People

Facilitators


 

Nate
Quitoriano

Associate Professor
Mining and Materials Engineering

Background

Associate Professor Quitoriano is the founding director of goLEAD and has been involved in leadership activities since 1993. He has been involved in starting several organizations and has learned greatly from those experiences. His research background is in semiconductor growth and devices.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

In October 2016, he was asked to start a leadership initiative by Dean Nicell and began by surveying the leadership learning opportunities around campus. After attending many of the existing workshops he found that there was a missing niche, applied leadership skill development, and thus developed the MOVE program which gives students a project-based learning experience.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

Prof. Quitoriano loves interacting with members of the goLEAD organization as a teacher and mentor at all levels. He is thankful that students show enthusiasm in the program in general and is most grateful to the students and volunteers who have helped to establish and maintain the offerings of goLEAD.

 

Sidney
Omelon

Associate Professor
Mining and Materials Engineering

Background

Associate Professor, Mining and Materials Engineering. I worked as a process engineer for an engineering consulting company, and was the first chemical engineer at a green-tech start-up in Silicon Valley before working in academia. Rowing and coaching in university were some of the extra-curricular activities that complimented my studies.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

My engineering training continues to be critical to my career, however, the skills I learned outside of the classroom were also important for achieving career and life goals. Therefore I wish to contribute towards extracurricular programs such as MOVE goLEAD.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

Hearing the diverse range of ideas and opinions from students is my favourite aspect of being part of this program.

 

Alexander
Liepins

Academic Associate

Background

As an Academic Associate in Teaching and Learning Services, Dr. Liepins oversees the development and implementation of the SKILLS21 and SKILLSETS programs. His academic background is in the history of philosophy and he received his BA from Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2009, MA from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2011, and PhD from the University of Ottawa in 2017. Dr. Liepins recently co-edited Developing Change Agents: Innovative Practices for Sustainability Leadership (2019) and is currently working on projects related to learning strategy capacity-building and graduate student teaching development.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I was excited to get involved in the MOVE program to support students by leveraging my knowledge and background in student development programming to help them achieve their goals.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

I am always eager to interact with students and learn about the interesting challenges they are tackling through interdisciplinary collaboration.

 

 

Larissa
Jarvis

Research Associate
McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative (MSSI)

Background

I am a research associate with the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative (MSSI). My academic background is in Environmental Sciences and Water Resource Management, and before joining the MSSI team I worked with the Land Use and Global Environment (LUGE) lab at McGill and the University of British Columbia. The LUGE research group focuses on agriculture, land use, and food security, and much of my work went into building the datasets needed to help understand farming systems at the global scale. I have experience working in industry as an environmental laboratory analyst, and in an international research setting working on a drip-irrigation project with small farmers in Guyana and Saint Lucia.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I became involved with goLEAD because the program is providing a great opportunity for students interested in tackling today’s big problems, and is doing so in a way that aligns with the MSSI’s sustainability-focused, multidisciplinary and action-oriented approach to research.

What did you enjoy the most in the program?

The most enjoyable part of this process so far has been the level of energy and enthusiasm from the participants. It is also really interesting to see which problems the various groups have decided to take on, and how there are very diverse interests across the cohort. The program is also using many techniques for both teaching and evaluating projects/solutions, so it’s been a great learning experience for me as well!

 

 

 

Dr. Heather
McShane

Program Director, McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative

Background

Dr. Heather McShane is the Program Director and Catalyst-in-Chief of the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative (https://www.mcgill.ca/mssi/). Her chief role is to create a community of sustainability researchers scholars from across McGill’s faculties and to develop a multi-disciplinary and innovative hub of sustainability research. Heather is also a board member of the Montreal City Mission, Camp Cosmos and ECOLE, McGill’s student-led experiment in sustainable collective living and learning, as well as being a mentor for YES Montreal.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I got involved with goLEAD because I wanted to take part in this forward-thinking program that brings together groups of students from different academic backgrounds and coaches them from ideation to business plan development. I particularly like toe goLEAD approach because it takes a multi-disciplinary approach – something we need our students to have experience of if we are to address today’s complex problems.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

It was great to watch people from diverse backgrounds working together to build a team and push through barriers to come up with a pragmatic idea that might lessen our impact on the world. I never failed to be impressed by the enthusiasm and seriousness the participants brought to this voluntary activity. Eating pizza once a week wasn’t bad either!

