Student Leaders

Academic MentorsChestnut Groups, Clubs and IntramuralsEngineering Programming Ambassadors (EPAs)Floor CouncilResidence CouncilUrban CrewResidence Affairs Committee (RAC)

Academic mentors are upper year student leaders that are dedicated to improving academic success at Chestnut. Responsibilities include hosting weekly study session/office hours, advising and referring students to resources on campus, designing and implementing academic-focused programs, and collaborating with partners on campus.

For more information, contact

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

EPAs are enthusiastic peer leaders who represent the engineering community at Chestnut Residence. EPAs support students in the Engineering Science, Core 8, and TrackOne programs by providing referrals and support, partnering with offices on campus, and delivering programming that caters to the engineering experience. Their role is to help fellow students transition to university and engineering life.

For more information, contact

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 will be held in September, shortly after Orientation Week!

For more information, contact

The Chestnut Residence Council: 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 mike nights
  • ski and snowboarding trips
  • The 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 or

Learn more about who your residence council is….

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

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 Residence dining hall and related food operations, Usage of facilities for student, Communications, Student related policies, Funding requests (where applicable), and any other matters directed to it by the Chestnut Board.

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:

Terms of Reference

Meeting Minutes – TBD

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


Current Job OpeningsVolunteer

Residence Summer Assistant 

Residence Summer Assistants at Chestnut Residence work with Front Desk operations and the Residence Life Office to assist with summer operations. This includes conducting tours for prospective students, performing room checks, communicating with summer guests, on-call, assisting with preparation for fall move-in and much more! This position is paid and includes accommodation and a meal plan. Please see the position description for more details. >Residence Summer Assistant Position Description<

The deadline to apply is Friday, March 29, 2019 and applications (resume and cover letter) can be sent to

Urban Crew Manager

Details & Application COMING SOON!

Orientation Leaders (for Fall 2019)

Details & Application COMING SOON!


Residence DonsResidence Life OfficeInternational Transition AdvisorCareer TeamStudent Life Programs CoordinatorResidence Affairs Committee

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.

2018-19 Don Team:

Anushree  – 4th Floor
Program: Mathematics and Statistics, minor in Religion
I am passionate about I love hiking, travelling, exploring places and meeting new people. One time I hiked up to the glacier top of a mountain and slid down a whole 2kms on it!

Paul – 5th Floor (All Male)
Program: Engineering Science – Robotics Stream
I am passionate about Baseball, Huge Bluejays fan, even bigger fantasy baseball nerd. I love to dance, was into shuffling BEFORE party rock anthem, and have made youtube videos of me shuffling on 4 continents.

Aaron – 6th Floor
Program: Rotman Commerce
I am passionate about boxing. A random fact: I Used to be an actor in film/TV.


Lauren – 7th Floor (Intercultural Experience Community)
Program: Buddhist studies major, minoring in Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health and Religion.
I am passionate about camping, life drawing, Jeff Goldblum and flaming hot sweet chilli cheetos. A random fact about me is that when I was 6 I got a barbie bead stuck up my nose because I wanted a nose piercing and had to go to the hospital to get it taken out.

Federico – 8th Floor
Program: Robotics Engineering in Engineering Science, Minor in Engineering Business
I am passionate about technology and technological progress, and I want to work on artificial intelligence and prosthetics. My hope is that one day soon we will all start incorporating technology into our own bodies. I spend most of my time reading, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and playing board games.

Aliza – 9th Floor
Program: Criminology and Sociolegal major with a double minor in Sociology and Political Science.
I am passionate about Student Life (which is obviously why I became a don!) and fixing the Criminal Justice system (which is also why I’m majoring in it!). A random fact about me is that I have a reaaallllyyyy loud, and some might call obnoxious, laugh.

Richelle – 10th Floor (Woodsworth Community)
Program: Environmental Studies and minor in Philosophy and French
I am passionate about music and learning about and discussing ethical dilemmas. A random fact about myself is that when I read fictional stories, I usually read them continuously until I have completed the book because I get so caught up in the world that I just cannot put the book down.

Kevin – 11th Floor (Engineering Community)
Program: Engineering Science (Robotics Major)
I am passionate about technology, with side hobbies in ping pong, alpine ski, sailing and guitar. I also have my Private Pilot Licence from a scholarship course with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, and have recently gotten back to flying last summer.

