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Career Spotlight

Students discussing and having a meeting at a conference table.

Are you a Faculty of Health student curious about where your degree can take you?

Career Spotlight is an opportunity where you can connect with Faculty of Health alumni and learn about their careers. Weekly Zoom meetings feature different alumni from various career paths who share their experiences and answer students' questions. Listed below are the recorded and scheduled zoom meetings! All conversations are moderated by a Calumet & Stong College team member and are followed by an open forum where students will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Instructions for accessing the recorded Zoom meetings (pdf)
If you are an alumni who would like to host a session, apply here.

Aaron Clarke

Physical Therapist at Trillium Health Partners

April 4, 2022

Aaron is a Physical Therapist based out of Etobicoke, Ontario. Aaron Graduated from YorkU in 2014 with a BSc in Kinesiology and from UofT in 2017 with a Master's in Physical Therapy. Since then, Aaron has worked in a variety of different settings to help people recover from injury. He currently works at Trillium Health Partners, Queensway Health Center in Etobicoke. Previously active as a PASS leader and student athlete, Aaron is a recipient of the Olga Cirak Bursary for contributions to the Stong College Community.


Andrea Murree

LTO Teacher at TCDSB

December 9, 2021

Andrea graduated with a B.A and B.Ed from York University and a Master of Education from OISE, University of Toronto with a specialization in Education Policy. Recently, she completed a research project on roleplay and interactive writing to close language learning gaps. She was also featured in an article “Teaching Through A Pandemic” by Professionally Speaking magazine. Andrea is currently in an LTO contract at TCDSB. When she isn’t involved in her professional commitments, you can find her tutoring, hiking, or riding a bike around Humber Bay.

  1. What were some  memories that you cherish from your time at York?  
     
  • I cherished being part of the Catholic Chaplaincy at York (CCY) as it was the support system I needed when I was a student in the concurrent teacher education program and I found community there. 
  • Fond memories of my time there include: Skiing at Mt. St Louis and Blue mountain as it was my first time learning how to ski and I conquered the bunny hill.  
  • I also had the opportunity to coordinate  a hike, play ultimate frisbee and softball with CCY and celebrate milestones at end of the year banquets.  
  • I really grew in the work-study program at Calumet and Strong college and really appreciate this opportunity to do the spotlight as I was working right by the Master’s Office.  
     
  1. What are some skills that you learnt at York U that you still use to this day? 
     
  • Started out as an Evaluation Assistant for Student Success programs, switched over to Communications Assistant and finished the next year as a Communications Coordinator.  
  • As an Evaluation Assistant, I learnt how to create surveys and write reports about student programs at Stong and Calumet College (P.A.SS, Health Aid, Agents of Change) and found those skills helpful when I was part of the School Learning Improvement Plan in one of my teaching contracts . 
  • As a Communications Coordinator, I got the opportunity to revamp the College’s social media strategy by doing a Christmas launch, a week of giveaways, and introducing a social pilot that increased followers. I learnt quickly that I was motivated by watching results  and when I did the end of the year report my team saw how this strategy doubled the viewers on our online platform. 
  • I also enjoyed walking around the campus with a camera in hand taking pictures at Stong and Calumet, designing brochures for the leadership banquet. Sitting in on other student led programs like Agents of Change and learning how to access funding to support these initiatives.  
     
  1. What was a course that you particularly enjoyed / a professor with whom you developed a connection / a campus initiative or club that resonated with you? 

A professor I enjoyed learning from and took a few courses with Bruce Powe. I remember going to his office, having tea and sharing our thoughts on Visionary Literature from Hildegard Von Bigen to St. Teresa of Avila. I also liked checking out his book collection. I took another course with him on Frye and Marshal Mcluhan and I remember how he coordinated a field trip to University of Toronto which got me thinking about Grad school. He also wrote my reference letter and supported my desire to pursue my Masters in Education. We recently reconnected when I told him I graduated and he shared his new book called “The Charge in the Global Membrane.” 

  1. Were there any significant life events or mentors that influenced your career choice? 

I grew up in a family of educators and was often told that it's in my blood. I remember helping my aunt mark quizzes when I was a kid and I guess it was a natural progression to choose this career. I remember crossing paths with someone I supplied for and he told me that he never regretted working in TCDSB because of its heart. I remember after that conversation, I chose TCDSB because of its culture and support. I never regretted that choice as that same teacher helped me edit my grad school statement for OISE and all he said was to pay it forward.  