 

   

 

Student Executives


 

Co-Chairs


Sami
Rouhana

Electrical Engineering Student

Background

I am a fourth year Electrical Engineering student and I have been involved in this program since Fall 2018. I am now the Co-Chair of goLEAD and am very exited to work this year too with the executive team.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I got involved in goLEAD because it is a hub of new ideas, of interested, and interesting people. And I find it is the best place to inspire and aspire to become an agent of change in our community. 

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

I really enjoy working as the Co-Chair. As we come from different backgrounds, we have different points of view that enable us to come up with creative and interesting ideas to tackle obstacles. I look forward to working with them again this year!

 

Yee Wei
Foong

PhD Candidate
Mining and Materials Engineering

Background

PhD Candidate, Mining and Materials Engineering. I research nanocarbon electrode materials and solid polymer electrolytes for supercapacitors. I have been actively participating in the leadership of ILead:Graduate, NACE SOSS, and UTEN to inspire meaningful networking and connections between academia and industry. I am currently pursuing the computational research on electron transfer properties for energy materials and assisting in the founding of the leadership center goLEAD at McGill University.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

Throughout my involvement in leadership learning in the past few years, I realized the importance of leadership and professional skills development for lifelong learning and influencing the people around us to work together towards the same vision. I am passionate about sharing this inspiration with at McGill University students so that they too can be the next-generation of leaders enacting positive change to the world.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

My joy and satisfaction came from witnessing the students' growth into the mature leaders through this program. I am glad to see that they have been learning and acquiring new perspectives from inter-disciplinary environment. I hope that they will continue their journey of leadership learning and share this inspiration with more people around them.

 

Mia
Zhou

Software Engineering Student

Background

Growing up in Montreal, I was heavily shaped by the city's artistic scene. Through my interests in photography and fashion, I began to enjoy curating aesthetics, and with a background in science, I decided to plunge into the world of tech by studying Software Engineering. I’m always looking for ways to be innovative in my work whether it be coming up with a business idea or website.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I got involved because I wanted to make a change in the world. Not to change the world, but just to create something that's bigger than myself. I didn't know where to start, so I joined GoLead as a first step.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

I enjoy being able to be part of an organization that inspires and connects creative minds.

 

VP Finance


Andrew
Bismar

Electrical Engineering Student

Background

I am an Electrical engineering student who grew up in Lebanon and came to Canada to study. I speak English, French and Arabic fluently. I’m passionate about finance related matters.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

GoLead has a very interesting dynamic, with the whole continuous program that happens during multiple semesters. I believe this club has a lot of potential and am glad to be part of the team working on growing it.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

Working with my team and getting to know them was a highlight for me. Also, I learned a lot in matters of finance, which are extremely valuable information for my future career.

 

Lea
Kassab

Electrical Engineering Student

Background

After Activate, I decided I wanted to give back to goLead by becoming part of the executive team. Having taken an Engineering Economy class, and volunteering to give financial literacy workshops to highschool students, I decided to put to use the knowledge I had gained by integrating the VP Finance team.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

This program has not only provided me with resources to move forward with my ideas, but has also contributed to my personal growth. The feelings of “belonging” and “trust” in this tight-knit community have empowered me to take on more responsibilities and become more vocal about my opinions. These traits are extremely important and are not taught at school. This is why I believe that goLEAD is the perfect opportunity to create new leaders and help them achieve their goals. 

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

Activate was a truly enriching experience that I would recommend for anyone willing to bring their ideas to life. The program offered workshops that not only covered the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, but delivered the step by step approaches to implementing strategies for success. Activate taught our team to tackle a problem by assessing much more than just the surface: different speakers with various backgrounds shared their insights regarding resources management, market analysis and finance basics. They even shared their own successes and failures, which allowed us to avoid crucial mistakes and move towards developing a solution to our problem at a higher speed. I really enjoyed Activate because it is a hands-on approach to problem solving, and it shed lights on many concepts that we don’t cover during our engineering degrees. 

 

VP Programming


Farzaneh
Babazadeh
Bedoustani

Recent Graduate for Educational Leadership

Background

Farzaneh is a recent graduate of Educational Leadership from McGill University.  She was working with the Leadership Development unit at Campus Life & Engagement for the last two years, where she developed and ran several workshops and led a volunteer group called ACCE Team. She is passionate about promoting soft skills to improve interpersonal communications in workplaces.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

From the moment I started this program, I always wondered if what I was doing really mattered and if it really could bring a positive change into the world. I found the importance of this question when I encountered other graduate students from different programs asking the same question. I realized that this is a big issue for all graduate students knowing that we are living in a time that an enormous amount of research is being conducted every day leading to production of a great deal of information. To me, we the young generation need not wait to be hired by big industries, but we should initiate some kind of action ourselves. In my case, my involvement with various activities on and off campus made me believe that, yes, what I do matters, I CAN make a change and I MUST aim for that. 

