Student Ambassadors

Interested in learning more about our Undergraduate Dental Programs (DENT-P and DMD) and what it means to study dentistry at McGill University? Our Student Ambassadors are available to answer your questions about life as a dental student as well as share their stories and experiences. Subject to the availability of the ambassador, you may also request a tour of our preclinical laboratory as well as our dental clinic. Please note that due to social distancing measures currently in place due to the pandemic and uncertainty over how long those measures may be in place, all campus visits have been suspended until further notice.

Browse through our Student Ambassador’s profiles below to learn more about each of them. If you find someone with whom you would like to chat, feel free to contact this person directly by email with any questions or concerns you may have.

We would ask that you please refrain from sending the same message and questions to many ambassadors at the same time.

Click on the 'Français' link located in the upper right corner to see the profiles of our francophone ambassadors.

 


Munzer Alkourdimunzer.alkourdi [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Munzer Alkourdi)

Class of 2025

Language(s): English, French and Arabic

Hometown: Damascus, Syria

Education: DEC in Natural Sciences (Collège Bois-de-Boulogne, 2020); Dent-P Program (McGill University, 2021)

Mini-Bio: Coming from Damascus, Syria - where I lived until the age of 16 - I had the privilege of being brought up in a community that holds friendship, solidarity and helping others at the heart of its values. Driven by these values, I jumped at every opportunity I got to meet new people and involve myself in my community, attending swimming and chess club with my childhood neighbours, taking part in productions with my high-school theatre company, gathering people around at the college cafeteria for UNO tournaments and tutoring at my local library. These experiences deepened my love for meeting people and hearing about their journeys and perspectives on life. As I grew and made my way through school, I became increasingly interested in health science. I looked into healthcare fields and found my calling in dentistry. Indeed, dentistry was a field that reconciled my passion for meeting people, my academic interest in health science and my desire to help others by joining a field where I can develop care for under-represented groups and communities. Beyond my professional and academic interests, I try to appreciate the silly side of life by watching stand-up comedy, British panel shows, cartoons and anime!


Tyler Balieshtyler.baliesh [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Tyler Baliesh)

Class of 2025

Language(s): English, French (casual)and Hebrew (casual)

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Education: DEC in Sciences (John Abbott College, 2016); B.Sc. Honours Kinesiology (McGill University, 2019); B.Sc. Psychology (Concordia University, 2021)

Mini-Bio: I was born and raised in Montreal in a middle eastern household where music, laughing and big family gatherings came first amongst everything else. I grew up in a very dextrous environment with a mother and brother who are painters and tailors as grandparents. Throughout my education I spent my time playing competitive basketball, a sport that taught me proper leadership and communication skills. With the combination of injuries and a passion to understand how to better my health, I pursued healthcare. Luckily, I was very fortunate to have an amazing experience with my general dentist. Walking out of the clinic, I not only felt the health benefits of having a clean smile, but I felt the immediate psychological boost of confidence that came with it. This immediate gratification and enhanced self-esteem are what drove my passion to pursue this career. Studying at McGill University, I noticed that every student described the dental school environment as “fun”. The positive atmosphere of the interviews, a process of high stress and anxiety made me realize that this school prioritizes inclusivity and compassion and professionalism.


Mica Buchbindermicaela.buchbinderrubinstein [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Micaela Buchbinder (Mica))

Class of 2025

Language(s): English, French, Spanish and Hebrew

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Education: DEC in Health Sciences (Marianopolis College, 2020); Dent-P Program (McGill University, 2021)

Mini-Bio: Born in Cuernavaca and raised in Mexico City, I moved to Montreal when I was 13 years old. Though hard at first, adapting to my new life became easier as I got more and more involved in my community. By joining school clubs, tutoring and volunteering at various organizations, I further developed my interest in helping those around me. From a young age, I was very interested in sciences and was fascinated with understanding how things work. By seeing the progress of my orthodontic treatment, I was deeply drawn to the field of dentistry. Therefore, in order to expand my knowledge of the field, I shadowed and volunteered at many dental clinics. While I already had a scientific interest in the profession, seeing the doctor-patient relationships that were formed further convinced me that dentistry was the right career for me. I like to spend my free time with my friends and family, (poorly) playing piano or watching a good Netflix show. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!


