Community Efforts

As a business school located in the heart of Toronto, we are a community within a larger community. Ted Rogers School students, alumni, faculty and staff have used their skills, time and resources to help others and give back to improve the lives of those in communities, both inside and outside the campus.

Jessica Nwaluka

Jessica Nwaluka, Ted Rogers MBA, 2022

Increasing participation of Black students in the Ted Rogers MBA program

Black professionals have historically been underrepresented in the business world, but a new graduate student group and award in the Ted Rogers MBA program are aiming to change that by encouraging more participation.

Black Business Graduate Student Association

To help support the advancement of Black professionals, the Black Business Graduate Student Association was created by student Jessica Nwaluka and other Black students in the Ted Rogers MBA program.

“We formed the Black Business Graduate Student Association (BBGSA) in the heat of COVID and the high-profile deaths of Black people across the world,” Nwaluka explains.

Read more about BBGSA

“Given the structural barriers Black students face, we wanted to create an association solely for the advancement of Black MBA students. We hope to provide support where necessary and promote professional development opportunities both internally and externally,” says Nwaluka.

The group’s mandate is to help increase the number of Black students in the Ted Rogers MBA program, grow the grants/bursaries available to Black individuals looking to enter the MBA program and expand professional development workshops tailored for the advancement of Black professionals and other minority groups. The BBGSA also strives to create a space where Black business students feel safe enough to share and address barriers that Black professionals face.

The student association hosts a wide range of events such as workshops, innovation seminars, self-care activities and networking and mentoring sessions.

Ted Rogers MBA Black Graduate Leadership Awards

To help support Black students on their path towards furthering their education, the Ted Rogers MBA program created the Ted Rogers MBA Black Graduate Leadership Awards. These awards, which support full-time or flex full-time Black graduate students pursuing their studies at the Ted Rogers School, recognize demonstrated leadership and community involvement, and alleviate some of the financial burden associated with graduate education.

Read more about Ted Rogers MBA awards

There are three awards available in the amount of $10,000 each commencing in the 2022-2023 academic year.

“The new Ted Rogers MBA Black Graduate Leadership Awards mean more Black students can now visualize, perhaps changing the narrative of their future,” says Celeste Saddler, Co-Chair of the TRSM Anti-Black Racism Awareness Committee.

“Having access to post-secondary education directly from high school is a huge accomplishment for most students as they tend to be the ‘first in their family.’ However, with access to graduate school, we are changing the trajectory of an entire generation,” Saddler explains.

Recipients of the inaugural Ted Rogers MBA Black Graduate Leadership Awards

Morgan Blackett

Jacob Kamps

Hospitality & Tourism Management students at Algonquin Park during their experiential learning trip

TRSS Winter Welcome Committee welcoming students at the Ted Rogers School

For us, by us: TRSS continues commitment to student support

The Ted Rogers Students’ Society (TRSS) has a long history of supporting Ted Rogers School students, and continued to do so in 2022 with a number of new and existing initiatives including awards, bursaries, welcoming programs and unique learning opportunities.

As the society that represents over 13,000 students and 30 student groups, we wish to contribute to events and initiatives that create new opportunities for our students, provide the experience that they require to succeed and remove barriers, especially financial, that come in the way of their success,” said Jathavi Shanmuganantham, who was the TRSS Vice President of Finance.

Giving back to the community and encouraging all of our students, departments and groups to host valuable initiatives, in addition to our own, only makes the Ted Rogers School a better place to learn, innovate and succeed,” she added.

Here are some TRSS initiatives from 2022:

Winter Welcome Committee

During the Winter 2022 semester, the return to class was anything but chilly. As students returned to on-campus activities, a Winter Welcome Committee was set up to welcome students and help them with finding classrooms for their first two weeks in-person. TRSS assisted by providing volunteers and by purchasing 200 T-shirts for all volunteers, including staff, faculty and students.

Free Coffee and Free Panini Program

TRSS brewed up something special for students. The group worked in collaboration with Ted’s Kitchen to run the Free Coffee and Free Panini program as people returned to campus, where students and staff who had a coffee voucher could redeem a medium-sized coffee, and those who received a panini voucher could redeem any panini with dipping sauce from Ted’s Kitchen.

Ted Rogers Pride Alliance Leadership Award $1,000 for five students

TRSS created this award in collaboration with Ted Rogers Pride Alliance (TRPA) to encourage 2SLGBTQIA+ students to remove barriers in pursuit of their goals and recognize those who give back to the surrounding community.

