Executive Committee 2018-2019

May 12th, 2017

Christopher Ball
Academics and Funding Commissioner, Divisions 1 & 2

Christopher Ball is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology. This is his second terms as Academics and Funding Commissioner for divisions 1 and 2. This year as one of two Academics and Funding Commissioners, Christopher’s goals this term involve campaigning for graduate student rights, expanded mental health services, transparency in administrative policy development, and improved access to both university and UTGSU administered sources of graduate student funding.


Sophie McGibbon-Gardner
Academics and Funding Commissioner, Divisions 3 & 4

Sophie McGibbon-Gardner is a third year PhD student in the Department of Physics. She studies heterogeneity in genetically identical cell populations, currently focusing on an analytic description of the process by which stem cell-like properties are restored to differentiated cells. This year as Academics and Funding Commissioner for Divs. 3&4 Sophie wants to focus on cultivating active and open lines of communication with course unions to ensure equitable funding administration and academic appeal assistance. She will also be active in advocating for more funding and conference grant opportunities from administration and UTGSU, recognizing the differences in funding available to different student groups, and seeking to highlight and celebrate the diversity of background and research focus present in the student body.


Leonardo Jose Uribe Castano
Civics and Environment Commissioner

Leonardo is a 3rd year international PhD student in the Department of Physics. His doctoral research is focused on biophysical techniques for efficient cancer detection using quantum optics. In his second term as the UTGSU civics and environment commissioner, Leonardo wants to promote activities that aim to generate environmental awareness, create a sense of community within sustainability-focused groups on campus and advocate for better transit fares for graduate students.


Samantha Stead
University Governance Commissioner

Sam Stead is a 1st year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology. Her PhD research focuses on a population of wild Angolan colobus monkeys living in Central Uganda. She is collaborating with researchers in the Department of Biological Sciences to determine how maternal stress mediates infant growth and development in this species. Last term, she served as an Executive-at-Large with the UTGSU and this term will be taking on more responsibilities as the University Governance Commissioner. Sam will work with the University administration to ensure that the needs of graduate students are understood in the formulation of policies and the creation of student services. Sam is committed to ensuring that she is bringing forward issues that reflect the diversity of the graduate student body.


Cristina Jaimungal
External Commissioner


Cristina Jaimungal is a PhD student in the Department or Social Justice Education (SJE) and Comparative, International, and Development Education (CIDE) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Cristina has successfully advocated for increased student participation and decision-making through her role in the SJE Student Caucus. This has resulted in the initiation of professional workshops, the first departmental award exclusively for racialized students, the creation of a student-led speaker series, and more student involvement on committees. She brings her experiences as an educator and researcher to the position of External Commissioner, and intends to Focus on anti-racism, accessibility, and decolonization. Cristina holds a BA with Honours in English and Professional Writing from York University and an MA in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning with a specialization in CIDE from OISE.


Branden Rizzuto
Finance Commissioner


Branden Rizzuto is a 4th year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology. This is his 3rd term as a UTGSU Executive, having previously served as Executive-at-Large and Academics and Funding Commissioner (Div. I and II). An interdisciplinary student by training, Branden’s doctoral research focuses on the origins and early developments of arsenic bronze metallurgical technologies on the North Coast of Peru, and how these technologies played a role in the shifting socio­-political and religious organization of the region during the Middle Horizon Period (600 – 1000 CE). A student at the University of Toronto since 2008, for years Branden has dedicated himself to improving the student experience at the University of Toronto and beyond. This year as Finance Commissioner, Branden plans to continue to oversee the execution and improvement of the UTGSU’s Conference Bursary Fund and Graduate Community Development Fund (GCDF), as well as the establishment of new funds which will improve the graduate student experience for UTGSU Members.


Maryssa Barras
Interim Internal Commissioner