Alumni Profiles

Alumni Profile Archives

Mark Costin `81
An automotive functional safety engineer with Google, Mark is part of a team of very smart people working on one of our future modes of transportation – a fully autonomous vehicle that requires no human intervention.

Nigel Fisher `71
Nigel Fisher is one of two McMaster alumni highlighted by the Toronto Star for 'thinking big' in 2014. Fisher is a former UN regional humanitarian co-ordinator for the Syria crisis. He was awarded the Pearson Peace Medal by the UN Association in Canada earlier this year.

Derek Pollock '14
Over the past three years, Derek Pollock ’14 has completely turned his life around. From a self-described “guy who almost drank himself to death” to an award-winning graduate of McMaster’s Centre for Continuing Education – his is an inspiring come-back story.

Maurice Leacock `93

From robots that clean your home, to digital audio systems that change the way you listen to music – Maurice Leacock ’93 has helped bring some pretty cool products into the world. Now the Director of Product Management at MarkForged, Maurice recalls the revelation that came to him in his second year at Mac. He had an aptitude for math and chemistry, but he soon realized “the real action is in making stuff.”

Edmund Zavitz 1903
The year was 1899 and a 24-year-old jack of all trades from southern Ontario enrolled at McMaster University in Toronto. It was there on Bloor Street West that he found his calling: forestry. Throughout his long career, Edmund Zavitz (BA 1903) pursued his passion for nature and for trees in particular. At various points in his life, he served as chief forester of Ontario, deputy minister of forests and director of reforestation.

Ashley Beattie ’04, ’08

How many people do you know who can include both “warship driver” and “musician” on their LinkedIn profile? Not to mention entrepreneur, strategist and developer. Ashley Beattie ’04, ’08 can lay claim to all of the above, and then some. A founder of four start-ups (so far), he’s also an officer in the Naval Reserve, a self-taught computer programmer, and a musician who plays guitar, sax and piano.

Andy Knight `83

Emigrating from Barbados to Canada in 1977, Andy Knight completed his final year of high school in Ontario before aspiring to a career in painting and sculpting. He graduated from McMaster in 1983 with his honours degree in art, but turned to political science and the potential for a more conventional career. He graduated from Dalhousie University with a Master’s degree and York University with a PhD. He taught at Bishop’s University for five years before moving to the University of Alberta where his 16 years of service included time as chair of the Department of Political Science.

Joshna Maharaj `00
Joshna Maharaj ’00 has big ideas about food. The Toronto-based chef is a long-time advocate of delicious cuisine that’s sustainable, local, healthy and affordable. Joshna, who graduated with an honours BA in religious studies from McMaster, first developed her passion for social justice and sustainability at the Stop Community Food Centre, where she created innovative and affordable food programming for vulnerable members of the community.

Steve Henkel `08

Steve Henkel ’08 is a man with a mission. A 26-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service, he always wanted to serve overseas. When the opportunity came up for a 12-month assignment in Haiti, Steve jumped at the chance. Assigned to Haiti’s Coast Guard, he developed training programs, accompanied Haitian military personnel on long-range patrols and mentored local officers.

Natasha Sharma `00
Natasha Sharma is a relationship therapist, entrepreneur, author, speaker, TV/media spokesperson, and doctoral student. She is devoted to inspiring and helping others to be their best and live their best, and has worked with thousands of individuals, couples, and families.

Dr. Stanley P. Kutcher `74, `75, `79
A three-time McMaster University graduate, Dr. Stan Kutcher is a leading expert in adolescent mental health, having worked in mental health research, advocacy, training and policy development for three decades in more than 20 different countries.

Dr. Michael C. Baird `62
Hamilton-born and Dundas-raised, Dr. Michael Baird graduated from McMaster in 1962 as the senior class president and as one of the top university sprinters in the country. In fact, he was inducted into the McMaster Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997.

Andreas Souvaliotis `89
“It all happened in a flash. On a beautiful spring morning in 2007, sitting in my backyard and licking my wounds from a spectacular career derailment, I came up with a big idea—and I found myself contemplating the most daring and unconventional pursuit of my life.”

