To see a short biography, please click on the photo of the participant.
My name is Frances Santoro and I am a fourth year student at the University of Toronto’s Trinity College. I am currently striving to obtain my Bachelor in Arts through the completion of a double major in Trinity College’s Ethics, Society and Law program in combination with Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. Pending the completion of my under-graduate degree my hope is to complete my J.D. and work towards a career in law. The ability to observe and interact with those in a field which blends both my legal and political interests so nicely, while also having a feminist element that promotes greater female representation in government, is what interested me the most about this program. I am considering a career in federal law and I believe this program could be something that plays a crucial role in how I structure my future and I am very excited to embark on this incredible opportunity!
As a dedicated child advocate for Indigenous youth and literacy, grassroots activist, feminist, and philanthropist I have a passion for social justice and a love for reading. I am currently in my third year, studying Peace, Conflict and Justice; Criminology and Sociolegal Studies and Indigenous Studies. In 2012, I co- founded Books with No Bounds, and to date, have shipped over 230,000 books to 10,000 children around the world. I have participated in humanitarian trips to Kenya, Africa and to remote fly-in only native reserves in northern Ontario including Fort Severn, and Deer Lake. Today, I serve as a Co-Conference Director with the University of Toronto Model United Nations Society, where I also compete at MUN conference around the world, President of the UN Women UofT club and assist in yPAR research at OISE under associate professor Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez.. I hope to learn how I can best develop and work with local politicians on how to take political action to advance the rights of Indigenous youth in Canada. I can’t wait to build life-long friendships with other inspiring women so that I can become more educated and more aware of issues currently being faced by women across the spectrum.
Serena Ceco is in her fourth year at Trinity College and is pursuing a double major in Political Science and International Relations. She serves as President of the Association of Political Science Students – one of the largest course unions at the University of Toronto. Serena has a strong affinity for public policy and is excited to meet and engage with female leaders shaping Canadian public policy today. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a post-graduate degree in public policy and law.
Leslie Walker is a third-year J.D. candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. She is particularly interested in issues relating to freedom of expression, privacy, access to information, and regulatory law. Prior to attending law school, she obtained a Bachelor of Journalism degree with Honours and a minor in Sociology from Ryerson University. At Ryerson, she was awarded the Thomson Reuters Award for most promising first-year newspaper journalist, and the Ray Smith Award for having the highest GPA in the newspaper stream upon graduation. After assisting in the drafting of a Private Member’s Bill this summer, she is excited to use this opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and the day-to-day operations of the House.
Heather Wong is a first year student at Trinity College at the University of Toronto and hoping to major in Public Policy and Health Studies. She is a member of the Margaret Macmillan Trinity One program in the Public Policy stream. Having done research on the impact of HIV/AIDS policy on LGBTQ+ advocacy, Heather is interested in equitable health policy and how it can act to bridge health outcome gaps. She is incredibly excited to meet all of the other wonderful participants and to get an in-depth look at the policymaking process.
My name is Chloe Magee. I am a second-year law student at the University of Toronto who aspires to a career in litigation or international arbitration. Prior to law school, I worked at the Supreme Court of Canada revising judgments and conducting research for legal counsel. My experience at the Court affirmed my passion for both the law and politics. Outside of the classroom, I am an editor for the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review as well as for the law school’s independent student newspaper Ultra Vires. This year, I will also be putting my advocacy skills to the test by participating in the Callaghan Memorial Moot. I am interested in pursuing a career in politics one day, and I am looking forward to gaining insight into the daily life of Canadian political leaders through this incredible opportunity.
Victoria Reedman is a second year medical student at the University of Toronto. Concurrently, she is pursuing a Masters degree in Systems Leadership and Innovation. She is the Vice President External Affairs on Medical Society. She has worked as a Policy Analyst for the Ontario Public Service in the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Victoria hopes to one day run for office and hold the Minister of Health cabinet seat. She cannot wait to network with her heroes at the 2017 Women in House
Hello! My name is Emily Chu, and I’m a second-year studying International Relations, Political Science, and American Studies at Trinity College. I’m a huge policy nerd, so I’m so excited to participate in the Women in House program this year. It will give me a chance to get a glimpse of the day-to-day life on Parliament Hill, as well as get a chance to interact with my personal heroes – Supreme Court Justices. I can take the lessons I learn from shadowing women political leaders back to campus through my involvement in the Association of Political Science Students and other organizations.
