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Nana Yaa Abrafi

Nana Yaa Abrafi Boa-Amponsem

FacetDescription
Graduation Year

  • HBA 2017 New College
Inside the Classroom

Alongside the Classroom

  • Program Assistant Intern, Zawadi Africa Education Fund, Ghana—assisted academically gifted, but financially disadvantaged, girls in Ghana to apply for university scholarships in North America and parts of Africa. That was my give-back project as I learned about U of T MasterCard Scholarship as a Zawadi Scholar.
  • Intern, Tax Unit, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ghanaperformed administrative roles, worked on team project, and embarked on field projects in banks and financial institutions.
  • Intern, Impact Infrastructure, Toronto
Outside the Classroom

  • Presented speech on behalf of student body, Nelson Mandela Memorial Service, University of Toronto
  • Student panelist, University of Toronto yearbook redesign
  • Student representative and Gonfalon Bearer, Installation Ceremony of President Meric Gertler
  • Peer mentor, Economics
  • Peer mentor, New College Residence
  • Tutor, Math and English, Centre for Community Partnerships
  • Mentor and tutor for a secondary school female student living with a learning disability
Further Education

  • Currently pursuing: MSc, Public Policy — focus on economic, anti-poverty, and environmental policy
In the Media

  • Facebook
New College Impact

New College played an instrumental role in my academic and leadership excellence. Firstly, my New College Registrars immensely supported me through course selection, deciding on my majors, and post-graduation plans. Moreover, the Equity Studies program of New College was the best option as a second major since it gave me a real-world perspective on Economics. Through this course, I was able to identify my interest in Public policy and social justice. In my final year, New College awarded me with a scholarship for academic excellence, and also afforded me the opportunity to meet President Meric Gertler at a special New College Dinner.

Furthermore, New College organized various leadership training programs which were very essential to my success as a student leader at U of T. I partook in various floor and house activities that improved my teamwork skills. In my final year, I was given a priceless opportunity to serve as a Residence Peer Mentor where I provided assistance to residents in areas such as Academic Success, Career Preparedness, Mental Health and Wellness. I acquired a lot of great skills and knowledge in this position.

“Balance is extremely important. Get involved in the things you love. Take care of your mental health. Study hard but don’t forget to also learn. And keep God first in all you do.

 

Navi Dhanota

Navi Dhanota

FacetDescription
Graduation Year

  • HBA 2003 Innis College
Inside the Classroom

Switched programs from Psychology

Outside the Classroom

  • Registered with Accessibility Services and developed the lived experience of being a student receiving accommodations while struggling with mental health. These became useful credentials.
Further Education

Career Description

  • Accessibility consultant, George Brown College
  • Accessibility consultant (varying roles, incl. institutional policy review)
  • Successful in personal activism, which involved changing the requirements to disclose a diagnosis when registering with post-secondary accommodation offices.

“My advice, for current students, would be to stop trying to find your calling/passion. I realize this may sound counter-intuitive— I used my lived experience to identify small projects i wanted to work on and things i wanted to change. I used these small initiatives as a platform to springboard my career.

Follow what interest you (this could be a class you are good at, subject matter that is easy to read, or even the the issues that you find most difficult). With that, will come passion. Showing genuine motivation in your field is what will distinguish you from the pack.

 

Chris Woodford

Chris Woodford

FacetDescription
Graduation Year

  • HBA 2006 New College
Inside the Classroom

Switched programs from Computer Science and Math

Outside the Classroom

Career Description

  • Lead Software Developer, Web Development Agency, Toronto, ON
  • Professional Touring Musician
  • Software Consultant
  • Head of Engineering, Startup, Palo Alto, California

“Follow your passions and trust yourself. Don’t let other people’s expectations throw you off your path.

 

Amy Chen

Amy Chen

FacetDescription
Graduation Year

  • BCom 2011 Innis College
Inside the Classroom

Alongside the Classroom

  • Summer intern, Big Four accounting firm
Outside the Classroom

Career Description

  • Chartered Accountant
  • Technical consultant in accounting and finance
  • Frequent traveler across the US
  • Figure skater at heart

“Be involved, meet people, have fun! Undergrad is a time to take good risks – explore what you like and don’t like. Don’t be afraid to work hard to do the things you want to do!

 

Lakshmi Sadhu

Lakshmi Sadhu

FacetDescription
Graduation Year

  • HBA 2017 New College
Inside the Classroom

Alongside the Classroom

  • Intern, investment firms in Dubai and Toronto
Outside the Classroom

Further Education

In the Media

  • twitter icon
New College Impact

“The student blogger position at The New was one of the reasons that I chose to pursue journalism.”

“Jump.

No matter how scared you are. No matter how unprepared you think you are. No matter if you think you’re not good enough.

Jump into whatever opportunity and experience catches your eye. It’ll only change you for the better.

 

Geeta Yadav

FacetDescription
Graduation Year

  • Hon. BSc 2003 University College
Inside the Classroom

Alongside the Classroom

Further Education

  • Completed residency at U of T (FRCPC) in 2015
Career Description

  • Programme Analyst for UNAIDS in Malawi
  • Health systems researcher at Health Canada
  • Dermatologist
“Take advantage of every opportunity U of T has to offer – there are so many special corners of the university where you can meet people who have your same interests. It’s great to connect with them and to those places so you can develop even stronger support networks and bonds with people whom you may keep in your life for a long time. Take time to enjoy Toronto as well – we are lucky to live in the heart of this great city. Lastly, find good mentors. The university has tons of folks who are willing to give back to an eager learner. Ask lots of questions and figure out what it is you want to do with your life!”