I’ve found schools where I worked in that had the culture of care and support where I thrived in. In my first LTO, I remember decorating a wall and co-ordinating with the primary pod creating a 100 Acts of kindness challenge. One principal took me under her wing and supported me when I had my bad days and rough moments. We did a little initiative on activities that focused on student wellbeing and self regulation which I wanted to continue learning about when I applied to grad school. That principal was also an alumni of the Masters of Education Program at OISE and I remember sharing how I went to the open house, showing her the brochures of programs and courses I wanted to study about and having conversations about grad school with her.  

Another VP, Mr. Yeaher, always reminded me to be me, and affirmed how I was  doing the right thing. I found under his leadership I was able to get books from an author to my classroom, finish my research project for grad school and have my students be part of it. We created a community helper’s class book and I was also featured in an article for OCT at that time. The opening line, “Kindness is free, give it to everyone” came from a principal who always said it during the PA which I adopted in my classroom practice and was the first line in that article for Professionally Speaking.  At the end of the day, it was not really the circumstances that impacted me, more so than surrounding myself with people who believed in me and supported me that helped me get through and graduate despite COVID 19, the strike and other obstacles I encountered in my profession.   

  1. What do you find most rewarding about your job (emotional, monetary, working on impactful projects, etc.)?  

I find it very rewarding and appreciate the thankyou cards and the scribbles and still keep a folder of them. I like working with the primary grades as they still enjoy coming to school and want to learn. I had students get very involved in big projects like community helpers, my Grade 1’s dressed up as what they wanted to be,I had S.W.A.T agents, firefighters, zookeepers, chef’s and they were very eager to present and write about it. Their enthusiasm and participation helped me finish my research project. Recently, I set up my first Christmas tree in the classroom and I’m playing Christmas carols with my students.  

  1. What do you dislike about your work? Or what surprised you about the role when you first started?  

In my first LTO, I was never prepared by the reality of teaching. There were many instances where I exclaimed that teacher’s college doesn't prepare you for this. I found the program gave you ideals to look forward to rather than painting what reality is. What I wished I learnt back are the following: 

  • How to write an IEP?  
  • How to work with a fresh start student?  
  • What is progressive discipline? 
  • How do you bring students up if you have concerns about them and if they require support? 

I also found myself wearing many hats in that LTO and I remembered being burnt out till it took a toll on my wellbeing. After that experience I learnt to draw boundaries and not keep giving all the time. 

 If I had to give myself advice back then it would be not to jump into an LTO too early and take your time till you're comfortable that you can handle the responsibility. Supply teaches in all the grades so you can get a feel of what areas you like and what you can handle. Go to  many workshops and don't be afraid to ask rookie questions so you are aware of the support structures in place to handle different classroom management situations. 

  1. What are some of the challenges working in your field? What strategies/techniques were helpful to overcome them? 

I found many systemic barriers and accessibility issues in the board that I worked in depending on the role you play. One example being progressive discipline. As a daily supply, you are in for the day and out the next. As a contract position you have access to your class list and can fill out the forms. Legally, according to the Education Act if a student violates certain codes of conduct and jeopardises the safety of others you need to report the incident to the principal. While you can share it verbally, there is also a reporting form part 1 you can fill out with the deadline towards the end of the day to be on the right side of the law. However, as an OT you don’t have access to this form as the system is archaic and don’t have access to the student lists. I remember going to a New teacher workshop, learning about this by both the board and the union and the union gave me hard copies to keep where if I don’t have access I can fill it in and give it to the principal or scan and email it which was really helpful. 

This helped because my VP from last year asked me about this platform where another teacher couldn’t access and I told him that as OT’s they can’t, I showed him my resource that I got from NTIP and the union and he said he will make paper copies so everyone has access to this platform. 

The good thing about being young and new is that people know you are a rookie. At the beginning I just asked older teachers rookie questions and they helped me out and gave me the info I needed. 

Another thing is to not let your age or lack of experience stop you from pursuing your passion. Know what you bring to the table. I realised my contributions during Covid -19 where I paired up with an older colleague last year and she helped me with curriculum night packages, report card comments  and how the brick and mortar in person school system worked and I helped her with zoom and sharing google slides resources and showing her how bitmoji worked when we transitioned to online learning during the pandemic. It was a good marriage between the old and new. 

  1. What is the job market like for people in your profession today? Are there more or less openings from when you first started? 

I never had an issue when I first started. I supply- taught for 10 days and fell into an LTO and returned to the same school for another LTO. Covid-19 pandemic has put a lot of stress on the system and many teachers took leaves of absences and early retirements in the board. In the board I work at, there is a work-to-rule happening and even though I met the requirements needed for permanent position I can only apply once work to rule is over and wait my turn as I am a little low in seniority. 