Oriana Rodriguez Gerardino is a fourth year undergraduate student double majoring in Global Health and French Language and Literature. Oriana is passionate about research focusing on the determinants of health of the population in different settings as well as the effects of foreign humanitarian aid in developing countries, and how this research translates into policy. Oriana is involved in various initiatives that aim at supporting community development locally, in the city of Toronto, and internationally. She is currently an assistant coordinator for the Community-Engaged Initiatives Grant offered by the Centre for Community Partnerships, which funds projects developed by students for the community. Oriana is also a sitting member of the Global Commons committee at Hart House which strives to facilitate discussions centred around the theme of reconciliation in Canada and other countries. Through the UofT Women in House program, Oriana hopes to learn from all the inspiring female politicians about health policy, foreign affairs and immigration as well as their personal experiences as leaders in Canada.
Kristen Bass is a second-year student at the University of Toronto, working towards a major in Women & Gender Studies with a double minor in French As a Second Language and Writing & Rhetoric. Prior to attending U of T, Kristen completed a diploma in Photographic Technology, and worked for nearly six years as a professional photographer. A burgeoning passion for social justice sent Kristen back to post-secondary studies where she seeks to use her photography and creativity to promote social change. She is also drawn to policy and government as avenues through which social change can transpire, and sees immense value in government working alongside artists and grassroots organizations to realize an equitable future for Canadians.
My name is Maria Hutt. I am a second-year undergraduate student pursuing a double major in Peace, Conflict, & Justice, and Political Science and a minor in History. I have been employed at a Law Office for over two and a half years, and I have experience in debate, Mock Trial, and Mooting. After my undergraduate studies, I hope to attend law school and pursue a career in the legal field. While the majority of my interests lie in the law and government, I have been teaching piano since 2009, and am currently pursuing my ARCT diploma. I hope that the Women in House program will teach me more about our government and the law, but also about the personal accomplishments of a strong, female leader in parliament.
My name is Olive Arinze and I’m in second year pursuing a major in African Studies and Book and Media Studies. I would love to see how female politicians in Canada work to achieve their policies. I am interested in increasing female political participation, as well female corporate and government leadership in my home country Nigeria. I hope to export some of the lessons learnt from this program as a way of solving some of the political issues plaguing Nigeria.
Frances Grace McCormick is a first-year undergraduate student at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. Grace is fascinated by the role of data and quantitative analysis in addressing questions of the public good and is currently pursuing a double major in public policy and economics. A student in the Trinity One Public Policy Program, Grace looks forward to cultivating her interest in policy through the lenses of law and political science. Outside of class, she is working to be involved in political advocacy, student governance and new research initiatives like the EWB Sustainable City Project, sharpening her focus as she explores different applications of public policy. Grace is excited and honored to learn from women in leadership on the Hill, to gain a deeper understanding of the legislative system and to bolster her advocacy for gender equity.
Eunice Kays is a first year student in the 2 year full-time Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance. Eunice plans on pursuing her JD degree after completing her MPP as she seeks to explore career opportunities as a Lawyer, Consultant, and MPP/MP, dedicated to achieving inclusivity in the workplace for those historically disadvantaged (women, Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, and racial minorities). She is a dedicated public servant, currently working at the Regional Municipality of York in the Transportation Services Department. She is always seeking new opportunities to help others, especially through volunteer work with youth as well as a plethora of educational, government, and not-for-profit organizations. In her spare time, Eunice enjoys designing and sewing, as well as helping people write/edit their cover letters and resumes. She is excited to visit Parliament Hill to learn from women in power who are doing great things to contribute to the public good! And, just as her name dictates, Eunice (“good victory/she conquers”), hopes to conquer any barriers on her way to success.
Siobhan Bradley is a second year Master of Global Affairs Candidate at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. She worked in the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Section of the Canadian Embassy in Thailand this summer. Her interests lie in human rights, global health, gender equity and development. During the Women in House program, Siobhan is excited to build on her previous experiences working with the government while learning and interacting with influential MPs and Senators.
Yara is a fourth-year undergraduate student with a specialization in Political Science at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about women’s civic engagement and political representation and was Equal Voice’s “Daughter of the Vote” for the Oakville riding, a multi-partisan initiative which allowed her to interact with Canadian politicians of all levels of government. Yara’s current role as a Board Member on her local provincial riding association and as a Communications Advisor at the Constituency Office of the Hon. Kevin Flynn, MPP Oakville and Ontario Minister of Labour, has only fuelled her passion even more. She hopes that as a member of Women in House she will be able to further her understanding of the participation of women and people of colour in the political sphere. Yara is excited to be with like-minded young women and is grateful for the opportunity to shadow a woman on the federal level.
