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Anita McBride Alumni Mentoring Workshop

October 20, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

The annual Anita McBride Mentoring Workshop taking place on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 11am ET via Zoom.  During the workshop, four MES alumni panelists and several MES alumni mentors will speak to current students about their career trajectories and experiences in the program. It is also an opportunity to learn about the latest developments at the new Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change from our dean, Alice Hovorka. Following the panel, alumni mentors will meet with students in groups over three short speed mentoring rounds.

2020 panelists
Tina Garnett (MES '16)
Human Rights and Inclusion Specialist
Hamilton Health Sciences

Sean Hertel, MCIP RPP (MES '12)
Sean Hertel & Associates Urban Planning

Tzeporah Berman (MES '95)
International Program Director

Dr. Dan Longboat (MES '98, PhD '08)

Director for Quality Assurance
Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council 

Tentative Rollout

10:45am – Log in to Zoom meeting

11:00am – Welcome and introduce panelists

11:05am – Panel questions

11:35pm – Q&A

11:45am – Introduce alumni mentors

11:50am – Round #1: Breakout group

12:10pm – Round #2: Breakout group

12:30pm – Round #3: Breakout group

12:50pm – Closing remarks

1:00pm – Adjourn


Alumni Bios

Sean Hertel
Principal/Lecturer, Hertel + Associates Urban Planning (Private)
I love cities! I'm a Registered Professional Planner and have been planning since 1997, beginning at the former Metro Toronto Planning Department and for the past 8 years I've been leading my own small Toronto-based practice, helping cities-regions to plan and build around rapid transit. Recent and current projects include: Eglinton Connects LRT - Western Extension; Peel Region MTSA Study; Langstaff Gateway (City of Markham) Planning Implementation; St. Clair (Toronto) Streetcar R.O.W. Post-Implementation Review; and The O.R.C.A. Project (decking/development of downtown Toronto rail corridor). I am also active in academia: Lecturer in planning schools at Ryerson, Waterloo and York; Pragma Council (Waterloo) Member; Researcher at CITY (York University); and (Co-)Principal Investigator of studies related to transit equity, growth management, and housing.
Tina Garnett
Human Rights & Inclusion Specialist, Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation (Public)
Tina Garnett is 6th generation Canadian; the descendent of an escape slave John Henry who arrived in Collingwood in 1831. Tina has been developing human rights based equity and inclusion policies and services for over two decades.  She is the current Human Rights & Inclusion Specialist with a hospital.  Her work has been cutting edge work across sectorial - but always advocating for transformational equity. In 2014 Tina returned to school to complete a Master’s degree, which focused on creating safer trauma services for Indigenous and Black women. Tina is committed to walking the talk, thus she volunteers on community governing boards. Tina is the sole proprietor of Providence International EDI Consult - and completed the first the first anti-racism policy in a medical institution. Tina’s won the 2020 John C. Holland Black Business Achievement Award. She enjoys quiet time with her 2 sons and 2 grandchildren
Tzeporah Berman
International Program Director, (NGO)
Tzeporah has been designing and winning campaigns in Canada and internationally for 25 years.  She currently is International Program Director at Stand.Earth,  the Chair of  the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Committee, and the Co founder of the Global Gas & Oil Network. She is also an Adjunct Professor of York University Faculty of Environmental Studies and works as a strategic advisor to a number of First Nations, environmental organizations and philanthropic foundations on climate and energy issues. She is the former co-director of Greenpeace International's Climate and Energy Program and Co-founder of ForestEthics In 2019, Tzeporah received the Climate Breakthrough Project Award and in 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of This Crazy Time: Living Our Environmental Challenge
Dr. Dan Longboat
Director for Quality Assurance
Indigenous Advanced Education and Skills Council (Not-for-Profit)
Dr. Dan Longboat, Roronhiakewen (He Clears the Sky) is a Turtle Clan member of the Mohawk Nation and a citizen of the Rotinonshon:ni (Haudenosaunee – People of the Longhouse), originally from the Ohsweken, the Six Nations community on the Grand River.Dan brings a life-time of education system knowledge and experience to IAESC’s Quality Assurance body providing Indigenous Institutes in Ontario a process for accreditation.He is currently on leave from Trent University where he is an Associate Professor in the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies and Acting Director of the newly formed Indigenous Environmental Institute. Dan was also the founding director of the Indigenous Environmental Science/Studies Program. Dan has also taught at Ryerson University and several other post-secondary institutions in Ontario.Dan’s Ph.D. is in Environmental Studies at York University with his dissertation (The Haudenosaunee Archipelago: The Nature of Bio-Cultural Restoration and Revitalization) receiving the York Award of Excellence in Scholarship in 2009.While speaking on Indigenous issues across Turtle Island, he stresses the importance of learning from Elders and Knowledge Holders as the critical foundation for Indigenous identity, vision and life purposes.
Sandra Schwartz      

