Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size
Welcome to the OISE Alumni and Friends website

Vote in the OISE Alumni Association Elections 2022

Help steer OISE alumni and friends toward our best possible future

The OISE Alumni Association will be announcing a new Executive Board on June 8 at its Biennial General Meeting (virtual), and all alumni of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education are invited to vote for the candidates! Submit your e-ballot online between June 6-8, 2022. 

Jump below to find out how to participate.

Who's running: Meet the Candidates

Click on the drop-down menus below to learn about the candidates and what they have to offer.

Candidates for President

Meet Nikoletta Papadopoulos, MEd '13

   Nikoletta Papadopoulos is a higher education manager passionate about community building and connecting individuals with opportunities that contribute to their professional and personal growth. She graduated from OISE with a Master of Education in 2013. Since then, she’s worked in higher education with roles at Sheridan College, the University of Toronto, and is currently a Manager of Graduate Student Recruitment at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). She's responsible for recruitment strategies and oversees admissions processes for graduate programs.    

For the past six years, she has volunteered for the OISE Alumni Association, serving as a Member-at-Large, Treasurer, and most recently as Vice-President, Internal from 2020-2022. As a Treasurer, she implemented an internal process to streamline incoming funding requests and ensure the proper management of funds. Additionally, she secured donations for a raffle at an Alumni Reunion event that raised money for the Professor David Booth Memorial Bursary, which supports OISE students in financial need. As Vice-President, Internal, she led engagement activities, including the launch of a survey to OISE alumni to capture their interests and areas of engagement with the association. She ran a focus group to reflect on the survey results with association members. Nikoletta has also represented OISE as a Member of the College of Electors, a group of University of Toronto volunteers responsible for electing the Chancellor and alumni governors of the Governing Council. In 2019, she was an Arbor Award recipient.    

Outside of the alumni association, in 2021, Nikoletta Chaired the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s (CBIE) International Network of Tomorrow’s Leaders, a professional learning network made up of international higher education professionals from across Canada. As Chair, she worked with other lead members to facilitate networking and professional development opportunities for its members.


Why vote for Nikoletta?

Nikoletta has been a dedicated and passionate ambassador of the OISE Alumni Association for the past six years and would love the opportunity to continue her involvement with the leadership team in the role of President. She has gained extensive knowledge of the operations and governance of the association through her roles as Treasurer, Vice-President, Internal, and participation in several committees. She has been a mentor, organized alumni events, and led various initiatives throughout her time with the association. Nikoletta would work diligently to develop the capacity of the OISE Alumni Association and facilitate engagement opportunities for alumni in the role of President. 

Candidates for Vice-President (Internal)

Please scroll down to meet our three candidates for this position.

Meet Henry Ssali, MA '18

   Henry is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy. His core research interests examine whether or not policy is loosely managed, and how institutional policies affect street-level bureaucrats in Higher Education. He holds a master’s degree in education leadership and policy from OISE and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Toronto. Having served in several leadership positions, Henry was in 2021 recognized as an emerging leader by Civic Action Leadership Foundation and has been awarded several accolades for his social justice work. He previously served as VP Communications for the LHAE DSA and is an elected student representative of the OISE Council. He also volunteers for the OISE Alumni Association.

Why vote for Henry?

OISE has a diverse community. One that once leveraged effectively can become a leading influencer in advocating for equitable and sustainable policies in Toronto and Ontario at large. Building on some of the projects that have already been created by our previous leaders, I believe am well placed to advocate for more diverse innovative programming that will encourage more alumni to get involved.

Meet Kelly Zian Zhang, MEd '16

   Kelly Zian Zhang is a PhD student in curriculum and pedagogy at OISE. She completed her OISE master’s degree in the Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development program. Her research interests focus on active learning and smart technology. Currently, she serves as External Coordinator at CTLSA at OISE, Graduate Student Member at OISE Council & Research Committee, and Director of Campus Department at Chinese Students and Scholars Association of the University of Toronto. She just finished her role as Communications on a sub-committee for GSRC 2022 Conference.

She joined OISE Mentorship Program in 2020 as a volunteer mentor of two MEd students. During her master’s study, she served as OISE Student Ambassador and Executive Committee Member of Civics Committee at UTGSU. She believes that her varied background in administration, in combination with her experience as an educator, researcher will be of benefit to performing duties to the position of Vice-President, Internal at OISE Alumni Association.

