Dear CUPE members,
I am Vinay Patel, a PhD candidate with the School of Biomedical engineering. As an active international committee member, I have worked to organize various international committee activities. As a proactive participant in various outreach activities, I bring a lot of experience to function efficiently in the executive team as Vice-President (external).
At McMaster university, I am involved in numerous community outreach programs. In 2019, I chaired the organizing committee of the Global Engineering Conference, an annual student run event organized by their McMaster Engineers Without Borders chapter. A crucial task was to secure funding for the conference. Through numerous emails, phone calls and meetings with different non- government organizations and reaching out to multiple student chapters, sustainability groups and faculties on campus, we were able to secure the required funds. Liaising with different groups: external or internal, is a crucial part of organizing a successful conference. I worked on the conference budget and fund allocations to sub-teams. Based on learnings from the previous year’s conference, we understood the need to invest more on advertisements to increase participation. To spread the word about the event, we increased social, print and digital advertisement on campus by sharing a high number of posts on social media, putting up posters on popular locations in campus and hiring digital screens in places like the student centre, and libraries. We also invited speakers working in various food related organizations like Ukko Agro Industries, share agriculture foundation etc. At the end, we registered a 30% increase in participants at the conference compared to 2018.
I am active in scientific outreach and contribute to a department newsletter editorial board and participate in Let’s Talk Science. As editor for the Biomedical Engineering newsletter, I organize editorial meetings, brainstorming sessions for newsletter articles, and interview professors, students and alumni. Our team increased the newsletter frequency from two to three yearly newsletters (one issue at the start of each term) which was helpful for incoming students to learn more about the department activities. I started a new open section focusing on career growth and planning for students and last fall we developed an article on Women in Engineering. For this article, we interviewed multiple faculties in our department regarding their perspective. I am happy to share my enthusiasm for research with children and youth.
One of the key responsibilities of the Vice-President (external) is communicating with external groups and passing the relevant information to the executive team and general members. With my previous experience from numerous community outreach involvements, I am confident in communicating with people, formulating strategies, and liaising with different groups.
Finally, I am asking for your support and vote for me. I would be honoured to serve you as the Vice-President (External).