SMSS Executive Position Candidates
Vice President Communications
My name is Javeria Muhammadzai and I am running for the position of VP-Communications. One thing we can all unanimously agree upon is that good communication is key for effective functioning of any organization of the world. To me, communication is empowerment. Effective communication has played and continues to play a vital role in my life, especially in the past five years since my move to Canada from Pakistan. Upon moving to Canada, I immersed myself in volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in London, ON; I was part of a team of volunteers, responsible for maintaining a clean and comfortable environment in the House for out-of-town families of sick children undergoing medical treatment. On moving to Saskatoon, I started as a Category-A volunteer at SWITCH, a clinic serving core communities of Saskatoon. After I became accustomed to the various aspects of volunteering at SWITCH including childcare, programming, kitchen work and client checklist, I decided to become Category-A supervisor, which involves being responsible for and orchestrating a smooth shift by assigning volunteer duties and meeting the needs of the various activities. With the influx of Syrian refugees in Saskatoon, I started teaching one-on-one English lessons and basic computer skills to immigrants and refugees at Global Gathering Place to empower them. Why do these experiences matter to this position? They matter because execution of these diverse roles required communication with people from all spheres of life. As VP communications, I want to ensure that I keep the SMSS organized and my peers updated, so that no one is left behind. I do not want this to be a one-woman show. I want to get to know my peers and understand what they want from the SMSS so that together we can foster an environment where we can grow and thrive together.
My name is Nabeel Iqbal, I am a second-year medical student, and I am applying for the VP Communications position. I was interested in this role because it is an excellent way to get administrative experience as I can see myself moving down that path in the future. This position is a great stepping stone for me and I have a strong grasp of the requirements. I have extensive knowledge of web design and would have no problems maintaining the website and working out any kinks following the overhaul. Given that a lot of people rely on the website for coordinating events, it is important that it is easily accessible and kept up to date. I enjoy the challenge of working with various groups and students to hit deadlines on time. After five years of undergraduate education, I have a thorough understanding of note taking and can act as a secretary in meetings. Lastly, the biggest asset I have is knowing how to manage extracurricular activities in parallel with school. After successfully passing first year, I know the requirements for maintaining a passing grade and juggling extra responsibilities. I look forward to representing the student body in the SMSS and thank you for the consideration.
Vice President External, Jr.
To me, VP External is about connecting U of S medical students to community health initiatives, policy advocates, professionals, and other students across Canada, with the aim of positively impacting students’ education, financial literacy, and community involvement. It’s a position that requires diligent planning and organization, open communication, and the ability to keep many projects moving at once. I believe I have the qualities necessary to be a good fit for the role, and the initiative to handle the inevitable learning curve that will come along with it!
My relevant experience includes organizing a school-wide blood drive in high school and two terms on the ACBC executive in university, first as year rep and subsequently as a social coordinator. In those positions, I relayed information about club activities and events to students; helped organize our summer research information night, which connects researchers and students; and planned our meet-the-faculty mixer/game night.
I’m very much a long-term planning kind of person. At the beginning of ninth grade, I worked out a four-year plan of which classes to take, and when; I ended up deviating by only two courses. Excessive? Absolutely! But it also means I’m exactly the kind of person who’d love the chance to organize a financial literacy fair. Meticulous planning to achieve objectives and make our long-term outcomes as positive as possible would be an essential priority for me.
More seriously, VP External also greatly appeals to me because of its broad reach into other professional societies. In an age where medicine is becoming ever more connected – geographically, socially, and culturally – I think it’s crucial that physicians participate in provincial, national, and international conversations about health and healing. As VP External Jr, I would be honoured by the chance to help represent Saskatchewan medical students in these endeavours.
Hi, my name is Daisy. I’m really good at Tetris, I only have 23 teeth, and I want to be your VP External Jr. You might be wary of trusting a first year you barely know to represent you, so let me assuage your fears by humblebragging about my relevant experience.
I’ve spent five years volunteering at SWITCH, through which I have built strong connections with community organizations across Saskatoon. Serving on the board of directors for the past year, I’ve networked with healthcare professionals, university faculty, and government officials to build SWITCH’s reputation and improve the services we provide. These organizational experiences will allow me to better represent my peers and the College of Medicine.
My involvement with student group executives is like the prairies: vast, boring, and beautiful. I’ve held leadership positions in groups ranging from academic, as president of my department’s student group, to artistic, as vice president of my choir executive. I found it extremely rewarding to be able to bring choir nerd solutions to science nerd problems, and vice versa. This kind of collaboration and communication will help me bring home ideas for improvement from medical schools across the country.
I’m excited for the opportunity to work on the SMSS’s advocacy and interprofessionalism initiatives. I’m happy to be part of a program that puts so much focus on becoming better medical students and improving the medical profession as a whole. Since our student society works more closely with our administration than any other school in Canada, we have the unique opportunity to make the changes that matter to us.
