Jeff Casello is the academic lead for GSPA. He works closely with other administrators to improve opportunities for graduate students, enhance the quality of graduate studies, and support the University’s postdoctoral scholars. He believes that the best part of his job is supporting students and postdocs in achieving their academic, personal and professional goals.
Liz is part of the academic leadership team in GSPA that supports graduate education and community, as well as grad-related initiatives that align with the University's strategic planning (e.g., building work-integrated opportunities). Liz collaborates with, and provides consult to, faculties and other academic support units, promoting fair application of University guidelines. As well, Liz is involved in ongoing processes within GSPA, such as adjudicating graduate scholarships, enhancing graduate students’ experiences, and coordinating the graduate petition process.
Shawn Wettig is part of the academic leadership team for GSPA. He is currently working on academic calendar text revisions, international partnership programs, and new program development in particular for interdisciplinary programs. He is part of the team that reviews and adjudicates scholarship and award competitions at the university level.
In her role as Director of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA), Marianne works collaboratively with the teams across GSPA to support our graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. She advises on graduate studies matters, including marketing and recruitment, communications, admissions, enrolment and academic records, theses and examinations, convocation, employment and funding, and University policies and procedures.
Laurie supports the Associate Vice-President (AVP) and senior management team, troubleshoots information technology (IT) issues, onboards new staff, manages the front reception area, arranges for PhD chairs and manages the chairs pool, and maintains the Approved Doctoral Dissertation Supervisor (ADDS) status faculty list.
As the Associate Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Strategic Initiates, Marta leads a dynamic team with a diverse portfolio, including communications, marketing and recruitment, student experience and postdoctoral affairs. Always the advocate, Marta enjoys collaborating with partners from across campus to champion graduate student and postdoc matters.
As a Graduate Admissions Specialist, Jacquelene assesses, verifies, and makes final decisions on recommendations for Offer of Admission. She's responsible for the management of admissions records, communications and strives to improve business processes.
As the Manager of Graduate Financial Aid and Awards Programs, Miranda is honoured to spend her day assisting students who are experiencing financial need through various bursary programs. She is also responsible for managing the prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) scholarship competitions.
As the AMTD Events and Communications Specialist with Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, Britteny’s role is dedicated to providing opportunities for AMTD Waterloo Global Talent Postdoctoral Fellowship Program scholars to form com
As the Graduate Systems Assistant, Janine plays a key role in ensuring that applicants, referees, application reviewers, Faculty and Department Officers and Co-ordinators, Graduate Admissions and Records Specialists and students have timely and accurate information to manage their online activities. Janine supports the systems-based processes for the entire student lifecycle; supporting admissions, student records, student awards and financial aid portfolios.
Liza supports GSPA-led graduate student experience initiatives through program evaluation projects. Her role mainly involves research, strategic communication and outreach activities as well as the development and assessment of interdisciplinary programming.
Suzanne is responsible for leading the development and implementation of reports analyzing data and trends related to graduate studies and
As the Academic Officer, Trevor supports academic units who want to develop new programs or make changes to their existing programs (e.g. requirements, milestones, courses). He helps the academic units navigate the approval processes required to make these changes. Trevor also manages the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.
As the Graduate Professional Skills Program Specialist, Ileana assists in designing and delivering the foundational workshop to newly enrolled graduate students in the Professional Skills Foundations program and is a point of contact for students interested in the program.
As Records Specialist, Loc is responsible for the maintenance and updating of graduate student records within the faculties of Engineering and Science. Her responsibilities include, but are not limited to, enrollment status changes and withdrawals, milestone updates, transfer credits, class changes, supervisor changes, grade revisions, changes to student immigration status, and degree completion coding. She also provides knowledge and advice on University rules and regulations to department and faculty administrators.
As the Graduate Financial Aid Records Specialist, Hannah is responsible for supporting awardees, departments, faculties, and administrative units with the ongoing processing of financial aid for graduate students.
As the Manager, Graduate Admissions, Stephanie leads a team of Graduate Admission Specialists, providing essential direction and vision for the execution of admission activities, customer service, and new admission initiatives. She provides recommendations on policy development, improvements on procedural efficiencies and strategic planning.
