Leadership & Operations

Leadership and Operations



Sheila John
Sheila John (she/her)
Assistant Dean, Wellness, Recreation & Sport
Photo of a Shari Russell Opara
Shari Russell Opara (she/her)
Director, Health & Wellness

I am a Black woman, a mother and partner, and proud University of Toronto Scarborough and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Alum. 

Experience/Area of Expertise: I have studied psychology and health studies, and I hold a Master of Education in Leadership and Community Development. I also hold a post-graduate certification in Human Resources Management and a post-graduate diploma in Art Therapy. I bring a unique and diverse skill set to team building and leadership. My experience in healthcare, understanding of human behaviour and organizational dynamics, and my deep interest in the therapeutic potential of creative expression as a means to improve mental health outcomes, allow me to foster inclusive environments.

Things I Love: I love dancing, listening to music (90s dancehall, hip hop, even a little R&B), and expressing gratitude. I love UTSC, my partner, our twin daughters, dog Kiwi, mental health advocacy, and being in the ocean, preferably off the shores of my ancestors' most recent birthplace, Jamaica, or other sunny destinations. I'm a water baby at heart! I love human services leadership, as it allows me the opportunity to serve, support, and be in community with others.

Alexis Petric
Alexis Petric (she/her)
Assistant Director, Health & Wellness

I’m a second-generation Canadian of South Asian and European descent. 

Experience/Area of Expertise: I chose to study Kinesiology and to complete my Masters in Physiotherapy because I am enthusiastic about health education, health equity and health promotion. With over a decade of clinical experience, and in progressively senior positions of leadership, I have a passion for project management, and for quality improvement/assurance initiatives in the healthcare setting.  

Things I love: I love to meet new people and to support, where I can, in their personal and professional goals. Sports and recreation activities have played a huge part in my life and have been a great joy of mine over the years. I am always interested in taking part in new experiences to broaden my horizons (particularly when it comes to food)!

Photo of Alina Kovalchuk
Alina Kovalchuk (she/her) - ON LEAVE
Administrative & Financial Assistant

I was born and raised in Ukraine.

Experience/area of expertise: I completed a post-grad program at Centennial College in Human Resources Management. My area of expertise is administration.

Things I love: I care about people and value an environment where people care as well, for example, care about each other's wellbeing, professional and personal development, and our team's success.

Picture of Ricky Chan
Ricky Chan (he/him)
Finance & Business Officer

I was born in Hong Kong and I lived in Scarborough for most of my childhood. 

Experience/Area of Expertise: I am a Certified Professional Accountant. I worked at Dr. John Dick's Lab at University Health Network as a Business Analyst before I joined UTSC Health & Wellness Centre in April 2023. My expertise includes budgeting and forecasting in non-profit organizations.

Things I love: I love soccer, travel, food, and Japanese culture.   

Photo of Yana Liao
Yana Liao (she/her)
Administrative & Financial Assistant

I originally came from the hot pot capital of China-Chongqing. I have been in Canada for almost ten years.

Experience/Area of Expertise: I completed a Master of Education in Leadership and Administration at Brock University. I have been working in administration and finance for almost 5 years. My expertise lies in problem-solving and providing proactive administrative support to the team.

Things I love: I enjoy traveling and eating spicy food, sushi, and desserts. I am a person who prefers to talk less and do more, both in work and life. I am often known as a "One Liner" in social and work related gatherings.