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Speaker Series

Throughout the year, the university and the Alumni Association Council organize a variety of events that provide opportunities for alumni to network and catch up with old friends. 

During COVID-19, we modified our Speaker Series events to a virtual format, including a presentation followed by a Q and A with the speaker. These events are open to all alumni of Ontario Tech University, as well as students in their final year of study. Speakers will include alumni, partners, and members of our university community. If you have suggestions, we would love to hear from you!

Next session: Coming soon!


Alumni Speaker Series

  • Virtual Session | Real Estate: Saman Habibi and Haaris Ahmad | March 9, 2023

    Side by side head shots of smiling menThank you to Saman and Haaris for demystifying the market for us on March 9! Both Saman and Haaris clearly love helping their clients, and we know they would urge anyone who missed the session to reach out to them on LinkedIn with any questions you might have. 

  • On-Campus | Alex Derlis | November 15, 2022

    Alex Derlis

    Thank you everyone who joined us for an evening with Alex Derlis! Alex stressed the importance of networking, being stubborn in the face of adversity, and staying in the moment as key components to his success. In his words, "[people] will be more receptive when you are the best version of you."

  • Virtual Session | Drew Wade | October 19, 2022

    Drew Wade profile photo

    Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Alumni Speaker Series with Drew Wade, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities '18.

    Drew invites anyone who missed the session to reach out to him on LinkedIn with any questions about job hunting, recruiting and taking advantage of the current job market.


  • Virtual Session | Shannon Galea | June 25, 2022

    Shannon Galea

    Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Alumni Day and AGM on June 25! A special thank you to keynote speaker, Shannon Galea, Faculty of Education, Class of 2011 for sharing her inspiring journey from Ontario Tech to the skeleton track. 

  • Virtual Session | Sarah Habibi | May 4, 2022

    Sarah Habibi

    The Alumni Association Council would like to thank everyone for attending the Fireside Chat with Sarah Habibi on May 4. Sarah shared tips she learned during her journey from Ontario Tech to her personal brand, Science Bae.  

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Sarah!

  • Virtual Session | Naheed Dosani | June 12, 2021
    Naheed Dosani

    Palliative care physician, Dr. Naheed Dosani, is passionate about advancing equitable access to health care for people experiencing homelessness. After providing end-of-life care to a homeless man, Naheed developed Palliative Education And Care for the Homeless (PEACH), a program of the Inner City Health Associates. PEACH delivers community-based hospice palliative care to society’s most vulnerable individuals regardless of their housing status or factors such as poverty or substance use. The program brings housing, mental health and healthcare providers together to plan an individual’s care while recognizing, but not judging, that person’s circumstances. This care model has inspired similar programs in cities across the continent and the development of Journey Home Hospice, Toronto’s first hospice for people experiencing homelessness, which opened in May 2018.

    Naheed joined the Alumni Association Council for Alumni Day 2021, sharing his journey and dedication to human rights with an inspiring keynote address. Thank you, Naheed!

  • Virtual Session | Athletes to Educators | May 13, 2021

    Join three Ridgeback alumni as they share their experiences of transitioning from student-athletes to educators. 

    Allison Ng attended Ontario Tech from 2007 to 2013. Throughout her six years of school, she rowed for the Ridgebacks Womens Rowing Team, participating in the Women's 8, 4+ and doubles. She joined Ontario Tech’s Concurrent Education program, graduating with a degree in Applied and Industrial Mathematics and was automatically enrolled into Ontario Tech’s Teachers College. For the last 7 years, Allison has been working for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. She currently teaches girls physical education at Bowmanville High School. Allison has qualifications in Senior Mathematics and Chemistry, as well as Special Education, Guidance and Cooperative Education.

    Fabio Campoli was the first men’s soccer player to be named an OUA First Team All Star. Throughout the course of his career, Fabio went on to be named the 2017 Soccer MVP, Offensive player of the year twice and 2016 Ontario Tech Men’s Athlete of the Year. After graduating from Ontario Tech, Fabio pursued his ABQ for Special Education and AQ for Intermediate History. He was hired by the York District School board, and currently he is an SK / Grade 1 teacher at Wiltshire Elementary school.

    Kayla De Souza co-captained the Women’s Soccer team during her time at Ontario Tech. She graduated in 2015, with a Bachelor of Education specializing in FDK/Primary/Junior. After graduating, Kayla took History AQ, which allows her to teach intermediate grades 7 and 8, along with grade 9 and 10 history. Kayla was initially hired in 2016 as a Library Technician at the Toronto Catholic School Board. She began working as a supply teacher in 2017 allowing her to simultaneously coach competitive soccer and work with the family construction business.

  • Virtual Session | Raising the Bar | April 21, 2021

    From travelling the globe to specializing in Real Estate, Family, Criminal and Immigration Law, find out how three distinguished alumnae are raising the bar in their careers and lives. 

