The Graduate Academic and International Specialist team at FGS welcomes all graduate students to discuss any matter impacting academic success in a safe and confidential space. The team draws on training and experience in supporting all graduate students, and can also address some of the specific academic concerns of international graduate students.
What the Graduate Academic and International Specialists do
FGS’ graduate specialists advise students based on knowledge of graduate policy and experience in issue resolution.
The team is most knowledgeable in areas such as student-supervisor relationships, personal or academic barriers to progress, annual progress reports, and general academic regulations. The team can also provide information to students regarding their registration and refer students to other helpful resources and supports across campus.
What you can get help with
- Supervisor conflict
- Policies and responsibilities regarding supervision
- Issues impacting graduate studies
- Failed first attempt at candidacy or thesis defense
- Barriers to timely completion
- Procedures for leave of absence or extension requests
- Your rights as a student
- Challenges with meeting your financial obligations
Areas of expertise
This is the most common reason for students seeking advice and guidance. Once the team has an opportunity to hear your concerns and develop a complete academic picture, they can offer ideas and options that range from simple issue resolution strategies or coaching, to more involved conflict resolution processes. The vast majority of students encountering conflict go on to complete their programs of study successfully!
Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. Whether the concern is related to a difficult personal circumstance or a specific academic challenge you are facing within the university, the team at FGS can help you understand the different academic options that may be available to you. The Graduate Academic and International Specialists are the right people to advise on questions regarding leaves of absence, extensions, changing programs, and voluntary withdrawal.
Your graduate specialists
Graduate Academic and International Specialists work with students from all backgrounds and programs, and are highly experienced in providing support tailored to each students' needs.
Yan holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Calgary, an MA in English Language and literature and a BA in English Education in China.
With over twenty years’ working experiences as an advisor, faculty member and instructor in both Canada and China, Yan has accumulated rich experience in advising students on complex and non-routine academic issues. Yan has been supporting and advising more than one hundred graduate students per year at FGS.
When she’s not working with students, Yan loves to spend time swimming and reading with her family.
Marisa holds a MA in French Linguistics from the University of British Columbia and a BA in French Language, also from the University of British Columbia. She has over 15 years of experience working in International Education in post-secondary education and holds the designation of Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA), enabling her to advise on immigration matters pertaining to temporary residents in the student category.
When not supporting students, Marisa enjoys many athletic pursuits, the outdoors, and spending quality time with her husband and three children.