Dean, Ted Rogers School of Management
Students at the Ted Rogers School have for many years had ready access to peer academic support to help reach their academic goals, but during COVID, that support has in some cases come from across the globe.
In the Winter 2021 semester, three highly-committed Ted Rogers School students working at the Academic Success Centre (ASC) offered support to fellow students in Canada, even though – for various reasons – circumstance meant they were offering that help from abroad.
Academic Peer Helpers (tutors) support their peers’ development of confidence with course material and learning strategies, and also encourage students to develop self-regulation strategies to thrive academically.
“It’s great that the students were able to stay where they felt safe and still found ways to engage with their peers and support fellow Ted Rogers School students,” says Sandy Carpenter, Student Success Facilitator at ASC.
Third-year Accounting & Finance student Aleenah Hassan worked as an Academic Peer Helper from Pakistan. She returned to Pakistan in May 2020 because it was an unpredictable time with the pandemic and because she started feeling homesick. While Hassan initially found it hard to manage the 10-hour time difference, by the Winter semester, she was better organized and made sure to also add in time for herself during the day.
Third-year Hospitality & Tourism Management student Casey Vo worked as an Academic Peer Helper from Vietnam. Since school was going to be online for the Fall 2020 semester and she didn’t want to pay expensive Toronto rent, she returned home in August 2020. Despite the 12-hour time difference, Vo said it was not too difficult to do her work as a tutor because she had school in the Eastern Time Zone as well.
Fifth-year Business Technology Management Co-op student Ana Paula Lima has been a Peer Academic Coach since Fall 2019. She returned home to Brazil in December 2020 to spend time with her aging mother and to escape some of the loneliness caused by the pandemic. Thankfully for Lima, there was only a two-hour time difference in Brazil, so it didn’t interfere with work or school.
It’s great that the students were able to stay where they felt safe and still found ways to engage with their peers and support fellow Ted Rogers School students.
Student Success Facilitator, Academic Success Centre
Starting university for the first time can be difficult for students, particularly during a pandemic when school is completely online. Ted Rogers School’s Fit for Business (FFB) program was there, however, to help students with this transition by keeping them connected, engaged and informed.
“The transition to university is more than just adjusting to new classes. It can often be the first time that students have lived independently, and students consistently tell us that they are worried about not making friends or feeling isolated,” says Dr. Allen Goss, Associate Dean, Students. “The Ted Rogers School has a constellation of supports for students, but it can sometimes be difficult and a little daunting for new students to know where to reach out for the help they need.”
That’s why Fit for Business was launched in August 2020 as a dedicated transition program for first-year students.
“Students were going through their first year of university completely online and studying from around the world in their own unique situations. We knew that creating a community for our students was more important than ever,” says Shabnam Ahmad, Fit for Business Lead. “With the Fit for Business program, we empowered students not only with a supportive community, but also a path to achieve success right from the start of their university experience.”
The foundation of Fit for Business is the TedPack – a cohort of students that has the same courses in their first term. Dr. Cynthia Holmes, Associate Dean, Faculty and Academic, created TedPacks to help build a sense of community for first-year students.
Ahmad built on the TedPack structure by designating first-year students as TedPack leaders and adding senior students to each group as TedPack mentors. “This created the feeling of belonging which students often said was their biggest fear about the transition to university,” Ahmad explains.
In addition, through a personalized weekly FFB email – one centralized channel exclusive to first-year students – students receive communication on everything needed to navigate their first year.
And, to encourage first-year students to take advantage of the services and unique offerings available, the FFB program rewards them with TedPoints for engaging beyond the classroom. The more TedPoints collected, the more opportunity there is for students to redeem them for rewards, such as access to senior leaders’ chats and sold-out Bootcamps.
With the Fit for Business program, we empowered students not only with a supportive community, but also a path to achieve success right from the start of their university experience.
Fit for Business Lead
While a “typical” MBA student of the past might have had a business degree and corporate work experience, students in today’s Ted Rogers MBA program come from a range of academic and professional backgrounds.
“One of our program’s great strengths is diversity, and that includes the varied experiences our MBA candidates bring with them,” says Dr. Donna Smith, Graduate Program Director, MBA Program. “Having students from different education and work backgrounds is important because they have diverse experiences and viewpoints to bring to the table while in the program. It also gives these students the opportunity to amplify their passions upon graduation and creates a broader alumni network.”