I want to help make U of S med the coolest program on earth. I think One45 has room for improvement. I think we need more microwaves.
Vice President Internal, Jr.
First off, I hope this serves as good reading fodder for those procrastinating on their work right now. I decided to run for the VP Internal role mainly because it is the hidden engine that keeps the machine running. The VP Internal Jr/Sr are responsible for the very foundation of policies and rules that dictate how the SMSS operates, and in my mind, the first step to improvement is changing from the foundation itself. Although there is a rigorous process to making new changes to the policies, I want to be able to discuss and adopt potential improvements to even the littlest details to improve SMSS and our class experience for the next four years we’re stuck here. I also want to set in stone the environment future Classes will arrive to, not only through policy work, but also by organizing elections so that we can pass on the torch to the (not as good as us) future Classes. I hope my previous experiences can help me fulfill my role as VP Internal, as I have been an executive board member (VP of Operations) for 3 years and helped write the constitution of the University of Regina Debate Club. I also helped run the social media and email for the club. It was a new, fledgling club when I first joined and now currently has over 200 members. I have experience in organizing large scale events as well, which hopefully will assist me in organizing the Fall Formal. I have organized two (amazing) TEDx Talk events at the UofR, with ~300 people for each event, and (also amazing) panel events discussing relevant global issues. If elected, I will use my past experiences and my vision for the future to be the best VP Internal (like no one ever was!)
From my understanding of the responsibilities held by the VP Internal Jr/Sr, I see a position that holds the subtle but significant potential to impact the unique experience of each student in our College of Medicine. I think I can bring to this role a dedicated effort to understanding the policies and protocols of the SMSS, as well as I will actively continue to monitor and re-evaluate where necessary. Furthermore, I strongly believe that policies should be both functional as well as accessible, meaning I want to make sure we all understand how each of these policies may affect our student experience. In addition, I am committed to supporting the other members of the Internal Division, in any capacity, with their respective initiatives. Finally, I love elections!!! I recognize the necessity of fair elections, as well as encouraging engagement in the democratic process, as this drives continuity and preserves the efficiency of the student group.
In terms of previous experience, I have had the privilege of acting as the VP Internal and President of the U of S Debate Society, where I gained experience in administrative efficiency, organizing and facilitating elections as well as constitutional maintenance and enforcement. I have also served as a board member of the Saskatchewan Elocution and Debate Association, where I was part of a collaborative decision-making team involved in funding allocation and re-evaluation of policy. In addition, I was the VP Finance for the Chemistry Students’ Society, and in this position, I participated in fundraising and financial allocation as well as re-writing the club constitution. Furthermore, I served as a year-representative and Social Co-ordinator for the Anatomy and Cell Biology Club, and these positions gave me the opportunity to contribute to event planning + marketing, fundraising and constitutional maintenance.
SMSS Officer Position Candidates
Fundraising Representative, Jr.
I am interested in applying for the SMSS position of Jr. Fundraising Representative. I am the right candidate for this position, because I am determined, innovative, organized and I possess a strong work ethic and the ability to motivate people.
My competitive swimming background, volunteer experience and involvement with the Kinesiology Students’ Society Council have prepared me to meet the responsibilities of this role. Being a competitive swimmer with the Saskatoon Goldfins for ten years, while being a student, allowed me to develop excellent time management skills. My volunteer experience with the Friendship Inn and P.A.A.L program has also helped me to acquire strong interpersonal and communication skills. My involvement with the Kinesiology Students’ Society Council for two years allowed me to work closely with my peers and be an asset in a team environment.
During my time on the Kinesiology Students’ Society Council, I had the responsibility of organizing monthly free breakfasts for the students as well as events intended to boost the morale of the students in our college. Last year, I initiated and organized two on-campus puppy parties for the College of Kinesiology students, which offered a fun stress relief during midterms and finals. My role on council also included assisting with fundraising events, such as the annual Kinesiology Road Hockey Tournament with proceeds going to KidSport and bake sales for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Last year, I was also a member of the Grad Committee and helped with events that raised money for our Graduation Banquet this past spring.
I am confident that I would be a great asset to the SMSS and I believe that my skills and experience would be beneficial in my role as Jr. Fundraising Representative.
Global Health Advocate, Jr.
My name is Alicia Mah, and I would love to be your Global Health Advocate Jr.! My interest for global health begun when I visited Hong Kong when I was a child. We were walking on a busy road when I saw a quadruple amputee wearing bandages who was asking for money. Not one person reached out to him. I asked my parents why no one would help. I was simply told “he has no money to receive treatment.” Growing up in Canada with a publicly funded health care system, I did not know a world where basic health care had to be paid for. Speaking to my relatives, I learned that routine procedures such as a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) would cost upwards of $15,000. For the middle class, that’s a hefty price tag. But for those living in poverty, it could cost them their life. Being aware of such inequities has influenced my perspective on global health. I believe that I’m a great candidate for this position, as I have been involved in event-planning with multiple groups at the U of S. I was a co-facilitator for Peer Health, a group on campus that focuses on health promotion. My area of work involved nutrition and fitness initiatives. Our team successfully created an event to promote awareness about backpacks and back strain. I was also an event coordinator for Jack.org, a student group that focuses on reducing mental health stigma. Our team planned various outreach events, including the Jack.org summit, a conference on mental health. As your Global Health Advocate Jr., I will work closely with the CFMS and the university to plan events that will effectively raise awareness for worldwide health issues. Overall, I believe my experiences make me an excellent candidate to be your Global Health Advocate Jr.!