Christina Chavenetanne.chavenet [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Christina Chavenet)

Class of 2025

Language(s): English, French and Haitian Creole

Hometown: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Education: B.Sc Biology (Concordia University, 2016); M.Sc in Public Health (McGill, 2020)

Mini-Bio: I was born and raised in Haiti and moved to Montreal when I was 18 to pursue my studies. I remember being surprised when in middle school a friend told me that she had never been to the dentist! Growing up, I realized that it was common in many places due to a lack of education or access to oral care, it sparked my desire to pursue dentistry. Later I volunteered at a children’s hospital where I enjoyed conversing and listening to patients which confirmed my love for healthcare. What I like the most about dentistry is that it allows me to combine problem solving and creativity to find an approach that is unique to each patient. Aside from my academic interests, dance is an important aspect of my cultural heritage and I started since the age of 7. When I dance, I can challenge myself because there are always new techniques to learn. I also like to play volleyball, binge-watch a good show on Netflix and hanging out with friends. In the future, I look forward to being able to use my knowledge and skills to increase the access to oral health in various communities.


Damian Rendondamian.rendon [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Damian Rendon)

Class of 2025

Language(s): English, French and Spanish

Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Education: DEC in Enriched Health Sciences (Dawson College, 2020); Dent-P Program (McGill University, 2021)

Mini-Bio: I was born in Colombia and immigrated to Canada when I was eight. Growing up, I changed schools multiple times, which was difficult, but allowed me to cherish diversity by meeting people from all walks of life. In high school, I discovered my passion for science: I found great enthusiasm when learning about the world and its living beings, and this interest has only gotten stronger throughout my studies. In cégep, I had the opportunity of engaging within my community by being a student representative of my program, an executive of both the chess club and a homeless outreach club, and a volunteer at the first aid room and at campus events. My first memorable experience with dentistry was at the orthodontist: I will always remember the solicitude with which I was treated and the unique connection that I was able to form with the staff. From this, I realized that dentistry was the perfect mix of science, human interaction, hands-on work, and business that I needed! In my free time, I love to wear funky socks, relax with videogames, go rock climbing, read an interesting book, or play chess! I’ll be glad to answer your questions so do contact me!


Zainab Abdulhuseinzainab.abdulhusein [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Zainab Abdulhusein)

Class of 2024

Language(s): English, French (casual) and Gujurati

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Education: B. Sc. Psychology with a minor in Biology (Carleton University, 2020)

Mini-Bio: I was born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area and grew up in big family with four younger siblings. I have always been artistically and scientifically inclined, and from a young age have been interested in the healthcare field. I moved to Ottawa to study Psychology and Biology at Carleton University (CU). During my time in Ottawa, I was involved with arts and comedy collectives, was a unit leader for the Girl Guides of Canada, volunteered with CU Women in Science and Engineering, and used my cooking skills at my community kitchen. My natural draw to caring for others, handy work, and the love of combining the arts and sciences lead me to my interest in dentistry. I was privileged with the opportunity to volunteer at McGill’s Summer Clinic, assisting students in providing dental care for financially marginalized patients. I was drawn to McGill Dentistry for its commitment to community service, along with it’s warm and welcoming environment, small class size, phenomenal facilities, and its diversity and equity values. When I’m not studying, I love getting outdoors, going to cafes, reading, and doing yoga. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns!


romy.jedwab [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Romy Jedwab)

Class of 2024

Language(s): English, French

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Education: DEC in Health Sciences (Marianopolis College, 2011); B.Sc. Exercise Science (Concordia University, 2014); M.Sc. in Public Health with a focus on Global Health (Université de Montréal, 2017)

Mini-Bio: Born and raised in Montreal, I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors and the food culture which Montreal is reputed for. I tend to be nicer when I’m not hungry and enjoy meeting new people and learning new things! I believe the world is full of endless experiences and my journey, has yet to begin. My desire to enter Dentistry at McGill began at a young age with my regular visits during my childhood to my dentist. I’ve always had considerable sensitivity in my teeth. By consequence, I've had much exposure to the dental environment and the procedures it entails. Although I was convinced that my dentist was a magician, I understand today that many of the procedures I underwent were far more complex. My personal experience permits me to testify to the importance of addressing oral health issues, appreciate the profession and expertise of dental practitioners as well as the compassion and care that characterizes the patient-dentist relationship. For those reasons, dentistry has always been my calling.


