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Events listed below are coordinated by the Arts & Science Alumni Office as well as by various Arts & Science academic units.  For a list of general U of T alumni events, please see the U of T Events Calendar.

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b2B Industry Night – Careers in Government, Public Policy and Social Justice (2019)

November 20 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Thinking about a career in government and/or social justice? Curious as to how to plan your path forward and connect your current studies with a job after graduation? Join us on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, when alumni and students will mix and mingle for a very special b2B.

Careers in government and social justice span many areas and offer a variety of career options after graduation. The skills you gain from your Arts & Science degree can be transferred into many opportunities in these fields. This networking reception will be a great opportunity to make these connections and speak with multiple alumni who graduated from the Faculty of Arts & Science and have gone on to pursue a career in government and social justice, as well as with fellow U of T students who are also considering this path.



The b2B Industry Night focuses on careers in a specific industry, and offers an opportunity for students to engage with alumni who graduated from the Faculty of Arts & Science, and who are now working in various fields.

Event Objectives

  • Connect students, recent grads, and alumni who are interested in a career in a particular field.
  • Encourage conversations about how an Arts & Science education contributes to a career in the field.
  • Explore career options in order to support a successful transition after graduation.
  • Develop and expand your professional network.
  • Build awareness about the realities of a career in the industry and potential paths to get there.
  • Discover a variety of career stories.


Time Activity
5:30 pm Alumni are invited to arrive, register and mingle.

Refreshments will be provided throughout the evening

6:00 pm Students arrive and register.
6:15 pm Opening remarks

Networking event officially begins

8:00 pm Networking event officially concludes

Event Audience

The b2B Industry Night attendees include students and recent graduates at various stages of their education and career, as well as Arts & Science alumni, including:

  • U of T Arts & Science Alumni currently working in the industry
  • Undergraduate students who are considering a career in the industry and want to learn how their studies will support them beyond graduation
  • Graduate students (MA, MSc, PhD) who are interested in exploring careers in the industry
  • Recent graduates who are looking to continue to develop their networks, professional skills and industry knowledge

Alumni Biographies: 

Dr. Catherine Bragg, Retired UN Assistant Secretary-General, UN – KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Dr. Catherine Bragg is a former Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in the United Nations (2008-2013).  As the ASG, she was the deputy head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).  Prior to her secondment to the UN, she has spent 24 years in the federal public service of Canada.  During this time, her portfolios included criminal and Aboriginal justice, Northern devolution and the voluntary sector, among others.  She served in seven federal departments, including the Canadian International Development Agency, where she was the Director General of the International Humanitarian Assistance, Peace and Security Program.  In total, she has visited over 100 countries and been involved in response to close to 30 humanitarian crises and situations.  She is currently Adjunct Full Professor in the Centre for Humanitarian Action, University College Dublin and a Governor of the University of Toronto.  Dr. Bragg received her degrees from University of Toronto (B.Sc. Psychology), University of Cambridge (M.Phil. Criminology) and the State University of New York at Albany (Ph.D. Criminal Justice).

Raja Abdo, Policy Advisor, Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council (IAESC)

Currently working as a policy advisor for the Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council (IAESC). The Council is a quality assurance organization that supports Indigenous Institutes of higher education in Ontario.

Previously, I worked at the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Most notably, I worked on communications strategy for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). I strongly believe in making the most of a degree at the University of Toronto. Whether it’s extra-curricular activities, volunteering, studying abroad or working in university administration; having a story beyond “I finished my undergrad here” will take you a much longer way.

