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Posted October 17, 2016

Alumni Cafe: The Worm and the Book

Investigating the new and fascinating field of Digital Humanities

Woodsworth College Alumni Association is proud to present Dr. Alexandra Bolintineanu, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Woodsworth College & Centre for Medieval Studies, who will be the Alumni Cafe speaker on October, 19, 2016.  Her topic will be The Worm and the Book:  Making and Sustaining Digital Archives


Dr. Bolintineanu's talk abstract:

My research examines wonders in Old and Middle English:  wonders that range from fearful ones, like the shadow-walking monster Grendel, or the dragon that broods on its treasure in Beowulf, to gorgeous faerie kingdoms and the Earthly Paradise, humankind's lost home, hidden beyond the limits of the world.  What brings these diverse wonders together is a remarkably stable poetics – imagery, motifs, ways of thinking – that survives from Old to Middle English, a poetics of wonder at whose heart is unknowing.  But even as the poetic technology, if I may call it that, is remarkably stable, the archive it binds together is fragile and fragmentary.  The poetic texts that survive are few, anonymous, hard to pinpoint in space and time.  Can we use digital methods to recover the losses, bridge the gaps, weave together the fragments of the past?  My talk examines the nexus between poetic and digital technologies, discussing how digital humanities approaches can be adapted to the study of the medieval archive.

To register, email or call 416-978-5301

Posted September 14, 2016

Graduation from Orientation!

Alumni welcome new students

Members of the alumni association board were on hand for the closing ceremonies of the 2016 Orientation Week.  The alumni spoke to students about their own journeys, their experiences at Woodsworth, and life after graduation. To mark the occasion, AAWC pens were handed out and students had the opportunity to sign the "Graduation from Orientation" book.

Posted August 31, 2016

Woodsworth Alumna passed away in August

Long time alumni board member and volunteer Wiebke Smythe remembered

Wiebke Smythe, who passed away on August 16, 2016, was a Woodsworth College grad like no other.  She graduated as a mature student in 1990 and then went on to complete her Masters of Library Science.  During her time as a student she was active on the Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Students. It was as an alumna, however, that she made her mark.  Due to her tireless efforts, and joining forces with Woodsworth staff, she spearheaded the annual Woodsworth College book sale.  The sale continued for over ten years during which time all its proceeds went to fund scholarships for Woodsworth students. An amount in excess of $200,000 was donated to the College. Wiebke single handedly collected, sorted and organized the books for the sale.  She spent countless hours in the Woodsworth basement on these tasks.  

Wiebke was also very active on the alumni association board, twice serving as its president. She was a steadfast figure around the College and could be spotted here on any given day working with determination to ensure the success of any endeavour she put her mind to.  

Over the last decade Wiebke lent her talents to a new enterprise, the Bookroom at Robarts Library.  Her usual prodigious energy, enthusiasm and will were put to good use in this equally successful project.  Read the Library's tribute to her here.

A recipient of U of T's  Arbor Award for her volunteerism, Wiebke was honoured by the College with the establishment of the Wiebke Smythe Service Award, in recognition of her many years of service.  She was also an Honorary Director of the Alumni Association of Woodsworth College.

Wiebke had a great love for books and learning, and, as her obituary states, "her spirit will live on in the hallowed halls of the University of Toronto and in the lives of all the students and friends she inspired."  

May she rest in peace.

Posted August 10, 2016

Woodsworth Grad Gets Covered by Toronto Media

Clive Davies' long journey to graduation makes waves at UofT Spring Convocation

Woodsworth College is proud of the achievement of Clive Davies, who at age 79 was UofT's oldest graduate at this year's spring convocation.  

Read all about his journey at UofT News.  Clive was also interviewed on City TV's Breakfast Television show.

Congratulations Clive!

Posted June 13, 2016

Meet the new Alumni Association Board

Brand new executive was voted in at the May AGM

The new AAWC board members bring a host of experiences from their professional and academic lives as well as from  their volunteer involvement with other organizations.  They are all eager and ready to start working on planning great events for the upcoming year. Here is a listing of the new board members along with their brief bios:

Sean Kiefte - President
Sean graduated from Woodsworth College in 2009 with an Hon. B.A., majoring in Employment Relations. He is a former WCSA member and has worked in various departments at the University including Labour Relations, Compensation, and the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office. He is currently a Job Evaluations Specialist at Ontario Public Service. Sean is a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) and has a certificate in Pay Equity from the HRPA.

Genevieve Nixon - Treasurer
Genevieve graduated from Woodsworth College with a Bachelors of Commerce degree. Throughout her four years at U of T, Genevieve dedicated much of her time to Woodsworth College as a Residence Don, and an active member of the WCSA. She is currently a Business Process Analyst at TD . Genevieve is also a Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award recipient.

