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b2B Backpack to Briefcase – History Mentorship Meal (Winter 2019)

February 5 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Not sure what to do with your History degree? We’ve got a Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) History Mentorship Meal for that!

Mentorship Meals bring together alumni, faculty and students from the same discipline where you can enjoy a delicious meal while engaging in conversations about future career paths and the possibilities your degree can open up. This a is a great opportunity to network with successful alumni.

REGISTER HERE to confirm your interest in attending.  Dinners are restricted to 17 student attendees and final registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Please read below attending alumni for more information. This is part of the Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) Mentorship Meal series. 

Attending Alumni: 

  • Rachel Barton, Senior Policy Advisor, Open Government Office, Ontario Public Service
  • John Birch, Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
  • Lawrence Russo, Portfolio Administrator, Mackenzie Investments
  • Anneliese Sanghara, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Freelance

Attending Faculty: 

  • Dr. Mark McGowan, Professor & Deputy Chair, Department of History, UofT

Alumni Biography: 

Rachel Barton, Senior Policy Advisor, Open Government Office, Ontario Public Service

Rachel Barton is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Open Government Office of the Government of Ontario. Her work focuses on digital government transformation, open government and data and information stewardship. She has more than a decade of experience in archives operations and information policy, and has been published in the Journal of Information Ethics. She holds an Hon BA in History and American Studies and MISt with a focus in Archives and Recordkeeping from the University of Toronto.

John Birch, Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

John Birch is a partner at the national law firm of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, where he practises in the areas of bankruptcy and insolvency and commercial litigation. He also holds the position of General Counsel of the firm and is chair of the firm’s Risk Management Committee. John graduated from the University of Toronto (Trinity College) in 1991 with a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations (with a significant concentration in history). After graduating from the U of T, he obtained (in 1995) a Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Masters of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business (York University). John has been practising full-time as a lawyer since he was called to the bar in 1997.

Outside the office, John enjoys numerous pursuits such as skiing, cycling, opera, and cheering for his daughters at the side of soccer fields, pools, and hockey rinks. John met his wife, Mandy, at the U of T, where she studied history and obtained a B.A. and M.A.

Dr. Mark McGowan, Professor & Deputy Chair, Department of History, UofT

Specialist in the religious, social, and communications history of Canada and Ireland. Author of the award-winning books Catholics at the Gathering Place: Historical Essays on the Archdiocese of Toronto (1992) and The Waning of the Green: Catholics, the Irish and Identity in Toronto, 1887-1922 (McGill-Queen’s 1999); Michael Power: The Struggle to Build the Catholic Church on the Canadian Frontier (McGill-Queen’s, 2005); he has recently completed a revisionist work on the Irish Famine migration to Canada (for the CHA Canadian Ethnic Groups Series) and a short award-winning book for the Ireland Park Foundation: Death or Canada: The Irish Famine Migration to Toronto, 1847 and Toronto. He is currently researching the evolution of religious broadcasting in Canada and writing a book on Canada’s Irish Catholics during the Great War. A recipient of four University Teaching Awards, he served as  Principal of St. Michael’s College from 2002 to 2011, and as Acting Vice-Provost, Students, for the University of Toronto for part of 2013.

Lawrence Russo, Portfolio Administrator, Mackenzie Investments

Lawrence is a Portfolio Administrator at Mackenzie Investments. He lives in Toronto and graduated from the University of Toronto (Woodsworth College) in 2012 with an Honours Specialist Degree in History. Once graduated, Lawrence took 6 months to travel abroad before starting his career with the Royal Bank of Canada and later moving to RBC Capital Markets. After more than 5 years with RBC in various roles in banking, lending and investments, Lawrence began working for Mackenzie Investments in early 2018 in his current capacity at the company.

Lawrence is a Director for a Guelph based charity called Friends of the Orphans Canada (FOTOCAN) that since 1954 has provided orphaned and abandoned children in nine Latin American countries the necessities of life and the opportunities to grow. He is also a member of the Mackenzie Investments Charitable Committee.

In his free time Lawrence enjoys exercising, running in road races between 10-15 km in length, golfing, reading and studying and spending time with friends and family.

Anneliese Sanghara, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Freelance

Anneliese Sanghara is a Marketing and Communications Professional with a Honours Bachelor of Arts, Master of Professional Communication, and over three years of experience. She has worked for notable organizations such as the Robert Bateman Centre, University of Toronto, and Esri Canada. Anneliese has served as the Director, Social Media for the International Association of Business Communicators’ Toronto chapter.


Student Biography:

Funlade Afolabi

4th year student wanting to learn more about my career options.

Harold Armstrong

History is the best academic disciple to learn how to write authoritatively (i.e. for publication). Also, the best training for law school: learn how to develop lines of reasoning and present them (orally and in writing). Debate is a central part of History seminar studies. History is best training for any work related to communications (media, politics etc.). History graduates have a better grasp of general knowledge than most other students.