  1. From application to interview, what advice would you give students? 

My advice is to:  

  • Clean up your social media accounts as teaching is a public profession and many stakeholders like colleagues, parents and administrators even the Ontario College of Teachers can look up your name and gain access to comments/information and posts from years ago. 
  • Know what platforms to apply for jobs. I went to the Apply to Education Job fair with a resume and cover letter in hand and dressed up as they do have on-the-spot-interviews. The Apply to Ed website and School board website also gives you instructions on how to apply for job postings. 
  • Always come prepared with a portfolio to show examples of your work before your interview. I created a blog site through Weebly. You can use wordpress if you want and post my lesson plans, my assessments, and a toolkit on wellbeing with examples of activities I would use in my classroom. 
  • Some school boards during an interview  have a written component and an Q and A speaking part. Some school boards usually cover the topic on being a catholic if you decide to work in a catholic school board. Others include how you would plan a lesson/ unit. A classroom management question and maybe a scenario and how would you respond. How do you handle conflict, communication with parents/principal/colleague. Differentiated education/ accommodations special needs. One on OCT standards/ethics. 

I prepared, looked into the SLIP on the school website. Read the graduate expectations, knew the vision and mission of the board. I framed my answers with this is what I think it is and this is how it looks like in my classroom. I also asked other people to help me practise and do mock interviews with me. 

  1. How do you set yourself apart from others who wanted the same job? 

I took a lot of workshops and AQ’s that gave me more options. They include Spec Ed part 1, ESL, Guidance, Junior/Intermediate. I could apply for positions like Fifth block, Empower, rather than corner myself in my basic qualification which is Primary/ Junior. 

I took a coaching workshop and can coach a sports team. A technology workshop and can teach the basics of code like dot and dash and robotics. I also did a workshop on the UN sustainable development goals which helped me when I applied to one of the summer camps that focused on sustainable development goals. 

I also volunteered in church as a confirmation catechist, went back to my elementary school and shadowed teachers and was a familiar face. I was known in the school and church community so when it was interview time the principals who were on the panel knew my sister, me as a kid and I wasn’t a random stranger they took a chance on but a familiar face.   

  1. In your opinion, what part did networking play in your journey? Do you have any recommendations on how students can network effectively? 

While it's good to be in person I found many opportunities through social media. Facebook has Occasional Teacher groups with different boards. It was easier to post something stating my availability and schools I wanted and have other teachers contact me and book me in the system there than SEMS. Some are nice enough to share the entrance to the classroom if you  are new and give you a heads up about a particular student in the class. I found it better than SEMS as it's just a call with a job number and name of a school but does not give you any more information especially if it’s the first time you are going to that school. I also found a group called bitmoji classroom and it helped during Covid 19 pandemic where teachers were sharing their online resources for different grades. I had a Google slides calendar that I used, a template for a weekly schedule and  levelled libraries and virtual field trips from that group. 

I found a National Best Selling Author Tina Powell author who donated her books via a mutual friend and got featured in Professionally Speaking by connecting with the editor on Linkedin. Another friend Maddie told me to check out the Catholic Teachers guild, personally it is for building community as teaching can be isolating more than opportunity.  


Bri Darboh and Iris Yusupov

Doctoral Students of Clinical Neuropsychology

October 28, 2021

Bri Darboh received her Honours BA in Psychology from York University in 2015. Inspired by her passion for cognitive neuroscience, Bri spent one year as a full-time research lab manager following her undergraduate training. She went on to complete a master’s degree in 2018 at York University with a focus in Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology. Bri is currently a full-time doctoral student in Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology at York University, and a part-time MBA student specializing in Health Industry Management and Organization studies at the Schulich School of Business. Her doctoral research is focused on exploring the brain and behavioural changes associated with aging using neurocognitive tests and neuroimaging methods. Her clinical training has centred on assessment and therapy with adolescents and adults, with a special focus on traumatic brain injury and age-related cognitive decline. To this end, she has served as the chairperson of the York University Centre for Aging Research & Education (YU-CARE) Trainee Network since 2016 and is the Co-President of the Black Students in Psychology (BSIP) organization.

Iris Yusupov has an honours BA in psychology with a focus on cognitive neuropsychology from Glendon College and a master’s degree in clinical psychology. She is currently a senior PhD student in clinical neuropsychology at York University in the midst of applying for her doctoral residency. Iris is also a part-time MBA student at the Schulich School of Business specializing in health industry management and organization studies. Her clinical training includes therapy and assessment with individuals who are incarcerated, as well as the diagnosis of cognitive impairment in older adults with neurodegenerative disease. Her dissertation research involves the development and evaluation of an online memory program for healthy older adults. She hopes to pursue a career in a hospital setting with a leadership role and a focus on clinical work with older adults.