Waeza Afzal, Senior Consultant, Knowledge Management

Waeza brings extensive experience in policy development, stakeholder engagement and policy research and analysis on a variety of social and urban issues.  While working as a Policy Advisor for the Real Estate Council of Ontario, she analyzed reforms to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA) and conducted analysis on the use of bitcoin and crypto currency in real estate transactions.  As a Senior Strategist at ThinkFresh Group she developed tenancy models and market concepts for a proposed micro retail marketplace in Honest Ed’s Alleyway to support small entrepreneurs and led a community consultation to go over proposed plans. While working for the province she implemented a framework to prioritize social service funding requests. Waeza completed her undergraduate studies in Philosophy at the University of Toronto (St. George) and then went on to pursue an MSc. in Sustainable Cities from King’s College London at the University of London.   She currently works as a Senior Consultant of Knowledge Management at The 519 where she oversees the development and implementation of the organization’s Access to Records and Privacy Protection framework.

Arek Aniolowski, Policy Advisor, Ontario Government

Arek Aniolowski has been working as a policy advisor for the Ontario government, including the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, for over a decade. Arek has been involved in the development of and amendments to various labour acts, led the negotiations of an information sharing agreement with a federal department, worked on improving First Nations Child and Family Well-Being, as well as various intergovernmental files. Before joining the Ontario Public Service, he was a research and administrative assistant at an immigration law firm in Toronto. Arek holds an MA in Public Policy and Administration from Ryerson University, and an Honours BA from University of Toronto (Major in European Studies, Minors in Political Science and French as a Second Language). While at UofT, he was a member of the UofT delegation that participated in SPECQUE, an international French-speaking model of the European Parliament, in Barcelona, Ottawa and Krakow.

Brad Bass, Coordinator, Environmental Programs, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Brad Bass has been working in government since 1989 in research and in policy with both the federal, the provincial and the municipal government. His policy files have encompassed environmental issues, smart growth and now diversity and inclusion. After graduation from U of T, he pursued a Masters and PhD in Geography at Penn State with a year teaching at the University of Yaounde. He entered the government on a Visiting Fellowship and has held jobs in policy (Water Quality, Smart Growth), as a Network Manager and as an Adaption & Impacts Researcher (which was a co-location at U of T). Brad’s work has informed the development of the green roof industry, Toronto’s green roof bylaw and the Canada Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan. Most recently, Brad has accepted the role of co-chair of the Adaptive Management Task Team under the Canada Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan and has accepted an invitation to join the City of Mississauga’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

Niya Bajaj, Senior Communications Consultant, Ontario Public Service

Niya Bajaj is a graduate of U of T with a major in Sexual Diversity Studies, and minors in Psychology and English. She is a certified Event and Meeting Manager through George Brown College and is currently working on her designation as a yoga therapist. Her interdisciplinary background supports her paid and volunteer work in the areas of poverty reduction and economic empowerment, particularly for women and individuals from marginalised communities. She currently provides strategic communications advice on all aspects of strategic policy at the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. She also consults with small to medium not for profits on resource development strategies, and teaches yoga in her spare time. Her consulting and volunteer work is grounded in the principles of grace, wisdom and hospitality to develop accessible, healthy, inclusive, safe communities. She is also part of the Toronto Foundation’s Vision 2020 cohort – a group of young philanthropists who work hand-in-hand with the City of Toronto, Toronto Foundation, community leaders and residents from across the city to invest in projects that will strengthen the city’s social fabric.”

Simon Bredin, Consultant, Navigator

Simon Bredin is a consultant with Navigator Ltd., Canada’s leading high stakes public strategy and communications firm. A former journalist and editor, he is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where he began his career in media as a reporter and editor at The Varsity. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Gordon Cressy Award for Student Leadership and became a fellow at The Walrus.

While pursuing a master’s degree at Ryerson University, he worked as a researcher for Robyn Doolittle’s definitive biography of Mayor Rob Ford, and interned as a producer for TVO’s current affairs program The Agenda with Steve Paikin. In 2014, he was awarded the Douglas Creighton Award for excellence in municipal reporting. He joined the staff of Toronto Life as an editorial assistant, becoming an associate editor in 2016. In May 2018, Simon joined Navigator Ltd., where he advises a diverse range of clients in the public, corporate and not-for-profit sectors, who are navigating acute crisis scenarios or long-term repetitional risks. His work includes offering strategic communications and media relations advice and creating multi-channel communications campaigns for major organizations in areas such as finance, technology, health, manufacturing, and professional services.