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

I believe in the mission, vision and values that GoLead is aiming to achieve. Through such programs, students gain access to invaluable experiences, skills and resources in a safe environment. Experiences that are not possible through mere academic involvement. Experiences that can create a lot of new potentials for their future career. Working with GoLead team, I aim to make this opportunity possible for those who dare to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zone.  

 

Leela
Riddle-
Merritte

Global Food Security Student

Background

I am in bachelor of environmental sciences entering into my fourth year and was fortunate to participate in the Activate program in the 2020 semester. I am part of the VP Programming team this year and am excited to be a part of the team.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I got involved with goLead because I really enjoy working on a team and encountering head-scratching challenges. Of course, I also enjoy competitive environments and wanted to diversify my weekly scheduled activities!

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

I think that the most persuasive ideas come from brainstorming, and, truly, having four people agree on a solution we were pitching was an incredibly fun and gratifying "eureka!" kind of moment. We were all from different academic backgrounds and stages in university, which was an absolute pleasure because discussions always brought forward surprising new ideas and perspectives.

 

Celia
Zhu

Bioengineering Student

Background

I am a U3 student majoring in Bioengineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering at McGill. I participated in goLEAD as a member of the 2020 Activate program and now serve as one of the goLEAD’s Vice President of Programming

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I believe leadership is a skill that can be taught and honed by workshops and activities, and goLEAD provides with this perfect platform to collaborate with students from diverse disciplines and propose feasible business solutions to a challenge. The requirement of entrepreneurship also makes the project a good chance to step out of your comfort zone.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

It is a great pleasure to see how students with different academic backgrounds are working together to solve a problem using their expertise. Beyond that, it is challenging and exciting to continually modify the plan regrading suggestions from mentors and feedback from stakeholders.

 

VP Recruitment


Melis
Belbez

Economics Student

Background

My name is Melis. I am from Istanbul, Turkey. I am a 4th year undergraduate student majoring in Economics and minoring in Computer Science and International Development. 

 

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

GoLead provides a great opportunity to meet new students, make connections and build relationships. I participated in this program last fall semester and I am consistently impressed with the work, innovative ideas, applications and projects. I am very passionate about the work goLead does and what it stands for and that is the reason why I decided to be on this team.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

It is a great environment where we can develop different strategies, create new models and work in teams for a common purpose. In this program we learn techniques for generating new ideas, making new connections and gaining fresh perspectives.

 

Emily
Chen

Computer Science and Geography Student

Background

I am an undergraduate student majoring in computer science and urban systems geography with a minor in East Asian language. I worked on projects involving education and mental health as a member of the Fall 2018 Move and Winter 2019 Activate cohorts and now serve as goLEAD’s co-student executive of programming.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I wanted to be a part of a program that would allow me to develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills outside of the classroom, and goLEAD provided the perfect opportunity to think critically about a challenge, have thoughtful discussions with teammates and stakeholders, and propose impactful solutions. Additionally, a huge strength of goLEAD is our ability to unite students across the various faculties, and collaborating with such an interdisciplinary group of students bringing a range of perspectives to our group meetings was both refreshing and inspiring.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

I enjoyed having the opportunity to work with students from different faculties and degrees (i.e. undergraduate versus graduate students) because the opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration brought many different and unique perspectives to the learning process.

 

Vanja
Lugonjic

International Development Student

Background

Growing up in Vancouver, BC as a first generation Canadian, finding ways to speak up was always a struggle. That’s where acting and communicating classes from the Vancouver School of Speech and Drama came in. I quickly embraced the ‘theatre nerd’ title but also loved the intersection of social issues and business throughout highschool. This weird medley has allowed me to be part of amazing non-profits organizations like BCNewcomer Camp and programs like GoLead at McGill.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I joined the goLEAD executive team to help foster a deeper understanding of how teamwork can truly help us when trying to come up with solutions for today's problems. Through this program, students may befriend people that surprise them and challenge them, meet their best friend or business partner, or simply understand that we need each other in social entrepreneurship. Being an executive, allows me to be connected to the students and focus on their growth individually, and as a team.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

The community and the people of GoLead from the executives, members and leaders create the most enjoyable part of the program for me. I worked in two different groups through Move and Activate in the 2019-2020 year and each taught me a lot as my peers were always so different from me but all had the common goal of making the world a better place (in some same teeny way). The comradery of the bi-weekly workshops and final presentation really allows for an inspiring atmosphere which provokes the best thinking and leadership learning.