Joon Kwontaek.kwon [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Joon Kwon)

Class of 2024

Language(s): English, French and Korean

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Education: DEC in Health Sciences (Collège de Maisonneuve, 2019), Dent-P Program (McGill University, 2020)

Mini-Bio: I was born in South Korea but moved to Canada in my early childhood. Moving from province to province from New Brunswick, to Quebec, to Ontario, I was thrust into new environments all my life. Finally, my family settled down in Montreal and I couldn’t be happier. From a young age I was enrolled in the Air Cadets where I learnt valuable skills in leadership from who I think are the greatest leaders. As I became older, I slowly felt a calling to mentor and teach youth that were dealing with the same things I dealt with. This is what pushed me to volunteer at a community centre to mentor a diverse group of children in my community and to work as a tutor at various science “centres d’aide” in my cégep. Dentistry, being at the intersection of science, visual arts, and interpersonal relationships, has always attracted me as a profession. Combining all these skills to create a beautiful smile is absolutely magical. Nowadays, the joys in my life are reading self-improvement books, doing some light jogging, or helping my parents out at their restaurant. Together we are stronger; contact me and let’s start a conversation!


mohammed.w.mohammed [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Mohammed Mohammed) bushra.khan [at] mail.mcgill.ca ( )

Class of 2024

Language(s): English, French and Arabic

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Education: DEC in Health Science (Champlain College, 2019); Dent-P Program (McGill University, 2020)

Mini-Bio: Coming from an Iraqi background, I was born in Yemen and my family immigrated to Canada. At an early age, I enjoyed playing computer games, and I eventually did so competitively in a team environment. I was also a part of my high school’s competitive volleyball and soccer teams. I was enrolled in an IB program and it taught me at an early age the importance of diversity and community involvement. I enjoyed spending my weekends volunteering in environment councils, fundraising events for a variety of causes and tutoring. This latter passion for community involvement followed me and I kept tutoring in CEGEP. Furthermore, my passion for science started developing and I began considering dentistry as a career path. I was also inspired by my brother who was pursuing a career in dentistry. I did some volunteering in the MUHC as a friendly visitor and building patient/volunteer relationships taught me the importance of compassion in healthcare. Dentistry seemed like the perfect mix between three elements of my passions: manual dexterity that I've developed playing video games competitively, science that has always satisfied my inquisitive mind and human relationships developed through my volunteering. Outside of the classroom, you can find me at the gym, playing video games or at the library reading about the latest scientific discoveries.


alexandra.papadakis [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Alexandra Papadakis) bushra.khan [at] mail.mcgill.ca ( )

Class of 2024

Language(s): English, French

Hometown: Laval, Quebec

Education: DEC in Health Sciences (Marianopolis College, 2015); B.Sc. Anatomy and Cell Biology (McGill University, 2018); Minor in Arts and Sciences (University of Montreal, 2019); B.Sc. Psychology (University of Montreal, interrupted in 2020)

Mini-Bio: Having grown up in Laval, I was elated when I got accepted into the same university where I completed my bachelor’s degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology. One of the most memorable and rewarding parts of my undergraduate experience, was organizing and attending events for the special needs community. I hope to one day offer dental services to this group as my brother also has special needs. As dentistry had always sparked my interest, I approached my dentist and asked to volunteer with him in order to familiarize myself with the practice. I enjoyed every aspect of my experience, from the variety of the work, to the doctor-patient interactions, which ultimately convinced me that I wanted to pursue a career in dentistry. When looking into different dental schools I came across the faculty’s community initiatives and knew that McGill Dentistry would be the right fit for me. In my free time I like to paint, hike and try new restaurants. If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them!


stella.predoiu [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Stella Maria Predoiu)

Class of 2024

Language(s): English, French, Romanian, Spanish (casual) and German (rudimentary)

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Education: DEC in Health Sciences (Marianopolis College, 2019); Dent-P Program (McGill University, 2020)

Mini-Bio: Born in Montreal and raised in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, I grew up in a busy household with my parents, my sister, a grey tuxedo cat, and usually grandparents visiting from Romania. I first discovered how much I care about people when tutoring primary school children at the local library, and working as a swim instructor and lifeguard at my city's aquatic centre; however, it was college where I began real involvement with my community. Thus, I had the chance to befriend amazing teenagers at Best Buddies and become president of its Marianopolis chapter, volunteer at a pediatrics clinic and complete an Indigenous Studies certificate, have fun with costume design for my college’s theatre company, and spend many hours in the First Aid room, thankfully not as a patient. All of this shaped my desire to pursue a health career and dentistry in particular. I realized that dentistry is so much more than telling people to floss every day, as it combines education, health, and artistry, among others, and I could not be happier to be studying it at McGill University. In my spare time, I am binge-watching Sherlock, devouring fantasy novels, and planning my next travels. Contact me! It will be my pleasure to help you!


ildi.troka [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Ildi Troka) bushra.khan [at] mail.mcgill.ca ( )

Class of 2024

Language(s): English, French, Albanian and Spanish (rudimentary)

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Education: DEC in Health Sciences (College de Bois-de-Boulogne, 2013); B.Sc. Physiology (McGill University, 2016), M.Sc. in Experimental Medicine (McGill University, 2018)