Laura manages multiple internal and external scholarship competitions and award programs, including the prestigious OGS and QEII-GSST scholarships. She is a resource to department staff and faculty members concerning eligibility criteria for scholarship competitions and she assists with the interpretation and implementation of internal and external program regulations, guidelines and instructions. Laura is also responsible for the submission of scholarship applications to external partners on behalf of the University.
As Graduate Admission Specialist, Tara is a key liaison with the Departments and Faculties for the evaluation of admission recommendations, production of offers of admission, tracking conditions of admission and decisions, management of admission records and communications with prospective students and applicants, monitoring special applications and admissions sanctioned through University agreements with international institutions or governments and collaborative or joint programs with other universities. Tara is responsible for preparing procedures, and training and mentoring administrative departmental staff and faculty on best business practices for application and admission requirements, programs and agreements, and on the use of complex and evolving student system.
As the Manager of Communications, Tasha is responsible for the planning, project management, delivery, evaluation and reporting on the impact of communications strategies and programs that support GSPA’s goals. She oversees all GSPA websites and social media channels and is responsible for executing succinct and timely communications to graduate students and campus partners.
Kelly manages a team responsible for all aspects of graduate academic and enrolment records: university-wide deadlines, procedures, advisory, academic transcript data, academic decisions, grade revisions, program changes, transfer credit, supervisor data, enrolment status changes and withdrawals, service indicators, degree completion, and academic integrity course management.
Kari is responsible for providing strategic marketing and recruitment oversight for graduate studies at the University of Waterloo. In collaboration with colleagues and campus partners, she plays a major role in shaping recruitment initiatives that effectively build on the University’s global brand reputation.
As the Graduate Admissions and Records Systems Analyst, Wendy is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and support of PeopleSoft (Quest) & Onbase systems, for admissions and records.
She provides document management, course catalogue changes, quality assurance, and also supports admissions communications.
In her role, Elena is responsible for overseeing several graduate scholarship competitions, including NSERC which supports high-calibre scholars engaged in graduate studies, and the International Experience Awards which provide funding to those who want to go abroad for various reasons. She also administers Waterloo's Graduate Needs Based Awards and assists students in navigating through their financial needs, awards and funding options.
As the Implementation Manager, Julie works closely with the Information Systems Technology (IST) Project Manager and project team to accelerate the development and implementation of the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) admission and recruitment system.
As an Office Assistant, Madeline's responsibilities include, reviewing theses (last person to view it before it's published), beginning the process of incoming transcripts, helping with paperwork for chairing PhD defences, contact changes for staff in graduate studies, answering student questions and concerns (or connecting them with the appropriate person), and helping process conference assistantship applications.
As the Associate Director, Graduate Financial Aid & Awards, Heidi manages a dynamic team whose primary function is to promote and administer graduate funding opportunities for current and prospective graduate students, provide direction to students, staff and faculty regarding award eligibility and application processes and ensure students receive their award payments. Heidi is also responsible for postdoctoral funding opportunities for current and prospective postdocs.
As Graduate Admissions Systems Specialist, Saritha provides functional leadership for solution designs and implementation that improves stakeholder experience and efficiency of operations. She works closely with Admissions and Systems team to provide the best system functionality and integration. Saritha also works on production support and projects related to Admissions and document management system.
As a Graduate Business System Analyst, Lisa works on projects that make Quest more effective for students, faculty, and staff. She is a member of the project team that is currently working to expand the implementation of Slate, which will improve the graduate application process. Lisa also provides support for the financial aid group, by uploading award data and maintaining security access. She assists with records processes in Quest such as term setup, matriculation, term activation, and creating course requisites and class reserves.
As the Graduate Financial Officer, Vishal is responsible for the overall fiscal administration of GSPA finances and leads a team of Graduate Financial Aid and Payments specialists processing award payments, maintaining graduate student financial aid records in the University internal system and reporting into external agencies platform.
As Records Specialist, Katherine is responsible for the maintenance and updating of graduate student records within the faculties of Arts, Environment and Health. Her responsibilities include, but are not limited to, enrollment status changes and withdrawals, milestone updates, transfer credits, class changes, supervisor changes, grade revisions, changes to student immigration status, and degree completion coding. She also provides knowledge and advice on University rules and regulations to department and faculty administrators.