    Carleigh Taggart graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminology in 2010, where she was also a member of the Ridgebacks Women's hockey team. Carleigh completed law school at the University of Ottawa, and is now the owner and sole practitioner of Taggart Law in Ottawa. Carleigh provides clients with legal representation in real estate and wills and estates.

    Ruth Richards graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Ontario Tech University in 2008. She completed a Graduate Certificate in International Business Management before completing her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Leicester UK. Ruth currently practices at a boutique law firm in Toronto, where she specializes in Family Law.

    Sweta Tejpal graduated from Ontario Tech University with an Honours degree in Criminology and Justice Studies in 2008. She completed her LLB in University of Leicester in the UK in 2011, and established a boutique law firm in Mississauga in 2015. She primarily practices Criminal and Immigration Law.

  • Virtual Session | Ridgeback Alumni: Emily Uza and Megan (Friel) Legge | February 23, 2021

    Catch up with two members of inaugural Ontario Tech Teams, Megan Friel, Hockey and Emily Uza, Lacrosse, as they discuss making history at Ontario Tech and their experiences after graduation.

    Our speakers:
    Emily Uza was a member of the inaugural Women’s Lacrosse team, and was Ontario Tech's first-ever OUA all-star in any sport when recognized at the 2010 OUA field lacrosse championship. Emily went on to study law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Emily is an Associate at Davies Ward Phillips $ Vineberg, and acts for clients on a variety of corporate transactions, including public and private mergers and acquisitions, financing and banking transactions and other corporate matters. 

    Megan (Friel) Legge was a member of the inaugural Ontario Tech Women’s Hockey team, and graduated in 2011. Megan currently works for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as a Senior Lands and Waters Technician. She enjoys playing ball hockey during the summer, along with co-ed volleyball and hockey during the winter. Megan also assists the Chapleau Chicks hockey team. Megan has four beautiful boys, and is proud to say that her oldest just started playing Timbit hockey with the Chapleau Huskies. Megan and her family enjoy fishing and spending weekends at the cottage.

  • Virtual Session | Workplace Culture: How to spot it and how to create it | January 28, 2021

    Workplace Culture: How to spot it and how to create it

    Your Alumni Association Council is pleased to present the next installment of the Ontario Tech Alumni Speakers Series, featuring Travis Dutka, Class of 2008. 

    Travis DutkaTravis Dutka is the Culture Curator at 360insights, headquartered in Whitby, Ontario. He is part of the People and Culture team, working closely with the artist formerly known as HR, the Executive team and the People Leaders of 360insights. He is instrumental in orchestrating the 360insights team member experience and is involved from pre-hire to retirement.

    Travis spends his time focused on building an engaging experience through meaningful connections, purposeful learning and leadership development. Travis has been with 360insights since 2012 when the company was just over 50 team members and has been a part of the exciting adventure building an award winning culture that is home to over 575 people today.

  • Virtual session| BSc, Now What... to Med School and Beyond | August 7, 2020

    BSc, Now What... to Med School and Beyond!

    Your Alumni Association is pleased to present the next installment of the Ontario Tech Alumni Speakers Series, featuring Emma Blackwood and Keegan Guidolin.

    On August 7, Emma and Keegan will share their experiences of studying at Ontario Tech University, discuss the paths they have taken since graduation. Shared, they have experience in public health, clinical epidemiology, and basic science research and they will talk about their decisions to pursue careers in the medical field. 

    Emma Blackwood PhotoEmma Blackwood, BSc (Hons), MPH

    Second Year Medical Student, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


    Emma Blackwood is a second year medical student at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She received her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Life Sciences at Ontario Tech University. After graduation, she completed a Master of Public Health at Brock University. Emma moved to Australia after falling in love with the Global Health focus of the Macquarie MD. She is currently scheduled (COVID permitting) to spend half her third year in placement at Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad, India.


    Keegan Guidolin, BSc (Hons), MASc (Cand.), MD Keegan Guidolin Photo

    Resident Physician in General Surgery, University of Toronto


    Keegan Guidolin is a resident physician in General Surgery at the University of Toronto. He received his Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Life Sciences at Ontario Tech University. After receiving his MD at Western University, he began his residency training at the University of Toronto in the Division of General Surgery. Keegan is currently completing a Master of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering through the Surgeon-Scientist Training Program, doing research in cancer nanomedicine and image-guided surgery.

  • Virtual Session | From Ridgeback to HR Professional | May 5, 2020

    Jaclyn GibsonJaclyn Gibson 

    Human Resources Analyst, County of Northumberland
    Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Class of 2014

    Your Alumni Association Council is pleased to present the next installment of the Ontario Tech Alumni Speakers Series, featuring Jaclyn Gibson!

