Meet the Troost ILead 2020 Summer Fellows
University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT) Rocketry, Advisor
My change project is to adjust how UTAT Rocketry distributes its effort and resources over a projects life cycle. Historically we focus excessively on design, leaving less available time and effort for production. I want to make a team wide shift towards a more balanced approach, with the goals of improving product quality and our adherence to schedule. Specifically, I want a shift in team culture with regards to how significant production is to the team, as well as training and promoting team members to engage more with production tasks.
Sustainable Engineers Association (SEA), Co-President
My change project encourages active sharing of resources between SEA sub-committees. In past years, each sub-committee worked primarily independently on their initiatives, and had limited opportunities to share their results with the rest of the team. Because all SEA initiatives require similar strategies and resources to run effectively, I want to introduce monthly updates–into SEA’s timeline–for teams to debrief and share their helpful insights with each other.
University of Toronto Hyperloop Team (UTHT), Business Development Director
My change project is focused on proper communication within the different functions within the team at UTHT. I am looking to implement a structure that will last and have all voices within the club be heard. Providing channels with proper communication will ensure everyone is working at their optimal capacity and improve overall team dynamics. This is a key change to be made so that members are better able to see the big picture of their contribution and it promotes a sense of trust among all the executive teams.
Phi Gamma Delta, President
The goal of my change project is to cultivate a sense of community between the graduate and undergraduate chapters, while pushing both of them to be more involved in their respective facets. Currently, neither of the two chapters have most members fully engaged, and a few members from each respective chapter carry the load of the work. By utilizing our most recent graduating class to help me address this issue (via mentorship and involvement) on the undergraduate side, I am seeking to build that sense of community and engagement, while laying the foundation for a new relationship between the two chapters.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Executive Chair
There is a lack of opportunity for associate-level members to work on projects of their own. This has been incredibly limiting and in some ways unfair to our associates who are often recruited because of their incredible ideas and passion to try new things. My change project is to create a process enabling members to propose, discuss, and initiate their own initiatives. This process is intended to encourage risk taking, break down our segregated sub-team barriers, and lead to the development of innovative projects which will result in the overall success of our organization.
Concrete Toboggan, Co-captain
My change project is to rebrand the UofT Concrete Toboggan Team by improving the professional image of the team, while maintaining a welcoming and fun design team atmosphere. Our public image should represent the diversity of disciplines on the team and highlight the time spent designing and fabricating the toboggan. Developing our professionalism as a team will lead to more member involvement, professional connections, team sponsorship, and overall personal growth. I hope to work with the team to define what professionalism is and what steps we will take internally and externally to instigate change.
F!rosh Week, VC Operations
I want to address the long-standing issue of division and lack of communication/understanding between the different bodies of F!rosh week with my change project. I'm working with my team to build a unified F!week culture where there is transparency with information, impactful collaborations, and engagement from OComm members in areas that are not explicitly within their own domains. I hope to see more communication between the bodies responsible for planning and execution, so that new initiatives and collaborations can be well-executed and have strong impact on the Frosh experience.
Hudson Heng-Jeung Yuen
180 Degrees Consulting, President
My change project for 180DC is to improve the professional development offered to our members. I hope that this will fuel a virtuous cycle of better work > increased client satisfaction > more student and professional engagement > better work. Successful implementation of this project not only means having workshops and a mentorship program fully planned out, but also a strategy for addressing these weak links. At this stage, such a strategy focuses on better understanding the motivations behind student commitment and communicating a relevant value proposition.
University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT) Rocketry, Chief Safety Officer
My change project for UTAT rocketry is to accelerate gender parity. There is currently no female representation in Rocketry’s senior management positions and only 5/18 lead positions are filled by women, which creates an imbalanced environment where many women feel less inclined to voice their opinions and are less likely to apply for higher roles, even if they are qualified. I specifically want to create a safe all-female space where questions or issues can be brought up and women on the team can feel more empowered to apply for leadership roles, so that by 2022 there will be at least 1 woman in a position above a subsystem lead.
