Our Graduate Peer Mentors

Arora, Puneet

My name is Puneet and I am a 2nd year MSc. candidate in Kinesiology & health science as well as a neuroscience diploma candidate. When I was graduating from undergrad in Kinesiology there were a lot of questions that went unanswered. Had I known then what I know now, things could have been less challenging. I decided to become a junior fellow for this reason. I have a relatively decent amount of both academic and work-related experiences in the field of kinesiology. I want to assist students by sharing my experiences with them so that they can potentially have their unanswered questions or concerns addressed. I am also involved in the teaching commons teaching assistant certificate program and tutor other students in kinesiology related courses.


Cappacodia, David

David Cappadocia is a Consultant at IMS Health | Brogan and a PhD Candidate in the Centre for Vision Research at York University.  He has actively advised many students interested in moving from science to business as the former President of the York Graduate Management Consulting Association.  David is committed to mentoring students and aiding their professional development.


Christensen, Rebecca

My name is Rebecca, and I am currently working as a Research Coordinator for the Wharton Medical Clinic. The Wharton Medical Clinic are diabetes and weight management clinics located across Ontario. I primarily do clinical and population based research, but more specifically I am working on projects related to prevention and treatment of chronic and communicable diseases. I chose to become a GPM/JF because of all the great mentors that I have had in the past, and want to give the same experience to other students. I remember how difficult it can be navigating your undergrad, and deciding on next steps following graduation, and I would like to try to make this process easier! I am currently the Outgoing Chair of the Canadian Obesity Network -- Student and New Professionals York Chapter and am the Chair of the Canadian Society of Epidemiology and Biostatistics on-campus. I have knowledge about lots of different programs [Public health (thesis and non-thesis based options), Health Policy, Kinesiology, Mathematics and Medical School]. I also have a lot experience working with the Ontario Public Service (i.e., the provincial government) in research, and policy and program development.


Costanian, Christy

My name is Christy and I am entering my third year as PhD candidate in epidemiology.  I owe much of my success in the academic career to the individuals who have knowingly or unknowingly taken me under their wings and found time to impart me with skills and help. By becoming a junior peer or graduate mentor, I would be giving back to the university while helping undergraduate students pave their way into their future careers. I hope to become be a good guide to students who may not be sure what to do with their degree. Much of my research has been on chronic disease and diabetes, yet I am currently more involved in the area of maternal and child health. I have experience in applying for jobs inside and outside academia, as well as for applying to international universities.


Davidson, Karl

Hey there, my name is Karl Davidson, and I am a first-year Masters Student at the University of Guelph. I completed my undergrad at York University and earned an HBSc. in Physics and went on to Guelph to study theoretical physics, specifically gravity, self-force and black holes. At York I was very involved in SOS and its programs, and I took pride in helping out as many students as I could. Pulling from my all my experiences at York and beyond, I would love to be able to do the same for thriving young professionals such as yourselves. I look forward to hearing from you soon!


Davis, Zoe

Zoe Davis is a 3rd year PhD student in Earth & Space Science and is part of the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry. Zoe has mentored students in the transition between undergraduate and graduate school or employment since 2013. She is also a learning skills tutor for students with learning disabilities. Zoe has organized campus-wide events on student professional development and was involved with the York University Graduate Management Consulting Association. Her research involves measuring air pollution and has an interest in environmental public policy. She has participated in collaborative field studies with government organizations for environmental monitoring. Zoe is committed to supporting students academically and for their future careers through mentoring and facilitating their professional development.


Dehghansai, Nima

I am a 1st year masters student and have been at York University for both my degrees. The reason I have become a Junior Fellow is to give back to the community that has done so much for me. And most importantly, provide assistance and share my knowledge/experience with the lovely juniors who are crossing the same path I have endeavored in. And a little about me; I am actively involved in various team sports and mixed martial arts.


Durant, Andrea

I am a second year Master's student in the Biology program. My research focuses primarily on the endocrinology of circadian rhythms. I went through the extensive process of applying to graduate school, as well as medical school, and have a lot of valuable resources, information, insight and experience to offer students. I think that the Graduate Peer Mentor program is a great (and necessary) program for upper year students interested in professional and graduate programs.


