Pacinthe Mattar (HBA 2008)
Pacinthe Mattar brings the world to our ears. The U of T Mississauga alumna, who has lived around the world, now brings global stories to Canadians as a producer with CBC Radio One's flagship program, The Current.
Born in Egypt, Mattar arrived in Canada at the age of three and lived in North York until she was nine before moving to Saudi Arabia and then Dubai. At 17, she returned to Canada to enroll in UTM's political science program, looking for a way to satisfy her curiosity about the world, and the influence of the relationships between countries and political affairs, especially in the places where she had grown up.
“Everything for me is political,” she says. “I want to be able to understand the politics behind everyday life.”
Mattar brought her curiosity and considerable energies to every aspect of her life at UTM. She was a residence don, worked at the UTM Career Centre and volunteered at the International Student Resource Centre, now known as the International Education Centre. Mattar also served as a mentor for the AccessAbility Resource Centre’s Leading Through Inclusion Program, a pilot mentorship program that paired upper-year mentors with students with documented disabilities. She also wrote for on-campus publications, including staff and faculty newsletter The Bulletin. Mattar was recognized with the Gordon Cressy Award and the Principal's Award for her achievements both in and out of the classroom.
Mattar considered working for the United Nations as an ambassador, but ultimately decided to enroll in the master of journalism program at Ryerson after completing her undergraduate degree. She interned at CBC in the summer of 2009, and freelanced for a time before joining the CBC full time in 2011. Since then, she has held associate producer roles with several programs, including national radio magazine show As It Happens and her current position with current affairs program, The Current.
“It’s a busy job, but I love it,” Mattar says. She has produced a wide range of stories for the show, including many programs about Egypt's Arab Spring. The industry can be tough to break into, she says, adding that her curiosity and passion, coupled with her education, helped her to land her dream job. Her advice to fledgling journalists? “Tell stories you are interested in and want to tell. Let your passion guide you into telling stories you really care about,” she says. “Be gentle with yourself as you try to figure out what you want to do. Take your time and enjoy the journey of figuring out where you belong.”
In 2018, U of T Mississauga recognized Mattar with the Desmond Parker Young Alumni Award for her outstanding professional achievements and service to the University.
Watch Pacinthe Mattar's Boundless video portrait.
Author: Larissa Ho, Communications Intern, Alumni Relations, University of Toronto Mississauga, 2015
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