Jina Aryaan is a fourth year Sociology student with a double minor in French and Latin American Studies at the University of Toronto. She is interested in a career in the field of law and politics, and constantly pursues opportunities that allow her to challenge herself and contribute her skills and experiences to meaningful initiatives. She is hoping that the UofT Women in House program will allow her to gain insight and practical experience in the manner in which political leaders establish public policies and other legal processes. Within her university community, she is an active student leader as the President of the Spanish Student Organization, Co-President of the Sociology Students’ Union, Co-Editor of Her Campus UToronto, Treasurer of the Arts and Science Students’ Union, and board member on several Arts and Science Council committees. When she is not rushing to her classes or club and committee meetings on campus, she is enjoying her time with her friends and family.
Amanda Oprisan is a first year student at the University of Toronto who is part of the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Ethics, Society and Law stream. She is interested in furthering her studies in English Literature over the course of her undergraduate degree and hopes to pursue a legal education after obtaining her Bachelor’s diploma. Amanda has been involved in various law-related activities, including Mock Trials Tournaments and Mock Appeal Competitions hosted by the Ontario Justice Education Network and the Ontario Bar Association, and wishes to continue engaging herself in the legal and political sphere in the future. She is excited to meet with the inspiring and accomplished women of Canada’s parliament to help promote political involvement and leadership for women in government.
Olivia Smith is a second year student at Trinity College specializing in International Relations with a minor in Philosophy. Her academic interests include global health policy, biosecurity, and human rights, specifically the manner in which these issue areas and the policies developed within them affect people who are poor. On campus, she is an executive committee member of Students for Partners in Health Canada, is an active member of the Trinity College Volunteer Society, and is currently working to launch a mentorship program to pair female identifying students at Trinity with alumni mentors in various professions. Olivia is incredibly excited to participate in the Women in House program this year, visit Ottawa, and is especially keen to learn as much as possible from the women on the Hill who work everyday to make Canada a better place for all of us. In her free time, she tutors local children affected by HIV/AIDS, and tries, and often fails, to cook different foods from around the world.
Camille Malcolm is a first year M.Sc. Geology student at the University of Toronto and Junior Fellow at Massey College. Having worked in the environmental consulting and mining industries, she is particularly interested in Canadian environmental regulations and policy making. Inspired by her work experience, Ms. Malcolm’s research investigates the geochemistry of contaminated sites and examines the policies impacting current environmental practices in Canada. Ms. Malcolm completed her B.Sc. Honours in Earth Science at Dalhousie University and belongs to several geological associations in Canada and abroad. Outside of school, Ms. Malcolm trains as an amateur triathlete and is involved with mentoring programs for high school students, focusing particularly on encouraging young girls to pursue careers in STEM fields.
Vanessa Hayford is a first year student in the Master of Global Affairs program with the Munk School of Global Affairs. Prior to pursuing her Master’s degree, Vanessa worked as a consitutency assistant for Member of Parliament Julie Dzerowicz, with a focus on immigration casework, and as an equity assistant for Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets. As an avid writer, Vanessa served as a Junior Research Fellow for the NATO Council of Canada, and is a casual writer for a local food blog. Her key topics of interest are immigration, humanitarian intervention, and international development.
Aisha Ryan is a third year Trinity College student pursuing a double major in International Relations and Health Studies. She has an acute interest in health promotion, particularly in disadvantaged populations including Indigenous Canadians, refugees, and in the developing world. Aisha has served for three years on the executive of university’s International Relations Society, and more recently as the Senior Editor of the Attaché Journal of International Affairs. Additionally, she has been involved with the G7 and G20 Research Groups at the Munk School of Global Affairs, the Trinity College Board of Stewards, and the Canadian Centre for Responsibility to Protect, where she currently serves as Co-Director of Undergraduate Research. Aisha is also excited to spend this academic year working with Trinity Women in Leadership (TWIL), and hopes to use this incredible opportunity to inform her work with TWIL and other organizations.
