Master in Environmental Studies (MES) Graduate Profiles

Amiel Blajchman, MES 2005

Amiel is the Director of Environment, Aboriginal, and Community Affairs at Premier Goldmines.  He is responsible for all aspects of work related to environment, aboriginal and community affairs, as well as government relations.  His experience includes working with the Canadian government on greenspace projects, sustainable development programs and on policy documents about issues as diverse as climate change, sustainable development, and the environmental and social impacts of transportation.

Amiel Blajchman

Suzin Ferris, MES 1987

Suzin Ferris is currently the President of Ferris Associates Career Consultants. Her company offers fitness programs and instruction customized for individuals and groups. The company also offers lifestyle management workshops, as well as consultation and program design for companies, individuals and groups.

Suzin worked for over thirty-five years in various leadership roles within York University, specifically at the Office of the Registrar and Atkinson College.  Her MES focused on the environment of health and fitness, and her thesis was entitled “Women, Work and Well-Being”.  Suzin is also a certified Fitness Instructor, and has over 25 years of experience as a fitness trainer at York University, Seneca College and the Bathurst Jewish Community Centre.

Suzin Ferris

Elizabeth Brulé, MES 1988

Elizabeth Brulé is currently completing a Ph.D. in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education at OISE of the University of Toronto. Her area of specialization is in the field of sociology of education and encompasses a strong interdisciplinary knowledge of feminist, Marxist, critical race theory and critical pedagogy.

Her academic and professional publications address sociological concerns as they apply to educational policy, post-secondary institutional reform and their effects on marginalized youth from a cross-cultural perspective. Her present research explores the effectiveness of emerging post-secondary policies of 'student engagement' in addressing the educational needs of disadvantaged youth.

Elizabeth Brule

Vinod Goel, MES 1986

Dr. Vinod Goel is a professor at the Psychology Department at the Faculty of Health at York University.  His areas of focus include cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience.  He is also interested in understanding the cognitive and neurophysiological structures and process underlying human reasoning and problem solving abilities. Additionally, he is interested in verbal protocol analysis studies of normal and patient populations, computational modeling, and neuroimaging techniques involving Postron Emission Tomography (PET) and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI).

Vinod Goel

Caroline Underwood, MES 1981

Caroline Underwood is a Senior Producer with the CBC's Science and Natural History Unit and is the Series Producer of Wild Canada a four part series airing in March 2013. The unit's flagship programme, "The Nature of Things with David Suzuki", is a multi-award winning series that is seen in many countries around the world and is entering its 53rd season.

Caroline has also produced, directed and written more than twenty-five of her own award-winning documentaries for "The Nature of Things" and independent production companies. The focus of her work has been the natural world and environment. She has filmed in many remote locations, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, to reveal the beauty, complexity and the threats facing some of the planet's last great wildernesses and their inhabitants.

Caroline Underwood
Peter Shepherd, MES 1986

Peter Shepherd stumbled out of McMaster U. in 1970 with a simple BA in Psych. and some bizarre adventures in community development in the east end of Hamilton Ontario.  Soon moving to BC, he took his talent for sciences and distaste for office work into civil engineering & construction in the BC interior.  After 10 years in BC, the economy collapsed, and Peter decided that a career in the public sector would be more beneficial than one in private sector construction.

Peter entered the MES program in 1983, and completed it in 1986.  Since then, his life has never been the same.  Peter's Urban Planning degree from FES opened the doors to non-profit housing development, a brief career that nearly burned out many noble spirits, including his.  But it did prepare Peter for the twists and turns of public policy, and FES had certainly prepared him for dealing with baroque bureaucracy. 

He joined the Ontario Public Service, spending 20 years with several Ontario government ministries. Among the many experiences were: housing policy and program implementation, organizational development, emergency planning, accessibility policy and implementation, financial policy and practice, and much more.

Peter is now retired and lives with his partner Salina in a corner of Toronto called Mimico, and devotes his time between local community development volunteerism and sculpture.

