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Alumni Elections

2021 Board of Convernors and Senate elections

The election for the alumni seat (s) on Ryerson’s Board of Governors and Senate runs from June 11 until June 22, 2021.  

Ryerson University has a bi-cameral governance structure which means that there are two governing bodies working at the university, the Board of Governors, opens in new window and the Senate, opens in new window. These two bodies are closely intertwined through the budget process, but remain quite separate from each other in terms of decision-making. The Senate governs all academic matters while The Board of Governors is responsible for the governance of the university. Each of these bodies have alumni representatives who are elected by their alumni peers in an annual election.

How to vote 

Alumni who are eligible to vote will be sent an email with their personalized voting link between June 11-13, 2021. In order for you to receive this link, the Alumni Relations office must have your most current email address. If you regularly receive invitations to alumni events and/or The Ryerson Connection, then Alumni Relations has your current email. If you don’t receive these types of communications (or you’re not sure), update your email address online or email in advance of the election dates.

If the election is in process and you have not received an email with your voting link, please contact or call 416-979-5088.

Meet the candidates

Board of Governors Candidates

When voting begins you will select one candidate from the list below to serve for the 2021-24 term. Read the candidate biographies and platform statements so you’ll be ready to vote come election time!

Platform Statement:

  • enhance and increase alumni participation
  • alumni grants
  • create strong connections


My name is Osama Ahmad and I’m an alumni from the faculty of engineering. I would be honoured to represent the alumni interests as a board of governors representative. My student involvement with Engineers Without Borders, SIF & Ashoka gave me invaluable experience within the student community that informed me on various issues that are important to current students and graduating students. In this position, I would work hard to represent the alumni’s interests on the BOG and ensure we are heard.

Platform Statement:

I believe in unity on campus and giving a fair go and say despite gender, nationality, race, religion, or belief.


Hello! My name is Syeda Jaana Ali, feel free to use 'Jaana'. I am running for the position of Alumni BOG. I am a graduate from the class of 2020 in Project Management. As I believe it is vital to empower the student body with a voice that will stand up for their rights. The cost of living pressures and the crucial issue for the students, if I get elected I will ensure that these costs are reduced. I believe in unity on campus and giving a fair go and say despite gender, nationality, race, religion, or belief.

I can make your voice reach to the right place and I speak your language.

  1. Adequate transport measures and facility
  2. Get more sports involvement
  3. Student control on student affairs
  4. An inclusive campus for all people
  5. Better and more affordable services on campus, such as parking, food.
  6. For a more environmentally sustainable campus

A vote for student action is a vote for a more democratic affordable and inclusive university. A vote for me is a vote for someone who will work hard to represent you and remember a vote for me is a vote for you!!!

Platform Statement: 

  1. Supporting student access, quality, and success; 
  2. Driving creativity, innovation, knowledge, and community engagement through teaching and research; 
  3. Focusing on Ryerson’s strengths and unwavering commitment: to inclusion, belonging and citizenship and to advancing democratic principals, values, and processes. 


As a Ryerson alumnus and former Ryerson staff-elected board governor (2002-2003), Ryan is committed to continuing his work with the Board, Senate (2000-2004, 2015-2017), students, staff, faculty, alumni, donors and friends of Ryerson. 

Further, it is Ryan’s intent to support the academy in realizing the vision to have Ryerson recognized as a leading comprehensive innovation university and a national leader in high-quality professional and career-related bachelor, masters, and doctoral programs, and relevant research. 

Ryan’s governance and financial stewardship experience will enable him to identify, track, and address financial pressures and sustainability issues. 

Specifically at Ryerson, as a previous member of the Board of Governors Executive and Finance Committees, where the effective and efficient use of donor, government and student resources or decisions impacting upon these are monitored, he contributed to maximizing the value and impact of investments made in the post-secondary education system. He is a recipient of Ryerson’s Dennis Mock Student Leadership Award, the CESAR President’s Award and Ryerson’s Walter Pittman Award for academic excellence and community involvement. 

Ryan is a senior administrator in post-secondary, independent school and not-for-profit sectors and he has served on over fifteen boards. He currently volunteers with a number of organizations, including three boards and he has received two Chair appointments by the Ontario Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC). 

Ryan’s career in education has been fuelled by the goal of financial sustainability to ensure that all qualified students have access to a full range of affordable, high-quality post-secondary education options, now and in the future.

Platform Statement: 

  1. Create, develop, and institute online events and activities that engage alumni in a meaningful way that promotes inclusion and networking. 
  2. Produce and support university to create surveys and questionnaires that solicit current alumni needs, relevant postgraduate trends, and future engagement opportunities. 
  3. Recommend and push for diversity, inclusion, and equity services that would include accessible resources for Ryerson community members, including alumni. 


