Executive Members 2019-2020


Co-President: Laura Thistle, 3L


Photo by Toby White.

Laura Thistle is a 3L in the English Common Law program. In her first year, she served as a 1L Representative for UOAWL, and last year she was VP Events. After her 1L year, Laura worked at a criminal defense firm where she was mentored by Danielle Robitaille, recipient of the Muriel Duckworth Award for raising consciousness of feminism in the legal community. Laura is now a mentor with the Women’s Legal Mentorship Program. She is also an executive member of the Criminal Law Students’ Association and the Women’s Fitness Law Society, as well as a member of the Legal Writing Academy. Laura cares deeply about sexual assault law and feminist legal issues, and intends to always keep these passions at the forefront of her work. In her spare time, Laura loves playing piano, exercising, or visiting her family and friends in Toronto.

Co-President: Kate Cornish, 3L


Photo by Toby White.

Kate is a 3L in the English common law program. This is her third year serving on the UOAWL executive. Along with UOAWL, Kate is also a PBSC volunteer and an executive member of the OBA Young Lawyers Division. During law school, she has also volunteered at the HRREC Human Rights Clinic, delivered OJEN workshops in high schools, and completed an internship at the Senate. Kate has a background in international development and completed a Masters in the UK in 2013. Prior to starting law school, she was posted in Mozambique at the Canadian High Commission for three years. Currently, Kate works part-time at the Voluntary Principles Secretariat, which serves a multi-stakeholder business and human rights initiative. Kate is also a proponent of women in sport and is a member of the university artistic swimming team.

VP Operations: Negeen Yazdani, 2L


Photo by Toby White.

Negeen is a 2L in the English Common Law program. While born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, she now calls Ottawa home. After pursuing an undergraduate degree in law (and psychology) at Carleton University, her dream of pursuing law school became solidified. She is thrilled to be supporting UOAWL advocate for women and promote issues pertaining to women and the law. In addition to her membership on UOAWL, she is a mentor with the Women’s Legal Mentorship Program, Co-Chair of the Employment and Labour Law Student Society, a volunteer with the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, a member of the Common Law Student Society’s Constitutional Review Committee, the piano player for Fauteux Productions’ Grease the Musical, and a member of NAV CANADA’s National Operations Centre team. When Negeen is not student-ing, she is with her niece and nephew, watching a sports game with her dad, playing the guitar, or re-watching an episode of Friends (to the point where she can now (quite proudly) recite every line).

Co-VP Events: Desiree Hayward, 3L

Desiree headshot

Desirée is currently a third-year student in the English Common Law program.  Prior to starting her JD, Desirée completed both her Bachelor of Arts in Law, and her Master of Arts in Legal Studies at Carleton University. Her research focused on litigation strategies in gender equality, specifically looking at the reception of section 15 gender equality arguments at the Supreme Court of Canada in women’s rights cases.

Co-VP Events: Emily Elliott, 2L


Photo by Toby White.

Emily is a 2L in the English Common Law Program. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) where she majored in Legal Studies with a Specialization in Alternative Dispute Resolution and a Minor in Forensic Psychology. Emily is passionate about being involved in her school community. During her undergraduate studies she was President of UOIT’s Student Law Association where she and her team facilitated various events, including a symposium on the issue of Human Trafficking. Emily is excited to join UOAWL to raise more awareness about women’s issues, promote equality, and learn about the various ways law and feminism intersect along the way!

VP Sponsorship: Mona Campbell, 1L


Photo by Toby White.

Mona is a first-year student in the English Common Law program. Prior to starting law school Mona completed an honours degree in Legal Studies concentrated in Business Law at Carleton University and received a diploma in Media and Communications from Algonquin College. For the past three years Mona worked simultaneously at Carleton University in various student leadership positions and at MDK Business Law Professional Corporation as an Undergraduate Law Student and Client Records Management Clerk, while also developing a small area of expertise in leadership. As an alumni of the Mindtrust Leadership Development Program and a current member of Mindtrust Inc.’s executive committee, Mona is working towards the development of a Global Leadership Forum to take place in Ottawa in June 2020. Mona is passionate about women in leadership and about sports, particularly hockey. She has been learning how to play hockey and is looking forward to building up enough skill to join a women’s intramural league in 2L. As a Canadian who was born to Lebanese parents in Abu-Dhabi, Mona came to Canada as a 6-year-old in the year 2000 and has a diverse background that helps provide perspective and tie together all of her work, academic, and volunteer experiences.