Peter Shepherd

Matthew Bruder, MES 2007

Matt Bruder is a Transportation Planner with Stantec Consulting Ltd. He has a background in sustainable business development, particularly green business and his primary role is to guide major highway projects through the Provincial Class Environmental Assessment Process. Matt has worked on over 30 projects ranging in complexity from new highway route assessments in northern Ontario to various bridge rehabilitation projects and highway resurfacing programs. Matt’s role on these projects has included co-ordination of stakeholder consultation, assisting in evaluating design alternatives; working with the project team to undertake impact assessments and identify mitigation measures; and producing final project documentation. Matt has recently become accredited under the Envision SP rating system for transportation projects. This is a revolutionary program design to apply evaluation criteria to projects similar to LEED design and apply a score based on the sustainable design to be implemented. Matt is among the initial group of professionals to carry this accreditation.

Matt also has experience in urban design, and has recently obtained his LEED Green Associate certification. He has a particular interest in sustainable business and development practices and has recently developed a recognition entity called Greenfoot Inc. Through Greenfoot Inc, Matt’s objective is to bring all businesses that are credibly certified producers of sustainable products or services under one umbrella to make purchasing these products easier for environmentally conscious consumers and to contribute to the growth of the sustainable development industry. 

Matthew Bruder

Bill Mocsan, MES 1984

Mr. Mocsan is the Vice President and Managing Director for Knowles Consultancy Services Inc.  He has over thirty years of work experience in private sector consulting and public sector administration, finance, management and policy development.  As a member of the Ontario Public Service, Mr. Mocsan worked at four provincial ministries including: Energy; Transportation; Community and Social Services; and Tourism and Recreation. 

As a member of the Knowles team he has been involved in over 200 consulting assignments and projects ranging from risk assessments, complex procurement initiatives and business process reviews.  His work also includes a variety of other management consulting services to both public and private sector clients, providing advice on projects related to road safety and the development of energy conservation programs. 

Mr. Mocsan holds a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from York University.  His main areas of study involved investigating the relationship between land use and energy consumption and to identify opportunities where city planning and design could be used as a means to reduce future energy demand.  In addition, Mr. Mocsan is a Certified Management Consultant and a member of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants.

Bill Mocsan

David Donnelly, MES 1995

David Donnelly is one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers and an award-winning advocate for smart growth. He has represented public interest groups and ratepayers in some of Ontario’s key environmental battles, including:  the Oak Ridges Moraine hearing in Richmond Hill, the Big Bay Point OMB mega-marina hearing, the Walkerton Commission of Inquiry, and the Greenbelt Plan for Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe.

Mr. Donnelly has been an advisor to government on law and planning reform, including the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights, and is a frequent media commentator. He goes to court regularly to protect greenspace, aboriginal cultural heritage and to prosecute environmental offences.

Mr. Donnelly has a law degree from the University of Windsor and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from York University. Prior to practicing law, he was a professional planner and the executive director of Environmental Defence Canada from 1988-1996.

David Donnelly

Linda Starodub, MES 1979

Originally trained as a city planner in Toronto, Linda recently concluded a long career with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Over the years she acquired wide-ranging experience in human resources management, facilitation, change management, volunteer-sending programmes, as well as in development project planning and evaluation. Now based in Vienna, Austria, she pursues a variety of interests: mentoring and career counselling especially for younger generations; facilitation of meetings and change processes; and helping to mount theatre, musical and radio productions. Linda holds an MBA, a Masters in Environmental Studies and a PhD in Cross-Cultural Organization Development. Her work has taken her to more than 50 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia – with several long-term assignments. She has worked in French and in Spanish and also speaks some German and Italian.

Linda Starodub

Sabrina Dias, MES 2005

With15 years in the mining industry and 10 years specializing in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Sabrina is currently advising clients on corporate and site-level CSR strategies to mitigate social risk and maximize stakeholder support. Her specialties are designing and implementing corporate-wide management systems for CSR (including policy and programming), stakeholder engagement planning, developing training for internal stakeholders and conducting corporate and site-level risk assessments. She led CSR site teams for several multi-billion dollar mining projects which included designing community development strategies, community health programs, resettlement planning, grievance mechanisms, developing key performance indicators and monitoring and evaluation plans.  Sabrina’s career to date has taken her to Tanzania, Madagascar, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and North and South America.  A licensed Professional Engineer, Sabrina holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from York University and a Graduate Diploma in Business and the Environment from the Schulich School of Business, York University. (Photo Credit: Garrick Ng (MBA Schulich '04)

Sabrina Dias