Why vote for Kelly?

I think that my varied background in administration, in combination with my experience as an educator has provided me with a wide range of leadership skills to bring to this position. I further developed strong organizational and management skills through my working experience in administration at Zhejiang University as an international affairs coordinator. During my four-year undergraduate study at Zhejiang University of Media and Communications, I served as Office Director and Chairman of Student Union at College of Literature and got Provincial Outstanding Graduate of Zhejiang Province China award on graduation ceremony. I am excited by the idea of working at this role with you. I believe that the knowledge gained through my academic achievements and working experience will be of benefit to performing my duties to serve this position at OISE Alumni Association.

Meet Qiongli (Lisa) Zhu, MEd '21

   Qiongli Zhu (known as Lisa) is an educator, researcher, and Associate Professor affiliated with Hainan University, a top-notch Chinese university. She is passionate about connecting individuals with learning opportunities to promote their professional development and personal growth. Prior to furthering her studies at OISE, she was teaching in the University for 16 years and received multiple Teaching Excellence Awards and research grants in educational studies and curriculum development. She was also a visiting professor at Nipissing University and Missouri State University in 2019 and 2015 respectively.

In January 2022, Qiongli received UTGSU Graduate Community Development Fund that recognized her exceptional contributions to the graduate experience in 2021, particularly for her leadership in a cultural event for international students and a grand non-profit project providing emotional support to international students and newcomers to Canada. Apart from leading events and projects, she served different roles in committees and student association, such as departmental student association, OISE Library Student Advisory Committee, and the Centre for Community Partnership’s Student and Alumni Advisory Committee. In these roles, she organized outreach activities, provided feedback discussion, and facilitated various student events.

Qiongli is currently a PhD student at CTL department at OISE. As an executive in East Asia Special Interest Group, she is actively involved in promoting knowledge mobilization and cross-cultural dialogue in and beyond East Asian and Southeast Asian communities. She is also a peer mentor in the Graduate Peer Support Network Mentorship Program at the University of Toronto.


Why vote for Qiongli?

First, I have professional and academic networks in China through my long-term teaching and research at a Chinese top-ranking university. Such networks provide opportunities to mobilize more OISE alumni and further develop the connections with OISE communities. Secondly, as a person having worked and studied in China and North America, I have rich experience in working and networking with people from varying fields and workplaces. This experience, along with my positions as an alumni and current OISE PhD student, enables me to have unique perspective to the mission of strengthening bonds among Alumni, OISE and the University. Finally, I am a team player dedicated to improving learning, academic, and professional experience through education and research, I have full capacity to work with people from different parts of the world.

Candidates for Vice-President (External)

Please scroll down to meet our five candidates for this position.

Meet Diana Andrews, MEd '09

   Diana Andrews is a fierce outspoken bilingual, lesbian racialized teacher leader who has built her career on Social Justice and combatting Anti-Black Racism in public education over more than two decades.  A diligent, detailed and committed advocate for the under-represented and voiceless in Canadian society, Diana has achieved many "firsts" in her education career as a union leader who has taken the lead on and championed her federation's first Equity Library, Conflict of Interest Policy, and on-site childcare for activist teachers while she was an elected officer of her local Toronto teacher union for two terms.

Diana is a multi award-winner in Social Justice Education having won the prestigious Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario/Fédération des Enseignantes et des Enseignants de l'Ontario (ETFO) Rainbow Visions Award in 2021, the Bev Saskoley Anti-Racist Award in 2006, and Excellence in Teaching Equity Award in 2007.  Her 1995 co-authored anthology entitled, To Sappho, My Sister: Lesbian Sisters Write About Their Lives, has been widely received internationally in academia including here at the University of Toronto, York University, Western U., as well as the States (Yale, Columbia, Buffalo State U., etc.), Australia, and Germany under the Social Sciences and Humanities domain sub-fields of Feminist, Gender, and Lesbian Studies.

Diana also holds a Master of Education in Sociology and Equity Studies from O.I.S.E.  She enjoys leading African-based drumming sessions in her spare time, and sits on progressive social advocacy committees as either committee member (Elementary Teachers of Toronto [ETT] Anti-Racist, Equity and Social Justice and Indigenous committees) or board director ( Black Legal Action Centre [BLAC] ).  In addition, she has been repeatedly appointed to the positions of National Lifeguard Examiner-Mentor and First-aid Examiner-Mentor by the Ontario Lifesaving Society.