Hello my name is Daniel Ferguson and I would like to open with a question, what does it mean to be a global health advocate in 2018? To me a global health advocate should strive to identify and open up a discussion on how we as one people can work together to break down geographical, political and socioeconomic boundaries that result in the differences in health outcomes seen around the world. I believe that we really do have a lot of good access to essential resources such as dependable drinking water, consistent access to food, shelter and solid medical care; but this is not uniform across Canada, especially when you enter our Northern/ Saskatchewan backyard.
I think the role of the global health advocate is to look outward on the world to recognize and bring a voice to the big issues and the disparaged populations, but we also need to have a strong, honest conversation on what’s going on back home. I’ve spent two weeks in Iqaluit last summer out in the community and saw firsthand some of the inequalities that existed between the Inuit population and that of the rest of Canadians. Low access to food, overcrowded homes, and very high suicide rates; this isn’t a 2018 picture of global health. I’ve also spent a total of 5 weeks in Rwanda this past year and saw some of the harsher images of the global part of this image; infant mortality, death by preventable infection and a lack of the basic essentials, food and water; and conditions and stories that eerily reminded me of my time in Iqaluit. As a global health advocate it would be my mission to bring light to these big health inequalities that exist in our little prairie yard and extend that scope to the horizons of international waters.
Global Health Liaison, Jr.
Hi there! For those of you I haven’t yet had the chance to meet, my name is Haley Eckel, and I am running to be your Jr. Global Health Liaison. Although there are a number of reasons that I have chosen to run for this position (which I’ll discuss shortly), the most important is because I am passionate about global health. I believe that as future physicians, we have a duty to work towards improving the health of people around the world, as well as within marginalized communities here in Canada. As your Jr. Global Health Liaison, I will be able to effectively represent you, as well as present your ideas regarding how we can improve global health, to the Canadian Federation of Medical Students Global Health Program.
I have a strong interest in global issues, and my background in this area (particularly through my volunteerism, as well as the Political Studies program) has given me the skills necessary to effectively represent the SMSS within the CFMS Global Health Program. A large part of the Jr. Global Health Liaison position is to communicate between the SMSS and the Global Health Program, and I have a number of experiences that I feel have prepared me for such a role. This includes being a Student Ambassador for the University of Saskatchewan Department of Alumni Relations, an elected member of the USSU’s Commission on Female Leadership, as well as being a classroom representative within the College of Engineering. All of these positions have made me aware of the importance of effectively representing my fellow student’s interests and ideas, as well as working collaboratively amongst multiple parties. Improving the health equity of individuals around the world (including within Canada), is an issue that I know can only be addressed through collaboration – both amongst students in our college, as well as between students across the country, which is why I hope to be the Jr. Global Health Liaison, and serve as a link between these groups.
What draws me to the position of Global Health Liaison Jr. is the responsibility to advocate for vulnerable people both locally and globally. I am passionate about global health and health equity. My interest in global health arose from a very young age; my father often told me stories of his experiences in a very impoverished community in India. Lack of adequate health care orphaned him at a young age and nearly took his life as well. Because of his experiences, I was raised with a strong sense of responsibility for advocating and supporting everyone around me, especially our most vulnerable populations who need it the most. We are all here because of the support of people that came before us and it is our responsibility to make our communities and the world a better place for those who will come after us.
Locally, I volunteered at the Royal University Hospital, delivering books to patients who were often anxious and/or alone. The books and human interaction with a non-health professional frequently provided them with a sense of relief at a vulnerable time in their life. I was also a member-at-large (for 1 year) and then the accounting director (for 2 years) for the Relay for Life committee at the Canadian Cancer Society. We helped raise funds for both cancer research and to provide services for patients in Saskatoon, such as transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and emotional counseling. I want to continue supporting local health initiatives as well as expand to the national and international stage. Alongside my proficient organizational skills, strong self-motivation, and passion for health issues, I can bring a unique perspective and experience to the position that would make me an excellent candidate for Global Health Liaison Jr. Thank you for this opportunity.
Government Affairs and Advocacy Committee Representative, Jr.
I’ve had many opportunities to advocate with various populations on their terms. After spending two months working with farmers in the Dominican Republic, my peers and I formed an organization to stand in solidarity with these farmers and support their visions of empowering their communities. This includes being awarded a $22000 grant to build a solidarity market and hosting one of their leaders in Saskatoon while he learned about large-scale agriculture and Canada’s colonial history.