Cansu – 12th Floor
Program: Criminology
I am very passionate when it comes to cooking! I love exploring new dishes and challenging myself while discovering my favourite meals. A random fact: I was born in Ankara, Turkey.

Lavi – 14th Floor 
Program: Social Cultural Anthropology with minors in religion and Diaspora and Transnational Studies
I am passionate about makeup. A random fact: I went horseback riding for the first time this summer!


Daniel – 15th Floor (Life Science Community)
Program: M.Sc. in Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine
I am passionate about medicine, translational research, health advocacy, basketball, and Ultimate Frisbee. I’m an adrenaline junkie and went bungee jumping when I was 11. Skydiving is next on my list.

Kyle – 16th Floor (Engineering Community)
Program: Mechanical Engineering
I am passionate about Student entrepreneurship, helping others achieve big things early in their careers. A random face about me: I was born cross eyed.

Peter – 17th Floor
Program: Rotman Commerce Finance and Economics Specialist
I am passionate about sports! Some of the sports that I’ve played for a long time are volleyball, basketball, snowboard, and ultimate frisbee. Out of all these various sports, I’ve played basketball at the highest level on the provincial teams! Aside from sports, I am very passionate when it comes to food! One of the hardest things is trying to find a type of food that I would dislike because I really do enjoy any type of food. Random Fact: I love animals but I am allergic to cats.

Kadija – 18th Floor
Program: PhD in Criminology
I am passionate about health and wellness. Our bodies are temples and we must treat them as such. Random fact: An interesting fact about myself is that I love nature.

Aditi – 19th Floor
Program: Economics
I’m passionate about the stock market and all its intricacies. I love watching movies and tv shows (I honestly watch too many shows). I once binged Game of Thrones in 4 days over the summer, I barely slept but it was totally worth it. I also do love to travel and a fun fact about me is that I once cycled down from Seattle to San-Fransisco.

Olivia – 20th Floor (Arts & Culture Community)
Program: Music Major
I am passionate about creating, playing and listening to music. A random fact about me is that I come from a big family. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister.


Ian – 21st Floor 
Program: Double major in political science & American Studies, minor in Human Geography
I am passionate about pizza rolls. Random fact: I can wiggle my left ear.


Shewit – 22nd Floor (Humanities & Social Sciences Community)
Program: MPH: Social and Behavioural Health Sciences (Health Promotion)
I am passionate about learning new things…that often take me on a never-ending journey through Wikipedia links. I can partially speak four languages (other than English), but have yet to achieve full fluency in any.


Lisa L. – 23rd Floor (All Female)
Program: Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)
I am passionate about global health, and particularly, access to essential medications for all. Random fact: I met Canadian astronaut Dafydd Williams.

Ben – 24th Floor (Engineering Community)
Program: Computer Engineering
I am passionate about Beyoncé, LGBTQ2IA rights, and cereal. Random fact: I have a fork shaped scar on my right forearm, ask me to find out how I got it!

Taylor – 25th Floor
Program: M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, where I’m researching new ways to measure CO2 emissions.
I am passionate about the environment, education, and making the world a better place – that’s why I’m doing my Master’s! I once solved a 5×5 Rubik’s Cube without looking at a solution… but I decided to quit while I was ahead, and haven’t repeated the feat.

Sabrina – 26th & 27th Floors (Quiet Community)
Program: Architecture
I am passionate about books and movies and can talk all day about the books I have read and the movies I have watched. Just ask me about Marvel superheroes or Harry Potter and you will see!  A random fact about me is that I play hockey.

Assistant Dean Residence Administration



David Kim
Dean of Residence & Director of Student Life



Emily Harrison
Residence Services Coordinator



Anica Dang
Residence Life Coordinator



Jennifer Radley
Manager, Admissions & Communications



Klara Kovarova
Assistant Dean Residence Life



Sonja Smiljanic
Student Life Programs Coordinator


Kohen McBride
Admissions & Communication Assistant



Aaron Tsang
Residence Life Coordinator




Transition Advisors speak to students about:

  • General immigration information
  • How to access medical services and health insurance (i.e. UHIP)
  • Adjusting to all aspects of campus culture including academic, administrative and social
  • How to connect with others and find belonging on campus
  • Beginning and maintaining social relationships on and off campus
  • Adjusting to Canadian weather and Toronto culture
  • How to access campus resources to meet your specific transition needs
  • Applying for learning abroad opportunities

For more details, please visit the Center for International Experience (CIE) - Transition Advisors.

