Meet the SOGS Executive!



Waliu Alaka is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Biology at Western University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Lagos in Nigeria and his Master’s degree in Nanoscience from the University of Kassel in Germany. With a keen interest in molecular biology, his research focuses on elucidating the function of the Autism-related gene Neuroligin, utilizing the in vivo system in Drosophila melanogaster.

Beyond his academic pursuits, Waliu enjoys participating in team sports such as soccer and enjoys gaming on the PlayStation 5. In his free time, he values spending quality time with his family and friends.

Get in touch: president[at]sogs[dot]ca

President Elect | CHERIN CHUNG

Cherin Chung is a second-year PhD student in the French department at Western University specializing in 19th century French literature. She has completed her Master of Arts in 2022 and her Honours Specialization in English Language and Literature in 2021. 

Cherin has been an active member of SOGS as the French Councillor, the Equity Committee chair, Racial Equity & Inclusivity Commissioner, and Vice-President Advocacy. In her student advocate role, Cherin is passionate about amplifying all graduate student voices to ensure an equitable education for all at Western University. Outside of campus life, Cherin enjoys reading, traveling and hiking.


In addition to her role as VP Academic,  Elizabeth Mohler currently works part-time as a Research Consultant for the National Educational Association of Disabled Students. She previously worked at Ryerson Magnet as their Inclusive Hiring Project Coordinator. Elizabeth sits on the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Systemic Ableism, and is an experienced presenter, keynote speaker, lecturer, and published writer. Elizabeth is currently conducting Doctoral research at Western University, where she explores  how discourses and practices within Direct Funding shape how disabled persons access care,  and in what ways  service users resist and negotiate these discourses. When Elizabeth is not working,
you can find her singing in one of her 2 choirs; running in High Park; or, doing triathlons with her guide, David.

Get in touch: academic[at]sogs[dot]ca

Interim VP Advocacy | JASMINE PROCTOR

About our interim VP Advocacy: Originally from Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh Territory (Vancouver), Jasmine Proctor (she/they) is a first-year PhD student in the Media Studies department, focusing on online fan communities’ relationship to gender and sexuality through networked labour practices. As a member of the queer community, she is an active and passionate advocate for 2SLGBTQIA+ students, with a desire to cultivate and foster queer spaces through community-building practices. Beyond this, Jasmine has a background in non-profit work and labour research, and currently sits as the Media Studies Councillor.

Outside of academia, Jasmine is an avid music fan, a book lover, member of the BTS ARMY, and coffee fanatic.

Get in touch: advocacy[at]sogs[dot]ca


Sairam Gajavelli is a first-year Masters Student in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Western University. He has graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Science from Western University in 2022, with an Honours Specialization in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences. Currently he is working on studying Alzheimer’s Disease, and more closely working to modulate Microglia cells to better understand how they incorporate into disease pathology.

Sairam was a member of the Finance Committee before deciding to take on more responsibility and running for the VP finance role. Sairam is a large proponent of EDI-D work and currently also a part of the Anatomy and Cell Biology EDI-D committee that is launching this year! Outside of school, Sairam enjoys spending his free time playing sports, and trying new experiences with friends.

Get in touch: finance[at]sogs[dot]ca


About our VP Student Services: Kesavi Kanagasabai (she/her) is an 2nd year PhD in the department of Medical Biophysics. Her research focuses on pulse-programming in magnetic resonance spectroscopy with applications in mental illness and neurocognitive disorders such as schizophrenia. Kesavi was first exposed to SOGS through Equity Committee in 2020 where she learned about advocacy-related initiatives run by SOGS and has been drawn towards the organization since then. Outside of research, Kesavi enjoys drawings, attempting to cook, adding a never-ending list of books on GoodReads and go for runs as well spending time with friends and family (the key). 

Get in touch: services[at]sogs[dot]ca

Meet the SOGS Non-Executive Officers!


For matters pertaining to SOGS Council, governance, unified documents, appeals, and elections, please see:


About our Speaker: Anemily Machina (she/her they/them) is a 4th year PhD Candidate in Computer Science. Her research focuses on improving the quality of explanations for the decisions for Artificial Intelligences (AIs) trained on text data, such as chatGPT. Her hope is that such improvements will help protect people from unfair and biased AI decisions. In her personal time, she enjoys baking vegan treats, bike riding, and binge watching tv-shows.

Get in touch: speaker[at]sogs[dot]ca


Deputy Speaker | JILLIAN MAKLIN

About our Deputy Speaker: Jillian Maklin (She/Her) is a second year MA student in Linguistics. Her research focuses primarily on Russian phonology and phonetics. When she’s not studying linguistics or practicing Russian, you can find her taking her pups Sasha and Maverick to the dog park. 