Ted Rogers Students’ Society Indigenous Student Award $1,000 for five students

This award was created by the Board of Directors to acknowledge the Indigenous community and provide support to five full-time Indigenous students within the Ted Rogers School.

HTT 510 Experiential Learning Trip

This course includes two full days in the classroom, then three days in Algonquin Park with Explorers’ Edge, a regional tourism organization. TRSS contributed $2,500 to assist the HTM department with successfully implementing this trip and allowing their students to receive hands-on experience.

Technically speaking: Partnership equips underrepresented groups with tech skills

Ted Rogers School’s Business Career Hub partnered with the education non-profit Elevate to develop and deliver micro-credential programs that provide skills training for talent from underrepresented communities.
Elevate is an organization powered by Canadians that builds and unites world-class innovators through tech training courses, entrepreneurship programs and industry-leading events at the intersection of technology, arts and social innovation.

Read more about this partnership

In June 2021, the company received $6.15 million from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto to help create Elevate Talent, a job training and work placement program designed to reskill and place individuals from underrepresented communities in the tech and innovation sectors. The Ted Rogers School was chosen as one of the partners for this initiative. Under this partnership, the school’s Business Career Hub (BCH) has been supporting the Elevate Talent team in developing and delivering the Digital Foundations Program and the Business Process Automation Program with Microsoft Power Apps.

Bootcamps at the Ted Rogers School have helped more than 40,000 undergraduate students receive training and credentials on technology platforms coveted by the industry. This partnership provides participants with fast access to industry-relevant training,” says Graham Sogawa, executive director, BCH.

The main goal of the partnership was to be able to provide career starters and upskillers from underrepresented groups with more opportunities for exposure to programming that would set them up for success in their careers,” says Kevin Barton, senior vice president at Elevate Talent.

The Digital Foundations Program teaches learners best practices in the Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite and video-conferencing and is delivered by Ted Rogers Co-op students. The Business Process Automation Program (renamed to Lean Process Improvement) teaches learners how to combine lean six sigma concepts with process automation. The Ted Rogers School built out the process automation component of the course with Elevate Talent. The program is taught by Bootcamp facilitators.

Business Career Hub logo
Elevate Talent logo

Paying it forward: Enactus collaborates on international entrepreneurship workshop

Enactus TMU – a non-profit student organization dedicated to sustainable entrepreneurship – has partnered with ShePreneur to equip female participants in developing countries with tools they need to start their own businesses.

The ShePreneur project, founded by Tanya Dodaro, aims to equip girls who face life challenges with the knowledge, self-assurance and mentorship they need to find something that inspires them and to think about creating a business of their own. The 10-week program includes guided workshops that give participants the skills, support and coaching required to start a business.

Read more about the ShePreneur project

The project kicked off in January 2022 when the partnership with Enactus TMU began. Dodaro had approached Ted Rogers School professors Dr. Philip Walsh and Dr. Steven Gedeon, both faculty advisors for Enactus TMU who provide strategic advice on various projects.

“When I joined Enactus, I was really interested in the projects that were serving developing communities around the world,” explains Global Management Studies student Alia Khan. “I also have a passion for helping women achieve their entrepreneurial goals, so this project was aligned with my values.”

Khan facilitated the first virtual ShePreneur workshop for women involved in El Pozo de Vida, a non-governmental organization that fights human trafficking in Mexico and Central America.

Recent Business Management alumnus Aniel Molina was also involved in Enactus during university. He saw the ShePreneur project as an excellent opportunity to expand the Enactus entrepreneurship program and build financial literacy for entrepreneurs who are women. Molina, who is fluent in Spanish, has been involved with the curriculum creation and translation.

As the ShePreneur project continues to work with their partners in Mexico City, they are also busy launching in four other countries, including the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Kenya and Peru. They are partnering with international organizations who will be supporting their efforts and connecting them with potential program participants.

Alia Khan

Third-year Business Management student and Enactus TMU president

Aniel Molina

Alumnus Aniel Molina

Afghan family members walking with their belongings seeking refuge

Lifeline Afghanistan helping refugees with new start in Canada

As the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan unfolded in the summer of 2021, Dr. Wendy Cukier’s email inbox began to swell because she had helped organize support for Syrian refugees years earlier.

The initiative – Toronto Metropolitan University’s Lifeline Syria Challenge – which the Diversity Institute Director co-founded, had made a lasting impact, providing lessons on what to do and a network of people and organizations who wanted to lend support.

