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Meet our OISE Alumni Association Members-at-Large

members at large


Elected on a biennial basis, Members-at-Large apply their unique educational, professional and personal backgrounds and expertise to this volunteer role as representatives of all alumni and friends of the institute.

Together with the Executive Council and Ex-officio, members help organize and deliver a variety of programs and initiatives that connect alumni and the OISE community. In this role, members vote on matters that impact the future of the association. Explore a list of current members and committee chairs below.

Learn more about becoming a member

Nadia Bedok, MEd '11

Nadia has been an elementary through post-secondary teacher for over 10 years. She is currently a professor at Seneca College. Her former roles include Learning Strategist in Accessible Learning Services at Seneca, Constituency Assistant (Outreach) for both the Ontario government and Canada and Sales Representative for Nelson Education.


Silvia Birsan, MEd '00      Chair, Leaders and Legends Awards Committee

Silvia has contributed to the OISEAA since 2012. She was the 2019 Chair of the returning Leaders and Legends Awards Committee and is an Arbor Award recipient for outstanding volunteer service. Silvia is currently a psychology professor at Centennial and Seneca College and the founder of Rites of Passage, an educational and counselling organization.


Jason Brennan, MT '11

Jason is a doctoral candidate at OISE where he teaches in the initial teacher education program and in a local high school. Jason is an Ontario Graduate Scholar and OISEAA Doctoral Fellow. In 2017, he received the Arbor Award and, in 2018, the Adrienne Clarkson Laureateship in Public Service from Massey College where he is a Junior Fellow. In 2019, Jason became Assistant Dean, Residence Life & Communications at U of T Grad Room.


Shawna Carroll, MEd '11, PhD '18

Shawna recently completed her doctorate degree at OISE. Formerly, she was an instructor and faculty advisor at Trent University's School of Education. During her studies, she enjoyed working at the OISE Student Service Centre and volunteering with the OISEAA. Shawna is now Senior Assistant Professor at Okayama University and our alumni representative in Japan.


Wakako Ishikawa, MA '03, PhD '18

Wakako was born in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from university, she came to Toronto to continue her studies at OISE. She wrote about Japanese-Canadian education in the internment camps during World War II for her master's thesis. Shortly thereafter, she met past OISEAA president, late Carol Golench, who invited her to join the association. While a member, Wakako completed her PhD research, which focused on public health education in Timor-Leste. 


Kristina Leis, MEd '17

Kristina is a recent graduate from OISE's Social Justice Education program where she participated in the U of T's Student Union Council, SJE Student Caucus and other committees. Her master's work focused on alternative ways of thinking about special education within public school boards in Ontario. Kristina is passionate about accessibility, social justice and inclusive education. She is currently a volunteer blogger at Really Really Free Market and a teacher at Oxford Learning Centre Inc. Kristina is a new and enthusiastic member of the OISEAA who brings expertise in events, project coordination, curriculum and policy.


Peter Liu, PhD '81, C Psych   ♦   Chair, OISE Mentorship Program

Peter is a retired school psychologist who currently volunteers as Chair of the OISE Mentorship Program in addition to having served as an alumni mentor. Peter's career spans more than three decades during which time he worked in numerous educational sectors and international communities in the capacity of school psychologist, organizational consultant and associate professor and program director. He continues to maintain professional registration as a psychologist in Ontario.


Sofya Malik, PhD '16   ♦   Chair, Alumni & Friends Leadership Lecture Series 

Sofya currently works at the Ontario Ministry of Education and holds a sessional lecturer position at OISE. During her studies, Sofya’s doctoral research focused on knowledge mobilization efforts in Ontario. Her passions lie in improving the classroom experience and bridging research, policy and practice—with the goal of improving students’ experience and success. Sofya is currently Chair of the Alumni & Friends Leadership Lecture Series.


Mimi Masson, PhD '18

Mimi is a foreign language course lecturer at Ottawa University and a research consultant at Canadian Parents for French. Her teaching career spans over 10 years, during which time she taught French, English and foreign language pedagogy in various contexts and sectors. Her doctoral research explored how professional learning networks can support Canadian French as a second language teachers. In 2017, Mimi won the SSHRC Storytellers Award in recognition for her research contributions. Mimi is our Ottawa alumni representative.