Why vote for Diana?

As a multi-racial, lesbian, anti-oppressive, experienced elementary educator, I have expertise in and deeply understand Social Justice Education as it directly relates to my unique perspective in lived-experience, as well as my equity-based teacher training and pedagogical practice in our White Privileged Society where its intrinsic institutions uphold outdated, exclusionary, and destructive beliefs and systemic practices of the legacy of Colonialism and Slavery in Canada over generations.  With my skills and experience as an activist, racialized teacher, I want to be part of a progressive change that will help our university move out of its out-moded and restrictive habits, to a more fully inclusive and respectful place, where it truly lives up to its equity-seeking aspirations in a democratically diverse city and country.

I also believe it is crucial in these times of racial and pandemic reckoning that the University of Toronto lead and show the world it is on a distinct and purposeful journey to dismantle Anti-Black Racism and all forms of Oppression in higher formal education and, by extension, society as a whole.  Our university has the international prestige, gravitas, expertise, history and academic research/faculty to make this happen.  In these times, Canadians would expect no less from an institution as large, internationally renowned, and prestigious as the University of Toronto in beautiful Toronto!

Meet Andrew Boggs, MA '07

   Andrew Boggs has worked in higher education for over 25 years. He is a graduate of Queen's University (BA '96) where he was very active in university governance and student government. In 1998, he became the third Executive Director of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.

In 1999, Andrew joined the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, where he worked on policy issues ranging from university tuition to the creation of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, for which he received an Amethyst Award for excellence in public service in 2006. During this time, he earned an MA in higher education studies with distinction from OISE and was named in 2007 as an honorary lifetime member of OUSA for his ongoing contributions to higher education issues.

Andrew was appointed the inaugural Research Director of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario in July 2007. He served as Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Queen's Alma Mater Society Alumni Council from 2005-08 and on the Executive Committee of the Queen's University Council from 2006-09. Andrew began doctoral studies in higher education policy and history at Oxford University in October 2008. He served as a Junior Dean of New College, Oxford from 2010-2012 and he was made a Visiting Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies in 2012.

Since suspending his doctoral studies, Andrew has worked with UK higher education agencies, bodies and providers. This has included Director of the UK Higher Education Better Regulation Group (2012-14), Head of Policy with the Russell Group (2014-15), Head of Policy and Public Affairs of the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2015-17) including a secondment to the Department for Education to work on the Higher Education and Research Act (2017), and Chief of Staff the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University (2017-18).

Andrew is currently at the University Clerk of Kingston University (London) where he oversees university governance, legal matters and regulatory compliance, health and safety and risk, and information governance. and provides policy advice and support to the Vice-Chancellor (university President) and the University Board of Governors.

Andrew is a published author and expert in university regulation and governance, higher education policy and history. He is a Trustee of Queen's Bader International Study Centre in East Sussex, England, and Chair of the Kingston University Services Company.

Outside of higher education policy and university management, Andrew's interests include history, literature, rowing, rugby and swimming. He and his wife live in west London with their son and misanthropic dog.

Why vote for Andrew?

My experience at OISE has had a meaningful and indelible impact on my career. OISE's support encouraged me to pursue publication of academic and professional papers and book contributions alongside my paid work, which has been incredibly fulfilling.

OISE and OISE alumni have a great deal to offer the professional and policy worlds. There are many opportunities the OISE alumni association should be taking to influence education policy, including building partnerships with the public and third sectors to benefit children, teachers, universities and colleges. With broad and active networks of policy makers and practitioners in education policy in both Canada and the UK, I believe I am well placed to help lead the Alumni Association's work in this area.

I also feel, given the international reach of the University of Toronto and OISE, it is important that the OISE Alumni Association has international representation. COVID has taught us that it is possible to operate organisations like the Alumni Association via virtual meeting platforms which should empower us to encourage participation among OISE's global network of alumni. Although I am a Toronto-born Canadian, my 14 years in the UK have given me a unique appreciation for our international community.

Meet Dan Bowyer, BEd '80

   Dan Bowyer (BA, BEd, OCT) is the Principal at Toronto eSchool, a private secondary school in the GTA. Dan also volunteers as the Historian for the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Catharines, Ontario. This year he is a board member for the University of Toronto Scarborough Alumni Association (UTSCAA). Before this, Dan was a secondary school educator and administrator for the Peel District School Board in Caledon, Brampton and Mississauga. Dan also served for many years on the Ontario History and Social Science Teachers' Association Provincial Executive in various capacities, including Editor and First Vice President. Dan is a long time member of both the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association and the Ontario Numismatic Association. 