Cesar Calero

Kinesiologist

July 6, 2021

Cesar graduated from York University in 2016 with a Specialized Honors in Kinesiology, followed by doing a Master of Professional Kinesiology at the University of Toronto. Throughout his undergrad, he volunteered in various work environments to explore potential career goals, ranging from chiropractors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. It was through his involvement at Black Creek Community Health Centre where he gained an interest in working in the community health sector. After graduation, he worked at Access Alliance as a Community Health Worker and aimed to use his Kinesiology background in an innovative way. By developing a proof of concept of the Registered Kinesiologist role, he was able to create an opportunity for himself to be the organizations first’ RKin. He currently works as their Kinesiologist who specializes in senior health and fitness. In his spare time, he enjoys painting, league of legends, Legos and jazz funk dance classes.


Smantha Alphonsus

Personal Trainer & Fitness Professional

June 24, 2021

Smantha is a Certified Personal Trainer through the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP-CPT) and is currently building her own business as Fitness Entrepreneur geared towards helping women of colour. She has been a professional in the fitness industry for over 9 years and has a Bachelor of Arts degree, Specializing in Kinesiology. Despite cultural norms and push back in the early stages of her career she has been published as a fitness model and is a former Bikini Competitor. She is currently pursuing extra studies with the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) and Pre & Post Natal Care with CSEP. When she isn't in the gym, Smantha enjoys nature, psychology, spirituality and meeting new people.


John Andonoff

Sales & Marketing Health Care Professional, and Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, Cannabis Market Expert

June 7, 2021

John Andonoff holds a Postgraduate Certificate of Business Administration from Heriot Watt University’s Edinburgh School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts Double Honours Degree in Mass Communications and Psychology from York University where his honours thesis on the Detection of Deception was published in the Journal of Psychophysiology. John currently is the Executive Leader of the Business Development team at Impres, Canada’s leader in contract-based staffing solutions for the Health Care sector. An accomplished winner of multiple awards John has been recognized as an exceptional leader of high performing teams, creator of innovative strategic plans with a fearless focus on mobilizing efforts to launching products in new channels creating them into blockbuster agents. Highlights including launching Enbrel® a novel biologic for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Prevnar® a now standard infant vaccine for meningitis, and Tilray’s line of medical cannabis products for pain and mental health. As a seasoned executive John has established new business units in Canada, United States, Europe and Australia in various commercial and technological areas.


Ranjana Nagi

Health Policy Researcher

May 26, 2021

Ranjana is a health policy researcher with over three years of experience in academic research groups, biopharmaceutical companies, and consulting. She holds an honours BSc in Global Health from York University and an MSc in International Health Policy (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). During her undergraduate studies, she remained an active member of the student community – co-founding a peer tutoring program for her fellow global health students, winning the Dr. James Wu prize for the best research poster, and placing first (nationally) at the Canadian Red Cross Social Innovation Challenge. She has also interned at global biopharmaceutical companies Celgene Corp. and Amgen Ltd. in both Mississauga and London (UK). With her passion to apply rigorous research methods for health policy decision making, she is currently a research fellow at the Global Strategy Lab and has contributed to more than 7 academic papers.


Rodion Rogov

Senior Advisor at Strategy & Consulting Group, Colliers International

April 28, 2021

As a strategist by nature and training, Rodion focuses on providing strategic advice to organizations looking to accelerate results. Since 2012, he's led a diverse collective of strategy and execution, business transformation and organizational change initiatives across various industries and sectors, working internally and externally in a consultative capacity. His work most recently involved building the future of Toronto's waterfront, developing a real estate strategy for a National non-for-profit and introducing strategic thinking to a leading healthcare organization. As an entrepreneur, he has built his consulting practices from the ground up and advised multiple start-ups globally along the way. Rodion knows what it takes to translate an idea into action and guide an organization to deliver results.


Sarah Burch

Autism Spectrum Disorder Consultant

April 13, 2021

Sarah graduated from York University in 2004 with a BA in Psychology. After toying with the idea of becoming a teacher, she ventured into the world of early intervention. Supporting children who experience an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) was a burgeoning field as the number of children receiving diagnoses was increasing. Sarah began her career by delivering Intensive Behavioural Intervention Therapy for a lead agency in Autism Services. Over her 16-year career, Sarah has experienced a myriad of changes in the delivery of funded Autism Services in the province. The impact of the changes led Sarah to earn her Master's Degree in Counselling Psychology and continue her career in supporting children and youth who experience ASD in a leadership capacity. When she isn’t wading through the research, Sarah enjoys skating with her daughter and taking a walk with an old friend.