My name is Laura Quon. I am a second-year student at Victoria College pursuing a double major in International Relations and Economics with a minor in Political Science. As an American studying abroad in Toronto, I’m hoping to gain knowledge and skills that will broaden my perspective of the world and provide a strong background for my future career. Through the U of T Women in House program, I’m looking forward to learning more about the Canadian Parliament and witnessing a legislative process foreign to me. I’m inspired by these female politicians whom I will have the pleasure of interacting with and hope to share my experiences to empower other young women such as myself to become more politically active and unafraid to aspire to positions of power. As I’m hoping to pursue a career in either international business or law, I’m certain my studies at U of T and participation in this program will prepare me well.
Elizabeth Shaw is a first year Munk One student at the University of Toronto. She was club president of both Refresh Bolivia and German Club in high school, as well as a peer buddy in Best Buddies. Due to her passion for global affairs, she hopes to pursue a double major in International Relations and Peace, Conflict, and Justice. Elizabeth looks forward to being surrounded by so many inspirational women in Ottawa, and learning about governance at the federal level.
Sun Xuefei is a first-year student in Master of Global Affairs. Program. She is a newcomer to Canada. She lived in Beijing for the past 22 years and finished her undergraduate in China Foreign Affairs University, major in diplomatic studies. In China, it is very difficult for a female to become politician. She is very interested in this topic. While she also wants to learn something related to Canadian political system in Women in House program.
My name is Rachel Chan. I am a second-year student at the Faculty of Law. I completed my undergraduate degree in sociology with a minor in politics at Queen’s University. I am interested in the role of dialogue between Parliament and the justice system in producing positive social change. I hope to learn more about this dynamic first hand through the Women in House program. I am looking forward to tour the Supreme Court and learning from exceptional role models in the House of Commons.
Christeen Salik (pronouns: she/her) is a second-year student majoring in Equity Studies, with minors in Religion and Diaspora & Transnational Studies. Following undergrad, she hopes to attend UofT’s joint J.D. and MSW program to pursue her ambitions to be a Human Rights Lawyer. Leadership and volunteerism are her passions, and she works toward equity through her involvement with the Hart House Social Justice Committee as Co-Chair, and with the Pakistan Development Foundation as VP External. She is also a member of PREVNet’s National Youth Advisory Committee, and the Toronto City Lead for an American NGO called Free Intelligent Conversation. Through the UofT Women in House program, she hopes to learn more about the roles of those in government, and form meaningful connections with her peers and mentors.
Khadija Ahmed is currently a Master of Global Affairs student; while an undergraduate student, she interned, studied, and lived in the United States, Turkey and France. Upon graduating from Carleton University with a Bachelors of Arts Combined Honours in Law and Women & Gender Studies, she worked for the Government of Canada. She is interested in issues pertaining to global security and law: in particular, how legislation and contemporary discourse on terrorism impact human rights and the rule of law.
Hello, my name is Lorraine Amaya-Velez and I am currently pursuing a double major in Political Science and Diaspora and Transnational Studies. I am interested in humanitarian intervention, social justice and indigenous reconciliation efforts. I am so honoured to have been gifted this opportunity with U of T’s Women in House program and I hope that this opportunity helps me gain insight into the political world which I hope to be part of one day.
My name is Lydia Ocharo. I am a fourth year student at New College undertaking a double major in Equity Studies and African Studies. My acceptance into the 2017 U of T Women in House Program and the opportunity to interact with Justice Andromache Karakatsanis of the Supreme Court of Canada, women MPs and cabinet ministers, and shadow an MP is a great boost to my career prospects, in law, equity and and public policy. Thus, the trip will benefit and enrich me in numerous practical ways.
My name is Danna Aranda. I am a fourth year student at the University of Toronto specializing in Political Science, looking to enter an M.A. program following graduation. I hope to attain a joint JD/PhD in the future, as I am deeply interested in both research and legal work. In attending UofT’s Women In Parliament program, I hope to gain more insight in the lives of women in politics. I am also looking forward to meeting motivated women who have made an impact in areas they are passionate about, and learning about the ways in which they have overcome barriers, particularly systemic gender barriers, in achieving their goals. Lastly, I am excited to be surrounded by like-minded women who care about making change, irrespective of the real and true gender-based challenges that come their way!
Lucía López is a first-year student in the Master of Global Affairs at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Born and raised in Venezuela, Lucía earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Universidad Santa María. Her professional background includes six years of experience working for the British Government in Venezuela. Her research interests focus on development in low and middle-income countries and the advancement of gender equity, especially in Latin America. She believes that participating in this programme is an excellent opportunity to better understand the challenges female politics and civil servants face in Canadian public administration.
