Current Job OpeningsVolunteer

Academic Mentors (AM) – 2 Positions Available

Job Description: Academic Mentor Job Description 2020-2021

Deadline: Thursday, September 24 @ 11:59 PM

How to apply: Please apply via CLNx

Engineering Program Ambassadors (EPA) – 2 Positions Available

Job Description & Application: Engineering Programming Ambassador Job Description & Application 2020-2021

Deadline: Thursday, September 24 @ 11:59 PM

How to apply: Email your complete cover letter, resume, and question response outlined in the application to Vithu Thayalan, Residence Life Coordinator at chestnut.life@utoronto.ca

Volunteer with Urban Crew!

Urban Crew members will be responsible for assisting with the oversight of student spaces in the Chestnut Residence. The regular focus of this role will be around the Urban Lounge, a student lounge and community programming space. Urban Crew members are responsible for a three-hour shift once a week where they help maintain a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in Urban Lounge. Due to COVID-19, there are restrictions in place, for example usually Urban Crew members would sign-out equipment for playing pool, table tennis, Foosball, air hockey or board games. However, for the time being, the logging out of shared equipment is suspended. Thus, while the restrictions remain in place, the role of the Urban Crew members will be to build community by creating a welcoming student space, this may include answering student questions, setting up music or hosting Movie Nights. Urban Crew members will be kept apprised of any changes to the restrictions or resumption of regular activities.

If you are interested in getting involved, please complete the application form by Wednesday, September 9th. APPLICATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO BE ACCEPTED ON A ROLLING BASIS UNTIL ALL POSITIONS ARE FILLED.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Frank Sandoval, Urban Crew Manager at frank.sandovalmacias@mail.utoronto.ca

Join RAC!

Consider joining the Residence Affairs Committee (RAC)! RAC is a committee made up of students and staff members who meet 4 times/academic year to review issues. RAC makes recommendations and provides advice on:

  • The Co-Curricular Record (CCR)
  • The Chestnut Tree and related food operations
  • Student spaces at Chestnut Communications
  • Student Policies
  • Funding requests (where applicable)
  • Other matters, as brought forward

To apply to join the committee, please email eliza.daviesg@utoronto.ca to indicate your interest.

Please include your name, student number and a short statement on why you would like to join RAC (150 words or less).

Please apply by Sunday October 4th.

Events, Groups, and Clubs

Upcoming EventsChestnut Groups and Clubs

For more information, contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca

Chestnut Residence is home to many student-led groups and clubs that organize activities and are fun for students to be a part of. In addition to clubs and groups, Chestnut has many intramural teams students can take part in.

For more information, contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca

 Student Leaders

Academic MentorsEngineering Programming Ambassadors (EPAs)Floor CouncilResidence CouncilUrban CrewResidence Affairs Committee (RAC)

Academic Mentors (AMs) are upper year student leaders in Arts & Science. They are dedicated to supporting the academic success of first year students in Arts & Science by running helpful programs, hosting monthly study sessions, and by advising and referring students to resources on campus.

Programs that the AMs run are designed to help first year students explore new resources or ideas, interact with faculty or staff as helpful networking opportunities, build transferable skills that can aid in finding summer work, and generally link students to helpful resources that can be used in upper years. Examples include workshops and sessions on cover letter/resume skills, goal setting, and utilizing academic advising and other offices on campus to support success.

AMs work closely with the Engineering Programming Ambassadors (EPAs) and Student Life Programs Coordinator.

The AMs this year are:

  • Details coming soon!

If you have questions about the AMs or AM programming, please contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca

Engineering Programming Ambassadors (EPAs) are upper year student leaders in the Engineering program. They are dedicated to supporting the academic success of first year students in the Engineering program by running helpful programs, hosting monthly study sessions, and by advising and referring students to resources on campus.