National Executive Director, Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society (NGO)


As a solutions-oriented leader, Sandra has worked in a wide range of public policy, strategic communications and political roles, where she has been a strong advocate for sound environmental policy and has championed progressive ideas for clean energy and tackling climate change.

With over 20 years’ experience within the federal government (Ministries of Environment, Natural Resources, and Office of the Leader of the Opposition), national associations, and not-for-profit organizations, including the Canadian Electricity Association, Canadian Wind Energy Association, Pollution Probe and the Canadian Institute of Child Health.

Most recently, Sandra was Director of Parliamentary Affairs in the Office of the Minister of Natural Resources Canada. She also has a long history of community service, including as board member on several national non-profit organizations, and as founding member of a prominent women’s network. She currently serves as Trustee on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

Cara Clairman
President and CEO, Plug'n Drive (Not-for-Profit)
Cara Clairman is President and CEO of Plug’n Drive, a non-profit that is accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) to maximize their environmental and economic benefits. Cara has taken Plug’n Drive from an idea to a thriving non-profit, recognized as a leader in the EV space. In 2018 Plug’n Drive's Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre was selected as Canada's 2019 Top Project by the Clean 50 Community. Cara has more than 20 years of experience working in the environmental and sustainability fields, including 12 years working at Ontario Power Generation, initially as OPG’s environmental lawyer and later in the role Vice President of Sustainable Development. Prior to joining OPG, Cara spent five years practicing environmental law with the Torys law firm. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, as well as an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from Queen’s University. Cara is the 2017 recipient of the Women in Renewable Energy’s ‘Woman of the Year’ award. She is currently driving the 100% electric Tesla Model 3.
David McRobert

Counsel, D. McRobert, Barrister and Solictor (Private)


David McRobert is an environmental lawyer based in southern Ontario, and part-time professor who taught environmental law at FES, Osgoode Hall Law School (OHLS), York, U of T and Humber from 1990 until 2012. David has a B.Sc. in Biology (Trent, 1980) and a MES on Biological Conservation. He graduated from Osgoode and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1990.

He has worked in government and with numerous clients on a range of waste and pollution regulation issues and environmental rights. David helped to draft Ontario's 3Rs regulations at Ontario's Ministry of the Environment, and served for 16 years as In-House Counsel and Sr. Policy Advisor at the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. David McRobert has published more than 110 articles, 30 reports and 13 books including Risky Business: A Guide to the Use, Handling and Transportation of Asbestos and has approx. 10,000 followers on LinkedIn.

Dr. Marc Dupuis-Desormeaux        

Consultant, York University (Public)

DR. MARC DUPUIS-DÉSORMEAUX is conservation biologist, researcher and lecturer at York University in Toronto. Marc works across various landscapes and has field sites in Kenya, where he studies lion and hyena behaviour, landscape prey-traps and wildlife fencing as well as in Toronto where he studies turtle communities, demographics and road mortality with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.  Marc is the Chair of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Canada, a Canadian foundation that supports various community wildlife conservation initiatives in Kenya. Marc holds a MBA in Finance (UBC, 1993), MES in Human-Wildlife Conflicts (York, 2010) and a Ph.D. in Conservation Biology (York, 2016).  Marc currently teaches Ecology (BIOL 2300) and Behavioural Ecology (BIOL 3100) at Glendon college.  You can learn more from his website at

Maralyn Ellis

Psychotherapist, Futures Found (Private)

For more than twenty years, I've enjoyed helping people in their businesses and careers and running my own business. My formal education is in psychology and environmental studies, but if you ask colleagues what my special ability is... it's seeing and fostering the best in people, even when they don't see it themselves! I am passionate in recognizing and honouring individual differences and in being a catalyst to finding the path that fits the person - whether that be formal education or on-the-job learning. These days, when not building my psychotherapy practice or consulting for my Futures Found or corporate clients, you can find me volunteering at Autism Job Club, spearheading the Project SEARCH Halton school-to-work initiative, helping students start a business at Summer Company... or hiking with my dog - Meisje!
(A member of the OAMHP and ​an RP (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario)