University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT), Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), Advisor
My change project for UAS is to train a confident second wave of leadership even though most of last year's leads will still be around in an advisory role. The idea is to have 2 separate "cycles" of leaders who can take on active roles/train new leads. Our team values skill development, but we want to ensure that members are able to transition enthusiastically from recipients of skill development efforts ("students") to deliverers ("teachers"); this can be done by setting up metrics for transition/teaching efforts, as well as revising the advisory roles to have more specific requirements.
University of Toronto Design League, Founding Member & Sponsorship Director
My change project for UTDL is to shift the focus from divisional achievement to UTDL achievement as a whole. Previously members were only focused what was directly affected their division and not communicating to other divisions, this resulted in low turnout to general meetings and team socials, and mismanaged events. This shift in team culture will (hopefully!) be achieved by highlighting both individual and team achievements through a new regular newsletter, creating a document for communication norms, and organizing more multi-divisional social or work opportunities.
Engineers Without Borders (EWB), Co-president
EWB lacks a single shared initiative that brings the chapter together, so my change project aims to unite the club’s projects and portfolios under a common goal to invest in engineering students by addressing the lack of social responsibility emphasis in our education. I will work with the executive team to devise a framework within the different portfolios and administrative positions to increase non-member exposure to social impact ideas and initiatives. To be most effective, I will pursue collaboration with other clubs and faculty members that share these values and have experience enacting change at the university level.
EngSci Club, Chair
My change project is to improve equity and inclusivity within the EngSci community, with the goal of increasing participation in the EngSci community from individuals who are typically less inclined to participate. Participation can include attending social events, signing up to mentor younger students, and running as executives of the Club. Currently, inclusivity, equity, and diversity are not an explicit goal of the Club, as reflected in its executive structure. I'm hoping to address this through an Equity Director position as well as through targeted outreach to less visible communities in EngSci.
Michael De Biasio
Club for Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering (CUBE), Co-president
My change project is to expand the outreach of CUBE through higher engagement of the student body. Traditionally, CUBE has had one person fill each exec role with minimal emphasis on exec team outreach, which has resulted in a lower involvement from disciplines outside of the prototypical biomedical engineering student and a lower engagement of our members. By redefining the exec structure and creating new roles, I hope to make a club-wide shift towards engaging more students from a variety of years and disciplines.
EngSoc & Academic Advocacy Committee (AAC), VP Academic
My change project is to implement a new framework for the EngSoc AAC to better allow for its members to take on leadership roles themselves within its several subcommittees, with a goal of diversifying the initiatives undertaken by the AAC, as well as broadening the groups of people in our community we’re able to reach. In particular, I want to better support members to pursue and lead their own academic advocacy initiatives through personalized guidance and training.
Engineers Without Borders (EWB), Co-president
My change project is to define a best relationship (or lack of) between EWB National Office (NO) and EWB UofT. As it stands, this relationship is not equally beneficial to both parties. However, its revision has not been pursued since the decision to terminate our affiliation with EWB NO is extremely demanding on the presidents and the executive team. To address this problem, I will work with the Community Team at EWB NO to better define a reciprocal relationship for the 2020/21 year. In parallel, a rebranding plan through a rebranding committee will be crafted.
Peter Di Palma
University of Toronto Supermileage Team (UTSM), Executive Director / Team Captain
My change project is to facilitate awareness of team values through a review of UTSM's organizational culture. The present climate is rooted in the values of departed members and hazily perpetuated by current leadership, inhibiting team-wide collaboration. Providing an open dialogue to identify our desired culture can replace these expired values and develop a greater sense of community involvement and social responsibility.
Tony Yong Qi Luo
University of Toronto Chemical Vehicles, President
My change project is to improve the frequency and quality of communication between divisions. I hope to establish and maintain team norms that allow information to be transferred between divisions promptly. Preventing bottlenecking and errors through efficient communication will assist us in achieving our goals such as placing higher in the regional competition.
Engineers Without Borders (EWB), Cyber Ethics & Digital Rights Portfolio Lead
My change project for EWB's new Cyber Ethics & Digital Rights Portfolio is to implement the use of technical projects as a new method of social justice work while maintaining the core values and long-term goals of EWB, since our unique approach to activism might make it challenging to integrate the culture of this portfolio into the broader EWB community. I am hoping to address this with more extensive team-building and goal setting during our on-boarding process, regular check-ins with other portfolios, and the encouragement of member involvement in events and initiatives run by other EWB portfolios.