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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 Tavila Haque

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Tavila Haque, a UTSC student from the 2012 graduating class, reflects on her time spent at UTSC. She looks back at her five years here with fond memories and notes how her experience here differed from the misconceptions that she had heard about UTSC. She discusses the numerous supports available to her as a student, providing advice to future and current students to take advantage of them. She specifically touches on her close relationships with her professors and how their support has allowed her to become more confident in her own work as a photographer.

Interview with Diane Hill

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Learning about the barriers faced by a First Nations student while attending UTSC

Interview with Karen Aboud

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Karen Aboud talks about her experience as an active UTSC student, both academically and in her extracurricular activities. She discusses topics ranging from her professors and classes to her involvement in student council and rallies. As a student from the first graduating class of Scarborough College in the 1960s, Aboud relays the impression she got of the layout of Scarborough in the early years of the College.

Interview with Michael Gervers

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Professor Michael Gervers, a professor of both history and art history for over 40 years, speaks about his past and his childhood, travelling from the United Kingdom to various American cities, later studying in a Swiss high school. He shares the family origins of his interest in medieval history and his experience studying in both French and German universities before coming to Scarborough in the 1970s.

Interview with Jeff Rybak

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Jeff Rybak, a graduate of UTSC, discusses the campus' student and academic culture during the early 2000s. He touches upon his life as a student leader and how the role has shaped his university experience and how he had interacted with its faculty. He also explains how his time at UTSC has influenced his life, created lifelong ties, and inspired his career choices.

Interview with Barry Freeman

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Professor Barry Freeman discusses his experience as a student at UTSC in the 1990s and the journey he has taken to get to where he is now. Currently a UTSC faculty member, administrator and chair of the Arts, Culture and Media department, Freeman also reflects about the ways in which his perspective of the campus, higher education, and the overall community of Scarborough has evolved more broadly.

Interview with Wayne Enright

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Prof. Wayne Enright discusses his experience teaching at UTSC and establishing a Computer Science program on campus. He touches upon how the education system and high schools may prepare students and how the experience of first year students in the computer science program is, as well as how the university campuses compare.

Interview with Gerald Cupchik

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Gerald Cupchik recounts his journey to becoming a psychology professor at UTSC. His story began from when he decided to be a professor of social psychology at the age of 12, through his time at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin amid social unrest and civil rights movements, until he began teaching at the University of Toronto 45 years ago. Professor Cupchik uses this experience to note the ways in which academics have changed, namely through its current heightened professionalism and increased isolation. He highlights the importance of survival and connecting with your roots along with creating a community, or village, of learning in his office as he encourages his students to pursue real life research.

Interview with Mina Filardo

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Mina Filardo, a former student at UTSC, discusses her experience in the arts management program and how its uniqueness brought her to the Scarborough Campus. She looks back at her time at UTSC with fond memories as she recounts her five years there. She touches on her impressions of the campus, the closeness with her peers due to small class sizes, and her career at TVOntario following graduation.

Interview with Frank Prato

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Frank Prato talks about his experience living in the Scarborough community and attending Scarborough College.

Interview with Paul Gooch

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Professor Paul Gooch discusses his experience teaching and chairing the Humanities department at Scarborough College from 1967 to 1985. Professor Gooch reflects on the social and academic climate of the campus during its beginnings. He also provides an insight on the changing relationship between Scarborough College and the St. George campus in terms of its faculty, administration and institutions during this time.

Interview with Joe Jagdeo

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Dr. Joe Jagdeo talks about his experience as one of the first international students at Scarborough College and as a student of its first graduating class. He touches on his immigration process and his impressions of Canada upon his arrival. He shares stories of his time at Scarborough College, in medical school, at SickKids, and his career at Scarborough General Hospital. He also comments on the growth and changing demographics of Scarborough and how it has impacted his medical career.

Interview with Leslie Chan

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Leslie Chan discusses his history at UTSC as an undergraduate student, teaching assistant, and later professor. He begins by discussing what drew him to the campus and his relationship with faculty, and he also talks about the school’s student clubs. Professor Chan also touches upon his experience in residence, as well as living in the Scarborough community. He also reflects on how UTSC, in terms of its library, study spaces, and services, has changed over the years.

Interview with Shirley Criscione

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Shirley Criscione shares her student experiences as one of the first graduates of Scarborough College in 1968. Shirley highlights how the campus culture was during those years, particularly the impact of having such a small student body (less than 200 students). The campus community was tight knit, where "everybody knew everybody." Shirley also recalls how the larger society was reflected on campus, particularly the roles that women took, the demographics of the student body, what students were expected to wear, and even the normalcy of smoking at the time.

Interview with William Dick

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Professor William Dick discusses his 32 years as a history faculty member at UTSC. Dick describes his experiences with fellow faculty, the student community, extracurriculur activities and the ways in which the UTSC culture evolved prior to his retirement in 1999.