Julius Babarinsa (BA 1981 INNIS) graduated in 1981 with a BA in Political Science and International Relations. Julius began his banking career with the Royal Bank of Canada and is currently with RBC Global Technology & Operations in the Returns & Clearing Department which services financial institutions all over the world. He is an Associate of the Institute of Canadian Bankers.
Julius is also a poet; his poems have been published in many magazines and anthologies. Julius plans to produce a book of all his metaphysical poems. One of his pet projects is to set up a Center for Metaphysical Research that will be devoted to research and publications. His poetry can be enjoyed at www.juliusthepoet.net, and more information about the Center can be found at www.center-for-metaphysical-research.net.
Dr. Alan Bernstein
One of Innis College's most distinguished alumni was once an oversight of the University of Toronto. Dr. Alan Bernstein (BSc 1968 INNIS) was a member of the inaugural class of Innis College. Or so he thought: "... my registration files never made it over to Innis College in 1964. So, while I was a student at Innis College, Innis had no official record of my existence! As a result, I missed out on a valuable Entrance Scholarship. Only by chance was this discovered three years later!"
The oversight was ultimately corrected when Dr. Bernstein received the Special Council of Innis College Award upon graduation in 1968. He remembers fondly how the "intimate atmosphere and the family feeling" created by Principal Robin Harris and Professor Geoffrey Payzant, the College's first Registrar, "contributed so much to my experience at the University of Toronto."
Dr. Bernstein is the inaugural President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada's agency for the support of health research. An internationally respected researcher, mentor and scientific leader, he has made key contributions to our understanding of embryonic development, hematopoiesis and cancer. Prior to his appointment at CIHR in 2000, he was Director of Research at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital from 1994 to 2000 and Professor in the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bernstein has received numerous awards for his research including the McLaughlin Medal of the Royal Society of Canada, the Genetics Society of Canada Award of Excellence, the 2001 Australian Society of Medical Research Medal, and the Order of Canada in 2002.
Keely Brown (HBSc 1999 INNIS) illustrates how a university experience can be a stepping stone to achieving personal and professional goals. Her love of hockey and her education have come together in a “dream job” for Keely who is the General Counsel for the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL, the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Western Hockey League (WHL) and the Edmonton Capitals in the Golden Baseball League (GBL). She runs the legal department and handles all legal matters for the Oilers, Oil Kings and Capitals, except for player contracts.
Keely graduated from Innis College in 1999 (Hon BSc) majoring in Criminology and Psychology, minoring in Women's Studies. She played goal for the Varsity Women's Hockey Team all 4 years, received several awards for hockey, and was an intramural referee and supervisor. Keely was also active on several Innis College and U of T committees, and received the Gordon Cressy Leadership Award and a Silver and Bronze T.
Keely went on to law school at Osgoode Hall, graduating in 2002 and articling at a firm in downtown Toronto. She moved to Edmonton to play hockey and ringette and landed a job with an Edmonton law firm. The position with the Oilers fell into place in 2006.
When she is not in the office, Keely is the goalie for the National Ringette Team (1 gold and 3 silver medals at World Championships), the National Roller Hockey Team (3 gold and 3 silver medals at World Championships), plays hockey for the Edmonton Chimos in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), and has started up her own website at www.ringettegoalies.com. She also enjoys spending time with her parents at their cottage on Lake Huron, and with her brother’s two kids Elijah and Claire.
Keely’s personal motto is, “Experience life while you can.” and her advice to students: “If you want to do it, then get going and make it happen!”
Allan Cheskes (BSc 1975 INNIS) is a member of Mintz & Partners Public Company Team and the Leader of the Non-Profit Team. He has more than 26 years of professional and business experience. Allan specializes in the areas of assurance and advisory services and business planning. He serves clients in many areas including the manufacturing, non-profit sector, and wholesale and retail industries.
His community and professional leadship includes work with Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Beth Shalom-Board of Governors, Bathurst Jewish Community Centre-Board of Directors, and Advisor to The Toronto Heschel School Finance Committee.
Allan Cheskes received his MBA from York University in 1977 and qualified as a CA in 1982.
