COMMISSIONERS

Accessibility Commissioner Elizabeth Mohler

Contact: accessibility@sogs.ca

The Accessibility Commissioner advocates on behalf of SOGS members with disabilities and those that face accessibility challenges. Their primary role is to work towards greater accessibility and inclusivity for those with a wide range of disabilities (including but not limited to physical disabilities, mental disabilities/disorders and learning disabilities) and accessibility challenges (including but not limited to parents of children with disabilities) that have historically been insufficiently accounted for within society.

Accessibility resources here.

Learn more about Elizabeth HERE!

About our Accessibility Commissioner: Elizabeth Mohler graduated from the master’s program in Health and Rehab Sciences, Occupational Sciences from Western University in 2012 . In 2020, she started her doctoral work in the school of Occupational Science, cross appointing in Disability Studies. Elizabeth’s doctoral research will explore the impact that access to direct funding has on the occupational performance and engagement of people with disabilities (PWDs) who receive funding from the Ontario Direct Funding (ODF) program to ‘self-manage’ their attendant services.

During her time at Western, she was the SOGS Commissioner for Students with Disabilities from 2010-2012. In this role as Commissioner, Elizabeth successfully for advocated for audible pedestrian signals on campus and built partnerships with USC Accessibility Committee to create a guide for hosting inclusive and accessible social events on campus.

After graduating from her master’s program, she worked for the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) as a research consultant, developing resources for students with disabilities transitioning from post-secondary to employment. In 2016 she became a Community Engagement Lead at Balance for Blind Adults, and in 2019 became the inclusive hiring project coordinator at Ryerson Magnet.

In addition to her full-time work, Elizabeth sits on the Education Standards Committee for the Ontario Government, where she advises and deliberates on educational policies pertaining to students with disabilities, providing recommendations around how to make Ontario’s post-secondary sector more inclusive.


Gender Concerns Commissioner | Francesca Alexander

Contact: gender.concerns@sogs.ca

The Gender Concerns Commissioner advocates on behalf of female, non-binary and trans identifying SOGS members. The Gender Concerns Commissioner connects students to campus or community resources, voices any concerns or interests at SOGS council meetings and is a member of the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Committee. The Commissioner works with other graduate students to bring activities/events/campaigns to create a safe and inclusive space to share concerns or opinions and work together to improve the graduate student experience at Western.

Learn more about Francesca HERE!

About our Gender Concerns Commissioner: Francesca Alexander is a second year Master’s of Music student studying voice performance at Western University. She holds a Honours Bachelor of Music from Western.

Francesca is passionate about intersectional feminism, and is especially interested in BIPOC womxn and non-binary representation in classical music. Consequently, she started her own research project entitled “The Coloratura Collective” which consists of interviews of young BIPOC womxn and non-binary classical musicians and their thoughts on making the classical music industry more equitable.

As a mezzo-soprano, Francesca has performed with the London Symphonia, the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, and has been a part of several performances at the Don Wright Faculty of Music. In her spare time, Francesca keeps herself up-to-date with politics and enjoys discovering new musical artists.

As the Gender Concerns Commissioner, she hopes to help facilitate a more welcoming and supportive community for all womxn and gender diverse students at Western.


Indigenous Commissioner | Geneveave Barbo

Contact: indigenous@sogs.ca

The Indigenous Commissioner collaborates with community partners to promote a supportive learning environment for Aboriginal/Indigenous students. They represent and promote Aboriginal/Indigenous world views, research methodologies, and interests. Additionally, they foster a sense of community and build relationships in keeping with Aboriginal/Indigenous priorities and culture.

Learn more about Geneveave HERE!

About our Indigenous Commissioner: Geneveave Barbo is a Master’s student in the department of Applied Health Sciences. She have a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from McGill University and a Master’s degree in Nursing from Athabasca University. 
 