Closer to home, I’ve met with the Minister of Justice to discuss issues around phone access and privatization for people in provincial prisons, as they find themselves increasingly isolated from community and culture. As a three-year executive member of Best Buddies, I wrote letters to my MP when STC closure left those with mobility difficulties without accessible transportation. I’ve also been involved with Canadian Roots Exchange, a national organization dedicated to improving settler-indigenous relations. After spending a week on reserve, I collected over 150 books by Indigenous authors to donate to communities on Treaty 4 and 6, as a means of calling attention to SDH, reconciliation, and inadequate funding for reserve schools. This initiative was later endorsed by the Office of the Treaty Commissioner. Over the years I have volunteered with SWITCH, Sanctum Care Home, L’Arche Saskatoon, and the Dubé Center, all of which have helped me better understand health equity in Canada.
I’ve been inspired by GAAC and their Day of Action for the past three years, when they demanded attention to topics such as pharmacare, Saskatchewan’s HIV crisis, the opiod epidemic, and Indigenous mental wellness. I’m running for this position because I’m passionate about advocacy in healthcare. Physicians are privileged to witness the struggles and triumphs of people’s lives, as well as to understand the evidence of how political downstream effects impact patients. I would use this position to engage my peers in a conversation of how to contribute to an inclusive community as a way of tearing down colonial and marginalizing structures. I want to use our privilege as medical students to make room for conversations that underserved populations are desperately trying to have, and promote local advocacy initiatives that lead to meaningful change.
I am submitting this statement to nominate myself for the position of Government Affairs and Advocacy Committee Representative (Jr.) for the SMSS. I have worked in health care for several years, and the notion of advocating for other members of my community was among my foremost reasons for applying to medical school, and I’m excited to get started.
Having worked primarily with children who have developmental delays, it was easy to see the complex interactions between the child, the parents, and the environment. The problems – and any hypothetical solutions – cannot be detached from the healthcare and political situation. For instance, when visiting Onion Lake Cree Nation, my team would screen the hearing of every child we saw. If a child failed multiple screening attempts, it was difficult to tell parents that the closest audiologist was a private practitioner in Edmonton, and the public alternative no longer received funding to travel from Saskatoon. That same family might be seen a year later, after receiving a diagnosis of hearing loss, though they can’t afford hearing aids following the 2017 cuts to the Hearing Aid Plan. Worse, they had not traveled to get the diagnosis at all, as they were unable to travel to Saskatoon following closure of STC and subjection to the inefficiency of the medical taxis. Though misfortune and suffering is a personal experience, most of the above barriers stemmed from political decisions. Without voices from the community, busy legislators will never hear. I look forward to the chance to add my experiences and determination to the voices of the SMSS and CFMS, and to represent us with pride in Regina and Ottawa.
Thank you for your consideration.
Hello future colleagues! For those of you whom I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Nathan Baron, and I would like to let my name stand as a candidate for Government Affairs and Advocacy Junior Representative. Being from Regina, I have lived my whole life in Saskatchewan and this province has become as much a part of my identity as my passion for healthcare. Because of this, I have become increasingly invested in the political, social, cultural, and economic environments that have such a large impact on healthcare in our province, and our country. I am applying for the position of government affairs advocate because I want to be more directly involved in listening to your concerns, and the concerns of all Saskatchewan residents. My approach to advocacy would emphasize hearing and understanding people’s concerns and working towards collaborative solutions that improve everyone’s experience with healthcare.
Over the past few years, I have been to a number of talks and read a number of books that discuss the direction of healthcare in Canada. Through these experience I have discovered how enthusiastic I am about being involved in positive change, and I think now is the perfect time to work towards that. Nationally and locally, exciting discussion are being had around pharmacare, medical assistance in dying, organ donation, accessible healthcare for remote communities, ‘small business’ tax changes, and much more. All of these issues are critical to our future as physicians, and to the communities we will eventually serve. It would be my honour represent you and our future patients regarding these issues, and I look forward to having that opportunity with your support.
Hello everyone! My name is Sehjal, and I am coming to you hot off a summer of inspiration and crazy experiences. I had the opportunity to spend my summer interning at the Government of Canada Minister’s Regional Office in Regina. There I learnt about and handled a lot of Saskatchewan-centric case files on local political issues and operations, and communicated what was going on in the prairies and the north to Parliament Hill in Ottawa. As an intern in a federal office, I gained a lot of working knowledge of not only the importance of advocacy, but also how advocacy is received by governing bodies. I had the chance to meet, and work with various federal cabinet and provincial Ministers on diverse files, though primarily with Minister Ralph Goodale. I also had the opportunity to meet our Prime Minister. Consequential to these humbling and educational experiences, I hope to help the College of Medicine communicate openly and further connect to these branches of government.