Vic Chiasson (BA 1986 INNIS) is currently Principal of Henry Hudson Senior Public School in the Toronto District School Board. He remembers fondly his four years at Innis College. Vic was very active in Innis College Student Society and the University athletics program and was recognised for his efforts through receiving the Innis College Medal and the Sidney Earle Smith Award “for outstanding performance and leadership in university athletics”. “The time at Innis was formative in my growth as a person as I was able to work with so many eclectic personalities and watch all of them contribute to the successful events and programs we implemented. I realized from those experiences that everyone brings something positive and productive to the table and given my current role working with many people it has helped me immeasurably.”
After graduating from Innis in 1986, Vic continued his education and successes. He earned his Bachelor of Education from OISE-UT in 1988 while serving as President of the Faculty’s Student Union and being awarded the Professor Jack Passmore Award “for outstanding contribution to the Faculty of Education”. While working as a teacher in North York, he earned his Masters and Doctorate in Educational Administration (1994 and 2003) with a focus on strategic planning and school improvement. As principal he has guided his school to international recognition as an “Excellence in Education Silver Award” winner. Vic currently travels the province providing training in using data and strategic planning to improve schools.
Despite his busy work schedule, Vic finds time to bond with his grandson in Perth, West Australia via the internet and to play adult recreational hockey at a very high calibre. He currently plays for the Rouge Valley Selects team (for players over 50 years) which will compete in the World Cup of Adult Rec Hockey in Quebec City in April 2008.
Susan CourtneySusan Courtney (BA 1989 Cinema Studies) After graduating from U of T with a dual major in English and Cinema Studies, Susan began a career in advertising media buying and planning 20 years ago, working in progressively senior media positions at Mediacom, PHD and Cossette Media, managing telco, financial and CPG clients. After 10 years, a change in career resulted in a move from media agency to media vendor. Susan joined Torstar Media Group holding increasingly senior media sales roles in multiple Torstar properties, including leading the national advertising sales team as National Sales Director of the Toronto Star with a speciality within the telecommunication and financial categories. In her current role at Starcom MediaVest Group as Vice-President Group Media Director, Susan has returned to the agency business after 9 years to lead two new business wins - Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile) and TD Bank Financial Group.
Khuong Doan (BSc 1993 INNIS) earned a 4 Year Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Quantitative Analysis from Innis College in 1993. Immediately after graduation, he began working for Innis College Registrar's Office where he spent six years in the roles of Assistant Registrar and Associate Registrar, providing students with personal, academic and financial counselling. In September 2000, he joined the Faculty of Arts and Science as an Application Analyst working on a student oriented projected called Degree Navigator. Degree Navigator is an application now being used by about 30,000 students in the Faculty of Arts and Science and at the University of Toronto at Scarborough that allows students to measure completed and anticipated courses against program and degree requirements at any point in their undergraduate career.
In 2005, Khuong returned to his roots in student services by joining the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering as their Associate Registrar, Student Services. In his present role, he is responsible for ensuring that all the registrarial services are delivered to students in a friendly, reliable and efficient manner. When Khuong is not working in the office for engineering students, he is taking care of future Innis student his son Matthew, who wants to be a Registrar like his father. Khuong is a living role model for his son. His advice: You too will be a role model for your own kids if you decide to have a family. Think clearly and act well!
When Alex Fayle (BA 1994 INNIS) was twelve, he decided that someday he would become a professional writer but then "real life" took over and he went to school, got a job, bought a house and even started his own business as a Professional Organizer. Through all that the dream kept coming back reminding him that he wasn't doing what he really wanted.
In 2006, he sold his house, got rid of his stuff and moved to the lush Basque Country in Spain where he now pursues that writing dream.
Alex earned a BA from Innis College in 1994 and a Master of Information Studies from U of T in 1996.
Nina Haikara (HBA 2003 INNIS) lived at the Innis Residence during her four years at the college and later returned to her alma mater to work in the Residence as the Summer Coordinator & Front Desk Supervisor. "Walking in the door to work was like coming home," she says.