As the Senior Manager of Graduate Systems, Christina leads a forward-thinking team that provides essential stakeholder support, functional business analysis, and business process support for all stages of the student lifecycle. Christina provides project leadership in systems development for the graduate community, collaborating with the Registrar's Office, Finance, IAP and IST on a regular basis. Christina is also responsible for the oversight of Quest and OnBase security for users supporting the success of graduate applicants and students.
Nandini Debnath is a postdoc with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. She is currently part of the research team at the IDEATION Lab, working on designing, fabricating, and developing new microfluidic point-of-care devices for the detection of COVID-19.
Anirban Banerjee is a postdoc with the Department of Chemical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. He is currently working alongside Dr. Valerie Ward, researching new methods of producing life-saving drugs. His work involves using algae in place of traditional manufacturing platforms for protein therapeutics, with the ultimate goal of revolutionizing the pharmaceutical industry and saving lives.
"Research what you are most passionate about. Not a hot topic, not something that will make you rich, not something your supervisor is good at. You are going to be stuck for years researching, talking about and practicing whatever topic you decide. If you desire excellent results, you need to feel like it is your topic and gives you a reason to wake up and work every single morning."
Carlos Andrés Araiza Iturria, PhD student, Actuarial Science
“Being a grad student is very much a "you pick your story" experience. There are so many components such as research work, free courses and auditing, TA experience, and more.”
Ryan Fang, MSc student, Electrical Engineering
John Edison Munoz Cardona is a postdoc with the Department of Systems Design Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. He is working with the Human Optimization Modelling Lab, and the Games Institute, conducting research into how human body signals can create more "humanized" assistive technologies based on games and interactive systems.
Daniela Lubke is a postdoc with the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization in the Faculty of Mathematics. She works with optimization problems, using her expertise to help address real-world issues. Her current focus is developing a new model to integrate personnel allocation and machine scheduling problems for large-scale industrial production.
"I love the freedom and power I have in managing my own time. As someone who is dedicated to making schedules far in advance and creating detailed action plans, the flexibility I have as a grad student is wonderful."
Cindy Wei, MSc student, Kinesiology
Stuart Hallifax is a postdoc with the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science in the Faculty of Mathematics. His research involves tailored and integrated gamefiction as a method of increasing motivation and engagement in audiences across diverse systems. Currently, he is working on adapting this approach to address issues involving eye-health in young children.
Marie Charbonneau is a postdoc in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. She currently works as part of Waterloo RoboHub and started as a postdoc in June 2019.
Stefanie Czischek is a postdoc with the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science. She is working with Roger Melko on applications of ANN methods in quantum physics, while collaborating with the Perimeter Institute Quantum Intelligence Lab (PIQuIL).
Fatemeh Jafari is a postdoc with the Department for Electrical and Computer Engineering, in the Faculty of Engineering. They are part of the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute. Their work involves the use of machine learning to improve procurement price offers and modelling for fresh produce, for the sake of both corporations and consumers.
"At the end of the day, there are many fantastic opportunities available to you as a grad student but you also have to make sure that you are making space for your well-being."
Liza Boyar, PhD student, Public Health and Health Systems
Melanie Jouaiti is a postdoc with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. Her current work with the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory (SIRRL) involves the development of assistive robotics technology to compliment conventional therapies in the area of speech impairments and motor coordination deficits.
Moses Tetui is a postdoc with the School of Pharmacy in the Faculty of Science. He is passionate about public health, and his research involves investigating methods of building public trust between health agencies and the general public. The goal of his work is to create responsible and responsive health systems in collaboration with communities and stakeholders.
"It's easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself as a student and to be constantly striving for perfection. This constant push to be better and do more is inherent in our society and you have to be very conscious about setting boundaries and pushing back against that."