Jonathan Thon `04
Dr. Jonathan Thon is working on ways to boost platelet production in the lab using a bio-mimetic human platelet bioreactor. Every major surgery and chemotherapy require platelet transfusions, which are life-saving.

Daniel Penn `11
Daniel Penn has done a little bit of everything. Before coming to McMaster in 2007 he was a competitive ski racer representing Canada. Through his years at McMaster, with the arts and science program, he was the president of the McMaster cycling club, founded Happening Hamilton (a blog about the city’s growing culture) and spent a year abroad while studying at the University of Copenhagen.

Farzana Doctor `90
A proud McMaster Arts & Science grad, Farzana Doctor is a Toronto based author, editor, and registered social worker. She is the author of Stealing Nasreen (Inanna Publications, 2007) and Six Metres of Pavement (The Dundurn Group, 2011), which won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award, the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary Lesbian General Fiction.

Mike Zaremba '05

Mike Zaremba grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, played varsity football while at McMaster and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. He then made the move out west to attend UBC for a Master’s degree in Human Kinetics.

Krishna C. Nadella '02
Krishna has built and managed multiple sales desks for multiple firms, servicing clients in North and South America, Europe, and Asia, dealing with all aspects of operations as the head of America’s Sales for Portfolio Valuations & Regulatory Solutions at Bloomberg, L.P., a global financial information and news leader.

Serena Bufalino '03
When Serena Bufalino graduated from teacher’s college, she spent a year working and volunteering in detention centres, group homes and mental health hospitals. After working in Canada’s largest detention centre, Serena felt she needed to intervene with at-risk youth before they entered the corrections system. The Toronto District School Board’s Section 23 program provided her that opportunity.

Melissa Andre '07
Melissa Andre is the owner and Creative Director of Melissa Andre Events (MAE) - a leading Los Angeles and Toronto based full-service special events planning and design firm. Awarded for producing some of the most imaginative and luxurious celebrations worldwide, Melissa has garnered an industry-wide reputation for her widely-published work and unparalleled design portfolio.

Arnav Agarwal '14
In the short time since graduating from McMaster, Arnav has maintained a tradition of philanthropic leadership. Now, a second-year medical student at the University of Toronto, he oversees over 26 community engagement programs as Vice-President Community Affairs for the Medical Society, and is an active leader in over a dozen programs both within and beyond the University of Toronto.

Tammy Hwang '05
Tammy is a proud Hamiltonian, Mac Alum, start-up cheerleader, and realist. She currently works for the City of Hamilton in Economic Development's Global Hamilton Office helping immigrant and newcomers start and expand businesses in Hamilton. She's also passionate about supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs through her other ventures, CoMotion Group Inc. and CoBuild Hamilton Inc.

Joseph C. McLelland, B.A. (Eng. Lit.) '46
During his last year at McMaster, Joseph McLelland served as the editor of the Silhouette. Attending Mac in those days meant only seven buildings, including two residences, the Arts building, the Science building and the new drill hall, and involved taking the streetcar to Westdale.

Fareen Samji ’94, ‘98
Fareen Samji ’94, ‘98 grew up 2 oceans over on the East Coast of Kenya in the small town of Mombasa. She was a young tennis star on the Kenyan national junior team, but gave golf a try for her mother and is now a former touring pro turned four-time Canadian International Long Drive champion.

Dr. Anne-Marie DePape `13
Anne-Marie DePape is a PhD graduate from the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour in the Faculty of Science. Her dissertation examined auditory processing in autism to develop a profile of how people with autism process speech and music that could be used for early screening and therapeutic purposes.

Ravi Rishy-Maharaj '82
A high-tech veteran and self-described “serial entrepreneur,” Ravi Rishy-Maharaj ‘82 is currently heading up the third company he has launched. In 2010, Ravi founded GigSky, to solve a problem he frequently encountered – connectivity hassles while traveling abroad for business.

Troy Hill '07
Since graduating from McMaster in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and indigenous studies, Troy Hill has dedicated himself to creating a positive, inclusive learning environment for Hamilton’s young people.

Randy Yatscoff ‘80
Dr. Randy Yatscoff, PhD, has spent almost 10 years at TEC Edmonton, initially as an Alberta Heritage Foundation Medical Research Executive in Residence, and more recently as Executive Vice-President of Business Development.