Alizee Zapparoli-Bodson, Manager, Program Development, Jumpstart-Refugee Talent

Alizee is Manager of Program Development at Jumpstart- Refugee Talent, a non-profit organization that focuses on the economic empowerment of refugees. At Jumpstart, she manages the Welcome Talent Canada program and is responsible for program development and grant-writing, outreach and stakeholder engagement strategy, monitoring and evaluation and event planning. Concurrently, she also serves on the executive committee for the Canadian Association for Forced Migration and Refugee Studies as the Practitioner and Advocacy Officer and works with the Turkish Ministry of Interior in an advising capacity. Alizee is a published researcher and holds a B.A and M.A with high distinction from the University of Toronto in Diaspora and Transnational Studies and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations where she specialised in asylum policy, transit migration and refugee integration in Turkey. Before joining the Jumpstart team, she spent two and a half years working in Turkey as a subject matter expert (SME) and consultant working for INGOs, think-tanks, academic institutions and government bodies including the Police Academy and the Ministry of Education. She is bilingual in French and English, proficient in Turkish and Spanish and elementary Arabic and

Jennifer Chan, Senior Policy Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Jennifer Chan has 20 years of experience in government, advocacy and not-for-profit sectors, with a focus on cities and municipal issues. She currently works as a Senior Policy Advisor in Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, leading policy files such as the legalization of recreational cannabis and its implications for Ontario’s municipalities. Prior to this, she led consultation and stakeholder engagement on land-use planning policy for the Ontario government, and served as an aide to a Toronto City Councillor.
Jen holds a Bachelor of Arts from the in Anthropology, Semiotics and Sociology, and a Masters of Arts in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, both from the University of Toronto.

Timothy Cheng, Policy Analyst, Provincial Government (Ministry of Colleges and Universities)

My undergraduate was in Biochemistry at the University of Toronto and I subsequently did my PhD in Chemistry at Caltech in California.  I later switched tracks and returned to Toronto to complete a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Toronto.  I now work in the Provincial Government (Ministry of Colleges and Universities) as a Policy Analyst in the Capital Unit.

Michael Di-Febo, Registered Professional Planner, City of Vaughn, Development Planning Department

Michael Di Febo is a Registered Professional Planner at the City of Vaughan in their Development Planning Department. He is responsible for Site Plans, Minor Variances, Consent Applications and Secondary Plans. Prior to joining the Public Sector, Michael spent four years working in a consulting environment. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto, H.BA 2015 (Double Major Human and Environmental Geography, Minor Italian). Following such, he earned a Master’s in Planning and Graduate Diploma in Sustainability from York University and the Schulich School of Business.

Nancy Fazzini, Audit Clerk, Halton Regional Police Service

Nancy is an Audit Clerk at the Halton Regional Police Service in Oakville.  She currently assists in the completion of all property and evidence audits, as well as compliance audits for the entire Service. She audits property to ensure there is compliance with government mandated quality assurance standards for the management of all property handled by the Service. Evidence audited includes guns, drugs, forensic and general property from crime scenes.

Prior to this position, Nancy was a Freedom of Information Analyst with the same police Service. Using the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, she analyzed, edited and released requests for information from the public, insurance companies, lawyers and other government law enforcement agencies (RCMP, Correctional Service Canada).

Prior to joining Halton Regional Police Service, Nancy worked as a Primary Occasional teacher (grades JK-6) with the Halton Catholic School Board. She obtained her Bachelor of Education from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario in June 2010, and worked as an occasional teacher until January 2012 until she secured a permanent position with the Halton Regional Police Service.