Gary Stein
Executive Director, Community Legal Services of Ottawa (Not-for-Profit)
Gary completed joint MES and LLB degrees in 1988, and has been a lawyer since 1990. He started out at a small law firm in Toronto, where he assisted many not-for-profit organizations. In 1995, he took a position as a staff lawyer at a community legal clinic in Ottawa, then became its executive director. He has continued to work in community legal services for 25 years, but nothing ever remains the same. Gary is married to a community-based occupational therapist; his daughter is an occupational therapist at a Toronto youth shelter, and his son produces radioactive pharmaceuticals plus beer on the side.
David Berger
Principal, AVRO Institute (Private)
Hi, I'm the principal of an independent high school. I ran an expressive and healing arts festival for 20 years, and wrote a book on environmental education called The Power of the Circle. I graduated from FES, with an MES in 1994.
Sindy Singh
Climate Change Specialist, Ministry of Planning and Development
Trinidad and Tobago (Private)
I currently hold the position of Climate Change Specialist at the Ministry of Planning and Development, Trinidad and Tobago. I coordinate the implementation of the National Climate Change Policy and support development of policies and plans for the country as it relates to addressing climate change. I also support the country at international climate change negotiations (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). I oversee and coordinate several large multinational donor projects as well projects with domestic funding.
Patrycja Jankowski
Advisor, Metrolinx (Public)
Patrycja graduated the MES program in 2017 and had since held positions at the Ministry of Transportation, York Region, and now at Metrolinx. She is passionate about transit equity and focused her research in MES on this topic. She has an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts, giving her a unique perspective on planing issues. Currently she is employed at Metrolinx in the Stations Planning office as an Advisor.
Selina Young
Director, Indigenous Affairs Office, City of Toronto (Public)
Selina is Métis from north western Saskatchewan and grew up in Caledonia, Ontario along the shores of the Grand River. Selina has almost 25 years of experience in the public service, having worked for the federal, Ontario and Scottish governments. Selina has undergraduate and graduate degrees in aquatic toxicology and graduated in 2006 with an MES focused on the Great Lakes (science, policy and communication). Selina's deep commitment to implementing reconciliation brought her to the City of Toronto in June 2018 to lead the City's first Indigenous Affairs Office.
Imelda Nurwisah
Senior Planner, Colliers International Consulting (Private)
Imelda is an Urban Planner with 7 years of experience in mixed-use and affordable housing development projects throughout British Columbia. Her practice is based on her experience in both public and private sectors, which she draws upon when managing projects and developing strategic plans. Imelda’s work is driven by her desire to create vibrant communities, which informs her collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to real estate development based on strong relationships with clients, stakeholder groups and thought leaders in the commercial real estate industry. Currently, as a Senior Planner and Project Manager with Colliers International Consulting, Imelda manages affordable housing projects throughout Metro Vancouver and BC, where she provides recommendations to clients based on an optimal development strategy, liaises with municipalities for approvals and permitting, and coordinates sub-consultants.
Jane Hayes
Co-Founder + Healthy Food Programmer Director, Urban Gardens & Permaculture Hoffmann Hayes / Garden Jane (Private)
Jane is a permaculture designer, gardener, community developer and educator. She brings 24 years of healthy food program and design experience with municipalities, non-profits and socially responsible businesses. Jane is the lead designer of urban gardens and co-leads the supervision and implementation of condo garden coaching programs for Hoffmann Hayes. Jane’s experience in the area of social permaculture and regenerative community design influences her approach to helping people of all ages learn to grow and enjoy healthy food in a sustainable way. Jane loves being in community with inspiring people changing the world through kids and community gardens, urban farming and healthy food. Jane is a graduate of U of T and received a Masters of Environmental Studies from York U. She’s been certified in Permaculture Design and as a Permaculture Teacher. She plays many roles in her large mixed family, and also runs Garden Jane.
Karen Kraft Sloan
Former Ambassador for the Environment
Former Member of Parliament        Government of Canada and Government of Ontario
(former member of ERT) (Public)
