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Junior Fellows 2010-2011

Archived Content

Graduate Assistants

Alexis Esseltine | Campus Engagement

Alexis Esseltine is IRIS’s Campus Sustainability Action Agenda GA focusing on campus waste issues. In addition to her work with IRIS Alexis is completing her MES with a joint Diploma in Business and the Environment at York University. Her research interests include: urban agriculture, the Canadian food system, product life-cycles, waste management systems, and corporate social responsibility. Alexis worked in the magazine publishing industry for four years before coming to York. She has Bachelor of Technology from Ryerson University.


Bahareh Toghiani rizi | Research Support

Bahareh Toghiani Rizi is IRIS’s Research Supporter Graduate Assistant. She provides creative and administrative assistance on existing external research projects. She is currently in York’s Master of Environmental Studies (MES) planning program and is interested in studying methods of using policy and planning regimes to create sustainable community energy plans. She previously completed her B.Sc. in Environmental Science with a chemistry concentration at Simon Fraser University (SFU).

Dawn Strifler | Campus Sustainability Surveyor

Dawn Strifler is IRIS’s Campus Sustainability Surveyor, whose aim is to help on-campus groups engage the York University community in sustainability issues. Dawn is currently completing her Master’s of Environmental Studies at York. Her research focuses on Canadian environmental policy and communications with respect to renewable energy and transportation. Previously, Dawn worked for three years in the green electricity industry. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Toronto.

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Hazel Sutton | Student Coordinator

Hazel Sutton is in the final year of the Master’s of Environmental Studies program at York University with a joint diploma in Business and the Environment at the Schulich School of Business. Main research interests include the development of a green economy and the role of cross-sector partnerships for the implementation of effective product stewardship schemes (with particular emphasis on remanufacturing).  While at IRIS Hazel is responsible for coordinating IRIS GA and Work Study students' work efforts and payroll; cooperation and partnership development amongst the large team are deeply encouraged.

Michael Young | Events Coordinator

Michael Young is a Master’s student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, with a background in the Performing Arts. He comes to IRIS as the Events Organizer Graduate Assistant where he will be working to coordinate the Speaker’s Series, COP16 and Earth Hour, among other events. Within FES, Michael is exploring the relationship between gender and the environment and how it relates to empathy among humans, toward non-humans and to how this information may provide insight into developing a sustainable social attitude.

Work/Study Students

Aarti Rattan | Student Engagement Lead

Aarti Rattan is a third year undergraduate BBA candidate at the Schulich School of Business.  With a keen interest in issues related to carbon monitoring she is looking to enter the field of sustainability accounting.As a new member of the IRIS team, Aarti will be acting as the student engagement lead, working to bring focus to sustainability issues at the heart of the York community.  She is also currently volunteering as the Coordinator for the Ecologically Conscious Organization (ECO) at York University.

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Caitlin Gascon | Social Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Caitlin Gascon is a fourth year Environmental Studies student concurrently pursuing certificates in Human Resource Management and Not-for-Profit Management. At IRIS she contributes as the Social Marketing and Communications Coordinator and supports the other members of the IRIS staff. Over the last couple of years at York her research interest has been issues of trade justice, specifically the Fair Trade movement. Her interest has broadened in scope to the cooperative movement after participating in a field course in Costa Rica this May. She has participated in the IRIS Food Sustainability Survey in 2009, and continues to be involved in the Fair Trade Coalition as a part of OPIRG (Ontario Public Interest Research Group).

Mishba Bholat | Secretary and Fundraising Administrator

Mishba Bholat is a second year student at the Schulich School of Business in the Bachelor of Business Administration program (BBA). Her research interests include: business sustainability, waste management and food systems. Mishba has worked closely with the non-for profit organization, Friends of Maiti Nepal which is devoted to stopping child sex trafficking. Her interests lie in charity work and making the world a greener place. As part of the IRIS team, she is facilitating secretarial administration and fundraising for new upcoming initiatives.