Programs that the EPAs run are designed to help first year students explore new resources or ideas, interact with faculty or staff as helpful networking opportunities, build transferable skills that can aid in finding summer work, and generally link students to helpful resources that can be used in upper years. Examples include workshops and sessions on cover letter/resume skills, goal setting, and utilizing academic advising and other offices on campus to support success.

EPAs work closely with the Academic Mentors, Student Life Programs Coordinator, and Faculty in Residence.

The EPAs this year are:

  • Details coming soon!

If you have questions about the EPAs or EPA programming, please contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca

Run for student government! Every year, two students are elected on each floor to be the Floor President and Social Coordinator. All students living on the floor are eligible to run for positions and participate in events. Floor Councils run events on the floor and work alongside the Chestnut Residence Council and the Floor Don.

Elections are held in September, shortly after Orientation Week!

For more information, contact chestnutrescouncil@gmail.com

The Chestnut Residence Council is a Student governing body that plans social, athletic and community events and organizes:

  • The annual Chestnut semi-formal
  • Coffee houses and open mic nights
  • Ski and snowboarding trips
  • They purchase equipment including the PS4, music instruments, board games etc.
  • Intramural sports tournaments and much more!

Each floor has representatives on the council along with executive members.

For more information, contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca or chestnutrescouncil@gmail.com

Learn more about residence council and the executive members….


As of Sunday, September 20th, 2020, Urban Crew in Urban Lounge will be operational with a limited schedule:

  • Monday – Thursday: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 PM – Midnight (12:00 AM)
  • Saturday & Sunday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM

The Urban Crew is involved in the day-to-day operation of Urban Lounge, Chestnut Residence’s large, multi-use student space. Urban Crew members are responsible for a three-hour shift once a week where they help maintain a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in Urban Lounge.  They also help students use the AV equipment to watch movies, TV, or play video games as well as sign-out equipment for playing pool, table tennis, Foosball, video games and board games.

For more information, contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca

The purpose of the Residence Affairs Committee (RAC) is to review issues that are brought to the committee by the residence community. The Residence Affairs Committee may make recommendations and provide advice on:

  • The Co-Curricular Record (CCR)
  • The Chestnut Tree and related food operations;
  • Use of the Residence’s physical facilities for student use;
  • Communications;
  • Policies relating to student issues;
  • Funding requests (where applicable); and
  • Any other matters directed to it by the Chestnut Board

The Residence Affairs Committee consists of:

  • The Building Manager
  • The Dean of Residence
  • At least one other staff member of the Residence Office
  • The Chestnut Residence Council President or a designate
  • At least one other Chestnut staff member
  • Current residents of Chestnut Residence
  • 2 Residence Dons

For more information, contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca.

The Residence Affairs Committee shall meet twice per term or more depending on the issues that arise. For more information to attend the next RAC meeting please contact the committee via email: chestnut.life@utoronto.ca

Terms of Reference

Meeting Minutes

Do you have a new idea or initiative for the building or the Chestnut Residence community? Did you know that special funding may be available via RAC.

Please fill out the funding request form below and share your idea with RAC members.

RAC Chestnut Initiative Fund Request Form

Upcoming meetings

Coming soon!


Residence DonsResidence Life OfficeFaculty in ResidenceHealth & Wellness CounsellorInternational Transition AdvisorCareer TeamStudent Life Programs Coordinator

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.

2020-21 Don Team:


Mike – Floor 5 

Mike is returning to the Don role for a second year and is beginning his PhD in Geography. His work will focus on the politics of street food vending in Thailand. He has had the opportunity to compete and coach with the Varsity Blues Badminton Team throughout his time in undergraduate studies. Prior to returning to graduate school, he had the privilege to volunteer and work internationally, throughout India, Barbados, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. He’s an avid traveller and other passions include cooking, records, cycling, and community development. He is incredibly excited to be back and working with such a diverse and interesting array of students in the Chestnut community. 


