Professor Garry Leonard, PhD, has taught at University of Toronto since 1991. Many University of Toronto students may know him from popular English courses such as ENGA10 and A11 “Introduction to Twentieth Century Literature and Film”. A dominant interest of Dr. Leonard’s is the way unacknowledged underlying mythologies help structure what we mistakenly assume to be what is “real”. The effect we produce is then real enough (love, war, and everything in between), but the thoughts themselves are inextricable from the structure that permits them (and permits them by rendering other possible thoughts unthinkable)! He is currently working on a new novel entitled Proxy.
A University of Toronto alumnus, Matthew Cimone is an international development activist who is currently the producer of an upcoming documentary, Chasing Atlantis, and the co-founder/CEO of non-profit organization Esther’s Echo. Watching too much Star Trek while growing up, he grew to understand that life was all about exploring the universe and doing good where one could. Matthew believes that our exploration and understanding of the cosmos reveals the beautiful reality that our planet is not divided by race, colour, or boundary, but is one Earth shared by humanity as it struggles to find its place on our tiny blue marble adrift in the universe.
University of Toronto students may have taken one of Dr. Bender (PhD)’s Intersections, Exchanges, and Encounters in the Humanities courses. A historian, Dr. Bender ranges his focus on the histories of working class populations, the study of American culture, transnationalism, animal studies, and food history. His current research focuses on how the concept of zoos moulded the American empire and cultural experience as visions into the non-Western world.
Fabricio “Fab” Dolan is a marketer, speaker, and one of Canada’s rising digital thought leaders. He speaks regularly to advertising and marketing audiences, but also dedicates much of his time speaking to students, so as to inspire the next generation of Canadian leaders. Currently the managing editor of Think Insights Canada, Google’s thought leadership hub for Fortune 500 advertisers, he shows business leaders a bold vision of how digital marketing can help grow their companies. Fab explores how cross-disciplinary themes like what the natural world can teach us about business design.
Dr. Steven Stein, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and the founder and CEO of Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS), a three-time Profit 100 winner (awarded to the fastest-growing Canadian companies) and publisher of the world’s premier Emotional Intelligence assessments, the EQ-i, the BOEI, and the MSCEIT. Author of Emotional Intelligence for Dummies, Dr. Stein and his MHS team have tested the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) of more people in the world than anyone else. He converges his work with emotional intelligence with improving individual/organizational performance.
Our University of Toronto student speaker, Jadine Lannon studies International Development Studies (IDS) and Political Science and aspires to become a legal professional in the near future. Having spent the past year in Bangalore, India working for a research and advocacy organization and pursuing her own research interests, Jadine has become fascinated with the intersections of human society and modern technology, and how our experiences and practices of being human are increasingly taking place on non-human spaces through non-human means. Does this mean we are all becoming cyborgs?
Professor Baher Abdulhai, PhD, has 25 years of experience in transportation systems engineering and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). A recipient of several awards including the IEEE Outstanding Service Award, he specializes in artificial intelligence-based traffic control, traveler information systems, emergency evacuation optimization, and open transportation services innovation, just to name a few! Dr. Abdulhai has also been a University of Toronto professor since 1998, and is currently the Director of the Toronto ITS Centre and the co-founder of the ONE-ITS research society.
Dr. Zindel Segal, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist in the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Dr. Segal has pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation for promoting wellness in the area of mood disorders. An author of over 10 books and 130 scientific publications, including The Mindful Way Through Depression – a patient guide for achieving mood balance in everyday life – Dr. Segal continues to advocate for the relevance of mindfulness-based clinical care in psychiatry and mental health.
Dr. Girish Daswani is a social anthropologist interested in Ghana, the anthropology of religion, diaspora, and transnationalism. Born in Chennai and raised in Singapore, Dr. Daswani’s own diasporic background and research interests have allowed him to ask specific questions about migration and “home” and how people come to identify with different and shifting notions of belonging. His work brings together questions of continuity and discontinuity with the past, as expressed in concerns over ‘culture’ and identity, and the importance of the dilemmas and doubts that any identity brings.
Andrew Westoll is an award-winning author, journalist, and teacher based in Toronto. You may have also seen him on campus as a full-time Lecturer in Creative Writing. How does Westoll converge realities? Before turning to writing, Westoll trained as a field primatologist in the remote jungles of Suriname, where he spent a year chasing after wild troops of brown capuchin monkeys. His latest book, The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, tells the remarkable true story of a family of chimpanzees who were rescued from a medical research lab to live out their retirement at an animal sanctuary on the south shore of Montreal.
Dr. Elaine Dembe, CD, is a celebrated chiropractor and longevity specialist for 35 years in Toronto, also known as The L.I.F.E. DoctorTM (Love, Inner Being, Fitness, Energy). She is a sought-after keynote speaker, media personality, and the author of 2 best-selling books: Passionate Longevity – The 10 Secrets to Growing Younger and Use the Good DishesTM – Finding Joy in Everyday Life. Having recently reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to celebrate her 60th birthday, Dr. Dembe helps individuals find strategies to reach optimal health and wellness by prescribing passion, purpose, and joy. She truly is your “cheerleader for life”!