The 2020-21 SBME Biomedical Engineering Graduate Association (BMEGA) executive team has officially been elected! 

BMEGA’s mission is to foster community in the SBME for all students studying Biomedical Engineering at UBC. The new leadership team is excited for the year ahead and already working on creative ways to expand connection and engagement across the community in our current, virtual post-secondary world.  

“We want to maintain a meaningful relationship by providing academic and professional development opportunities,” Nico Werschler expresses.

Without further ado, we’d like to introduce the wonderful people behind your BMEGA team this year and what they would like you to know about their roles:

Maryam Tayyab
 “Come to me for general inquiries about BMEGA or if you have questions for how to get involved in a volunteer capacity. I am open to any ideas and initiatives pertaining to graduate students in which BMEGA can potentially support you.”

Laura Isabel González Campos
 “As a member of BMEGA, I will ensure that meetings are organized and accountable: I will maintain clean and organized records for the association. I am also in charge of the internal communication in BMEGA. But feel free to approach me with any question, query, or petition you may have regarding the Association.
Aside from my research (Hematopoiesis and Lymphopoiesis), I love astronomy, and I am super approachable (as is the rest of the team), so reach out to us!”

SBME Program Liaison:
Rohit Singla
 Rohit is here to represent all graduate students and any concerns and ideas that you have.

Undergraduate Program Liaison:
Laura Stankiewicz
 “I’m this year’s the Undergraduate Liaison, which means I’m your main point of contact for all BMEGA mentorship inquiries (and ideas). I also plan on running informal information sessions for graduate students to speak to undergrad audiences about their personal stories and experiences while pursuing graduate studies. To both undergrads and graduate students, please reach out with any suggestions of topics to cover during these sessions!
Outside this role, I’m passionate about fostering a supportive community within BMEG, regardless if we’re virtual or not. Please reach out…even if you’re just looking to chat.”

Industry Liaison:
Nico Werschler
 “My position gives me the privilege of building connections with and to the surrounding industry. I aim to serve as a resource to provide organizations—and the students in search of connection to or knowledge of organizations—the information they need to by responding to general requests and inviting feedback from all stakeholders.”
Social & Sports Coordinator: Emily Bliven 
 “I’m here to answer your questions about or ideas for social and athletic activities hosted by BMEGA.”

Member at Large: Beth Castle  
 “I am the Member at Large, meaning I am not appointed a specific position but instead will fill whatever role is needed at various times throughout the year. I hope that I can support the exciting initiatives that will take place and learn some new skills by serving in this position.”

The BMEGA Student Society is also here to be student advocates while working throughout the academic year to organize fun and valuable events.

“We will not fail to show up for you,” Maryam asserts. “Regardless of the circumstances, and the foreseeable hurdles, we won’t throw in the towel. Whatever our shared goals, we’ll persevere and work together.”

Her fellow team members agree. At its core, BMEGA exists to build a strong, healthy, and happy community through open and compassionate communication about not just science, but also what we stand for as a school. This means listening to and collaborating with all stakeholders. This means fostering a space of integrity and inclusivity.

One of BMEGA’s passion projects is setting up a student branch for the School’s Respect, Equity, Inclusion and Diversity (REDI) committee. This will be a platform for all voices who have REDI-related concerns and ideas for meaningful change.

And in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, this is more important than ever. Mental health and safety come first, and that means adapting all outreach initiatives to work virtually in ways that actually make a positive impact. All key BMEGA events, such as info sessions and mentorship activities, have been moved online so that no students are left out of the SBME community. Participation is key to a culture that thrives on new ideas, diverse voices, and cutting-edge science, and BMEGA is doing everything it can to make sure everyone can take part.


Want to learn more about BMEGA or get involved? Check them out by:


This story is part of the SBME’s Building Today, Leading Tomorrow series. Follow along as we Discover, Invent, and Translate for the future.