Read more about Lifeline Afghanistan

Six years later, when similar heartbreaking images of Afghan refugees emerged during the Taliban’s siege, those who had helped in 2015 wanted to know what they could do. And so, to answer the call, Lifeline Afghanistan was born. Its goal? To help support the 40,000 Afghan refugees coming to Canada.

Dr. Cukier said that while the non-partisan volunteer network comprised of various organizations and individuals was initially focused on private sponsorship efforts, they quickly realized that more immediate needs had to be addressed first.

The needs are so acute – 3,700 people landing at the airport with nothing,” she said, explaining that Lifeline Afghanistan is helping with everything from toys for kids to shoes for those who arrive with nothing but slippers and sandals on their feet.

Dr. Cukier reached out to Dr. Lauren McNamara, one of her research associates at the Diversity Institute, who has worked with Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program. Dr. McNamara quickly connected with Jumpstart, “and within 24 hours, local store managers showed up at airport hotels with cars full of toys and sporting goods.

Through Dr. Cukier’s outreach to various companies, CEOs and community organizations, Lifeline Afghanistan has also been able to provide an estimated $750,000 worth of donations of other urgent items such as feminine products, 500 pairs of underwear, hundreds of Crayola crayons, modest clothing for women, tea and baklava.

Business alumnus takes pride in giving back

Accounting graduate Marc Castillo (BComm, 2016) says that it was the support that he received after he came out that got him thinking about how he could help others within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community at the Ted Rogers School.

Castillo says that once he came out to his friends and family at age 21, it was a benefit to him as a professional. “For one, organizations want to be more diverse and inclusive, and more opportunities come your way because of that,” he explains.

But also, many within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community actively help other community members get into the field and encourage you to have no fear about who you are.”

Read more about this award

After seeing how impactful the Marc Castillo – Filipino Canadian Association of Toronto Metropolitan University Award for Student Engagement he created after graduating was, he wanted to create a similar impact for 2SLGBTQIA+ students with financial need. Recently pivoting into human resources and finding success with his own firm, he decided to increase his contribution to his alma mater and create the Marc Castillo 2SLGBTQIA+ Student Award.

This award will increase 2SLGBTQIA+ representation in business and management by addressing barriers, creating new pathways and opportunities,” says Anver Saloojee, interim vice-president, equity, community and inclusion at Toronto Met. “Marc’s contribution is vitally important to the creation of an even more vibrant and inclusive campus for all.

Marc Castillo


NIA collaboration supports independent living for older adults

In Fall 2021, the National Institute on Ageing (NIA) announced a collaboration with TELUS Health to help raise public awareness about assistive technologies that can support older adults in maintain active and independent lives. With a contribution of $100,000 from TELUS Health, the NIA is publishing print and online resources to inform older adults and their caregivers on how technology can enhance social inclusion, functional ability, health, well-being and safety.

Technological solutions can play an important role in supporting older Canadians to lead healthier lives and to stay better connected,” says Michael Nicin, NIA executive director. “There are a growing number of tools and devices that seek to enable more independent living for older adults.

Michael Nicin

Michael Nicin

Ted Rogers MBA increases accessibility for undergraduate alumni

A Ted Rogers MBA is now more accessible to the Ted Rogers School community as undergraduate alumni are eligible to apply without submitting a GMAT score, given they meet all other admission requirements.

In the Ted Rogers MBA program, we highly value Ted Rogers School alumni who have built on their strong academic experience by gaining progressive work experience and strong community involvement,” says Dr. Donna Smith, graduate program director, MBA program.

This move is part of the program’s strategy to expand accessibility to the Ted Rogers School community. In recent years, the program announced that Top 200 alumni and Co-op graduates would be eligible for a GMAT exemption.

Bursary supports next generation of Black business leaders

A new generation of Black Canadian business leaders is finding support and a place to learn and network at the Ted Rogers School through the newly-established TRSM Anti-Black Racism Awareness Bursary.

The inaugural bursaries were awarded in the 2021-22 academic year to Abner Negaye (Business Management), Shuaib Mohamed (Global Management Studies) and Terel Leslie (Human Resources Management). Hear the recipients speak about what winning the award means to them, their first year experience at the Ted Rogers School and their advice for fellow Black students.

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Anti-Black Racism Awareness Bursary video

Winners of the 2021-22 TRSM Anti-Black Racism Awareness Bursary (from left): Shuaib Mohamed (Global Management Studies), Terel Leslie (Human Resources Management) and Abner Negaye (Business Management)

Our alumni are making waves in the business world and starting their own companies

Hands-on projects, international trips, entrepreneurship competitions and co-op placements

Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto Metropolitan University

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