Darius Sookram is an award winning and goal oriented leader who cares deeply about social justice and Canadian innovation. He is a proud Markham resident and Ryerson University alumnus. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and also received a Masters of Arts in Public Policy and Administration. 

Over the years, Darius has provided leadership in corporate, government, and higher education sectors. In all of his roles he has used his passion for people to fuel inclusive environments that empower others to spark change. As president of Entelechy, he works with organizations to serve communities by fostering meaningful relationships, establishing positive government relations, and developing equity-based policies. 

As a champion for diversity he advises the City of Markham as a member of the Race Relations Committee. He has brought forward important topics like #BlackLivesMatter and #StopAsianHate because these humanitarian issues shape our Canadian identity. As a global citizen, he seeks to change the stigma of refugees with his work at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Canada. 

In his personal time Darius enjoys basketball, food experiments, soca music, travel, and (instead of spending time with family and friends) surviving isolated COVID lockdowns!

Linkedin, external link, opens in new window
Twitter, external link, opens in new window
Donate to UNHCR Canada, external link, opens in new window

Platform Statement:

I stand to represent the best shared interests of students, alumni, educators, our community, and the Ryerson institution at large by taking informed risk-based approaches towards the strategic decisions needed in these coming years. Across the spectrum of private business, non-profit, and public members of our community, it will remain increasingly important to further enhance and expand our mutually beneficial partnerships to enable Ryerson's sustainable growth and reputation, both domestic and globally. These recent periods of uncertainty are now transitioning to a period of renewed opportunities to make strategic investments, expand partnerships, and enhancing the diligent efforts towards ensuring that Ryerson University continues to be the center of advancement and applied knowledge for future generations. 


Charles Tam is a Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs at Edwards Lifesciences in Canada. Charles has held progressively senior leadership roles within the Medical Technology industry sector at Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, and presently is part of the Canadian Leadership Team at Edwards. 

He is deeply passionate about higher education, lifelong learning, and fostering professional development. He has contributed to and co-authored several specialized chapters in professional publications relating to Regulatory Intelligence, Business Strategy, and professional fundamentals within the sector. He sits on the Editorial Advisory Committee of the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society, based in Rockville, MA. At MedTech Canada, the leading Canadian medical device industry association, he holds a seat on the Steering Committee, Regulatory Affairs Committee, chairs a Sub-Committee, and routinely represents industry interests at bilateral meetings with government health regulators. He is also a Regulatory Advisor at the Termerty Faculty of Medicine's H2i Health Innovation Hub at the University of Toronto. 

Charles is a Ryerson alumnus having previously served on the Ryerson Senate in 2017 for a two-year term, he holds a Honours Bachelors of Science from the University of Toronto, and graduated from the Ted Rogers School of Management in 2016 completing a Master of Business Administration.

Senate Candidates

You will be able to vote for two alumni candidates from the list below to serve for the 2021-23 term. Read the candidate biographies and platform statements so you’ll be ready to vote come election time!

Hello! My name is Syeda Jaana Ali, aka, ‘Jaana’, feel free to use at will!

I am running for the position of Alumni Senator — I am a graduate from the class of 2020 in Project Management. I believe it is vital to empower the student body with a voice that will stand up for their rights. The cost-of-living pressures and the crucial issue for the students, if I get elected, I will ensure that these costs are reduced. I believe in unity on campus and giving a fair go and say despite gender, nationality, race, religion or belief. I can make your voice reach to the right place and I speak your language.

  1. Adequate transport measures and facility
  2. Get more sports involvement
  3. Student control on student affairs
  4. An inclusive campus for all people
  5. Better and more affordable services on campus, such as parking, food
  6. For a more environmentally sustainable campus

A vote for student action is a vote for a more democratic affordable and inclusive university.

A vote for me is a vote for someone who will work hard to represent you and, remember a vote for me is a vote for you!!!

As Ryerson completed the construction to transform our campus into a much more pleasant space to be on, and as we emerge with a new Faculty of Law, Ryerson faces many questions in its future and how to create such a transformative time to be the best future possible for the campus and to facilitate the best future possible with its current innovations. With such potential both during and emerging from COVID-19 that Ryerson has, I believe that my experience with Ryerson in my time from 2015-2020 can be best put forward through the Senate as an Alumni Representative for the 2021-2022 Academic Year.

I have represented Ryerson internationally on two separate diplomatic missions via the Ryerson Leadership Lab in October 2018 to Chicago ahead of the U.S Midterm Elections and in February 2020 to the Democratic Caucuses in Iowa, while also advocating for accessibility, student rights and student life on campus. I have been a part of campus groups, course unions and the Ryerson Student Union (RSU) constantly working to promote student life, student rights, and encourage student involvement and promote student life. Working with the disabled community at Ryerson and the broader Ryerson community as a whole, I believe I can bring the experience to facilitate the change that Ryerson has the potential for, and needs to have, to continue to maintain its status as a world class university.