    Jaclyn played with the Ridgebacks Varsity Women's Hockey team and served as Assistant Captain between 2011 and 2014. In 2016, Jaclyn was selected to the Toronto Furies in the entry draft for the Canadian Women's Hockey League. Jaclyn says that studying communications with a focus on health sciences provided her with a springboard into a career she loves and she's looking forward to speaking to her fellow alumni about the importance of defining and pursuing a career with passion on May 5.

     In her own words, Jaclyn has “set the bar high” and is always looking for ways to better herself personally and in her career. She has recently completed a certificate in Human Resources Management through York University’s online program and is currently pursuing  a certificate in Municipal Accounting and Finance. 




    Jaclyn Gibson loved her undergraduate experience at Ontario Tech University. Studying communications with a focus on health sciences enabled Jaclyn to blend a number of personal passions.

    Jaclyn played with the Ridgebacks Varsity Women’s Hockey team. She served as Assistant Captain between 2011 and 2014 and during that time received numerous awards including Most Valuable Player, Top Offensive Player, Team Leadership award, the James-Baun Cup, and the Dr. Gary Polonsky Leadership Award. Jaclyn also received a Chairman’s Charity Classic donor award. In 2016, Jaclyn was selected to the Toronto Furies in the entry draft for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. 

    In her own words, Jaclyn has “set the bar high” and is always looking for ways to better herself personally and in her career. She has recently completed a certificate in Human Resources Management through York University’s online program and is currently pursuing  a certificate in Municipal Accounting and Finance. 

  • Virtual session | Innovation at Cisco Canada | April 16, 2020

    Wayne CuervoWayne Cuervo

    Director of Innovation, Cisco Canada
    General Manager, Toronto Innovation Centre (Cisco Canada's headquarters)


    Wayne is Director of Innovation at Cisco Canada and is the General Manager of the Toronto Innovation Centre at Cisco Canada’s headquarters. The Toronto Innovation Centre is one of nine global Cisco Innovation Centres with a mandate to help solve customers’ business challenges by creating relevant solutions through co-development, creation of proof of concepts and prototypes.  Additionally, the Centre seeks to inspire and showcase local innovation and digital transformation trends and opportunities. The first of its kind in North America, the Cisco Toronto Innovation Centre helps organizations improve business outcomes by integrating, creating, testing, and validating IoT and other solutions.

    In previous roles, Wayne managed a portfolio of Cisco University Research Chair Investments for Canada.  The aim of the program is to help drive Cisco’s growth and investment in Canada, strengthen its competitive advantage by creating and managing a portfolio of research investments across higher education, and draw linkages and relevance back to industry solutions.

    Wayne was also responsible for the development and execution of Cisco Canada’s  Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy with a focus on large-scale technology donations to hospitals and educational institutions and developing strategic partnerships with not-for-profits toward a focus on business development

    Wayne was also a project and program manager in other roles at Cisco, and is Project Manager Professional (PMP) certified with a Six Sigma Black belt designation, and has managed large and complex system implementation and process improvement projects, both for Cisco Canada as well as Cisco globally.  Like his company, Wayne believes that giving back to his community is important. Wayne takes the position that donating time to community endeavors and encouraging others to do so helps support our society. Wayne is the founder of Cisco Canada’s Gay and Lesbian Enterprise Resource Group, Member, Advisory Board, Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at University on Toronto, and formerly on the board of directors of Pride at Work Canada (2008 to 2012) and still does work in the Inclusion and Diversity space.

    Cisco logo 

  • Managing Risk and Managing Your Career | Michele Cox | June 19, 2019

    Michele CoxMichele Cox 

    Vice President, Marsh Risk Consulting
    Faculty of Business and Information Technology, Class of 2007


    Michele Cox was part of the first graduating class from Ontario Tech University. During her third and fourth year, she was part of a mentorship program - Students Mentoring Students.  

    Specializing in Human Resources at the University, Michele was able to springboard her career in risk management by leveraging her knowledge of human capital risk.     

    As Vice-President, she is now a Senior Enterprise Risk Management and Business Continuity Management consultant with Marsh Canada. She has had over 10 years of risk management consulting experience and has worked closely with numerous Canadian organizations to develop a successful risk management and resiliency programs. 

    We look forward to welcoming Michele back to campus to share her experiences and insights on the industry.

    Event Details
  • Engaging with Community | Robina Brah | October 5, 2019

    Robina Brah Robina Brah

    Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Class of 2017

    Robina is a role model for others in the Durham Region community. Robina feeds members of the homeless community, mentors at the Children’s Aid Society, and has written a children’s book, A Porcupine in a Pig’s Town, which aims to teach children about diversity and inclusion. Known as an ambitious activist and dedicated volunteer, Robina’s philanthropic efforts have earned her a nomination for the 2019 Alumni Association Awards.

    Robina obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology and a Minor in Criminology from Ontario Tech in 2017. She intends to pursue further education in leadership. 

    Robina came back to campus on October 5, 2019 as part of our Alumni Day celebration to speak about her accomplishments since graduation and to accept the 2019 Philanthropic Award.