Shahad Aali

Personal Fitness Trainer at TURF Athletics Club

April 1, 2021

Shahad is a Strength and Conditioning Professional and Personal Trainer at Turf Athletics Club. A long time ago, he tore his ACL claiming that it was one of the best and worst things to ever happen to him: "The worst is self-explanatory, I'm out of commission. Obviously, it's not ideal; my aspirations for playing professional baseball went down with the health of my knee. However, with the systematic degradation of my knee came newfound knowledge and acceptance of what I can control. If I never tore my ACL, I probably never would've become a trainer. I never would've learned physical rehabilitation, strength performance, human anatomy. I never would've met the very people that inspire me to be the best I can be. I found a pivot, a silver lining, a new beginning. I hope to help you find yours if you need it too."


Maha Rasheed

Recruitment Professional at IKEA Canada

March 17, 2021

Maha graduated from YorkU in 2010 with a bachelor’s in Arts (English major). She accidentally fell into HR/recruitment where she found her passion and journeyed through a variety of recruitment-related jobs. She is currently working for IKEA Canada in recruitment. She is open to networking and happy to share her experiences and lessons along the way.


Safiya Clarke-Mendes

Women's Community Development Coordinator at the Aids Committee of Toronto

February 24, 2021

Safiya has a Bachelor of Science in Global Health from York University and a Master of Public Health from George Washing University. She has contributed as a public health researcher and education workshop facilitator to the development and implementation of health promotion programs in Canada and in the Caribbean. She is currently living in Toronto, Canada and serving as the Women’s Community Development Coordinator at the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT).


Angelina Batac

Registered Nurse

February 19, 2021

Angelina is a Faculty of Health alumni and newly Registered Nurse who graduated from York University's Collaborative Nursing Program with Georgian College. Prior to starting her nursing career, she was the President and Co-Founder of the student club Nursing Student Tutoring, Ambassadorship & Mentorship Programs (NSTAMP). She also had the opportunity to hold various different leadership roles at Calumet and Stong College which helped her build skills that she uses everyday as a nurse. Currently, she is employed at Mackenzie Health Richmond Hill and Cortellucci Vaughn Hospital as a part of their Nursing Resource Team (Float). She has had experience on a variety of different types of units including the Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department, Surgery, Telemetry, Pediatrics, Long Term Care, Rehabilitation and more.


Tania Xerri

Director at the Health Leadership & Learning Network, York University

February 10, 2021

Tania Xerri is a passionate educator and leader in Adult Professional Learning serving Health and the broader Health community locally, nationally and globally and currently heads the Health Leadership & Learning Network (HLLN) in the Faculty of Health at York University. HLLN provides innovative and leading-edge education to working health professionals and health care management and staff. Tania has been instrumental in leading “integrated health” education in Canada, and most notably Health Coaching, where she has lead York University to offer the first accredited professional education Health Coaching program in Canada. She is the past board chair of the Conference on Management and Executive Education (CMED) where she served on the board for 5 years. CMED serves the broader Adult Professional Learning industry and serves a community of over 250 Universities and Colleges globally.

Tania’s career spans almost 20 years in health care research in the Toronto teaching hospitals before arriving at York University in 2009. Using this experience, she has forged Health education and leadership that is inter-professional, evidence-based, informed by the industry, integrated and focused on “keeping people healthier, longer”. Tania is currently spearheading the use of micro-credentials and digital credentials in HLLN towards “connecting our learners to the global job community and getting the career they want”. She believes that the path to leadership is found first and foremost through your own personal ability to self-reflect and that you use leadership in everything you do, no matter how small.


Frank Clarke

Director of Communications & Planning at the Faculty of Health, York University

January 21, 2021

Frank is the Director, Communications & Planning (since 2011), in the Dean’s Office in the Faculty of Health at York. He has previously served in communications roles at Sick Kids Foundation, the Ontario Ministry of Education, and Toronto Community Housing. A graduate of York University's Hons. BA History program and a recent Ph.D. graduate of York’s history program, Frank did not expect to end up in a career in communications but his is an example of a career path that can take unexpected turns. Frank’s story may be of interest to those students who are uncertain of their career path or to students thinking of going on to graduate school.

