Born and raised in Calgary’s north east, Shaziah Jinnah Morsette has continued to call the area home through her university experience. The daughter of a refugee, she is a first generation student, having experienced both the privileges and challenges that attending a post-secondary institution in North America brings. An interdisciplinary, combined degree student in the Faculty of Arts, Shaziah has been pursuing majors in both Communications and Multidisciplinary studies with a primary focus on Political Science, and a secondary focus on Psychology. She is passionate about not only improving the academic experience for students at the University of Calgary, but finding and filling the gaps that are preventing marginalized folks from reaching their full potential. With her time as a department club president coming to an end, she set her sights on the SU to continue on as a strong voice for student advocacy and have a greater impact on empowering students.

The academic landscape is not friendly to all identities; including racialized folks to those with neurodiversities, and all the intersections in between. This is an issue that Shaziah can speak on with experience, having been placed on special academic probation in 2017 and navigating the process that ensued. Though it was not an easy turnaround, she is slated to receive her second Dean’s list award for the 2021-22 academic year.

Over her time as a student, she has worked part time in the service industry, most recently as a barista for the past few years, and volunteered for several local initiatives, discovering a passion for community building. In managing her own mental health, she has learned the importance of self-compassion, understanding identity, and intersectional wellbeing. This journey helped Shaziah understand what it means to be a leader and the immense responsibility that serving as one holds. She hopes to leave a lasting impact on the academic experience at the University of Calgary for all students, especially marginalized groups on campus.

When she is not conducting her honours thesis or working, you can find Shaziah spending time with her partner and their pitbull, Xena, doing yoga, or gardening through the summer. She is a big Toronto Raptors fan. Most importantly, Shaziah prides herself on being an authentic and vulnerable leader, bringing both her failures and successes to the table. She is always happy to connect with students to discuss their stories, and openly invites you to reach out.