Mini-Bio: I was born in Albania and moved to Montreal when I was four. Growing up, I was always passionate about health sciences, and I knew that I wanted to work in this field. Through my education, I’ve volunteered in nursing homes and in hospitals, where I enjoyed giving back and helping my community. My interest in dentistry came at a very young age where I remember enjoying witnessing the job my Dentist was doing. More particularly, I liked the hands-on aspect, engaging with people and help them improve their oral health, as well as the business side of the profession too. The science behind dentistry also fascinated me, so to extend my knowledge I decided doing a Master’s degree in Experimental Medicine where my research was in the bone field. Working for one year in patent law also allowed me to gain valuable experience about the business side of science. I chose McGill Dentistry because of its new modern dental clinic, the innovative research being conducted by worldwide renowned researchers and its community outreach program helping more vulnerable populations of society. Being a big fan of outdoor activities, I enjoy cycling and fishing during my spare time. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!


jiongci.xu [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Lisa Xu) bushra.khan [at] mail.mcgill.ca ( )

Class of 2024

Language(s): English, Mandarin, French (rudimentary)

Hometown: Wenzhou, China

Education: B.Sc. Pharmacology with minor in Psychology (McGill, 2019)

Mini-Bio: I was born in China and moved to Michigan at sixteen as an exchange student. I finished my high school in New York City and moved to Montreal for my undergraduate studies at McGill University. Upon graduating with a degree in Pharmacology, I participated in the Odyssey Program where I was an English language assistant at a middle school in Lévis. Having lived in many places, I appreciated Montreal the most. Its multicultural environment provided me with the opportunities to meet people from different social and cultural backgrounds. It was also part of the reason I chose McGill Dentistry. Being a friendly visitor of seniors and patients at Entraide Bénévole Métro and Montreal General Hospital, I valued the importance of community involvement. I was also the president of McGill Students Chinese Music Society where I got to stretch my mind and used creative elements for our annual concert. Dentistry appeals to me in that it not only helps me to serve my community but also allows me to exercise my creativity through precise handicraft. During my free time, I also love knitting, baking and playing board/video games with my friends!


albert.le [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Albert Le) bushra.khan [at] mail.mcgill.ca ( )

Class of 2023

Language(s): English, French (casual), Vietnamese (casual) and Spanish (rudimentary)

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

Education: BSc Pharmacology with minor in Management, Global Designation (McGill University, 2018)

Mini-Bio: I was born and raised in Ottawa but have always called Montreal my second home with my family here. I started really calling it home though when I moved here for my bachelors. I was drawn to dentistry because of the often neglected, yet how impactful, oral health is. Our smile defines a large part of who we are, and anything can affect our ability to eat, sleep, our self-confidence, and even our fundamental ability to convey our feelings and expressions. McGill drew me not only for its beautiful facilities, but its focus on increasing accessibility to marginalized populations. Off the books, I enjoy long distance running, bouldering, and reading. A former army cadet, military parachutist, long-time financier and proud sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy, I look forward to meeting and getting to know you. Catch me on a local hike or river, or while traveling.


kungjun.lee [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Tom Lee) bushra.khan [at] mail.mcgill.ca ( )

Class of 2023

Language(s): English, Korean, Spanish (casual) and French (rudimentary)

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

Education: B.Sc. Anatomy and Cell Biology (McGill University, 2017); B.Sc. Kinesiology (McGill University, 2019)

Mini-Bio: I spent my early childhood in Seoul, South Korea, but moved to Vancouver, British Columbia when I was ten years old. My decision to pursue dentistry first occurred when I convinced my parents to get me braces! My orthodontic experience taught me how much dental health influences not only heath but also the associated social aspects. I wanted to provide meaningful treatments to patients as I had experienced. Dentistry also aligned with my passion to utilize musical dexterity that I have spent developing through classical training. I was drawn to McGill Dentistry for its emphasis on community engagement and its diversity values. Also, my experiences with its Outreach Program has helped me to realize not only what kind of a dentist I want to be, but also that McGill Dentistry is where I can continue to do what I envision doing: giving back to the community. Apart from the academics, I like to keep myself busy by playing musical instruments, especially drums, going for long-distance runs and hiking. It would be my pleasure to further share my experiences and answer any questions. Please do not hesitate to contact me!


rehka.raveendrakumar [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Rehka Raveendrakumar )

Class of 2023

Language(s): English, French and Tamil

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Education: DEC in Honours Sciences (John Abbott College, 2013); B.Sc. Neuroscience (McGill University, 2016); M.Sc. in Experimental Medicine (McGill University, 2018); D.E.S.S en développement du médicament (Université de Montréal, 2019)

