Graner, Ron (BA Theatre)
A film producer and musician, Ron wrote and produced a musical-comedy theatrical production of Musical Pawns, based on the life of long-forgotten Jewish composer David Nowakowsky (1848-1921), whose music was recovered after the Second World War. The show won the Audience Choice Award at the 2012 FRIGID New York Theatre Festival. President of Lost Music Productions, Ron has also produced several live concerts and an award-winning short film for Bravo TV.
Clark, Robert (BA Physical Education)
After graduating from York, Robert became a student volunteer at maximum-security prison Millhaven Institution while attending Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. This led to a 30-year career in seven different federal penitentiaries. He wrote about his experiences in his book, Down Inside: Thirty Years in Canada’s Prison Service, published in 2017.
Rosen, Howard (BBA ’82; MBA ’83 Schulich)
Howard is the founder and CEO of LifeWIRE, a communication platform he developed in 2005, which connects health-care providers to patients. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, LifeWIRE has been providing solutions to support public health agencies and help manage affected populations. Howard is a regular speaker at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) global health conference, has addressed U.S. Congressional committees, and wrote the guidelines for Ontario’s Taking Ontario Mobile policy initiative.
Winter, Aaron (BA Hons. Political Science and Humanities)
A senior lecturer in criminology and criminal justice at the University of East London in the U.K., Aaron sits on the editorial board of the journal Identities: Global Studies in Power and Culture. He is also co-editor of the Manchester University Press book series Racism, Resistance and Social Change. His latest book, Reactionary Democracy: How Racism and the Populist Far Right Became Mainstream, which he co-authored, came out in April of this year.
Barbera, Jennifer (BA Psychology)
A licensed clinical and counselling psychologist, Jennifer opened her own practice in Hamilton, Ont. At her “dream job,” she helps others heal and recover from trauma. Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has given her the opportunity to update the website for her practice, findinnercalm.ca, and spend time with her husband and their two adopted children.
Sahadeo, Elizabeth (BA English Professional Writing)
Since graduation, Elizabeth has had an impactful career in writing, ranging from technical and marketing to UX, at notable companies including IBM, Intuit and Shopify. Today, she is head of content strategy for Google’s G Suite editors (Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms) based in New York.
Payette, Corey (BFA Music)
An award-winning playwright, actor, composer and director of Indigenous musical theatre of Oji-Cree descent, Corey is the artistic director of the Urban Ink theatre company, which produces works by Indigenous and diverse artists in Vancouver. A past artist-in-residence with English Theatre at Canada’s National Arts Centre, he’s also the founder of Raven Theatre in Vancouver, which focuses on new works by Indigenous artists.
Clarke, Alan W. (PhD Osgoode)
A professor emeritus at Utah Valley University in the U.S., Alan spent much of his time in quarantine at home in Manitoba, continuing his research and going for long walks on rural roads with his wife, scholar Laurelyn Whitt. Together, they’ve co-written two books, The Bitter Fruit of American Justice: International and Domestic Resistance to the Death Penalty (2007) and North American Genocides: Indigenous Nations, Settler Colonialism, and International Law (2019). In January, Alan will begin a fellowship at York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies.
Deveau, Angie (MA Women’s Studies)
After obtaining her degree, Angie returned to her home province of New Brunswick, where she continued to work remotely as a research assistant at York University for seven years. In 2018, she took a chance on a new career as a communications officer at the University of New Brunswick, the position she currently holds.
Sulc, Maggie (MA Theatre Studies)
A writer, director and producer, Maggie collaborated with fellow York alum Sadie (Sarah) Johnston (BFA ’14) to launch an anthology fiction podcast series, The Familiar, earlier this year. Spanning different genres – horror, adventure, science fiction – the first season features six episodes that aim to build connections and widen perspectives in the current global health and political climate. The creative team is set to begin plans for a season two.
Fontana, Stefanie-Rose (BEd Education)
Stefanie-Rose works at Christ the King Secondary School in Georgetown, Ont., where she teaches communications technology, yearbook and computer technology. When schools across the province closed in March due to the pandemic, she modified her lessons to a fully online hands-on curriculum.
Rahmati, Shehzan (BA Information Technology)
While at York, Shehzan started his first company in the entertainment industry at just 18 years old. Since graduating, he’s launched three more successful businesses, which provide services such as search engine optimization, digital marketing, online printing and more. In 2020, he founded the Rahmati Group of Companies to establish a connection between all the businesses under one umbrella.
Yimbesalu, Joannes Paulus (MLCE Education)
A trained cancer biologist, Joannes followed his passion in sustainable development all the way to Niger as a research consultant on the World Health Organization’s integrated community case management Rapid Access Expansion Program, supported by World Vision Niger and Canada. It was this experience that led him to enrol in York’s Leadership and Community Engagement master’s program shortly after. Since graduating, he’s accepted a new role as programme officer for Generation Unlimited in UNICEF Nigeria to help provide leadership and support in defining priorities that resonate with young Nigerians.
Boelhower, Virginia J. (MBA ’81)
A lifelong learner and advocate for women, “Ginny” was a member of the Canadian Federation of University Women, where she served as president of the Oakville Chapter and spearheaded several educational interest groups. Throughout her career, she excelled in marketing and management positions at several national organizations, including Bell Canada, Czech National Bank, Interac and CSI Global Education. She passed away on June 30, 2020, at the age of 67.
Hayman, David (BFA ’01)
A mainstay of the Canadian arts and music scene, David served as chief music supervisor and creative director at Supergroup Sonic Branding in Toronto. He worked on numerous award-winning television shows, including Schitt’s Creek, as well as films, documentaries and commercials. A part-time faculty member at Humber College, David was dedicated to creating mentorship opportunities for emerging artists, curators and music supervisors. He passed away suddenly on May 19, 2020. He was 42.
Laws, James (BA ’73)
Jamie graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1979, becoming the first athletic therapist in Canada to become a Doctor of Chiropractic. His involvement at York began in 1968, when he volunteered as a student trainer with the Yeomen football team during his final year in high school. A loyal alumnus and steadfast supporter of York University over the past five decades, he served on the governing council of the York University Alumni Association and became a fellow of McLaughlin College in 2004, where he remained active until his death. He passed away unexpectedly on May 30, 2020, at the age of 69.