Meet the Wilson Leaders
Kwasi Adu-Poku is a Kinesiology undergraduate student. He is a varsity athlete on the men’s basketball team, and a three-time Academic All Canadian. In his volunteering roles, he focuses on mentoring youth, working with older adults, and promoting leadership in athletics. He is exploring careers in economic policy.
Janna Getty is a Humanities undergraduate student in the Justice, Political Philosophy, and Law program. She has worked with the Hamilton Crown Attorney’s Office and led after school programs with the Hamilton Boys and Girls Clubs. Her volunteer efforts include program coordination with MCYU, and executive roles with Pro Bono Law McMaster and the McMaster Justice, Political Philosophy, and Law Society.
Emma Krentz is a student in the Math and Biostatistics co-op program, who recently undertook a McCall MacBain International Fellowship at the KTH Royal Instititue of Technology in Sweden. Through her volunteering, she has promoted youth engagement in math and statistics, and helped facilitate new language acquisition for refugees.
Yarden Levy is a PhD student in the Research and Clinical Training program. She is conducting research into novel treatments for PTSD in collaboration with mental wellness start-up InteraXon. Throughout her research, she has worked with multiple community organizations that serve people dealing with trauma. She has also trained and supervised 30 students while co-leading multi-year research projects.
Michelle Ogrodnik is a PhD candidate in Kinesiology and a Lead Educational Development Fellow at the MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching. She also served as a Team Lead at McMaster's Research Shop, leading projects for community organizations including program evaluations and rapid research reports to inform funding decisions. She is passionate about supporting student learning and educational policy.
Luke Yaeger is a Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences PhD student, whose research into new antibiotics is complemented by an interest in creating a publicly owned and accountable antibiotic R&D pipeline. He is an alumni of McMaster's varsity track and field team and worked on addressing local food insecurity with the Hamilton Victory gardens.
Meet the Wilson Leader Alumni
Monish Ahluwalia graduated from Integrated Sciences and is now a medical student at the University of Toronto. At McMaster, he served as the President of the McMaster Science Society, Co-President and bass guitarist of the Mac Pops Orchestra, and Co-President of the McMaster Model United Nations Team. He pursued research projects in medical isotope production and nuclear waste management and is continuing to investigate the connection between the NPC1 gene and obesity / type II diabetes.
Ahmednur Ali is a Health Policy PhD candidate and winner of the Michael G. DeGroote Doctoral Scholarship of Excellence. As a policy assistant with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ahmednur synthesized current research to inform policy development. Through his work with the McMaster Health Forum’s Impact Lab, Ahmednur further helped make available evidence to support policymaking.
Sarah Brooks graduated from the Arts & Science program, who served as volume editor for TRAD. Through an internship with the Caribbean Community Secretariat, she explored the impacts she can make through the public service. In 2019, she co-coordinated the New World of Work Forum at McMaster. Most of her work and volunteer efforts have centred on building welcoming communities, whether supporting individuals with brain injuries, or establishing a social network for new students.
Elise Desjardins was a student in the Master of Public Health program during her tenure as a Wilson Leader. She co-developed and co-managed an initiative to improve walking and cycling conditions in downtown Hamilton, and co-authored the Friendly Streets Toolkit. As a board member for Student Open Circles, she supported the development of student leaders and the capacity of local non-profits. Her master’s research brought a public health lens to transportation planning by understanding how built environments influence transportation choices, and her PhD focuses on urban planning and children’s mobility.
Stephanie Hatzifilalithis is a PhD candidate in the Department of Health, Aging, and Society who brings an interdisciplinary lens to challenges facing aging populations. During her studies in Canada and abroad, she has led student groups, free public seminar series, and intergenerational projects that have been recognized internationally and by all levels of government. Her commitment to making a positive impact in the world has prompted her to find innovative and creative means to foster connections across generations.
Kylie Hopkins works as a pediatric nurse with Hamilton Health Sciences, continuing her long-standing commitment to children’s wellness. She is continuing both prongs of her community project, which focus on improving interprofessional communication on healthcare teams in emergency situations. She co-created a Nursing module on interprofessional communication during medical emergencies. In collaboration with students and faculty from McMaster’s Centre for Simulation-Based Learning and Nursing, and MD programs, she is developing experiential learning scenarios.
Alyssia Jovellanos is a Product Manager with Microsoft. During her degree in Computer Science, Alyssia led award-winning projects in educational technology, accessibility and AI. Much of her work aims to bring technology to as many people as possible, whether through the international consultation she has provided on increasing diversity in tech education, the free tech interview mentorship group she launched, the coding modules she developed for children, or the hackathon she co-founded, which remains Canada’s 1st and largest student-run hackathon for change.
Chemical and Bioengineering BEng graduate Erik Joy developed a partnership between Engineers Without Borders: McMaster and Empowerment Squared to support the latter’s mission in providing academic mentorship to local youth and young adults. In his last year of undergraduate studies, Erik founded "The Porch", a student club that aims to increase student engagement off-campus. He also served as Assistant Coach for the McMaster Varsity Wrestling Team. Erik is now completing graduate work at UBC on novel wastewater treatments using nanotechnology.
Carol Markos graduated from Indigenous Studies and Political Science, and participated in the Jane Goodall Institute’s Uncovering Common Ground initiative. In advance of the 2019 federal election, she co-created accessible, non-partisan political information nights for newcomers to Canada. She also developed and led an arts project that brought together McMaster students, faculty and staff with local community organizations, and with professional and amateur artists from across Canada. She is now completing a master’s degree at Carleton University in Migration and Diaspora Studies.
Yung Lee continues to train as a medical student at McMaster University. He is involved in producing evidence-based reviews, population-based studies, and position statements in general surgery to inform and improve future practice. Yung hopes to pursue general surgery (minimally invasive surgery) as his specialty after his medical degree. Outside of medicine, Yung is a cellist in multiple orchestras, ensembles, and student-led groups such as Music in Medicine. As a freelance photographer, he was involved in The Silhouette and Humans of McMaster.
Andrew Richards graduated from Communication Studies with a minor in Globalization. As former captain of McMaster’s men’s volleyball and Canada’s men’s junior volleyball teams, Andrew demonstrated the way athletics builds leadership skills. To help others access this potential, he volunteered as a team representative with McMaster Athletes Care, established McMaster’s now annual participation in the #NoGoodWay Day campaign, and brought together 120 student and Special Olympics Athletes to raise over $6500 for inclusive athletics.
Josh Young graduated from Commerce with a focus on Finance. During his year-long internship in corporate strategy with Celestica, he honed his ability to research complex situations and quickly propose feasible solutions. Josh's participation in the Model UN and DECA encouraged his enjoyment of exploring multiple perspectives. In his community project, he explored how to incentivize corporate responsibility through green technology buying consortia for small- to mid-sized businesses.