Book profiles

Learn more about our "Human Books". 


Hassaan Basit

Chief Administrative Officer

Book Title: The New Ecology of Leadership

Hassaan Basit is the Chief Administrative Officer of Conservation Halton. He has been with the organization for 14 years in various roles. Hassaan started his career as a biologist at the University of Toronto where he also received his Bachelor’s degree before completing a post-graduate degree in Science Communication from Queens University of Belfast in Northern Ireland. He frequently speaks at conferences on branding, strategy execution and science communication. He also teaches a module on Sustainability as part of the MScSM program at UTM. Hassaan leads a dynamic organization that is going through an exciting transformation – he has called the transformation and the strategy behind it, Metamorphosis. His organization delivers environmental planning, flood forecasting and operations, science and monitoring, environmental restoration, forestry operations, outreach and education programs in support of managing the impact of community growth and climate change on Ontario’s natural resources and hazard-prone lands, such as watercourses and their associated valley systems. He also oversees a vibrant system of eco-parks spread over 10,000 acres, serving close to 1 million visitors annually and operating Ontario’s 4th busiest ski and snowboard centre at Glen Eden. Hassaan lives in Milton. His organization’s jurisdiction includes Milton, Halton Hills, Burlington, Oakville, and parts of Mississauga, Hamilton and Puslinch. Conservation Halton has 145 full-time and 700 seasonal employees and a budget of $33 million with revenues of $17 million. ”

GurveerGurveer Bains

Ph.D. Student - University of Toronto

Book Title: Understanding the World Around Us

Gurveer is a current Ph.D. student in health/medical geography with a collaboration in global health at the University of Toronto. Her research explores health literacy of chronic diseases within the South Asian population of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA); research which builds on previous studies she has conducted on the health of immigrant populations in Canada. Prior to her doctoral work, Gurveer graduated with a Master of Arts degree from Queen’s University whereby her thesis focused on understanding cardiovascular disease risk factors within the Punjabi Sikh population of the Region of Peel. Gurveer also completed an Honours Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Toronto-Mississauga, where she was selected to serve as the Class of 2013 Valedictorian.

DaniaCarol Bisnath

Career Coach

Book Title: Ode to My Mom

Carol is a certified Career Coach with 20 years experience in education at the University of Toronto, Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, and Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, with transferable skills for a Corporate setting. She is skilled in creation and delivery of career development and performance management strategies that drive relationship management outcomes in coaching, counselling, guidance, and mentorship. 

Dania Ciampini

Regional Operations Manager

Book Title: Mixing Business & Travel

Dania graduated from UTM with a Bachelor of Commerce, High Distinction, in 2007, with a Specialist in Accounting & Finance and a minor in Economics. Dania currently works at London Life as the Regional Operations Manager; previously, she was a Consultant with Deloitte based in San Francisco. She has her Chartered Accountant, Chartered Professional Accountant (CA, CPA); Project Management Professional (PMP); Certified Public Accountant (CPA, ILL); and, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Dania has also gained international experience working in the US, Canada, UK, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.  

DemetraDemetra Dimokopoulos

Project and Translation Coordinator, Strategic Communications Branch, Financial Services Commission of Ontario

Book Title: Fearless - The Path to Me

Since graduation, Demetra has navigated through the changing landscape of the publishing and legal industries, amidst the Great Recession and the intense media scrutiny during the demise of a prominent Bay Street law firm. In 2015, she completed her Master of Business Administration at Copenhagen Business School alongside 36 classmates representing 18 different nationalities. While overseas, Demetra travelled to nine European countries to explore the sights and culture. Her Scandinavian experiences introduced her to new adventures and healthier habits; they inspired both her creative writing and entrepreneurial pursuits. Since returning to Canada, Demetra has immersed herself in the Toronto startup community and become certified as a fitness professional. She’s learned to embrace change and new adventures. To remain curious and creative, fearless and resilient.


Rahhman El Borai

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Book Title: Thinking Outside the Box

Going into university, Rahhman thought he had it all figured out (don't we all at 18?). He knew what degree he wanted to pursue and subsequently, what career path was meant for him. Fast forward to graduation and he never felt more lost in his entire life. Nobody really prepared him for what was to come next, and spending the last 16 years confined within the barriers of several schools sure didn't either. He knew one thing for sure, he definitely wasn't going to apply to grad school.

He leveraged his background in chemistry and got his first job in a lab. However, he quickly realized how much he despised the laboratory environment and everything about it. He knew he had to leave and find something that he thoroughly enjoyed doing. Enter pharmaceutical sales ("look ma, I'm a drug dealer!"). Luckily for him, everything started to make sense again. He finally found a career path where he was able to integrate his love for chemistry with who he was as a person and what he thoroughly enjoyed; meeting people and building relationships. 

CarolGabriella Fermo

Business Owner, Performance and Learning Consultant

Book Title: Leading With Me: Marrying Passion, Profit, and Career Fulfillment

Gabriella is Founder and Principal at Raising The Bar, where she designs and delivers learning, career and leadership development programs for corporate and consulting organizations. Gabriella brings a broad background in change management, human resources, learning and organizational development. She has also taught human resources related courses at Humber and Sheridan College. Gabriella graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science Degree with distinction in Industrial Relations and Psychology. She is a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® practitioner, certified in Prosci’s change management methodology, and holds the Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation.



Larissa Ho


Book Title: Write Your Best Life Story: Talking Mental Health

Larissa, a communications professional who loves storytelling, made her mental health struggles public in the campus newspaper, The Medium, and self-published a collection of life stories called "Becoming Silver Girl" while in her fourth year at UTM which detail her adolescent mental health experiences. She strives for honesty when talking about mental health. She loves to talk about writing, student life, and life during and after UTM. She is especially eager to talk about ways to advance mental health advocacy efforts in and outside of UTM, during the undergraduate years and beyond. Larissa graduated from UTM in June 2015.


Lavan Puvan

Curriculum Office

Book Title: The Daily Stoic

After graduating from the University of Toronto Mississauga with a Bachelor of Commerce, Lavan pursued a career in public accounting with Ernst & Young and subsequently Jarvis Ryan Associates via which he was able to obtain his Chartered Accountant designation. Prior to joining UTM in the role of Curriculum Officer, Lavan pursued a role in industry while completing his MBA with the Schulich School of Business. Outside of the university, Lavan is a facilitator with CPA Ontario and enjoys spending his free time volunteering and travelling.  


Carolina Salcedo

Internal Communications Office

Book Title: A Life Pointing Towards PR

Carolina immigrated to Canada from Colombia when she was 11 years old. At UTM, she combined a Digital Enterprise Management Specialist and a Professional Writing minor while immersing herself in campus life, including two years as a Residence Don and as Marketing & Events Assistant at the UTM Career Centre. Her experiences as a Don and an MEA solidified her passion for communications, business, education and culture. Upon graduation she set her sights on the world of postsecondary communications. Upon graduating from UTM, she completed a post grad certificate in PR at Sheridan College, which led to her very first corporate job. Over the course of almost six years at Sheridan, she has held a variety of roles including coordinating communications for the College's Screen Industries Research and Training Centre, spearheading a variety of internal and external projects as part of its Office of Applied Research and Innovation, and currently, overseeing Sheridan's daily communications to students and staff as its first Internal Communications Officer. She works as part of Sheridan's central Public Relations team.


Teo Salgado

Independent Educational Consultant

Book Title: The Call of the Wild

Teo is an independent educational consultant based in Toronto, Ontario.  He is a highly regarded higher education professional with nearly 20 years of experience in international student recruitment, admissions counselling and alumni relations at the University of Toronto and Western University.  In recognition of his professionalism and service orientation, he was awarded the University of Toronto’s Simcoe Hall Vice-Presidents’ Staff Award in 2013.

Teo completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree (with High Distinction) at the University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts degree at McGill University in Montreal, QC. To remain current on university admissions processes, Teo recently completed (with Distinction) the graduate certificate in College Admissions Counselling at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and completed the Independent Educational Consultants Association’s (IECA) Summer Institute Training program at Swarthmore College in 2015. Teo is an Associate Member, Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), and member of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the National Association for College Admission Counselling (NACAC), and the International Association for College Admission Counselling (IACAC). In addition to English, Teo is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

When he’s not at the office, Teo enjoys traveling and has visited more than 60 countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He also loves spending time in the outdoors and may often be found on a hiking trail – usually deep in the northern Ontario back-country – with his wife Masha.  Teo Salgado is also a director on the McGill Alumni Association (Toronto) and on the University of Toronto at Mississauga’s 50th Anniversary steering committee .  He is an avid supporter of Futból Club Barcelona, Toronto Football Club, and of his hometown Miami Dolphins.

HanaHana Tariq


Book Title: The Girl Who Wanted to be Picasso - A collection of essays about parenting, lawyering, and everything in between

Hana graduated from the University of Toronto Mississauga in 2004 with a B.Sc.  Hana graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2008 with an L.L.B., and was called to the Bar in 2009. Hana practices in the areas of corporate commercial litigation and construction litigation. In her spare time, Hana enjoys doing artwork and travelling with her family. 


Christopher Thompson

Executive Assistant and Human Resource Manager

Book Title: Discover Your Passion - The Untold Truth

Christopher is a passionate young leader who has a desire to empower others and give back to the community. Chris has held many leadership roles such as President of the University of Toronto Mississauga Student Union (UTMSU) representing over 13,000 students and managing the campus student centre. In addition to being appointed the Chair of the United Ways’ Region of Peel Young Leaders Council (YLC) in 2015, he also serves at UofT as the Vice President Student Engagement of the Alumni Association (UTMAA), directed at enhancing the student experience and mentoring students as they graduate into the workforce. Professionally, Chris has worked both in the public and private sector and became Excel Marketing’s youngest Account Manager to travel across Canada to oversee new account setups. Chris has also worked in Relations Management and currently is the Human Resource Manager for United Way of Peel Region and the Co-Founder of I Can, We Can!, a new non-for-profit social movement directed at inspiring and preparing youth for the real world through goal setting and life skills training.



Samra Zafar

Commercial Account Manager, RBC

Governor, U of T

Founder, Brave Beginnings

Book Title:  The Gift of Adversity

Samra Zafar is a multiple award winning top graduate of the University of Toronto, a Public Speaker on women's rights, a mother, and a social entrepreneur. Samra was recently elected as an Alumni Governor on the Governing Council of the University of Toronto. She is one of 8 highly distinguished alumni to serve on the highest governing body of the University. As a public speaker on several prominent platforms and media outlets, Samra shares her story of success after escaping abuse, advocates for women's rights and empowers women to pursue their right to live a life of respect and dignity. Samra is the founder of Brave Beginnings, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women with disadvantaged backgrounds build their lives through personalized mentorship and support, as well as raise awareness against social injustices that hinder women's advancement. Her passion is to motivate and empower people to believe in themselves, achieve their goals, and reach their full potential, no matter what the circumstances might be.