Rebecca Brunswick-Werner, MMT student, (Mathematics for Teachers)
"The Writing and Communication Centre has been an amazing resource to me as a graduate student. Through their one-on-one meetings, I have become a better writer. I have also enjoyed participating in their workshops. During Reading Week, I had the opportunity to participate in their Dissertation Workshop. This workshop provided us with skills to overcome procrastination and plateauing in our writing and ways to connect to other graduate students who were going through the same thing."
Carrie Shorey, PhD student, Public Health and Health Systems (Aging, Health and Well-Being)
Amritha Stalin completed a PhD at the University of Waterloo, working in the School of Optometry and Vision Science. She is currently working on a project to understand the visual difficulties faced by stroke survivors. At the same time, she is also working to assess the knowledge, practices, and attitudes of Optometrists regarding the intervention and management of symptoms in stroke survivors with visual consequences.
Kristie Poole is a postdoc with the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Arts. She is currently working at the Social Development Lab, studying the socio-emotional development of children, with a focus on the origins and outcomes of temperamental shyness.
Ali Ayub is a postdoc with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. Currently, he is working at the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Lab (SIRRL), developing autonomous robots that can assist people in their daily lives.
"Move forward one step at a time, day by day, and try to leave enough time to explore the world around you - maintaining a balanced social life while in graduate school is critical. Make an effort to strike a balance between your academic and personal life."
Navya V. Nair, PhD student, Sustainability Management
"Do your graduate degree if you are passionate for what you are doing; succeeding in something that you care about is much easier. And be patient, mistakes are inevitable in research. You will experience failures, no matter how clever you are."
Aaron Yip, PhD student, Chemical Engineering
Anwar Jaber is a postdoc and adjunct professor with the School of Architecture in the Faculty of Engineering. An architect and urban scholar, she joined the postdoc community in September 2021 as part of the second cohort supported by the AMTD postdoctoral fellowship. She is currently working with Prof. Robert van Jan Pelt, conducting research into the role of architecture in cities facing political transitions and extreme conditions, focusing on museums that aim to address national narratives of war, memory and violence.
Sebastian Dys is a postdoc with the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Arts. He is currently working at the Social Development Lab, under the supervision of Dr. Heather Henderson. His research focuses on examining the causes or impediments to prosocial behaviour in children, and specifically how temperamental shyness influences such behaviour.
Edris Madadian is a postdoc with the Department of Chemical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. He has worked in the energy and environmental engineering sector for nearly ten years, with a focus on renewable, sustainable systems. His current work involves investigating potential water contamination from pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs).
"The best part about being a graduate student is the independence and flexibility that comes with the nature of the studies. Graduate school also allows you to develop yourself personally and professionally."
Eugenia Dadzie, MSc student, Biology
Pankaj Gupta is a postdoc with the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, in the Faculty of Environment. He started as a postdoc in 2019, and his current research involves studying the migration of hydrocarbon pollutants into groundwater systems and developing remediation strategies.
Lauren Todd is a postdoc with the Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science. Her research involves studying how frog immune systems respond to infection, trying to understand how pathogens interact with their hosts, with the ultimate goal of helping to preserve amphibian biodiversity. She is also an amateur wildlife photographer, with work that can be found on Instagram.
"Challenges are a part of life. Doing a Master's is no different. It's an obstacle that you have to overcome if you want to elevate your ability to read, write, and build your critical thinking. Go into your Master's with an open mind on learning, only then will you see it as an opportunity and not just a challenge."
Prince Khan, MEDI student, Economic Development and Innovation
Xia Han is a postdoc with the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science in the Faculty of Mathematics. She joined the University of Waterloo in September 2020, and has been working with David Landriault and Ruodu Wang as supervisors. Her current research focuses on issues within the field of quantitative risk management.
"There are many events that will happen in your life that you will have no control over, so try to understand the lessons from those moments and use those as a source of growth. Try not to attach your self-esteem to how much you are producing. We are all capable beings and production is ephemeral, but kindness to yourself and other beings is everlasting."
Ileana Diaz, PhD student, Geography and Environmental Management
"Look around and see what's available to you, then try something! I felt really overwhelmed when I first started grad school. It seemed like there was always something I didn't know. So, I started to look for things I wanted and then I talked to people about it. Opportunities came up and I applied. Even when things looked like a long shot. I think that curiosity and willingness really pay off."
