Honours Bachelor of Science, Biology and Environmental Science • University of Toronto Mississauga
Growing up on the West Coast of Canada, Valerie spent her days enjoying the outdoors – swimming, hiking, and observing wildlife. Her connection to nature sparked her interest in life sciences, where she pursued a double major in Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga. During her studies, Valerie delve into scientific theories, project design and ways to effectively navigate experimental procedures. Simultaneously, she discovered that alongside technical knowledge, the inclusion of community and collaboration are imperative to sustainability. Valerie’s scientific background along with her passion for social justice strengthened her resolve to bridge the knowledge gaps between ecological and social systems to address sustainability issues.
During her undergraduate studies, Valerie took part in the Research Opportunity Program at University of Toronto. She worked alongside several talented students and a professor to investigate the impacts of climate change on viticulture in Ontario. Through this experience, Valerie learned to effectively utilize GIS tools to navigate climate projections and interpret results for a more comprehensive understanding of environmental conditions on various scales. After her graduation in 2022, she began working as a Research Assistant to develop sustainability modules for an experiential undergraduate course. Using her academic and lived experiences, Valerie contributed multi-faceted and holistic perspectives in these modules to encourage students to think critically about sustainable solutions. She also began working for CASSA (Council of Agencies Serving South Asians) with a mission to support and empower South Asian communities. As a communications coordinator, Valerie applied her problem-solving abilities and passion for equity to convey the visions of CASSA to the public. These experiences and others helped illuminate new meanings of sustainability in her understanding and ultimately reaffirmed her commitment to a brighter, more resilient future.
In her spare time, Valerie enjoys going to farmers’ markets, thrift shopping, reading, and hiking. She also loves to travel and explore new cultural cuisines whenever possible.