Lauren – Floor 6 

Welcome Floor 6! I am so excited to be your don for the 2020-2021 academic year 🙂 I look forward to meeting you all and supporting you during your time here at Chestnut! 

Program: Cognitive Science 

Hobbies: life drawing, winter sports, and sewing 🙂 

Fun Fact: I used to play roller derby when I was in high school 🤪 


Nadine – Floor 7 

Hi folks! I am so excited to meet you and to welcome you to Chestnut Residence! In time, I hope this space becomes your home away from home, and that you find a second family within the Chestnut community! I am so stoked to meet and connect with you and to support you through your personal, professional, and academic endeavors! 

Program: Master of Arts in Social Justice Education with a Collaborative Specialization in Public Health Policy 

Hobbies: Martial arts, swimming, dancing, walking, jamming to music, and spending quality time with my loved ones! 

Fun Fact: I have lived across three different continents, and hold three nationalities. 


Diana – Floor 10 

Hello Everyone! My name is Diana, and I am going into my third year at U of T. I am super excited to be a Don at Chestnut this year and to get to know each of you along the way. As a fellow architecture student, I am excited to pass on tips I have learned over the last couple of years and help with your transition into post-secondary. If you see me at any time around Chestnut please feel free so say hi I’d love to chat! 

Program: A Specialist in Architectural Studies with a Double Minor in Environmental and Urban Studies 

Hobbies: I love dancing, running and working out 

Fun Fact: One fun fact about me is that I have memorized 61 digits of Pi 


Liz – Floor 11 

Hi there! My name is Liz, I’m a CIV2T0 + PEY, I just finished my PEY term and will be heading into my fourth year. I’m super excited to meet with all of you both virtually and/or possibly physically (while following Public Health guidelines). If you have any questions related to navigating first year, what PEY is like or anything else in general, feel free to reach out. I’m looking forward to being your don for the upcoming school year! 

Program: Civil Engineering 

Hobbies: Dragon boating, crafting, netflix, reading, trekking outdoors and camping 

Fun Fact: Last summer I managed to run a 10K and raced in two dragon boating competitions in the same day. It was a tiring but fun day! 


Jamie – Floor 12 

Hi there! My name is Jamie & I’ll be your don for this upcoming year. I’m so excited to meet and get to know you ☺️ I look forward to finding ways to best support & create a positive residence experience for you! 

Program: Masters of Social Work 

Hobbies: Music, sports, animals, travelling, finding new food places 

Fun Fact: I write and perform music 


Ben – Floor 14 

Hi 14th floor! My name’s Ben and I’m gonna be your don this year. I know that this school term is really unprecedented and weird due to COVID, but I’m really excited to think of unique and creative ways we can cultivate an amazing floor community despite that. Don’t hesitate to knock on my door and come say hi! Can’t wait to meet you all 🙂 

Program: Computer Engineering 

Hobbies: Weightlifting, and (very very amateur) guitar playing 

Fun Fact: I’ve never had coffee before! 


Owen – Floor 15 

Welcome Chestnut Residence! Welcome to the 15th floor! I am your Don, Owen. I’m a fourth year student in Kinesiology and physical education. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any question. I am here for you! Stay healthy and stay active! 

Program: Kinesiology and Physical Education 

Hobbies: Karate, Cooking, Sports, Cats 

Fun Fact: I have a cat named Dumpling! 


Shreya – Floor 16 

Hello and welcome to the Arts and Culture floor! I’m Shreya, an incoming fifth year neuroscience and music student and I’ll be your don this year. I’m super excited to get to know all of you as you start your journey at U of T – ask me anything about getting involved on campus, managing coursework, homesickness, and the best ice cream places around campus (especially the last one) Looking forward to our year together! 

Program: Bachelor of Science, I just graduated my Bachelor of Music 

Hobbies: Music (of course) embroidery, running, knitting 

Fun Fact: I have an autobiographical memory condition that means I can tell you the day of the week of any date in the past 8 years on demand! 


