Your Coaches

Peer Coaches

Learn what you need to know about UTSC from your peers! The Get Started Peer Coaches for 2018 are friendly, fun and helpful upper-year students from all programs. You can ask them about the campus, the community and their experiences in their programs. Peer Coaches are happy to share tips and advice for being academically successful, getting involved and what it’s like to be a UTSC student. 

My Name: Aashika Nagarajan 

My Program(s): Double Major in Molecular Biology, Immunology, and Disease and Neuroscience

My Year of Study: 3

Something Interesting About Me: I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I find it very inspiring and love knowing that everyone has their own unique experience and take on life!

Favorite Place on Campus:  Academic Resource Centre (ARC) area in front of Tim Hortons. I love the energy and enthusiastic events that occur there. 

Some Advice for You:   Make your university experience more memorable by joining and attending workshops and clubs! These experiences will allow you to reach out to new people and show you that you are not alone in your journey here at UTSC. Better yet, they can lead you to incredible opportunities that can change your life. 

 

My Name: Andrew Vyravipillai 

My Program(s): Double Major in Human Biology and Psychology

My Year of Study: 3

Something Interesting About Me: I would say I’m a pretty outgoing guy. I love travelling, public speaking, a good action movie, food and the occasional sports game when everyone in Toronto is excited. I’m left-handed, so writing on whiteboards is a struggle, but I consider it a unique quality.

Favourite Place on Campus: The Student Centre would be my favourite place on campus, it is unlike any other building and reminds me of a shopping mall. I don’t eat on campus that often, but I love hanging out here with my friends, attending club meetings, and using the multi-faith prayer spaces.  

Some Advice for You: You are in a unique position right now to grab a hold of your future by getting involved in student life, taking advantage of the resources on campus and learning at one of the best universities in the country. Don’t spend your first year on autopilot, just going through the motions of class and studying. Make new friends, put yourself out there, get the help you need to do your best and don’t be so stressed about your grades. It is not as bad as it seems, and you will get through it.

 

My Name: Ayesha Khan

My Program(s): Double Major in Human Biology and English

My Year of Study: 4

Something Interesting About Me: I love to travel! Whenever I have the opportunity, I'm always exploring someplace new! 

Favourite Place on Campus: The Meeting Place because there are always interesting events going on. It’s a great place to meet people and learn how to get involved on campus. 

Some Advice for You: There are so many opportunities to enrich your UTSC student experience. With over 150 different clubs and organizations on campus, there is something for everyone!  Keep your eyes open for something that interests you and get involved!

 

My Name: Cavin Sundarampillai

My Program(s): Specialist (Co-op) Program in Management and Accounting

My Year of Study: 1

Something Interesting About Me: I enjoy spending my spare time with friends and family. I also like to try and learn different things constantly. For example, I try to be involved in different extracurricular activities as much as possible.

Favourite Place on Campus: The Instructional Centre is my favourite place because there are a plenty of networking events that happen there and it’s also a chance for me to meet new people.

Some advice for You: Entering University can be a big step from high school. It’s a chance for you to meet many different people and to explore the different paths that you can take in the future. Although, maintaining a good GPA may be important, being involved in clubs that UTSC has to offer will enhance your student life experience.

My Name:Dharsha Sundarampillai
 

My Program(s): Major in Human Geography; Double Minor in Psychology & Applied Statistics.
 

My Year of Study: Alumna (2017 Graduate)

Something Interesting About Me: I love to sing and listen to music. 

Favourite Place on Campus: The Bladen Wing study area would be my most favourite place. That is where my friends and I love to study and hang out. That area is filled with laughable memories for me. 

Some Advice for You: Your time at UTSC will develop you in so many ways! My three tips that I would give you all is to EXPLORE within your academics, build your NETWORK and most importantly GET INVOLVED! That is one of the best ways to discover yourself! 

 

My Name: Emma Kerr

My Program(s): Specialist (Co-op) Program in International Development Studies (IDS); Minor in Economics

My Year of Study: Final Year

Something Interesting About Me: I love travelling and just returned from a 1-year co-op term abroad in Sri Lanka as part of the IDS Co-op program here at UTSC! 

Favourite Place on Campus: My favourite place on campus is La Prep in the IC building because it’s a great atmosphere to study while enjoying some (sometimes much needed) coffee and snacks.

Some Advice for You: University is where a lot of people find “their people”. Try new things, put yourself out there and you might just find your friends for life. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone new or get involved with things going on around UTSC. There’s a lot more to university than just classes, and meeting great people can be the difference between a good and great university experience. 

 

My Name: George Szep
 

My Program(s): Double major in Neuroscience and Human Biology, Minor in Psychology.
 

