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#UofTGrad17: U of T Scarborough students strike new paths

U of T Scarborough students graduated today in three convocation ceremonies (photo by Johnny Guatto)

U of T Scarborough students – in total 1,731 grads – crossed the stage at Convocation Hall today to receive their degrees from the University of Toronto. 

The graduating students included Da Chen (pictured at left) who is now working with Parks Canada to increase awareness of northern Canada – and gearing up to take part in a ship-based Arctic expedition of more than 100 youth from around the world.

Hired to the Northern Engagement Team in Vancouver, Chen's day-to-day tasks include online training sessions on Parks Canada mandates, Canada’s northern sights and learning about Inuit culture, their way of life, and the impact of climate change.

During the last months of summer, Chen says, his team will host outreach events across western Canada to engage the public about Canada’s north and join a two-week expedition to the Arctic that will bring students together with scientists, elders, educators, artists, musicians, CEO’s, dignitaries, journalists, authors and innovators.

The double major in city studies and political science program landed the job soon after a co-op placement.

“While in high school, I had a keen interest in the environment, and when I had the opportunity to work for Parks Canada, I was able to rediscover my old passion,” says Chen.

Read more about Chen

Meera Premnazeer (right), a Bachelor of Science grad who pursued a double major in human biology and psychology, hopes to apply for a master's programs in either clinical psychology or pharmacology.

“Despite coming from a small village in Sri Lanka, my parents raised me to be the strong capable woman I am today, ” Premnazeer said. “I am here today ... because of the fact that the society I am living in today accepts and inspires women like me to be leaders.”

Premnazeer started the U of T Scarborough chapter of Together We Stand to assist local and global communities. 

“Members of the club were able to get first hand experience aiding the marginalized population of downtown Toronto,” she said. “It was also a club that I started to motivate other UTSC students that had a motivation to make a difference. We provided them the support to get their ideas started, and in that way, we helped many UTSC students flourish.”

Read more about Premnazeer

Muhanad Ali (left) started undergraduate studies following a psychology major, but graduated Monday with a Bachelor of Science in population health sciences and critical international development studies, and a minor in anthropology.

“I now appreciate multiple facets of newly emerging health issues such as social and structural determinants of health, intersects of health and social justice, data analysis and public and global policy,” Ali says. 

After taking some time away from school to figure out what he wanted to do next, he came back to help create U of T Scarborough’s first undergraduate research publication workshop.

“It provided me with the opportunity to share my experiences in publishing in hopes of assisting students in developing new research skills,” he said.

Read more about Ali