Aysha – Floor 17 

Hello! My name’s Aysha Mohammed and I’m entering my fourth year! I am currently in the Rotman Commerce Program, specializing in Finance and Economics with a minor in Mathematics. I’m also an international student and I only experienced snow for the first time when I moved here! Please feel free to reach out about courses, university life, how to transition, or anything you need. Looking forward to meeting you all!! 

Program: Rotman Commerce 

Hobbies: Swimming, reading, shopping 

Fun Fact: I was born on Halloween 


Hannah – Floor 18 

Welcome to both the Chestnut and Skule Engineering UofT communities! I hope you are able to find a part in both of these communities that you can call home. I’m always happy to lend a (physically distant) ear, hand, or whatever body part I can to be there and help out – ask me anytime. 

Program: Mechanical Engineering 

Hobbies: Exercising (yoga, kickboxing, swimming), taking photos and making slideshows from them, FaceTiming my three younger siblings 

Fun Fact: Enthusiastic fan of wordplay, B99 and ATLA, and 20 minute power naps 


Chamique – Floor 20 

Welcome to Chestnut and the 20th floor! My name is Chamique (SHA-MEE-KA) and I’m your new community don for the upcoming school year. I’m looking to forward to meeting and getting to know each and every one of you soon. Even though these next semesters might look a little different, I hope you are as exited for this new year at U of T as I am. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out and if you need anything, have questions, or just want to chat, stop by my room (2034) anytime. 😊 

Program: Bachelor of Arts – majoring in Health Studies and Linguistics 

Hobbies: Reading is a large hobby of mine. As well, I was heavily involved in competitive dance and musical theatre but now just teach and choreograph for students when I can. 

Fun Fact: I once climbed to the top of a waterfall in Dominica and vow to never do so again. 


Kadija – Floor 21 & 22 

Hello everyone and welcome to Chestnut! My name is Kadija and I am one of the lead dons at Chestnut this year. I’m so excited to begin the school year with you all! I’m super friendly, so if you see me around Chestnut, please don’t hesitate to say hello! 

I’ve been a criminology and sociolegal studies student for some time and I really enjoy it! A fun fact about me is that I got my fitness and nutrition expert certification during the summer. You will most definitely find me participating in some form of physical activity. 



Sean – Floor 23 

My name is Sean and I’m currently doing a PhD in Biochemistry at UofT! Outside of the research lab, I love to rock climb, listen to and make music, and watch stand-up comedy. I’m looking forward to meeting you all! 





Cansu – Floor 24 

Hi! I’m Cansu, the don of the 24th floor. I am starting my Master of Education in Social Justice Education at OISE and this will be my third year donning at Chestnut! Outside of school, I love reading, doing yoga, and hanging out with my two french bulldogs. 

Program: Master of Education in Social Justice Education 

Hobbies: Reading, Yoga, Watching Films 

Fun Fact: I used to be a competitive swimmer 


Sarina – Floor 25 

Hi friend! Neither of us probably imagined being introduced to each other this way, but I’m excited to meet you nonetheless! I’m looking forward to supporting you as you start (or continue) this chapter of your life. University can be both rewarding and challenging. Things may not always go according to plan (my first year definitely didn’t!), but that’s okay. The most important thing is that you ask for help as soon as you need it. I did my undergrad at U of T too (majored in Sociology, minored in Political Science and English), so feel free to ask me any questions, whether it’s about study skills, course selection, or opportunities on campus. Welcome to Chestnut and U of T! 

Program: Master of Teaching 

Hobbies: Singing, Songwriting, Playing the Ukulele, Swimming, Badminton, Basketball, Zumba, Reading 

Fun Fact: I got to professionally record a song with my university a cappella choir! 


Olivia – Floor 26/27 

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to meet you all! This year will be a new learning experience for all of us and I embrace the challenge. I look forward to our time together! 

