Cindy Garcia (she/her) is a PhD student in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill and works as an invigilator.
Where did you grow up / where is home for you?
I was born in the south of Mexico, in a small town in the state of Veracruz. I was raised in Sonora, which is a desertic area. There are great beaches in Sonora, and they have a unique touch because they are surrounded by cactus. I would recommend anybody to go and enjoy the delicious food, the culture, and the history of Mexico.
What is your academic research about?
I’ll start by saying I love my theme of research! I am studying cerebral blood flow changes in normal aging. I am a student in the Computational Brain Anatomy Laboratory (CoBrA lab), where I learn how to study the brain utilizing the latest multivariate methods. I am part of a multidisciplinary team and our supervisor, Dr. Mallar Chakravarty, is terrific in helping us reach our objectives and grow as scientists and humans.
What do you like doing for fun?
I like to read, take long walks, do watercolor painting, and take care of my little plants. Whenever I can, I like to participate in the activities organized by the student societies. Those events are great for meeting new people and having a lot of fun.
How long have you been working as an invigilator at McGill?
I was an invigilator for the first time in December 2021. There I learned about AGSEM and soon after I became a delegate.
How long have you been AGSEM delegate? What have been your tasks as a delegate so far?
I’ve been a delegate for a couple of months now. I had the chance to learn more about the organization, and I have witnessed firsthand how much AGSEM members truly care about invigilators and TAs. I had the chance to meet other invigilators and spread the word about their rights and benefits as part of their job. I find it amazing that AGSEM exists, and I am proud to be part of this community.
What is your favorite part of working as an invigilator?
My favorite part has been meeting other invigilators, I have good friends I met there!
What has been the biggest challenge in your work so far?
None, really. I had the chance to pick the schedule that worked best for me and I choose only the shifts I could handle at the time. What should be improved about the current Invigilator Collective Agreement between AGSEM and McGill?
Definitely, one of the main concerns for everybody is a fair rate per hour, I know our peers at AGSEM are working hard for a fair agreement.
Why do you think unionizing and having a strong labor union is important for Teaching Assistants, Invigilators, and other groups of employees at McGill?
Because we get to work in fair conditions and enjoy our jobs, and by supporting AGSEM we create fair conditions for those that will work in the future.
Are you involved or interested in other activist or political movements/organizations at the moment?
I try to keep only a few things on my plate, just as much as I can handle at the time. Right now, I am not involved in any other movement.
Would you like to add anything?
I would like other invigilators to take the time to know their rights and benefits as part of their job, as well as their responsibilities. I wish every invigilator out there to know they are supported by AGSEM and they can reach out to the union for questions and help.
Thank you for your union involvement and for participating in the Q&A, Cindy!
"Get to Know Your Delegate" is a series of blog posts introducing AGSEM Delegates in a Q&A format. Are you an AGSEM Delegate interested in being featured in the series? Email your External Communications Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org