Fujs, William

Hi everyone my name is William Fujs and I am a Master's Student, in chemistry, here at York University going into my second year as a GPM. My research focuses on atmospheric chemistry using a variety of anayltical spectroscopic techniques. I have experience using UV and IR open-path light sources to measure trace gas concentration. During my undergraduate and Master's studies many people have helped me succeed and I am looking forward to continue to pay-it-forward by connecting with upper year students. I am excited to be given this opportunity to speak with students about career, professional and graduate study opportunities. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Gagarina, Varvara

My name is Varvara Gagarina, I am a second year Master’s student in Biology. My research is focused in areas of Structural Molecular Biology and protein-protein interactions. I would be happy to share my story about being a graduate student and to assist anybody who need a peer advice on meeting grad school requirements, choosing a supervisor and application process. I also would be able to provide mentoring on how to apply to medical schools and find volunteering opportunities.


Harris, Deanna

My name is Deanna Harris and I am a York University alumnus. I am currently working on completing my MT (Master of Teaching) degree at OISE, where my research focus is on teaching biology and history at the high school level. Previously, I also obtained an hBA (humanities), hBSc (biology), and an MSc (biology) from York. I completed my MSc research in the lab of Dr. Joel Shore. Aside from my academic work, I am also a course instructor for the Helix Summer Science Institute and Bright Lights in the Lab. As a member of the York University community for nearly 12 years, I believe that the experience that I  gained over the course of that period of time could be useful to those who are, perhaps, less well acquainted with this institution, higher education, and all that it entails. So, if you have any questions - about most anything, really - please don't hesitate to ask. I am more than happy to help. In fact, I am looking forward to it!


Kamran-Disfani, Rozbeh

I recently graduated as a Science major and I am planning to get into professional school. I am one of the Bethune’s graduate peer mentors and I am going to be there to help you guys better accomplish your future goals. I have experienced various things that undergraduate education had to offer and I believe with correct guidance and effort, anything is achievable. Since many graduate level programs look more into the last few years of the undergraduate work, I can help the students to become more involved in various activities on campus and handle their workload more efficiently.


Kazemi, Asal

Hi all, my name is Asal Kazemi. I have my undergrad degree in General Science. Art and poetry are my passion and math is my love. I have an advice for you all in order to achieve your goals, just get involved to expand your knowledge and experience at academic level as well as social level. It is the best way to enjoy the 4 years of university life. You will get the chance to meet different people who may have similar goals in which you might learn something from them. Some will become your mentors who can help you face the challenges throughout your upper year studies. Bottom line is university should not just be about studying and getting A's all the time, but make every moment enjoyable and step out of your comfort zone along the way.


Kiriella, Jeev

I'm currently a PhD candidate and I became a JF to aid upper year students choices following their undergraduate degree. I want to help upper year students become aware of how to navigate through graduate studies towards completion and make upper year students aware of career choices following graduate school.


Moghei, Mahshid

My name is Mahshid Moghei. I am a Graduate Peer Mentor (Junior Fellow). I recently visited the Bethune website that has all the information about Junior Fellows and I noticed that the section that pertains to myself, specifically “Areas of Expertise” is a bit ambiguous. I was wondering if you could please update that information for me as I am continuously helping undergrad students with various needs who may be confused when they find my information.


Moghimi, Elnaz

My name is Elnaz and I'm currently a PhD candidate in the Kinesiology and Health Science program, my research focusing on food addiction. I also completed my Bsc. and Msc. degrees and the neuroscience graduate diploma at York university, focusing on nutrition and cognition for my Bsc. thesis and the effects of vitamin D on ALS for my Msc. thesis . I enjoy helping upper year students make decision regarding their post-graduate plans (i.e. graduate or professional school) and hope to share the experiences, resources and information I have gathered during my years at York.