Get in touch: deputy.speaker[at]sogs[dot]ca


For matters pertaining to issues surrounding academic, professional, and interpersonal conflict, please see:


About our Ombudsperson: Chirantan Mukherjee (he / him / his) is a Mathematics master’s graduate from Europe, published poet, and former swimmer. Fascinated by the application of Computer Science to Mathematics, he is pursuing M.Sc. program in Computer Algebra. His research will focus on theoretical aspects of polynomial equations, algorithmic solutions, and real-world applications. He is particularly driven by determining optimal solutions and computational efficiency using modern computer implementations.

Get in touch: ombudsperson[at]sogs[dot]ca


For matters, issues, and conflicts pertaining to academics, please see:

Peer Advisor for Academic Matters | KEVIN MOORE

Get in touch: advisor.academic[at]sogs[dot]ca


For matters pertaining to elections, please see:

Chief Returning Officer | KEVIN MOORE

About our CRO: 

Get in touch: cro[at]sogs[dot]ca

Meet the SOGS Commissioners & Coordinators!


For matters pertaining to SOGS advocacy and community outreach, please see our Commissioners. Learn more about the roles of each SOGS commissioner here.  

Accessibility Commissioner | SAHIB SINGH CHANA

About our Accessibility Commissioner: Hello there! My name is Sahib Singh Chana, and I hail from the vibrant state of Punjab in India. It truly is a land of many colors! I recently completed my undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and am currently pursuing a M.Eng. at Western University, focusing on Civil & Environmental studies.

Throughout my years, I have actively participated in various public service activities, all with the aim of creating a better society for all. One of my earliest involvements during high school involved working closely with organizations dedicated to improving the future for autistic children. It was a truly rewarding experience that fueled my passion for making a positive difference in the lives of others. As a civil engineer, I always strive to incorporate accessibility measures in new construction projects. I firmly believe that every individual deserves equal access, and I am committed to making this a reality.

My vision for society revolves around unity and inclusivity. I firmly believe that accessibility for all is a crucial step towards achieving this vision. I am here to offer a helping hand to anyone in need and to work towards ensuring accessibility in all aspects of life. Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little better. I am excited to contribute towards creating a better, more inclusive world for everyone!

Get in touch: accessibility[at]sogs[dot]ca

Gender Concerns Commissioner | LAURA MURRAY

About our Gender Concerns Commissioner: Laura is currently working on her Master’s in Research for Policy and Evaluation. She is an empathic, trauma-informed advocate dedicated to advancing gender justice and equity. In the past, Laura has worked and volunteered at community organizations supporting people who were subjected to gender-based violence. She’s passionate about creating safer and inclusive communities, where people thrive in healthy relationships built on connection, vulnerability, and growth.  

Get in touch: gender.concerns[at]sogs[dot]ca

International Commissioner | MATHEUS SANITA LIMA

About our International Commissioner: Matheus (he/him) is a second-year PhD student in Biology at Western University. He studies how organelle genomes of photosynthetic species evolve. As an international student who had the opportunity to experience academia in three continents, Matheus is passionate about all-things related to the international student experience. He believes that advocacy and allyship are the way to navigate the common challenges and unique opportunities presented to international students.

Get in touch: international[at]sogs[dot]ca


Pride Commissioner

About our Pride Commissioner: Originally from Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh Territory (Vancouver), Jasmine Proctor (she/they) is a first-year PhD student in the Media Studies department, focusing on online fan communities’ relationship to gender and sexuality through networked labour practices. As a member of the queer community, she is an active and passionate advocate for 2SLGBTQIA+ students, with a desire to cultivate and foster queer spaces through community-building practices. Beyond this, Jasmine has a background in non-profit work and labour research, and currently sits as the Media Studies Councillor.

Outside of academia, Jasmine is an avid music fan, a book lover, member of the BTS ARMY, and coffee fanatic.

Get in touch: pride[at]sogs[dot]ca


Racial Equity & Inclusivity Commissioner | ROHAN BORATE

About our Racial Equity & Inclusivity Commissioner:

Hailing from Oakville, Ontario, Rohan completed his undergraduate degree in Health Sciences in 2023 at Western University and is currently pursuing the Master of Management of Applied Science program here at Western. Throughout Rohan’s almost 5 years at Western, he has held a variety of student leadership positions such as being a Residence Don and an Off Campus Soph. Rohan is particularly passionate about advocating for racial issues both on campus and the world as a whole. His goal is to help end racial hate crimes and promote anti-racism through effective education to others on the dangers and harmful impacts of racism. Being of South Asian descent, Rohan has seen firsthand some of the disadvantages and discrimination people of colour experience, and hence is that much more passionate to help eliminate racism, raise public awareness on racial issues as well as embrace racial diversity and multiculturalism.

Get in touch: racial[dot]equity[at]sogs[dot]ca

SAGE Coordinator (Indigenous Initiatives) | AMANDA MORIN

About the SAGE Coordinator:

Aanii, boozhoo! Amanda indizhinikaaz, Wikwemkoong indoonjibaa, migizi indoodem.

Hi everyone, my name is Amanda Morin, I am Anishinaabekwe from Wikwemkoong Unceded Reserve on Manitoulin Island, though I grew up with my mother who is of European descent in a small town called New Hamburg. Eagle is my clan. I have been at Western and a part of the Indigenous community since 2013. I am now doing my Master’s at Schulich in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine researching the role of mitochondrial DNA in health and disease.