Why vote for Dan?

I have always felt that volunteering for worthwhile endeavours was my way of giving back to society for all the positives that I have been graced with over the years. My involvements extend beyond what I have mentioned above, but they highlight my commitment to serve and assist in the stewardship of such esteemed organizations as OISE and the University of Toronto.

Meet Ella Karia, EdD '14

   A two-time graduate of the University of Toronto, Dr. Ella Karia is a highly involved and community-focused leader. She is an associate researcher with the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at OISE. She is also the 2022 recipient of the OISE Alumni Association's Leaders & Legends Awards for Excellence.

With her professional accolade and longstanding commitment to education, she has the knowledge, experience and drive to make a difference. An educator, speaker, researcher and author, Dr. Karia demonstrates sincere potential in and dedication to social justice education. She has volunteered as a mentor to students at OISE for the past five years as she pursues her work and research interests in Full Day Kindergarten in Ontario, pedagogical practices and parent participation. 


Why vote for Ella?

As an active community member, I have served in the OISE Mentorship Program led by the OISE Alumni Association for over five years, attended over a dozen OISE alumni events, presented at Dean's Office conferences, and recently received the OISEAA Leaders & Legends Award for Excellence. I work as an associate researcher with the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development at OISE. With a deep understanding of OISE's commitment to promote diversity, pursue innovation pedagogy and collaborate with OISE, I believe I will be an asset to the alumni association and our community. 

Meet Hibah Sidat, MA '21

   For as long as she can remember, Hibah Sidat has always strived to make a positive difference for the people around her.

Having graduated Summa Cum Laude (with highest distinction), Hibah holds a BA (Specialized Honours) in Public Policy and Administration as well as a Certificate of Basic French Proficiency from York University. As part of her undergraduate study, she did her placement at the OPS Diversity Office assisting in the development of the first ever Quiet Room (a neutral space for meditation, yoga, prayer, or quiet contemplation) in all of the Ontario Public Service.

Hibah went on to complete the highly competitive Ontario Legislature Internship Programme where she assisted both government and opposition Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) in their day-to-day legislative and community work. As part of the program, she also wrote a paper exploring the culture at Queen's Park and assessing to what extent it was conducive to the fullness of the experiences of racialized MPPs. She interviewed all six racialized MPPs sitting in the House at the time as well as one former racialized MPP.

Her exposure to the world of provincial politics led her to identify the need to advocate for underrepresented marginalized communities. She worked as a community organizer on a number of election campaigns all over the Greater Toronto Area but particularly in her home of Scarborough. Hibah also worked as a Constituency Assistant for the former City Councillor for Scarborough-Rouge River, as well as for the former City Councillor for Scarborough Centre.

Hibah returned to postsecondary education and completed her MA in Social Justice Education at OISE at the University of Toronto. Her thesis examined the mental health impacts of gendered Islamophobia facing Canadian Muslim women from the perspectives of mental health frontline workers. She is currently a Board Member with Students for Barrier Free Access at the University of Toronto as Vice Chair. She is also working with a charitable, non-partisan, non-profit organization to increase voter turnout among marginalized communities.


Why vote for Hibah?

I completed my MA in Social Justice Education at OISE. During my time at OISE, I stayed engaged in advocating for student interests by volunteering in a number of different capacities. I was External Coordinator for the Social Justice Education Student Caucus representing a wide diversity of student interests. I was a volunteer at various academic conferences, including the annual Decolonizing Conference organized by the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies (CIARS). I was also active in study groups and the broader student community - always looking for ways to share and exchange intellectual ideas, as well as enhance and improve the student experience. Even as an alumni and recent graduate, I am a volunteer Board Member with Students for Barrier Free Access at the University of Toronto as Vice Chair, advocating for students with both invisible and visible disabilities and making the institution more accessible to all students. Giving back to the community and creating positive impact is a core value I have always practiced throughout my life. 

