Introducing the 2016-2017 SWSU!

Anna StevensonCo-Chair

My Role: Hey everyone! My name is Anna and I am one of your co-chairs for the union. My job on the union is to work with Susanne (your other co-chair) and the rest of the union to act as a liaison betweIMG_4653en you (the students) and the faculty and administration. Also, as a co-chair I help plan and execute events tailored to Social Work students with other faculties and programs! This is my third year on the Social Work Students’ Union and I’m excited for the big plans we have in store! I hope to see you all around campus soon.


  • I enjoy lifting weights after class (RAC > MAC anytime)
  • I’m always listening to EDM (trance/dnb/house)
  • I’m obsessed with cute little pitbulls

Fun Facts:

  • I live with five other girls in downtown (it’s a busy house)
  • I’m originally from Niagara Falls
  • I recently completed my third year placement internationally in Australia and would love to chat with anyone else interested in a similar opportunity.

Susanne NyagaCo-Chair

I’m in my fourth year in the social work program. I have a very diverse personality in the sense that I can spend a whole weekend binge watching seasons on Netflix, or going out with friends and exploring the town. I love adventures and trying new things. I’m also a vegetarian, which I have found has actually opened me up to new and creative dishes. In terms of my role on the SWSU, I am Co-Chair. I was on the union last year as a First Year Ambassador and decided to stay on. In susannemy time on this campus I have been exposed to event planning, public speaking, and project management which are all useful tools when it comes to making this year great. I love to chat and hear from students with new perspectives and ideas so feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns or comments. The SWSU is here for social work students, to represent your thoughts, ideas and perspectives, therefore, going in this school year that is exactly what we plan to do.

Vice Chair: Tamara Twumwah-Ofori

Akwaaba! This is how we say welcome in my native language (Twi). My name is Tamara and I am proud to introduce myself as the Vice Chair for Ryerson’s Social Work Students’ Union of 2016/2017. I am super excited and extremely honoured to be a pScreen Shot 2016-11-19 at 5.15.51 PM.pngart of great things this coming school year. My role mainly includes helping to plan spectacular events such as the Social Work Orientation, with your co-chairs, Anna and Susanne; as well as making sure that rooms are booked for those events. Basically, events need rooms, rooms need me, and I need our lovely supportive union members and CANDY :).

I hope to contribute in being an effective team leader so that this year is a fun and successful one. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, and/or suggestions.

“You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated” – Maya Angelou

Keep smiling!

Jolene TakerTreasurer

Hi there! I’m Jolene (AKA Jo), I use she/her pronouns, and I’ll be the treasurer on the Union this year12010646_10154290373023275_2238755743642377336_o!

I’ll be working with the other members of SWSU to plan and coordinate events for all undergraduate social work students, as well as working with Cristal to plan an event in March specifically for first-year students.

I’m interested in social justice and activism; I love attending rallies, demonstrations, and discussion panels (hello there professors, please take your classes to some of the larger events on and off campus). I’m always interested in learning and hearing new perspectives and thoughts, so please don’t be shy! Say hello, let’s grab a drink and chat. Or forward me articles, blogs, or suggestions for books, movies, and documentaries that you enjoy. :3

Some other hobbies and interests: reading books (Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is my favourite), reading comics and graphic novels, coffee dates, watching a lot of Netflix, playing video games, walking my pug Kiwi, being a magical girl, and drinking tea.

Erin Reeve-NewsonCommunications Executive

Hey! My name is Erin, I use she/her pronouns and I’m the communications executive on the SWSU this year. This is my first year on the Union and I’ll be working to connect with you through social mediame! Feel free to reach out to us via our Facebook page (, Twitter (@RyeSWSU), or email ( I’ll also be collaborating with other members of the Union to facilitate events. I’m particularly interested in Mad Studies and the Mad Pride movement, and would like to complete my placement in a complimentary environment. I love cooking, reading, and hanging out with my cat!