My Year of Study: Graduating in June 2018

Something Interesting About Me: I love learning how to play numerous musical instruments and exploring new areas outdoors!

Favorite Place on Campus: The Meeting Place and the Valley. You get to meet and make new friends in the meeting place, and take a beautiful nature hike in the valley together. 

Some Advice for You: Always smile and say hi and acquaint yourself with the people around you because the simplest hello can lead to amazing friendships. Enrich the years you spend here to make them the most memorable! 

 

My Name: James Rebello

My Program(s): Double Major in Health Studies (Co-op) and Psychology

My Year of Study: Graduating in June 2018

Something Interesting About Me: I love trying new food and never shy away from trying something new. 

Favourite Place on Campus: The Bladen Wing study area, since it’s such an open space where you can both focus on studying or can talk to your friends. 

Some Advice for You: UTSC is a great community filled with so many amazing people. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone first year, they may just end becoming your lifelong friend! 

 

My Name: Lavania Jeganathan

My Program: Double Major in Psychology and French

My Year of Study: 3

Something Interesting About Me: I enjoy Zumba and trying out new food spots.

Favourite Place on Campus: The Arts and Administration Building because there are so many windows that allow me to see the outside sun while studying!

Some Advice for You: Don’t let anything get you down! University will be what you make of it. Take advantage of all there is for you on campus and remember to take care of yourself.

My Name: Leeza Gheerawo

My Program(s): Specialist (Co-op) Program in International Development Studies (IDS); Minor in Critical Migration Studies 

My Year of Study: 2

Something Interesting About Me: I am passionate about social justice issues and volunteerism. Also, I am a major film lover-- come find me and let's chat about film. 

Favourite Place on Campus: You have to try Rex’s Den, the jerk chicken poutine and wings are my recommendation. 

Some Advice for You: Get involved on campus with student groups and clubs. It is very rewarding, you get to meet lots of new people, and it looks great on a resume. 

 

My Name: Lingruo Chen

My Program(s): Specialist (Co-op) Program in Management and Marketing

My Year of Study: 3

Something Interesting About Me: I love learning about new cultures and their languages. I am currently learning Italian. 

Favourite Place on Campus: My favourite place on campus would be the Valley. This is a place where I can take a little break and enjoy nature. 

Some Advice for You: Be open-minded and be willing to try new things and meet new people. This will surely take your university experience to a whole new level. But don’t forget to study hard, work hard, and play hard!

My Name: Luisa Gragirena-Husbands

My Program(s): Specialist (Co-op) Program in International Development Studies (IDS); Minor in Sociology

My Year of Study: 4

Something Interesting About Me: I love the beach and the warm summer weather because it reminds me of back home (Barbados). 

Favourite Place on Campus: My favourite place on campus would have to be the theatre, I love seeing the talent that UTSC has to offer.  

Some Advice for You: Be open-minded, come out to campus-wide events and try new things. Your experience will be what you make of it!

 

My Name: Maha Ejaz 

My Programs: Double major in Human Biology and Health Studies (Population Health)

My Year of Study: 4th year

Something Interesting About Me: I love interacting and meeting new people because I always find myself learning something new from each and every individual. Although I’m not really good, I occasionally like to sing, it's a great way to express yourself.  

Favourite Place on Campus: Bladen Wing (BV) is the place where I have spent most of my undergrad. This place is inclusive of everything I needed including Tim Hortons, where I socialized with my friends whenever I took a break from studying in the library. Also, I always found myself amid great displays presented by student clubs in the area.

Some Advice for You: Don't be afraid to ask for help, there are plenty of resources around you to help you through transitioning into University. I highly recommend getting yourself involved on campus through volunteering and clubs, it's a great way to connect with your peers and professors. 

 

My Name: Meena Sivaneswaralingam

My Program(s): Major in Human Geography and a double minor in Critical Migration Studies and Public Law

My Year of Study: Graduating in June 2018

Something Interesting About Me: I love practising calligraphy and hand lettering! This is a self-taught skill that I’ve developed an interest for this year, and it’s my favourite way to de-stress and express my creativity. 

Favourite Place on Campus: The Instructional Centre! This is my favourite spot on campus as there’s lots of natural light, study space, as well as “state-of-the-art technology” in the lecture halls. 

Some Advice for You: 1. Ask questions! The faculty, staff and students at UTSC are very supportive. 2. Getting involved in campus clubs are also great, as it gives you a break from academics, a chance to meet a lot of great individuals, and you can build your resume! 3. Managing your time is important, as it is an important component to success in university.