Julia Gropper, for example, performed in both classical ballet and musical theatre productions in Germany before coming to Canada to take the Teacher Training Program at the National Ballet School. After nearly a decade of teaching ballet and barre fitness, Gropper transitioned to a career in retail management. She made the leap to do her Ted Rogers MBA so she could advance to more senior management roles.
“My work as a business manager at a dance store fuelled my passion and keen interest for sales/management and marketing,” says Gropper. “In order to fully transition into roles outside of the dance world, I needed to invest in formal and in-depth education to expand my current knowledge and to advance into more senior management positions.”
Gropper, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Psychology, was drawn to the Sport Business focus of the Ted Rogers MBA program.
“The small class sizes and more personal experience at the Ted Rogers School, along with the fact that the Ted Rogers MBA is known as one of the most collegial and collaborative MBA programs in Canada also influenced my decision,” she explains.
Gropper was able to collaborate with her classmates and also tap into her dance background during the MBA Games, where she choreographed the team’s dance for the Spirit competition.
Medical Biophysics PhD graduate Patrick McCunn, meanwhile, has been doing postdoctoral research in biomedical sciences and neurosciences and mental health for over a year. He started his Ted Rogers MBA part-time, while also pursuing his Law degree at Ryerson, because he wants to gain the necessary skills to work with start-ups to help bring their medical technologies to life.
“The Ted Rogers MBA program truly invites innovation and supports the entrepreneurial spirit of its students,” says McCunn. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are difficult, but Ryerson is certainly doing their part to make them accessible with hubs like the DMZ and the Legal Innovation Zone. I believe the education and opportunities I have here will give me all the tools needed to achieve my future goals.”
One of our program’s great strengths is diversity, and that includes the varied experiences our MBA candidates bring with them.
Dr. Donna Smith
Graduate Program Director, MBA Program
There will now be more opportunities for Master of Health Administration (Community Care) students to certify their skills thanks to the program’s partnership with the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL).
Through this agreement, MHA(CC) students will be able to work toward obtaining their Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation, the only certification program for Canadian health leaders. This credential offers individual leaders several benefits, including support for lifelong learning in health services leadership, assistance with career advancement and peer recognition, and also serves as an essential career designation.
The CCHL is a national, member-driven, nonprofit association which strives to provide the leadership development, tools, knowledge and networks that members need to become high impact leaders in Canadian healthcare.
“We are excited about this collaboration with Ryerson University, who show their commitment to health leadership by committing to have the CHE as a preferred designation for their students,” says Brenda Lammi, the CCHL’s Vice President, Leadership and Professional Development.
The MHA(CC), launched in 2018, is a professional graduate program at the Ted Rogers School that addresses the demand for skilled managers in community healthcare and support. It is the first of its kind in Canada.
“We are both privileged and proud to be entering into this alliance,” says Dr. James Tiessen, MHA(CC) Program Director. “It offers terrific opportunities for our students to develop the skills required to lead changes in the community care sector and build their careers.”
Chirag Virani took the entrepreneurial acumen he developed in his Ted Rogers MBA and applied it to a global problem – access to sanitary pads that were more environmentally sustainable.
Learning about the lack of access to sanitary pads in many countries and that most products contained harsh chemicals and a lot of plastic, Virani (Ted Rogers MBA, 2012) wanted to change that. This led him and his business partner to create the company Sparkle, which makes plastic-free, chemical-free and sustainable sanitary pads from plant-based ingredients, and donates a pad to a girl in need for every one sold.
Sparkle spent over two years developing patent pending technology to efficiently and economically extract banana fibre from banana stem agro-waste to make sanitary pads. These pads are made from a combination of banana fibre, bamboo fibre and corn starch, and can biodegrade in about six months after disposal. The company uses locally sourced banana fibre in India, which provides extra income to farmers each harvest. Around 800,000 hectares of banana plantations generate roughly 64 million tonnes of agro-waste there.
Coming from a technical background, Virani gained the critical business skills needed to start Sparkle through the Ted Rogers MBA program.
Before pursuing his MBA, Virani had completed a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He wanted to apply his engineering skills and knowledge to solve real world problems. He decided to do an MBA because he wanted to learn more about business before starting a social enterprise.
“Coming from a technical background, my Ted Rogers MBA equipped me with required tools in business development, sales, marketing and entrepreneurship that have helped me with my start-up, Sparkle,” he explains.
