UTSC Geography and City Studies Alumni Network

The UTSC Geography and City Studies Alumni Network (GCSAN) is committed to fostering a sense of community among alumni and equipping graduating students with the skills and knowledge to support the transition to postgraduate studies and/or career development.

Our vision is to partner with the University of Toronto Scarborough Alumni Association (UTSCAA), the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO), the Geography and City Studies Student’s Association (GCSA) and the Department of Human Geography to provide opportunities for alumni and graduating students to interact with each other in a friendly and safe environment.

Call for members is currently open!

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Da Chen in a yellow vest with glacier's behind him

President - Da Chen, RPP, MCIP (HBA 2017 UTSC, MScPl 2020) 

Da is a Federal Public servant and Registered Professional Planner (RPP) with many years of experience in government consultation and Indigenous rights. Graduating with a B.A. in City Studies Co-op and Political Science from the University of Toronto, Da has cultivated a rich background in global experiences, spanning Japan, the Canadian High Arctic, Greenland, Chile, and Antarctica. This journey fostered an understanding of climate change, Indigenous knowledge, and international conservation efforts. 
A Master of Science in Planning graduate from the University of Toronto, Da focused on Indigenous planning, advocating for decolonization of the planning process.
During his roles at Parks Canada and Transport Canada, Da has significantly contributed to Indigenous engagement, environmental programs, and duty to consult on transportation projects in Ontario. 
As a co-founder and through GCSAN, Da hopes to host many fun events, to reconnect with alumni from the program and to build a community that can support and learn from each other. 

 

Rebecca Roach

 

Vice President of Communication -   Rebecca Roach, RPP, MCIP (HBA 2015 UTSC, MScPl 2018) 

Rebecca is a Registered Professional Planner (RPP) and a member of the Canadian Institute of Planning who works as a Senior Planner for the Policy Planning and Special Programs Department at the City of Vaughan. She manages Block Plan applications and will be contributing to the ongoing Official Plan Review process at the City of Vaughan.
Rebecca has over 6+ years of land use planning experience in the public and private sectors, managing development applications on behalf of clients and the City.  She has worked on development projects including: schools, sports dome, employment buildings, townhouses and mid-rise and high-rise mixed-use residential.
Rebecca graduated from UTSC in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts and holds a Master of Science in Planning from the University of Toronto. Rebecca is a co-founder and the Vice President of Communications for the Geography and City Studies Alumni Network and volunteers her time on the Alumni Advisory Board at UTSC.

 

Ariel Banner in front of a green colourful wall

 

Vice President of Marketing -   Ariel Banner (HBA 2020 UTSC)

Ariel currently works as the Data & Administrative Coordinator at the East Scarborough Storefront, an organization dedicated to supporting Scarborough residents through diverse services and community development initiatives. She holds an educational background in Health Policy & City Studies, which fuels her enthusiasm for cultivating thriving and healthy neighbourhoods.
With a rich history of experiences, Ariel has honed her expertise through various roles. She actively engaged in community consultation for the Sidewalk Labs project, conducted research for the Department of Health & Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough, worked at a Community Development firm called Centre for Connected Communities and contributed significantly to data and evaluation efforts at the Canadian Red Cross.
Beyond her professional endeavours, Ariel hopes to unite fellow alumni through the Geography & City Studies Alumni Network, fostering connections and nurturing a sense of community. Ariel is a co-founder and the Vice President of Marketing for GCSAN.

 

Aqsa Malik's headshot

Vice President of Operations - Aqsa Malik (HBSc 2015 UTSC, MScPl 2017) 

Aqsa Malik is a seasoned strategic Planner with a wealth of experience in urban development, project management, and stakeholder engagement. During her seven years in the public sector, she has had the opportunity to work in roles at both municipal and provincial levels including roles at the City of Toronto (Chief Planner’s Office), Town of Stouffville, City of Markham and Metrolinx. Through her work she has advanced development applications (residential, commercial and industrial), updated by-laws and policies and hosted public and community meetings.  Aqsa currently works as a Transportation Planner at Metrolinx, working on Business Cases for Bus Rapid Transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. 
Aqsa is a co-founder and the Vice President of Operations for the Geography and City Studies Alumni Network. On an ad-hoc basis, she volunteers her time supporting undergraduate students applying for graduate programs by reviewing their letters of intent and directing students to resources. Apart from her career pursuits, Aqsa runs First Escapes Inc., a travel firm that provides curated escapes. 

 

Judy Perpose's headshot

 

Executive Team Member – Judy Perpose (HBA 2020 UTSC, MA 2022)

Judy Perpose is Filipino-Canadian from Scarborough, Ontario. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, Global Asia Studies and Urban Governance at the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus and a Master of Arts in International Affairs at Carleton University. Judy has 5+ years experience working for the City of Toronto as an assistant to Councillor Michael Thompson and former Deputy Mayor Glenn De Baeremaeker. Currently, she is an Aviation Security Policy Analyst with Transport Canada Civil Aviation.

As an Executive Team Member with GCSAN, Judy is excited to reconnect with fellow alumni and play a part in bolstering a vibrant alumni community.