A 2003 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award recipient, Nina graduated the same year with a BA (Hon) English specialist degree. She has organized past alumni events for the college and is also a board member of the Finnish Studies Alumni Association (FINNSTAAUT).
Nina continues to work at UofT having held a communications position within University Advancement and is currently external relations liaison with the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.
Russ (Rusty) Hick (BA 1984 INNIS) is ia Superintendent of Education with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board in Peterborough, Ontario. His present duties include overseeing the school improvement and student achievement focus as well as the daily operations in twenty-eight schools in Peterborough city and county. Previously, Rusty taught in York Region both in Aurora and Stouffville, and was a vice-principal in three schools, principal at Bowmanville High School for four years, and the principal of Thomas A. Stewart S.S. in Peterborough for a year.
Looking back at his time spent at Innis College, Russ (as he was generally called then) recalls doing a lot of reading on the subway and bus, hanging out at the various libraries, and playing a bit of pinball in the basement of Innis. Intramural basketball was a highlight, as was distance running and touch football. For the first year or two, the St. Mike’s pub nights were quite popular, and then it was on to other things, including studying! Earning a degree in the Philosophy and History departments helped him to become a disciplined thinker and a reflective educator. His U of T years also helped to shape and forge his outlook as a strong proponent of social justice which in turn has greatly influenced his actions in the education system.
Having settled in Port Perry in 1990, Rusty is happily married with three children ages 6, 8, and 11 years. Although is family is his greatest joy, he still finds time to play basketball and does his best to read quality literature and the occasional philosophical and historical work. Rusty has earned the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts (combined History & Philosophy specialist program) Innis College1984; Bachelor of Education, Queen’s University, 1986; and Master of Science in Education, Niagara University, 1998.
Rhodes Scholar Kofi Hope (HBA 2006 INNIS) attended Oxford University in October 2007 to pursue a Masters degree in African Studies. Kofi graduated with high distinction from Innis College in June 2006, majoring in Political Science with minors in African Studies and World Religions. Since graduating, Kofi has been running the United Church of Canada's Youth Connections program, traveling nationally to help increase the capacity of the church to work with black, aboriginal, and Asian/South Asian youth in social justice settings. He is chair and founder of the Black Youth Coalition Against Violence (BYCAV), a group that works to foster empowerment amongst black youth and advocates for black youth in discussions around the issue of gun violence.
Named by the Toronto Star one of the “10 People to Watch in 2006,” Kofi has been a dedicated community activist since high school. Through BYCAV, he has advocated for black youth to politicians, including the prime minister, and across the national media. Kofi was President of the U of T Black Students’ Association 2006-2007, Vice President of Operations 2005-2006, and was Director of the Erin Mills Youth Outreach Program (2002-2005), a youth drop-in and literacy program run out of Erin Mills United Church.
Sirje Jarvel Lautens
Sirje Jarvel Lautens (BA 1986 INNIS) transferred from Woodsworth College to Innis College in 1982 whereupon she met her husband, Richard Lautens, a 1988 Innis graduate and now an award-winning photographer for the Toronto Star. Besides serving as Vice President (Government) of the Innis College Student Society (ICSS), Sirje was named Innis College Female Athlete of the year in 1985, and her rhythmic gymnastics routines were a highlight of Innis talent shows.
After graduating with a BA in History and being awarded an Innis Graduation Medal in 1986, Sirje pursued a fashion modelling and acting career. At the same time, she managed to remain active in the Innis College Alumni Association, serving as President from 1987 to 1991. In 1994, she left her career to become Innis College's first Alumni and Community Relations Officer. In the four years that she held this position she was also Editor of the Alumni Newsletter, Executive Secretary of the Harold Innis Foundation, and Program Coordinator of Later Life Learn
Jennifer Kim (HBSc 2006 INNIS) graduated with distinction with a double Major in Life Sciences and Psychology. However, Innis College was not initially part of her plan. It was while following her cousin to a March Break campus tour that Jennifer fell in love with the St. George campus and realized that Innis College was where she had to be. Through some persistence and persuasive letter writing she was accepted to the school long past the application deadline. As it turns out, says Jennifer, "I absolutely loved Innis. They just couldn't get rid of me!" She lived all four undergraduate years at the Innis Residence and worked three years as a Residence Assistant.