Virani believes that if every company takes at least one positive action or initiates one socially responsible campaign, we can make this world a better place. “As responsible individuals and entrepreneurs, we should aim to find innovative solutions to today’s key challenges,” he says.
“Without access to sanitary pads, millions of girls and women in low and middle income countries use less hygienic alternatives during their periods, risking infection,” Virani explains. Through Sparkle’s “Buy One, Give One” initiative, every time a customer purchases one of their pads online, the company will donate a pad to a girl in need. With access to pads, girls can participate in school, engage socially and carry out daily activities with dignity.
As responsible individuals and entrepreneurs, we should aim to find innovative solutions to today’s key challenges.
Ted Rogers MBA graduate
Indigenous Peoples have always known that plants are our helpers, and offer powerful medicines that improve physical, mental and spiritual health. In response to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the Ted Rogers School plans to create an Indigenous healing garden in the outdoor courtyard of the school to help Indigenous students and staff feel at home on campus and to educate the entire Ryerson community about aspects of Indigenous culture, while also addressing the mental health and wellbeing of students.
Currently, the school’s 7th floor courtyard is home to the Ted Rogers Urban Garden – a micro food-security garden that grows a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruit. It will act as a catalyst for the new Indigenous healing garden that is planned.
Executive Chef Tommy McHugh, Hospitality & Tourism Management Program Director Dr. Frederic Dimanche and Chief Administrative Officer Diane Winiarz donated about a tonne of food from the Ted Rogers School kitchen to our neighbours at Unity Kitchen at the Church of the Holy Trinity.
Members of the Ted Rogers School volunteered at the 5th Annual Thanksgiving Community Luncheon, a collaboration with Unity Kitchen at the Church of the Holy Trinity.
Dr. Karen Peesker’s Hospitality and Tourism Sales course (HTM604) raised funds for a Sales Student COVID Relief Fund, which was used to provide a bursary for 10 sales students who were greatly impacted by COVID-19.
Retail Management alumna Emily Gampel (BComm 2020) has always found a sense of peace and satisfaction in helping others, and knew she wanted to do something for communities in need during the pandemic.
Her commitment to community stems from her grandparents. Gampel’s maternal grandfather is a Holocaust survivor who came to Canada with nothing but the clothes on his back. He was a factory worker in Winnipeg and did what he could to contribute to society. “He always taught me to help others even with what little a person may have,” she explains.
Her paternal grandfather emigrated to Canada in the early 1900s, and operated clothing stores in Niagara Falls. He, too, worked for everything he had to provide his children with a better life. “Their dedication to country and community has always inspired me,” she says.
Gampel wanted to start a project to provide new and gently used clothing and shoes for Inuit communities in Nunavut. She reached out to her friend, Daniel Taukie, whom she met at a Ted Rogers School of Management Conference. Taukie was a delegate from Arctic College and currently lives in Iqaluit.
Taukie said there has been increased homelessness in Iqaluit due to the pandemic, and donations would be in great need. He spoke of people walking without winter boots and insufficient winter clothing. Through Taukie’s recommendation, Gampel contacted the Uquutaq Society in Iqaluit, which runs the men’s shelter.
She also learned of a small hamlet called Kugaaruk, which is 1,088 km northwest of Iqaluit, that was also in need of goods because it has limited access to clothing and food.
In her Summit Heights community Facebook group, Gampel posted asking for new or gently used winter clothing, and collected over 600 pounds of items. Canadian North Airlines generously agreed to fly the goods from Ottawa to Iqaluit and Kugaaruk free of charge. The 20 boxes of goods will be split between the men’s shelter in Iqaluit and the inhabitants of Kugaaruk. Gampel contributed money from her own savings to purchase additional clothing to fill the boxes.
“This project is not done for recognition or praise, but rather to be the best person I can be,” Gampel explains. “My family, my grandparents, my parents and my sister taught me the power of ‘tikkun olam’ or repairing the world, which starts here at home, in Canada.”
My family, my grandparents, my parents and my sister taught me the power of ‘tikkun olam’ or repairing the world, which starts here at home, in Canada.
Ted Rogers School student Phillip Anthony is one of the architects behind some of Toronto’s highest-volume vaccination clinics, and credits his learnings in the Health Services Management program for helping him succeed in his role.
The part-time student is a nurse who has worked at Michael Garron Hospital since 2016. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Anthony moved into the role of COVID Outbreak Lead for a year and then into a Project Manager position for Long-Term Care Homes and Community Outreach.
In May 2021, he took on his most important role yet in the fight against COVID – Manager of the East Toronto Mobile Vaccination Strategy. He is also the Co-Chair of the Toronto Sprint Strategy, a city-wide vaccination strategy across multiple Ontario Health Teams.
Anthony is one of the people behind the city’s highly successful pop-up vaccine clinics, including the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub clinic at East York Town Centre, which administered 10,470 doses in less than 24 hours – a Canadian first. He says the HSM program provided him with the foundational knowledge needed to succeed in his role.
“My role in setting up pop-up clinics varies depending on the clinic, but I oversee a lot of them,” he explains. “Our team works with community partners and elected officials to decide on locations and outreach strategies. From there, we set up all tents, permits and equipment needed. I coordinate with our Clinic Manager and team to ensure the clinic is well-staffed and running smoothly.”
“It is an incredible feeling to see these clinics be so successful,” Anthony says. “Through my outreach work, I have personally seen how devastating this virus can really be. Being able to deliver hope to individuals and communities through vaccine clinics is very rewarding to me.”
Entrepreneurship & Strategy student Milad Moghaddas graduated in Spring 2021 and went on to the University of Toronto to pursue his Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resources in the Fall. Since his path to graduate school wasn’t always an easy one, he wanted to help other students succeed after receiving support himself.
As a first-generation university student, when Moghaddas began his undergraduate studies in Fall 2016, he experienced significant challenges because he had more expenses and a heavier workload. Thankfully, the financial and mentorship support he received from the Ted Rogers School community allowed him to persevere and achieve success.
After adapting to the post-secondary environment, he was eager to take advantage of the varying opportunities within the university that would support his academic, professional and personal development, and allow him to contribute to and support the success of his peers.
Moghaddas fulfilled numerous student leadership roles within the Ted Rogers School, including BUS 100: Strategies for Success Facilitator, Peer Academic Coach at the Academic Success Centre and Vice-President of Marketing for the Ryerson University Co-op Students’ Association. He was also elected to the Board of Directors to represent the Ted Rogers School at the Ryerson Students’ Union and a Ted Rogers School Student Senator for the Ryerson Senate.
“Through every leadership position I fulfilled, my mission was simple: to support the academic, professional and personal development of others,” he explains. “The personal adversities I endured fueled my desire to create a significant positive impact on fellow students who have experienced similar adversities.”
“I am forever grateful for my time at the Ted Rogers School, as it taught me to embrace adversity and become resilient, and allowed me to give back to the community,” says Moghaddas.
Through every leadership position I fulfilled, my mission was simple: to support the academic, professional and personal development of others.
The Ted Rogers School is immensely grateful for the many donors who have helped us weather the pandemic. We are honoured to have partners in our community to help us strengthen our programs, build a larger experiential learning infrastructure and drive policy changes through research.
What drives this philanthropic support is the relationships we’ve built over the years. We partner with generous and caring donors who have continued to find new ways to support the work of our faculty and students and the mission of our school. Here are a few examples:
Our relationship with the Rogers family was solidified in 2007 with a transformational gift from Ted and Loretta Rogers making the Ted Rogers School of Management possible. In addition to substantial contributions in the form of student awards and scholarships, we have received a constant stream of support through the funding of the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre, Loretta Rogers Research Chair and the Sales Leadership program.
Over the past year, the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre has helped numerous students enhance their leadership skills and get closer to pursuing their dreams. The activities students participated in combined top academic performances with a rich variety of experiential opportunities, such as our National Ethical Leadership Case Competition.
The Ted Rogers School has had a 20-year relationship with Allan Slaight and his family. They have provided numerous opportunities to support student entrepreneurs through the Slaight New Venture Competition. In 2021, this competition awarded $25,000 each to two student entrepreneurs: one with a business that connects students with clients who need home services, and the other with an app that allows podcast creators to monetize their work.
The Slaight family is also committed to improving the lives of others through the creation of the Seniors Initiative. Under this initiative, funded by the Slaight Family Foundation, Ted Rogers School’s National Institute on Ageing (NIA) benefited from a generous $1 million gift to support their programs.
We have benefited from over a decade of giving from the Birchall family, who are integral to the progress of our highly successful Ted Rogers Co-op Program. Because of the Birchall family’s $2 million gift to support the program, our co-op students have earned more than $60 million. This past year alone, students have earned $11 million, and the program has grown to more than 2,500 students with new intake.
Hospitality and tourism executive Terry Manion’s long-standing relationship with the Ted Rogers School as a guest lecturer in the Hospitality & Tourism Management program led him and his wife Tracey to create the Terry Manion Scholarship for Incentive Travel to support the next generation of travel leaders.
Ted Rogers School students partnered with online retail leader Shopify to get hands-on experience building their own businesses from the ground up.
Shopify, an all-in-one e-commerce platform, has an Open Learning Program which provides authentic experiential learning opportunities for students by giving them access to fully-functional Shopify stores for free. When Dr. Frances Gunn (Associate Professor, Retail Management) and Dr. Deborah Fels (Professor, Information Technology Management) discovered they were both teaching classes where students had access to Shopify accounts, they joined forces to create an interdisciplinary project.
Since Dr. Gunn had a group project in her Leading in Retail Organizations (RMG 925) course and Dr. Fels had one in her Advanced eBusiness (ITM 550) course, they gave students the option to work with students from the other class to develop a Shopify business.
“With this project, students are able to bring their diverse interests, abilities and educational and work experiences to bear on a common goal,” says Dr. Fels. “Also, the two courses are teaching different aspects of the e-commerce retail world, so students from both courses have the benefit of learning and applying those different topics from each other.”
This unique learning experience was appealing to ITM student Shafiul Mazniabin. “I chose to do this project with Retail students because of the different perspectives they bring to the table with their retail knowledge, understanding of the customer’s requirements and other creative aspects,” he says.
As far as Dr. Gunn and Dr. Fels are aware, this is the first time there has been an interdisciplinary project at the Ted Rogers School that is embedded in two different courses and is credit-worthy.
“Students need to be able to come out ready to pivot and to work in an interdisciplinary way, and what we need to provide to them is this capacity in a way that’s embedded in what they’ve learned,” says Dr. Gunn.
Eight teams of four students each (two Retail and two ITM) participated in this project. Some of the businesses created involve international snack foods, thrift shopping, watches, high-end computer parts and lip care products.
“In projects like this, we learn with others and through engagement over a period of time using hard and soft skills,” says Retail Management student Belinda Chen. “We also brush up on our leadership skills and learn to put on different ‘thinking hats’ to collaborate and problem-solve.”
Students need to be able to come out ready to pivot and to work in an interdisciplinary way, and what we need to provide to them is this capacity in a way that’s embedded in what they’ve learned.
Dr. Frances Gunn
Associate Professor, Retail Management
Case competitions allow students to experience “real world” business challenges in competitive environments while presenting to industry leaders. Hospitality and Tourism Management students Raina Patel and Brian Riback and HTM alumna and MScM student Michelle Novotny, created and pitched their innovative idea to address the problem of overtourism in the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge. Their solution landed them a spot in the Finals for the competition in Dubai. The team came in second place at the event, even though it was the only one to compete virtually.
In addition, members of the Ted Rogers Undergraduate Sales Team (TRUST) gained hands-on experience participating in role-play and speed-selling challenges in several North American competitions.
Law and Business student
The Law & Business Clinic is a one-of-kind initiative. When I was in high school deciding which university to attend, this Clinic was one of the deciding factors that brought me to the Ted Rogers School.
Much of my work at the Clinic focused on assisting my client – a young, passionate entrepreneur – with their business-related legal matters. I had the opportunity to draft such documents as a commercial services agreement geared towards SaaS (Software as a Service) products, a non-disclosure agreement and an independent contractor agreement.
I also gained experience in relationship-building with clients. I was responsible for meeting with my client on a regular basis along with my supervising lawyers and clinical team members, providing them with progress updates and answering questions. I was regularly communicating with our supervising lawyers over email and conference calls as well, which meant I quickly learned how to communicate effectively and professionally.
Law and Business student
During my final two terms as a Law and Business major, I had the opportunity to work at the Law & Business Clinic. Under the supervision of three lawyers at Miller Thomson LLP, I completed various deliverables, including preparing and reviewing legal documents and memorandums for a small business entrepreneur.
I applied theoretical knowledge acquired in class to real-life clients, gaining practical experience with a unique insight into the legal profession. Apart from completing legal deliverables, my responsibilities included coordinating the client process. My team members and I organized the entire client relationship from signing the retainer agreement to sending closing letters.
Working collaboratively with my supervising lawyers allowed me to learn a tremendous amount of legal knowledge and practice my professional communication skills. The Clinic also taught me the importance of pro bono legal clinics and their role in tackling access to justice issues in our communities.
When it comes to kickstarting a career, mentoring matters. And to help Retail students build connections and receive first-hand guidance from industry leaders, the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management tapped into their Advisory Council for a network of mentors.
The Mentoring pilot program launched in 2020, with 12 students receiving one-on-one mentorship from a member of the Retail Management Advisory Council – executives at some of the most successful retailers. This included coaching, guidance and opportunities to learn about retail careers, trends and current issues in the sector, as well as how to be a leader. It was not intended to be a career recruiting relationship.
Fourth-year Retail Management student and Executive Vice-President of the Retail Students’ Association (RSA), Adriana Martinez was mentored by Carolyn Hynds, Vice President of Loyalty, CRM and Analytics at Rexall Pharmacy Group during the 2020-21 academic year.
The pair met for an hour each semester, and Martinez was able to ask Hynds questions about her career journey, what working in retail during a pandemic has been like and how to navigate being a leader in the virtual working world. She applied her mentor’s advice to managing her RSA team virtually and found it highly effective. Hynds was also available for additional contact points throughout the year, such as answering questions over email.
While Martinez says she enjoys attending panel discussions and listening to industry leaders, she felt that talking to Hynds on a more personal level was an invaluable experience. “We were able to maintain engaging conversations and speak candidly with each other,” she explains.
“There is no greater honour than playing a role in shaping the next generation of retail professionals,” says Hynds. “I can credit mentors with helping me see a possible future and build the confidence needed to achieve it.”
Fourth-year Retail Management Student
Vice President of Loyalty, CRM and Analytics
Rexall Pharmacy Group
There is no greater honour than playing a role in shaping the next generation of retail professionals.
Vice President of Loyalty, CRM and Analytics
Rexall Pharmacy Group
When it comes to equity and diversity in sport, Dr. Richard Norman wants to change the game.
The Ted Rogers School appointed Dr. Norman as a Postdoctoral Fellow in November 2020 to conduct research that focuses broadly on equity, diversity and inclusion in the Canadian sport industry.
Dr. Norman is working directly with Dr. Cheri L. Bradish, Director of Sport Initiatives and the Future of Sport Lab, a lab for sport innovation and research supported by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE). His work is particularly focused on the lived experiences of those who identify as racialized persons – Black, Indigenous, Persons of Colour (BIPOC) – and those who have been marginalized in sport.
As he pursues his trailblazing postdoctoral project, with a particular focus on the related leadership of the Canadian sport business industry, Dr. Norman will be supported and informed by an industry advisory board representing some of Canada’s leading sport organizations, partners and media properties. This includes support and collaboration with MLSE Launchpad – MLSE’s community-based organization where youth facing barriers can use sport to recognize and reach their potential.
“Dr. Norman is an emerging scholar who has led critical investigation and insights that have opened discussion toward a more inclusive sport industry,” says Dr. Bradish. “As our industry deals with challenges and change, in particular as highlighted during the past year, his unique and innovative research work will help support positive change for the Canadian sport industry.”
One of the initiatives Dr. Norman has led since starting at the Ted Rogers School is the Sport, Diversity & Race Project. The project includes a new insights panel series on equity, race and inclusion which was launched by the Ted Rogers School, in partnership with the MLSE Foundation, MLSE LaunchPad and Ryerson’s Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion (OVPECI).
The monthly series, curated by Dr. Norman, features a range of sport practitioners, including athletes, scholars, industry experts and thought leaders reflecting on a variety of topics concerning the sport industry and system: what the industry sector has done well, what needs to happen moving forward and what are the long-term implications for the shifting sport landscape.
The first edition of this panel series debuted on May 26, 2021, just after the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death. It featured a group of Canadian sport and community leaders who are championing inclusion at all levels.
Dr. Richard Norman
2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, which ranks the research impact of universities, placed Business Management Studies at Ryerson in the top 100 globally and #4 in Canada for citations per paper. Business Management Studies was also ranked #5 in Canada and #113 globally for H-Index Citations. This index measures the productivity and impact of the published work of a researcher. It is based on the set of the academic’s most cited papers and the number of citations they have received in other publications.
In the 2021 ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) at Ryerson ranked #83 worldwide. This is up from #92 in 2020, Top 200 in 2019 and unranked in 2018. HTM retains its second place in Canada for its overall rank and citation performance of the journal articles.
In April 2021, Dr. Samir Sinha, Director of Health Policy Research and Co-Chair of the National Institute on Ageing, was appointed to the National Seniors Council. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Sinha has been a leading national advocate on behalf of older Canadians, especially those in long-term care, providing vital research and tools to help protect the nation’s most vulnerable population. As a member of the National Seniors Council, he will advise the Government of Canada and help to drive the national agenda on the health, well-being and quality of life of older adults.
Master of Science in Management Student
International Master of Science in Management student Xuan Quach had her primary-authored manuscript, “Profiling Gifters via a Psychographic Segmentation Analysis: Insights to Retailers,” accepted at the A-ranked International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. Her thesis-based conference submission, “Trait-based Segmentation for Mobile Personalization and Privacy Concerns” also won the overall Best Conference Paper at the 2021 Triennial American Marketing Association/American Collegiate Retailing Association Conference.
Recent Marketing Management graduate Lara Hamdan (BComm, 2020) had her paper, “Brand Balance: The Effect of Influencer Brand Encroachment on Interactivity,” accepted by the A-ranked International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. “Undergraduate students may get an opportunity to publish at an A-level journal as a second or third author, but it is rare for them to lead and execute their own project and to see it come to fruition at a reputable journal,” says Dr. Mark Lee, Director of the Retail Management program.
Music Canada, in collaboration with the Ted Rogers School’s Diversity Institute, is releasing a survey as part of a new and first-of-its kind research study on equity, diversity and inclusion in Canada’s music industry. This survey and the broader research study intends to identify diversity and inclusion gaps within the music industry and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and barriers to success faced by diverse artists, creators and music professionals in the Canadian sector.
Erik Robeznieks’ passion for physical activity and sport has motivated him to investigate how collegiate sports can provide opportunities for students with physical disabilities.
The Ted Rogers MBA student presented his research project, called “Examining the Potential Inclusion of Adaptive Sport in the NCAA,” on how adaptive sport can be included at the U.S. collegiate level, as part of a keynote address at the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals 2020 Virtual Conference. The NCAA is the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which oversees athletics at almost 1,300 educational institutions in the U.S. and Canada.
“This area of work is a great passion of mine because of the value that physical activity, recreation and sport can have for individuals and society,” says Robeznieks.
“On an individual level, these opportunities lead to emotional, social and physical wellness. They also foster self-efficacy and transferable skills that support personal, academic and professional success,” he explains. “At a societal level, adaptive sport is a way to bring people together that actively dismantles misconceptions about disability and adaptive sport.”
The main motivator for Robeznieks’ research is the lack of support by the NCAA and its member institutions in creating equitable opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities to compete at the collegiate level. His study explored the current challenges for, and strengths of, adaptive sport at the collegiate level, opportunities for the growth of collegiate adaptive sport programming and participation and strategies for integrating with the NCAA.
“Adaptive sport is not something that has to be, nor should it be, delivered in a segregated way,” he says. “Through slight modifications of delivery, adaptive sport can be inclusive of everyone.”
As a result of Robeznieks’ research paper and prior work, he has been employed by the University of Michigan to manage their adaptive sports and fitness program and implement the recommendations from his research project.
“A goal of the program is to have adaptive sport recognized as a varsity sport at the institution, and be the first NCAA Division 1 school in the United States to officially support an adaptive sport as a varsity sport,” he says. “In the future, I plan on using what I learn from my professional and academic experiences to build an adaptive sport and fitness program at a Canadian university.”
Adaptive sport is not something that has to be, nor should it be, delivered in a segregated way. Through slight modifications of delivery, adaptive sport can be inclusive of everyone.
Ted Rogers MBA student
When Dr. Ellen Choi, Assistant Professor, HR Management & Organizational Behaviour, started researching mindfulness during her PhD, she was told her work was “unconventional.” Almost a decade later, the investigation of meditation and related activities is a thriving field of study.
Dr. Choi is particularly interested in how practising mindfulness – the act of being fully present in a given moment – can improve mental health in the workplace. Among her recent projects are two studies that examined how mindfulness could benefit workers in incentive-driven jobs. She found that, in comparison with relaxation exercises, mindfulness training helped to stimulate participants’ creativity, while also reducing the levels of pressure that they experienced.
Dr. Choi was part of an international research team that presented their project at the Academy of Management’s Annual Meeting. They invited participants to take part in short exercises involving either mindfulness or relaxation techniques. Participants were then given tasks that evoked their creativity, such as coming up with different uses for items like toothpicks or bricks. Different rewards were offered as incentives to separate groups.
The researchers found that, overall, the participants who had been through the mindfulness exercise did better at the task than those who had not, suggesting that the practice is compatible with work in a pressurized environment.
Another line of Dr. Choi’s research aims to pinpoint the active ingredients of mindfulness that aid our well-being. In one recent project, she worked with healthcare professionals to see if mindfulness could help them to cope with occasions when they made errors. Initial findings suggest that mindfulness can help people to accept and learn from their mistakes, and reduce fears of looking bad.
Dr. Steven Gedeon, a highly-regarded entrepreneurship educator and expert who has helped to make Ryerson University synonymous with entrepreneurship, was the recipient of the 2021 Chancellor’s Award of Distinction at Ryerson University.
This award is presented to an educator recognized within the Ryerson community as an exemplary model of life-long career commitment to teaching and learning demonstrated by their significant contributions to advancing teaching and learning at the university, sustained educational leadership and an outstanding and sustained record of teaching excellence.
Dr. Gedeon, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship & Strategy, first became involved with student entrepreneurship at Ryerson in 2006 as a faculty advisor for Enactus Ryerson, a student-led nonprofit organization that empowers students to use entrepreneurship for social change. And it was Enactus that brought entrepreneurship to the attention of the university President.
The President and Provost later approached Dr. Gedeon to create a program to motivate students and alumni to discover innovations and act on them to start new ventures. The result was the Ryerson Entrepreneur Institute (REI), which he founded in 2008.
Dr. Gedeon has grown the REI to become a global leader in co-curricular student learning. He has inspired, funded and supervised dozens of student projects around the world, including food security in Nunavut, water purification in Egypt and India and sustainability in Peru. His Enactus student teams have won over 50 regional and national entrepreneurship championships as well.
In addition, Dr. Gedeon co-founded Start Smart, Startup School and Food Innovation Hub at Ryerson, and has made significant contributions to the Science Discovery Zone and Legal Innovation Zone at the school.
“I think every university needs to find its niche,” Dr. Gedeon explains. “With the largest entrepreneurship program in the world, 10 on-campus incubators, 75 different entrepreneurship courses and among the largest entrepreneurship faculties, Ryerson can distinguish itself on the world stage in the field of entrepreneurship.”
As Chair of the Entrepreneurship Curriculum Committee for many years, Dr. Gedeon has also helped transform the entrepreneurship degree program, implement accreditation and create new courses to support social innovation, experiential learning and zone education across campus.
Dr. Gedeon says that he is honoured to receive the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction. “I originally came to Ryerson because of its focus on high-quality teaching,” he explains. “Awards like this are tangible proof that Ryerson cares about teaching, and honours and recognizes this important contribution.”
With the largest entrepreneurship program in the world, 10 on-campus incubators, 75 different entrepreneurship courses and among the largest entrepreneurship faculties, Ryerson can distinguish itself on the world stage in the field of entrepreneurship.
Dr. Steven Gedeon
Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship & Strategy
Two members of the Academic Success Centre (ASC) team have been recognized for their contributions to higher education by the Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC).
Nina Sulkin and Jane (Evgeniya) Tsekhovaya were both recognized by LSAC, a national association for professionals who focus on the application of learning theory in higher education. The group’s National Awards acknowledge the contributions of its members to their institution, the profession and to the LSAC.
Sulkin (they/them), ASC Student Success Facilitator, won the LSAC Emerging Professional Award. This award is presented to an individual who has worked in the learning specialist industry between two and six years and has demonstrated a unique approach to learning skills programming, services or research that resulted in a substantial impact at their institution.
Sulkin has been part of the ASC team for four years, providing remarkable training and support to student staff members and delivering programs with effective learning strategies to students. They also co-chaired Ted Rogers School’s Pre-Orientation Program in summer 2020.
Tsekhovaya (she/her), ASC Lead Peer Academic Coach, won the LSAC Student Award. This award is presented to a student who has had a positive impact on learning skills programming, services or research at their institution. Over the past four years, Tsekhovaya (Economics and Management Science Management major; Finance and French minors) has made outstanding contributions to and has had a positive impact on learning skills programming and services within the Ted Rogers School.
Writing and Content Specialist,
Ted Rogers School of Management
Marketing & Design Coordinator,
Ted Rogers School of Management
Ted Rogers School of Management
Research Support Specialist,
Ted Rogers School of Management