 

Kenneth Godevenos

Kenneth B. Godevenos

FacetDescription
Graduation Year

  • BA 1969 University College
Inside the Classroom

Alongside the Classroom

Further Education

  • B.Ed., (1971)
  • MBA (1981)
  • Education in guidance and human resources
Career Description

  • Three years of teaching — English, Journalism, Guidance Counseling.
  • Then joined HR at Ontario Hydro (recruiting, labour relations, strategic planning, compensation and benefits, organization development, etc.) at various structural levels.
  • Secondment to Ontario Ministry of Labour as first Director, Policy & Research for the Pay Equity Commission.
  • After Hydro, joined Rogers Communications Inc. as Director, Compensation & Benefits.
“Join appropriate and relevant associations related to your choice of field(s). Become a member, volunteer, get on committees, work your way up the ladder as far as possible in those organizations. Take advantage of the opportunity to speak or present at their conferences, etc. Become well known. Write articles for their magazines. Teach their courses. Then when you’re ready, stop working for others and work for yourself.”

 

Zena Werb

Zena Werb

FacetDescription
Graduation Year

  • BSc 1966 University College
Inside the Classroom

Alongside the Classroom

  • Did projects as part of the equivalent of a senior thesis in a biochemistry lab
Outside the Classroom

  • Worked in laboratories in the summers after first (Geophysics), second (Ontario Cancer Institute) and third (Ontario Cancer Institute) years.
Further Education

  • Rockeffeler University, Ph.D., 1971, Cell Biology
Career Description

  • Ph.D. studies, Rockefeller University 1966-71
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Strangeways Research Laboratory, Cambridge UK 1971-3
  • Research Scientist, Strangeways Research Laboratory, Cambridge UK 1973-5
  • Assistant Professor, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover NH 1975-6
  • Assistant Professor 1976, Associate Professor 1980, Professor 1983, University of California, San Francisco
  • Associate Director for Basic Science, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCSF, 2016-present,
  • Visiting Professor, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Univ. of Oxford, U.K., 1985-6
  • Visiting Professor, Institute Curie, Paris France, 1998
  • Visiting Professor, Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany, 2006-8
“Get as much experience in different fields as possible. Take time to enjoy life.”

 

Cynthia Good

FacetDescription
Graduation Year

  • BA 1974 University College
Inside the Classroom

Alongside the Classroom

  • Very involved in theatre at UC and Hart House
  • Research assistant for Professor
  • Worked at Robarts Library
Further Education

  • Masters – 1975
  • Incomplete PhD (all but dissertation)
Career Description

  • Interrupted Ph.D when employed by a small independent publishing house
  • 4 years later hired by Penguin Books Canada to start Canadian publishing program
  • Remained at Penguin for almost 21 years. Left after becoming President & Publisher
  • Hired by Humber College to set up a publishing program there, ran the program and taught for 10 years
  • Continued part time for 2 years at Humber, originating and organizing conferences and workshops for writers
  • Now continue with some workshops, facilitate book clubs, and do a variety of volunteer activities
“Learn widely and develop a disciplined mind.
Study philosophy.Learn and be able to use languages beyond English.
Despite the fact that I have had an extraordinarily satisfying career, I still wish I had completed my Ph.D

Enjoy the friendship, the stimulation and the drama of university life.”

 

Justine Laboni

Justine Iaboni

FacetDescription
Graduation Year

  • HBA 2008 St. Michael’s College
Inside the Classroom

Switched programs from:

Outside the Classroom

Further Education

  • MA, Cinema Studies, 2008-09, University of Toronto
Career Description

  • Launched a blog in 2009 and grew it into one of the top fashion, travel, beauty and lifestyle blogs in Canada.
  • Attended fashion weeks in Toronto and NYC writing for fashion publications.
  • Invited on press trips around the world working with tourism boards, hotels, local organizations, airlines, and many other brands.
  • Lectured at U of T and Ryerson on many occasions about her career.
  • Featured in magazines such as Toronto Life and Fashion.
  • Helped to forge the influencer industry in Canada by working with brands such as Unilever, American Express, PANDORA, Cadillac Fairview, Coach, Bayer, Nordstrom, etc.,
  • Mentored new bloggers starting out in the industry at Blogging Conferences
  • Volunteered with Filling the Gap TO
  • In 2017, left the blogging world to pursue her true passion: music and the arts.
  • Released an album in 2017
  • Writes a weekly spiritual newsletter based on the teachings of Wayne Dyer, Gabrielle Bernstein and Marianne Williamson targeted at women who are looking for guidance in their lives, and trying to find ways to work past limiting beliefs.
“I would tell myself that I CAN DO IT. That I am enough. I would tell myself that the world isn’t against me and that I am valuable. I would tell myself that you can have your cake and eat it to; that the limiting beliefs we’ve been passed down through our parents, social constructs, media, are not objective truth. We can choose the life we want to live. The how doesn’t matter. Sometimes having blind faith is the greatest gift you can give yourself, and you don’t have to “do it” the way that the mainstream does. I have always been a deep, feeling person and neglected that part of myself during undergrad. I repressed my inner dreamer for fear of not fitting in and fear of failure. The world has taught me so much, outside of school. I wish I had someone to impart real world knowledge onto me when I was in University. I wish I had someone to tell me that everything is going to be OK, that I CAN DO IT, whatever I dream of, no matter how silly or unconventional – I can achieve it.”