Mohabir, Vina

Hi Everyone! I am a first year MSc Cand. in Kinesiology & Health Science at York University. My research focuses on Autonomic Nervous System Regulation, Chronic Pain and  Mindfulness. I have passion for health research and am involved in several studies as a member of the  Health Behaviour Change Lab, a research coordinator, and a health coach at the UHN. I did my undergraduate degree at York University and loved being apart of SOS. I received so much help and support from this organization and I would love to do all I can to give back to the YorkU community. As a psychology major, it can be hard to decided what to do with your degree, but I've been there and I can help!


Mouraviev, Andrei

Hi, my name is Andrei Mouraviev. I did my BSc (Honours Physics) at York and now I'm a first year Medical Biophysics MSc student at UofT. I've done lots of volunteering (SOS,HSI) and research at York. Now I'm trying to develop myself as a researcher and network with people in industry. I was pretty confused during my senior year about what to do next. If you are in the same place I would be happy to chat with you, and share my experiences. I can also be of help with grad school applications, scholarship applications, course selection, general advice on life, academics, and mental health.


Nadeem, Uzma

My name is Uzma Nadeem and I am a second year PhD student in Molecular and Cellular Biology here at York. I did my MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology at York U. I also have MSc and BSc Honours degree in Biochemistry from University of Karachi (Pakistan). I am working how microRNA regulates the placental development. I am a volunteer of Let’s Talk Science, a national charitable organization at York University. As a teaching assistant and volunteer, I am hoping to bring my experience and knowledge of the support services to the students of York U. I am more than happy to answer any questions related to graduate school application, research or volunteering opportunities.


Newburn, Laura

Hi, my name is Laura and I am an PhD Candidate in the field of Molecular Biology with a specific focus in virology. I also attended York University for my undergraduate degree in biomedical science, graduating in June 2013. During the last few years of my undergraduate degree I was able to obtain hands on research experience in multiple labs with diverse research goals, this helped me to decide that molecular biology was my field of interest. I would advise any undergraduate considering graduate school to get research experience in as many fields as possible because you never know what interests you until you find it! I look forward to getting to know upper year students, and talking about heir future directions.


Pardisnia, Sara

My name is Sara and I am in my second year of my Master's. I am doing my Master's in Kinesiology with a diploma in Neuroscience. I am a JF because I really have been fortunate enough to have had people to guide me down the path best suited for me in my life and I would love a chance to pay the favour forward. I want to help mentees by sharing with the information on a variety of career paths so that they can find what career is best suited for them.


Pesah, Ella

My name is Ella Pesah and I am a first-year Master’s student in the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences. My interests are in clinical and population based research and the project I am working on is looking at cardiac rehabilitation programs around the world. In my undergrad, I was very involved on York campus and Princess Margaret hospital and can help students get involved in a way that suits them. I also have experience applying to professional school, grad school and scholarships. I have built many skills along the way and I would be happy to help students build and improve on their own including presentation, time management and interview skills. I love being a GPM, because I get to use my experiences to help others achieve their personal and professional goals.


Pham, Thuc-Nghi

Hello, my name is Thuc-Nghi and I am a recent Masters graduate from the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program at York with my research primarily focusing on leukemia and p53. I did my honours thesis and undergraduate studies at York as well so I have a good idea of the inner workings of being a student at York. I had contacted a JF myself earlier on when I started my transition from undergraduate studies into graduate school, so I know what it's like being both a mentor and mentee. I regularly participate in the Science Education Journal Club and have a passion for Science Education - so if you're interested in that field,feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you and answering any of your questions.


Propp, Roni

My name is Roni. I recently completed my Bachelor's in Biology at York University and I am starting a Master's in Rehabilitation Science at University of Toronto next year. Currently, I am a research assistant at Women's College Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children. Through this transition, I have gained experience in job searching and navigating applications, and as a Junior Fellow I am looking forward to helping you achieve your goals! I am happy to answer questions related to graduate school applications, volunteering in a wide variety of capacities, and medical school applications, to name a few! I am looking forward to hearing from you!