At U of T, Nancy was a proud member of St. Mike’s College. She graduated in 2008 with Distinction with a degree in Criminology (major), Sociology (minor) and History (minor). Nancy explored U of T’s Career Services and found great value in volunteering as a Probation Intake Officer at Old City Hall during her undergrad years.

Nathalie Forde-Soso, Policy and Research Consultant

I have a firm commitment to public service when representing Court Services on a range of social development projects coordinated by Social Development, Finance and Administration. I contributed to the development and implementation of the Access T.O Initiative (Access to City Services for Undocumented Torontonians); City initiatives to address Human Trafficking; and currently contributing to the development of an Action Plan for Youth Vulnerable to Gender-Based Violence, Phase 2 of the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy. I have worked with multiple City of Toronto divisions and community organizations to help support and develop program initiatives to improve community safety while promoting systemic change.


My experience in both community and program development covers a broad spectrum of customised services in the areas of consultation, facilitation, training and coaching. Many of these spectra involve assisting in the design and delivery of projects and workshops as it relates to community development, and strategic and business planning. Ultimately, my role has been to assist organizations and communities in working towards their goals.

Jaclyn Qua Hiansen, Senior Coordinator, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility (IDEA), Royal Ontario Museum

Jaclyn is the Senior Coordinator, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility (IDEA) at the Royal Ontario Museum. She oversees the ROM Community Access Network (ROMCAN), a program that works closely with 100 community partners across Ontario to break down financial, social and cultural barriers to access for diverse communities. Jaclyn also coordinates various aspects of the ROM’s accessibility and inclusion portfolio, including exhibitions, tours and programs.

Jaclyn graduated with an HBA in English from the University in Toronto, and a BA in Management Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University. Prior to her current role at the ROM, she oversaw Communications at the Art Gallery of Mississauga.

Lauren Hudak, Special Projects Officer, Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education at U of T

Lauren Hudak is the Special Projects Officer in the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education at the University of Toronto. In that role, she works with a number of University partners to enhance the undergraduate student experience, often through projects that support teaching and learning pedagogy. Previously, she was the Senior Manager of Research at the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) where she was responsible for managing large-scale, multi-year research partnership projects.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Political Science and Psychology from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

Matthew Jurczak, Senior Privacy Specialist, Cancer Care Ontario

Matthew Jurczak is a Senior Privacy Specialist with Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), an agency of the Ontario government tasked with planning and funding cancer care, renal care and managing wait times. Matthew advises project teams and senior management on privacy legislation, regulatory compliance and, supports a number of key corporate initiatives including health system analytics and data de-identification.

Prior to joining Cancer Care Ontario, Matthew held positions in the health sector in both Ontario and Saskatchewan. In Ontario, he worked in policy analyst roles at the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Previously, Matthew worked at the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health where he supported the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, a provincial surgical wait-times reduction strategy.

Matthew earned a Bachelor of Arts in modern history from the University of Toronto (2009), and a Master of Public Policy in health systems research from the University of Regina (2012). Matthew returned to the University of Toronto and earned a Master of Health Science, Health Administration in 2018. After graduation, Matthew continues to be involved in the university community and currently serves on the Soldiers’ Tower Committee. The committee is responsible for the preservation of the Soldiers’ Tower, a memorial to students, faculty and staff who served in the First and Second World Wars.

Kristopher Kinsey, Manager, Partnerships, The Bentway Conservancy

Kris is a partnership builder and arts administrator who is passionate about city building and community. Kris studied sociology at the University of Toronto, and became interested in the design and animation of public spaces after seeing William H. Whyte’s The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces during an urban studies course. Kris joined The Bentway in October 2017, coming most recently from TIFF, where he spent over three years working in the areas of government relations and philanthropy. While at TIFF, Kris played a lead role in starting up a new outreach program for seniors, coordinating outdoor film screenings at local parks, and supporting fundraising efforts for TIFF’s charitable initiatives. On the side, Kris helps coordinate a weekly HIV testing program with Hassle Free Clinic, which provides free testing and counselling services at community centres across the city. Kris also volunteers as an environmental steward with City of Toronto, and supports Swim Drink Fish in their efforts to monitor water quality in Toronto’s inner harbour.

