Presidents at a glance

Adam Melnik – MBA

Why are you running? I have experience working in student government; studied engineering at the University of Waterloo; vice president of finance. I really enjoyed giving back to the students and contributing and making a difference to the university experience.

How will you represent grad students in a primarily undergrad environment? With our new Grad Lounge we have a more central location and a better presence in the centre of campus. I think by proliferating advertisement for the GSA and the Grad Lounge and implementing some of the 610 ideas. There’s a business consulting group working on new ideas for the GSA lounge and how to generate profit and bring in more profit and people. By implementing some of their suggestions, I hope to bring more people through the GSA lounge and spread the news of grad students and the services we have to offer.

What is a unique quality about yourself? I’m very personable, very outgoing and very approachable. I’m a very good communicator and I think that makes me an ideal candidate for presidency.

How do you plan to make the organization profitable? The 610 business consulting group is looking primarily for methods to go about increasing the profitability of the Grad Lounge. It currently doesn’t even break even. I’ve discussed a few things with the students, about bringing in high volume low-ticket items that lots of students will want. In order to generate revenues we need a mass buying group.
I look forward to working with the incoming executives and the new opportunities that the GSA has.

Christinia Landry – PHD philosophy

Why are you running? I got involved with student government about a year ago and I’m really interested in advocating for graduate students; it’s what I love. I’m a PHD candidate, so I want to be an academic, this is something that fills in that gap when I’m not doing philosophy – I get to spend time with really great, smart people who have the same passion.

How will you represent grad students in a primarily undergrad environment? Visibility is key. The GSA had made great strides this year in becoming visible to the community at large, especially to administrators. It makes it a lot easier to advocate for students concerns and needs when we’re visible.

What is a unique quality about yourself? Experience, I’ve been involved in the GSA now for a year. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a fantastic executive, a wonderful president and great job shadowing and I think that makes me the best candidate.

What is the purpose of the graduate student advising workshop? This year I am involved as a research assistant … on a study regarding graduate student issues with respect to advising. Graduate student advising had been a problem in so far as there hasn’t been much communication between faculty and students with respect to expectations, how does one even write a thesis or dissertation; how does one get the mentoring you need. This will make or break a student experience.
What I want to do is work with educational development to have department-specific graduate student advising. In order to help graduate students with the challenges they face in writing a thesis or dissertation, publishing work, negotiation between TA responsibilities, research assistantship, finances, communication and just getting the information they need in order to be successful. The drop-out rate is very high, and one of the major problems is this lack of communication between advisors and advisees. This is something that I have experienced personally and would like to see remedied.