Born in France, raised at the border with Switzerland, I’ve travelled quite a lot before setting up here in Montreal. After a bachelor degree in cinema and French literature at the University of Montreal, I decided to switched colours – from blue to red – and apply for a graduate program in creative writing at McGill University.
Therefore, I write mostly in French – yes, there is a small French department at McGill – and will gladly start writing in English for GradLife McGill.
Passionate by music, literature and culture in general, I hope to become a radio host, a blogger or anything that will allow me to write and talk about what I love.
Marion is also a GradLife McGill Instagrammer
Program: PhD Education, Dept. of Integrated Studies
I’m a native of Winnipeg, where I grew up, did a BSc (Environmental Studies, University of Winnipeg), MSc in Agriculture (weird for a city girl, but mind expanding) and a BEd (from U of Manitoba). My first year of teaching in Winnipeg was a particularly cold winter, which is saying a lot. One day, after helping five teachers jump their cars because the plug-in electrical system in the staff parking lot was over loaded, I said “That IT. I’m outta here”. And I ended up in Montreal.
I have been teaching high school science ever since (26 years, but it seems like 10). I thoroughly enjoy being in the classroom and spending time with the students. I take them to Costa Rica to study the rainforest, and to New Brunswick to study Marine Biology. I coerce them to do science fair projects and that has taken both my students and me to Phoenix, LA, and Pittsburgh to attend the International Science Fair.
I have been involved with a variety of committees aimed at implementation of the Quebec Education Reform, which I find fascinating. My children are mostly grown up, and so now seemed to be the perfect time for me just do it, and go back to school. My research will focus on the Quebec education reform, by initiating a community of practice for teachers.
Things not on my CV: I spent two weeks volunteering at the top a mountain writing educational materials for elementary students in Costa Rica on the reintroduction of the Great Green Macaw (highly endangered) into the rainforest, and secondly, while in Costa Rica, I spend my evenings perfecting a recipe for Guaro (like a really rough tequila) cocktail.
I’m a Master’s student in Microbiology and Immunology studying vaccine development for the neglected tropical disease schistosomiasis. I don’t think anyone really expects it before they meet me, but school is kind of my happy place. Not sure when it became home but I’d sure miss it if I ever left.
Besides that, I like to read. Quite a bit actually. Mostly you’ll catch me in the fantasy section because I still hold the slightest hope that there might be magic out there. Whenever my mind is not actively engaged elsewhere you can almost guarantee that I’ll be listening to podcasts. I know they’ve made a big difference to my life, so if you don’t listen to any yet then you should start.
I go to bed early, but dammit I wake up early every single day so I am okay with that. Lastly, I would like to say thank you to school bags, for always having my back.
Fannie is also a GradLife McGill Instagrammer
I am a second year master’s student in Kinesiology, studying ice hockey biomechanics. No, I don’t play hockey – but I grew up playing other sports and am very interested in sport specific research including performance enhancement and injury prevention. I grew up in Burlington, Ontario, and completed my BSc at Queen’s University in Kingston. During my undergraduate career, I did a semester abroad in Sydney, Australia, where I worked as a photographer and fostered my love for documenting my adventures.
I enjoy being active and doing anything outdoors, especially running around Mount Royal. I love dogs, a lot, and am almost constantly listening to country music. I am excited to keep exploring Montreal this year – always on the hunt to find the cutest café, best pizza, or most photogenic street art – and to share my graduate experience with the GradLife McGill community.
Aleks is also a GradLife McGill Instagrammer
Well, the last time I told a story to a dear friend, she said that I was really dramatic and passionate. I do not know if these two adjectives were standing for “extremely boring” or “please, stop it!”, but I know that I love writing and telling stories (funny, hopefully).
Italian, PhD student in Italian Studies (yes, I am from Italy, yes, I love food – not only pizza and pasta – and especially wine), I have been living in Montreal since August 2015. I study Literature and Cinema and in my free time (when I have it), I like swimming, hiking and spending never-ending dinners with friends (yes, most of them are from Italy). I am also a creative writer of short stories (just in Italian though, at least so far) and a kind of a poet (in English as well! However, I do not know yet if the “poet” definition fits me). In Italy, I had many different work experiences (waiter, journalist, etc..) and I worked as an Italian teacher (something that I would like to become, one day – need to learn Italian?).