Janet Jones, PhD student, Applied Philosophy
Graeme works with colleagues at Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) and other campus partners to develop and facilitate events and programs related to graduate student and postdoc experience. He also manages the Professional Skills Foundations Program, which helps graduate students develop core skills to help them succeed in academia and their careers.
"It can feel more isolating in graduate school than when studying for an undergraduate degree. Especially since my graduate degree was during the pandemic, I did not have in-person classes every day and didn’t get the chance to interact with other people in my program as easily. What helped me feel connected to the campus was attending events put on by the Graduate Student Association (GSA), joining clubs on campus, and meeting weekly with other students in my research group."
Nicholas Richardson, MMath student, Applied Mathematics
"The first few months of graduate school feel overwhelming, but it is definitely worth the hard work."
Vega Kapoor, MMath student, Actuarial Science
"Be open to learning new material and to take each and every opportunity to share your work with others; there is no better place than a conference to receive constructive criticism for your work."
Thomas Milovac, PhD student, Applied Philosophy
“I think with the huge amount of personal and professional investments a grad student makes in their education, stress management can be a significant challenge. To alleviate it, I personally choose to be consistent and not to expect instantaneous “rewards”. PhD research takes time, and I do not believe there is such a thing as failure. Just being consistent and having short-term/long-term plans helps to manage the level of stress.”
Fatemeh Ahmadloo, PhD student, Electrical and Computer Engineering
“If there was one piece of advice I could give new students, it would be not to get sucked into how much work or how little work others around you are doing. The comparison will drain you. Focus on your work. The most important thing you can get out of grad school is the connections you make throughout your journey—grades matter but not more than those relationships with professors and other students.”
Karmvir Padda, PhD student, Sociology
“My best advice is to get involved as much as possible. When you see opportunities, whether it’s to present somewhere, join a club or lend your expertise somewhere, I recommend taking every chance that comes your way. This campus is very large and full of incredible opportunities that are waiting for you to seize them. Ask questions when you're curious and work on finding solutions and answers. Apply even when you think you don't have a shot. You don't know where your next great adventure will start.”
Aiman Fatima, MSc student, Kinesiology
Quote: “The best part about being a graduate student is the freedom you get to work on your own interests. "Do what is best for you" is something that I have often heard from my professors, and this has been really paying off.”
Hari Har Jnawali, PhD student, Global Governance
"When I decided to pursue my graduate studies, I was mainly looking out for schools that are well invested in cutting-edge research and innovation. Also, I sought a supportive environment and team, which I believe paves a way for excellence, collaboration and growth. Simply put, University of Waterloo was a good fit."
Adaora Enumah, MSc student, Public Health and Health Systems
I completed my Ph.D. (Language, Culture, and Teaching) at the Faculty of Education, York University. I joined the University of Waterloo as a postdoc because it has one of the world's best engineering schools.
I was born and raised in Hanover, Ontario and completed my undergraduate degree in History and English at Lakehead University in 2010. I continued my studies at Lakehead the year after and earned a master's degree in History in 2011. Before coming to St. Jerome's University and UWaterloo, I earned my Ph.D.
I work in the Department of Knowledge Integration, which is a part of the Faculty of the Environment. I'm originally from Ottawa, but spent a few years in Montreal where I completed my Ph.D. at McGill University. I came to UWaterloo in September 2021 for an amazing postdoc opportunity working on two interesting projects: one exploring how scientists perceive collaborations with philosophers, the other exploring the rhetoric of climate change.
I joined the Department of Pure Mathematics as a postdoc in May 2021. I am currently working with Ross Willard on the topic of Universal algebra. My postdoctoral fellowship is fully funded by PHEC, Pakistan.
I was born in Bangladesh, where I completed my graduate degree in Forestry and Environmental Sciences. I came to Canada in 2008 as a graduate student at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. The academic and research excellence of UWaterloo in the field of environmental management and climate change attracted me to UWaterloo, and I joined the postdoc community here in January 2021, working in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management under the faculty of Environment.
I have worked in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since August 2021. My work involves immersive multimedia, especially virtual reality and augmented reality, which have become unprecedentedly popular in the past few years.