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Meet our team

Message from the Dean

While you may be a master’s or doctoral student studying with one of the many departments across Dalhousie’s four campuses, you are a Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) student. We are here to support and encourage you along every step of your program. Think of our team as a travelling companion on this exciting journey. When you don’t know which way to go, just ask. We’ll help point you in the right direction.

– Dean Marty Leonard, Faculty of Graduate Studies


Phone: 902-494-2485

Office Hours: Monday to Friday,  9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. AST

Room 314, Henry Hicks Academic Administration Building 
6299 South Street 
PO BOX 15000 
Halifax, NS, Canada, B3H 4R2

As of Monday, April 18th, our office in the Henry Hicks building reopened for in-person service, though staff will be following a hybrid arrangement that sees them dividing their time between the physical office and remote work. Given the hybrid working arrangements, virtual meetings continue to be most efficient. We encourage anyone looking to meet with one of our staff members to first contact with your request. We will then get back to you to determine an appropriate format for the meeting and schedule a time.

Senior team

Marty Leonard, Dean

Valerie Chappe, Associate Dean Students and Postdoctoral Fellows (Acting)

  • Appeals
  • Academic integrity
  • Postdoctoral fellows
  • Thesis and defence
  • Student and faculty issues

Adam Donaldson, Associate Dean Scholarships and Programs

  • Scholarships
  • New programs
  • Program modification
  • Curriculum issues
  • Program reviews

Hany El Naggar, Associate Dean Student/Supervisor Relationships

  • Best practices in grad student supervision
  • Outreach and education


Admissions and programs

Tasha-Lynn Baxter, Senior Manager, Academic Regulations and Student Services

  • Leads the FGS student service team
  • Strategic planning for enrolment and retention
  • Academic regulations management

Sarah Berrigan, Manager, Graduate Degree Progression and Completion (for convocation inquiries, email

  • Oversees graduate student program requirements and degree audits
  • Compiles and verifies convocation lists

Jaye Cartney, Grad Student Services Clerk

  • Program and student services support

Dennis Cheng, Graduate Applications Coordinator

  • Oversees processing of admission application files
  • Oversees processing of VGRS applications
  • Electronic reference processing and support

Nicole Fraser, Program Officer

  • Manages graduate program processes and procedures
  • Oversees graduate student progress reports and program changes

Lori Lawton, Graduate Academic Quality Assurance Coordinator

  • FGS memberships
  • Graduate calendar
  • Governance committees
  • Curriculum
  • Program modifications/reviews

Melissa Maloney, Graduate Admissions Clerk

  • Supports processing of admission application files
  • Electronic reference processing and support

Vicki Sullivan, Admissions Liaison Officer

  • Leads the Graduate Application team
  • Provides admission policies, requirements, procedures, education and support

Faryal Umer, Grad Student Services Clerk (Term)

  • Program and student services support

Scholarships and funding

Niki Power, Scholarships Liaison Officer

  • Liaison Officer and scholarship administration for NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR
  • Administers scholarship competitions
  • Killam administrator
  • Administers Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship competition

Mary Anne Dib, Graduate Student Payment Specialist

  • Coordinates FGS scholarship allocation process
  • Administers graduate student payments
  • Provides information to departments and students concerning scholarship funding

Fernando Cunha Neto, Finance and Awards Assistant

  • Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants
  • Scholarship competition assistance
  • Financial clerk duties (invoices, SARs, journal entries)

Thesis and defence

Helena Martel, Senior Thesis Clerk

  • Provides information on all matters related to thesis preparation
  • Coordinates thesis submissions
  • Arranges doctoral defences                           

Office administration

Trisha Estabrooks, Office and HR Manager

  • Human resources
  • Assistant to the deans
  • Operational planning

Archana Sadana, Receptionist

  • Phone, email and walk-in reception
  • Track incoming grad-related forms and documents

Stephanie Theriault, Budget Officer

  • Finance
  • Operating and scholarship budgets
  • Annual Killam Event organizer

Marketing, communications and student engagement

Alejandra Ruiz, Manager, Strategy and Communications

Kenneth Conrad, Communications Coordinator

  • Updates FGS website and forms

Mabel Ho, Director, Professional Development and Student Engagement

  • Manages student experience portfolio
  • Dal GradPD
  • Together@Dal: Grad Edition orientation program    

Paul Strople, IT Coordinator

  • Development of FGS website and information systems
  • Administration of FGS database systems and reports

Interdisciplinary PhD program (IDPhD)

Peter Tyedmers, IDPhD Director

Khoi Truong, IDPhD Graduate Secretary