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About Us

Meet the Team

residence life office STAFF

David Kim

Dean of Residence and Director of Student Life

Eliza Davies-Greenwald

Assistant Dean Residence Administration

On leave

Dana Burke

Assistant Dean Residence Administration

Kate Milligan

Residence Services Coordinator

Maisha Maliyat

Administration and Communications Assistant

Vithushon Thayalan

Residence Life Coordinator

On Secondment

Zahabiya Chechatwala

Residence Life Coordinator

Klara Kovarova

Associate Dean Residence Life

Anika Robert-Stahlbrand

Student Life Programs Coordinator

Kohen McBride

Marketing & Communication Assistant

Aisalyn Templin

Administration and Communications Assistant

On leave

Jessie Torchia

Residence Life Coordinator

 Bailee Walls-Guertin

Assistant Dean Residence Life

2022-23 DON TEAM

Residence Dons are upper year undergraduate or graduate students who live and work in residence to offer advice and support on academic, personal, or interpersonal concerns. Dons ensure that our community standards are respected, provide campus resources as required, and work within the community to organize social and education programming for students.


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Faculty in Residence

Chirag Variawa

Chirag Variawa

Chirag Variawa is an Assistant Professor, Teaching-stream, and Director, First-year Curriculum, in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto.  Variawa received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in 2014, and his B.A.Sc. in Materials Science Engineering in 2009, both from the University of Toronto. Variawa is an active member of the Canadian Engineering Education Association, the founding faculty member of the First-year Engineering Education Research Group, and a former member of the Governing Council at the University of Toronto. His multi-disciplinary research uses principles from artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, higher education and aspects of neuroscience to investigate the design of engineering learning environments. In his leisure time, he enjoys tinkering with cars and electronics, and sharing this passion students interested in STEM.

This year, Chirag Variawa is living-in at Chestnut Residence as the Faculty in Residence (FiR). As the FiR, Chirag will organize programs and special events geared towards Chestnut’s Engineering student population. Through programming and connecting with students he aims to build an even stronger sense of community and support here at Chestnut residence for Engineering students. Look out for regular Dinner with Your Prof events, Coffee with your TA, and industry nights planned in collaboration with leading companies.


International Transition Advisor

Centre for International Experience

If you’re an international student or new to Toronto, the Centre for International Experience (CIE) is available to you. Advisors at the CIE can assist students in making an effective transition to academic and cultural life at the University of Toronto and the city broadly.

Chestnut will be offering helpful workshops throughout the year in close collaboration with the CIE. Stay tuned for specific topics and dates while we work to organize them for you!

In the meantime feel free to reach out to the CIE if you wish to discuss things like: general immigration concerns, healthcare access/insurance/well-being, adjusting to academic/social/cultural changes, finding community connection on campus, searching for leadership and volunteer opportunities, or learning about the numerous global opportunities available (U of T has over 150 partnerships around the world!).

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Academic Advising for Engineering students

Do you have questions about your first-year courses, your program, or navigating resources at U of T Engineering? One of the academic advisors from the First Year Office will be available for drop-in appointments every Friday in September from 1:00 – 4:00 PM. Just come by the Residence Life Office (located on the main floor, to the left of The Hearth). Check in with staff at the Residence Life Office front desk and you’ll be seen as soon as possible!

  • Friday, September 9th, 1:00 – 4:00 PM (Jennifer Fabro)
  • Friday, September 16th, 1:00 – 4:00 PM (TBD)
  • Friday, September 23rd, 1:00 – 4:00 PM (TBD)
  • Friday, September 30th, 1:00 – 4:00 PM (TBD)

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career team

Are you looking to explore your career options? Trying to find strategies to navigate career decisions? Needs resources to improve your resume?

Book an appointment with the Career Exploration & Education Centre to find ways to meet employers, industry experts and alumni; identify goals and navigate career decisions; and improve your resume, interviews and online presence.

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Community Wellness Coordinator

The Community Wellness Coordinator coordinates and facilitate programs for all Chestnut residents so you’ll likely encounter them out and about in the community. They also work to help develop a wellness framework for the Chestnut Residence Life program and will regularly solicit feedback from the residence community on their experiences with health and wellness.

The 2022-23 Community Wellness Coordinator is: Saumya Mathur

Hello, hello, everyone! Pleased to e-meet you! My name is Saumya (it kind of sounds like “insomnia” without the “in-” and the 2nd “n”), my pronouns are she/her/hers, and I’m the incoming Community Wellness Coordinator for the 2022-2023 academic year.

A bit about me: I’m originally from Pickering, ON (shoutout to Shawn Mendes, anyone?) and even though I was a huge theatre and vocals kid in high school, I studied Biology, Neuroscience, and Chemistry at the UTM campus.

This September, I started my Master of Science degree in Cell & Systems Biology, also at Mississauga, where I TA for a 2nd-year Human Anatomy & Physiology course. It is this course that got me started with Student Housing & Residence life, as I’ve worked as a Peer Academic Leader for a Living Learning Community (LLC) centered around this subject area. From there, I transitioned to a more paraprofesisonal role as a Community Assistant where I supported my own team of student staff. When I’m not here, you might find me at Indigo, so if you need any book, movie, or music recommendations, please reach out.




Interested in getting involved at Chestnut? Click on ‘Current Openings’ or ‘Volunteer Opportunities’ to learn about available positions.

Community Wellness Coordinator

Details coming soon!

Details will be posted as opportunities become available.


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Student Leaders