Moving abroad is one of the most important decisions I made so far. Here, at McGill, I learned different and innovative approaches to my subject and I am allowed to mix Literature, Cinema and New Media. This aspect may be obvious for a student from North America, but it is not for students from Europe. The opportunity to meet different points of view and perspectives about the life and its forms of representation gives me the enthusiasm with which I read, write and work every single day. And, to be honest, I have to say thank you to London for this enthusiasm. In fact, Montreal is not my first experience abroad: in 2014, I lived in the UK capital, where I worked for almost one year (and I enjoyed it a lot, trust me).
What else to say? Nothing, because I am sure that my being passionate and dramatic is becoming extremely boring!
Born and raised in the north-center of Mexico. Constantly moving from one place to another since childhood,
so it is complicated to say I belong somewhere, but I really love Canada! Passionate about researching everything
from “Photoelectron Spectroscopy” to “Why I can’t touch my elbow with my tongue?”. Science fiction lover, food enthusiast (eating it not cooking!), casual sports player and video games geek. I always look for new experiences
and challenges. Writing is my secret love and this opportunity as GradLife blogger is the first stone to build my
I’m a PhD candidate in Biochemistry here at McGill. My research focuses on the Jak/Stat pathway and its involvement in breast cancer, metastasis and immune surveillance using novel mouse models.
A native of Oshawa, ON, I completed my BSc at the University of Ottawa and moved to Montreal 5 years ago. Even now I find there are still corners of the city I have yet to explore. Outside the lab, I spend my time volunteering as a Girl Guide leader, just celebrated 10 years a leader, and I love the outdoors. When winter drives me indoors you’ll usually find me with my nose in a book. I read any fiction I can get my hands on.
With my long standing love of literature, I am now trying my hand at writing. My post will be mainly about my life in the lab and adventures around Montreal. I look forward to sharing them with you!
People are fascinating, the fact that they are unpredictable and that most of the times
completely stupid! An MBA student who spends most of his time at the Bronfman building either studying or just pretending to study, I like to read and sometimes tweet about business, life and people.
Born in India, an engineer and a sports enthusiast there are two things that I am extremely passionate about at this moment. One- to succeed in the business world and the other is to mentor students/people to help them grow in the career and life. In the past few years I have mentored over 15 students achieve their career aspirations and wish to do more in the future.
I have been adoring Montreal for over a year now and love the vibe of the city. My plan for this year is to explore the city as much as possible! Blogging for GradLife is a great opportunity for me to share my experiences at the best business school in Canada, and I hope I bring the best out of the fun we have at Bronfman building!
I am a first year master’s student in Human Genetics, studying homeostasis and cancer in the oviduct. I grew up in India and have lived there almost all my life, until, of course, now. I spend most of my free time (when I’m not in class or in lab) goofing off at home and constantly complaining about how cold it is here in Montreal. Also, trying my best not to set off the fire alarm while cooking, and then complaining that I need to wash dishes. You’ll find that I whine quite a lot in my spare time.
I enjoy being a couch potato and not moving from any comfortable spot on the couch for a long time. I am athletically challenged and will fall over repeatedly, even when I’m standing. I love cats, but prefer watching cat videos all day instead of just getting a cat. I’m lazy like that. I am a huge bookworm and a crazy otaku.
I am extremely excited to be on the GradLife team as a blogger because it gives me time to do something I’ve really wanted to for the longest time – write. I look forward to sharing my experiences and funny anecdotes; something tells me I’m going to have many stories to share!
I’m reading up on science news and the ups and downs of this academic life.
I am currently a doctoral candidate in Sociology and Social Studies of Medicine at McGill – My research involves a qualitative exploration of the revival of Immunotherapy for food allergies. In addition to my doctoral research, I have other research interests that lie at the intersection(s) of health and society, including the interactions between biology and society, and most recently on a project that will investigate the culture of ‘pick-up artists’ in North America.