J. Erin Rud - Secretary
Erin graduated with Distinction in November 2014 with an Honours BA in Philosophy after entering U of T via Woodsworth’s Academic Bridging Program. Currently an Accounting Assistant, she is about to begin studies for the CPA designation. Erin looks forward to giving back to Woodsworth College in return for a wonderful university experience and career opportunities.

Elizabeth Trotter - Past President
Elizabeth graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and received the Peter F. Bronfman Gold Scholarship. She completed her MA in Counselling Psychology in 2008. Elizabeth was involved for over 20 years in credit analysis and multinational account management positions with the Royal Bank in Calgary, the UK and Toronto. Elizabeth holds an MBA from Queen’s University.

Dan Acheson
Dan graduated from Woodsworth College in 2002 with a double major in Commerce, and Religious Studies. Dan also holds Computer Studies diploma from Seneca College.  Dan is a business management consultant specializing in situational assessment, strategic planning, and business change management.  He enjoyed a progressive 20 year career in IT at CIBC and Manulife Financial. From 2002 Dan has worked in the business management consulting field.

Anthony Blair
Anthony graduated from the University of Toronto in 1992 with a BSc (majors in Psychology and Criminology, and minor in Sociology). He currently works for the federal government as Chief, Pay and Pension.  Anthony also servies as a mentor in the College's Alumni Students Mentorship Program

Maddie D'Agata
Maddie graduated from Woodsworth in 2010, with an Honours BSc in Psychology and Criminology. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Social-Personality Psychology at Queen's University, where she received her M.Sc. in 2013. Maddie is a former WCSA board member, was one of the Orientation Coordinators for Woodsworth Frosh in 2009, and was awarded the Woodsworth College Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. 

Fazal Khaishgi
Fazal graduated from Woodsworth College in 2011 with a double major in Economics and Employment Relations and a minor in Political Science. Fazal is currently the Director of Finance & Technology at, as well as the Co-founder of While the former offers customers great experiences for less than what they would normally pay, the latter is a cloud-based business management solution offering online booking with schedule management and performance tracking. He has over 7 years of operations and business development and management experience, as well as fund raising experience.

Yasmeen Khan
Yasmeen graduated from Woodsworth College in 2008 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Art History and English Literature. Yasmeen is a communications and event specialist and has extensive experience working in a variety of communication portfolios with RBC and Corus Entertainment

Rena Prashan
Rena graduated from Woodsworth College in 2009 with an Hons. B.A., specializing in Urban, Economic, and Social Geography. She has worked at the University of Toronto since 2010 in the Faculty of Medicine, Office of the Governing Council, and most recently at the University of Toronto Scarborough where she is the Committee Secretary for the UTSC Campus Council and its Standing Committees.

Prash Rasaiah 
Prash graduated from Woodsworth College in 2010 with an Hon. B.A.  He is a former member of the Woodsworth College Residence Council and WCSA.  He has been working at the Bank of Montreal since graduation as a Product Management professional in Payments and Credit Card Products. 

Cindy Sinclair
Cindy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in History & Art History in 2005 and a Master of Education (M.Ed) degree in Sociology in Education in 2009 (OISE).  Cindy is currently a doctoral student in Sociology in Education & Workplace Learning at OISE.  Cindy joined the AAWC in 2009 as a Board Member and Treasurer (2009-2011).   She is the recipient of Institute of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Ontario Scholars Press Award (2002) and the OISE Muriel Fung Extra-curricular Student Community award (2013).

Rabea Soofi
Rabea graduated in 2013 from Woodsworth College with an Honours BA Specialist in Political Science and a Minor in French Language.  Rabea is currently working as a Sponsor Support Coordinator at Lifeline Syria in Toronto promoting the private sponsorship of Syrian refugees to Canada. Rabea developed a strong interest in refugees and forced migration while working with the UNHCR as a Sexual and Gender-Based Violence officer. She has also worked with national and international NGOs and international organizations abroad in various capacities. 

Junior West
Junior graduated from Woodsworth College in 2013 with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Human/Cell and Molecular Biology. He is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of Toronto in Cell and Molecular biology. Junior is also the Program Development Officer for S.E.E.D.S., a non-profit organization that provides science and health related programming for youth in high priority neighbourhoods in Toronto. In his free time, Junior enjoys playing volleyball and running.