Karen Pak, International Transition Advisor , has worked at U of T in the role of Career Education Strategist at Rotman Commerce as well as Mentor Training Advisor for the Global Ideas Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs.  Her roles consisted of planning and executing Mentor Training Sessions, embedding experiential learning into programming as well as curriculum and program development. In 2017, Karen completed her Master of Education program at OISE in the Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development program in addition to the Comparative International Development of Education collaborative program. As a teacher with the Toronto District School Board she was the Melanie Parrack Award recipient for outstanding leadership in 2014. She has also spent many years coaching indoor and beach volleyball and has represented Canada as a coach for the U19 World Beach Volleyball Championships in Alanya Turkey in 2009 and in Porto Portugal in 2010.

If you are an international student or new-to-Toronto, a transition advisor is available to you. Karen assists students in making an effective transition to academic and cultural life of the University of Toronto and works alongside the Residence Life team at Chestnut to support your transition. Issues you may wish to discuss include:

  • Asking general immigration concerns;
  • Seeking healthcare access, insurance and well-being;
  • Adjusting to academic, social, or cultural challenges;
  • Finding connection and community on campus;
  • Searching for leadership and volunteer; and,
  • Learning about 150+ global learning opportunities

If you are a student – domestic or international – who is seeking out global learning opportunities, Karen can help start your planning for those goals too! We have over 150 partnerships across the world, so come meet Karen and learn which one will fit you.

Karen’s drop-in hours will be in the evenings on Thursdays (4:00 PM - 7:00 PM) in the Chestnut Lobby or Residence Life office. You can drop-by, or book an appointment online via the Career Learning Network.

We are excited to introduce to you to your Chestnut Career Team!  Connect with the Chestnut Career Team to talk about:

  • Finding meaningful work
  • Exploring career options
  • Creating application materials
  • Interview strategies and practice
  • Networking tips and advice                                  

Kelci Archibald, Career Educator - Kelci is the designated Career Educator for Chestnut Residence. As Career Educator, Kelci designs and delivers career education curriculum for undergraduate, professional and graduate students. Through one-to-one appointments and group learning, Kelci uses a strengths based approach in supporting students with their career planning process. Kelci has an Honours B.A. in Theatre from Dalhousie University, a B.Ed. from OISE and a M.Ed. in Adult Education from OISE. Kelci has over a decade of experience working in education as teacher and facilitator and has specific training in narrative career interventions, Solutions Focused Brief Coaching and has her MBTI, Myers Briggs, Step I & Step II certification.


One-on-one appointments are available with Kelci throughout the year at the Student Success Centre (located at the Koffler Student Services Centre at 214 College Street – the same building as the U of T Bookstore), and can be booked by emailing Kelci directly at

Your Peer Career Advisors – Charlotte & Sherry – will be available to meet with you in the Chestnut Lobby from 6pm-8pm on Thursday, October 18th, 25th, Nov 1st, 8th, 15th, and Nov 22nd.



Charlotte Chen, Peer Career Advisor

Charlotte is a third-year Rotman Commerce student studying Finance and Economics. She has experience in building professional networks and exploring different job opportunities. Find Charlotte if you ever need help in writing resume/cover letter or building your professional profiles. She is looking forward to sharing her experience and meeting new people at Chestnut Residence!

Sherry Nasrat, Peer Career Advisor

Sherry is a first year Masters of Teaching student at the Ontario Institute for Studies and Education at U of T. She completed her undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa. She is excited to use her diverse academic and professional experience to help others explore their potential careers and achieve their goals.

Sonja Smiljanic

Acting as a bridge between the academic divisions of U of T and the residence community, Sonja 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, Sonja 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

Sonja can be contacted through the following means:

Phone: 416-585-3154

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

  1. The Co-Curricular Record (CCR);
    B.      The Chestnut Tree and related food operations;
    C.      Use of the Residence’s physical facilities for student use;
    D.      Communications;
    E.       Policies relating to student issues;
    F.       Funding requests (where applicable); and
    G.     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