Meet Our 2021-22 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.
I’m a fifth-year PhD Candidate in the Biochemistry Department studying protein folding mechanisms. In addition to my involvement with Grad Minds, 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 tutor centre that inspires students to look at math & science from a fun and exciting perspective. Outside of academia, I'm usually reading, hiking, or spending time with friends. I look forward to working with our remarkable team and our community on a number of important mental health initiatives. Here's to an exciting and productive year ahead!
Hello! I am a first year PhD 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!
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.
Hola! I'm a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of English and a research assistant with UTSC's Centre for Global Disability Studies. My work primarily focuses on depictions of mental illness/disability in contemporary Canadian literature, and more particularly on how the development of psychiatry has both impacted and been impacted by literary fiction. As a person with bipolar disorder, I'm passionate about reducing the stigma related to mental illness through mental health education and disability advocacy. In my role as an event coordinator with Grad Minds this year, I hope to combine both my academic and practical experience by promoting mental health awareness among graduate students on campus.
Hello! I am in my second year of a Masters of Social Work, specializing in the field of Mental Health. Prior to returning to grad school I worked as a certified music therapist in a private practice, promoting mental health through the use of music. When I'm not studying, I enjoy cycling, making music, and planning my next canoe trip! I'm delighted to be serving as a member of the Events team for Grad Minds this year. I look forward to the ways we will come together to grow, learn, and support each others' mental health and wellbeing. If you have an idea for an event that supports grad student mental health let us know!
Conference Coordinator / Secretary
Hi, it’s Mao. I’m a third 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.
Social Media and Marketing Manager
Hi! I am a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology, studying the role of chloride regulation and synaptic inhibition in neurological disorders. During my graduate life, I realized that the academic environment can be draining, and am therefore interested in identifying and developing skills that could help build resilience in grad school. I am glad to be a part of Grad Minds, in our effort to improve mental health awareness and to identify coping strategies as a community. Apart from my research, I love hiking, aquascaping and photography. I am happy to chat about your interests outside the lab, so feel free to reach out. Also, if you are interested in setting up an aquascape, you know whom to ask for help.
Mental Health Policy Advisor
Hello! I’m a first-year MPH (Health Promotion) student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. I am broadly interested in mental health policies and interventions that improve the health outcomes of equity-seeking groups both in Canada and abroad. As the Mental Health Policy Advisor, I’m excited to shape policies and programs so that they better reflect and address graduate students’ needs. If you would like your voice heard as a student or campus group, please reach out and connect with me! In my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, and experimenting in the kitchen.
Mental Health Policy Advisor
I’m a first-year PhD student in the Psychology Department working with Dr. Jessica Sommerville. I study how parents can encourage their infants to develop a sense of empathy. I’m also a student co-chair on the SGS Mental Health Advisory Committee. In both this position and my role on Grad Minds, I am working to improve student access to mental health resources and support. Outside of school, I enjoy jogging, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Please feel free to reach out to me about mental health resources on campus anytime!
Hi everyone! My name is Allison, and I am entering my second and final year of my MEd program in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE. I am so excited to be the Advocacy Coordinator for Grad Minds this academic year and I am looking forward to promoting mental health and wellness on campus as well as providing more information about the many resources offered to graduate students on and off campus! On my spare time I love cooking and caring for my 30+ plants (I became a covid plant mom). I also love travelling and finding great cafes for the best coffee/study spots. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the mental health resources on campus, or if you have plant tips and recommendations!
Hello! I am a second-year M. Sc. Candidate in the Department of Biochemistry. My research focuses on the microbiome and its impact on tissue repair. I am excited to work with the Executive Team at Grad Minds to help get the word out about our exciting initiatives and events this year. In my spare time, I enjoy reading books, going on hikes, and exploring Toronto.
Peer Support Initiative Lead
Hello! I am a Master of Social Work student specializing in Health and Mental Health. Outside of school, I am a health and wellness coach to some pretty awesome women.I am excited to be joining Grad Minds this year as the Peer Support Initiative Lead. I’m looking forward to meeting you all this year as we continue to work towards our mission of raising mental health awareness and promoting wellbeing in our community. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any other Grad Minds member if you have any questions about mental health! Any time is a good time to get support :)