In the fall of 2006, Jennifer was accepted into Osgoode Hall Law School. However, she decided to alter the course of her life and follow her heart. She declined law school to become an actress. Jennifer has recently completed shooting her first film, entitled "Souvenirs from Asia." She plays the lead role of Hanjoo Somerfield, a disgruntled teenager adopted from Korea . The film is likely to make a festival run in spring/summer 2007.
Richard Lautens (BA 1988 INNIS) graduated from Innis College with a degree in History and Political Science. He was very active in student government and newspapers and was named Graduating Athlete of the Year. Although he never lived in residence, he did have sleeping rights to the sofa at Vlad house. During his 5 years at the University of Toronto, he discovered photography. Working for campus newspapers and freelancing led to a stint as a photography summer student at the Toronto Star in 1987. Innis is also where Richard met his wife of 15 years, fellow Innisian Sirje Jarvel.
Richard has been a photographer with The Toronto Star for more than 19 years. As staff photographer, Richard travels the world covering sports, news, fashion and feature stories. Richard is also an instructor at Centennial College and curator of several photography exhibits. He continues to maintain a busy freelance photography business. His photographs have appeared on posters, magazines, books, exhibitions, CD covers and newspapers and have won local, national and international awards.
Much of Richard's spare time is spent on school field trips, and he is known around his children's school as 'The Skippin' DudeT' for helping with the school's skipping club. He lives in downtown Toronto with his wife, two children and two hairy new puppies.
Ron Mann (BA 1980 INNIS) is a television producer, film director, and distributor. As one of Canada's leading documentary filmmakers, Ron has made nine feature films, including Comic Book Confidential (1988), Grass (1999), Go Further (2003), and Know Your Mushrooms (2009). Known for his primary focus on North American popular culture, his documentaries have received numerous distinctions; including two Genie Awards for Best Documentary (Comic Book Confidential; Grass) one Juno Award (Blue Rodeo in StereoVision) and a runner-up for People's Choice Award at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival (Go Further). In 2009 Ron was awarded the Premiere’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
His current projects include the Showcase television series Pure Pwnage, a spin-off of the hugely popular web series of the same name. Pure Pwnage was recently nominated for three Genie Awards (Best Comedy Program, Best Direction, Best Comedy Writing). Ron also recently completed In the Wake of the Flood, a film that follows Margaret Atwood on tour with her latest book, The Year of the Flood.
Ron lives in Toronto with his wife and family. There, he operates Sphinx Productions, his film production company; and Films We Like, his film distribution company.
By day, Eli Marcus (BSc 1980 INNIS) is a technical writer, writing books and documents to explain various products to high tech engineers. By night, he is devoted to music—promoting, collecting, documenting the history, and performing Blues on stage. He lives in Tel Aviv with wife Michelle and daughters Amber and Jade. On weekends, he explores mountain bike trails in the hills and valleys of local national parks and forests.
Following graduation at Innis in 1980, Eli started an MA program in Communications with Marshall McLuhan as supervisor. Unfortunately McLuhan suffered a stroke, and sadly passed away Dec. 31, 1980. In 1981 Eli emigrated to Israel, fulfilled his army conscription duty, and lived the life of a farmer on Kibbutz Gesher Haziv near the northern border. In 1988, he moved to Tel Aviv and became active in the music scene, performing and promoting Jazz and Blues. He also began volunteer work in radio with a 13-hour series on the history and nature of Blues, and helped build the artist roster at the 1993 Haifa Blues Festival. In 1996 he brought the Blues to the International Guitar Festival in Tel Aviv, and in 2004/05 was Artistic Director of the 3-day Summer Blues Festival at the Givatayim Theatre. Following 3 years of collecting and editing stories from Blues people worldwide, he published his first book, Touched by the Blues in January, 2006. To find out more about Eli, visit www.elimarcus.com or elisblues.blogspot.com
At the age of 15, Lesra Martin (HBA 1988 INNIS) couldn’t read or write. Living in an inner city ghetto of Brooklyn, New York, he was dismissed by society. Yet his heart carried hope and courage. When he was provided with an opportunity to obtain an education, he seized it! Of his eight siblings, Lesra is the only one with a high school diploma. He completed high school as an Ontario scholar in 1983 and received an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1988. He achieved his law degree from Dalhousie Law School in 1997 and served as a Crown Prosecutor in Kamloops, BC. He now has his own law firm, Martin & Martin Lawyers, in British Columbia.