Kojo Mintah

Doctoral Candidate, Clinical Psychology at York University

December 2, 2020

Kojo is a doctoral student from the York University Clinical-Developmental Psychology Program. Kojo has presented psychology research at over 15 university-level, national, and international academic conferences, and has published research in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences. His research has focused generally on the social functioning of teenagers and emerging adults in general, autistic, and neurological populations, and he is currently studying social functioning among teenagers and emerging adults with a moderate traumatic brain injury.

Click here to watch Koho Mintah's recorded interview


Kimberly Igiebor-Isoken

BSc KHS Graduate and CSEP-CPT Certificate Candidate

November 23, 2020

Kimberly is a recent graduate who obtained an Hons. BSc in Kinesiology & Health Science. Currently, she is taking a gap year before returning back to school to pursue higher education. As of recently, Kimberly is a candidate for the CSEP-CPT certificate in personal training and is starting an educational blog where she interviews healthcare workers to gain insights into their field.

Click here to watch Kimberly Igiebor-Isoken's recorded interview


Brittany Pasher

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Coach at the Canadian Mental Health Association

November 20, 2020

Brittany is currently a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Coach with The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), and a graduate of York University's Hons. BA Psychology program. She works to advocate for accessible mental health resources, and strives to continue doing so by contributing her work to non-profit and grassroots organizations.

Click here to watch Brittany Pasher's recorded interview


Frankie Rubino

Registered Physiotherapist

November 2, 2020

Frankie attended York University in 2012 and obtained a Specialized Bachelors of Science Degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. From there, he went on to pursue a Master's of Science in Physiotherapy at McMaster University, graduating in 2019. He is now a Registered Physiotherapist at Gemini Health Group in Richmond Hill, Ontario and Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University.

Click here to watch Frankie Rubino's recorded interview


Clayton Rhodes

Durham College Professor

October 27, 2020

Clayton Rhodes graduated from York University in 1996 with an Honours B.A. in Psychology. He later continued his life-long learning journey by completing his Master of Arts in Education from the University of Phoenix in 2006. Clayton is currently a professor at Durham College. He teaches communications and general education courses.

Click here to watch Clayton Rhodes' recorded interview 


Kamilah Clayton

Registered Social Worker

October 23, 2020

Kamilah Clayton is a Registered Social Worker, with over 10 years of experience working with children, youth, and families. Kamilah is an African Centred Rites of Passage Initiate and elder, and facilitates workshops on mental health in the Black community. Kamilah has a private practice in Whitby, ON, where she specializes in issues of Anxiety, Depression, Stress and Racial identity.

Click here to watch Kamilah Clayton's recorded interview 


Jaime Filer

Online Personal Trainer & Influencer

October 16, 2020

Jaime Filer’s professional career in the fitness industry spans over 15 years. She started out as a trainer in Toronto, Canada with a CanFit Pro certification (and a spin instructor at Tait Mackenzie), and has done everything from run an internationally published magazine to compete in Crossfit and bodybuilding on the national stage. Her love of personal coaching always called her back. Through the power of social media and being an Influencer, Jaime has taken her $1500/month online PT business, to over $125,000 a year consistently.

Click here to watch Jaime Filer's recorded interview 


Debbie Engineer

Employer Engagement Coordinator at the University of Toronto Scarborough

August 21, 2020

Debbie is a business development professional that is passionate about helping people succeed. Not only has she helped businesses achieve their hiring needs by promoting government incentive and subsidy programs, she has also linked hundreds of individual jobseekers to employment across all business sectors. With over 15 years of experience supporting everyone from new graduates to seasoned professionals, Debbie is a strong advocate for those who may need assistance in achieving their employment goals.

Click here to watch Debbie Engineer's recorded interview 


Kyle Dunlop

Fitness & Lifestyle Consultant at Macewan University

August 20, 2020

A graduate of York University's Kinesiology and Health Science program, Kyle Completed the Fitness stream under Dr. Veronica Jamnik. Kyle is a certified Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer, and Strength and Conditioning Specialist. His areas of interest include: athlete development, nutrition, occupational and sport testing.

Click here to watch Kyle Dunlop's recorded interview


Araba Opong

Financial Advisor at Primerica

August 6, 2020

Starting with post secondary studies in Biology and Psychology at the University of Toronto, and then a Collaborative Honours of Science degree in Nursing, Araba realized that she does not want to be tied down to a job that dictates when you must wake up, what car you can drive, where you can afford to live or when/how/where you can go on vacation! As a result, Araba is now focused on expanding her own business and building generational wealth by helping families gain knowledge about financial independence. She also continues to practice nursing on her own terms.

