Meet the Team

The UBC Mental Health Awareness Club (UBC MHAC) is a student-run initiative that was founded in the summer of 2010 under the direction of Michael Lee, OSOT professor and curriculum coordinator, the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) advisory group, and OT masters students. The group initially consisted of mainly OT students; however with persistent effort from the previous executives, the club was able to reach increase their target audience within the UBC community by the end of the summer 2012. With every new academic year, the UBC MHAC strives to not only complete each section of the mandate, but to also ensure club sustainability through internal mentorship.

2020/2021

Sarah Vereschagin – President

3rd Year – Accounting & Business Technology Management

Growing up, mental health was never discussed in my family. It wasn’t until I got older that I started to realize what a significant role mental health plays in everyone’s life. It’s a really exciting time to be a part of this club because our generation is driving these positive social changes to break down the stigmas and change the conversation surrounding mental health.

 

Francesca Chaim – VP Finance & Sponsorship Coordinator

4th Year – Psychology

Mental health is important to our well-being at all stages of life and can affect every aspect of it. I believe it is important to maintain good mental health while de-stigmatising mental illness to create a healthy and compassionate environment for all to thrive in. I found that MHAC’s goals aligned with mine, so I wanted to play a bigger role in being a part of the movement towards supporting our community and their mental health.

 

Amara Punia – VP Internal

4th Year – Biology

Amara is in her 4th year of her B.SC majoring in Biology. This is her first year with MHAC and she’s excited to raise awareness about mental health. She thinks that mental health is just as important as physical health and the stigma around it should be eliminated. She is happy to help out her community and is willing to communicate with anyone in need. She loves spending time with others and doing lots of baking! Amara hopes to become a doctor in the future and will be sure to advocate for her patients mental wellbeing!

 

Natasha Bussanich – Co-VP Events

3rd Year – Accounting

Ever since a young age, mental health has been extremely important and heavily valued in my family. Specifically, my mother works in the mental health field and has been able to share knowledge in maintaining a positive mental health. With my past experiences, I have come to realize how relevant and critical mental health is for everyone. However, there still exists stigma and I am excited to help eliminate this amongst our community. As a member of MHAC, I look forward to starting conversations about mental health while creating a safe environment for everyone!

 

Devanshi Gupta – Co-VP Events

3rd Year – Psychology & Family Studies

I grew up in a community where mental health was never given any importance. As I grew older, I started taking an interest in Psychology. After studying the subject and doing many internships, I started realizing the need to address my mental well being and it’s impact on my daily life. I became very passionate about wanting to destigmatize mental health and decided to join MHAC as it gave me a platform to interact with like minded individuals, share my experiences and organize events for the well-being of my peers!

 

Johnny Pantazis – VP Marketing

4th Year – Cognitive Systems (Cognition & Brain)

Mental health was never a huge concern of mine until it came knocking at my door. Having never dealt with any mental health related issues in my life before, it was quite difficult to adjust to. I never realized how much of an impact mental health could have on my life. I also never realized the extent of the stigma around mental health found in our society. This prompted me to help advocate for mental health awareness, thus I joined UBC’s MHAC. I spent a year as a communications coordinator before becoming VP of marketing. I believe that mental health is extremely important in everyone’s life, and that no one should ever feel ashamed about talking about it!

Alumni


2019-2020 Academic Year

  • Presidents: Jennifer Wang, Michelle Liu
  • Vice President, Internal: Candice Chan
  • Vice President, External: Sarah Vereschagin
  • Communication Coordinators: Bridget Meehan, Madhura Hanjagi, Pamela Aracena, Khushi Aggarwal, Johnny Pantazis, Sarvenaz Ol
  • Vice President, Events: Zainab Fatima
  • Events Coordinators: Devanshi Gupta, Ashwini Prabhakaran, Tiana Mori, Fiona Chow, Will Li, Jasleen Kaur, Manya Kapur, Anoushka Sawarkar, Karyn Huang, Kishlay Chhajer, Rayyan Basheer, Sanjam Suri, Claire Kent, Victor Lee, Christy Lam
  • Vice President, Finance: Melissa Vereschagin
  • Sponsorship Coordinators: Mindy Ghag, Sneha Gupta, Marylise Habiyambere, Francesca Chiam

2015-2016 Academic Year

  • Presidents: Maja Dziok, Jane Wang
  • Vice President, Internal: Kim Coscolluela, Sarah Yeo
  • Vice President, External: Kim Go
  • Communication Coordinators: Sarah Huang, Chanpreet Mangat, Amanda Chao, Kim Nipp
  • Blog Editor: Valerie Chu, Charlotte Aitken
  • Vice President, Events: Rochelle Nocos, Natasha Ingeneiro
  • Events Coordinators: McKenzie Hannewyk, Kristina Frkovic, Jamie Goco, Sarah Louadi, Jenny Lee, Laura Tan, Arushi Grover, Saba Fatemi, Gjalen Heer, Ravi Sandhu, Tim Christilaw
  • Vice President, Finance: Penny Zhang
  • Sponsorship Coordinators: Michael Lee, Hayami Lou, Clement Choi, Jimmi Terry

2014-2015 Academic Year

  • Presidents: Amber Mann, Ameera Ladak
  • Vice President, Internal: Jane Wang
  • Vice President, External: Jessica Jun
  • Communication Coordinators: Jennifer Pooni, Marian Aamir
  • Vice President, Events: Noa Rippel, Megan Johnstone
  • Events Coordinators: Jennifer She, Beibei Song, Saba Fatemi
  • Vice President, Finance: Penny Zhang
  • Sponsorship Coordinators: Tony Han

2012-2013 Academic Year

  • Presidents: Bailey Komishke and Chris Pang
  • Vice President, External: Stephanie Yeung
  • Vice President, Internal: Julia Goldman
  • Vice President, Events: Penny Zhang
  • Events Coordinators: Mark Antczak, Harveer Athwal, Yoo-Ra Kim
  • Vice President, Finance: Sarthak Kochhar
  • Social Media Coordinator: Jessica Jun
  • Sponsorship Coordinators: Rebecca Le and Vineet Sidhu
  • Project Assistant: Danielle Sanders

2011-2012 Academic Year

  • Presidents: Kevin Ly and Victor Tang
  • Vice Presidents: Annie Liang and Laura Tighe
  • Secretary: Laura Volpatti
  • Treasurer: Carol Chu
  • Volunteer Coordinator: Cassie MacRae
  • Project Assistant: Michelle Pang

2010-2011 Academic Year

  • President: Thao Dao
  • Other Executives: Erin Brown, Karen Chu, Laura Lush, and Vivian Wong
  • Project Assistant: Kevin Ly

Last updated: May 1st, 2020