Jason KingCommunications Executive

Hello there! My role is to connect with you through social media and to promote events offered by the Students’ Union. If you have any questions contact us on, Twitter (@RyeSWSU), or email ( I will also be collaborating with other studejasonnts from the union to facilitate and plan events. I am a Direct Entry Student from Seneca College, where I implemented and planed many events that were centred around helping youths and students. I worked directly with first generation students at leadership events. Therefore, I am truly excited to bring my knowledge and experience to the team. Don’t hesitate to say hi or ask me any questions as a member of the team I am here to serve you.  Currently I am a presenter, speaker and community leader and look forward to helping you unlock your potential.


  • I enjoy reading newspapers and watching documentaries
  • I love to blog and make YouTube videos
  • Crazy in love with social policy and Canadian politics

Fun Facts:

  • I started my own personal brand Think Possible and amworking on my first book
  • I currently work at Seneca College as a Special Event Support and Presenter
  • I did my college placement at FCJ Refuge Centre as an Immigration Consultant filling out legal documents and at Doorsteps Neighborhood Centre as a Community Worker

Maral AzimiFirst Year Ambassador

Hey lovelies, my name is Maral and I am in my 2nd year in the Social Work program. I use she/her pronouns, and I am the first year ambassador for the Social Work Students’ Union. What I am here to do? I would love to get to know you better, so please share your thoughts, interests, and experiences with me. I can help you to know your way around the campus and get comfortable. I also can advocate for you and our program by speaking on your behalf. I would love to hear about your comments and suggestions and hold cool social and academic events on how we can help you do better in school while having a social life.maral

All I am trying to say is: I’m here to hold your hand, so you’re not alone 🙂 I am very excited for this year and I am looking forward to meeting with you and hearing from you soon!


  • I love painting (oil, acrylic, black pencil and charcoal)
  • I love to dance, sing, and be out with my friends
  • I love to travel and learn about different cultures
  • I love nature, sunny days, beach, oceans and mountains and emerald green is my favourite colour

Fun Facts:

  • I have two cats that I love so so so much
  • I also speak and read Farsi
  • I have been doing yoga for the past 4 years


First Year ExecutiveLily Su

Hello, fellow Rams! I’m Lily! I am one of the two first years in the Social Work Students’ Union (a.k.a. SWSU) who you guys can contact about any questions, feedback, or concerns you would like the student union to relay to the faculty or administration. My role is to be part of the voice of social work students so don’t be shy to come to us! I am also responsible for planning and organizing fun events along with Nishanthy Nimalarajan, the other first year in the SWSU! If you guys have any ideas for events that you want to see at Ryerson then email me ASAP!


  • I have many obsessions: green tea, bubble tea, music, Winnie the Pooh, pho, and others…
  • Food!
  • I love searching up for good music on YouTube! Mainstream music is selectively good but always feel a need for more so please contact me if you got any recommendations!
  • Volunteering! If you ask me, I’ll always be volunteering for something. I am currently volunteering at the Ralph Thornton Community Centre.

Fun Facts:

  • A fortune teller came up with my Chinese name!
  • Apparently, I am fluent in Cantonese…but only for a CBC…I should work on that haha

Cristal HinesSecond Year Executive

Talk to me ! Greetings to the reader! My name is Cristal and cristalI am the Second Year Executive for Ryerson’s Social Work Students’ Union and am responsible for conveying your thoughts, wishes and/or concerns to my team. Thereby we will collectively seek to rectify or meet any pressing matters promptly and effectively! Most importantly – I am here to support you socially, professionally and academically, If I do not have an immediate answer to your questions be assured we will find one. Let’s chat soon xo

Jessica DafelSecond Year Liaison

Hello! My name is Jessica and my role is second year liaison. Although I am in my second year of the program, this is my first year at Ryerson: I am an advance standing student, previously studying social service work and now working in the field. My job on the Union is to represent second years’ needs and wishes during our year together. Please feel free to contact me with any concerns, conflicts or suggestions. I will be hosting events, bringing your suggestions forward and keeping you updated with Ryerson life. A little about myself…jessica

