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About the sephgsa

We are the School of Epidemiology & Public Health Graduate Student Association at the University of Ottawa. We exist to discuss problems common to graduate students at SEPH, plan academic and social events, and advocate on behalf of students on committees at SEPH, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Graduate Student Association of the University of Ottawa (GSAED).

Membership in the sephgsa is comprised of all students enrolled in degree programs in the School of Epidemiology & Public Health. Our association is entirely student run and changes year to year based on the needs and interests of our members. Whether you are a current student at SEPH and want to get involved, or a prospective student interested in studying at SEPH, we would love to hear from you!




To provide a medium for the exchange of ideas of an academic and social nature between graduate students and the greater University of Ottawa community;


To establish a basis for the organization of academic, social, and sporting activities;


To discuss problems common to graduate students in the School of Epidemiology & Public Health, and to assist in carrying these problems to the appropriate agency, when necessary, on or off campus;


To promote and defend the rights, welfare and interests of members of the association and provide a central body which may represent graduate students within the greater University of Ottawa community; and


To act as a representative of the graduate students in the School of Epidemiology & Public Health on the University of Ottawa Graduate Student Association (GSAED).

Executive Council

The sephgsa Executive Council manages the day to day affairs of the association. Members stand for election at our Annual General Meeting held in the Fall term of each year and vacancies are filled by council at our monthly council meetings. Executive Council Meetings are open to all members and we encourage you to attend and voice any concerns you may have!

Council Members

Ishika Obeegadoo


Ishika Obeegadoo is a first-year MSc student in Epidemiology at SEPH, supervised by Dr. Ian Colman. Her research focus is intersectional psychiatric epidemiology. As President, she aims to advocate for fellow SEPH graduate students and to work towards improving student experience. She hopes to contribute to creating a vibrant community at SEPH and to support fellow students through the challenges of graduate studies. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, hiking and traveling.
Sara Siddiqi

Epidemiology Academic

Sara Siddiqi is a PhD student in epidemiology at SEPH, co-supervised by Dr. Jess Fiedorowicz and Dr. Ian Colman. She is interested in investigating the relationship between mental illness and cardiovascular disease. Outside of school, she enjoys baking, hiking, and finding allergen friendly places to eat! As VP Academic Affairs Epidemiology, Sara aims to represent students and advocate for their needs in SEPH and the uOttawa community.
Sarah Syed


Sarah is a second-year MSc student in Epidemiology at uOttawa, working under the guidance of Drs. Manish Sood and Peter Tanuseputro. Her research focus lies in physician health and wellness. As the Vice President of Wellness, Sarah has taken on the mission of fostering a positive and supportive community for the students. She hopes to promote student wellness and enhance the overall SEPH experience. When not immersed in her academic pursuits, Sarah indulges in her artistic side through painting and interior designing. Additionally, she enjoys exploring new cafés in Ottawa, always on the lookout for the next best cup of coffee.
Alexandria Hector


Alexandria Hector is a first-year MPH student in the Public Health Practice stream. She recently graduated with a bachelor of health science and is interested in infectious disease prevention and control. As VP of social affairs, she is committed to enhancing the student experience for her peers at SEPH through organizing exciting and engaging events. Outside of school, she loves reading, playing soccer, and hanging out with her dog.
Shain Raichura

Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Shain Raichura is a first-year MSc student supervised by Dr. Peter Tanuseputro and Dr. Colleen Webber. His research interests revolve around end-of-life care decisions and outcomes for patients with Schizophrenia. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the piano, cooking and is an avid hockey fan. As VP of EDI Shain hopes to promote and increase awareness and access to EDI-related resources for students and faculty.
Sami Aftab Abdul


Sami Aftab Abdul (he/him) is an incoming first-year MSc student in Epidemiology at SEPH, supervised by Dr. Derek Roberts and co-supervised by Dr. Tim Ramsay. His research focus lies in vascular & thoracic surgery and clinical epidemiology. As VP of administrative affairs, he aims to communicate events and news from GSA, department and faculty to fellow SEPH graduate students, while helping organize and structure executive meetings at the GSA level. He hopes to help organize and contribute to the graduate student experience and support his fellow students in SEPH. Outside of school, he enjoys knitting, cat cafes and volunteering with uOttawa M.E.R.C.I.
Lauren Duan

MSc Representative

Lauren Duan is a first-year MSc Epidemiology student, supervised by Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput. Her research interests include nutritional and chronic disease epidemiology, with a focus on lifestyle behaviours. As one of the MSc Representatives, she aims to act as a liaison between her fellow classmates and the greater SEPH community. Some of her favourite activities include making playlists, trying new classes, and playing volleyball!

PhD Representative

This position is currently vacant. Reach out if you are interested in joining us!
Sumali Mehta

Vice President

Sumali Mehta (she/her) is a first-year student in Epidemiology at SEPH, co-supervised by Dr. Jodi Edwards and Dr. David Birnie. She is interested in studying the burden of cardiovascular illness in underserved populations. As Vice President, she aims to work with her fellow SEPHGSA members towards creating a more cohesive and supportive environment for SEPH students and work towards greater integration of SEPH within the Faculty of Medicine network at uOttawa. Outside of school, Sumali spends her time reading, dancing and spending time with family and friends.
Fahimeh Abdollahi

Public Health Academic

Fahimeh Abdollahi is a first year MPH+ student in the Global Health stream. She is interested in advancing women's health advocacy, education, and promotion for globally underserved communities. As this term's VP Academics for her cohort, Fahimeh aims to address the unique academic needs of the MPH student body enrolled in a course-based non-thesis graduate program. Outside of school, she spends her time cooking, drawing, and visiting local cafes.
Daniella Muhanzi


Daniella Muhanzi is a first-year MPH student in the policy stream. She is interested in health protection, promotion, and policy. As VP Wellness, Daniella looks forward to organizing activities and events that bolster mental, physical, and emotional health, fostering resilience and balance for graduate students. Her favourite extracurricular activities include running, working out, and indulging in the latest reality TV shows.
	Asia Akther

Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Asia Akther is a Ph.D. Student in Epidemiology, under the supervision of Dr. Tara Elton-Marshall and Dr. Ian Colman. Her research interests are in equity deserving population health, and risk-taking behaviours. Outside of school, she is a shopaholic :) As VP EDI, Asia aims to work closely with her fellow SEPHGSA members, students, and faculty to enhance awareness and initiate efforts toward integrating EDI into our educational and research community.
Renée Schryer


Renée Schryer is a first year MPH+ student in the Public Health Practice stream. She has a background in immunology and physiology at the University of Toronto and interests in infectious disease, One Health and science communication. As VP Financial Affairs, she plans to maintain a balanced and sustainable budget and ensure the fair and equitable distribution of funding for SEPH GSA initiatives. Outside of class, she loves to cook, read, and explore new spots in the city!
Samuel Tiukuvaara

MSc Representative

Samuel Tiukuvaara is a first-year MSc student in Epidemiology. He worked briefly as a paramedic in Ontario before completing a bachelor of health science at uOttawa. His interests include improving the delivery of health services in Canada, rock climbing, and billiards. As a MSc representative, Sam is committed to representing the interests of his peers and promoting a positive student experience at SEPH.

MPH Representative

This position is currently vacant. Reach out if you are interested in joining us!

Our Logo

The sephgsa logo was designed by former council member Sebasitan Srugo and represents the interconnected continuity of the sephgsa. As members of the sephgsa we each provide a unique perspective and contribution during our time in the association and the collaboration of those diverse experiences creates a single continuum which no one individual could support.

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