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#UofTGrad16: Katherine MacGregor

Katherine McGregor at a student presentation in Maun, Botswana. She's travelled the world learning about community development. Next stop: Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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.

 Katherine MacGregor

Katherine MacGregor’s class room spans over many continents and time zones.

Graduating from the International Development Studies Co-op program with a major in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, she travelled to places like Ghana and Botswana. Katherine’s energy lies not just in travelling but, more importantly in community development.

“I am passionate about helping people live the best lives they can. Everyone deserves happiness and a strong quality of life, which is why I think international development is a worthy cause,” she says.

As a student leader with UTSC’s Residence Life, she saw first-hand the impact that community partnerships can create.

“I guided students through the struggles and excitement of their first years of independence,” she explains. “Building relationships and helping people achieve their goals is something that brings me great pleasure. It’s an honour to be part of someone’s journey.”

Shortly after attending convocation, Katherine begins another exciting adventure in Sri Lanka where she will be working with the World University Service of Canada.

Where did you go to high school?

I graduated from Carleton Place High School in 2011. At the time, my mum was working there and actually taught me chemistry in my grade eleven year.

What’s the best-kept secret on campus?

I am always surprised when I hear that someone at UTSC hasn’t visited the valley! Even though it’s right there, just a short walk away, so many UTSC students haven’t had the opportunity or taken the time to go. The UTSC valley is a beautiful green space that everyone should visit. I have many fond memories of my time exploring it with friends in first year, playing soccer in the summertime with my inter-house team, and even attending the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games last summer with the Residence Life Team. If you haven’t gone yet, take some time to take a walk.

What is a “must-do” on campus – what should every student do before graduating?

I would recommend that every UTSC student attend at least one student-run conference during their time as an undergrad. There are so many incredibly hard-working students who take time from their busy schedules to pull together inspiring and educational events. I am especially fond of TEDxUTSC because I was part of the 2013 executive team that hosted the first-ever TEDx event at UTSC. Another event I highly recommend is the annual International Development Conference. I think every student (not just IDS students) should attend at least once to broaden your mind and consider the ways you, too, can contribute positively to the world.

What’s next?

In June 2016, I’ll be packing up my bags and moving to Colombo, Sri Lanka for a year, to work at the country office of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC). I went abroad with WUSC in my fourth year, living in Bibiani, Ghana and Gaborone, Botswana as a volunteer. This time, I’ll be giving back as a Volunteer Support Officer, helping Canadian long-term volunteers (like myself during co-op) feel at home in Sri Lanka and their new workplaces. It will surely be an amazing experience!


Read about more graduates to watch.

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