Laraib Chaudhry

For my bachelors, I am pursuing a double major in History and Political Science along with a minor in South Asian Studies. At this moment in time, I intend to get into Human Right’s Law.

Hao Chen

Hao Chen is a fourth-year specialist in History with a major in American Studies looking to graduate in Spring 2019. He works at Gap as a sales associate and at Gap Inc. Canada’s head office as an assistant and is a campus editor for LinkedIn. He is looking to enter the field of marketing and public relations but is also interested in government positions as well as the field of law.

Shawna Collins

Shawna graduated from McMaster University with a B.A in history and women’s studies as well as her Master’s degree in history. She is currently a first year PhD candidate in the department of history. Her research focuses on the relationship between food and Italian-Canadian migrants in the post-war period with a feminist perspective. Shawna has also worked as a Resident Advisor, Teaching Assistant, and for the McMaster Student Union. She would like to learn more about similar options available at the University of Toronto. Through this session, she would like to learn about networking skills and opportunities as well as employment options inside and outside the field of academia.

Mónica Espaillat Lizardo

Monica Espaillat Lizardo earned an Honours B.A. with “High Distinction” from the University of Toronto in 2013. In 2013 she began a direct-entry PhD program at the University of Toronto Department of History. Monica is currently undertaking research in the Dominican Republic for her dissertation project, tentatively titled, “Transversive Movements: A Trans History of Hispaniola, 1930-2013.” The project interrogates the legal and social construction of the “citizen” to understand how the category, and access to it, was marked by gender and race. The project aims to explore what Trans Dominicans and Dominico-Haitians precarious relationship to citizenship may reveal about Dominican conceptions and constructions of the category.

Jackson Yue Bin Guo

I am fourth year PhD candidate in us. My work focuses on the history of alcohol and drinking in late imperial CHINA.

Maya Hoke

I am a 4th year Public Policy and History double major. I’ve worked as a RA for a Professor within the Munk School for the last two years. I’m interested in historically-informed policy and developing policy that reaches marginalized communities that are typically excluded from the policy process. In my free time I’m an avid reader and enjoy exploring Toronto.

Sam Jenison

I am an international student from the United States, in my 3rd year studying economics and history.

Tiffany Kao

My name is Tiffany Kao. I am a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in History and International Relations at the University of Toronto. I am interested in learning more about the future options available for my degrees and making some new friends.

Shailee Koranne

I am a fifth year student in Equity Studies, History, and Women and Gender Studies. I am a writer with an interest in analyzing youth media through equity lenses. After my undergrad, I hope to pursue graduate studies in communications.

Elise Lafleur

Elise is a first year student working towards a history specialust. She is interested in international history, especially East-West perceptions of each other, Medieval Middle East-Europe relationships, and international trade. She is hoping to mix grad school, teaching, and community suppirt/social work after graduation.

Sneha Patel

I am a third year UofT student, who is double majoring in sociology and history and am interesting in learning all the options I have as a history student.

Tessa Prasuhn

I am a second-year student in the Faculty of Music, majoring in classical piano, and am also hoping to complete a major in history. I’m currently unsure as to what I want to pursue after I complete my undergraduate education, but I’m interested in the fields of research and law and have been seeking opportunities to learn about these careers, what is required, and to speak to people involved in order to gain a better understanding of what I may want to pursue in the future. I decided to attend this event because I attended multiple b2B humanities networking sessions during my first year which I found to be really rewarding experiences. I am especially excited for the opportunity to attend this event since it is specifically focused on history, an area of study that I am particularly interested in and passionate about, and am looking forward to hearing from history alumni about their career paths and how their studies helped them.

Sheila Rasouli

My name is Sheila and I am a Third year undergraduate student in the departments of History and Neuroscience. In my free time, I have been able to delve into the field of Neuroscience through research but have yet to look into the future possibilities History can offer. I look forward to learning all that a focus in History can lead to.

Alan Zha

Alan Zha is a third year undergraduate history student at the University of Toronto. Alan is from Vancouver B.C., where black bears and orcas can be found along the coast. Fields that interest Alan the most are the histories of human rights, which is a major component of his current course load. In the future, Alan is interested in careers that are involved with human rights and the legal fields. Alan is also a big fan of traveling and he loves to experience new perspectives while connecting with new people. In his spare time, Alan enjoys swimming, and playing instruments such as the guitar and piano. Alan looks forward to meeting the lovely guests and friends tonight at the event, and is delighted to make your acquaintance.

Evan Zhong

My name is Evan Zhong. I’m a 3rd-year undergrad student. My major is history studies and minor in French and Philosophy.


February 5
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm