After starting her career at the Rotman Research Institute, Celina Rayonne Caesar-Chavannes founded ReSolve Research Solutions, a consulting organization that works with researchers to manage clinical studies according to accepted guidelines. “There is a gap between what physicians like to do and what they have to do,” Celina explains. “I fill that gap.” She hopes that her experience in clinical research and its business application – she holds a BSc from U of T and an MBA from the University of Phoenix – come in handy on Governing Council. Celina is also the director of research administration for the Alzheimer Society of Canada and project coordinator for Neurological Health Charities Canada. She lectures widely on the inclusion of marginalized populations in clinical research. “If you don’t know about it,” she says of research, “you can’t participate.” Among the boards on which Celina serves as a director are the Congress of Black Women (Ajax/Pickering Chapter), the Olive Branch of Hope and the U of T Research Ethics Board. She is the 2007 recipient of the Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Young Entrepreneur Award.
Having earned his BSc in 1989 from U of T Mississauga, Nykolaj Kuryluk has pursued a career in the biotechnology industry, notably with Amgen, where he is Director of the Strategy and Program Management Office with responsibility for strategic planning, change management and product commercialization. A fan of innovative master’s programs, Nick plans to keep an eye on student life as the University faces changes. “We have to take the student experience to a new level,” he says, “while keeping U of T at the forefront.” Nick has received an Arbor Award for his volunteer work and is a member of the U of T Mississauga Principal’s Advisory Council. He is an avid salmon fisherman in his off hours. Nick and his wife are proud of their teenage son, a goaltender, and teenage daughter, a dancer.
Professor Emeritus Michael R. Marrus has earned two degrees from U of T: a BA. in modern history in 1963 and a Master of Studies in Law in 2005. In the intervening years he studied at Berkeley (MA and PhD), served as a professor in the Department of History (until 2009) and as Dean of Graduate Studies (1997-2007). Michael’s 18 years as a member of Governing Council have included nine as Chair of the Academic Board. He has also chaired the U of T United Way campaign since 2001. Amid all this activity as a teacher, governor and administrator, Michael has written seven books and published widely on historical and legal subjects. His work on Holocaust Studies led to his winning the Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize in 1996. “U of T has been a wonderful source of renewal, service and scholarship,” he says. “I find it extraordinarily stimulating and productive.”
First elected in 2004, Maureen Somerville is concluding her third and last term on Governing Council. She graduated from OISE with a BEd in 1970 and received certification as a Dramatic Arts Specialist in 1972. This in turn led to a career as an English and Drama teacher for the Toronto District School Board. Maureen has served on many University committees, including the Academic Board, the Academic Appeals Committee and selection committees for several awards, and currently serves on the Executive of the Senior Alumni Association. She brought a personal perspective to the selection committee for the UTSC Vice-President and Principal, having numbered among the first students to enter Scarborough College in 1965. “It seemed massive, and there were at first so few of us,” she recalls. The upside was plenty of study space! Maureen sees as many plays as she can and maintains an active interest in film and music. She has been chair of the Hart House Music Committee since 2004.
After a start in the sciences, John pursued economics at the University of Toronto Mississauga as a member of the first graduating class of 1970. “Erindale was a tight, engaging community, with small classes and exceptional professors,” he says, using the original name of the campus. “It was a unique experience in Ontario at the time.” Five years of teaching at York University (where he earned an MBA) led to a career in the financial services industry with the Bank of Nova Scotia, National Trust, Ernst & Young Management Consultants and American Management Systems (Canada). Throughout his career John has engaged in volunteer work, notably for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and the United Church of Canada. Certified as a wine educator by the U.K.-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust, John in 2005 founded Winesights Inc, an importing business, with the encouragement of his wife Barbara (UC 1973). He also publishes a wine bulletin and operates wine tours, with a focus on the Rhone Valley.
Graduating from U of T in 1967, Andrew Szende worked for more than a decade as a reporter for the Toronto Star before earning his Master of Social Science from the National University of Singapore. After serving in the Privy Council Office in Ottawa and as Associate Secretary of the Ontario Cabinet, Andrew returned to Asia as Ontario’s chief trade representative in Hong Kong, where he was also active in the local U of T Association. By 1995, Andrew was back in Toronto as Assistant Deputy Minister of Health. Since 1999, he has served as the CEO of the Electronic Child Health Network, a province-wide information sharing system for health care professionals. “The University of Toronto must remain in the forefront of delivering programs at the highest quality level,” he says. “Excellence in teaching attracts the best students.” Andrew knows a thing or two about student life. He spent a year as editor of the Varsity.
With degrees from U of T (BASc 1987, MA 1989) and Columbia (MBA 1994), Keith Thomas has more than 20 years experience in building, financing and restructuring technology companies. Keith has worked for Citigroup in its New York, London and Zurich offices and undertaken restructuring projects for Booz Allen & Hamilton and Tandon Capital. His first major startup was Vector Innovations. “With aging parents,” he says, “I was aware of the high medication error rates in nursing homes and built this company to improve the standard of care.” Now Keith is CEO of Vive Nano, a company with links to the U of T Department of Chemistry that was named winner of the Clean15 competition by Canadian Business magazine. Keith has rebuilt cars as well as companies. He spent a summer in Stuttgart restoring Mercedes roadsters – an interesting way to improve his German! Keith is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), a society of under-45 CEOs. He met his wife, CTV reporter and anchor Pauline Chan, at U of T. They have two children.
With a BA from Victoria College (1968) and an MBA from McMaster (1976), Elizabeth Vosburgh (née Eastlake) combines experience in education as a secondary school French teacher (1968-73) with business know-how acquired from the TD Bank (1976-1985). Elizabeth was chair of the Victoria Board of Regents from 1998 to 2001 and has served on Victoria search committees for Dean of Students, President and Chancellor. As an alumni governor Elizabeth chairs the University Affairs Board and serves on the Task Force on Governance Implementation Committee. A former member of the Business Board and former chair of the Towards 2030 Task Force on Institutional Organization, Elizabeth is particularly interested in tri-campus governance issues and streamlining administration. “This is a selfish type of volunteer work,” she says of her service to U of T, “because you get to interact with faculty and students. Everybody is so interesting.” Elizabeth owns the Imago Restaurant chain of pubs including that U of T neighbourhood favourite, the Duke of York, with her husband.