VP Finance: Shahrzad Shab Afrouz, 2L


Photo by Toby White.

Shahrzad describes herself as a modern feminist with a passion in corporate governance. Being involved in the UOAWL gives her the opportunity to promote gender equality in the highest level of our society, which is the presence of woman as executives directors and as board members of public corporations. She believes that we need women to take action, to make decisions and to be role models to other women. We need to believe that equality isn’t just a dream, it’s a right and a reality. We are only equal if we believe that we are.

VP Communications: Allana Haist, 1L


Dr. Allana Marie Haist is a social justice advocate with a diverse background combining entrepreneurship, non-profit work, and academia across three continents. She holds a Phd in Political Theory with a focus on minority rights and a Master’s degree in Applied Ethics. Her experience includes founding start-ups, proposal writing, research, teaching, and advocacy. She is on the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth Fry Society Ottawa , volunteers for OCISO, and Ovarian Cancer Canada. In addition to being on the Board of UOAWL Allana also has a UOttawa technoship as a research assistant Prof. Chidi Oguamanam on the OpenAIR team and is also an Assistant Editor for the Ottawa Law Review. Allana’s greatest accomplishment is having raised a courageous and strong-spirited daughter. She aims to assist other women in having a voice and is ready to fight for their dignity.

Web Editor-in-Chief: Jasmine Law, 1L


Photo by Toby White.

Jasmine is a 1L student in the English Common Law program. Originally from Toronto, she initially moved to Ottawa years ago to pursue a Bachelor of Journalism with minors in law and communications from Carleton University. Jasmine received the Raven’s Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Carleton Community in her graduating year. She has also worked in the public and private sector in various communications and public relations roles. Jasmine is also involved with the Ottawa Law Review and holds a research position with the Centre for Law, Technology and Society. She is interested in pursuing a health law option while studying for her JD. On any given day, you will likely find her drinking coffee in a cafe and dreaming of her next travel destination.

1L Representative: Katrin Bell, 1L


Photo by Toby White.

Kate is in her first year at UOttawa Law and is interested in pursuing studies related to women’s rights and access to justice issues. Kate has a degree in International Development and Political Science from the University of Guelph and as part of this spent 4 months in India, travelling and studying environmental and women’s rights issues within the Indian context. In her two years between undergrad and law school, Kate was the manager of a yoga studio in Toronto where the value of community and women supporting each other was further ingrained in her. When she’s not trying to stay on top of readings, Kate loves to cook, spend time with friends and family and practice yoga.

1L Representative: Kallisti Sipidias, 1L


Photo by Toby White.

Kallisti is a 1L in the English Common Law Program.  Born and raised in Toronto, Kallisti graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours BA in Political Science and Sociology.  Kallisti’s genuine curiosity, quest for knowledge, and desire for developing a deeper understanding of the world, lead her to serve as the Director of Partnerships at TEDxUofT where she developed corporate partnerships and managed fundraising activities. As a believer in women’s equality, Kallisti is excited to work with UOAWL and collaborate with other like-minded organizations to influence public policy and highlight women’s achievements in the legal profession. Kallisti’s passion for law is rivalled only by her love for fitness, cooking, travelling, reading, and collecting antique jewellery.

1L Representative: Taylor Bain, 1L


Photo by Toby White.

Taylor is a 1L in the English Common Law program. Taylor comes from Manitoulin Island, but has lived in Ottawa for six years during which she achieved an undergraduate degree from Carleton University in Law, Policy and Government. This year, Taylor was selected for a technoship surrounding feminism and the law. Taylor spent three months over the summer living in Peru working for an NGO that assisted youth in obtaining employability and entrepreneurship skills. She is looking forward to exploring more about how to enhance the position of women in the workforce.

1L Representative: Valerie Tremblay, 1L


Valérie is a first year Law student from the French JD Program. Her interest in feminist legal issues comes from her International Development background. She had the opportunity to work in Africa on women’s rights and economic empowerment within the Economic Community of West Africa States with a women’s rights lawyer. This is what inspired her to study law in order to fight for women’s rights in developing countries and here in Canada.