BrainWaves: The Neuroscience Graduate Program Newsletter

Meet your SOMA Co-Presidents!

Author: Tishani Thiviyakumar and Giovana Romero

The primary objective of SOMA (Students of Minds Association) this year is to help foster a sense of community among MINDS students and offer them a break from research by organizing fun and 

stimulating events.                                                

The journey through graduate school can be incredible but also occasionally lonely and stressful. Our goal as SOMA co-presidents is to create a stress-free outlet for students to connect with their peers and have fun.


This year, we have planned some exciting events, including pumpkin carving and trivia nights, with the aim of bringing together the students of the Neuroscience Graduate Program. Due to the pandemic, previous plans had to be put on hold, making these events all-the-more special. In addition to successful events like the Career Panel, we have some innovative ideas to try out, all with the intention of fostering a close-knit environment that gathers both new and senior students. The goal of these events is to provide a platform for MINDS students to come together, unwind, and enjoy the company of their fellow peers. We believe that creating a supportive and engaging community is essential for students to thrive during their time in graduate school.

My name is Tishani Thiviyakumar (, and I am one of the co-presidents of SOMA. I completed my undergraduate studies at York University majoring in Biology and Psychology. My research interest is focused on premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and using anomaly signals monitored through actigraphy and menstrual/mood charting taken from McMaster Premenstrual and Mood Symptom Scale (MAC-PMSS) to evaluate onset and effect of symptoms on biological rhythms such as sleep. Aside from that, I love interacting with my peers, which is why I am looking forward to this role and believe that my co-president and I will excel in it. 

My name is Giovana Romero (, and I am the other half of the SOMA co-presidents. I attended Carleton University in Ottawa where I majored in Neuroscience and Biology. My current research is looking at adult ADHD and substance use, specifically cannabis. My research aims to answer whether adult ADHD patients can take cannabis while on their ADHD medication without it affecting treatment outcome. Outside of research I love reading, going on hikes with my dog, Rocky, and going out to eat with friends! Tishani and I are more than excited to bring fun and informative events for the 2023-2024 year and we hope to see new and old faces attend!