I’m passionate about teaching, learning and developing unique pedagogical tools to help students learn about Sociology and about life. I love to dance and am a part-time teacher of the GROOVE dance method – I am keen on integrating the GROOVE dance with other instructional methods at McGill!
I’m curious and adventurous and love experimenting with all creative arts – singing, dancing, yoga, writing, cooking, music, comedy… I’m looking forward to contributing to the GradLife McGill project through Instagram, as I believe it will bring graduate students together to share in and empathize with the great journey and adventure of grad studies! Peace, Love & DANCE!!!
Research Interests: As OT is a course-based program, I do not have a thesis, however there is a Master’s research project which starts in the fall. My project will be looking at brain mechanisms underlying motor learning using transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
About Me: Prior to coming to Montreal, I did my BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Alberta. As much as I loved it there, it has been such a valuable life experience so far getting to know a new campus and new city. Instagram has been my way of sharing my adventures with friends and family back home, as well as finding new places to visit. I think it’s fascinating how social media can be used to engage and connect with people, and I look forward to sharing my experiences as a graduate student through GradLife McGill. In addition to spending way too much time on Instagram, I also enjoy photography, running, lettering, playing the piano, and checking out local coffee shops and parks.
Program: PhD Candidate in Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine
Research Interests: I do basic research on proteins called chaperones, Hsp70 and Hsp110, that help other proteins fold into functional units, untangle misfolded proteins or send them for degradation. One of my aims is to understand how novel, small molecule inhibitors of Hsp70 work so we can use them as tools for research and potentially treat diseases like cancer.
Hometown: Born and raised in Montreal
About me: I thoroughly enjoyed being a teaching assistant for the undergraduate Biochemistry teaching lab over the past five years and I have mentored six students in my lab. My favourite approach to teaching is to have my students learn by making mistakes because it helps develop troubleshooting skills, which in turn builds confidence!
Outside of the lab I like reading, running, spending time with friends and family, drinking ridiculous amounts of masala chai and doodling with henna @mehndipetals. I volunteer and am an executive member for a non-profit called @atelier.cabilit that works with children who have cognitive disabilities and their families in the South Asian community of Montreal. I also enjoy taking up challenges and stepping out of my comfort-zone. For example, recently I completed my first half-marathon and co-hosted a Montreal South Asian wedding show.
As a McGill Instagrammer, I am excited to share bits of my life as a senior graduate student in the Health Sciences at the lab and my adventures in the world outside!
Program: PhD Electrical Engineering (Telecommunications)
Research Interests: Faster-than-Nyquist signaling, Coding theory, Telecoms Network Optimization, and MIMO Systems.
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria.
About me: I am a curious and simple person who loves to meet and interact with people a lot with the aim of building a long lasting connection and relationship with them. I love spending time with family and friends, my most priced Jewels. Even though, am an Engineer by profession, yet I appreciate music and arts. I love portraits and street photography. I play video games a lot, especially FIFA because it is just so awesome, cool and relaxing. One of my favourite quotes is this: All you can do is all you can do, but all you can do is enough – Art Williams.
Research interests: My PhD work focuses on the neural correlates of music and dance, such as examining brain structure in dancers and musicians as well as correlating brain structure to performance on dance- and music-related tasks.
About me: In addition to neuroscience, I enjoy travel and photography. I am also a Graduate Education Assistant at SKILLSETS and am passionate about leadership development. I’m excited to share my adventures at McGill, in Montreal and beyond with you through the GradLife Instagram (you can also check out my personal Instagram @falisha.k)!
Program: MSc, Neuroscience
Research interests: I use neuroimaging (specifically fMRI and MRI) to study risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease at mid-life. My research involves looking at the effects of genetic risk factors and familial history of Alzheimer’s Disease, both individually and in concert, on brain structure and function and overall memory performance.
Hometown: Born in London, England and raised in Philadelphia.
About Me: When I’m not looking at brains, I like eating and running and taking photos. Not necessarily in that order and very rarely all at the same time. I am fluently sarcastic and enjoy terrible puns, climbing tall things, and sitting in the grass. I’m passionate about mental health and fiercely believe that existing as a human being outside of the lab or the office is an essential part of that. Everything in life has a balance and the graduate school experience is no exception.
Hometown: Athens, Greece
Current status: Newbie at McGill, I am starting my PhD in Mining and Materials Engineering Department.
Hobbies: I’m passionate about dance. I have tried many styles and since 2014 I am a licensed Zumba® Fitness Instructor. What I love most about Zumba® is that it is like a party, you don’t realize you are working out, you always have a big smile on your face. Also, I like reading novels that make my mind travel and cooking for my favorite people.
As it is my first year in Montreal, I will be sharing my experience of exploring this city through my Instagram posts with you!
My inspirational motto: “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”
Program – M Eng. Environmental Engineering
Department – Civil Engineering
Hometown – Jamshedpur, India
Subho (Shoe-bow) is someone who would describe himself as ‘fun-loving’. He is presently enrolled in the Environmental Engineering program at McGill. On a sunny weekend, you’ll find him playing the guitar in one of the fields in campus. Give him food and, on his face, you will see the widest smile that is humanly possible! A cyanophile at heart, Subho loves dogs alot. Probably as much as he loves travelling. When he’s not saving the environment, he is found composing picture stories for his next shoot.
Program: MSc, Experimental Medicine
Research Interest: I am interested in the role of patient-centered care within the field of medicine. My research is focused specifically on patient empowerment and satisfaction throughout their health care journey. I am the coordinator of a study that aims to examine the impact of eHealth and mobile health tools from the perspective of both health care providers and patients.
Hometown: Montreal, Canada
About me: I have a BSc in Exercise Science with a specialization in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Concordia University. In my last year as an undergrad, I worked as a teaching assistant. I took some time off before going to graduate school, working in a clinical hospital setting and that is where I gained an a interest in patient experience.
In my free time, I do free-lance photography. I think the power of a good photo is truly incredible, it can repeatedly connect, resonate and stay with an individual. The reason I love photography is the feeling of pure excitement and pleasure it gives me.
I try my best to keep an active lifestyle by participating in yoga, Pilates and jogging. My other interests include fashion, art, movies, music, food, travel and comedy, yes comedy! I can regularly be seen catching various comedy shows across the city, whether it be improv, stand-up or sketch.
If anyone asked me what my dream profession would be, I would answer, without hesitation, superhero or vigilante. I have a wide imagination about all the possibilities and the desire to live out these visions in my life. Documenting different aspects of your life through words or pictures really allows you to reflect and remember the many many things that you encounter and experience.
(After that slightly deep introduction…) I am currently a first year Masters student in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at McGill University. My passions involve music, photography, cinematography, dance, and the list is constantly growing. I’m also an avid superhero movie watcher and as weird as it may, I love reading spoilers. I have been at McGill for quite a few years now since I did my undergraduate studies here too, but there are still so many aspects of Montreal I have yet to discover. I was born and raised in Vancouver so I’m a big Vancouver Canucks fan. (Sorry to Canadians’ fans!) Starting during my university years, I have started to travel a lot more and it’s a goal of mine in life to visit every single country in the world someday (if only plane tickets weren’t so expensive…). But regardless of where I am, I look forward to showing the world just who I am.
Hi! I am a first year MA student in Second Language Education. Unsuprisingly, I love everything about language, from morphology, phonology, and syntax to sociolinguistics and teaching. My love of language learning led me to major in linguistics and Spanish in my undergraduate studies, and I soon discovered that I also have a passion for teaching. After graduating, I spent two years teaching ESL and conversational Spanish in a high school in Regina, and my interests further extended to curriculum design. Now my passion for continuned growth has brought me to McGill, where I plan to improve my French, start learning Mandarin (hopefully), and gain knowledge to help with my career goals of designing language curricula and/or doing language school startups.
Some other tidbits about me: I’m a prairie girl from rural Saskatchewan. Glorious sunsets and grain waving in the wind run deep in my veins, and, yes, I do wear bunnyhugs. I love adventure and would say I’ve been on a few. I’ve lived in three cities, travelled in five countries (Canada absolutely counts!), and am always looking for my next opportunity to travel. I don’t just enjoy the “big” events, though; I love to find adventure in day-to-day life as well. It’s there in things like training for a half marathon or exploring a new neighbourhood or stopping to appreciate a bit of colour, or a leaf, or some music. I even get a thrill from crocheting and creating things. There is always something to be joyful about, and I look forward to sharing some of those things with you!
Research interests: I work on proteins called chaperones and co-chaperones, mainly DNAJB1. The network of chaperones maintains the protein balance in the cells, which is critical for the survival of the cell. I hope to elucidate the specific role of DNAJB1 in this chaperone network.
About me: I am an international student from South Korea. Before coming to Montreal, I use to live in Toronto. I love reading, eating, chatting, listening to the music, and traveling. And I love to take pictures of what I do and what I see. I enjoy sharing my photos on Instagram and I am excited to share my life as a grad student at McGill through GradLife. My personal Instagram accounts are: @kipunsam.daily @spring_of_joy
MISt Information Studies, Faculty of Arts
that you can probably find me somewhere in McLennan reading (and drinking a lot of coffee).
GradLife Video Bloggers
I love people and am very curious (borderline nosy). I love hearing about other’s lives, feelings, suggestions, opinions, dreams; the whole shebang. I also love books. The reason why I’m bringing up my love for books is because I think about books the same way as I do about people. I feel so sad that I will never have the time to read all the books the world has to offer the same way I’ll never have the time to meet all the people the world has to offer. But the more books I read the happier I feel and the more people I meet the happier I feel. That’s why I am so excited to be part of the GradLife team. I really want to meet so many more (non-fiction) people and document their lives, aspirations and hopefully by sharing these will make students grad life experience more enjoyable and endorse a sense of community.
Aside for being crazy about books and people I also love neuroscience (incidentally linked to both). I did a Neuroscience undergraduate in London and am now at McGill doing a Neuroscience Master’s. So I am also brain crazy.
I think that sums me up nicely: people, books and brain crazy. Anyway, enough about me and more about us: Mcgill Graduate students. I hope you enjoy all the wonderful content we have on this blog and our Instagram and if you feel like sharing your craziest dreams with someone, give me a shout!
Sofia Misenheimer is a Communication Studies M.A. student with a concentration in
Gender and Women’s Studies. Her research focuses on female street artists and graffiti writers in Montreal who use public space to promote gender equity.
Sofia has a graduate diploma in Journalism from Concordia University and a B.A. in
French Language/Literature and Cultural Anthropology from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
In 2015, Sofia produced short documentary film, Record High, exploring Montreal’s vinyl revival. She is now working on a new film project about urban art in the city. You can follow her progress at sofiamisenheimer.com.
Julia hails from the small town of Cobourg, Ontario, having moved to Montreal six years ago for her undergraduate degree at McGill in Pharmacology. Julia is Montreal’s biggest fan and hopes she never has to leave! Finishing her second year of her Masters of Science she has many tips and stories to share with her fellow graduate students! Julia loves to spend time with her friends on the weekends and stays involved with her undergraduate passions by cheering on her McGill Cheerleaders and mentoring women in her Sorority on campus. Julia is always positively upbeat and wholeheartedly believes that the glass is always half full! She likes to stay up late, hates working out and loves a good latte.
Program: LL.M. (Thesis)
I was born in India, where I graduated with my first degree in law and subsequently worked as the assistant state attorney, litigating cases before the Supreme Court of India and the State High Court. For the last seven years, I was in the United States, where I practiced and studied law, and recently immigrated to Canada, my new home.
I am currently pursuing my second graduate research degree at the McGill University’s Faculty of Law. I focus on emerging democracies, constitutional drafting, the interplay between religion and constitution, and using Internet as a tool for constitution drafting.
