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Meet our team

Dr. Marty Leonard, the Dean of Graduate Studies is standing in a hallway wearing a blue top with matching glasses and earrings.

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

Senior team

Marty Leonard, Dean

Adam Donaldson, Associate Dean (on leave)

Valerie Chappe, Associate Dean Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

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

Mutlu Yuksel, Acting Associate Dean Scholarships and Programs
(January 1 to December 31, 2023)

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

Estelle Joubert, Assistant Dean, PhD Strategy

Lisa Goldberg, Assistant Dean, Student/Supervisor Relations


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

Charlene Joseph-Dunbar, Grad Student Services Clerk

  • Program and student services support

Scholarships and funding

Niki Power, Scholarships Liaison Officer

  • Liaison Officer and scholarship administration for NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR
  • Administers major scholarship competitions, pre and post-award
  • Dalhousie’s liaison with Killam Administrator
  • Administers Killam and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship competitions
  • Post-award administration for Postdoctoral Fellow Scholars

Mary Anne Dib, Funding and Awards Coordinator

  • Oversees departmental FGS allocation process and regulation enforcement
  • Administers prize, bursary and award competitions
  • Acts as a student advocate for scholarship payment issues and concerns

Andrea Wheeler-Wade, 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

Isabella Jefferies-Aldridge, Acting Receptionist

  • Phone, email and walk-in reception
  • Track incoming grad-related forms and documents (departmental forms to be sent to

Archana Sadana, Receptionist (on leave)

Stephanie Theriault, Budget Officer

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

Patricia Figueredo Porras, Manager, Graduate Student Systems

  • Support and manage FGS propriety systems
  • Represent the Faculty of Graduate Studies in the implementation of new projects/functionality and upgrades related to FGS systems
  • Oversee IT Coordinator role

Abdullah Al Mukaddim, Acting IT Coordinator

  • Support Departments and FGS with data requests

Paul Strople, IT Coordinator (on leave)

Marketing, communications and student engagement

Mabel Ho, Director, Professional Development and Student Engagement

  • Manages student experience portfolio
  • Oversees Dal GradPD, Together@Dal: Grad Edition orientation, and Three Minute Thesis (3MT)
  • Assessment and evaluation of professional development activities

Shirin Shaikh, Program Coordinator - BIPOC Graduate Student Mentoring Academy

  • Coordinate all finances and budgets for the BIPOC program.
  • Recruit and match up mentors and mentees for the BIPOC program.
  • Engage stakeholders for feedback to strengthen the BIPOC program.

Denise Sullivan, Student Experience Clerk
For professional development inquiries, email
For Together@Dal: Grad Edition inquiries, email

  • Professional development and student engagement support

Joshua Boyter, Manager, Strategy and Communications

  • Oversees communication activities
  • Develops marketing strategy
  • Manages promotional plans for initiatives and projects

Mia Samardzic, Communications Coordinator

  • Manages social media channels
  • Coordinates web updates
  • Creates and deploys email marketing, including a weekly newsletter

Stephen Oshilaja, Web Specialist

  • Manages FGS myDal site
  • Manages FGS site
  • Conduct FGS website migration to AEM Touch UI

Interdisciplinary PhD program (IDPhD)

Peter Tyedmers, IDPhD Director

Khoi Truong, IDPhD Graduate Secretary

Our website and SharePoint site (login required) are the best places to start with questions or requests. Given the hybrid working arrangements, virtual meetings continue to be the most efficient. We encourage anyone looking to meet with one of our staff members to first contact with your request. 


Phone:    902-494-2845

Operating Hours:    Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed daily from 12–1 p.m.)

Address:     Faculty of Graduate Studies, Dalhousie University
                     Room 314, Henry Hicks Academic Administration Building
                     6299 South Street
                     PO BOX 15000
                     Halifax, NS, Canada, B2H 4R2