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Kiana Blake, LAPS

Crew:
Faculty and research advisor

Name/Program:
Kiana Blake - Double major in Criminology and Human Rights & Equity Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

Pictured Crew:
Kiana Blake and Professor Julie Dowsett

Kiana with Julie in the student centreCrews I am a part of at York U:

  • Humanity First at York University
  • The York University Black Students’ Alliance

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Kiana Blake, LAPS

Tarnem Afify, Science

Crew:
Faculty and research advisors

Name/Program:
Tarnem Afify- Bachelor of Science with a Specialized Honours in Biophysics, Faculty of Science

Pictured Crew:
Laura Sagunski, Postdoctoral Fellow at York University, Tarnem Afify (me), and Dr. Sean Tulin, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at York University

tarnem with facultyCrews I am a part of at York U:

  • President Ambassador
  • Representative of the Canadian Association of Physicists in the International Association of Physics Students
  • Founder and is the Chief Executive of Future Women in Physics Society
  • University representative/speaker at various worldwide conferences (including this year's prestigious Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany)

My experience with Professor Tulin creating a club:
There are so many different memories it is hard to name. If you search my inbox you will see some much conversation back and forth with Dr. Tulin. We started the Future Women in Physics Club at York as a way to encourage and inspire those in Physics. Women are under represented in Physics and I want to be an advocate and create change in the field.

(Dr. Tulin) Tarnem is very outward focused where she tries to not just look at what she is working on but so many different things that she tries to connect together. For example she came to me once suggesting a research connection between Astrophysics and Medical Physics and at first I was very confused there was a connection and after she convinced me and inspired me to write my own research grants in the one particular area.

 

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Tarnem Afify, Science

Christina Nardini, Environmental Studies

Crew:
Faculty Advisor

Name/Program:
Christina Nardini - Bachelor of Environmental Studies- Environmental Management Stream, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Pictured Crew:
Christina Nardini and Professor Leesa Fawcett

Crews I am a part of at York U:

  • FES Peer Mentor
  • Las Nubes Student Association member
  • Independent work/study project with the Las Nubes semester abroad board
  • Attended courses in Costa Rica

Why was getting involved at York U important to you?
I am an anxious person so getting to know people and getting involved generally helps ease my anxiety about life changes. Especially going into university, which can be so anxiety inducing, I knew I wanted to get involved and make friends, even just to see a familiar face in the hallways.

What has been your favorite memory involving your crew?
Definitely my semester abroad in Costa Rica. We went on a 3 and a half hour kayaking trip, (we saw iguanas and monkeys) and I wanted to tap out, but we didn’t. It was so hard! But just the idea of having the experience of kayaking with my professor in Costa Rica is insane. Where else do you get that opportunity? It was an amazing experience and feel a very kindred spirit with her. She’s more of a friend than a professor.

What advice would you give to an incoming student who is looking to get involved during their time at York U?
Smile. Introduce yourself to people. Even if someone looks like they don’t want to be approached, half the time on the inside they’re crying out for someone to talk to them. Getting involved is easy if you look for it. There are opportunities around you, you just have to look for them and go for it.

Will the friendships you made in university continue after your time at York U?
I mean, Leesa is going to be there when I graduate. She’s going to be there if I pursue a masters. She’s going to be a contact and a friend that I will talk to about everything. The friends I make in university, I can see them being there when my kids are born and when I get married, and when I get my first real job. They’re not going anywhere.