Shaheen Chohan is a first year Master of Public Policy Candidate at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. She is interested in issues relating to gender equity, public health, and environmental policy, and aspires to a career as a federal civil servant. Shaheen also serves as a policy analyst for the Gender, Diversity, and Public Policy initiative at the School of Public Policy and Governance. She looks forward to meeting and building relationships with our female political leaders through the Women in House Program.
Alexandra Thatcher is a fourth year student majoring in Canadian Studies and Near Middle Eastern Civilizations. Her research interests include the intersection of Canadian policy as it concerns the Middle East in regards to intervention and migration, as well as the intersection between Canadian and Indigenous studies. Alexandra wants to continue her studies in the Middle East and is interested in pursuing a career in foreign affairs. She hopes that the 2017 Women in House program will help her better understand the challenges women continue to face in political life and how best to navigate these challenges and enhance her leadership skills.
Hello! My name is Lilian Shams-Amiri and I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Montreal, Quebec. My parents are Iranian immigrants who fled religious persecution in their home country and lived as refugees in Turkey for a brief period of time. Their teachings as well as their struggle has led me to come to the University of Toronto to pursue a double major undergraduate degree in Criminology and Canadian Studies. I hope that over the course of this trip, I hope to make meaningful connections with the fellow bright young women from U of T, learn about the political system through my own eyes as well as find ways in which gender equity can be improved in our country’s capital.
Marium Vahed is an advocate for civic engagement amongst youth, Muslims, and women, having been Communications Associate for The Canadian-Muslim Vote; Director of Provincial Policy for the Mississauga East-Cooksville Young Liberals; and an avid debater. She’s currently in her first-year studying Political Science, and in the Munk One program at Munk School of Global Affairs. Through U of T Women in House, she’s excited to develop a more comprehensive understanding of federal politics, especially through the lens of gender equality, and hopeful that through this opportunity, she will be set on the path of one day running for office.
Mashal Khan is an artist and student at the University of Toronto studying Equity, Sociology and Visual Studies. She immigrated to Canada at the age of seven from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan in 2002. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking, dealing with social and political issues faced by people of colour. Her practice focuses on the narratives and lived realities of women of colour, highlighting their resiliency and courage in a world that does not value their existence. She is an emerging filmmaker part of the Doc Institute’s New Visions 2018 Cohort and currently is in the processing of developing a documentary about the girls of Swat Valley and their continued fight for education during/after the Taliban control of their homeland. She is honoured to be a part of U of T Women in House 2017 and hopes to connect with both current and future female leaders guiding Canada to a more equitable future for all.
Nicole is currently a Master of Public Policy candidate (Year 1) at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. She holds a Master of Arts in American Studies and a Bachelor of Arts Honors in Political Science, both from Western University. Nicole is interested in the areas of inclusive and equitable policy-making for marginalized and discriminated groups within Canada; particular policy areas of interest include: ethnic and race relations, indigenous relations, and refugee and immigration affairs. Nicole is very excited to be taking part of the Fall 2017 Women in House Program. She is looking forward to tangibly experiencing the daily legislative process, and in gaining insight into the roles and experiences of dynamic women political practitioners at the highest level of Canadian governance.
After completing my undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia, I decided that my interests and goals could be best served by undertaking a professional Masters of Public Policy. The combination of thorough research, evidence-based decisions, and deep care for individual and community impacts, drew me to this field of study. Through this Women in House program, I hope to meet and learn from women who have chosen to commit some, or all, of their careers to policy and politics. Each and every one has an interesting story to tell, and every time I hear another it inspires me in my own pursuits. Following my graduation in 2019, I hope to return to my home in British Columbia.
My name is Amelia Ritchie. I am a first year student in Trinity College at the University of Toronto, studying social sciences. At this point in my university education, I intend to do a double major in Ethics, Society & Law and Women & Gender Studies. On this trip, I hope to learn how I can go from being a leader on a miniscule scale to being a leader on a major scale, such as within Canada or within an international agency. I believe that the women I meet on this trip will be the perfect models of this transition for me.
