• Meet Our 2020-21 Executive Team

    Our multi-disciplinary team combines experience with passion, creativity, and

    dedication in order to take action on mental health at the University of Toronto.

    Jeffrey Lynham

    Co-chair

    I’m a fourth year PhD Candidate in the Biochemistry Department studying molecular mechanisms in liver cancer. In addition to research, I’m passionate about ending the silence, shame, and stigma that surrounds mental health. I’m also the Editor-In-Chief of Elemental Magazine, the University of Toronto’s official tri-campus mental health magazine, and I work for The Math Guru, a tutoring centre that inspires students to look at math & science from a different perspective. In my spare time, I like to read, exercise, or spend time with friends. I’m looking forward to working with the Grad Minds team for another year to help raise mental health awareness across the UofT graduate student community.

    Esther Silk

    Co-chair

    I’m a second-year master’s student in the Institute of Medical Science where I am studying deep brain stimulation as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression. As my research may indicate, I am driven to contribute to our understanding of mental illness. Similarly, I want to improve the awareness of mental health at the individual level and joined GradMinds to broaden accessibility in my student community. Since moving to Toronto, I have joined the campus run podcast, RawTalk, where I work in a team to disseminate expert health opinions in a fun and engaging format. I also volunteer as a peer mentor for children struggling in school at my local community centre. Outside of these commitments I love to travel, cook, run and drink craft beer!

    Samantha Chang

    Co-lead Event Coordinator

    By day, I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and by night, I am a professional flutist and conductor. My research combines the best of two worlds and explores the conceptual relationships between visual arts and music in the early modern period, specifically those of artistic identity, temporality, synaesthesia, and performativity. On campus, I am also a Teaching Assistants' Training Program (TATP) Microteaching Coordinator and an Accommodated Testing Services Invigilator. Much of my volunteer work centers on equity, accessibility, and mental health. In my spare time, I frolic in museums/galleries except during the World Cup, when I can be found at home yelling at the TV.

    Curtis D'Hollander

    Co-lead Event Coordinator

    Hello! I am a second year Msc candidate in the department of Nutritional Sciences. My research focuses on nutrition during infancy and feeding behaviours and health outcomes later in childhood. Given the unique set of circumstances this year presents, our mental well-being is as important as ever. I look forward to meeting with you this year through unique workshops, initiatives, and more to ensure we stay connected. Feel free to reach out to me or Grad minds at any time if you have a concern. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, camping, and travelling!

    Karthik Ganesan

    Community Liaison

    Hi! My name is Karthik and I am PhD student in Computer Engineering. I'm excited to be the Community Liasion officer for Grad Minds this year. I'm really looking forward to engaging with groups both within and outside the university to organize fun and engaging events for graduate students. I am also part of the Engineering Mental Wellness Committee where I have a similar role. Besides research and helping with campus groups, I enjoy reading, watching TV shows and gaming (probably more than I should!).

    Lexi Ewing

    Mental Health Policy Advisor

    I am a third year PhD candidate in the Developmental Psychology and Education program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. My doctoral research focuses on the relationship among stressful events, identity development, and coping behaviors in university. I am so excited to be a member of the Grad Minds committee this year! I look forward to working with the entire Grad Minds team, and the University of Toronto community, to improve the accessibility of mental health services on campus. In my spare time I love to read fiction books, visit new restaurants, and spend time with my family.

    Tania Barrera

    Member-At-Large

    Hi, it’s Tania! I am a third year PhD student at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. As part of the graduate Mental Health Committee in my department, I’ve come to understand the diverse situations that graduate students experience regarding mental health. By joining the Grad Minds team, I hope to help improve mental health awareness, culture and services for graduate students, as there’s still a lot to be done, especially for underrepresented groups. When I am not wrestling fruit flies in the lab, I enjoy spotting birds and dogs, hiking, and watching Pixar and Marvel movies.

    Roseanne Nguyen

    Communications Manager

    Hello! I am a second year Master's student in the department of Molecular Genetics at U of T. My research involves in-vitro modelling of neurodegenerative disease using induced-pluripotent stem cells. This year, I am excited to be a part of the Grad Minds Executive Team where I hope I can contribute positively to an important initiative. In my free time, I love to cook, play piano, go fishing, and of course... binge on Netflix. Outside of research, I am also an avid food photographer. As your communications manager, I hope to see you there at many of our planned events throughout the year!

    Sandy Chau

    Marketing and Social Media Manager

    Hi there! I'm a Master's student in the Department of Biochemistry. My project focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease in young children. I'm excited to join Grad Minds this year, as we hope to provide the University of Toronto community a supportive and safe space to speak about mental health and personal resilience. When I'm outside of the lab, I enjoy biking, hiking, and trying new food with family and friends.

    Mao Thao

    Secretary

    Hi, it’s Mao. I’m a second year student at OISE in the MEd Program for Educational Leadership and Policy. I look forward to learning alongside my peers as we go online to raise awareness around mental health and wellbeing issues. Personally, my favourite mental health practice is being in nature, whether that be walking at the park or caring for a houseplant. In my free time I talk to my houseplants (obviously) and bike around town looking for the best pastries.

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