Boris came to Canada when he was just over 16, looking forward to what this country has to offer. Now, over 10 years later, he strongly believes that his solid experience in the education sector will help to build a platform to assist international applicants with their choice of programs, the application process, and any relocation questions they might have. As an outstanding professional and mentor, he runs an innovative EdTech startup, CollegeApply, actively supported by DMZ.

International students, migrants, and refugees entering post-secondary institutions in Canada, all benefit from Boris’ unwavering support. Boris provides extensive assistance in selecting appropriate academic programs. He advises on transfer credit opportunities, international credit evaluation, academic planning, and general mentorship. Further, Boris helps with life transition in Canada by providing guidance on Canadian banking and credit, as well as aiding in obtaining a social insurance number and a driver’s license. Navigating the medical system, submitting insurance claims, setting up mobile and Internet services are all made easier through Boris’ leadership and support. He provides guidance on initial and renewal applications for study and work permits in addition to entry visas. In times of need, Boris can be called upon to provide comfort and reassurance. He is always willing to listen and offer professional advice, no matter the situation.

Boris Chernyak’s support to traditionally underrepresented groups including international students, migrants, and refugees entering Canadian post-secondary institutions is without limits. New-comers are better able to socially-adapt and enter the community. They are protected and comforted by his presence, making the transition to Canadian life less complicated.

Nicholas is a creative director and writer, based in Toronto, Canada. For three decades, he has worked on numerous brands — local, national and international — in varied sectors: B2B & B2C. He has led his teams to create award-winning visual identity and branding programs, marketing collateral and integrated advertising campaigns for leading brands, including Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, HP, Canon, Lexmark, IBM, Corel, Toshiba, Loblaws, No Frills, Pusateri's, York Region Tourism, Ontario Nurses' Association, TVO, Independent Learning Centre, Spelling Bee of Canada, Ontario Library Association, General Mills, among many more. Nicholas has been invited to be a panelist at many industry conferences and events, and has presented to numerous organizations the value of brand consistency and simplicity, starting with an organization's buy-in, working outward.

Nicholas is a graduate of Ryerson University in Business Management; a graduate of Seneca College in Communication Arts; and a graduate in Advertising Copywriting from George Brown College. He holds numerous industry professional designations, including Chartered Professional Marketer (CPM), Communications & Advertising Accredited Professional (CAAP), and Registered Graphic Designer (RGD). He is currently in the midst of an MBA program at Edinburgh Business School. Also, in his personal time, he is a competitive tennis player, competing in circuits locally and internationally, as well as a Shotokan Karate second-degree black belt student and instructor, focusing on self- defense, kata, weapons and sparring.

Following graduation from Western University in Social Sciences in 1970, I pursued a career in Accounting before going to the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto in 1976. From 1988 to 2018, I was employed as a secondary school teacher with the Toronto District School Board. I taught a variety of business subjects as well as English as a Second Language, mostly at North Albion Collegiate in Etobicoke, a predominantly multicultural area.

As someone committed to continuing education, I obtained certificates from Ryerson in Marketing Management (1993) and Human Resources Management (1996)·

In terms of the Ryerson Senate, I like to feel that I could make a valuable contribution as I have spent most of my career teaching senior high school students and would bring a certain perspective to the Senate. In addition to this, I have taught "Careers" as a qualified Guidance Counsellor and was also the OSSTF Branch President for about ten years at North Albion Collegiate. Both fields have given me valuable experience.

The role of Branch President gave me experience in resolving staff and union/management conflicts. Finally, in my retirement, I have the time and willingness to contribute meaningfully to the Ryerson community and look forward to serving as an alumni representative in the university Senate.

For over 35 years, Emmanuel (Manny) Mounouchos has been a key figure in the Canadian security industry. Following his graduation from Ryerson in 1987, Manny established his first security company, Omni Security. In 1996, he founded Avante Security, which he took public in 2008 and is actively trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange today under the name Avante Logixx (XX).

He is a member of various Canadian Security Associations including ASIS and CANASA. In addition to his passion for developing technological advances in the industry, he has owned a Shipping Company in Greece (2016 to present) and a Junior A Hockey team (2015-2019), which ranked sixth place in Canada. Manny has been involved as an advisor and in board member capacity for several companies in a variety of industries including the Financial Sector, Neuro-Medicine Technology, Predictive Analytic Technology, GPS and ELD Fleet Tracking.