Geneveave has been a nurse for eight years. She is passionate about supporting and engaging with grad students, particularly Indigenous students. When she was working as a community nurse in northern Manitoba, Geneveave volunteered as an assistant educator for their after-school program, which she describes as “a life-changing experience”. It was in this program that she found her passion for teaching and collaborating with the Indigenous community. Following this experience, Geneveave became a course professor at McGill University where she assisted students in building community engagement through collaborative research projects with community-based organizations that serve vulnerable populations in Montreal, such as the homeless, women experiencing abuse, immigrants, refugees, and Indigenous peoples. 
 
As the Indigenous commissioner, Geneveave hopes to enhance community partnership and student support in order to maintain a positive learning experience for the Indigenous students of Western.

Pride Commissioner | Shannon-Thomas Carnahan

Contact: pride@sogs.ca

The Pride Commissioner advocates on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ SOGS members. In addition to representing the community’s interests at SOGS Council meetings, the Pride Commissioner helps connect students to resources, supports local LGBTQIA+ events, and seeks out ways to support LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Learn more about Thomas HERE!

About our Pride Commissioner: Originally from Saskatchewan,  Shannon “Thomas” Marie Carnahan (he/him, they/them)is new to Western University and London. They are currently doing a Master’s of Library and Information Science. They post as @lollipopdragon on the SOGS Discord server and Twitter. They are a trans-masculine person.  Thomas has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Saskatchewan. 
 
Experience:
Thomas has a background as a volunteer and event organizer for the Student’s Union Pride and Women’s Centres at the University of Saskatchewan and the LGBTQIA organization OutSaskatoon. They also have experience doing volunteer work at the Peer Assisted Learning program at the University of Saskatchewan.
 
Goals:
During this pandemic keeping in touch with other students is important, so Thomas would like to organize:
    • Socially distanced events like virtual coffee meet-ups, brunch, study groups, streaming media online, online gaming, and more
    • Discussion-based peer support groups, and
    • Community development through online advocacy methods

LGBTQ Resources here.


Racial Equity & Inclusivity Commissioner | Denise Kamyuka

Contact: racial.equity@sogs.ca 

The SOGS Racial Equity and Inclusivity Commissioner advocates for racialized graduate students on issues and concerns affecting them at Western University. The commissioner will work with campus partners and community members to enhance the quality of student experience for racialized SOGS members. 

Learn more about Denise HERE!

About our Racial Equity & Inclusivity Commissioner: Denise Kamyuka is a PhD student in the school of Kinesiology, pursuing a PhD in Sport Management and Global Health. She holds a Master’s in Sport Management and a Bachelors in Pharmacy.

Denise is currently the founding fellow and Vice-President of Marketing at University Consulting Group (UCG -Western). UCG is dedicated to exposing students from all faculties to the world of management consulting. Her role and commitment to UCG is a testament to her desire to enhance the student experience and facilitate in students development. She is also a research assistant for Project Echo, a study that captures to the voices of people with disability and their experiences with accessing sport and physical activity opportunities in Toronto and Glasgow.

Her own research explores the use of a post-colonial feminist lens in the study of female social entrepreneurship in sport and health promotion. Her expertise in post-colonial methodologies is currently being used in her role on the Faculty of Health Science Anti-Racist Task Force where she is reviewing the FHS Curriculum to identify discriminatory policies and exclusionary content.

By taking on a post-colonial feminist and critical disability lens, she believe that she can help advocate for the most marginalized populations on our campus. She fervently believe that advocating against the oppression of the most marginalized sets a foundation for the liberation of all. 

Read the CFS Anti-Racism Toolkit.

 


Past Commissioners

Accessibility

  • Ashton-Nicola Forrest (2019-20)

Indigenous

  • Danica Pawlick Potts (2019-20)

Gender Concerns

  • Jaclyn Siegel (2019-20)

Pride

  • Brody Clement-Thorne (2019-20)

Racial Equity and Inclusivity

  • Mohammad Sharifi (2019-20)