MEET THE TEAM
Senait (pronounced Sen-Night) is a born and raised Calgarian of Eritrean descent. She has an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Mount Royal University and her motivation to joining law school came from her sense of duty to advocate for vulnerable people, especially new Canadians. Senait has a general interest in employment and labour law, and immigration and refugee law, but is still keeping her options open. Prior to embarking on her post-secondary studies, Senait spent many years working in remote oil and gas camps in Northern Alberta.
Vice President of Administration
Shaye Erskine completed her undergrad at the University of Calgary and obtained a B.A. in Sociology. After school she started an anti-racism consultation company with her sister called Arie Consulting. She has always been passionate about advocating for others and is excited to continue on this journey throughout law school. Shaye enjoys doing Escape Rooms, baking, and watching true crime documentaries - any recommendations are welcome.
After 1L, Mirabelle summered at the Canada Energy Regulator and, this summer, she worked for McCarthy Tétrault. She will be returning to McCarthy Tétrault for her articles. Mirabelle is also a serial volunteer and community leader. She is the current National President of the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada. Locally, she's been on the executive team of UCalgary BLSA and the UCalgary Gender Equity in Law Association. Mirabelle's areas of legal interest include administrative, environmental, and corporate commercial law. She has received numerous academic, writing, and leadership awards, including the Dean of Law Award of Excellence, McCarthy Tétrault Leadership Award, and 2022 JSD Tory Writing Award for excellence in writing and legal research. She was also recently shortlisted for the 2022 CBC Short Story Prize. Mirabelle is passionate about law reform and hopes to be a litigator one day.
Vice President of Marketing
Miete Penedo was born in Angola, moved to Canada at a young age, settled in Toronto for 6 years before moving to Edmonton. And that is where she completed her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Alberta. The reason Miete decided to do law school started with a small module course in law she was forced to take in high school. She quickly fell in love with law and decided fairly quickly that law was her passion and she spent the next few years chasing that dream. Everything in law school excites Miete. She finally achieved her dream and she’s keeping an open mind towards any field of law that calls to her and will allow her to help people especially people of minority groups finding their footing within a unjust system.
Vice President of Finance
Malik is a second year law student at the U of C. He also serves as the Vice President of Finance for our Black Law Students Chapter. Prior to law school, Malik played varsity basketball throughout his undergraduate degree and even had aspirations of playing professionally. However, upon realizing that he would not become the next LeBron James, Malik made the decision to go to law school. While Malik is happy with his decision to go to law school, he heeds the following warning to all prospective law students: “yeah, so far, this is nothing like ‘Suits’, Keep that in mind.”
Vice President of Events
Chyna was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She did her undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary in Political Science and Business, with the dream of continuing on to law school. While completing her undergrad, she was a varsity athlete on the UofC track and field team. As a sprinter she competed in the 60m, 300m, 4x200m, and 4x400m, and was part of a team that won the CIS Championship in 2020. Currently she is a 2L with a strong interest in corporate tech law and international law. Outside of law school, Chyna has a passion for art, specifically painting and sketching. Over the 2021 summer her artwork was featured in a Calgary restaurant.
1st Year Representative
Marissa was born and raised in BC before moving to Calgary in 2015. She received her undergraduate degree in Criminology. Prior to law school, Marissa worked as a corporate legal assistant in Vancouver. Once in Calgary, Marissa found her way into the energy industry which eventually led her to her current role as a project development analyst, developing utility-scale solar projects in Alberta. She is most excited to learn from some of the leading energy lawyers and professors in Canada and to continue contributing to Alberta's energy transition towards a net-zero future. Outside of school and work, Marissa's interests include gardening with her husband, reading, going to farmers markets, spending as much time as possible with her two sons Jackson (3) and Cooper (1) and eating good food.
Hameedah Baruwa completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta where she majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology. Growing up, she spent her early formative years in Nigeria before moving to Canada at the age of ten. Her interest in law began when she sat on a youth advisory board with her local MP in 2019, and grew to become fascinated by the law-making process, its effects on society, and particularly, the role of advocates in that process. She is not yet married to a specific practice area and instead, is excited to explore and figure out exactly what aligns with her interests and passions in law. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and watching cheesy rom-coms.
Administrative Support Director
Naoll grew up just outside of Vancouver but did his undergrad at McGill University in Montreal. He earned a BA in Political Science while playing on the varsity lacrosse team. He loves playing sports, reading, and is attempting to learn Spanish (shoutout to Duolingo). Naoll chose to pursue law after learning about the Innocence Project, an organization that works to overturn wrongful convictions. He hopes to use his law degree to advocate for marginalized groups and tangibly affect change in his community.
Semhar Abraha is currently a 2L student and a Co-VP mentorship for the 2022/2023 academic year at BLSA Calgary and a member of the National Professional Development Committee. By serving in these roles, Abraha hopes to improve the quality of mentorship available to black students, research ways to help them secure summer jobs, and advance their academic and professional careers.
Marketing Support Director
Grace was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and her background is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She will be the first lawyer in her family, as far as she knows. Prior to 1L, Grace was quite familiar with the University of Calgary as she had completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Law and Society (First Class) within the institution. Throughout her undergrad, Grace focused her energy on work within various student groups and organizations such as the Global Development Society, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and in collaborative initiatives, including the Violet King Engaged Scholarship, and the expansion of the African Studies Program as an African Studies Administrator at the Faculty of Arts. Her areas of legal interest include Health law, Family law, Business law, Criminal and Social Justice law. Her passion from the law was always evident in her work for marginalized and minoritized groups as she hopes to one day become a vanguard of change in the legal system for such groups.
Support Director of Finance
Mikail was born in Ottawa to Somali parents who left behind a civil war. He will be the first lawyer in his family and is in the final year of the JD program. He completed an undergraduate degree in biosciences before acquiring an interest in the law. Mikail spent his first- and second-year summers with Gowling WLG, in Calgary and Toronto. He will be returning to Gowling WLG for his articles in the Toronto office, where he focused his summer experience in the business law group and developed an interest in securities and m&a. Mikail serves as our Finance Support Director and is involved in our fundraising activities. When he is isn’t studying (which is not un-often), Mikail is likely catching up on the latest Arsenal news or honing his craft in FIFA.