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Christina Nardini, Environmental Studies

Jonathan Clodman, Education

Crew:
Faculty of Education Student Association (FESA)

Name/Program:
Jonathan Clodman - Concurrent Honours Psychology (BA) and Primary/Junior Education (BEd)

Pictured Crew:
Kim Tran, Alessia Picarelli, Jonathan Clodman, Samantha Camardo, Grazia Sessa

Crews I am a part of at York U:

  • Faculty of Education Students’ Association (FESA)
  • Ambassador, Student Health Ambassadors at York (SHAY)
  • Faculty of Education Student Senator, York University Senate

What are some unique opportunities/experiences you have had?

group in redThe Student Health Ambassadors at York (SHAY) program connects current Faculty of Health students with prospective students and their families at official Faculty of Health and York University events. The SHAY program was one of my first extracurricular activities at York and I’ve eagerly returned to the program each year. In my five years as a SHAY, I’ve learned lots about the Faculty of Health and York University and further developed my public speaking and leadership skills. I’ve been fortunate to meet lots of new people, including faculty, staff, and both current and future students. I appreciate having the opportunity to share my experiences and help prospective students make such an important life decision. I enjoy the early mornings and late evenings spent at events together with ambassadors from other programs and Faculties. I love being involved in something greater and feeling connected to the University as a whole. Through years of university fairs, campus tours, high school visits, and more, the SHAY program has helped me make a real difference in people’s lives, all while interacting with people and speaking honestly about my own lived experiences.

What role has your crew in education played in your university experience?

group by deskMy Faculty of Education Students' Association crew gives me a reason to come to campus every day, even when I am not in classes. I know some people who come to class then leave, but I could not imagine my experience being that way. Being part of a group gives me a sense of ownership on campus and helps me feel like I am part of the University.

How has your crew enriched your experience? 

I have a whole council of over 30 dedicated and amazing people who I can rely on if I have questions about courses, professional development, or just general information. The fact that we are all going though our program together helps make us feel like a community of our own. It is comfortable knowing that support system is there if I need it. I do not think I would have had the same unique opportunities at York if I not for the many crews I have been a part of throughout my experience. When I am on campus, if I am not in class, our council office is a home away from home for council members to meet, relax, and chat. Being part of a Faculty student association also connects us with faculty and staff, which has helped me feel more connected to the university.

How has your crew experience differed over the years?

I have been part of so many different exciting events and experiences around campus. I think back to arriving on campus very early in the morning on a weekend before the sun was up and thinking, “Why do I do this?” Still, those experiences have provided some of the best memories and growing opportunities. Working together as a team and solving problems collaboratively brings people closer. It’s these memories I am going to miss most. In all my experiences on campus,  I have learned skills that I never would have thought applicable to me. My involvement within the university has opened up all kinds of doors to new opportunities, each of which I never would have gotten to experience had I not said yes to the one before. I signed on to be a course representative in my first year, and I never would have thought I would be a member of the University senate and President’s Ambassador. It’s amazing how each experience builds on the last.

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Jonathan Clodman, Education

Yasmin Dini, Health

Crew:
Wellness Hub

Name/Program:
Yasmin Dini - Global Health

Pictured Crew:

Hayaa Yamunarasan, Pranavan Kandasamy and Yasmin Dini (me)

Crews I am a part of at York U:

  • Health Education and Promotion
  • Student Health Ambassadors at York (SHAY)
  • Career Center
  • Future Black Physicians Initiative (FBPI)

What has being involved meant to you during your time here at York U?

My team is what I center my community engagement around, they give me a sense of community here at York and as someone who came to this university without a lot of connections, they’ve helped me fulfill my purpose on this campus. It has also given me people to talk to, engage with, share opportunities, and as we try to fulfill our mandate of well-being they also help me maintain my own well-being. There are a series of things I wish to see reflected on campus and the community at large, actively engaging York U students means that whatever message I’m trying to spread reaches far and wide. Being involved also allows me to implement the practices I learn as a Global Health student and have an application component.

How did you first get involved?

In my first year I started as a volunteer. First year was difficult for me because I didn’t really know anyone and I didn’t feel a sense of belonging on campus. When I joined Health Ed as a volunteer, I met a lot of different people and I learned about a lot of topics that I had no idea about. I had hopes for what I wanted this campus to look like in terms of health-consciousness and this was the first step in fulfilling that dream. In my second year I joined as a work/study student and that was a great year for me because it helped me see York in a different light. I got to engage with more students, and it was a personal fulfillment of finding a purpose on campus. And now in my third year I’m a senior peer, so its been a transition but doing the behind the scenes work to fulfill the mental health strategy, I think has been important and challenging, but something I really cherish. I think I’m going to look back at my university career and this is going to be the focal point.