Lesra Martin’s heartrending story has mesmerized and inspired millions through the major Hollywood feature “The Hurricane”. The film's star, Denzel Washington, marvelled over Lesra’s real life odyssey from a poorly educated Brooklyn teen to a respected attorney. Inspired by his experiences, The National Film Board of Canada produced the documentary “The Journey of Lesra Martin”, and the compelling film has been screened at film festivals throughout Canada, The United States, and South Africa.
He was invited to speak before the General Assembly delegates at the United Nations, where he gave an impassioned speech about the devastating effects of literacy and poverty, and at Cambridge University, where he spoke before world leaders. He has been featured on countless television and radio shows, most notably as a special guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Washington Post to Sports Illustrated and Reader’s Digest Magazine have chronicled aspects of Lesra’s life.
Lesra has received numerous awards and certificates of recognition for his willingness to be a role model and mentor for youth. He was acknowledged with a lifetime membership with the National Black Caucus of Special Educators, a division of the CEC (Washington, D.C.).
Matthew T. McGarvey
After practicing law in Toronto for 5 years, Matthew T. McGarvey (BSc 1988 INNIS) moved to Ottawa in 2000. Matthew now has the best of both worlds – in Ottawa he can enjoy skiing, hiking, windsurfing and motorcycling all within minutes of downtown, and with so many friends in Toronto he can visit Toronto often. Matthew focused primarily on criminal defence work, and started an Innocence Project at University of Ottawa. More recently, he has been working on a major public interest hearing and makes regular appearances at the Court of Appeal in Toronto. Matthew recently received his second degree black belt in Chito-ryu karate and continues to teach karate. Matthew’s other interests include philosophy, guitar, and base.
Eddie Pal (BSc 1974 INNIS) advises large, closely held businesses on profitability, succession planning, family issues and strategic taxation matters. His practice includes some of Canada's most recognized brand name businesses. Eddie provides a personal approach to all his engagements.
When not helping his clients grow, Eddie enjoys cottaging, boating, reading and physical fitness. His community and professional leadership includes work with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Member-Professional Development and Lifelong Learning Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Board member-Canadian Technion Society, Member-Association of Canadian Publishers, Member-Canadian Association of Family Enterprises, and frequent contributor to the Ontario Home Builders Journal and to Quill & Quire.
After receiving his BSc from Innis College in 1974, MSc in pure mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1975, and getting his Chartered Accounting designation in 1978, Eddie became the managing partner of Pal, Gould & Goldberg that merged with Mintz & Partners LLP in 1991.
Robert Patrick (BA 1967 INNIS) graduated in 1967 in the first graduating class of Innis College. After working in marketing and banking, he found his true calling in 1972 when he began a successful career teaching Business Education to adolescents and adults. In his last two years of teaching, Robert had the opportunity to work with at-risk teenagers and in 2001, received an award from the Mayor of Toronto recognizing this valuable work.
Now retired and residing in Toronto, Robert pursues his love of teaching and occasionally covers classes at his local high school. Outdoor activities, sports and new interests consume the rest of his time. He and his wife Linda canoe and camp at their favourite campsite in Killarney Provincial Park and recently hiked in Gros Morne National Park and tented at the Arctic Circle. Despite recent double knee replacements, he plays non-contact hockey in two leagues and is enjoying his 37th year as a professional ski instructor. Robert maintains a life long interest in photography and is gradually converting to digital technology; many of the early archival photographs of activities at Innis College were captured through his lenses. He is also developing a latent interest and talent in painting and dabbles in water colours.
