What’s your favourite course at UTSC and why?
My favourite course at UTSC would have to be PYSA01: Introduction to Biological and Cognitive Psychology & PYSA02: Introduction to Clinical, Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology. This was my first interaction with psychology at the university level, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I liked that the course was designed for success because in my first year I was definitely experiencing a learning curve and having a syllabi that kept me accountable and on track with my readings was helpful. It was also beneficial to have a broad introduction to the varying disciplines of psychological study, which reinforced my later course selections. Plus I really enjoyed the experiential learning component where we earned credit for participating in research of our choosing. This was a great introduction to the research community at UTSC!
Who’s your favourite professor at UTSC and why?
My favourite professor at UTSC would have to be Marie Gadziola. Professor Gadziola, was the instructor for my Learning and Motivation course (NROC61) which is a 3rd year course for my Major in Neuroscience. As much as I enjoyed the course content, I valued the educational style that she used in each lecture. Her lecture style was very accessible and she integrated skill testing questions to facilitate our ability to recall information. It may sound intuitive that she would be so great at facilitating learning and motivation considering the course name, but she really did motivate me to participate in class and ask questions (even the ones with simple answers). I could feel the passion that she had for neuroscience as well as her commitment to set each of us up for success.
What’s your favourite spot on campus and why?
My favourite spot on campus would have to be the Starbucks Coffee located in the Meeting Place and it’s not for the caffeine but instead for the atmosphere. I have always been the most productive in a Starbucks Coffee shop. It’s study vibe central for me. So when I’m studying on campus I find that exact atmosphere replicated at our Starbucks, from the lighting down to the exact tables and chairs, the aroma of Starbucks caffeine will kick your study skills into high gear.
Why did you decide to come to UTSC?
When I was choosing a university to attend I knew that I had to feel accepted, comfortable, and empowered to create the experience I wanted to have. For me half of the decision was about the program I wanted to study and the other half was about the campus atmosphere. When I arrived at UTSC I instantly felt at home. I could feel how close-knit the community was on campus and everyone I spoke with was friendly and welcoming and it wasn’t in a tacky facade kind of way. They were authentic and it showed. I chose UTSC for its accessibility and for it’s community. The fact that our 300 acre campus includes an abundance of nature is an added bonus that I’ve enjoyed exploring. Also, I’d like to add the benefit I’ve enjoyed as a UofT student where I have not only been able to access resources at UTSG and UTM, but that I also have the privilege of taking amazing courses that these campuses offer. And so even as a UTSC student I was able to identify as a UofT student and enjoy the benefits of our Tri-campus community.
Why did you decide to become an SRA?
My journey with the Admissions and Student Recruitment Office began when I joined to be a Student Ambassador as an event staff/tour guide. I was looking to get involved and honestly ground myself at UTSC through another campus group. I personally found, that the more I engaged with the community on campus the better I performed academically. My time as a Student Ambassador, was amazing because I got to share my lived experience as a student with new individuals and I got to learn things about my campus that I never would have thought to learn otherwise. Did you know that our Student Centre was constructed by recycled metal left over from building the Royal Ontario Museum? Neither did I. Then I learned of the opportunity for development as a Student Recruitment Assistant and I instantly strived for this. I love spaces on campus where you can hone in on your strengths and translate your engagement into work experience. I wanted to continue to support prospect students and I realized that I was great at customer service and personalizing experiences for every student I connected with and that’s why I wanted to become an SRA.
Favourite movie/TV show?
Honestly it’s super difficult for me to pinpoint a favourite movie or TV Show, but I can tell you that I love everything Marvel and I could replay Disney animated movies anytime. As for TV shows, I mainly watch Netflix these days. Some of my favourites right now are Top Boy, Money Heist, Black Mirror, This is Us and The Umbrella Academy. I also enjoy watching comedy specials.
My favourite food would have to be of the Italian variety. I love pizza and lasagna, especially when it’s homemade. I like how pizza can be personalized and for lasagna how simple it is to make with out sacrificing taste. I’m currently perfecting my homemade pizza dough and sauce, so if you ever want to swap recipes, I’m your person! In general, I’m quite adventurous when it comes to exploring foods of different cultures and I definitely view culinary skills as a form of artistic expression.
If you could give one piece of advice to your 1st year self what would it be?
If I could tell my 1st year self one thing, it would be to not let my fears prevent myself from embracing the university experience. This is your time and you deserve to enjoy every minute of it. Fear is a defence mechanism that is designed to keep you in your comfort zone. So please, seek discomfort so that you can explore everything that you don’t know about yourself, because you miss all the shots you don’t know to take. You may have a plan that is the best plan to get to your career goals, but if you see an opportunity or event that peaks your interest, instead of letting fear talk you out of learning more, give yourself the love and support to discover more. You never know it may just pave a pathway that you never even considered. I type from experience because I wanted to go into medicine however, after taking a chance on supporting students I realized i’d rather pursue a career in Student Services. I just wish I had given myself the space to consider that when I was presented opportunities in my 1st year. So I guess what i’m saying is be open-minded and embrace every conversation, interaction, and lecture as a moment for self discovery.