How has been involved impacted education in other ways?

As a Faculty of Health student I learn a lot of health strategies and information in class, but HealthEd affords me the opportunity to engage with my learning and apply it here at work. HealthEd has also helped me strengthen my time management, communication and other administrative skills. I get a really well-rounded experience without even having a practicum per se.

What would your university experience have looked like if you didn’t get involved?

I think my university experience would have been really dull if I didn’t join as many clubs/initiatives as I have. A lot of the key skills I have today is because I’ve been part of so many initiatives. Plus the people I work with not only become coworkers, but friends. My bosses have become mentors and as I transition to things outside of campus, I know they’re there for me. I’ve found a really good sense of community. I am more comfortable on my own and I personally proud to be part of the forces working to make the changes individuals needs to have a health-conscious life, a connected community, and a support system. I always know that whatever cause or community I identify with, I can find here on campus. It really is a city within a city.

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Yasmin Dini, Health

Ika Janiszewski, Schulich School of Business

Crew:
Undergraduate Business Society

Name/Program:
Ika Janiszewski - 4th Year International Bachelor of Business Administration, Schulich School of Business

Pictured Crew:
Ika Janiszewski, Balaaj Durrani (kneeling), Yusuf Khan, Mahesh Pokhriyal

Crews I have been a part of at York U:

  • Schulich Ambassador Program
  • Rotaract Club of York University
  • YU Terry Fox Run
  • The Excalibur Newspaper – Writer
  • Intramural Volleyball
  • JDCC Competition Team – Debate Delegate
  • Schulich Orientation Week – Leader
  • Undergraduate Business Society
  • LEAF Mentorship Program – Mentor
  • Open Arms Committee – Exchange Student Buddy
  • The Insider Media Group

Why has getting involved at York U been important to you?

Being involved has helped me build a sense of community outside the classroom, and that sense of community is what supported me and kept me going throughout
my education. I think students who get involved find more meaning in their studies
because they’re able to apply concepts or ideas from class to the outside world, as well as create memories that last a lifetime, with people in different walks of life that they wouldn’t necessarily meet in a classroom. Challenging yourself beyond a textbook education is a really great way to not only enhance your learning experiences but also build your skills, which are applicable beyond your undergraduate studies.

Why did you get involved?

I decided to get involved in the York community because the resources available
across campus are wonderful and not using them to their full effect would really just
be a disservice to myself. The ability to access all these opportunities is
very unique to the student experience here. These opportunities are presented to
you, and you just have to go out and grab them. I’ve always been a go-getter and
having the chance to try different things, and not worry about whether it
works out perfectly in the end or not, is a vital element of the York community, because you know you are able to try something else to find the right fit for you.

Will your friendships and connections from York U play a role in the next
phase of your life?

The friendships I’ve made here are multifaceted, in that they span many different aspects of my life, namely personal, academic, or social environments. From the challenges I have faced with my friends, the trips we’ve been on together, and the countless points of contact I have had with them, these connections have become so genuine and strong. I completed an exchange semester, and upon coming back to Toronto, I still feel that I have so many connections all around the world. These are the connections I know will last because there is a common thread of shared interests and goals, which inspires us to pursue greater things together, no matter the distance between us.

What’s your favorite memory involving your crew?

Orientation week was the first big event we all had together as a crew. Everyone was really involved all week, and was a great way to introduce the student council to the
incoming students, but to also bond through the late nights, early mornings, various struggles and countless great things that happened. I think the experience really helped us get close as a team, because it showed us that we are stronger and better together as a council. Even though we all have our own portfolios and goals we strive to achieve, when we are working together and sharing our skills, we’re able to be more efficient and really create meaningful and wonderful events for the students.