Karen Kraft Sloan has over 40 years in the public and private sectors working in areas related to environmental protection and sustainability. She is the former Canadian Ambassador of the Environment, and a former Member of Parliament. While in parliament, Karen served for two terms as the Parliamentary Secretary of the Minister of the Environment and she was also elected to serve as the Vice-chair of the House Environment and Sustainable Development Committee. Her work focused on the review and revision of Canada’s three cornerstone environmental statutes, child poverty and Arctic science. Upon leaving public life, Karen founded EcoNexus, a consulting firm dedicated to assisting organizations achieve their sustainability aspirations. Prior to retiring, Karen was appointed to the Environmental Review Tribunal by the Provincial Govenment, where she served for four years. Currently, she is a Member of the Board of FoDaFo, a York University and Global Ecofootprint Network initiative.
Tom Du
Manager, Analytics & Finance
Ontario Ministry of Energy
Northern Development, and Mines (Public)
Tom Du has over 12 years of sustainability consulting and finance experience with clients spanning the energy, manufacturing, and health industries. He currently heads a public sector team focused on big data analytics and sustainable finance. He has worked overseas, and given sustainability talks in Germany, Greece, and Canada.Tom has written for various publications, including a book, Corporate Knights magazine, and the Globe and Mail newspaper. He specialises in sustainable finance and energy – with experience in the for-profit, not-for-profit, and public sectors.Tom holds three degrees: a MBA from Schulich School of Business, a MES focused in sustainable energy systems, and a corporate finance degree. He also has a post-graduate diploma in business & sustainability as well as certifications from the PMI, CECAB, and CSI.
Michael Collens
Senior Associate, Ontario Growth Secretariat
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Public)
Michael holds a Masters in Environmental Studies (Planning) degree from York University. The Faculty of Environmental Studies recognized his Master’s work for outstanding graduate research. He has done research on transit equity.
He holds a Bachelor in Environmental Studies from York University, specializing in urban and regional environments. He is one of the inaugural recipients of the HSBC Bank of Canada Environmental Studies Award in 2012. He was a peer mentor with the Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-Time Students. He was active with the York University Mature Students Organization.
Michael is a Senior Associate with the Ontario Growth Secretariat in the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. His work focuses on long-range planning to help build complete communities centred on social equity.
Nasreen Hussain
Events Coordinator, Water Allies / New College-University of Toronto (Public)
Nasreen completed a Master’s degree from York University’s Environmental Studies program in 2017, focusing her research on the significance of water through Indigenous and holistic worldview. For the past 3 years Nasreen has been working as a researcher, interviewer and video editor for Dr. Deborah McGregor’s Indigenous Environmental justice project, at Osgoode Hall, York University. Nasreen’s research addresses the differences of water in Western worldview and Indigenous law, Indigenous women’s knowledge and connection to water and through her own personal lens to inspire a more comprehensive understanding of it, relayed through critical reflection, photography, poetry and film. In 2018, she completed a diploma in documentary film-making from Seneca College.
Kristy Kilbourne
Principal Planner, Policy, City of Pickering (Public)
Kristy Kilbourne (MES '13) is a Registered Professional Planner whose career has largely been in municipal government at the local and Regional levels. Her experience/expertise has spanned the areas of policy, environment/climate change, heritage, community improvement, economic development, and rural planning. Kristy is an active and engaged member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners and is also involved with the UN Habitat Planners 4 Climate Action initiative.
Maha Mannsoor
Litigation and Policy Analyst, Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada (Public)
Maha is an MES/JD grad now working at Environment and Climate Change Canada on endangered species and migratory birds law as a Litigation and Policy Analyst. Following graduation from the program, she articled at Gowling WLG in the environmental litigation department where she worked on cases involving climate change, human rights, heritage law, environmental law, and general corporate litigation. During the MES program, her POS focused on environmental governance. This allowed her to be hired by the International Energy Agency to publish a report on sustainability governance of bioenergy. During the program, she also worked with the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food on the effects of climate change on food availability, and at the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance where she worked on climate change disclosure.
Bill Taylor
Indigenous Initiatives Coordinator
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (Not-for-Profit)
I have over 30 years of experience representing the Province of Ontario in various initiatives with Indigenous communities, mostly in northwestern Ontario: impact/ benefit agreements, fishing and forestry agreements, land claim settlement negotiations, co-management of lands and natural resources, and planning and conducting consultation for initiatives that could adversely impact protected rights.


October 20, 2020
11:00 am - 1:00 pm




Jennifer Ferdinands