wordpress.com, while working alongside the VP Communication candidates, who are both experienced in coding.
4.Currently, NAUS has three available designs for departmental apparel, but I think it would be more effective to get input from undergraduate Neuroscience students, giving all of you guys an opportunity to create apparel designs as well!
Since I understand that you have dedicated much of your vital time in reading various other amazing speeches, I will end with this short message: I am a dedicated, hard working individual with a well-equipped background, and will strive to put my best foot forward in ensuring the best representation of both NAUS and the undergraduate Neuroscience community on the online platform.
Thanks so much for your consideration!🙂
7. Third Year Representative Candidates:
a) Changmo Kim
Hello friends and future friends!
My name is Changmo Kim, and I am running to be your NAUS Third Year Rep of 2016-2017! I cannot express how grateful I am for the opportunity.
So I’m sure that some of you would like to know a little about me and why I’m running.** I am a Neuroscience / Psychology student entering third year. I love Wine Gums, I bemoan my life struggles and binge watch Netflix and struggle for good grades like the average U of T student. In that regards, if you were to ask me how I’m different from other candidates by portfolio, I guess I’d say that I’m not. I am just like one of you, here to voice your opinions and think of fun ways to make academics not the dreaded word here.
For example, the main incentive for my campaign is largely due to an incredible event hosted by NAUS- CULSC or Canadian University Life Science Challenge. I can honestly say that I had the most entertaining weekend of my life. I really do wish to raise awareness of all the great opportunities NAUS has to offer and contribute to representing the third year neuroscience students in a professional and exciting way.
Thanks everybody and have a great night!
b) Grace Manalili
8. Graduating Year Representative Candidates
a) Jeffrey Stulberg
I am very interested in joining the NAUS executive committee and have much to contribute. I think I would make an excellent graduating-year rep.
a) Nessayeny Para
Hello, my name is Nessayeny and I am running to be your VP of Social Affairs. This year I got the opportunity to be a part of NAUS as one of the second year representatives. As a way to express my experiences as a second year rep and why I would like to be your VP of Social Affairs next year, I wrote a poem.
My first speech I spoke with fear,
Little had I known I’d be entering a year full of cheer.
I got the opportunity to meet Fang Zhang,
As it started my journey with a bang.
My first conference, I attended with excitement
Everything N, it lays in my sentiment
I realize I have my family there,
Together we’ll gain with NAUS gear
So why secretary, you may ask?
I mean it is a really big task.
But I am running as your secretary,
To provide our council with security.
Attending meetings is a key component,
But taking minutes is just as important.
As your secretary I promise,
I promise to be your minutes-taking goodness
I can help keep things organized,
And the whole team unified.
Vote me for Secretary,
The group will have less to worry.