Tracy is a first-year Master of Global Affairs student at the University of Toronto. Having completed her undergraduate degree in health sciences, she strongly believes that health is a human right, and is passionate about addressing the social determinants of health and improving access to health services. After working in research for the past few years, she has now set her eyes on a career in the public service where she is interested in working to ensure that the intended impact of policies and programs is being achieved. She looks forward to engaging with female leaders in Parliament about their work and experiences, and learning how research informs the political process.
My name is Rachelle Sanicharan and I am a twenty year old student at the University of Toronto St George campus with St. Michael’s College. I am currently studying Canadian Studies with a minor in History. I hope to one day become a lawyer. I hope to have a better understanding of the Canadian parliament and how the women that are apart of the parliament got to where they are today. These women are role models and I am very honoured to be chosen to meet and interact with them.
Sharly Chan is a Master of Information candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Information and a Junior Fellow at Massey College. She is passionate about the intersection of technology and policy, specifically within the areas of privacy, surveillance, and open government.
Generously supported with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, her thesis with Professor Leslie Regan Shade explores Canadian privacy advocacy groups, their advocacy strategies and their impact on the structures of policymaking surrounding privacy and surveillance legislations, with a focus on Bill C-51. Sharly is an organizer at Civic Tech Toronto, a non-profit community group that meets every week to listen to guest speakers within the field and to work on projects that use technology to solve civic problems. She is delighted to participate in the U of T Women in House Program to engage with women in leadership and to promote diversity in Canadian politics.
Farhana Islam is a doctoral student at the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Toronto and a Junior Fellow at Massey College. Her research focuses on the neural correlates of neuropsychiatric disease, with a special focus on depression and addiction. She is an outspoken advocate for mental health in her community through her outreach work. On campus, she works towards equity and inclusivity in her role as the Vice President of the Race and Ethnicity Caucus of the University of Toronto Graduate Student’s Union. When she is not at the lab or marking, she is actively involved in mentoring and tutoring youth in her community as part of the Pathways to Education Program and the Kids.Now Program. Through the UofT Women in House program, she is looking forward to shadowing and being mentored by a female politician, and becoming more aware of the different avenues to getting involved in health policymaking as a scientist.
Alisa McMaster is a third-year student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. She completed her undergraduate studies at McGill University in Political Science and International Development (Economics stream). Alisa is actively involved in the University of Toronto’s Downtown Legal Services clinic, and is interested in pursuing a career in litigation. Outside of the classroom, Alisa plays hockey and is the co-captain of the Faculty of Law’s co-ed hockey team. Alisa is excited to tour the Supreme Court of Canada and have the unparalleled opportunity to shadow and learn from women in Parliament.
My name is Sukaina Kazim. I am a third-year student majoring in both International Relations and History. The opportunity that the U of T Women in House Program has provided me and other female students is ideal. Especially given the fact that I take a great interest in matters concerning equality and gender equity. I am the President of a chapter of a Pakistani Non-Governmental Organization named Sahil at the University of Toronto, which protects children’s rights; particularly child sexual abuse. The NGO looks to empower primarily young females to understand their rights, whilst also teaching mothers to protect their children in vulnerable environments. The UofT Women in House Program is clearly an informative and fruitful experience, where I can educate myself more on the Canadian field of politics. To be able to meet women that have successfully paved a path for themselves in Parliament Hill is something that I seek to emulate and learn from. I am definitely looking forward to the experience!
Edie Guo is a second-year student studying Physiology and Environment & Toxicology. She grew up in a small town in British Columbia and studied high school in Shanghai. Currently, she is the Co-chair of the Hart House Farm Committee and a student of the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One program. She is passionate about environmental protection and served as a first-year representative of the Trinity College Environmental Society. She is thrilled to be part of the Women in House Program, and hope to learn about Canadian politics and ways in which environmental protection policies are developed and implemented.
Arielle Mantes is a third year student currently enrolled in a double major in Political Science and Diaspora and Transnational Studies. Her goal is to pursue a career in an area regarding immigration policies. With a passion for human rights and gender equality, Arielle actively participates on campus through Amnesty International and UN Women chapters at U of T. When she is not at school, she is volunteering at MP Mark Holland’s community office in Ajax or participating in a work study with the Migrant Mothers Project. Through this program, Arielle hopes to dive deeper into Canadian policies with the mentorship of female politicians and to encourage other females to challenge gender stereotypes and get involved in politics.