Qudrat, Anam

Hi all, I am Anam, a fun-loving, compassionate individual who is committed to becoming an agent of positive, constructive change in the world. I love to learn and spread the love of learning. So, in that pursuit, I welcome you to contact me should you need a bit of direction.


Rahman, Reema

Hello there! My name is Reema and I am a first-year MSc candidate, with my research focusing on biomedical engineering. I completed my undergrad in Biomed here at YorkU not too long ago, and so am familiar with the ins and outs of the place. I had been actively involved on campus throughout my undergrad years, and have continued to do so into my Masters. It wasn't always clear to me what I wanted to do after I completed my Bachelors, and it took a lot of research and time to figure it out, but here I am today! So if you have any questions about career options and would like advice on how to reach your goals, feel free to email me at reemar@yorku.ca. And good luck! 🙂


Rajaguru, Venilla

My educational background is in Science and Technology Studies and International Law. I am a working group member of the international research caucus on Science, Technology and Art in International Relations (STAIR); and a member of the Canadian Extractive Industry Research Group (EIRG). My work experience in corporate and intergovernmental sectors span senior management roles in public communications, public affairs and government relations as well as community development. I was also the course director recently in winter term 2015 for an undergraduate natural science course on the History of the Environment. My publications include various news features on environmental and scientific practices in Southeast Asia that influence international relations; and an anthology of poetry titled, Intimations: poetry in the light of the mind’s eye. I hold the distinction of being Rhodes Scholar 1992 (University of Oxford); and am the recipient of an Ontario Government Scholarship for doctoral research in 2014 (York university). My research interests are on artificial islands and their role in shaping geopolitical relations.


Siu, Ryan

I am a first year PhD student that has been at York University since my undergraduate studies. My research focuses on molecular basis of learning and memory in the perspective of electrical synapses. I have been through the application graduate, medical and law schools. As I have been a peer mentor for over 4 years, I am very approachable and willing to share my knowledge and information with upper year students. I hope I will be able to guide lost students out of uncertainty.


Solomon, Karine

Hi! My name is Karine Solomon and I recently graduated from York University with Honours Biology. I am part of the Junior Fellow program because I feel it is essential that students help students as they are the ones who most understand the challenges they face. By familiarizing students with resources at and outside York, I hope to ease the transition from university to post-grad life. I am happy to answer questions about any biology-program related topics, as well as research internships and applications to medical school.


Sutherland, Callum C.J.

My name is Callum, and I am a PhD student in Science and Technology Studies here at York. How, you might be wondering, did a former business student transition to graduate studies in STS? The short answer is this: there are more possibilities that exist for new graduates than most people think. I became a Bethune College Junior Fellow to help others discover these possibilities.


Teich, Trevor

Hi everyone, my name is Trevor Teich and I recently completed my MSc in Kinesiology and Health Science. This is my second year as a Junior Fellow and I am hoping to share my experiences and perspective with undergraduate students that are considering graduate or professional schools. I am familiar with applying to graduate school, applying for graduate scholarships, traveling to and presenting at research conferences, writing abstracts and manuscripts as well as completing an undergraduate research project. It’s often difficult to decide what you want to do after your undergraduate but I can vouch for how exciting and rewarding it is to complete a graduate degree. If you’re at all interested I would love to share my experiences with you!


Wong, Christine

Hello! I am working towards my PhD in Kinesiology and Health Sciences, specializing in Developmental Neuroscience. I also completed a specialized honours BSc in Kinesiology and Health Sciences here at York University.  As a Junior Fellow (JF), I hope to assist students in their academic and career goals by providing support, advice, and access to resources that can help with determining future career paths, exploring graduate studies and research opportunities, and applying for graduate scholarships, such as OGS and NSERC. I am very happy to be part of the JF team and look forward to working with everyone.


Zahidul, Islam Syed

Hi, I am continuing my PhD with Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering. My research focuses on biomedical instrumentation specially for DNA sequencing. I have long experience on various engineering topics such as Digital Design, Analog design, Computer Architecture, and Embedded Systems. I strongly believe that my expertise will help undergraduate students to find suitable paths towards graduate programs.