Candidates for Treasurer

Janet Fu, PhD '11

   Dr. Jing Fu (known as Janet) received her doctorate from OISE. She has been teaching at the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, and other universities for more than two decades. Dr. Fu also has a diploma of accounting and business administration. She is proficient in Microsoft Office (e.g. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), SAP, Sage 50, Simple Accounting, and QuickBooks. She has worked in an accounting firm and the CUPE as a treasurer for years. During this time, she worked full-cycle bookkeeping and payroll administration, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, performed reconciliations, prepared ROE, created financial statements, and many other accounting-related duties. Furthermore, Dr. Fu is passionate, independent and accurate in her work. She is willing to work to the best of her ability for the OISE alumni community.

Why vote for Janet?

I have served as Treasurer on the OISE Alumni Association for the last two years. Based on my educational backgrounds and working experience in accounting, I believe I am the best fit to continue as Treasurer. I always cross-check my work to ensure quality. In addition, I believe I am a great team player who has demonstrated an ability to work with clients, team members and fellow alumni cooperatively and effectively. 

Candidates for Secretary

Meet Kristina Leis, MEd '17

    Kristina Leis (pronounced Lays) is an educator, entrepreneur, and philosopher at heart, bringing her unique approach to the OISE community through her active volunteerism. Kristina holds expertise in distributive justice, ethics, and educational pedagogy with a B.A Honours from Carleton University and a Masters of Education from OISE. Her master's work focused on alternative ways of thinking about special education in public schools in Ontario. Kristina teaches private high school courses for students with exceptionalities at Blyth Academy, and runs her business Kind Butterfly Designs ( on the side.

Kristina has been a very active member of the OISE Alumni Association for the past four years, having worked alongside multiple committees including the Constitution Committee, Awards Committee, Fundraising Committee. She currently sits as co-chair of the Fellowship Awards Committee, and acts as interim secretary. She is always coming up with new and creative ideas to expand the vision and values of the OISEAA. She was awarded an Arbor Award for her dedication to the mentorship program as both a mentee and mentor. Kristina is inclusive, knowledgeable, and offers insight that is invaluable to the committees she is part of.

Kristina is an advocate for those with mental health exceptionalities and practices her own understanding of spirituality and healing through her social media platforms. Read more about Kristina's unique approach to mentorship in OISE News.


Why vote for Kristina?

Kristina is a dedicated volunteer within the OISE Alumni Association community. She actively participates in meetings, sharing her thoughts and offering new ideas. Kristina has recruited multiple new mentors and mentees through social media, increasing participation by 5%. Her skills in technology are expansive as she creates websites, designs social media marketing content, and writes copy for her own businesses. Kristina is a creative problem solver and idea generator, always coming up with new and interesting ideas for engagement, community, and aims to assist others in achieving their fullest potential. Kristina is an exceptional candidate for the Executive Board having also participated in student government, acting as the representative for her department, and participating in larger University of Toronto central meetings.

She has participated for multiple years as an alumni volunteer and sits as a senior mentor, and offers seniority through her commitment to the community. Kristina brings her modern approach of inclusion, wellbeing, and authenticity from the classroom and applies it to the boardroom. Her most recent initiative includes a Wellness and Accessibility committee, with aim at creating a space for those who are struggling to find community without the formality of professionalism that often takes away from participation. 

Please find descriptions of each Board position by consulting section By-Law V of our Constitution.


Update your contact info to receive an e-ballot

Eligible voters

Eligible voters include all OISE alumni or those who completed one year and at least four courses at the Institute. Votes from ineligible participants will be rescinded.

Alumni who are subscribed to U of T will receive their e-ballot via email automatically. To have your say in the future of the alumni association, update your contact info to receive our emails, or request an e-ballot by contacting us.

Online voting and alumni general meeting

Virtual voting begins Monday, June 6 and ends Wednesday, June 8 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Alumni will receive a secure link via email to submit one ballot through ElectionBuddy – an easy-to-use, confidential and secure online voting system.

The election results will be announced at the virtual Biennial General Meeting (BGM) on Wednesday, June 8 starting at 5:30 p.m. EST. To learn more about OISE Alumni Association policies and procedures, refer to the Constitution.

Receive an e-ballot

RSVP for the BGM (all alumni are welcome)

Meet alumni leader Dr. Cindy Sinclair. She invites you to apply your talents and skills on the OISE Alumni Association and join our members around the world. Start building your network with us!

Learn more about the OISEAA

email icon

Vote in the elections. Update your contact information securely online or call toll free 1-800-463-6048, and have your say in the future of the OISE Alumni Association.