Program Representatives

Program Representatives shall be elected by the members of their programs in departmental elections run by departmental societies or with help from the VP Senate. Only Trent University Graduate students of individual departments may vote for their department representatives.


Name: Alicia Hartley
Program: M.A. Anthropology

About Alicia:
Alicia Hartley comes from a diverse background of academia and performance. She holds a B.A. (Hons) in Archaeology and History from Memorial University of Newfoundland and has spent the past three summers excavating in Turkey at the site Çadır Höyük. When she was not busy with her academic pursuits Alicia spent the last 6 years working as a dance teacher, choreographing 7 shows and dancing in over 15 shows. She celebrates diversity of interests and is incredibly excited to become apart of the TGSA and help to serve the Trent community in any way she can. If any anthropology M.A. students have any issues please don’t be afraid to contact her for any problem – big or small.

Name: Samantha Snetsinger
Program: M.A. Applied Modelling and Quantitative Methods

About Samantha:
Samantha Snetsinger is currently in the process of completing her M.A of Applied Modelling and Quantitative Statistics. Upon being involved in the volunteer positions of the ranked ballot initiative, 123Whitby, as well as the Whitby Youth Council, Sam has learned a great deal about succesful event organization and logistics, networking, efficient and effective collective action, and the process of policy development. Sam decided the TGSA would be a fantastic opportunity to become more engaged in the Trent student environment and contribute her abilities, as well as learn from a talented and accomplished group of individuals.

Name: Yasmin Strautins
Program: M.A. Canadian and Indigenous Studies

Name: Sarah Jessup
Program: Ph.D. Canadian Studies

Name: Joshua Noiseux
Program: Ph.D. Cultural Studies

About Joshua:
Joshua Noiseux holds an M.A. in the Theory, Culture, and Politics (TCP) program from Trent, and is now entering his second year of the Cultural Studies Ph.D. program.  During his time in TCP, Joshua was deeply engaged with community building and institutional organizing, participating in the formation of the TCP Students Association, representing TCP at departmental meetings, and co-organizing the highly successful Technology/Politics conference.   Joshua is very excited to be more involved with this year’s TGSA and the grad student community.  As the Cultural Studies Ph.D. rep, Joshua intends to advocate strongly to advance the interests of Cultural Studies students in the TGSA and in the broader Trent community.

Name: Ibraheem Alimi
Program: M.Sc. Environmental & Life Sciences

About Ibraheem:
Ibraheem is an M.Sc. student here at Trent and serves as the M.Sc. Environmental and Life Sciences (ENLS) representative. One of his major responsibilities is to ensure effective communication between the TGSA and graduate students in the ENLS program. He is also a member of the Long Term Planning Committee. Feel free to contact him if there are any issues that you would like to bring to the attention of the TGSA board of directors.

Name: Henricus Kessels
Program: Ph.D. Environmental & Life Sciences

Harry is a PhD-student in the ENLS-program at Trent University. His research engages statistical and dynamic models to perform systematic assessment and scenario simulations of long-term trends in sulphur and nitrogen emissions and their impact on deposition, soils, surface waters and plant species diversity across Canada. With Trent as his current academic base, he’s the liaison between the TGSA executive and doctoral students in the ENLS program.

Name: Carmen Meyette
Program: M.A. History

Name: Jessica Hinton
Program: Ph.D. Indigenous Studies

About Jessica:
Jessica Hinton holds an honours B.A. in Archaeology and Indigenous studies from Trent University, and an M.A. in Anthropology from McMaster University. Her research explores anthropology’s (and all of its sub-disciplines’) failures to accurately represent Indigenous peoples, knowledges, and histories to the settler-colonial public. She seeks to centre Indigenous approaches to research, promote Indigenous self-determination / self-representation, dismantle colonial systems, and advocate for the decolonization of the academy. She is passionate about social, political, and environmental awareness / justice, and movements such as Idle No More, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women/Girls, #NoDAPL, and Black Lives Matter. Jessica is currently sitting on both the Indigenous Studies Ph.D. Council and the Indigenous Studies PhD Committee as the first year representative. She is Anishinaabe / French-Canadien, and lives for her husband’s Totonac / Mexica (Aztec) / Mexican cooking.

erinName: Erin Laverty
Program: M.A. Psychology

About Erin:
Erin Laverty is a M.A. student in Experimental Psychology. Her research explores first sexual experiences, as well as how beliefs surrounding sexual behaviours relate to outcomes of various sexual encounters. As the program representative for M.A. Psychology students, Erin hopes to ensure that the students in her program have their voices heard with regards to graduate student matters.

Name: Katherine Boyle
Program: M.Sc. Psychology

Name: Elizabeth Aslin
Program: M.A. Sustainability Studies

About Elizabeth:
Elizabeth Aslin holds a Honours Bachelor of Arts in Geography & Environmental Studies from McMaster University and is currently working on her Master of Arts project with Dr. Stephanie Rutherford. She has also attended the University of Stirling (Scotland, UK) and the University of British Columbia on exchange programs. Elizabeth is excited to bring sustainability initiatives to the GSA and their events and promoting the MASS program to the greater Trent community. In addition to her academic pursuits, Elizabeth is an assistant highland dance teacher, avid dressage rider, IBD blogger and patient advocate. She can be found online on Twitter.

Name: Yunqi Jiang
Program: M.A. Theory, Culture, and Politics

Current Vacancies
M.Sc. Applied Modelling and Quantitative Methods
M.A. English (Public Texts)
M.Ed. Educational Studies
M.Sc. Materials Science
Ph.D. Materials Science

Please contact Mackenzie Armstrong, your VP Senate, at if you are interested in becoming a program representative.