Student advocacy is an area I have always been passionate about. I served 4 years on the College of Kinesiology’s Student Society, my last 2 years as President. This also allowed me to sit on multiple committees and boards as a student representative, such as the 2017/2018 College of Kinesiology Strategic Planning Steering Committee, monthly Faculty Council meetings, and USSU Board of Presidents to name a few.
A background in Kinesiology and politics has allowed me to see the importance of structural factors and how policy can influence health and wellness. hope to bring and grow this perspective into this role as GAAC Junior Rep. Being (professionally) loud, and opinionated is one of my favorite hobbies, and I would love the opportunity to continue to do so representing students of the U of S College of Medicine.
My name is Belma Kamencic and I would like to be considered for the position of research representative because of my passion for research and strong organizational skills. Research advances medical knowledge and shapes the way we practice medicine to ultimately give our patients the best care possible. In my undergraduate degree, I investigated a potential biomarker for stroke, and in doing so I experienced both the frustration and excitement that research has to offer. Countless nights in the lab have helped me to better understand the scientific process and deeply respect those individuals who are innovators in the field of medicine. I believe that a good physician actively participates in research as a way to better understand and serve their population. An essential part of the research process is the ability to share one’s ideas and findings with the research community, which is why poster day is such an exciting time. I believe I could use my strong organizational skills and passion for research to do an excellent job in planning poster day and getting others excited about it. Having this experience would allow me to help showcase our talented students and their exciting discoveries. Poster day and the annual research symposium are also excellent opportunities to work as a team and connect researchers from different fields. Facilitating interdisciplinary connections is beneficial for the field of medicine and our patients. Ultimately, I hope this position will help me learn more about the administrative background surrounding research and how research can ultimately facilitate changes in policy. I promise to bring enthusiasm and a strong work ethic to everything I do so that I can serve as an excellent research representative for the SMSS. Thank you for taking the time to consider my application.
Hello, my name is Erin Neville, and I am running for the Research Representative position. I am well-suited for this position for a number of reasons. The first being my passion for research. I’ve been fortunate to have done both bench lab and quality improvement research, and have enjoyed both immensely. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to conduct research, determine where their interests lie, and develop the skills to become an effective researcher.
My past experience is also well-aligned with the responsibilities of this position. In my undergraduate degree at Queen’s, I acted as one of the student-faculty liaisons in the biology department, where I relayed departmental information to the biology students in my year, connected students with volunteer research opportunities, and brought forward student concerns to faculty. I also acted as a Communications Coordinator on the Saskatchewan Pharmacy and Nutrition Student Society (SPNSS), where I facilitated communications between sponsors and the SPNSS to ensure that funding was available to be used for student events, and that sponsors were receiving appropriate exposure through advertising. In this role, I also organized educational sessions by corporate sponsors about potential employment for graduating pharmacy students. Additionally, I worked with other members of the SPNSS to host larger events, including winter formal. Finally, while at Queen’s, I was part of the planning committee for the fourth-year biology research poster day, and organized a Paleolimnology Research Symposium.
Through my past experience in planning large scale events and serving as a liaison between students and faculty, I am well-prepared to serve as the Research Representative on the SMSS. My passion for research and enjoyment of empowering others to realize their potential would make this position ideal for me. Thank you for the opportunity to represent you in this capacity.
Hello everyone, my name is Jasleen Saini and I am extremely passionate about research. Hence why I have chosen to run for the research representative position. A bit about my research background, I have been a research assistant for the past two summers at the U of S. I have about two years of experience conducting research in affiliation with the College of Medicine. I have previous experience with the application process for various research scholarships offered by our college. I have been a NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award recipient twice and this scholarship was monumental in attracting me towards research. It was due to the experiences I had in my first summer that I decided to continue on and do an honours degree. This past summer I was a recipient of the Interdisciplinary Summer Research Award that allowed me to conduct interdisciplinary research in the emerging field of cannabinoids. I was able to incorporate ideas from supervisors at the College of Medicine and the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. Research has allowed me to build significant connections with supervisors, graduate students, and other research assistants. It has also given me the opportunity to present my research findings at various conferences on campus and abroad. By serving as the research representative, I will do my best to promote the research culture among my fellow medical students and streamline their experience with the Dean’s Summer Project applications. I would also help organize and promote events where medical students can showcase their research while making links with clinicians and researchers across the college. I am awfully passionate about research and would love to serve as the research rep this year. Lastly, I would strive to ensure that you have a pleasant and memorable research experience. I hope I have persuaded you to vote for me. Thank you!