Click here to watch Araba Opong's recorded interview


John Vlahos

Team Services Coordinator at UEFA

July 29, 2020

John, a graduate of York University’s Kinesiology & Health Science program, continued his education and completed a Masters in Kinesiology under Dr. Safai, focusing on the sociology of sport, and completed a second Masters in Sports Management with the AISTS program in cooperation with the International Olympic Committee. After his first taste of organizing an international sporting event, the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015, John needed more and set a goal of being a part of FIFA/UEFA and began a 4-year journey to achieve this, which included studying abroad in Switzerland. In between, he was involved in organizing the 2016 NBA All-Star game and worked for Ontario Soccer. Now John is organizing EURO2020 as a member of the Host Country Projects, Team Services division at UEFA.

Click here to watch John Vlahos' recorded interview


Asal Kazemi

Doctor of Physiotherapy

July 22, 2020

Asal is a full-time clinical practitioner as an orthopedic physiotherapist where she works with two surgeons, two chiropractors, and three physiotherapists. Asal Kazemi holds an Hons. BSc focusing on kinesiology and biology. She also holds a Doctorate Degree in physiotherapy. Asal has experience working with patients who have various conditions such as back pain, tendonitis, joint pain, and many other conditions.

Click here to watch Asal Kazemi's recorded interview


Pegah Rahbar

Doctor of Chiropractic Student

July 15, 2020

Pegah received her BSc Specialized Honors in Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in 2018 with the President's Honors Award. Her passion for healthcare, clinical diagnosis, and patient care along with her interest in conservative management of pain led her in choosing a career in chiropractic. Currently, she is a doctor of chiropractic student at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) class of 2023. She is excited to share her personal experiences regarding her undergraduate involvement at YorkU, the application process, her current experience as a chiropractic student, and her research involvement. As the chiropractic field is a relatively young profession, she is hoping to answer any questions regarding what chiropractic is and how it has been benefiting patients with musculoskeletal issues.

Click here to watch Pegah Rahbar's recorded interview


John Andonoff

Healthcare Consultant at JAndonoffConsulting

July 6, 2020

John Andonoff holds a Postgraduate Certificate of Business Administration from Heriot Watt University’s Edinburgh School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts Double Honours Degree in Mass Communications and Psychology from Toronto’s York University where his honours thesis on the Detection of Deception was published in the Journal of Psychophysiology.

An experienced operational leader who has a demonstrated ability at scaling up organizations with cross-functional leadership to achieve maximal revenue and profit, John is known to set a clear vision focused on achieving key quantitative metrics to meet stakeholder expectations. Most recently John spent the last 5 years at Tilray, a global leader in the clinical research, production, distribution and sales of medical cannabis where he led the explosive growth of this new non-combustible research driven therapy in Canada, Germany, Australia and Latin America. Throughout John’s career he has managed supply chain demands through predictive forecast models that have enabled company growth fuelled by accurate market assumptions.


Cameron Mattice

Founder of Mattice Movement

June 29, 2020

Cameron is based in Toronto and has a degree in Kinesiology from York University. He is a registered Hatha Yoga Teacher and is certified as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. He has spent countless hours working with adults in both group and private settings and has worked amongst many knowledgeable health professionals. Cameron is the founder of Mattice Movement, an online coaching service that focuses on educating adults on physical literacy and lifestyle practices. Cameron helps individuals learn how to build a resilient body using sustainable methods. His mission is to help others develop confidence in their body and allow them to move through life with ease.

Cameron plans to further his education by attending chiropractic college at New York Chiropractic College in September 2020. In his spare time, Cameron enjoys connecting with nature during hiking, rock climbing, snowboarding, and various other outdoor activities.

Click here to watch Cameron Mattice's recorded interview


Nicole Arsenov

Teacher at Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

June 22, 2020

This session’s spotlight speaker is Nicole Arsenov. Nicole graduated from York University with a BAS degree in English and History. She decided to pursue Teacher's College at the University of Western Ontario in the Intermediate and Senior Divisions which requires two subject specialties. Nicole is certified to teach Grades 7 to 10 and Grades 11 to 12. After receiving her Bachelor of Education, she decided to take an additional qualification in the Junior Division and became certified to teach grades 4 to 6. Nicole has experience working for two different school boards and has supplied or taught in every grade from JK to 12.

Click here to watch Nicole Arsenov's recorded interview


Slav Feldman

Advanced Practice Physiotherapist

June 17, 2020

This session’s spotlight speaker is Slav Feldman. A graduate of York University’s Kinesiology & Health Science Program, Slav has been an orthopaedic physiotherapist since 2011. His interests include management of spinal pain, arthritis, and integration of technology in physical rehabilitation. Slav is excited to share his career journey and tips for success with Faculty of Health students.