Yuri Yatsenko 
Yuri graduated from Woodsworth College in 2010 with an Honours BSc in Biomedical sciences. He also completed a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics and Statistics at University of Guelph in 2013. Yuri currently works in the private sector for a major global research and advisory firm in management consulting capacity, but has also done work with non-profits, along with experience in academic research. In his free time, Yuri enjoys tennis, snowboarding, and golf.

Congratulations to the new board members!


Posted June 13, 2016

Broadbent Institute teams up with Woodsworth and CIRHR

Workplace Democracy for the 21st Century

Woodsworth College is proud to be a co-sponosor of the half day conference which will bring together some of Canada's leading thinkers on precarious work, decent wages and working conditions.

Panel discussions will take place at Innis Town Hall.  For more information please visit the Broadbent Institute web site.

Posted June 13, 2016

Former Ontario lieutenant-governor received honorary degree at Woodsworth Convocation

Hon. James Bartleman's address touched on Canada's residential school legacy

Woodsworth College was honoured to have James Bartleman be the honorary degree recipient at its convocaiton on June 10th.  After a lengthy and distinguished career as a diplomat, Mr. Bartleman became Ontario's lieutenant-governor in 2002. In his speech he covered the residential school issue as well as remarking on his childhood and the importance that his mother placed on reading.  Read more about James Bartleman here

Posted January 07, 2016

Woodsworth community members honored by the Governor General

Meritorious Service Medal awarded and Order of Canada Appointments announced

Alumnus Jowi Taylor (WDW '90)  was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at Rideau Hall by the Governor General David Johnston on December 11th, 2015. Created in 1991, the medal is intended to recognize individuals who have carried out meritorious acts bringing benefit and honour in either the military or the civilian domain.  

Jowi Taylor is the driving force behind the Six String Nation and its centrepiece, the Voyageur guitar. He has travelled coast to coast to coast with this unique, handcrafted symbol of Canada’s rich cultural diversity. With each stop at schools, community centres and public events, Canadians are invited to pose or perform with Voyageur and to come together in a celebration of music and song. 

More honours were announced on December 31st with the release of  names of Canadians who are to be appointed to the Order of Canada.  Amongst those named were Jack Lynn Cockwell, a Woodsworth College donor, business leader and philanthropist, and Rohinton Mistry, a Woodsworth alumnus (1982), and renowned author of such books as Such a Long Journey and A Fine Balance, for which he received the Giller Prize.

The College is very proud of the accomplishments of its alumni and friends and extends congratulations to all!


Posted January 05, 2016

Brookfield Bronfman Scholarships Announced

Six Woodsworth students to be awarded prestigious scholarships

Carol Chin, Acting Principal, and the Brookfield Bronfman Committee, are pleased to announce this year's Brookfield Peter F. Bronfman Scholarship recipients.  

The Brookfield Peter F. Bronfman Gold Scholarship is the premier award of the Brookfield Peter F. Bronfman Scholarship Fund. This award was established by Peter Bronfman’s wife Lynda, his business colleagues and companies associated with Brookfield Asset Management Ltd following his death. The award is given to superior all-round Woodsworth College students in their final year of study.  Students must  demonstrate outstanding academic excellence, as well as having contributed through volunteer activities to the University and their communities.  The value of the Gold Scholarship is $12,000, awarded to each student.

The Brookfield Peter F. Bronfman Leadership Scholarship is given to runners up to the Brookfield Peter F. Bronfman Gold Scholarship. The value of the scholarship is $6,000, awarded to each student. These students must also demonstrate academic excellence, as well as having contributed through volunteer activities to the University and their communities.

When selecting candidates for these awards, the committee also takes into account any personal challenges that students have overcome.

This year's recipients are:

Gold Scholarships:

Jade LaMarche - studying Religion, Psychology and Sociology

Danny Pan - studying Neuroscience and Anthropology

Leadership Scholarships:

Cheyenne Cameron - studying Religion, Archaeology and English

Vincent Harinam - studying Criminology & Sociolegal Studies and Political Science

Olivia Hauck - studying Sociology, Women & Gender Studies and Equity Studies

Danielle Magsumbol - studying Diaspora & Transnational Studies, Urban Studies and English

Congratulations to all!

Posted January 05, 2016

Woodsworth Student Publishes Book

Experiences as Child Soldier turned into Graphic Novel

Michel Chikwanine is a Woodsworth College student who is currently studying African studies. His traumatic experiences as a child soldier form the basis of his book Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War. 

The book is being published as a Kids Can Press  CitizenKid books.  This is a joint project with retired general and ex-senator Roméo Dallaire, now a full-time advocate for child soldiers.  The book is co-authored with Jessica Dee Humphreys and illustrated by Claudia Davila.

Read the full Maclean's  full article about Michel and the book here and listen to his recent interview on the CBC program Q

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