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Stories of UTSC

Stories of UTSC began as a project funded by the UTSC 50th Anniversary Legacy Fund. It was a joint collaboration of faculty members in the Departments of Human Geography, Historical and Cultural Studies, and the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The Stories of UTSC exhibits launched on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Hundreds of people from the campus and community visited both the online and physical exhibits.

The goal of the Stories of UTSC was and continues to be to engage the UTSC and wider Scarborough communities in the rich and multi-faceted social history of the campus, from its inception as a small campus in the mid-1960s to the present. The project is grounded in the idea that the identity of a place is shaped by the stories told about it. What can we learn from listening to each other’s stories and what role do these stories play in building community, expressing identity, and documenting change? How can stories teach us about the past, inform the present, and shape the future? We continue to add stories to the collection. For more information on the current efforts to collect oral histories visit: or contact Christine Berkowitz at

Interview with John M. Kennedy

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Professor John M. Kennedy began teaching in the department of Psychology at Scarborough College in the 1972. Prof. Kennedy shares his perspective of psychology and the importance of being original as well as describing his pedagogical approaches to the subject, as seen in his creation of a “science perception fair” type of research presentation. He speaks about the changing academic and social climate of the campus over the years, along with the changing nature of education and research. Additionally, Prof. Kennedy sheds light on the reputations of differing UofT campuses while also describing the relationship of faculty, particularly those belonging to Life Sciences, with the St. George campus. While Prof. Kennedy may have officially retired in 2010, he continues to research, teach, and supervise graduate students at the university.

Interview with William Graham

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Professor William “Bill” Graham was UTSC's first full-time Philosopher, joining what was then Scarborough College just after its early years in 1966. Teaching at the Scarborough Campus while a doctorate student at the University of Toronto, Prof. Graham was offered a position on the faculty once he successfully completed his degree in 1969. Prof. Graham was active in several campus committees regarding the development and future of the Scarborough campus. He highlights the early vision of Scarborough College as an interdisciplinary and democratic institution that was distinct from the St. George campus that was present in these committees. He also speaks of evolving academic and social climate of the campus, such as his involvement in the beginnings of a humanities program. Prof. Graham retired in 2000 (now Emeritus status), but continues to research and publish.

Interview with Kevin Wright

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Kevin Wright, a long-time theatre production manager in the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre and course instructor in the Arts, Culture, and Media Department since 1995, reflects upon UTSC theatre production and the larger campus. He discusses joining UTSC at a transitional time of technological change, as well as reflecting upon the changes that occurred around the overall understanding of theatre. Kevin speaks to both the the technical challenges of staging a theatrical production along with discussing his experiences of teaching theatre production to students. He shares insightful knowledge around UTSC's earlier years and its experimentation with the television studio, the conversion of the television studio into a theatre, as well as the history of the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre.

Interview with Mike DeGagné

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Dr. Mike DeGagné was an undergraduate student at Scarborough College during the late 1970s to early 1980s. Living abroad in Kenya with family while applying to university, Dr. DeGagné decided to attend Scarborough College after examining one of the campus pamphlets provided in a Kenya office. Spending his four years in campus residences, Dr. DeGagné speaks on student life, the intimacy of the campus environment, academics, and community. In a discussion of the legacy of the “television campus”, Dr. DeGagné also describes the resources available to the students at the time and considers the merits and downfalls of digital pedagogy then and now. He also reflects on Indigeneity and the important work he did with Indigenous youth counselling after graduating. DeGagné went on to become the First Indigenous President, in Canada, of Nipissing University and as of 2020, he is the President of Yukon University.

Interview with Anthony McWatt

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Tony McWatt immigrated to Canada from Guyana during the 1980s to attend Scarborough College as an undergraduate student. He reflects on his both exciting and painful experiences as an international student and the ways in which the sense of community at Scarborough College helped him navigate feelings of isolation in a new country. Tony recounts his time as the president of the Afro-Asian and Caribbean Students Association (ACSA), the Cultural Commissioner of the campus, and SCSU President. He also highlights the initiatives he was involved in while he held these positions, such as arranging a multi-campus sports day with other Caribbean students association and proposing the Student Centre.

Interview with Paula Sperdakos

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Professor Paula Sperdakos reflects upon teaching at UTSC and directing productions in the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre. She shares some of her observations during the time she worked at UTSC for 28 years since 1990, such as the physical transformation of the campus, the changes in diversity amongst the campus population, the changes in faculty interactions, and the transformation of departments overtime.

Interview with James Allan Cheyne

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Professor James Allan Cheyne took his first academic appointment in the department of Psychology at Scarborough College in 1969. While only teaching and researching at Scarborough College for a year, the building architecture, the valley land, the TV studio, and experiences with fellow Psychology faculty members marked Prof. Cheyne's experience. Prof. James Allan Cheyne is Professor Emeritus (Psychology) of the University of Waterloo.

Interview with Zoran Piljevic

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Zoran Piljevic, the current Director of Information Instructional Technology Services from 2008, reflects on the role of IITS at UTSC. He touches upon his involvement in the physical expansion of the campus and the widespread integration of technology into UTSC’s classrooms. Additionally, he comments on the early integration of television into the campus and speculates on its lack of success being connected to the ways in which this teaching model, and online learning, is limited in regards to the interaction between students and instructors. Zoran also touches upon the tensions that exist between UTSC and UTSG from an IT perspective, with the central IT serving the divisions in St. George while UTSC and UTM exist on the periphery as a campus and a division.

Interview with Julian Tanner

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Proessor Julian Tanner began his career as a faculty member in Sociology at Scarborough College in 1985. Prof. Tanner reflects on his long career at the UTSC campus, Sociology, teaching and research.