Joel Mukwedeya, MEd '17 

Joel holds a Master’s of Education degree in Adult Education and Community Development from OISE. He is both an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) and a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) holder in good standing in the United Kingdom. Joel is thrilled to volunteer with the OISEAA because he believes alumni give valuable support, loyal marketing, viable job shadowing and immediate promotion across their personal and professional networks to current students. He enjoys donating his time to others because he feels a sense of accomplishment when the students we help achieve their personal and professional goals faster and sooner in today's competitive job market.


Jeff Myers, MA '07, PhD '13

Jeff has been an active member of the OISEAA since he graduated in 2013. He has served as the organization’s President, Treasurer and as a Member-at-Large. Jeff works in the field of international education with an organization that brings thousands of young people to Canada for educational programs every year. His academic interests and passions include citizenship and nationalism, critical approaches to language education and social action for change.


Lindsay Shaddy, BEd '94 

Lindsay is an active member of the OISEAA and a member of the Ontario bar. With a background in public affairs, Lindsay worked for six years as coordinator of law and economics at Havergal College. She has also held senior government relations and communications positions with TD Bank, The Canadian Bankers’ Association and the TSX. Currently, Lindsay is a consultant at The SeaBoard Group, which helps companies and governments grow value.


Dana Sheikh, MA '82, PhD '87 

Dana is a higher education consultant with a specialization in international issues. With over 20 years of experience, she has held many roles in Canada and abroad. She was Director of International Development and Research at U of T and worked on several senior research projects. She was also a member of the Executive Board of the International Association of Universities in Paris. For seven years, she was a member of the Board of Governors at Humber Institute for Technology and Advanced Learning. Dana obtained her PhD in policy and theory of higher education and her MA in adult education from OISE. She continues to mentor higher education doctoral students at the institute.


Michael Sinclair, PhD '79 

Michael pursued a professional career in over 15 developing countries in adult education, technical management, post-secondary planning, and more. He was assistant director of education programs at the Commonwealth Secretariat, and led a project involving Canadian universities and colleges in Southeast Asia. He has held several positions with the Ontario Government, which led to his doctoral thesis on youth unemployment. At OISE, Michael was a student representative on the Graduate Studies Standing Committee and the Dean’s advisory council, among other roles. Today, Michael dedicates his time to the OISEAA and its mentorship initiatives.


Edward Thompson, MA, PhD '79   ♦   Chair, Executive Awards Committee

Edward is a sociologist and current Chair of the Executive Awards Committee. He is also the past president of the OISEAA. Under the supervision of past-dean Michael Fullan, Edward graduated from with his doctorate in 1979. He has worked as a research director, a coordinator of continuing education, an administrator of alumni affairs and a post-secondary lecturer. He is also co-author of the textbook, Social Problems in a Diverse Society. While president, Edward received an Arbor Award for outstanding volunteer service. In 2019, Edward was awarded the Leaders and Legends Distinguished Service Award. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, Edward leads Sinfonia Toronto as president and is a member of the Warden’s Advisory Committee for the 100th anniversary of Hart House.


Anne Venton

Anne has volunteered on the OISEAA for over 10 years. She co-chaired 2011 Spring Reunion, the largest alumni event on campus, and served as VP-Internal and on the College of Electors. In 2015, she received an Arbor Award for her many contributions to the university. Prior to this, Anne worked for the TDSB for 30 years as a media literacy teacher and head librarian. Since retirement, Anne has had extensive board experience including serving as a decision-maker on the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. She has also presented papers across Canada and overseas on topics in ethics and media and participated in a lecture tour in Taiwan.



Diana Burchell, MA '17   ♦   Chair, Student Advisory Committee 

During her MA program in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, Diana frequently volunteered with the OISEAA. Now pursuing her PhD, Diana continues to be an active participant as Chair of the Student Advisory Committee where she engages students and alumni through volunteer opportunities and mentorship. Diana is also involved with several accessibility initiatives on campus. She is a certified teacher in French, English and special education. She has experience working with the exceptionality community, especially in the field of dual diagnosis. Diana is highly passionate about the intersection of French as a second language, exceptionalities and mental health as a marginalized population. Know a student looking for a new co-curricular experience? Contact Diana.



Meet some of the faculty and staff working with the association

Glen Jones, PhD, Professor and Dean 
Sim Kapoor, CFRE, Director, Advancement and External Relations
Natalie Neumann Butler, Advancement Officer
Suryana Thappa, Advancement Officer
Richard DeLisle, Development Officer