Meet the Candidates: 2023 Director Elections

Monday, October 2, 2023

Starting October 10, all UWSA members will be invited to vote for new directors to join the UWSA Board.

There are two candidates this year, and two seats available: The candidate with the highest number of votes will be elected to a three-year term on the Board; the other candidate will be elected to a one-year term.

The call for nominations for UWSA president has been re-issued; we urge all members to consider this opportunity, which includes a one-year full-time secondment.

The candidates

Candidates were asked to provide a statement describing why they want to join the UWSA Board of Directors, and the skills or experience they have that would enable them to make valuable contributions as a director. We encourage you to read the description of the role to inform your decision.

Candidates are pesented in reverse alphabetical order.

Gitanjali Shanbhag (she/her)

Current position: Online Learning Consultant, Centre for Extended Learning (CEL)

Visit Gitanjali's LinkedIn Profile

Who am I? I am a proud UW alumnus, holding both an MASc and PhD in Mechanical Engineering. I am honored to continue my journey here as a staff member with the Centre for Extended Learning where I collaborate with faculty members to create enriching online course experiences for our students. I'm actively engaged in teaching students as a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Health.

I reside and work, as an uninvited guest, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Attawandaron and Haudenosaunee peoples. I’m committed to the journey of reconciliation, healing and educating myself with the painful history of colonization, dispossession, and impact of residential schools. 

Why do I want to join the UWSA Board of Directors? Historically, BIPOC individuals have faced deeply unfair barriers when it comes to workplace recruitment, compensation, and advancement opportunities. I was a participant in a recent university-run workshop where I was struck by the resonance of these concerns amongst our staff. As a racialized woman, I have lived experience, and I am ready to be your advocate and voice. 

Recently, I heard the story of how UWSA was formed and it became clear to me that the vision of the 100 founding members was grounded in safeguarding the rights of staff and advocating tirelessly on their behalf. I wholeheartedly align with this vision and am committed to fostering change for our staff who grapple with such inequitable workplace obstacles. 

The skills and experience I have that would enable me to make valuable contributions? In team settings, I apply dynamic time management, effective communication, active listening, empathetic leadership, and adaptability. I embrace a proactive, honest, and transparent communication approach when collaborating with colleagues. My commitment involves continually learning, raising awareness and advocating for staff, to further UWSA’s strategic priorities.

Alana Christi Guevara (they/them/she/hers)

Current position: Administrative Officer, Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA)

Visit Alana's LinkedIn profile

I am excited to express my interest in joining the UWSA Board of Directors and believe I can contribute significantly to the organization's success. As an Administrative Officer at the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) and a former Vice President of Operations & Finance, I have gained valuable experience in university governance and financial management that directly aligns with the responsibilities of a UWSA director.

My desire to join the UWSA Board of Directors stems from a deep commitment to enhancing the staff experience and ensuring that the organization operates efficiently and effectively. I have been involved with the University for several years, allowing me to develop a comprehensive understanding of its goals, challenges, and opportunities. Serving on the WUSA Board of Directors has given me a firsthand insight into the organization's inner workings and the importance of effective governance.

My skills and experience make me well-suited to contribute as a director. I enjoy policy and procedure analysis, which is vital for ensuring that UWSA's decisions align with its mission and values. My background in operational leadership and strategic planning will enable me to help shape the organization's future and drive initiatives forward. Additionally, my experience in budgetary governance and financial management will ensure responsible fiscal oversight and compliance.

In conclusion, my dedication to UWSA's mission, coupled with my extensive experience in governance, financial management, and relationship building, positions me as a candidate capable of making valuable contributions to the UWSA Board of Directors. I am eager to leverage my skills and knowledge to drive positive change and advocate for the best interests of staff.

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