Robert maintains an interest in the affairs of Innis College and is amazed at the progress and development of both the buildings and students of the College. Today Innis students have one of the highest grade point averages on the entire campus and he ruefully muses that he would likely not have been admitted as a student today based on his high school marks. He believes that his early years at Innis, the staff influence, writing the constitution, creating the newspaper, the student society, sports teams, and the friendships made, had a significant and lasting impact on his life.
After graduating with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science in 1967, Robert earned a B.B.A. at York University in 1969, a B.ED. at University of Toronto in 1972, and an M.ED. at OISE in 1978.
Jeffrey Rubin (BA 1977 INNIS) is the number one bestselling author of Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller. He was the Chief Economist and Chief Strategist at CIBC World Markets where he worked for over 20 years. Rubin was one of the first economists to accurately predict soaring oil prices back in 2000 and is now one of the world’s most sought-after energy experts.
Prior to joining CIBC World Markets in 1988, Mr. Rubin was a Senior Policy Advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Finance where he oversaw economic forecasting. Throughout his career, Mr. Rubin’s work has often been the subject of national headlines and has been instrumental in raising key issues to the national spotlight. The largest fund managers in North America, Europe and the Far East value his expertise in Canadian debt and equity markets. He wrote a national column in the Globe and Mail, Ahead of the Curve, for over four years and he frequently appears as a network commentator on the economy, financial markets, and federal budgets. When not forecasting, Mr. Rubin is an avid outdoorsman who has enjoyed trekking in the Himalayas and whitewater rafting down the Zambezi River in Africa. Mr. Rubin lives in Toronto with his wife and their two children.
Catherine Russell (BA 1983 INNIS) is a Professor in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University in Montreal. In addition to teaching courses in Film Studies, she is the Director of the PhD in Humanities Program (Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture). Professor Russell has written several books, including Experimental Ethnography: The Work of Film in the Age of Video, and is currently completing a book on the Japanese director Naruse Mikio. After graduating from Innis College in 1983, she completed an MA and PhD in Cinema Studies at New York University, and she taught for two years at Queen's University before starting at Concordia in 1990. In 2006 Professor Russell won the senior research fellowship at Concordia University.
While at Innis College, "Katie" edited the Innis Herald and wrote film reviews for The Varsity. She particularly remembers Roger Greenwald's creative writing workshop, and the film classes that she took with Kay Armatage. Although she was not a Cinema Studies major, after she left Innis, she invited Bart Testa to be on her thesis committee at NYU. One of the best things about Innis was the flexibility of the General Arts degree that enabled her to take courses all over the University, creating the basis of the interdisciplinary scholarship in which she is now engaged.
When she is not writing or traveling or teaching, or putting out fires as a University administrator, Katie sings in Choeur Maha, a Montreal-based women's choir. Her home page is at: http://cinema.concordia.ca /index.php/russell
Shahé F. Sabag
Shahé F. Sabag MSc PGeo (MSc 1979 INNIS), Shahé Sabag is a professional geologist with a diverse 30 year mining industry background from senior management and technical capacities. He has an MSc degree in geology from the University of Toronto (1979) specializing in structural geology and geochemistry, and has been an active metals/minerals explorationist throughout Canada and the USA, including base metals, precious metals, industrial minerals, diamonds and peat. Shahé has served as a senior officer and director of a number of private and public corporations since 1985. He has also served as a Mineral Steering Committee Member of the Alberta Chamber of Resources, and as a Director and member of Cleanair Canada Inc. (previously, PERT - the Pilot Emissions Reduction Trading program, Ontario). Shahé has spent the past two decades exploring mineral opportunities in the North American Basin and Range with emphasis on identifying hybrid opportunities for sustainable industrial development. He has published and co-authored many papers and conference proceedings, most recently focusing on Alberta's mineral wealth.
