Introducing Meha Sharma, MCGSS President
Please introduce yourself and give us your program. What year did you start?
Hi! I am Meha Sharma. I am a 4th year PhD candidate in the Plant Science department. I joined my PhD in Fall 2017. I have been awarded the Schulich Graduate Fellowship.
Where are you from and what did you study previously?
I am from India. My hometown is Ludhiana in Punjab. I did a Master’s in Biotechnology from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India.
Please give us your history with MCGSS and participating in campus activities since you arrived at McGill/Macdonald Campus.
I am involved in MCGSS since the first year of my PhD. I was one of the Council members from the Plant Science department in 2018. I became Vice-President for the term 2019. As VP my role was to organize events for grad students. Currently, I am working as President in MCGSS. I have been involved in organizing Grad Orientation, Bagel Breakfast, Hot Breakfast, coffee sessions and other grad activities over the past two years.
Can you explain for us the mandate of MCGSS? Where does it fall within the organizational structure of student societies at McGill?
All graduate students registered in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of McGill University are members of MCGSS. The mandate of MCGSS is to unite and represent all graduate students of Macdonald Campus and promote their welfare and interests. Also, to provide activities that enhance the educational, cultural, environmental, and social conditions of its members. The MCGSS Student Council works to bring forward the concerns of Mac grads to University administration. MCGSS falls under the Post Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) of McGill.
What are some of the activities the MCGSS usually organizes?
We organize several events throughout the year for grad students. Grad Orientation is the biggest event for incoming students. Orientation includes tours of the campus, a BBQ, and a fun-filled activity day at Mac Paddle Shack. We provide canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards to students. Moreover, we have monthly free bagel breakfasts, which are very popular. Who doesn’t love free bagels and coffee talks?
During the summer we hold a free BBQ and offer fresh local strawberries at our Strawberry Social event outside the Centennial Center. During Halloween, we organize a movie night and Pumpkin Carving event. Paint Night, organized by MCGSS, is loved by grad students. We also provide travel grants for grad students, for local and international conferences. For grant-related queries grad students can email our Faculty Representative Mohammed Antar (mcgss-sciencerep.pgss [at] mail.mcgill.ca). Let’s hope this COVID era passes soon and we will resume many more fun-filled interactive events.
MCGSS During COVID
We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed things this fall. What kind of activities does MCGSS plan to organize in the coming months?
As in-person events are cancelled until further notice, we are left with virtual options only! Our Vice-President, Carolyne Dubreuil, oversees all events. We are planning to have some virtual games and Trivia Nights. This year we are aiming to organize more academic and career-oriented events. We are collaborating with TRaCE Pathways for a PhD speaker series. We are also scheduling a networking or career event with academic, government, and industry speakers to help students to set their future goals.
Tell us about the recent Grad Orientation – what special activities did help MCGSS organize?
Unlike other years, Orientation was virtual this time. To give students an overview of Mac Campus, we made a video showing a glimpse of our campus during COVID times. Here is the link, you can still watch it. During Orientation, we had an introductory presentation in which we introduced MCGSS and the Executive team to new students. We had a virtual booth at the McGill Student Services Fair. We also organized a virtual gaming event for new students on Ceilidh’s Discord server. This activity was quite interactive.
Reaching Out to Mac Grad Students
Is there a special message you would like to send out to Mac Graduate students?
Student life is considered as Golden Life! Our efforts are to enrich and make your university experience a memorable one. We require your help to assist better! Participate in events and programs, they will help you to build more connections. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
How can students reach you or other members of MCGSS? Where can they get more information?
You can reach us via email at mcgss.pgss [at] mail.mcgill.ca. Our website is presently undergoing a transition, but we are very active on social media platforms where you can find up-to-date information and current events. Credit goes to our PRO, Mathilde Guglielmi, for maintaining these sites!
For regular MCGSS updates, please follow us on:
Facebook: Macdonald Campus Graduate Student Society (MCGSS). @MCGSSMcGill
Thank you, Meha, for your time and all this great information. On behalf of MacOGS, we wish you and the MCGSS team the best in the coming year!
Presenting the MCGSS Executive Team 2020-21
Here, gathered for a virtual group photo this past August, are the MCGSS Executive members. Thank you to all students who participate to try to enrich student life at Macdonald Campus!