About Us

A three person conversation on developing and sharing best practices on professional development and success of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, kick started the Graduate and Postdoctoral Development Network (GPDN) in January 2013. The first formal name of the association, Consortium of Canadian Graduate Student Professional Development Administrators (CCGSPDA) was introduced at the CAGS conference in Toronto 2016. In 2019, after much deliberation and consultation, the new, shorter, name was announced. Presently GPDN consists of 150 professionals supporting graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from 39 institutions across Canada.

Vision & Values

Inclusion

Our organization aims to reflect the social, cultural, and geographical diversity in Canada. 

Our vision is that this diversity is represented across our membership, is present in the ways that we communicate internally and externally, and that an understanding of diverse graduate student and postdoc needs is incorporated into the work that we do.

Holistic

Our view of graduate students’ and postdoctoral fellows’ development is holistic. As such it includes academic, professional, career, and personal wellbeing. 

Our vision is that all of our members have access to information on best practices and resources that enable them to support graduate students and postdocs. 

Community 

We want to build a community of diverse professionals that fosters engagement in the field of supporting graduate students and postdocs, as well as fun and connection with each other. 

Our vision is to be a tightly knit inclusive community that collaborates with one another.

The 2019-2020 GPDN Executive Team

Melissa Dagleish

Melissa Dagleish

President

Program Coordinator, Research Training Centre
at The Hospital for Sick Children
melissa.dalgleish@sickkids.ca

Lorna MacEachern

Lorna MacEachern

Past President

Individual Development Plan (IDP) Program Manager
at McGill University
lorna.maceachern@mcgill.ca

Danielle Barkley

Danielle Barkley

Membership Manager

Educator, Career & Professional Development
at University of British Columbia
danielle.barkley@ubc.ca

Julie Bowering

Julie Bowering

Secretary

Career Development Coordinator, Graduate Studies
at Memorial University
jbowering@mun.ca

Alex Liepins

Alex Liepins

Member at Large

Academic Associate, Teaching and Learning Services
at McGill University 
alexander.liepins@mcgill.ca 

Liam O'Leary

Liam O'Leary

Member at Large

Graduate Programming Coordinator, School of Graduate Studies 
at University of Toronto 
liam.oleary@utoronto.ca