Wen Ma | Website Administrator & Graphic Designer

Wen Ma is a fourth year undergraduate student in the York Sheridan Design program and has participated in a three week internship with IRIS this summer. This year, she continues to be a part of the IRIS team by contributing design and visual skills to develop the IRIS newsletter, website, the online strategic plan, print materials and the overall IRIS identity.
Wen also participates artistically with various institutes including: a Free-Trade Coffee Promotion with the AGO, and the Art, Action, Change project with Community Arts Practice in York University. She likes to be involved by providing artistic solutions, so that abstract or complicated concepts can be better understood. Wen believes the power of art and design can positively influence social awareness.

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Rabeea Wajeeha | Events Organizer

Rabeea Wajeeha is in her fourth year, pursuing her Bachelor of Human Resources Management (Honours) degree at York University. She is ecstatic to be part of IRIS team as the Events Organizer and looks forward to coordinating such events as the Speaker’s Series, climate justice at the COP16, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico in 2010, Earth Hour, Greening the Pan Am Games’ Symposium and many others. Her interests include microfinance, business sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

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Research at York (RAY)

Tracy Tanentzap | Researcher

Tracy Tanentzap is a fourth year undergraduate Biology student, with a focus in ecology.  She is interested in the role of IRIS’ research in campus sustainability efforts, as well as the broader spectrum of environmental policy.  In addition to working at IRIS, Tracy is researching her honours thesis which is set to a similar, ecological tune: the effects of deer overgrazing in Rondeau Provincial Park.  Tracy hopes that through her participation in the RAY program, she will gain some hands-on experience in the grant and research process and leave her mark on York’s environmental advocacy programs.

Greening Pam Am Games 2015

Janina Schan | Greening Pam Am Games

Janina Schan is in her second year of the Master of Environmental
Studies program. Her research interests include biological
conservation, biodiversity protection, protected area management,
tropical ecology, and climate change. Janina’s IRIS involvements
include attending the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate
Change (COP15) in Copenhagen in December 2009 as well as the current
organisation of a workshop aimed at raising awareness on greening the
Pan Am Games of 2015 in Toronto.

Business Sustainability Research Fellow

Guru Rengan | Business Sustainability Research Fellow

Guru Rengan is an MBA candidate at Schulich School of Business with a focus on Operations Management and Sustainability. His main research interests are in Business sustainability, green supply chain and corporate social responsibility. He is currently involved in a Graduate research study in Schulich analyzing the complexities of business models, sustainability and its impact on the triple bottom line. He is passionate about campus sustainability and as a member of IRIS, he intends to help York in its measures on innovative sustainability research.

Guru worked as a semiconductor design Engineer before coming to York. He has a Bachelor of Technology from India.

Climate Justice Fellow

Jacqueline Medalye | Climate Justice Fellow

Jacqueline Medalye is a PhD Candidate at York University at the department of Political Science. Her research interests are in international environmental policy and development. Specifically, her work focuses on the interface between climate change adaptation and international development. Jacqueline has an MA from York University that focused on International Environmental Political Economy and an undergraduate degree from the Schulich School of Business which focused on Business and Sustainability. Jacqueline has worked as a researcher for the Network for Business and Sustainability, the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, the International Finance Corporation, the International Development Research Centre, and the Canadian International Development Agency. Jacqueline is the co-author of several academic publications including, ‘Climate Warming and Natural Disasters an Exploration of the Issues’ (Global Environmental Change, under review), Human Development and Climate Change’ (Encyclopedia of Earth, 2007) ‘Neoclassical, institutional, and Marxist approaches to the environment-economic relationship’, (Encyclopedia of Earth, 2007) and ‘Self-reliance through Sustainable Enterprise Networks (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2005). Her research publications include A Systematic Literature Review of Business Adaptation to Climate Change (RNBS, 2009), Securing Canada’s Future in a Climate Changing World (NRTEE, 2008), and The Private Sector and Development (IDRC, 2004). Jacqueline’s IRIS projects include The Role of the Private Sector in Development, Business and Sustainable Livelihoods, and Sustainable Canada. Currently she is involved in activities through IRIS related to climate justice at the COP15, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Denmark in December 2009.

Other Junior Fellows