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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

DSA executive

LHAE Departmental Students’ Association (DSA)

The LHAE DSA represents all graduate students in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education.

We collaborate with the department, and OISE administration to ensure that students' academic and professional needs are advanced. We are committed to increasing students’ presence and awareness within the LHAE Department.

Want to learn more? The LHAE DSA can be reached at
or check our Facebook page

We asked the DSA:
What is your number on tip for incoming students?
What is your favourite course?

Meet the 2021-2022 DSA Executive

Susan He

Susan He (she/her), President

2nd year PhD - Higher Education, CSEP

It is a privilege leading DSA and representing the interests of one of the largest graduate student departments at UofT! Susan is a program coordinator by day and PhD-HE student specializing in Educational Policy by night. Her research interests lie in supporting students through enhancing student affairs practitioner capacity. With five years of experience at OISE while completing the MT and MEd-HE degrees, Susan has served as VP Professional Development on the MTSA, and supported projects across the ORSS, LHAE, CTL and APHD. Her accolades include the UTGSU Community Development Award ('18) and the UTAA Cressy Leadership Award ('20). 


Shangcao Yuan

Shangcao Yuan (she/her), VP Academic 

2nd year PhD - Higher Education

Shangcao’s research interests lie in private higher education and organisational studies in higher education; her research interests developed through studies in MA Management & Organisational Analysis in the University of Warwick in UK, the five years’ work as a lecturer in a Chinese private university and studies in MEd-HE at OISE. As VP Academic, Shangcao is eager to give back to the community through advocating for the academic interests of LHAE students. 


Susanna Shan Lu

Susanna Shan Lu (she/her), VP Finance

2nd year flex PhD - Higher Education

Susanna received her Master of Science in Mass Communications degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2012, and is currently working as the Assistant Director of International Community at Concordia College in the US. She’s representing OISE graduate students as an alternative on the Graduate Departmental Academic Appeals Committee. As a new member of the OISE community, she attended events and workshops organized by LHAE DSA in 2020 and has made great connections with faculty, staff, current students, and alumni through them. She looks forward to the opportunity to bring in her leadership experience and perspectives as an international and flex-time student, to build a more inclusive and effective platform for all. 

Christina Arayata

Christina Arayata (she/her), VP Internal 

1st year PhD - Higher Education

Christina Arayata is completing her MA-HE and starting her PhD - HE. She is a dedicated and experienced community organizer. Christina has previously supported and led multiple campaigns championing equity and student success. Through her previous experience as a Student Union Executive at UofT Scarborough, she co-created her campus’s first BIPOC Mental Wellness Group in partnership with Health and Wellness; conducted focus groups to evaluate the implementation of UofT’s Sexual Violence Policy; and created the first Academic Advocacy Campaign that focused on retention and accessibility at UofT Scarborough. Christina is passionate to give back to the OISE community and support her peers.

Joanne Lieu

Joanne Lieu (she/her), VP Communications

3rd year PhD - Educational Leadership & Policy, CSEP

Joanne’s research interests lie in understanding the experiences of student caregivers within higher education. Having completed her BEd and MEd at OISE, she is thrilled to be your VP Communications for the DSA and looks forward to supporting current and future OISE students. As your VP Communications, she will weave her love for communication strategies and students’ voices.