College Contacts

Picture of  Debby Burshtyn

Debby Burshtyn PhD Dean

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.


Picture of  Ryan Walker

Ryan Walker PhD, RPP, MCIP Associate Dean, Policy & Programming Innovation

In his role at the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Ryan helps build an international alumni community of the brightest, most engaged, and career-ready people in the world. He values a USask experience for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows that is well-supported in an intercultural environment of peers, service professionals, and faculty who are experts in their fields and value enhancing their roles as supervisors, teachers and career mentors. Ryan knows that our graduate students and postdoctoral fellows need to be prepared for careers in industry as well as the academy, and encourages their engagement in the wider life of Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. He uses an open, inclusive, collaborative work style to support USask’s disciplinary colleges and schools, and its interdisciplinary research mission. A professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, Ryan has degrees from the University of Lethbridge (B.A. with distinction), University of Waterloo (M.A.), and Queen’s University (Ph.D.). He has received industry awards for planning practice, scholarship, and volunteer recognition from the Canadian Institute of Planners, Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute, Design Council of Saskatchewan, International Downtown Association, and the Award for Distinction in Outreach and Engagement from the University of Saskatchewan.


Picture of  Marc Usunier

Marc Usunier PhD Director, Programs & Operations

After several years in various administrative roles in the Edwards School of Business, Marc is excited about returning to CGPS. He is looking forward to working with colleagues across campus and continuing to support and enhance the graduate student experience in his new role as Director, Programs & Operations . He holds an honours degree from Brandon University in history, an MA in history from USask, and a PhD in Educational Administration, also from USask. In addition to his administrative role, Marc's research interests include executive recruitment and selection, the politics of academic leadership, facilitating change leadership, university governance, and organizational decision-making in the public sector. Marc is an elected member of the University of Saskatchewan Senate. Additionally, 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 Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), the International Leadership Association (ILA), and the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA).


Picture of  Heather Lukey

Heather Lukey Director, Awards & Scholarships

Everyone who works with Heather Lukey in the College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies extolls her virtues as a dedicated university employee, but none more than the graduate students themselves. Winner of the President's Serivce Award (2012) Heather is known to go "above and beyond" and is frequently referred to as "the go-to person". Lukey's job is a complex one; she helps graduate students navigate the complex world of applying for funding from various external sources, she manages a manual portfolio of more than $14M, serves as USask's Tri-Agency Scholarship Liaison Officer, and manages the day to day finances of the college. She also serves as a valuable advisor to students, faculty members, and programs about the most effective ways to access and use the funding provided. Heather started her career with USask over 30 years ago as a clerk steno and receptionist. Heather has been heard saying "I do it for the students".


Picture of  Lori Lisitza

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 wears ‘several hats’ within the College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies from being the Dean’s central support person and as a member of the Dean’s leadership team bringing leadership, development and oversight to a variety of special projects. 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.


Jordan Heise BA Graduate Program Advisor


Picture of  Angela Ryde

Angela Ryde BEd Graduate Program Advisor


Picture of  Susan Mason

Susan Mason MA Graduate Program Advisor


Picture of  Kayla Schwartz

Kayla Schwartz Graduate Program Advisor


Picture of  Chelsea Smith

Chelsea Smith BA Postdoctoral Studies Coordinator


Picture of  Luis Corredor Duarte

Luis Corredor Duarte MPA Graduate Student Services Officer


Picture of  Cathie Fornssler

Cathie Fornssler Committee and Programs Administrator


Picture of  Julissa Castillo

Julissa Castillo Office Administrator


Lucinda Proulx Awards Officer