He enjoys mentoring business-minded people and creating innovative solutions for all stages of corporate growth crediting much of his business success to his education at Ryerson. As the son of Greek immigrants and the first generation in his family to attain a post-secondary education, he has much to offer the Ryerson Senate from his personal and professional experiences.

I am a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. I joined Ryerson (RU) in 2005 as an undergraduate student in Industrial Engineering. I received my Master’s and PhD in 2009 and 2014, respectively, in Mechanical Engineering from RU. I am running for Alumni Senate in 2021 election.

My past leadership experience includes (but not limited to): Bargaining committee member at CUPE (Unit 3), Ryerson Graduate Students Representative (RGSR) in Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS), and Ontario Council for Graduate Students (OCGS), RU representative in Canada Green Building Council (CGBC).

Some of my activities for Ryerson community are: Search committee for selecting Associate Dean of School of Graduate Studies, Chairperson (2012-13) of Graduate Executive Committee, Events Deputy Chairperson (for two years before being elected as Chairperson), Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) Board of Directors for two years (2012-13 & 2011-12), Senate Awards and Ceremonials Committee, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Council, President of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in the GSA from 2007 to 2014, Senate Appeal Committee, Mentor in Tri-Mentoring program, Member of the Graduate Programs & Planning Committee, Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) vice president at Ryerson University Chapter.

Meghan Clarke Rodrigues is a lawyer who works in professional regulation, having held leadership roles at two regulatory health colleges.

Meghan was previously a member of the Ryerson Board of Governors from 2017 to 2020. She served on the Board's Finance Committee and the Employee Relations Pensions Committee.

Meghan has held other governance roles, including an alumni position on Ryerson University's Senate and a Board Director of a west-end Toronto daycare.

With my April 30, 2021 retirement from teaching with the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM), my interest in giving back to the Ryerson community as a member of the Senate presents as an exciting opportunity. My association with Ryerson dates back to 1995 when I began teaching business courses with the Continuing Education Department (The Chang School). From 2000-21, I taught Entrepreneurship and Strategy courses with TRSM.

Over the last 25 years, I have designed and implemented eight lecture and distance-led courses for the university as well as the Certificate in Multicultural Entrepreneurship which was approved by the Senate in 2013. I have served as a member of the TRSM Faculty Council (2016-21), Entrepreneurship and Strategy Department Council (2015-20), TRSM Entrepreneurship Co-op Faculty Advisor (2016-21) and the Academic Integrity Council (2009-11). In addition to an MBA (1982, York University), my academics include a Certificate in Total Quality Management (1989, TAI), the University Teaching Development Program (2013, Ryerson) and Photography Studies (2015, Ryerson). As a Certified Management Consultant, I have worked with Financial Post 100 firms, new venture start-ups, and have founded my own companies. My historic association with the University provides a strong foundation for my Senate candidacy.

My name is Marie-Louise Tonea, and I graduated from the Ryerson Biology undergraduate program in 2016. During my four-year undergrad journey, I was able to explore a multitude of different areas of interest that my biology degree could open opportunities for me. I was able to explore medical biology through my studies and volunteering at Sunnybrook hospital, botanical biology when I volunteered and worked in Dr. Campbell's lab for a semester/summer, and eventually nutritional science which led me to my career path after graduation.

I am now working as an Associate Food Scientist at Griffith Foods Limited, where I work on research and development for the next upcoming trends in consumer nutrition. At the same time, I was also able to pursue my Master’s degree of Food, Nutrition and Health from the University College of Dublin, which I graduated from this past August. Ryerson wasn't just a university to me, it was and will always be family.


Eligible voters will be sent an email with their personalized voting link between June 11-13, 2021. The voting email contains a single use ‘token’ that provides access to the voting portal. This link is personalized to you.


No. The email contains a single use ‘token’ that provides access to the voting portal.  Additionally, the ‘token’ is personalized to you and if someone else uses the link you will not be issued a new link.

To vote, you must meet both of the following criteria:

  1. You must have received one or more degree, diploma, or certificate from Ryerson University or any of its predecessor institutions; and,
  2. You must not be registered as a student in a program or course of study that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate of Ryerson University.

Prior to the election, update your contact information online or, email directly to provide your current email address.

Once the election starts, contact the Returning Officer (Colleen Dempsey) at and provide her with your information.

First, check the spam folder as the emails can be filtered and held; and,

Second, if you don’t have an email in spam folder, contact the Returning Officer (Colleen Dempsey) at and provide the following information:

  1. student number;
  2. the name under which you were registered;
  3. the faculty from whence you graduated;
  4. date of birth;
  5. year of graduation; and,
  6. degree, certificate or diploma received.

To share any such concerns related to a candidate please contact: 

Board of Governors
Colleen Dempsey, Returning Officer


Donna Bell, Secretary