Home Office

Sophie Helpard– Executive Director


Sophie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Western University, where her interest in post-secondary education advocacy began. While at Western, Sophie volunteered on campus and eventually served as the President of the University Students’ Council. From there, Sophie explored the East Coast of Canada working as the Executive Director of Students Nova Scotia, the provincial advocacy organization for students in NS. In her spare time Sophie enjoys talking about new restaurants, feminism, Gilmore Girls, municipal politics, and good books (and a few bad ones too). 


Marc Gurrisi – Research & Policy Analyst


Marc holds a Master of Education from York University, a Master of Arts in Political Science from McMaster University, and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from McMaster University. He has experience working for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), wherein he was involved with several learning outcomes assessment projects, including the Learning Outcomes Assessment Consortium (LOAC). He also has experience at the institutional level, liaising with incoming and prospective students, as well as faculty at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Outside of work, he enjoys playing soccer, hiking, kayaking, and spending time with friends and family.


Colin Aitchison – Research & Policy Analyst


Colin attended Wilfrid Laurier University for History focusing his course load on North American political history. While at Laurier, Colin took on numerous opportunities on campus, helping plan Orientation Week and serving as both Chair of the Board & CGO and as Vice President: University Affairs for the Laurier Students’ Union. As Vice President, Colin served as Laurier’s representative to OUSA’s Steering Committee and chaired eCampusOntario’s Student Advisory Committee. During his studies, Colin was named as a Huntsman Leadership Scholar by the Sigma Chi International Fraternity and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Outside of work, Colin is an avid Ottawa Senators fan, has recently taken up running, and is constantly looking for new opportunities to get involved in his community.​


Deborah Lam – Operations Coordinator


Deborah holds an Honours Bachelor Business and Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University with a concentration in Marketing and Brand Communications. Heavily involved in volunteering in her undergraduate career, she moved on to help students enjoy their undergrad experiences just as much as she did. As the former Programming & Promotions Manager at the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union, she developed a passion for events and organization. She loves to help undergraduate students get the most out of their experiences. In her spare time she crosses new countries off her bucket list and adventures in her own backyard. 


Danny Chang - Research Intern


Danny is entering his third year of an Honors Specialization in Astrophysics at Western University. As a passionate student advocate, Danny has played an active role within the University Students’ Council and, within his respective faculty, is serving as the President of the Science Students’ Council. Over the course of the summer, Danny is looking forward to contributing to the policy and advocacy efforts of OUSA while honing his skills to do so. In his spare time, Danny enjoys an active lifestyle, playing music with friends, and engaging discussions with peers at new restaurants.