When I was little, I thought I had life figured out – I thought I could join a research lab, run a few cool lab experiments, and cure cancer. It did not take me long to realize that neither life nor research worked that way. Nonetheless, despite not reaching my childhood pipe dreams in the lab, conducting research has always been a longstanding passion of mine. Thus far, I have worked in three biomedical science labs, presented a few posters, and co-authored a published paper. In total, I have been offered over 50,000 dollars for work related to research. Reflecting on my experiences, it almost intuitively makes sense for me to continue to involve myself in research, both alongside my studies and in the future. However, I do not always feel that way. I am certain that many of my classmates from the College of Medicine would agree. For many students, research can simply be unenjoyable. For others, getting into research can be challenging – it can be hard to know how to start and hard to know who to reach out to at crucial times. I empathize with these students because I felt the same many times throughout my undergraduate honours degree. Therefore, as Research Representative for the SMSS, I hope to make it easier to get involved in research that also impassions students. I hope to connect students to individually tailored opportunities that are more interesting for the student than they are unenjoyable. I believe research work to be invaluable and overwhelmingly positive for the individual, their institution, their society, and of course their CV. As Research Rep, I hope to share my passion for research by advocating for students to be afforded worthwhile research opportunities. If you have any questions regarding my platform, please do not hesitate to ask!
Research is essential as a basis to the practice of clinical medicine and needs to be fostered and honed in a medical school. As research representative for the past year I learned a great deal about what it means to promote and help coordinate the research in the college from an administrative point of view. While it can be challenging, I feel that I have become competent as a liaison between the student body and the research office and would like to continue on those duties for the coming year.
There are a number of areas of concern that had been raised to me in the past year and I have been initiating a number of projects to fix these problems for the coming year. These concerns include supervisor quality (for which I am writing a document to help outline expectations of supervisors), problems with health information privacy and privacy officers (which we are trying to work with their department to ensure understanding on both sides to prevent breaches), and others. For the most part, the Dean’s Summer Research Projects went well last year and I strive to make them an even better experience for students next year.
I am very passionate about research and its importance to the future of the medical field. I began in research after my third year undergrad in a neuroscience lab studying intracellular signalling in diabetes. While still finishing that project three years later, I have also embarked into clinical research conducting and helping out on three separate projects in the department of anesthesiology. My involvement in research shows my dedication for the field (as does my folder of hundreds of research and medical memes) and I would be honoured to be your research representative this coming year, once again.
Sports Director, Jr.
Hello, my name is Carlos Verdiales. I am running for the Sports Director position for several different reasons. Sports have always been a big part of my life. Not being able to speak English when moving to Canada made it hard for me to make friends and meet new people. Thankfully, I immediately joined a hockey team and made friends by simply having fun with my teammates even without the ability to speak English. Since then I have considered sports as a way to make friends and meet new people from different places and backgrounds. For this reason, I try to get involved in sports as much as I can. I want everyone to be able to do the same. I think that sports are a great and fun way to build friendships and meet others. I want to have the opportunity to facilitate that by being involved in organizing sports events. In the past I have been involved with planning and coordinating sports events such as slo-pitch and volleyball tournaments and even street hockey leagues. This includes things such as finding event sponsors, venues and organizing teams. In order for this to be a great experience for everyone, I plan to gather feedback from those attending organized sports events and those who participate in rec sports. I plan to use this feedback to improve the events. I think that the sports opportunities that are available for us are a great way to get to know each other better and have fun. I want to find a spot for everyone to get involved and have a good time. If elected, I will do my best to facilitate this for everyone and make sure that everyone has an opportunity to get involved. Thank you!
SMSS Auxiliary Position Candidates
Health Sciences Students’ Association Representative, Jr.
I want to become the Health Sciences Students’ Association representative because I want to become more involved with interprofessional collaboration and believe I can effectively fulfill the responsibilities of this role. I have developed the type of communication skills that will be necessary as a liaison between the SMSS and the HSSA from numerous years working in a professional environment assisting patients after their eye exams. I have also spent time volunteering as a category A supervisor at SWITCH and as a literacy tutor at Westmount Community School which has helped me recognize when different communication methods are needed, and how to use alternative approaches. This will be essential as an HSSA rep not only to ensure I am properly presenting information to the HSSA, but also back to the College of Medicine. As well, I have spent many years juggling a busy schedule with part-time work which has contributed to my excellent organizational skills that will be necessary in planning events such as IPASS and Medicomania. While such skills will be useful, the most important thing I have learned through my experiences is the importance of interprofessional collaboration in the health care system and life in general. SWITCH especially highlighted that health goes beyond a trip to the doctor as it requires professionals from many different disciplines working cohesively to achieve a truly healthy individual. I would love the opportunity to become more exposed to fields other than medicine as interprofessional relationships are crucial throughout the career of a physician. If elected, I plan to encourage many of my peers to participate in the different educational and social events planned by the HSSA, not only to gain experience working with other disciplines but to have some fun during our hectic schedules as well.
Local Exchange Officer, Jr.