 

VP Communications


Alexander
Gruenwald

Software Engineering Student

Background

I am heading into my 4th year in software engineering and am excited to soon graduate. I have always been someone who loves competitions as I find they are the best way to challenge myself. And that is exactly what goLead did. Through the ups and downs, it was an amazing challenge that both taught me what I did right and what I did wrong. It was an experience I hope everyone can one day experience.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I joined goLead to help in continuing the exceptional work the team has been working on for the past 3 years. I hope to see it develop even further and potentially become something more than just a Wednesday night meeting with a team. 

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

I enjoyed the commitment that the entire goLead team gave to the program, giving up hours each week to ensure it ran smoothly. Every workshop taught something different and gave examples of practical uses for the advice told, opposed to just having someone aimlessly memorize the information. For me, it was a lecture that I actually enjoyed which I am sure is a rare thing to say.

 

Zhanna
Klimanova

Software Engineering Student

Background

I am interested in software development, cybersecurity, jazz, film scores, music production, nature, good food, and I’m always up for learning something new; I also participated in goLEAD’s MOVE back in the fall of 2019 and ACTIVATE in the winter of 2020.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I have taken part in the goLead MOVE and ACTIVATE programs in the fall 2019 and winter 2020. Both have been enlightening experiences that have further developed my skills in areas such as leadership, idea pitching to stakeholders, working on a project under time constraints, handling rejection and criticism, as well as learning to deconstruct a problem into its root causes, finding solutions, and meticulously analyzing them. I have made many friends, valuable connections, and have had the opportunity to work with very talented and bright individuals through my goLEAD experience, all of whom have taught me important lessons in life. That is why I want to be a part of goLead, to help maintain and develop goLEAD even further.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

The program is great in general! I learned so much about what it takes to make a project idea come to life and how much commitment it entails. The goLEAD workshops are engaging, the people are amazing, the atmosphere is motivating, and the overall experience is just one big positive learning curve.

 

Mahnoor
Syed

International Development and Economics Student

Background

I am Mahnoor Ali Syed and I am majoring in International Development and Economics at the Faculty of Arts. I have been working with non profits since 4 years now and I am currently working on incorporating my academic and  research work into my non profit projects. My current research interests include feminist visions of sustainability and women’s involvement in development with a community-based approach.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I strongly believe in goLEAD's values about being driven by our academic work and research to formulate and implement solutions with a social entrepreneurial spirit. I am also really interested in the collaborative spirit goLEAD promotes through connecting students from different departments and programs. I think the values and environment would be great stimulants for new ideas and their implementation.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

Despite not having participated in the move or activate program, I have already managed to get a great sense of what the program is and how important the experience can be. To have a program that allows students to take risks and think out of the box with no penalty of failing, is important. I expect to learn a lot from this program and am excited to be a part of the team.

 

VP Logistics


Mahin
Ar-Rahman

Mechanical Engineering Student

Background

I have had the privilege of participating in both the recent Move 2019 and Activate 2020 programs, and am grateful for everything they have taught me from learning how to brainstorm ideas and determine feasibilities to actually bringing that idea to reality.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I participant in both the goLEAD Move program as well as the Activate program this year. After attending the workshops, I felt there is something incredible about the experience, knowledge and exciting ideas that are available through this platform, whether it is from the participants, mentors, the guest speakers or the random brainstorming sessions during the workshops. I find this environment very stimulating and helpful in making you think outside the box, and I love it! Being a part of this time, I hope to learn more myself and also use my experience to help guide new participants to pursue their disruptive ideas.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

What I like most about goLead was the enlightening speaker sessions, outside the box thinking, culminaton of ideas from different backgrounds, the incredible learning experience from teamwork and much more.

 

Thinh
Bui

Chemical Engineering Student

Background

I am a U3 student majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in environmental engineering. I worked on a project concerning waste disposal education at McGill in the Fall 2019 MOVE, and Winter 2020 ACTIVATE programs. My role, as one of goLEAD’s logistics executives, is to help plan the final presentations, and order food and supplies for workshops.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I participated in goLEAD’s 2019 MOVE and 2020 ACTIVATE programs. I greatly appreciate the unique opportunity and environment that the program provides for students to develop their leadership and entrepreneur skills. The program gave me a chance to cultivate a lot of my attributes. Therefore, I want to get more involved and become a student executive so I can help other students with their goLEAD journey.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

I really appreciate the leadership and interdisciplinary teamwork environment that the program provides. Participants are completely in charge of their projects with guidance from mentors, creating a unique opportunity that is not available in the normal classroom settings.