Michelle Samson-Doel (BCom 1980 INNIS), Entrepreneur, Mergers and Acquisition Specialist, Investment Strategist and Corporate Director, has never worked in accounting a day in her life but credits the rigorous training of the CA profession as the key ingredient to her exciting career. The previous Executive Chair of Multi-Marques Inc., the leading industrial bakery in Quebec and Eastern Canada, Michelle grew the company through a series of mergers and acquisitions and it received the prestigious award of Canada’s Top 50 Best Managed companies in 2000. She serves on many boards of Directors, including the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation-the 3rd largest Crown Corporation in Canada-and Boralex Inc., the largest independent wind energy producer in France. Michelle is also a mother of four, and enjoys mentoring and coaching university students and entrepreneurs.
Linda Schuyler (BA 1974 INNIS) quickly responded to an invitation to mentor Innis students. "My love of film and television was inspired at Innis College through cinema studies courses taught by Joe Medjuck and Kay Armatage. I'd love to help students who are interested in those areas," explains Linda.
After graduating in 1974, Linda briefly pursued a teaching career before starting her own film and television production company. Linda is best known for co-creating and executive producing the multi-award winning Degrassi franchise, comprised of The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, School’s Out, Degrassi Talks and Degrassi: The Next Generation, now known simply as Degrassi. This franchise, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010, has won two International Emmys, 20 Gemini Awards, two Prix Jeunesses, two Teen Choice Awards, the Critics’ Choice Award and countless other international honours.
Linda is a strong supporter of the mentoring process. Epitome Pictures hosted the first Prime Time Television resident program and has participated in the CFTPA Mentorship Program. Linda has been a guest lecturer at Yale University, the University of Toronto, and at Ryerson University and has participated on panels at numerous industry conferences. Linda encourages both the professional and personal development of those within her company. Many writers, directors and actors who got their start at Epitome have gone on to contribute to the industry worldwide.
Throughout her career, Linda has been honoured with a number of awards. Of particular note, in 2007 Linda was recognized with an Arbor Award for outstanding voluntary service to the University of Toronto; in 2006, Linda was awarded WIFT-T’s inaugural Crystal Award for International Achievement; and in 1994, in recognition of her contribution to Canadian television programming, Linda was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. The honour represents distinguished service to mass media. “Her candid productions of real-life dramas have touched millions of viewers around the world…opening lines of communication between adults and youth.”
Jim Shedden (BA 1986 INNIS) graduated from Innis College in 1986 and received a Masters in Political Science in 1990 from the University of Toronto. Shedden is the Manager of Publications and Special Projects at the Art Gallery of Ontario. From 1998 until 2010, Shedden worked at the Bruce Mau Design as a Manager and Creative Producer. In that capacity Shedden produced exhibitions, installations, environments, books, events, products, and online projects.
Prior to working at BMD, Shedden worked at the Art Gallery of Ontario as a curator of film, video and performance. Alongside his work at the AGO and BMD, Shedden has been involved in various forays into film and video, including a documentary, Michael Snow Up Close in 1996. Brakhage, a portrait of the late avant-garde film master Stan Brakhage, followed in 1998. Commissioned by Bravo! Brakhage was screened at major film festivals worldwide including, Berlin, Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam, and Telluride.
In 1995 Shedden wrote and hosted Independent Visions, a television program showcasing alternative cinema in Canada. Shedden is the author of numerous articles on film, music, art, books, culture, and life in general.
Larry Wasser (HBA 1977 INNIS), a celebrated entrepreneur and one of the college’s Inspirational Innisians, is President of L.W. Capital Corporation, a private Canadian company with interests in both the private & public markets. He was previously Chairman and CEO of Beamscope Canada Inc., one of Canada's largest sales, marketing and distribution companies of consumer electronics products and computer products. He founded Beamscope in 1982 and built it to over $600 million in annual sales. The company went public in 1993 and, in addition to its Canadian business, also expanded internationally through a joint venture in Latin America. Mr. Wasser was a member of the Board of Lavalife (2001), one of the first social networking websites in North America. In 2004, Mr. Wasser assisted in the sale of Lavalife, a privately-held company, to Vertrue, a U.S. public company. In addition to having served as a Governor on the Governing Coucil, University of Toronto, and as a member of their Business Board, Mr. Wasser is a board member and volunteer for a number of business and community organizations, including: Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, Maple Pictures Corporation, Sunnybrook Hospital, U of T President's Commision on Investment Policies, and many more. Mr Wasser is also a noted philanthropist and volunteer; he and his wife Marla have been dedicated benefactors of Innis College students, helping furnish the residence building, establishing a scholarship fund and donating the Student Services Centre to the college. Mr. Wasser and his wife live in Toronto with their three sons.
