Image courtesy University of Calgary.

Meet our Team

College Administration & Executive

Dr. James Wasmuth

Dr. James Wasmuth, Head of the Graduate College

Dr. James Wasmuth has been Head of the Graduate College since August 2019. He is excited by the College’s mission to enrich the graduate experience of its Scholars and opportunities to connect with the wider community. First recruited to the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 2011, Dr. Wasmuth’s research uses genomics and bioinformatics to study parasitic species which infect livestock in Alberta. The goal is to develop urgently needed new anti-parasitic drugs. Importantly, these drugs can also be used to treat parasites of people in low and middle income countries. Dr. Wasmuth holds degrees from the Universities of Edinburgh and York, and Imperial College, London. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. He has a deep passion for graduate education, stating it is an ideal time to support students to develop into emerging leaders of their community, from local to global. Dr. Wasmuth was awarded his Faculty’s prize for Excellence in Graduate Supervision.

Erin Fraser

Erin Fraser, College Operations & Administrative Assistant

Erin Fraser has been with the Graduate College since late 2016.  Erin holds an Advanced Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Dalhousie University.  Originally from Nova Scotia, Erin spent a couple years pursuing adventures in Yellowknife, NWT before making her way to UCalgary.  Erin was initially drawn to the Graduate College by the College’s core values to enrich, connect and energize not only the students, staff and faculty of the University, but the wider community of Calgary and beyond as well.  Each year, Erin continues to be inspired by the scholars of the Graduate College and their many initiatives.

Julia Daun

Julia Daun, Executive Co-Chair

As a wellness advocate, world traveler and visionary, Julia’s passion is to promote health and wellness for both chronic and healthy populations. Julia works with Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed in the Health and Wellness Lab as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Graduate Student, focusing on embedding exercise into the clinical care pathway for surgical head and neck cancer patients. As a travel enthusiast, Julia has been to all seven continents and forty-one countries, developing a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of various cultures. This has instilled her desire for utilizing multi-modal approaches to health promotion, that address equity, diversity, and inclusion. Through her involvement with the Graduate College, Julia contributes to her passion for leading, serving, and engaging with a wide range of communities.

Emma McLaughlin

Emma McLaughlin, Executive Co-Chair

Emma McLaughlin is a graduate student in the Health and Wellness Lab in the Faculty of Kinesiology.  Specializing in exercise oncology. Emma's work is in co-developing Toolkits, composed of resources to support physical activity for children and adolescents affected by cancer.  Emma is actively engaged in various organizations at the University of Calgary. She is the Thrive Centre Community Outreach Coordinator, Member at Large for the Kinesiology Graduate Students Association (KGSA), and is part of the Training in Research and Clinical Trials in Integrative Oncology Program (TRACTION).  Emma has received several awards, Acadia Excellence Scholarship; Scotiabank Studentship; Lisa Caldwell Award; the Jack Scholz SMILE Award for Commitment to the SMILE Program; Faculty of Graduate Studies Master’s Research Scholarship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Masters Award, Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship, placement on the Dean’s List; and funding to support her honours work and conference presentations.Twitter: emmacmclaughlin LinkedIn: Emma McLaughlin

Sangwook (Micky) Ahn

Sangwook (Micky) Ahn, External Committee Chair

Sangwook (Micky) Ahn is a PhD student  in Veterinary Medical Sciences in the Department of Ecosystem and Public Health in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.  With a special interest in gastrointestinal parasites of Sable Island horses, Micky's research will use a combination of molecular and field work to study genetic and ecological conditions that affect parasite burden and risk.  Micky is a part of the Host-Parasite Interactions group (HPI) at the University of Calgary. Where he sits on the trainee organizing committee as a community engagement liaison. Micky is also Webmaster for the Entomological Society of Alberta and sits on their board of directors.  Micky was the recipient of the Eyes High Doctoral Recruitment Scholarship

Sam Ashoori

Samaneh (Sam) Ashoori, Communications Committee Chair

Samaneh (Sam) Ashoori,  is a PhD Candidate in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in the Schulich School of Engineering. Samaneh's research attempts to provide insights into the effects of carbon dioxide injection on fluid and reservoir behaviour and the economic and environmental impact. Sam also has completed several entrepreneurial programs and received many excellence awards (Research, Teaching, Service and Innovations). She loves spending time with her daughter exploring the World. In her spare time, Sam enjoys doing fitness and weight training, hiking and socializing.


Ali Mohammadi

Ali Mohammadi, Internal Committee Chair

Ali Mohammadi is a PhD student in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in the Schulich School of Engineering.  Understanding of the junction flows around engineering applications such as tall buildings, bridge piers, wind turbine masts, etc., Ali's research focus is to identify applications of such systems safer, more efficient, and less costly.  Ali has served on several committees including the vice chair of the events subcommittee of Graduate Students Association (GSA), Sales assistant/ volunteer organizer of the Persian Gulf charity club, Student Mentor in the mentorship program, Campus and Tour Leader of the International Student Service, as well as treasurer of the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Association.  He has also received several awards and distinctions including the Schulich School of Engineering (SSE) Teaching Assistance Excellence Award (2020), GSA Volunteer Excellence Award (2020), SSE and Graduate Consortium’s Graduate Student Citizenship Award (2019).

Diba Mohebzadeh

Diba Mohebzadeh, University Committee Chair

Diba Mohebzadeh is a graduate student in a course-based Planning program in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL).  Within the Graduate college, Diba is a member of the university committee and a communications officer, Graduate representative council and health and wellness representative, and a junior fire warden for the department of SAPL, and Crowsnest hall. She is also a mentor for the international students too! Diba was the Innovative award winner for the most creative thesis project for Bachelor Of Architecture- American University in Dubai. 

Shasta Webb

Shasta Webb, Service Committee Chair

Shasta Ellen Webb is a PhD student in Biological Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts.  With a special interest in plasticity and symbiosis, Shasta studies how non-human primates adapt to the environment, by altering behaviour and diet (plasticity), and the relationship to microbial species that live inside the digestive tract (symbiosis). Shasta's research qualifies the extent mammals can adapt to changing environmental conditions.  As an avid year-round bike commuter and mountain biker, Shasta volunteers with Two Wheel View, a Calgary-based non-profit organization that focuses on skill- and resiliency-building in youth through various bike-related programming. She also co-runs a weekly "Coffee Outside" get-together, as well as in-person and virtual sourdough bread-baking classes. At the University of Calgary, Shasta co-chairs the Graduate Leaders Circle, a group of graduate scholars that organizes scholarship application workshops and facilitates one-on-one mentoring for students applying for funding. She is also an active mentor for the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology's Graduate-Undergraduate Mentoring Program.

Sharon Dong, First Year Representative

Heather Shepherd

Heather Shepherd, Secretary

Heather Shepherd is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Kinesiology with a Specialization in Rehabilitation.  Heathers' research aims to understand the current standard of care for high school students returning to school following a sport-related concussion, and development of a tailored Return-to-School Strategy to facilitate the return to school process for high school students following a concussive event.  Heather is the Chair of the Mental Health and Wellness Subcommittee in the Graduate Students' Association (GSA), as well as sits on the Kinesiology Graduate Student Association. She is also involved in her professional organization as a Clinical Mentor for the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and sits on the Education Committee of the Society of Alberta Occupational Therapists. Heather also coaches for the Calgary PowerHockey League.