 

Konstantina
Chalastara

PhD Candidate
Mining and Materials Engineering

Background

Konstantina Chalastara is a PhD Candidate in Mining and Materials Engineering upon completing her undergraduate studies in Mining and Metallurgical Engineering at the NTUA, Greece. Her research portfolio focuses on water decontamination of selenium barring effluents using nanotechnology. Konstantina was the Vice President (2017) and President (2018) of the Mining and Materials Engineering Graduate Association, and further got involved at the Post Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) as the Environment Commissioner (2017-18) and the Internal Affairs Officer (2018-19) organizing numerous events and workshops promoting sustainability, while collaborating with several on and off campus stakeholders.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

She became involved with the goLEAD workshop series as she believes in the true value of extracurricular programs in Universities. The critical thinking, communication and leadership skills that you acquire in non-traditional classroom setting prepare participants to tackle real problems in their future.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

The part she enjoys the most during the program is how multidisciplinary each team is. Participants, with different academic backgrounds and age groups learn how to communicate with each other and tackle the same issue.

 

Past Student Executives


 

Richie
Fong

Materials Engineering Student

Background

He is an undergraduate student who is one of the student executives of goLEAD. He is currently pursuing a materials engineering degree to achieve his career goals of becoming an active contributor to the materials industry. He is a young mind with a great drive to act and succeed.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I strongly believe that a university is an institution not only for students to seek academic success but career success as well. I aim to help students reach a good balance between academics and extra-curricular activities and realise their hidden potential. I work actively with the goLEAD executives to plan the leadership programs.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

Apart from the pleasure of helping students, I enjoy seeing the efforts made by students and their progress throughout the program. It is amazing to observe the students apply the skills learned from the workshops for a positive cause.

 

Velice
Zhong

Materials Engineering Student

Background

I am an undergraduate material engineering student and one of the student executives of goLEAD with a great drive to act and succeed. I worked as a researcher in a laboratory of organic solar cells at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I was one of the participants of goLEAD’s first MOVE program, and our group won the final prize. I appreciate that goLEAD gave me a chance to challenge and improve myself in both my personality and soft skills. Therefore, I wanted to get involve and help students to inspire their interests in business and careers, and I believe participating will be also another opportunity to improve myself.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

I would like to see when students are discussing and interacting with each other. And I feel very appreciative of the students that can learn and enjoy the workshops that we prepare.

 

   

Théo
Lescoat

Materials Engineering Student

Background

I am currently a fourth-year materials engineering undergrad student and was in the first cohort of the MOVE program in Winter 2019.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

I got involved with goLEAD because I realized how important it is to find solutions to real-world problems and develop teamwork skills which is a great complement to formal university education.

What do you enjoy the most in the program?

My favorite part of goLEAD is meeting and working with all kinds of different people, hearing their ideas and bringing them to life.

 

Oliver
Durnan

Electrical Engineering Student

Background

I'm a final year undergraduate student in electrical engineering. I'm passionate about teaching, learning, and the outdoors. My role is to serve as one of goLEAD's communications co-executives.

Why did you get involved with goLEAD?

My favorite aspect of engineering is developing innovative ideas. I got involved with goLEAD because it offers the opportunity to further expand my creative skills and put them in practice in an entrepreneurial setting. 

 

 

Past Winners


 

Activate: Winter 2020

Overall Winners



Lea Kassab

Haihen Chen

Alex Gruenwald

Kamy Moussavi

Vasily Piccone

Best Learning Outcomes



Mia Zhou

Vanja Lugonjic

Samantha Gangapersad

Nogieru Eghobamien

 

Move: Fall 2019

Overall Winners



Mahin Ar-Rahman

Ryan Irwin

Yangyang Jin

Mohammad Hossein Motavas

 

Activate: Winter 2019

Overall Winners


Kirklann Lau

Simina Alungulesa

Cherng-Haw Luoh

Aissam Souidi

Misghana Kasaa

Best Learning Outcomes


Quang Ahn Nguyen

Eleonore Robbins

Pinghe Zhu

Laura Pena Silva

Timothee Dulac

Rim El Osta

 

Move: Fall 2018

Overall Winners



Oliver Durnan

Diana Nigmatu

Matthias Arabian

Monami Waki

Emily Chen

 

Move: Winter 2018

Overall Winners


Bin Sur Yip

Emmanuel Edeh

Jonathan Sharir-Smith

Yun Zhong

Enan Ashaduzzaman

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