Derek Li, Senior Policy Advisor, Ontario Public Service/Government of Ontario

Derek is an award-winning, high performing, and results-oriented Senior Policy Advisor who champions policy and solutions co-creation, and solving problems collaboratively to achieve greater efficiencies and better outcomes for government services and programs. Derek previously had a successful management career in the global (both in New York and Hong Kong) investment banking industry where he specialized in Private Equity, and Equities and Fixed Income trading for 7 years.

Polina Martins, Director of Communications, Ontario Genomics

Polina Martins joined Ontario Genomics in October 2019, as the Director of Communications. In this role, she is responsible for leading and implementing the Ontario Genomics communications strategy, supporting government and stakeholder engagement priorities, and executing events and other public relations initiatives.

Previously, Polina served as Senior Communications and Operations Advisor to several Ontario Government Ministers in Economic Development and Growth, Health and Long-Term Care, and Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation portfolios. She brings a unique blend of communications, government relations, stake holder engagement and events planning experience to this role. Polina earned her Master of Arts degree at the Munk School of Global Affairs in European and Russian Affairs, and her Bachelor of arts in European Studies and Employment Relations.

Olinda Mazengwe, Graduate Research Assistant, OISE

Olinda Gold recently completed her Masters MA studies at OISE – UT in Social Justice Education (SJE). She graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA Honours (Distinction), from New College. As an undergraduate student, Olinda worked with the family Care Office at U of T helping students, staff and faculty with family related issues. She was on the Deans list as one of the most outstanding students. At OISE – UT she worked as a graduate research assistant in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development. She worked on a community based research project to design an educational based intervention grounded in self-empowerment and community advocacy models for immigrant, refugee, and non status women. She is very passionate about Social Justice and Community Development issues, working with marginalized and at -risk communities in the city. She recently started a job with the City of Toronto and has worked for the Regional Municipality of Peel. As a student, Olinda came across the book, the Power of your Mind by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, which has inspired her to cultivate the right mindset, which in turn has led to academic success and an excellent life thereafter. Olinda has been invited by Valerie Okocha-Ray to start a Club called Believers Love World at the University of Toronto. This gathering brings students from different denominations and backgrounds together once a week in an effort to stir revival, encourage and teach them that with the right mindset about education, they can achieve much.

Leonard Nolasco, Manager, Major Gifts and Strategic Projects, Sick Kids Foundation

As Manager, Major Gifts & Strategic Projects at SickKids Foundation, Leonard oversees fundraising activities for the Foundation’s international philanthropic initiatives.
Prior to joining SickKids Foundation in 2017, Leonard was a Project Manager with SickKids International supporting the commissioning and operationalization of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Leonard graduated with a degree in Political Science at the University of Toronto (U of T) in 2008. He completed a certificate in Project Management through U of T’s School of Continuing Studies and obtained a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation through PMI in 2011

Katie Palmer, Senior Analyst, Ontario Treasury Board Secretariat

Katelyn Palmer graduated from the University of Toronto in 2010 with an MA in Geography and in 2008 with an Honours B.A. She is currently a Senior Analyst with the Ontario Treasury Board Secretariat where she provides advice and recommendations to senior leaders and decision-makers on government-wide agencies. Katelyn’s precious experiences in the Ontario Public Service have included Cabinet Office, various Deputy Ministers’ Offices, and international trade portfolios. Katelyn also taught in the Public Administration program at Humber College for three years and held a Canadian federal government internship overseas in the Philippines.

Outside of work, Katelyn is passionate about running, adventure travel and volunteering in her neighbourhood, Regent Park.