When I am not dealing with constitutions, I like cycling, running, photography, and making video blogs for my Youtube channel. I also volunteer at animal shelters, and sit on the board of two non-profits. I’m passionate about the environment and international politics. From time to time I write for leading newspapers on law and politics, and express my idiosyncratic views on my personal blog. Photography and making videos provides me with an opportunity to take a break from the research, and gives me a new perspective to see life. I am excited to make vlogs for McGill Grad Life, capturing some of the unseen and never explored before moments of graduate students at McGill.
GradLife Community Engagement Leaders
Hi everyone! I am a 1st? 2nd? Master’s Student in Political Science, concentration in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies. I have the question marks on my year because I started my program in January, which is not very common at all in the program. I am originally from Vancouver, BC – oftentimes, you might hear me complaining about the snow. My specific interest is in political participation and representation of minority communities through social movements and organizing; particularly with the LGBTQ+ communities in Canada.
Outside of school, I am extremely passionate about community engagement and organizing. I have had the wonderful opportunity to plan small and large scale events in the City and Districts of North Vancouver, as well as in my undergraduate university, Simon Fraser University. I firmly believe in the importance of engaging communities as a way to have healthy and happy cities. I think small scale interventions like modifying space to be more inclusive is a great way to do so, or through planning and coordinating events. I am excited to be one of your community engagement leaders for this year!
I’m a master’s student in Physiology studying anti-tumour immunity, particularly investigating which pathways are needed for improved immune killing of cancer cells. I’m originally from Toronto, and did my undergraduate degree at Western University, so I’m a newcomer to Montreal and loving this city more every day!
Besides working in the lab, I am also involved in science outreach through my volunteering with Let’s Talk Science at McGill. I have been loving exploring all the neighbourhoods of Montreal so far, especially the amazing cafes in this city. As a new member of the McGill and Montreal community, I have met so many amazing individuals already, and I hope to make many more lasting relationships here. I’m excited to be a GradLife community engagement leaders, and look forward to connecting as many people in the graduate student community as possible, and sharing plenty of my own graduate experience!
Alison is also a GradLife Instagrammer.
GradLife Graphic Designer
Programme: M.Sc. Bioresource Engineering
Research interest: Application of novel thermal and non-thermal techniques (such as MW, RF, PEF, ultrasound, critical fluids) in food processes like extraction, drying, and pasteurization; food structure assessment using rheology, chromatography, microscopy, and spectroscopy. In my MSc research, I studied the rheological properties of a food polysaccharide extracted using microwave heating.
Hometown: Born in Lagos; from Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria.
About me: Although a bit of an introvert, I love stories and autobiographies—the stories of where others have tread and what makes them ‘them’. Hence, I am curious! I love to write, but more than that, I love to make my writing aesthetically appealing (that’s typography!). Perhaps, it stems from my interest in computer graphic design and such related art. Such attention to detail contained in producing each masterpiece fascinates me. I have previously engaged and collaborated in a number of design projects. For fun, I love to play, watch, and analyze soccer matches. I also enjoy playing (and learning to play) my music keyboard. When doing none of these, I love quiet, at which time I best read, think, pray, and pen down thoughts. When I don’t keep in touch with family and friends, I am pained; but I sure try to.
GradLife McGill Coordinator
Sophia Kapchinsky, PhD
Passionate about inspirational leadership and clear communication, I blend the analytical mind of a quantitative scientist with the creative flare of an artist who consumed too much coffee. I take pride in my ability to see the forest for the trees while appreciating the foliage.
During my Doctoral work at McGill University, I was heavily involved in the Systems Biology Training Program and developing the SKILLSETS suite of professional development workshops. I’m a veteran juggler of competing priorities and taking projects from inception to the finish line.
Currently, I run a 2-day Leadership Training Retreat, the GradLife Social Media platform and the upcoming Undergraduate Skills unit at McGill University. As a side project, I am the musical director for CreativeMornings/Montréal and I write for their social media platform, including Facebook, Instagram, and blog, reaching over 10,000 people.