Commissioners are elected by all Trent University Graduate students, a.k.a. the Voting Body, at Spring General Assembly meetings.

i. Equity Commissioner

marisolName: Marisol Campos Navarrete, Master’s Candidate in Sustainability Studies

About Marisol:
Marisol has a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and is a 2nd year graduate student in the M.A. Sustainability Studies Program. Through her career, she has focused on strategic planning for fundraising, designing, and planning projects for non-profit organizations addressing topics related to Human Rights, Social Justice, Economic and Cultural Development. In 2013 she was selected by Ashoka Changemakers as one of the forty-five future leaders of Social Change in Mexico, US, and Canada. She is founder and Board Member of several organizations in Mexico, and in 2015 became also a TEDx Organizer.

ii. Environmental Commissioner



iii. Health Benefits Commissioner

miteb2aName: Miteb Abunayyan, Master’s Candidate in AMOD

About Miteb:
Miteb is a graduate student in the M.A.  Applied Modelling and Quantitative Methods program. He is also a graduate of the Business Administration program in 2015. With his role as the Health Benefits Coordinator, he will be more than happy to help you in anything related to your coverage.

iv. Ontario Graduate Students’ Alliance Commissioner

lauraName: Laura Thursby, Ph.D. Candidate in Cultural Studies

About Laura:
Laura is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Studies. She spent the 2015-2016 term serving as President of the TGSA, where she chaired monthly board meetings and bi-weekly executive meetings, and attended regular meetings with the Associate VP of Student Affairs, the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Board of Governors, the Provost, and the President to draw attention to the specific issues faced by graduate students at Trent. Additionally, she sat on multiple University and TGSA committees, where she consulted with other university administration and students and helped draft university policy to enhance student experiences. Of relevance to this position, she attended OGSA meetings over the past year and has a good understanding of the OGSA’s position as an advocacy group. She also wants to continue to push for the OGSA to offer their paying members more services/support (like training on lobbying, assisting with GSA governance, leadership training, offering help with drafting policy/referenda, etc.).

Interest Group Representative Commissioners

i. First Year Arts Student Representative Commissioner

The First Year Arts Student Representative Commissioner shall be elected at Fall General Assembly meetings. Candidates for the First Year Arts Representative Commissioner position must be in their first year of Graduate Studies at Trent, either full-time or part-time, at the time of their appointment. Only first year Trent University Graduate students may vote for the First Year Arts Representative Commissioner.

Name: Kathleen Forward, Master’s Candidate in Anthropology

About Kathleen:
Kathleen Forward graduated from St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) in 2015 with an Honours B.A. in Anthropology with subsidiary in History. She is a first-year Anthropology M.A.. Kathleen’s research at Trent University focuses on settlement studies and ancient Maya agricultural communities in Belize. She is also currently the first-year representative for the Anthropology Graduate Program at Trent.

ii. First Year Science Student Representative Commissioner

The First Year Science Student Representative Commissioner shall be elected at Fall General Assembly meetings. Candidates for the First Year Science Representative Commissioner position must be in their first year of Graduate Studies at Trent, either full-time or part-time, at the time of their appointment. Only first year Trent University Graduate students may vote for the First Year Science Representative Commissioner.

Name: Rishabh Sarswat, Master’s Candidate in Enviromental & Life Sciences

About Rishabh:
Rishabh is studying the seasonal changes in Total Mercury (THg) concentration and quality of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in two northern Canadian rivers, the Churchill river in Manitoba and the Quesnel river in British Columbia using passive sampling technique of diffusive gradient in thin films (DGT) and grab sampling techniques. His research will demonstrate the importance of studying the seasonal change of THg in river environments, and the relation of DOM with Hg bioavailability and toxicity. Born and raised in India, he is a science enthusiast with sizable research experience acquired across chemical, environmental, and biological research in premier research institutes of India and South Korea. Rishabh believes that school years are the most constructive and fun times of life. For him, the TGSA as a community has a responsibility to keep the grad student life fun as well as be the forum for graduate students’ voices. His experience as a meditation techniques teacher, volunteer worker for underprivileged children, trauma relief worker, and his role of President of Research Associate Hostel in India has given him the drive to contribute to the graduate student community at Trent.

iii. International Student Representative Commissioner

The International Student Representative Commissioner shall be elected at Spring General Assembly meetings. Only Trent University Graduate International Students may vote for the International Student Representative Commissioner.

yeukaiName: Yeukai Katanda

About Yeukai:
Yeukai is a first year Ph.D. student in Environmental and Life Sciences. At the University of Manitoba where Yeukai completed her M.Sc., she was very active in the Soil Science Graduate Students Association (SSGSA), first as a committee member and eventually as the President. Yeukai oversaw and facilitated many successful SSGSA activities, acted as the liaison between various bodies and the students’ body and represented the SSGSA in the Departmental Council. As an International Student Representative Commissioner, she will provide effective representation and make the time to listen and follow up on concerns pertaining to international grad students.

CUPE 3908 Representative

A Trent University Graduate student designate from CUPE Local 3908 Unit 2 who has a seat on the TGSA Board.

phil abbottName: Philip Abbott, Ph.D. Candidate in Indigenous Studies

About Philip:
Phil joined the CUPE executive in October 2013. Phil is a student in the Indigenous Studies Ph.D. program. He also sits on the boards of the Trent Graduate Students’ Association and the Kawartha World Issues Centre.