Captain Michael Poon, Canadian Armed Forces

Michael Poon completed the Specialist in Peace and Conflict studies in 2006.  He then completed a JD and LLM at Osgoode Hall Law School in 2011 and 2016 respectively.  During his law studies, Michael participated in a summer exchange with the Hebrew University, and worked with Lorne Waldman’s office as part of the immigration and refugee law specialization.  As an articling student, he had the chance to work at the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Legal Services Branch assisting counsel with legal research, and appearing in small claims and provincial offences court.

Throughout his studies and current time, Michael has served with the Canadian Armed Forces Army Reserve since 2004 as a Logistics Officer, training soldiers and officers within Canada in the Southern Ontario Area.  He has been deployed to Northern Ontario and Iqaliut as part of winter response exercises, and Operation REASSURANCE in 2015 in Poland as a Contracts Officer.  His service has alternated between full-time and part-time service throughout, currently serving in the 32 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters. Future plans include pursuing a PhD in Law, legal and law-related careers in addition to on-going military service.

Walter Rojenko, Director, Customer Care, WSIB Ontario

Walter has over 30 years’ experience working in the private and public sector; leading customer, patient and employee experience.

Walter’s has been with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board/WSIB since January 2018 as a Director, Customer Care within the Service Excellence Cluster. This present role includes Co-leading a Call Centre of over 300 agents, Strategic Oversight and Management of Strategic Projects and Leadership and Participation within several cross-functional committees. Prior to this; he worked at St Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto -2014-2017.

He led 6 programs:  Patient and Family Experience, Community Engagement, Patient Relations, Interpreter Services, Registration Services and Switchboard Services. His team was responsible for achieving the strategic goal of delivering an exceptional patient experience through strategic leadership, development of tactics and executing through internal and external partnerships. Within Healthcare, he also worked at William Osler Health System for 2.5 years leading Patient Relations, Diversity, Volunteer Services and the Service Excellence Call Centre.

Before joining the Healthcare industry; he worked in banking for over 25 years with TD/Canada Trust.  He held a variety of Senior Management roles in Branch Management, Product Management, Call Centre Operations and his last role as the AVP of Customer and Employee Experience in Operations and Technology Solutions.Walter’s education: BSc. Hons. from University of Toronto in Psychology and Commerce,

Advanced Health System Leadership Program Executive Certificate, Rotman School of Management, Strategy Development Executive Certificate from Schulich School of Business, Build For The Future Executive Certificate from the Ivey School of Business and Workplace Mental Health Leadership Certificate, Queen’s University. In February 2016, he received his CPXP-Certified Patient Experience Professional Designation.

Tanya Thomas, Project Coordinator, National Managers Secretariat, Government of Canada

Tanya Thomas graduated from the University of Toronto with an undergraduate degree in Public Policy and Economics. She later completed her post-graduate certificate in Project Management from the University of Toronto: School of Continuing Studies. Tanya worked at Royal Bank of Canada and a private corporation as a Project Manager before starting with the Government of Canada. Tanya started as a Taxpayer Service Agent with the Canada Revenue Agency. She worked with the Ontario Federal Council to organize the Ontario Regional Innovation Fair 2019. She is currently on assignment with the National Managers Secretariat as a Project Coordinator. Her current role consists of supporting the Regional NMC Manager with organizing events for managers and senior leaders from various federal government departments.

Sarry Zheng, Innovation Consultant, Government of Canada

Sarry is Government of Canada’s first regional Free Agent, a former Board Advisor at City of Kitchener and a semi finalist for the 2018 Global Challenges Prize.

Her current project is building a digital strategy for a government department with over $1B operating budget, exploring ways to become more equipped in the digital era and supporting the organization through a metamorphosis process. Sarry has also worked in private sectors in a senior capacity to manage projects across a range of industries including education, retail, and technology. Her work spans internationally with a focus in North America and Asia.


November 20
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm