Alumni Profiles

Ashley Yoannou

BA Honours in History & English 2012

I am currently the Chair of the Ontario Institute For Studies in Education (OISE) Mentorship Program. After graduation, I went on to complete a two-year Master of Teaching (MT) Degree Ontario Institute For Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.

My research focuses on academic integrity as it intersects with honour codes and plagiarism detection in secondary school humanities classrooms.

Advice from Ashley

For me, I believe it was the rigor of my courses, the Research Opportunity Program (ROP), in conjunction with the unconditional support of my professors, which prepared me for graduate school and legal studies.

I also held a number of executive positions, including the President of the Historical Studies Society.

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

I was involved in the Trillium Health Partners Foundation as a fundraising volunteer. I genuinely enjoy volunteering, and I make it a priority to remain connected.

Ashley Yoannou

Edna Toth

BA Honours in History & Women Studies 2007

After completing an honours BA (With distinction) at age 70-something, is an investment that I recommend. Most of my working life has been spent as a newspaper reporter, and I've always wanted my own newspaper. In retirement, I volunteered with Peel Poverty Action Group (PPAG), an organization dedicated to helping cash-poor people, chiefly through political action. This volunteering opportunity inspired me to set up a tabloid newspaper for PPAG: Tough Times, available free of charge in libraries, public buildings throughout Peel, and distributed to shelters, soup kitchens, food banks, labour unions, faith groups and more.

Advice From Edna

Women's Studies is a new 100k at the world, lots of work still to be done via politics and pushing the women's agenda every day. We cannot rest until single moms and their children are looked after and violence against women ends.

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

While I have been selected as Citizen of the Year for 2011, and awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal, my proudest moment was starting a tabloid newspaper, Tough Times, in 2011. This newspaper serves cash-poor people in Peel; having it pay its way at a time when long-established newspapers are cutting back and closing down is a great accomplishment.

Edna Toth

Jason Cawthorn

BA Honours in Classics & English 1999

I have thrived in a number of opportunities to grow my skill set to establish my professional carer. My previous employers include HP (Hewlett-Packard) where, as Strategic Procurement Manager, I specialized in maximizing indirect buying for two large multinational corporations.

Currently, I work for TD Bank and am responsible for the entire technology category where I lead a team of nearly two dozen procurement professionals.

Advice from Jason

Employers are looking for dynamic individuals — not pencil pushers or human calculators. Be ready to continue your learning beyond the university classroom!

Favorite Quote

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."- Robert A. Heinlein

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

Professionally speaking, my proudest moment was my last promotion, which made me a Titled Officer of TD

 Jason Cawthorn

Jennifer Rea

BA Honours in History & English 1992

I currently work for Kronos, a leading software company in the area of workforce management and optimizatlon. I am an Operations Manager and also a Senior Operations Manager where I have assumed addltional responsibilities as Financial Analyst.

As a leader, I am a believer of the life-long learning approach and strengths-based management of new employees.

Advice from Jennifer

I graduated just before the Internet explosion. Today's grads will absolutely need to network, use LinkedIn, and
seek out paid internships through online networking.

Graduates should also learn to be more flexible and gravitate towards positions that reinforce their strengths.

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

I originally wanted to be a teacher after graduation. However during the recession of '92, I came up with a plan B and found that I really enjoyed business!

Jennifer Rea

Karen Kus

BA Honours in Italian and Religion & WGS 2009

After graduating with a Masters of Education in Adult Education and Community Development at Ontario
Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, I continued my career as an Instructor and Teacher's Assistant for WGS courses at UTM Today, I still maintain this role as Teacher's Assistant and also work as a Placement Coordinator at Humber College. Simultaneously, I remain active in the community within social justice and feminist focused endeavors.

Advice from Karen

Get involved! My strongest suggestion is to enroll in a practicum course, such as the one WGS offers. Practicums offer students the opportunity to experimentally practice the theories they are learning, providing a chance to explore options directly in the field. Additionally, reach out and build your networks early on by volunteering and attending events related to your studies — discover the routes you can take.

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

Some of my proudest moments have been teaching WGS classes as both an Instructor and Teacher's Assistant. Receiving the Teacher's Assistant of the Year award in 2012 authenticates my dedication; a proud moment indeed.

Karen Kus

Kumari Giles

BSc Honours in Biology & WGS 2012

Since graduation, I am pursuing arts creation / education / performance with ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company, a queer multiracial dance company and co-created a queer, consensual, anti-racist, not your average burlesque show called Unapologetic Burlesque with Shaunga Tagore.

Advice from Kumari

As an experience-based learner I would recommend taking courses that immerse you in the field like the practicum or independent study. The WGS Practicum was pivotal to my work now, as I was paired with The People Project, an ever-growing movement Of LGBTTQQ2SIA youth of colour and our allies, committed to individual and community empowerment.

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

I continue to build with queer, trans and gender non-conforming folks, black and indigenous people, people of
colour and folks with a wide range of abilities/disabilities on the daily and through a number of community-based projects. I am also employed through Activate It! at East Mississauga Community Health Centre. I am proud to be a growing, expanding being and to have learned from the brilliant people who have and do surround me.

Kumari Giles

Mercy Lilian Gichuki

BA Honours in Political Science & WGS 2011

I am a graduate student completing a master's degree in Public Health from the University of Waterloo. I am also working as a Community Health Worker-HIV/AIDS at Women's Health in Women's Hands Community Health Centre (WHIWH CHC) doing health promotion and research in HIV/AIDS.

Advice from Mercy

Choosing your courses to align with your career path. My interests were in advocacy and equity especially in racialized communities. The courses I picked helped me prepare for what I am doing today. Classes such as engendering human rights, women in politics and my WGS practicum were instrumental in choosing my field/line of work.

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

My education has resulted in me doing the work I envisioned myself doing — my education and career goals
have been well aligned. I was indeed proud when I accepted a position at Women's Health in Women's Hands
CHC and knew that I will not only finally practice my undergraduate theories but live them in a space that supports my beliefs such as feminism, anti-oppression anti-racism are accepted, affirmed and celebrated.

Mercy Lilian Gichuki

Rahul D'Cunha

BA Honours in History & Religion 2009

I work as a School Outreach Program Coordinator for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada. My job
is to coordinate school presentations primarily in Western Canada but also parts of Ontario. I achieved this position through my supervisor of my part-time job at the University of Toronto Mississauga Students Union (UTMSU).

Advice from Rahul

I encourage students to enrich their university experience by getting involved in the school community. My extra
curricular activities helped me attain my career success where I built upon public speaking, time management,
event planning and many more vital skills.

I was President of the Catholic Student Club and the Vice-President of the Historical Studies Society.

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

Driving on the entire Trans Canada Highway from St. John's, NL to Victoria, BC.

Rahul D'Cunha

Sharon McMillan

BA Honours in History & English 1986

I was hired by a professional engineering association, the County Road Association of Michigan, whose purpose was to lobby the state government on transportatlon issues of priority to county road engineers. This experience introduced me to public relations and communications.

Currently, I work as public relations manager for the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association — a lobby group for Ontario' public funded school systems.

Advice from Sharon

I encourage new graduates to be engaged and stay up to date with current trends and newsworthy advances in your chosen profession.

Engagement is vital — especially to prospective employers!

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

Recieving the International Association for Business Communicators (IABC) Vision Award, recognizing a condominium marketing program I had developed.

Sharon McMillan

Steve Khan

BA Honours in Art and Art History & WGS 2010

I graduated in 2010 from the joint Art and Art History Program with a Specialist in Art and Art History and a Minor in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto Mississauga. Also in 2010, I obtained a four-year Advanced Diploma in Art and Art History from Sheridan College. In 2002, I obtained a three-year Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from Sheridan College. I am currently working for the Federal Government as a Support Services Agent at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Advice from Steve

Study what you love. Try an internship or co-op placement in your field. There are a number of programs available at UTM that you might consider, such as the research opportunity program, experiential learning, work study program and a number of other opportunities available through the Career Centre.

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

A few of my proudest moments since graduating from UTM include:

  1. Working for the federal government of Canada (2012-present)
  2. Becoming the Secretary/Treasury for the Public Service Alliance of Canada Pride Committee (2013-present)
  3. Being selected as the Chair of the Youth in Action Grants for the United Way Of Peel Region (2014-present)

Steve Khan

Sonya Malcolm

BA Honours in History & English 2002

I currently work as a Marketing Manager for Aon, a large insurance brokerage company. I help develop marketing strategies and oversee the promotion and development of our brand, campaigns, and events.

Upon graduation, I continued my studies at Sheridan College, graduating with a post-graduate degree in Corporate Communications.

Advice from Sonya

I highly recommend that students participate in the Extern program, offered at the university. This program offered me the opportunity to discover and ultimately enter the communications field.

Both of my degrees are incredibily valuable to me. The abillty to wrlte, analyze information and express it clearly is a rare commodity. There will always be a job for you.

Proudest Moment Since Graduating

I enjoy working with my clients and am proud to be recognized as both a dedicated marketer and as an honorary alumni for my university.

Sonia Malcolm