Jordan Kazan Baigrie is a third year student doing a specialist in Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies, with an interest in international human rights law, specifically in regards to cultural genocide. Jordan also enjoys courses in near and middle Eastern archaeology and various languages, such as French, Spanish and Polish. Jordan is passionate about equality and equity issues, and has written several articles on contemporary equality issues for online platforms. In her free time, Jordan works as a competitive swim coach for Toronto Masters Swim Club and teaches first aid courses.
I’m a third-year Visual Studies & Architecture student, Hart House Art Committee co-chair, international student, curious about the Canadian political system and want to learn more about the procedures.
Priscilla Mak is a second-year Master of Public Policy candidate at the School of Public Policy and Governance, focusing her studies on municipal and urban policy, civic engagement, and food security. She previously completed a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Toronto and worked in the Ontario Public Service. With a passion for meaningful community development, Priscilla sits on the Mississauga Public Library Board and is an active member of many civic engagement groups, including the CivicAction Emerging Leaders Network and Toronto Food Policy Council. Through the U of T Women in House program, Priscilla hopes to learn from Canadian female politicians about their leadership and policy decision-making experiences at the federal level.
My name is Rachel Cohen and I am in my second year studying Political Science at the University of Toronto, Victoria College. I was born in Washington DC, though I grew up in Ottawa. Politics ran through my veins from the beginning, my parents were journalists that met on a provincial election campaign in the 80’s. I’ve always had a keen interest in social justice and government, so I hope this trip will teach me about these disciplines in a hands-on manner. I expect that the 2017 Fall U of T Women in House trip will inspire me to keep pushing through the glass ceiling in hopes of giving women my age the confidence to act, so that Canada will one day be, a truly equal society.
Khadija Waseem is a student at Rotman Commerce, the University of Toronto with a passion for socio-economic development in marginalized communities all across Canada. She is a champion of many social justice causes particularly the empowerment of minorities, at-risk/marginalized youth, and women. As a trilingual Canadian, an advocate of diversity and inclusion she has learnt to see pictures through different lenses and through this experience she wishes to learn about the future of women in ‘The House’ and Senate. She finds great joy in empowering others, as assisting in their personal development allows her to advance in her own. Khadija believes passion exhibited through education is infectious — it empowers individuals. The light of empowerment never fades away — it transfers from person to person until it illuminates the entire world
Sara D’Ambrogio is a Master of Global Affairs student at the UofT’s Munk School. Her research interests include policy development, global security, human rights, and migration. Through the UofT Women in House Program, Sara hopes to expand her understanding of the inner-workings of the nation’s capital and the extensive processes of domestic and international governance.
Sharnelle Morgan is a first-year graduate student at the School of Public Policy and Governance completing her Master’s in Public Policy. Prior to attending the University of Toronto, she completed her bachelor’s degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management with a specialization in development studies and completed a minor in Economics. Among many policy interests, Sharnelle is primarily interested in the intersectionality between race, gender, and policy. She is deeply honoured to part of this program, and is excited to gain valuable insight on what it truly means to be a ‘ women in politics’.
Carey Davis is currently a first year student at Trinity College. She is studying Political Science and Economics, and is also enrolled in the Munk One program at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Originally from Massachusetts, Carey is eager to call Toronto home for the next four years, and to learn more about the disparities and parallels between the Canadian and American political systems.
My name is Brittany Casals. I am in my fourth year of a Political Science Specialist and plan to pursue a Master of Public Policy after graduation. I am passionate about politics and policies that protect Canada’s most vulnerable people and places. I am interested in researching how the growing inequality in Canada affects the environment, indigenous communities, and affordable housing. In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering with the Jays Care Foundation and on local campaigns, reading, playing tennis, and rooting for the Toronto Blue Jays. From the Women in House program, I hope to learn from the experiences of women Members of Parliament, discuss how they overcame the structural challenges of political participation and what we can do to action gender equity today.
Diletta Di Marco is a second-year graduate student in Public Policy from Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. She is currently doing an exchange semester at SPPG for the Fall term. While Diletta’s interests and goals are various, she is particularly passionate about diversity, gender equity, women’s access to education and business empowerment for less privileged minorities. Her main focus is how to help young women to be engaged in leading positions in both private and public sector. She is excited to join this year’s participants in promoting political engagement and building women’s involvement in public life. This is an incredible opportunity to meet members of a new and inspiring political community and she would like to bring back her experience to Europe, using this exciting two days as an example for new motivated and ambitious young women.