College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

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Picture of  Danielle Guillou-Tollin

Danielle Guillou-Tollin
Graduate Program Services Officer

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Kayla Schwartz
Graduate Program Services Officer

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Alison Draude
Graduate Program Services Officer

Picture of  Tara Sandrino

Tara Sandrino
Graduate Program Services Officer

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Julissa Castillo
Office Administrator

Picture of  Luis Corredor Duarte

Luis Corredor Duarte MPA
Postdoctoral & Interdisciplinary Studies Coordinator

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Ian Worme BEd, MPA
Indigenous Initiatives Coordinator

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Andrew Hartman BA, M.Ed., PhD Candidate
Grad HUB Student Lead

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Kassidy Guy B.Comm. (Marketing)
Digital Communications Specialist

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Debby Burshtyn PhD

Dean of the College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS) and Professor in the department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Debby has held a series of administrative roles in graduate education beginning as graduate coordinator from 2009-13 at the University of Alberta. As an advocate for adapting graduate education and mentorship to fit the changing funding and employment landscape, she led departmental career planning workshops for students and developed the groundbreaking workshops on mentoring graduate students. Over the next several years Debby held various administrative roles within the graduate faculty at the University of Alberta as Associate Dean, Vice-Dean, and most recently, served a one-year term as Interim Vice Provost and Dean. She continues to lead initiatives designed to effect long-term positive change on graduate students’ learning experiences including designing the quality assurance processes for graduate programs and promoting the development and assessment of learning outcomes in graduate education linked to career preparation. Through her work with the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) Task Force on Excellence in Graduate Programs Debby is committed to a vision of excellence in graduate programming across Canada and here, close to home, as she embarks upon her new role as Dean of the College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, USask.

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Jaswant Singh PhD
Associate Dean, Academic Excellence and Innovation

Singh provides a vision for innovation in graduate degrees and holistic graduate education in addition to being the college’s point person for academic affairs. Dr. Singh is no stranger to fostering an environment that positions students and postdoctoral scholars for success. Named as the lead of VPR’s faculty mentorship program and as a professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at USask, Singh sees mentorship as a passion, one that he calls extremely rewarding in the academic community. Dr. Jaswant Singh is a veterinarian (DVM 1983) with specialization in bovine reproduction (Master’s 1986, PhD 1997) and joined the University of Saskatchewan as faculty in 2000. Having served as a graduate chair in the Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences (VBMS) for two terms, as chair of the Division of Biomedical Engineering (BioE), and as a member of countless CGPS and USask committees, Singh brings a unique blend of experience that include lenses of USask alumni, a researcher, a scholar not to mention a volunteer faith leader. Leading a vibrant NSERC-funded research program, Dr. Singh has trained 116 highly qualified personnel since his appointment at USask; in the last 6 years, he has supervised 5 PhD, 8 MSc, 1 postdoctoral fellow, 6 visiting scientists, 8 DVM and 8 BSc students. Jaswant and his trainees have published 149 peer-reviewed scientific articles and filed 3 patents. Collectively, he and his trainees have won numerous national and international awards and accolades.

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Steven Rayan PhD
Director, Interdisciplinary Studies

Dr. Steven Rayan (he/him/his), Professor in Mathematics and Statistics / College of Arts and Science, joined USask in July 2016 after a doctoral degree at the University of Oxford (2011) and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto. Dr. Rayan's research lies at the border of mathematics and quantum physics and is funded by NSERC, the Tri-Agency as a whole through its New Frontiers program, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. He is the founding director of an interdisciplinary research centre at USask, the Centre for Quantum Topology and Its Applications (quanTA). He has given over 70 invited lectures around the world since joining USask, is an editor of Research in the Mathematical Sciences (Springer-Nature), and has recently served as the first chair of the Canadian Mathematical Society's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusiveness Committee. In 2021, he was named a recipient of the USask New Researcher Award. This is Dr. Rayan's fifth year as a member of the CGPS Interdisciplinary Studies Committee, having co-chaired the committee in 2020-2021. He has also served as the Chair of the CGPS Postdoctoral Advisory Committee from 2018 to 2021.

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Marc Usunier PhD
Senior Director, Graduate Student Services

Marc joined the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in January 2021. Holding an honours degree from Brandon University in history, and an MA in history and a PhD in Educational Administration from USask, Marc’s ongoing research interests lie at the intersection of executive recruitment and selection, the politics of leadership, change leadership, and organizational decision-making. He is actively involved in several professional and scholarly associations and is a regular presenter at conferences associated with the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE), the CBIE, the International Leadership Association (ILA), and the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). In addition to his professional and academic interests, Marc is involved with a variety of local and national groups including the People Bridge Advocacy, as a board member; CSSHE, as a board member; AIESEC Saskatoon, as an advisory board member; and the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE), as chair and past chair the International Network of Tomorrow’s Leaders.

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Leah Johnson BA, B.Comm., MEd
Director, Graduate Scholarships and Award Services

Leah brings a wealth of experience in grants and awards administration. Since joining USask in 2014, she has demonstrated leadership in managing institutional programs such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Canada Research Chairs (CRCs). Leah’s expertise extends particularly to Tri-Agency compliance and post-award support for researchers and graduate students. She is frequently involved in interpreting complex university and agency policies and procedures to ensure adherence and to help bolster success. Leah’s educational background includes a BA in Economics, a B.Comm. in Marketing, and an MEd in Post-Secondary Leadership, all earned at USask. Before joining the university, she gained insights from years spent in the market research industry and also owned and operated a small business. Leah’s enthusiasm for tackling new challenges is evident, and she is particularly passionate about collaborating with colleagues, providing mentorship, and fostering success in the workplace.

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Shakiba Jalal BSc, MSc, MBA
Director, Graduate Program Services

Shakiba is an accomplished professional with a wealth of experience and knowledge. Her extensive background in implementing efficient processes and strategies has ensured operational excellence and exceptional service, even during significant increases in student enrollment. Shakiba is well-versed in the admission application process and possesses a thorough understanding of the graduate student lifecycle from the unit perspective. Shakiba holds three USask degrees including a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Master’s of Science in Biochemistry, and an MBA.

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Kenisha Blair Walcott PhD
Professional Development Specialist

Kenisha has over 10 years of experience in the fields of human resources and education (including professional development, talent acquisition, career management and educational administration) in the private, public, and non-for-profit sectors. She has a combination of both academic and non-academic experience, delivering and coordinating professional development programs for professionals in the workforce as well as teaching graduate and undergraduate courses as a sessional lecturer and instructor. A chartered professional in human resources (CPHR) candidate and life-long learner, Kenisha is passionate about collaboratively impacting the lives of other professionals through her work. She holds a B.Sc. in Public Administration, an M.Sc. in Human Resource Development and completed a PhD from USask in Educational Administration in 2021. Kenisha also served as the project manager and researcher for the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies' (CAGS) task force on Excellence in Graduate Programs from 2020-22. In her spare time, Kenisha enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends.

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Lori Lisitza CMgr, PMgr, MCIM
Executive Officer

A self-declared life-long learner, being surrounded by students on an academic journey was a natural fit for Lori. Fast forward from coding in MS-DOS, Lori found that she has a knack for project management and paired that with media brokerage and indie music album design. Lori went on to study business administration at Memorial University and USask with a particular interest in management earning chartered management credentials in both Canada and the UK. Lori leads the college's strategic communications, has oversight of key aspects of business operations including governance, membership, Indigenous graduate student initiatives and student experience. When not at work you will find Lori at the barn, with a pair of skates in the trunk and a yellow ribbon on the bumper in support of Canada's troops.