No statements have been submitted for this position. Therefore, it will be filled by appointment by the SMSS Executive Council. Interested parties may send a ~300 word statement to the elections officer (Trevor Poole) by September 8th. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saskatchewan Health Authority Representative
I have been representing and advocating for student interests for over seven years in higher education, including a year thus far on the SCRC. I am now putting my name forward for the SHA Representative role so that I can continue to put that experience to good use on a provincial level. I have specific and extensive experience in lobbying various levels of administration and government that would be particularly effective in the role of representing students and the SMSS to the SHA. The work I have done in student government has allowed me to become skilled at hearing and understanding issues relevant to students, and then articulating those issues effectively to administrators to get results.
In brief, some other specifics about me and my past roles are as follows:
- College of Medicine, U of S: SMSS SCRC, UGME Curriculum Committee (+ Program Evaluation subcommittee).
- Senator, 4 years at Waterloo, and now elected to the U of S Senate
- Student representative, Governance Committee of the U of S Council
- Member, Board of Governors, 3 years at Waterloo
- Lobbying MPs in the federal government on student issues through the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations
- Executive of the Graduate Student Association (Waterloo) for 3 years, including President, representing over 5000 graduate students
- Member of over a dozen university and student committees covering a wide range of topics
- BSc in mathematical physics, Waterloo (2008)
- MSc in astrophysics, McMaster (2010)
- PhD in biophysics, Waterloo (2016)
- MBA, U of S (2017)
If appointed to the SHA Representative role, I would use all my experience to help ensure that student perspectives are heard in the development of province-wide policy on physician recruitment and retention, particularly with respect to student and (future) resident well-being, including recruitment for residency.
Saskatchewan Medical Association Representative, Jr.
My name is Christian, and a few years ago, I left Saskatoon — I left Saskatchewan. I left to pursue a small portion of my education. And through all of the experiences I had while living overseas, what stuck with me the most was the perspective I gained. My experiences allowed me to appreciate what Saskatchewan means to me.
Saskatchewan is home to me. I love it here. And I have every intention, when I complete my MD/specialty/medical training, to practice in this province. And if I intend to be a part of this province’s future, I want to be a part of shaping it. And though, as the SMA rep, I know that my reach and influence will be limited, I also recognize that with such a position I would be a voice for our class. I will represent the concerns and ideas that we as a collective might have for improving or contributing to the healthcare system that we are now a part of.
However, I view this position as not just being a connection for our class to voice their opinions, but as a connection for opportunities. I want to help show my classmates all that Saskatchewan has to offer. And from what I understand, that’s the purpose of the Roadmap trips. Those trips allow us to experience Saskatchewan’s small town culture and make connections with future colleagues through said experiences.
I feel that my passion for this province, eagerness to show Saskatchewan off to my classmates, and readiness to help organize events in order to do so, make me an excellent fit for the positon of SMA Rep. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
My name is Sehar Parvez and I would be a good representative for the SMA Jr Rep position because of my strong collaboration, communication and advocacy skills. My strengths are teaching from my experience as a swim instructor and Peer Assisted Learning Centre facilitator for many years. I have also participated in community building and advocacy by conducting focus groups on women’s views on inequality and barriers with the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women and working with Peer Health Mentors Mental Health group. My enthusiasm for leadership led me to organize events such as co-chairing the University of Saskatchewan Student Leadership Conference and serving in the University of Saskatchewan Community of Practice. These roles have taught me how to conduct meetings, create presentations, share documents, and collaborate with multiple student groups across the University.
Last summer, I worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Regina on a project called “Foundations for Student Success”. This role required conducted interviews across the campus to see what kind of changes could be implemented on a classroom level/micro-level, program level/meso-level, and university level/macro-level to increase academic success. Simultaneously, I attended the 2017 SMA Representative Assembly Meeting and volunteered with a “Walk the Docs” activity. I soon became aware of how friendly and caring the SMA community was and their role in the College of Medicine. The SMA’s goal also resembled my summer research project question. The SMA invests heavily in students/micro-level, because they are the beginning of physician excellence through initiatives like the Physician Health Program, and the Physician Leadership Institute Initiatives to promote wellness, community and scholarship in students. If elected, I will work hard to promote learning, support, and opportunities the SMA provides for the student body.
SMSS Committee Candidates
Student Curriculum Review Committee Representatives (3 positions)
My name is Ahmad Abedi and I am applying for the Student Curriculum Review Committee position. I can’t say I have any experience in curriculum planning because I don’t. However, I feel passionate about it and I hope by being in this committee I can help develop the curriculum for future colleagues. My friends have told me that I am a very good listener to their problems and I guess I could utilize that skill to listen to your academic concerns and voice them to the UGME curriculum committee so that the medical program runs smoother for prospective students. I’m not friends with all of you yet, but I’m hoping to get acquainted with all of you wonderful people and get to hear your suggestions on how better learning could be achieved.
Tl;dr – vote for me.
My name is Alexa and I would like to be one of your Student Curriculum Review Committee reps. I’m very passionate about the quality of our education, both for our own sake as beginners in a rapidly evolving and very broad field, but also because I believe that making sure we have a solid foundation going forward can only serve to benefit our future patients.