 

My Name: Melanie Christoforou

My Program(s): Double Major in Psychology and Neuroscience; Minor in Biology

My Year of Study: 4

Something Interesting About Me: I love to read. You will always find me on campus with a book in my hand.

Favourite Place on Campus: The Meeting Place, especially when there are tables and chairs to do work and hang out with friends!

Some Advice for You: Don’t be shy! Don’t be afraid to approach people and make new friends, as well as talk to professors when you need help. Use the resources around you, and get involved on campus by joining clubs! 

 

My Name: Priscilla Kunaseelan

My Program(s): Double Major in Human Biology and Neuroscience

My Year of Study: Graduating in June 2018

Something Interesting About Me: Even though I have studied the sciences my whole life, all my hobbies involve the arts – music, graphic design, visual arts – no one said we cannot do both! 

Favourite Place on Campus: I love the Marketplace – it is a casual space to get work done or spend time with friends all while having something to eat throughout my busy days. 

Some Advice for You: You do not need to have everything figured out. As you go through your years as an undergrad, you will learn, grow, change and step-by-step things will start to unfold – you will find yourself exactly where you are supposed to be! 

 

My Name: Sarah Syed

My Program(s): Major in Health Studies (Health Policy) & Double Minor in Human Biology & Psychology

My Year of Study: 3

Something Interesting About Me: I’m a singer, songwriter, and performer! Alongside my siblings I’m in a band called DEYSofficial – check us out on YouTube & Twitter. 

Favourite Place on Campus: My favourite place on campus would have to be the valley. It’s a great place to take a walk with your friends and enjoy the outdoors. 

Some Advice for You: Get involved on campus! Whether that be through joining a sports team or a club, you’ll feel like a part of the UTSC community and be able to create a vibrant experience that you will never forget. 

 

My Name: Sobiga Vyravanathan

My Program(s): Specialist in Human Biology

My Year of Study: Graduating in June 2018

Something Interesting About Me: I love to learn new things everyday. I also like playing chess. 

Favourite Place on Campus: Biology Students Association (BioSA) Office: I spent most of my undergrad on the BioSA team planning events, creating new initiatives, and making many friends. If you are a biology student, make sure to check out our events and services. 

Some Advice for You: Congratulations and welcome to UTSC! Remember to make the most of your university experience by attending lectures, going to your professor’s office hours, joining clubs, attending events and making new friends! Most importantly, believe in yourself!  

 

My Name: Suvetha Krishnapillai

My Program(s): Specialist (Co-op) Program in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology 

My Year of Study: Graduating in June 2018

Something Interesting About Me: If you catch me looking horrified with my earphones in, don’t be alarmed, I’m just listening to a true crime podcast. 

Favourite Place on Campus: The Valley. It’s a beautiful spot to explore on a sunny day, especially if you’ve been cooped up in the library studying for a midterm. Take a stroll down the path to the Miller Lash House to get a breath of fresh air and stretch your legs. 

Some Advice for You: There’s an incredible amount of resources available right on campus for whatever support you may need, academically or otherwise. Don’t be afraid to take that first step to reach out, and always prioritize your mental health and well-being. Contact the Academic Advising and Career Centre and the Health and Wellness Centre if you find yourself needing support and they’ll definitely be able to help you or connect you with the most appropriate resources. Remember that you’re already paying for these services, so make sure you take advantage of them!

 

My name: Troyee Lahiri 

My Program: Specialist Program in Economics for Management Studies

My Year of Study: 3

Something Interesting About Me: I write poems but I don’t share them with anyone except the 2-3 people who are closest to me

Favourite Place on Campus: UTSC valley 

Some Advice for You: University can get overwhelming academically and socially! Don’t let it get to you! Be regular with studies and give your best during exams but don’t forget about your health! Surround yourself with genuine people and get to know their stories beyond the four walls of the classroom – you’ll be surprised how they can inspire you. And most importantly, stay focused on your priorities.

My Name: Wei Yang

My Program(s): Specialist (Co-op) Program in Management and Marketing

My Year of Study: 4

Something Interesting About Me: I am a big fan of the horror, psychological thriller and mystery genre in television and films. I am the eldest out of five girls and I finally fulfilled one of the items on my bucket list, which is travelling to Japan. 

Favourite Place on Campus: As a management student, my go-to place is the Instructional Centre (IC) building. This is basically where I grew up in the school since I first came to UTSC in 2014. There is plenty of space for both independent study and group study.

Some Advice for You: Take advantage of resources and events that UTSC offers during your academic study period. Join different clubs and organizations that interest you and make those connections outside of your program. Make the most out of your time here at UTSC and do not be afraid to take those risks.