HAIRE (GROVES), SUSAN (BA MATHEMATICS)
A resident of Winnipeg for more than 30 years, Susan had a varied career – technical writer, consultant, author of a series of books on computing – before she turned her hand to fiction upon retirement. Her first book, a time-travel romance called The Viking Who Fell Through Time, was published this summer under the pen name Maureen Castell, and is the first in a series of four.
GIBSON, ROBERT (BA , MBA ’75 , CPA CA ’78)
After spending his career as a chartered professional accountant in the commercial real estate sector, Robert retired in 2013. Since then, he’s played an active role in the community. Currently, he’s chair of the board of directors of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, where he also chairs several key committees. He’s also director of the Port Hope Rotary Club, and heads up the Northumberland Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee.
LAPERRIÈRE, LOUISE (BFA VISUAL ART)
With co-author Margaret Olson Tassin, Louise published the Forms Management Book of Knowledge after spending a career in the forms industry and realizing there was no formal training or education programs in that discipline.
SIMONE, NICK (BA GEOGRAPHY AND ENGLISH; BED EDUCATION)
President of personal injury firm Pace Law, Nick used his York education to take him through numerous successful careers as a retail entrepreneur, business strategies consultant and capital markets and real estate investor. A community leader, he is presently Chair of the Humber River Hospital Foundation Board in Toronto.
PETRUNIA, NEIL (BA CREATIVE WRITING AND PHOTOGRAPHY)
In 1997, Neil and his wife bought Frontenac House, a Calgary-based independent publisher where he had previously worked as a graphic designer. Since then, Frontenac House has published a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including Billy-Ray Belcourt’s This Wound is a World, which won Canada’s Griffin Poetry Prize in 2018.
GRIEVE, JASON (BA ECONOMICS)
Jason is the chief client officer at Canadian-owned online brokerage Questrade Financial Group. Previously, he worked as vice president, operations at Fidelity Investments, vice president at HSBC InvestDirect, and vice president of investor relations at Altamira Financial Services.
DANTO, DAVID (BA PSYCHOLOGY)
A past head of psychology at the University of Guelph-Humber, David was recently appointed dean of the faculty of health and community studies at MacEwan University in Edmonton. Last year, he co-edited Indigenous Knowledge and Mental Health, which pulls together a global, scholarly perspective on mental health in Indigenous communities around the world.
FALVO, NICHOLAS (MA POLITICAL SCIENCE)
Nick has a PhD in public policy and 10 years of experience working directly with people experiencing homelessness. In 2021, he was awarded the President’s Medal for Outstanding Housing Research – the highest honour given by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The $20,000 award recognized his work examining the factors affecting housing stability for Indigenous residents of a non-profit housing provider in Calgary, where Nick lives.
WANNAMAKER, ROBERT (BFA MUSIC, MA MUSIC ’01)
Associate dean at the California Institute of the Arts’ Herb Alpert School of Music, Robert has just published a two-volume study, The Music of James Tenney. A groundbreaking composer, Tenney taught at York University for 24 years. His contributions to computer music and sampling culture (among other things) make him, Robert argues, one of the 20th century’s most important experimental music contributors.
MAXWELL, BRUCE (MA HISTORY)
Bruce recently published Failed Promise: Five Reasons Why R.B. Bennett Lost the 1935 Canadian Federal Election, the first book to dive deep into this pivotal election cycle in Canadian political history. An educator specializing in social studies and English, Maxwell is currently vice-principal at King Heights Academy in Thornhill, Ont.
CHOI, ERIC (MBA SCHULICH)
An aerospace engineer, Eric recently published his first collection of short stories, Just Like Being There. The collection of 15 pieces of science fiction and alternate history – including a story that won the Aurora Award, given by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association – is followed by an explainer of the real-life engineering and scientific principles that undergird Eric’s imagined worlds.
FERGUSON, JENNY LEE (BA ENGLISH)
Jen is the winner of a Governor General’s Literary Award in Young People’s Literature for her latest novel, The Summer of Bitter and Sweet. She is presently an assistant professor in the Department of English at Coe College in Iowa. Her next YA novel, Those Pink Mountain Nights, is scheduled for release in the fall.
FRIESNER (NÉE GLENDINNING), SADIE (BA KINESIOLOGY AND HEALTH SCIENCE)
Sadie works in long-term care with a focus on recreation therapy and resident well-being. She recently became the executive director of the new Humber Meadows Long-Term Care Home in North York, Ont.
SATOV, JULIA (BA PHILOSOPHY, MA EDUCATION ’14)
Currently global director of diversity and inclusion at Chicago-based productivity and risk management software firm Litera, Julia has had a 15-plus year career spanning academia, legal, finance and tech. A published author who’s written for Huffington Post, she was a finalist at the 2022 Women in Tech Awards for Ally of the Year, recognizing outstanding achievement as an ally to minorities in tech.
SAXENA, ROHIT (MBA SCHULICH)
A non-profit industry veteran and management consultant, Rohit co-founded Untold Unknown (UTUK) in 2022. Untold Unknown aims to spark conversations about lesser-known social and environmental issues through art and fashion. Partnering with emerging artists based out of Toronto, it creates limited-edition sustainable apparel. Issues highlighted by UTUK include celebrating the migrant farmworkers who grow Ontario’s food, the impacts of local climate change and the ineffectiveness of recycling.
VO, JEREMY (BBA SCHULICH)
Part of the early founding team at Flashstock – a custom content platform acquired by Shutterstock in 2017 for $65 million – Jeremy is a venture builder and investor in early stage B2B startups. In 2020, he became co-founder and CEO of LeapMotiv, a startup advisory firm where he’s helped to launch more than 14 ventures across AI, SaaS, cybersecurity, fintech, adtech and more.
WALL-ANDREWS, CHARLIE (MA ETHNOMUSICOLOGY)
Charlie is executive director of the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) Foundation. A Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar, she is presently a PhD candidate at Toronto’s Ted Rogers School of Management. In 2022, she was appointed to the board of directors of the Canada Council for the Arts.
MADRENAS, NURIA (BA LIBERAL ARTS AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES)
Named as a 2022 Bay Street Bull “Woman of the Year,” Nuria is the founder of Tacit, an online gallery and consultation platform that exclusively features the work of women artists.
HICKEY, NATASHA (BA LINGUISTICS, ENGLISH)
After working as an English language assistant in Quebec, Natasha completed the Teaching Assistant In France (TAPIF) program while working in the suburbs of Paris. Still living abroad, she plans to apply to speech language pathology programs to further her education.
PETROFF, NEIL J. (BBA SCHULICH ’82, MBA SCHULICH ’83)
Neil worked in the financial sector before joining the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Recognized as a pension fund investing innovator, Neil received numerous industry awards before taking retirement in 2016. A passionate golfer and all-round athlete, Neil was also a philanthropist who, with wife Leanne (née Lansdown, BSCN ’03), founded the Neil & Leanne Petroff Foundation supporting research at SickKids Hospital. He died unexpectedly in Toronto on November 20, 2022. He was 62.
SOBELMAN, DAVID (BA ’76, FILM AND VIDEO)
A filmmaker, editor, translator and poet, David won the Governor General’s Michener Award for Broadcast Television for his work directing and producing films, television series, and feature-length documentaries. He was born in 1950 in Haifa to a French-Jewish family. He came to Canada in 1972 to study film and literature at York. He died while recuperating from surgery in Oakville, Ont., on November 7, 2022. His wife Rishma Dunlop, a former York faculty member in the Department of English who died in 2016, predeceased him.