  • I was born in South Africa, and hold dual citizenship between Ireland and Canada
  • I enjoy running, my dog and Harry Potter
  • I hate the winter, love the sun
  • I have a big sweet tooth
  • I am a sister, partner, daughter, student, counsellor and friend
  • My experience includes….
    • Coaching children’s soccer
    • Volunteer experience in a classroom
    • Placements in the mental health field
    • Currently working as an addictions counsellor

I believe that interpersonal connection is the key to growing our Ryerson community and bettering our educational landscape. I’d love to hear from you about how we can serve you best.

Almerinda ColellaThird Year Executive

Hi everyone, my name is Almerinda Colella. I am your third year executive representative for the Social Work Students’ Union. I am a direct entry student and pronouns are she and her.

What I can do for you?almerinda

  • Provide answers to your questions
  • Advocate for our program by speaking on your behalf
  • Respond to any suggestions
  • Hold awesome academic and social events

My previous experiences in college and my workplace can be helpful for those who need support for their placements. If there is anything I can do to support you let me know. Please share your thoughts, interests, and experiences with me, I would love to chat with you. I look forward to meeting you and the chance to get to know you better.


  • I love to cook
  • I enjoy having a good meal or coffee with friends
  • Watching TV shows
  • Dancing and singing
  • Advocating against stigma and violence and for madness and disabilities

Fun Facts:

  • My name means Queen of Men
  • I make awesome cheesecakes

Josh LamersThird Year Liaison
Pronouns: He/Him

I’m the Third Year Liaison, so I’ll be working closely with the Third Year Executive with their event(s), as well as helping other Union members with events. My hope with this role is to use the experiences of students in third year to create events that fill the gaps that in-class room learning can’t engage with.


  • Enjoy going to the gym (and crying on the treadmill)
  • Writing poetry and doing spoken word
  • Love reading books

Fun Facts:

  • I’m originally from a small town (Midland, Ontario) up near Muskoka
  • I dance for a professional hip hop dance company in Toronto
  • I only started learning how to dance at the age of 17


Shawna GorskyFourth Year Executive

Hello! My name is Shawna, and I am super excited to be the fourth year executive for the Social Work Students’ Union for this school year! I am looking forward to helping to plan and run different events, especially a graduation party for the class of 20shawna17. My goal is to be super approachable and resourceful to help my colleagues in any way I can. Also, I hope to keep everyone involved in the union and connected to events and other news. I am currently completing my placement at Children’s Aid Society in the family services department. I think this will be a very valuable experience for me, as I am specifically interested in family violence and child welfare. On my spare time (not that I have very much), you can usually find me in the gym. I am also a huge sports fan, mainly hockey, baseball and soccer, and I love to ski and snowboard. I also have a genuine passion for coffee and exploring different coffee shops around the city. However, ice cream is good too. I hope to one day travel to many different places around the world and continue learning through experience. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone better and having a great year!

Yuliya GoloidaFourth Year Liaison

HI! My name is Yuliya Goloida and I am the 4th year liaison working alongside Shawna! This is my first year with the union and so I am coming on with my experiences as a 4th year student in the social work program. I want to make this year meyuliyaaningful for both the social work program and myself as a graduating student. I am passionate about health and wellness programming and hope to incorporate that into some fun and useful events and workshops for the 2016/2017 year. I am also applying for my Masters in Social Work this year so if you have any questions we can try and work through them together!


  • I love the arts, I am an avid painter, knitter, cross-stitcher, crafter and muralist
  • Proud rat owner
  • I love the outdoors and anything to do with travel

Fun Facts:

  • I am Ukrainian and am fluent in Ukrainian and Russian
  • I actually love random facts: when hippos are upset, their sweat turns red

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