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#UofTGrad16: Danielle Pineda

Outside of her studies and work in the provincial government, Danielle Pineda is a weightlifter! (Photo by Ken Jones)

As Convocation day approaches, we’re filled with pride at the incredible accomplishments of our students. No matter what program they’re in, no matter what their major, our students have made contributions to the campus, to the community and to the world at large. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll highlight students who have made a huge impact already, and are poised to do even more now that they’re graduating. From an Olympic weight lifter to a social activist featured on the CBC, we’re certain that you’ll be reading a lot more about them in the future! Follow the all the U of T Convocation excitement at #UofTGrad16.

Danielle Pineda

Danielle Pineda double majored in Political Science and Media Studies. During her final year, she achieved one of her main goals.

“I finally got my ‘perfect’ academic year, a 4.0 Annual GPA.”

Even so, her UTSC experience is not defined simply by earning top marks.

 “I figured out what I wanted to do with my life and had fun doing it.”

Danielle recently started as a Policy and Programs Assistant at the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. In September, she begins another U of T journey, taking up a Master’s Degree in Public Policy at the School of Public Policy and Governance.

Why did you choose your program?

I was always intrigued by and enjoyed learning about Canadian government and politics. I wanted to feed this curiosity. Enrolling in the Political Science program was the perfect way to do so.

What’s the best-kept secret on campus?

It’s not really a campus secret but a U of T secret I only found out about in my last year of undergrad – you get a free Microsoft Office package with your U of T account!

Quick tip for new first years?

Give yourself room to adjust, but not too much. It is understandable to get overwhelmed with the course load, the university marking criteria, and school in general, but make sure to clamp down on your academics and extra-curricular activities. Your first year can set the tone of the rest of your undergrad career. 

What is a “must-do” on campus?

Utilize all campus services - Writing Centre, Academic Advising, Student Life, Pan Am Centre, etc etc. Also, explore the valley.

What are you passionate about? What would you like the world to know about you?

I actually genuinely enjoy the field I am in. Outside of school and work, I do Olympic weightlifting! I have a friend who's a national level weightlifter and he introduced me to the sport. It definitely helped me with time management. I had to plan my days and weeks ahead really efficiently because I wanted to train consistently and do well in school. It also helped me to realize the importance of maintaining both my mental and physical well-being.

If we call you up in five years, where do you think we will find you?

Living in downtown Toronto or Ottawa with my dog. Hopefully I’ll be working at an immigration ministry in the provincial or federal level.


Read about more graduates to watch.

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