Your Coaches

Peer Coaches

Learn what you need to know about UTSC from your peers! The Get Started Peer Coaches for 2019 will be 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. 
 

Aamina Hemani

My Pronouns: she/her
 
My Program: Double Major in Biochemistry and Biology
 
My Year of Study: Third Year

Something Interesting About Me: I like to bake or draw as a way to de-stress after final exams.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: The library! It’s the best place to study alone or in groups, as well as wind down and relax.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The library (again)! All the information you could ever need can be accessed at the library. You can even borrow board games, video games and movies!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Use an agenda to schedule times for when you will work on certain tasks and to keep track of deadlines. This will help prevent procrastination and you will feel less overwhelmed.

Anjali Chauhan

My Pronouns:  she/her
 
My Program: Specialist (Co-op) Program in Psychology
 
My Year of Study: Third Year 

Something Interesting About Me: Every time I finish watching a movie, I look it up on IMDb and read the trivia. If you ask me about any movie I’ve seen, I’ll probably know a fun fact about it!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: Tim Hortons; it’s been the site of intense group study sessions, deep talks, catching up with friends, and all the guilty spending my heart desires.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Co-op Office! The staff and instructors have always been very flexible and understanding of my needs and concerns. They recognize that each person has a unique career path.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Learn to be in situations where you don’t know anyone. In first year, I went on a club retreat without any friends and where I didn’t know anyone and it was so empowering to learn that I could still have so much fun! This is a useful skill when you’re at a job fair, joining a club, or in a new class. 

Ashvika Baskaran

My Pronouns: she/her

My Program: Double Major in Human Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology 

My Year of Study: Third Year

Something Interesting About Me: I love to dance and perform, and I’m always up for a challenge! I love learning new things — whether it be challenging myself with a new dance or trying to master a new language! 
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: The benches on the path between main campus and the Social Sciences building (also known as ‘MW’)! I love sitting there and studying— especially in the spring during cherry blossom season! 

Favourite Resource on Campus: As a student in the Anthropology program, the Centre for Ethnography has always been a great resource for accessing student work, talking to peers, and participating in events with guest speakers. 

Some Advice for Incoming Students: Try to leave behind any stereotypes or negative rumors you may have heard about university. Your university experience will be 1000 times better if you come in with an open mind!

Christina Francis

My Pronouns: she/her
 
My Program: Specialist (Co-op) Program in Management
 
My Year of Study: Third Year

Something Interesting About Me: I have a year’s worth of training in martial arts, specifically MMA, J.K.D, weapons, grappling, boxing, and kickboxing.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: My go-to place on campus is the Instructional Center (also known as the IC building) because I love the modernity of the building, the natural light and the comfy seating.  
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Research is an integral part of my degree, and The BRIDGE (check it out here: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/thebridge/) provides access to a vast number of tremendously useful research resources.  As busy university students, we are always in a time-crunch, and The BRIDGE has helped me research smarter.  
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: While some of your university experiences will be formed in the classroom (through lectures, etc.), many experiences will be formed outside the class.  Although academics are the priority, I strongly encourage you to get involved on campus and take full advantage of the numerous opportunities available to you – from networking events to case competitions.  

Lydia Abraham

My Pronouns: she/her

My Program: Double Major in Mental Health and Health Studies
 
My Year of Study: Second Year

Something Interesting About Me: I love to play music and learn new instruments! I can play the trumpet, piano, violin, and clarinet, and hope to learn more in the future.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: I enjoy spending time in Highland Hall (HL) because this new building is a modern and welcoming space to study or to just hang out with friends! It has comfortable couches and beautiful architecture that provides a calm and positive environment.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Having challenges in math, I found that the Math & Statistics Learning Centre was extremely helpful for all my calculus questions. There was always someone there to help me out, leaving me more confident in my studies than when I walked in.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: University is only as fun and exciting as you make it - so get involved! Joining a club or team is a great way to make new friends and meet new people. Try new things because you might find new hobbies and interests along the way.  You never know what could become your next passion!

Malhar Arabastani

My Pronouns: he/him
 
My Program: Specialist Program in Management and Accounting
 
My Year of Study: Second Year

Something Interesting About Me: I love to play chess! Everyone is given the same resources and the person who utilizes them the best, wins!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: My favourite place on campus is the Instructional Center (IC). I know the building inside out because most of my classes are there and there is always something going on in the IC atrium, which is exciting!
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: My favourite resource on campus is the Co-op Office located in the Instructional Center (IC). They are always willing to help and go above and beyond to make students feel comfortable.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Try something new! Take a new course, speak to new people, and be adventurous. You never know what you might like until you try it!

Mariam Mushtaq

My Pronouns: she/her

My Program: Specialist Program in Psycholinguistics, Minor Program in Psychology

My Year of Study: Final Year

Something Interesting About Me: I love watching documentaries, whether they are about nature, food, history, or anything interesting! I am always looking for good recommendations, so if you have a favorite documentary, I would love to hear about it.

Favorite Place on Campus and Why: the Meeting Place, on Wednesdays, when the campus has a weekly Farmer’s Market. The vendors always have unique and fun displays, such as for handmade jewelry, delicious cheeses and pastries, and of course for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Favorite Resource on Campus: As UTSC Students, we have a membership to the PanAm Centre (TPASC), which gives us access to the fitness center, the track and the pool. After a stressful day on campus, going to the gym gives me the opportunity to escape from academics and focus on my mental and physical health.

Some Advice for Incoming Students:  Your university experience will be what you make of it. Once you have had time to adjust yourself to classes, think beyond classroom level success and find ways to stand out as an individual, in order to make the most out of your time in university. 