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Ika Janiszewski, Schulich School of Business

Celine Tchang, AMPD

Crew:
Friends in music

Name/Program:
Celine Tchang - 3rd Year Music, Faculty of Arts, Media, Performance and Design

Pictured Crew:
Mubassar A. Chaudhry, Brittany Zecha, Aidan Chang (Black Sweater), Maurizio Miserere, Gray Sweater with Tuba), Eren Yigit (Red and Black Flannel), Michael Thornton, Ivy Diec, Giovanni Di Cerbo and Celine Tchang

Crews I am a part of at York U:

  • Bach on Brass
  • Brass Ensemble
  • York University's Jazz Orchestra
  • York University's Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony
  • York University's Symphony Orchestra
  • Music Students Association
  • Media Music Concert

How have your crews at York U helped you throughout your education:

The people in my crew are made up of musicians who I have met through different ensembles. We all have helped each other throughout the program and have been a support when needed. After meeting this crew in first year, it became a lot easier to make friends and expand my crew to what it is today. We continuously push each other professionally and personally and it would not be the same without everyone by my side.

How has your crew opened up new possibilities for you:

I am naturally more reserved as a person, so if I had not met my crew I would not have taken as many initiatives as I would today. They have not only supported me but given me the confidence to come out of my shell and feel comfortable. It is such a positive environment and having that community believe in my goals and support me is reassuring, as I would step out of my comfort zone and try different experiences. I appreciate all my crew has done for me, and I could never give back all that they have provided me. I do not think they understand how much they mean to me.

One example where your crew gave you support:

I was preparing a solo for the Media Music Concert, a student-run ensemble at York. I am not always confident being the centre of attention, so a solo performance was very nerve-wracking. However, with encouragement from my crew who were saying "you got this" and "don't worry you will do great" it gave me that boost I needed to perform. My crew would also help me practice during our breaks in order to make sure I was ready. By the time the solo was going to happen, I turned over to my crew and they would just nod their head telling me I could do it and I did it. It felt really good to see the smiles on my crew's faces and I would have never had that experience had it not been for them. It was a very vulnerable position, and I realized after the concert that I had come a long way in my years at York, and that is all due to the friendships I have gained.

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Celine Tchang, AMPD

Shadman Islam, Schulich School of Business

Crew:
JDCC Schulich

Name/Program:
Shadman Islam -BBA Candidate 2019, Schulich School of Business

Crews I am a part of at York U:

  • The York Homeless Relief Foundation
  • JDCC Schulich
  • The York Marketing Association
  • Undergraduate Business Society’s Athletic Committee
  • York Orientation Week

How have your crews at York U helped you throughout your education:

team in sportsThanks to my beautiful crew, my university journey has been unbelievable. My crews consist of like-minded leaders with a passion to make a difference in our community. They have accelerated my education by enabling me to collaborate with a diversity of unique perspectives. JDCC has allowed me to mentor over 45 delegates in disciplines such as Digital Strategy, Finance, and Entrepreneurship. The York Marketing Association has allowed me to help break the stigma of traditional Marketing and introduce how technical and strategically focused it truly is through data management and technology. And lastly, being an Orientation Leader has allowed me to help comfortably transition hundreds of incoming students to York University. All of these clubs and crews have played an crucial role in developing me academically and as a future leader.

Why was it important to get involved:

Even outside of school, I know I can depend on my crew when it really matters. My crew cares about my well-being and helps me out when I’m not feeling my best. They truly care about my mental health and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Being involved in both the Schulich and York U community is very important to my crew because it allows us to meet even more people and make an even bigger difference. Being involved has allowed me to forge many friendships that I know will last a lifetime. Together, my crew is determined to leave a positive impact by advocating positive change, mental health, and student involvement.

Favourite memory with my crew:

crew at red and white day

My favourite memory with my crew was competing and winning in Central Canada’s largest business school competition, JDCC, where  we competed in Academics, Athletics, Debate, and Social. Our team truly became a family and have played an integral role in my personal success at York. I can attribute many victories to the amazing support I received physically and mentally from my crew. These everlasting friendships will continue to push me to be the best version of myself.

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Shadman Islam, Schulich School of Business