I have a fair bit of experience from my undergrad both liaising between faculty and students, and with developing, delivering, and revising educational materials. For the first set of experiences, I worked at both the College level and at the University level, representing students on both the Pharmacy and Nutrition Academic Affairs Committee and on University Council (as part of my role as a Member of Student Council on the USSU). Both positions required me to provide the student perspective to these broader bodies made up of faculty members, which meant I did a lot of listening to classmates about relevant issues so that I could be well informed for this task. In terms of work with educational materials, I volunteered as a Bio 120 Structured Study Session Leader through Student Learning Services for 6 terms. There, I developed material for weekly review sessions, wrote practice exam questions, and continually sought feedback from the students who attended my sessions as well as other session leaders to improve the materials. I also used these skills in my fourth year when I facilitated similarly structured Discussion Group sessions for NUTR 120.
My priorities for my time on the committee would include maximizing interprofessional learning opportunities and ensuring concerns raised by students about the curriculum are addressed appropriately, but I would certainly take on other issues as determined by you, the students! Thanks for this opportunity and I look forward to representing you on the committee should I be elected.
My name is Jonathan Heppner, and I strongly feel that my extensive experience in being both a teacher and a student in university education would make me an asset to the Curriculum Review Committee.
I was a member of the Department of Medical Genetics Faculty Policy Committee and Student Representative for my class, a teaching assistant for a fourth year Cancer Biology course, and held workshops for first year medical students on genetics. Particularly through my role on the Faculty Policy Committee, I utilized my passion and knowledge of excellent curriculum delivery, as well as raising awareness to potential pitfalls, and representing the opinions of my classmates to the faculty regarding these matters. Through my teaching roles, I was able to witness challenges and develop strategies for success first hand. Having completed my doctoral program in Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia, I have spent a great deal of time being a part of my own education, and the education of others. Having completed my first year of medicine, I have now additionally developed a keen sense for the goals, structure, triumphs, and areas requiring improvement of the program. I hope to address these topics in detail with the committee, as well as keeping in touch with similar observations by my peers, and I would be providing a third year presence on the committee during my term. I have already developed number of ideas for improvement and refinement of the curriculum that I am excited to work towards, and I desire to be more connected to the outcomes evaluation process.
In conclusion, it would be a pleasure and an honor to be a part of the Curriculum Review Committee, and I look forward to being involved in the improvement of medical education at the University of Saskatchewan.
My name is Nathan Baron and I am running for a position on the Student Curriculum Review Committee (SCRC) as a first year representative. This position appeals to me simply because I love learning and I want to be actively involved in promoting an effective and positive learning environment. After getting my undergraduate degree (BSc. Honours in Psychology, with a minor in Biochemistry) I went on to Graduate School where I pursued a Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology. Going into my eighth year of postsecondary education, I have been involved in a number of different learning environments in both the sciences and arts, including lectures, seminars, and research based courses. This experience, coupled with always being an engaged learner, has given me invaluable exposure and insight into what it takes to create a good learning experience. As a member of the SCRC I would apply these experiences to advocate for positive changes to the curriculum including improved lecture formatting and more inclusion for alternate learning styles.
Medical school has already shown itself to be an entirely unique learning environment. A number of curriculum changes have been made in the last number of years regarding course organization and objectives. I would like to continue to push for more improvement. For this, I would love to hear about your concerns or frustrations with the academic structure, as well as any ideas you have about possible ways to improve the curriculum. Topics I would like to explore include addition of seminar classes (eg. Med in Society), and more virtual classes. Any concerns we have will only be repeated in future years unless we push for changes to be made, and I look forward to being a part of identifying and making those changes to improve the medical school experience.
Good afternoon everyone, for those of you who don’t know me my name is Tyrell Wees and I am running for a position on the Student Curriculum Review Committee. Firstly, I will tell everyone a bit about myself. I was born in Regina and have lived there for my entire life. Throughout high school and university, I have been active in student representative councils and have most recently served on the University of Regina Biochemistry and Chemistry Students Association as Vice-President. As the Vice-President of this society, I learned many skills that will be extremely useful if I was on the Student Curriculum Review Committee. Firstly, my representative roles have involved being a voice for students to staff and teachers, whether that be advocating for research opportunities, better environments for students to study, organizing additional learning opportunities, or discussing the curriculum with professors. As we know, the College of Medicine has recently implemented a new curriculum and as some of the first people to experience this curriculum there are always going to be ways of improving it. Medical school is not easy as we all know and are now finding out from first hand experience, but if I am elected to the Student Curriculum Review Committee I would hope to bring the concerns from our class to the staff and work cooperatively to make the necessary changes to the curriculum so that the class below us and every subsequent class is able to learn medicine in a way that is enjoyable and hopefully as stress free as possible. The students serving on this committee before us have worked hard so that this year’s curriculum is better than theirs, and I aim to continue this and work to improve the curriculum through your suggestions for every year to come. Thank You!