Click here to watch Slav Feldman's recorded interview


Suresh Subramaniam

Firefighter & Realtor

June 11, 2020

This session’s spotlight speaker is Suresh Subramaniam. A graduate of York University’s Psychology Program, Suresh has been a firefighter for 10 years and a realtor for 3 years. He is excited to share his career journey and tips with Faculty of Health students.

Click here to watch Suresh Subramaniam's recorded interview


Nima Soudi

ER Physician at Markham Stouffville Hospital

June 5, 2020

This session’s spotlight speaker is Nima Soudi. Nima split his undergraduate degree between U of T then YorkU in Phys Ed and Kinesiology. He entered the Master’s program at YorkU, completed his medical degree at the University of Ottawa and subsequently did his Family Medicine residency at U of T, followed by a one-year fellowship in Emergency Medicine at Queen's University. Nima works as a full-time ER physician at Markham Stouffville Hospital, a relatively busy community hospital.

Click here to watch Nima Soudi's recorded interview


Anita Senthinathan

Assistant Professor at SUNY Buffalo State

May 29, 2020

This week’s spotlight speaker is Anita Senthinathan. Following an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Psychology, Anita pursued a combined Clinical Master’s and PhD in Speech Language Pathology (SLP) at Western University. Her research and teaching interest is in medically based and neurological speech disorders and swallowing. Anita graduated last year and started a tenure track position in Buffalo, NY. She has experience in acute care hospital settings and is passionate about diversifying the field of SLP. 

Click here to watch Anita Senthinathan's recorded interview


Ghulam Ahmad

Online Fitness Coach at Gene Activated

May 22, 2020

This week’s spotlight speaker is Ghulam Ahmad. Ghulam is based in Canada and is a graduate of York University’s Kinesiology & Health Science Program, Ghulam is an exercise physiologist and online fitness coach that specializes in weight loss transformations, specifically helping type 2 diabetics lose dangerous visceral fat around their stomach so they can start their journey of reversing their diabetes and live a longer, healthier life.

Click here to watch Ghulam Ahmad's recorded interview


Kara Golani

Manager at Special Initiatives, TD Canada Trust

May 15, 2020

This week’s spotlight speaker is Kara Golani. Kara Golani is based in Toronto and is an EdTech consultant and transformation expert who focuses on how cutting-edge technologies can drive learning. A lifelong learner herself, Kara is passionate about leveraging the power of 21C tools both in the classroom and the workplace.

Click here to watch Kara Golani's recorded interview


Igor Klibanov

Owner and CEO at Fitness Solution Plus

May 8, 2020

This week’s spotlight speaker is Igor Klibanov. Igor is based in Toronto and is a graduate of York University's Kinesiology and Health Science program. Shortly after graduation, he was selected as one of the top 5 personal trainers in Toronto by the Metro News newspaper. Over the next few years, Igor went on to build one of Toronto's premier personal training companies, Fitness Solutions Plus. During this time, he has authored 5 books on exercise and nutrition, including "STOP EXERCISING! The Way You Are Doing it Now" and "The Mental Health Prescription."

Click here to watch Igor Klibanov's recorded meeting


Harjot Dhaliwal

Health Analyst at Public Health Ontario

May 1, 2020

This week’s spotlight speaker is Harjot Dhaliwal. Harjot is based in Toronto and completed her Bachelor of Health Studies at York University. Harjot is a Health Analyst with Public Health Ontario. Her focus is on Communicable Diseases and Emergency Preparedness & Response.


Clayton Rhodes

Communications and General Education Professor at Durham College

April 23, 2020

This week’s spotlight speaker is Clayton Rhodes. Clayton is based in Toronto and is a professor at Durham College who teaches Communications and General Education courses. Professor Rhodes completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (York University) and a Master of Arts in Education (University of Phoenix).

Click here to watch Clayton Rhodes' recorded interview


Bianca Williams

Public Health Nurse at Regional Municipality of Durham

April 15, 2020

This week’s spotlight speaker is Bianca Williams. Bianca is based in Port Perry, Ontario and is a registered nurse working at the Regional Municipality of Durham. She completed her BScN at York University and briefly worked in an emergency department. She then took a position as a Public Health Nurse where she has worked for 6 years. Bianca experienced the health care system both as a worker and as a patient. This influenced her view on the need for patient-centered care and strong health care leadership. Bianca is currently working on her Masters of Science in Public Health with a focus on health service management.

Click here to watch Bianca Williams' recorded interview