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SPF Governance Council

Current members of the McGill community, including students, staff and faculty, are welcome to apply for funding for projects big and small! The application process and timeline for funding differs depending on the size of the proposed project. Click here to learn more about the application process. 

Selection Process: Governance Council (GC)

The Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) Governance Council ensures the fulfilment of the SPF’s mandate to build a culture of Sustainability on McGill campuses.

In addition to being responsible for the Governance & Administration of the SPF, they are also the body that determines which projects ultimately receive funding.

The GC is composed of eight voting members and two non-voting members. Its voting members reflect the same parity as the fund itself – half students and half staff.

The four student representatives include:

Two Student's Society of McGill University representatives 

Makena Kristen

Makena is fascinated by interdisciplinary societal and economic issues and has a great interest in determining how we can integrate sustainable practices into society. Since starting her studies in 2019, she has been published in the McGill Policy Association, is President of the McGill Energy Association, and has gone on to win a debate tournament with the McGill Debating Union. Also, Makena currently works for a software platform company that integrates and visualizes data to generate fast and powerful insights for governments to break data silos to help create sustainable and smart cities.

Vanna Chang

Vanna is a BCom student majoring in Managing for Sustainability and minoring in Computer Science. She is passionate about climate action and hopes to pursue an integrative career intersecting her interest in computational problem solving and positively impacting the planet’s future. She also enjoys photography and photographs for McGill’s Hong Kong Student Network. Vanna is excited to join the SPF GC and to gain the skills and experience it offers.

One Post-Graduate Students' Society representative

Yannick D'Mello, Ph.D. Candidate, Engineering Physics

Yannick is a PhD candidate in Engineering Physics and co-founder of a sustainability-oriented start-up called Stocate. His aim for Stocate is to build an online platform that helps people determine the environmental, health, and local impact of their everyday purchases. His PhD research is based on how energy interacts with different materials. It focuses on the application of these concepts to new technologies for solar energy harvesting, health monitoring, and telecommunications. These two perspectives help Yannick learn how systems can become sustainable by being efficient. During his time at McGill, Yannick was also the co-founder of Patterns (a bio-medical device start-up), co-founder of Beats and Medleys (a recreational acapella group), competitive dancer with Jive Studio (a dance school in Montreal), and supervised multiple undergraduate Capstone projects. He is currently a member of the PGSS Environmental Committee.

One Macdonald Campus Students' Society representative

Karl-Antoine Hogue, Environmental Biology

It is with great enthusiasm that I am joining the Sustainability Project Fund as the Macdonald Campus student representative. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Biology with a keen interest in nature conservation. As a great proponent of sustainability across McGill’s campuses, I am eager to hear the ideas and projects that will be presented this year.


The four staff representatives include:

Two academic staff

Dr. Patrick Cortbaoui, Managing Director, Margaret A. Gillam Institute for Global Food Security, Academic Associate, School of Human Nutrition

Patrick Courbaoui is a renowned director sought-after for his ability to provide expert academic and strategic counsel and deliver bespoke advisory solutions to global food security and sustainability challenges. He has significant field experience enabling an understanding of the nuance and intricacies of sustainable food systems, with an over 12-year track record in providing solutions to alleviate food insecurity in different regions of the world including North America, Latin America & the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East and Asia. 

Dr. Cynthia Kallenbach, Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resource Sciences:

Cynthia Kallenbach joined McGill’s Department of Natural Resource Sciences as an Assistant Professor in 2018. She has two MSc from University of California-Davis in International Agriculture Development and in Soil Biogeochemistry and completed her PhD from the University of New Hampshire in Earth and Environmental Science. Her research integrates soil ecology and biogeochemistry to understand soil organic matter turnover and accumulation and microbial-plant interactions affecting carbon and nutrient cycling under land use and global change.

Two administrative staff

Victoria-Mei Zummo, Governance, Compliance & ESG Analyst, Office of Investments

Victoria-Mei is responsible for implementing the Office of Investments’ responsible investment objectives, ensuring investment managers’ compliance with McGill’s investment policies, and preparing internal and external reports, including the annual Socially Responsible Investing report of the Endowment fund. Sustainability is at the core of her work, whether through advancing responsible investment or promoting sustainability in the workplace.

Merika Ramundo, Communications Officer, McGill University Library

Merika joined McGill Library in 2010. She has over twenty years of experience in the fields of marketing, communications, and public relations in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors. Merika writes, creates, and distributes content that promotes the Library’s services, resources and activities. Her interest in the SPF started in the spring of 2017 when Merika collaborated with student Amélie Lemieux & SPF to start the jointly funded McGill Little Free Libraries initiative.


The two non-voting members include:

  • SPF Steward, co-facilitator
  • SPF Administrator, co-facilitator

The GC members are selected based on their level of engagement within the McGill community, their understanding of sustainability, and their expertise. The group meets approximately once a month.

For more information, please see the PDF icon SPF Governance Council Terms of Reference

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