I am this year’s Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE) Coordinator working under the supervision of both the Office of Indigenous Initiatives (OII) and VP Advocacy at SOGS. In previous years, OII supervised the SAGE Coordinator position, and SOGS oversaw the Indigenous Commissioner role. This year, these roles are combined to enhance the synergy between Indigenous graduate students and the larger graduate student population. I will be working hard to support Indigenous students throughout their graduate studies, and also to advocate for Indigenous students by planning engaging events that foster awareness and education. I’m looking forward to a great year!

Sustainability Coordinator | EHSAN UR RAHMAN MOHAMMED

About our Sustainability Coordinator: Ehsan is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science, at Western University. He is working on making artificial intelligence models more robust. He completed his MSc. in Computer Science from the University of Windsor, where he received the Governor General’s Gold medal for academic excellence. He has other academic interests apart from computer science which include social justice, teaching & learning and equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization. 

Ehsan is extremely passionate about serving others in his community and beyond. He recently chaired the largest student research conference at the University of Windsor. He has also volunteered at various organizations in Canada and India. Ehsan has been advocating for not only students in his department but for international students as well, as he held various representative positions at his department, faculty and institution. Sustainability hits back home for Ehsan, as he comes from India. Having observed and lived through some of the negative impacts of climate change, he believes he has more energy and reasons to do something about sustainability. 

He is an avid reader and a connoisseur of Hindustani music, the classical music genre of India. 

Get in touch: sustainability[dot]coordinator[at]sogs[dot]ca

Meet the SOGS and Grad Club staff!


Communications & Promotions Manager HEIDI KELLETT

Get in touch with Heidi if you need:

  • To communicate with the SOGS membership (via email)
  • To request formal communications and media from the Society
  • To schedule departmental orientation sessions (September, January, May)
  • Event planning, procurement, prizes, and room bookings
  • Graphic design services
  • Discuss the SOGS Handbook advertising
  • Assistance with the sogs.ca IT accounts
  • SOGS website maintenance
  • Procurement for events and initiatives

Digital Media Assistant CAROLINE DIEZYN

Get in touch with Caroline if you need:

  • To communicate with the SOGS membership (via social media)
  • To communicate with the Grad Club membership (via social media)
  • Graphic design services, particularly as they pertain to the Grad Club
  • Digital media support for a SOGS or Grad Club related events


Get in touch with Raquel if you need:

  • Assistance with emergency loans or food bank applications
  • Clarifications regarding the SOGS and GC Budgets
  • Grad Club vouchers
  • Guidance regarding SOGS bursary and subsidy awards 
  • Help with SOGS accounts receivables and payables
  • Information regarding your student fees*

* Although SOGS determines some graduate student fees (e.g., those related to SOGS services and dues), the Office of the Registrar determines billings.  SOGS does not have access to student accounts. For clarification on how to view your account, review the WesternU Student Centre , Access Guide HERE.  Login to review your student account HERE.

Front Office Support Staff CHRIS KOWALSKI & KAYLA DAVIES

    • sogs@uwo.ca
    • 519-661-3394 or x. 83394
    • Room 8, Middlesex College, Western University

Get in touch with Chris or Kayla if you need:

  • General assistance with health and dental plan coverage questions
  • General queries about applications and deadlines
  • To pick up committee vouchers or council grant cheques

Governance & Policy Manager | NICK DESUMMA

Get in touch with Nick if you need:

  • Information regarding SOGS student government (i.e, council), governance structures, including the SOGS Bylaws & Constitution, and policies
  • To submit Councillor or elections nomination forms
  • To discuss the SOGS Strategic Plan, ONCA, or its forthcoming board structure
  • Submitting reports and other documents to the monthly SOGS council package and/or help with drafting a motion for SOGS Council
  • information about SOGS elections, executive and non-executive positions, and committees

Membership Services Manager | LOLA WONG


Get in touch with Lola if you need:

  • Detailed information about the SOGS benefits and and services resources
  • Assistance with health claims, opting in/out of the health plan, a health and dental plan billing issue, change of life event on your health and dental policy
  • Guidance regarding SOGS applications or questions about adjudication
  • Information about campus resources and peer support

Grad Club Manager MARC LALONDE

    • gradclub@uwo.ca
    • 519-661-2111 x. 86386
    • Room 19, Middlesex College, Western University

Get in touch with Marc if you need:

  • Assistance reserving Grad Club venue for an event
  • Information regarding Grad Club event services and menus
  • To book the Goblet of Knowledge or Grad Club boardroom or catered event
  • To

Grad Club Operations Manager | MARK BRIGHAM

    • mbrigham@uwo.ca
    • 519-661-2111 x. 81227
    • Room 19, Middlesex College, Western University

Get in touch with Mark if you need:

  • assistance with health and safety, Grad Club human resources, event planning and more.
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