Jesse Wente (HBA 1996 INNIS) graduated from Innis College in 1996 with an Honours BA in Cinema Studies. Wente is the Head of Film Programmes for TIFF Bell Lightbox, and is also a critic at CBC's Metro Morning. Wente has been a highly regarded Canadian Feature Film Selection Committee member at the TIFF for four years. Additionally, he is a passionate and creative administrator in the arts and First Nations communities. His responsibilities will include overall film scheduling, Limited Runs, in addition to overseeing series and TIFF Cinematheque programming.
Stanley Zlotkin (BSc 1971 INNIS) MD, PhD is a professor of Paediatrics, Public Health Sciences and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. He graduated from the University of Toronto with an undergraduate degree in Ecology in 1971 and received his MD degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in 1974. He completed his paediatric training at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and received his paediatric Fellowship (FRCPC) in Paediatrics from McGill University in 1978. He moved from Montreal back to Toronto and completed his PhD in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto in 1981. He joined the Division of Clinical Nutrition at the Hospital for Sick Children in 1980 and became Division Head of the combined Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in 1998. He remained Division Head until June 2008. In 1980 he was appointed to the Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children as a Senior Scientist and continues to hold that position today.
Dr. Zlotkin and his Program, the Sprinkles Global Health Initiative has focused on research and advocacy to control micronutrient malnutrition in children. Micronutrient malnutrition was ranked as the second highest priority, after HIV/AIDS, by the Copenhagen Consensus in 2004, and the highest priority in 2008. UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) have a goal to reduce micronutrient malnutrition by one third by 2010. It is estimated that as many as 750 million in developing countries suffer from micronutrient malnutrition. Challenged by UNICEF to come up with a viable and reproducible solution to the problem of micronutrient malnutrition, Zlotkin and his research team developed the concept of micronutrient powders for “home-fortification” of complementary foods.
Dr. Zlotkin is past Chair of the Canadian Paediatric Society Nutrition Committee, and is a frequent consultant to governments and United Nations agencies on issues related to paediatric nutrition. His advocacy work was recognized by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in 2006 with his receipt of the prestigious “CIHR National Knowledge Translation Award” for “outstanding contributions to the health of children worldwide”. He was also awarded the HJ Heinz Humanitarian Award, and the Order of Canada, Today, Dr. Zlotkin continues to head the Sprinkles Global Health Initiative at the Hospital for Sick Children, is a physician nutritionist in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and is an active researcher with support from the NIH and other granting agencies. In 2010, he was appointed to the position of VP Medical and Academic Affairs.
Libby Znaimer (BA 1975 INNIS) is a veteran Canadian journalist specializing in health, the arts, and lifestyle issues. After graduating from Innis College in 1975, Libby attended graduate school at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her first experience in journalism was with The Associated Press in Tel Aviv where she covered a string of terror bombings and the first Israeli incursion into Lebanon. She then moved into television, with stints at Global Television, KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, and WNBC in New York. She covered Parliament Hill for three years, then moved to reported and anchoring daily news coverage for ground-breaking television stations Citytv and CablePulse 24. She was also an on-air host for ROBtv (now Business News Network.)
After working in television broadcasting covering business and politics for two decades, she joined MZ Media in 2006. She serves as Vice-President of News and Information for both Classical 96.3FM and AM740. She is also producing and hosting The Zoomer Report, a special feature on all topics of interest to the baby boom generation – It covers everything from health and wealth, to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake. Libby also writes a regular column for Zoomer Magazine.
She has contributed to numerous publications including Reader’s Digest, More Magazine, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post, where wrote a popular series on breast cancer called “The Lump.” Her first book, In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge – was published by Key Porter in October 2007.
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