Mini-Bio: I was born and raised in the West Island of Montreal. Since high school, I was heavily involved with the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) as a volunteer for the Relay for Life and as an executive member of the McGill chapter, during undergrad. While pursuing my Masters, I started a cancer outreach organization in Quebec in collaboration with CCS, to create an awareness of its misconceptions and the complexity of cancer research. Apart from leading this outreach initiative, I was involved with many other McGill student organizations notably Let’s Talk Science, Brain Reach, Experimental Medicine Graduate Student Society and Cancer Research Program student group at the MUHC. My hobbies/interests include painting, drawing, hanging out with friends, music, and reading science fiction novels. I chose to pursue dentistry because it allows me to combine my love for arts and science as well as provide an important health service to the community. I chose McGill because of its small class size, diversity, facilities and its many outreach initiatives that provide real world experience.


assia.tsyvian-dzyabko [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Assia Tsyvian-Dzyabko )

Class of 2023

Language(s): English, French, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish (rudimentary)

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Education: DEC in Health Sciences (Collège de Maisonneuve, 2015); B.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology (Université de Montréal, 2019)

Mini-Bio: Born Ukraine, I moved to Montreal when I was six. Learning languages as I grew up, allowed me to know different people, cultures and gave me the need to get closer to my community which became a part of me. Since very young, I’ve led recreational activities for students with Down Syndrome in my neighborhood and helped students with learning disabilities to prepare for exams. At that point, I understood that I wanted to help others and give back to my community through my future career. After my little brother lost his first baby tooth, I realized that the dental profession was for me. As my passion for health sciences grew, I wanted to extend my knowledge in this field before getting involved in dentistry, so I obtained a Bachelor degree in Cell and Molecular Biology and did research in neurosciences, cell biology and cancer. It gave me the opportunity to write for Wikipedia and Medicine/Science. I also worked as a research assistant and a teaching auxiliary. During my free time, I am doing embroidery, knitting, playing piano and reading scientific articles and news. I chose McGill Dentistry’s unique academic pathway for its health sciences, community centered and artistic manual work perfect combination. I will be very glad to help you!


yifei.wang6 [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Yifei Wang )

Class of 2023

Language(s): English, Mandarin, French (rudimentary)

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Education: Honours B.Sc. Life Sciences with Specialization in Drug Development & Human Toxicology (Queen's University, 2018)

Mini-Bio: I was born in China, but after moving to Ontario at the age of four I have since called the Greater Toronto Area my home. My first jobs were teaching swimming/lifeguarding at both the local community centre and YMCA Summer Camp, while spending weekends volunteering at the Southlake Hospital ICU and Residential Care Village. Together, these experiences taught me the importance of compassion, altruism, and respect, inspiring me to pursue a career in healthcare through Life Sciences at Queen’s University. Unquestionably, my most rewarding undergrad experience was becoming a member, and later the president, of the Queen’s Genetically Engineered Machine Team to discover the wonders of synthetic biology with a team of incredibly skilled students from various backgrounds. This, along with my thesis project researching adaptive immunity in bladder cancer, convinced me to spend a year working at a dental clinic after graduating, out of my growing appreciation for manual work and precision. Needless to say, all of this led me to choose McGill Dentistry, the perfect combination of community, leadership, and manual dexterity. Outside the classroom, I can be found swimming, playing basketball, or reading classical literature and philosophy. Feel free to reach me if you have any questions!


toka.zaini [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Toka Zaini )

Class of 2023

Language(s): English, Arabic and French (casual)

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Education: BEng Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace and Vehicle Systems (Concordia University, 2010)

Mini-Bio: Originally from Iraq, I was born and raised in Emirates. Settling in Montreal, I completed a degree in Engineering and worked as a teaching and research assistant at Concordia University for four years. I have also worked in the aerospace industry for several years holding couple of different positions at Pratt and Whitney Canada. I draw many parallels between my personal life, career and community involvement and despite my packed agenda as a mother of two, I enjoyed mentoring LCC high-school robotics team at “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” national competition. In addition, I occasionally organize and supervise hand crafting activities to group of youths at a local community center. As a co-president and a member of fundraising committee of Medical Perspectives Concordia club, we collaboratively organized fundraising, workshops and networking events. During my spare time, I enjoy hiking and exploring new places. I also play volleyball and have been a team captain for one of Concordia’s intramural volleyball teams for the past two years. I chose McGill dentistry due to its academic excellence, diversity, community consciousness, as well as its various research opportunities. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach to me!

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