Maya Addisalem

My Pronouns: she/her

My Program: Major Program in Biochemistry, Double Minor in Biology and Psychology

My Year of Study: Second Year

Something Interesting About Me: I am a big Harry Potter fan and my favourite show on television is Game Of Thrones. 
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: the third floor of the Academic Resource Centre (ARC).  I am a big fan of natural light and this study spot has huge windows. It is a great area to get some work done. 

Favourite Resource on Campus:  The Department of Student Life (DSL) truly enhances the student experience. It provides students with so many opportunities and information about programs held outside of the classroom. 

Some Advice for Incoming Students:  Your years at UTSC are what you make them, don't be afraid to put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone!

Nazia Mohsin

My Pronouns:  she/her

My Program: Double Major Program in Psychology and Linguistics

My Year of Study: Graduating in June 2019!

Something Interesting About Me: I love watching hockey. Go Leafs!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: The Valley. It is especially beautiful in the spring and fall seasons when you want to take a study break.

Favourite Resource on Campus: The Athletics and Recreation Department, because they do some really fun outdoor trips all year round.

Some Advice for Incoming Students: Your experience is what you make of it! Step out of your comfort zone, seek opportunities and make use of all the services and programs that UTSC has to offer. Also, time management and discipline are really good skills to have – consider them your best friends.

Sankeetha Kathirkamathamby

My Pronouns: she/her

My Program: Specialist (Co-op) Program in Neuroscience

My Year of Study: Second Year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I really enjoy traveling - particularly, road trips. I love riding through different towns and seeing how the scenery changes in each city- from skyscrapers to farm land.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: My favourite place on campus is the Environmental Science (EV) building. It is one of the newer buildings on campus, so many people forget about all the study space that is available there!

Favourite Resource on Campus: the Writing Centre. You can attend a drop-in session or schedule appointment, and the staff are always so welcoming and willing to help with your assignments.

Some Advice for Incoming Students: Don’t expect perfection, just put yourself out there and grow from your mistakes. 

Sherif Kamel

My Pronouns: he/him

My Program: Working towards Major in Economics and Minor in Applied Statistics

My Year of Study: Third Year

Something Interesting About Me: I love playing sports and my favorite food is medium well-cooked steak.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: The valley because of how beautiful and peaceful it is. It connects to Morningside Park, which is great for a run or a bike ride. The Valley even has tennis courts, a baseball field and soccer field.  

Favourite Resource on Campus: The International Student Centre (ISC) because they helped me a lot during my first year. Also, Athletics and Recreation because they help keep me active.

Some Advice for Incoming Students: Seek a balance in your daily life. Do some exercise and eat healthy. Don’t be afraid to meet new people and maximize your involvement on campus. There is something to do for everyone! 

Taaniya Thavaratnam

My Pronouns: she/her

My Program: Double Major in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience
 
My Year of Study: Third Year

Something Interesting About Me: I play soccer and I am also a swim instructor.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: Tim Hortons! Because I need my coffee all the time!

Favourite Resource on Campus: CopyKats, because if I ever need to print anything last minute or if I need to print a poster for a presentation, they are always open and there to help.

Some Advice for Incoming Students: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because as a first year student, everything can feel new and confusing. Just remember to seek help and keep asking questions!

Troyee Lahiri

My Pronouns: she/her

My Program: Specialist Program in Management and Economics

My Year of Study: Graduating in June 2019!
 
Something Interesting About Me: I love watching movies – I can speak three languages, so I watch movies in all three of them!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: The valley – it’s very peaceful. I think it’s the only place on campus where we can see how the colors of nature change beautifully every season.

Favourite Resource on Campus: the Health and Wellness Centre – as an International Student, I really appreciated the medical facilities available for students.

Some Advice for Incoming Students: Take your time to adjust to the changes – be it academic or social. Things might not always be easy, but be honest, work hard and try to make friends who are supportive and you will see how it all works out in the end!

Yasmine El-Bakri

My Pronouns: she/her

My Program: Double Major in Health Studies – Population Health (Co-op Program) and Human Biology

My Year of Study: Third Year

Something Interesting About Me: I speak three languages: English, French and Arabic. In a school as diverse as UTSC, I have been able to use all three languages when getting to know new people and making new friends!

Favourite Place on Campus and why: Highland Hall (HL). You’ll always find me studying in the beautiful and spacious study areas, or enjoying the sunlight which enters from the building’s large windows.

Favourite Resource on Campus: the Academic Advising and Career Center (AA&CC). As a first-year student, I was constantly confused about the courses I had to take and what study strategies I should use to succeed in my courses. AA&CC was always there to support me with planning my courses and improving my academic performance through various workshops and easily accessible online supports.

Some Advice for Incoming Students: Be curious! Take courses that are interesting to you. You might find a passion in a field you otherwise wouldn’t have considered or applied to.

Zeinab Ibrahim

My Pronouns: she/her
 
My Program (please include any/ all Specialists, Majors, and Minors): Specialist Program in Environmental Biology
 
My Year of Study: Third Year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I’m very into photography at the moment.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and why: The Meeting Place. It’s where I often run into my friends when I’m in between classes, and Starbucks is there!
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Academic Advising and Career Centre (AA&CC). There’s a lot of resources offered that students don’t know about. Drop by or visit the site to learn something new (https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/aacc/)!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Make the most of your time at UTSC. Join clubs, volunteer with an organization, get research experience and study abroad! When you look back at your time in university, these will be some of the most defining moments.