Program: Music 

Hobbies: I’ve just started learning how to knit! 

Fun Fact: I am the second oldest of five children. 

David Kim
Dean of Residence & Director of Student Life



Eliza Davies-Greenwald
Assistant Dean Residence Administration



Kate Milligan
Residence Services Coordinator



Vithushon Thayalan
Residence Life Coordinator



Alex Humphries
Manager, Admissions & Communications

(on leave)


Ruth Hobbis

Administration and Communications Assistant


Klara Kovarova
Assistant Dean Residence Life



Sonja Smiljanic
Student Life Programs Coordinator

(on leave)


Kohen McBride
Marketing & Communication Assistant



Aaron Tsang
Residence Life Coordinator

(on Secondment)


Aisalyn Templin

Administration and Communications Assistant

(on leave)

Faculty in Residence: 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.

Health & Wellness Counsellor

2020-21 Schedule Coming Soon!

Are you feeling like you need the support of a professional counsellor? This year we’ve launched a partnership with Health & Wellness that brings a Health & Wellness counsellor to Chestnut two days a week for on-location appointments at Chestnut. Ashley Carr, the counsellor, will be working out of an office in Chestnut on Mondays and Tuesdays.

To get an appointment with Ashley please call Health & Wellness directly and let them know you’re a Chestnut student wishing to book an appointment with our On Location Counsellor. If you need assistance feel free to stop by the Residence Life Office and speak with one of our Residence Life Coordinators, Aaron or Vithu, or our Assistant Dean, Residence Life, Klara.

Centre for International Experience

2020-21 Schedule Coming Soon!

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!).

Career Exploration & Education – Peer Career Educators

2020-21 Schedule Coming Soon!

 We’re excited to have a close connection with the Career Team at Career Exploration & Education! Every Wednesday you can find Marion and Dash, two Peer Career Advisors from the Career Centre hosting drop-in hours in the Chestnut lobby.

They can talk with you about: finding meaningful work, exploring career options, creating application materials like cover letters and resumes, interview strategies and practice, and tips for networking.

Marion Kang, Peer Career Educator

My name is Marion Kang and I am a 3rd year Life Science student majoring in Human Biology. I enjoy being a peer career advisor as I am able to help students from various programs and areas explore and learn about their career options. Aside from studies and helping students, I also take part in FLUX, a competitive dance team representing the University of Toronto St. George campus at post-secondary competitions. I look forward to helping you discover your career goals and interests!

Dash Kaur, Peer Career Educator

My name is Dashmeet Kaur and I am a 3rd year Chemical Engineering student minoring in Advanced Manufacturing.  The best part about being a Peer Career Advisor is that you get to interact with new students during the appointments and through those 20 minutes you get to build a sense of community with the students which is a value very close to my heart. I like being able to support students to help them succeed in their chosen career path. In my free time I love to dance and swim. I am very excited to connect with you and have meaningful career chats!

Acting as a bridge between the academic divisions of U of T and the residence community, the Student Life Programs Coordinator provides on-the-ground support to students with academic questions and needing personal support. Typical queries can include:

  • Engineering policy questions (regarding probation, repeating a course, transferring programs, or petitions)
  • Time management and study skills help
  • Referrals to supports on campus

In addition to these referral services, the SLPC provides community and academic support for students, including academic sessions, extra-curricular opportunities, and employment.

Some examples include:

  • Academic Mentors – a group of upper year students, employed by the Res Life Office, who provide academic assistance and support to the Chestnut community
  • Engineering Ambassadors – a group of upper year engineering students, employed by the Res Life Office, who deliver fun and impactful programs including de-stress activities (ie therapy dogs), info sessions regarding summer research opportunities, and review sessions with engineering professors
  • Dinner with Your Profs – a catered dinner for Faculty and students to meet and connect
  • Workshops and seminars throughout the year, targeting specific skills and study habits

Email: chestnut.life@utoronto.ca