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Letter from the editor It’s often interesting how something gets started. For me, the idea last spring to create Ryerson Folio came from watching a short documentary on The Sartorialist. There was just something about Scott Schuman’s work that I found so captivating. How did documenting people through street-style fashion and photography inspire such a different world? Ryerson Folio launched in September 2011, and since its inception, it has always been about bringing people from different worlds together. Whether it’s through writing or photography, or any other medium, our publication is about looking at our community through a different lens and from a different viewpoint – a viewpoint we don’t get to experience too often in our busy lives. Since September, Ryerson Folio has grown from a three-student-run online publication to a diverse team of over 25 students in producing the first magazine issue – students from journalism, photography, business, graphics communication, and performance-dance. In this inaugural issue, we present to you ideas, commentary, personal reflection, and a look into the different lives that have, or are currently roaming the classrooms of Ryerson. I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank The Office of Provost and Vice President Academic and P-FACS for supporting our work and funding this issue. Without their support, our work would not have come to life. As we move forward with Ryerson Folio, we hope you will continue to follow our magazine and the conversations we are trying to create. Most importantly, we hope you will begin to see into the worlds of other fields and learn about all of the incredible things that are happening everywhere. But for now, we hope you’ll just have a good read. Trung Ho, Editor-in-Chief

Ryerson Folio April 27, 2012 03




So Far, So London



A Misunderstood Art


Five Worlds 25 FASHION

Taking Flight Mikayla Misfud wearing Matis



Runway Giants Ryerson alumni take TFW by Storm



Mass Exodus Behind-the-Scenes 38


On The Ropes

Where has boxing gone?



Sex, Bombs and Burgers


Looking at Ryerson Administration 45


Poutine, Pucks and Parkas Life on Exchange

47 Music

Undergrad Music Playlists




YEAR IN REVIEW Illustrations by Susana Gómez Báez

IDEAS TedXRyersonU


van Joseph, the Director of Athletics at Ryerson captivated the audience with one simple idea last fall, and it wasn’t about speed, agility, or strength. It was the idea that selfconfidence is a skill. Joseph was one of the 14 speakers from all facets of Ryerson that took the stage at the Glenn Gould Studio on November 20th, 2011 to spread ideas in the format of the popular TED Talks. In only its second year, TEDxRyersonU hosted over 300 attendees from both the Ryerson and the greater community for a day filled with ideas and conversations. Among the speakers was President Sheldon Levy, who has become a major supporter in the past couple of years of the simple concept of spreading ideas, “What it does is it celebrates many people and their ideas and creates a conversation within the community and outside the community so it is extremely good in terms of building a Ryerson reputation that’s interested in impor-


tant things.” “The list of speakers are quite unbelievable,” said Levy, “I feel small compared to some of the names that are here delivering talks.” Amongst the fourteen speakers included former managing director of Al Jazeera Tony Burman, VP Academic of Ryerson Dr. Alan Shepard, Ambassador Jeremy Kinsman, new media professor Ramona Pringle, and the co-founder of 500px Evgeny Tchebotarev - all of whom are afilliated with Ryerson University. - Trung Ho

was featured in a March edition of the Globe and Mail.

Photography Hayeri’s Photo Exhibit



ver since the 1979 revolution in Iran, women have been forced to wear the hijab. They are told to refrain from “immoral” actions, such as wearing makeup and revealing clothing, practicing ballet, or dyeing their hair a different colour. A recent graduate from Ryerson Image School of Arts, Kiana Hayeri’s photography project, Your Veil is a Battleground, explore show the “veil” or hijab separates the public and private life of Iranian youth. The greatly anticipated exhibition opened at the IMA Gallery in March. The photographs represent the risk that Iranian women and men take to explore their limited freedom. Hayeri emphasizes how similar we are around the world in our search for identity, even when confined by different laws and judgments. Since the opening reception, Hayeri’s exhibit has received high reviews, and

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- Meagan Matsuda


ack McAllister was the man with the idea. In the 1960s, theatres began popping up all over Toronto – and McAllister knew the city would need a place to professionally train performers. The Ryerson Theatre School (RTS) opened in 1971 and has captured audiences with stellar productions since. For 40 years, RTS has been a home where creative minds to come together. The school illustrates the dedication it takes both on the stage and off it to make a memorable production – because theatre is not only made up of actors, but production assistants, and dancers as well. To celebrate, RTS held a special alumni reunion weekend with the Gala Cocktail Party as well as special dance performances from fourth-year dance students. RTS celebrates 40 years of this collaborative work and education. Our stages are classrooms, and they have a history. - Nadya Domingo



ast June, Ryerson announced plans to launch a Faculty of Science. The new faculty is set to be established by Fall of 2012, and will include the departments of Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics. Three new Ph.D programs in Molecular Science, Computer Science and Biomedical Physics will also be introduced. The new faculty will be the first at Ryerson in about 40 years. Administration hopes it will boost the university’s reputation and provide for more opportunities in science-based learning and research. - Megan Jones


fate versus freewill choose-your-own adventure story. The winning piece, Daedalum by Xhensila Zemblaku, features 16 3D sculptures of one head splitting into two on a spinning disc with a strobe light and was inspired by zoetrope mechanisms, one of the first mechanisms able to play animation. “I’m really into exploring optical illusion and human perception. It’s a contrast between rational thinking and sensory perception,” said Zemblaku. META is meant to showcase media arts, a somewhat “underground” section of art said Cohen. “People don’t understand it but they’re slowly opening their eyes to it. You wouldn’t walk into the AGO and see it,” said Cohen, “but maybe someday.” - Tamara Jones

Tri-Mentoring 10th Anniversary



ETA, Ryerson’s annual media arts showcase took place from March 29-31 at Airship 37 in the Distillary District. With the free cake and cupcakes from the Icing on the Cupcake piece by Rikki Cohen and Christina Parente, among other amazing pieces, the opening night was a huge success. Some of my other favourite pieces were Social Obsession Series by Jessie Ng, which looked at our society’s obsession with posting the most mundane things, Cargo by poet Kwame Newman- Bremang (a.k.a. Sybolik) and Kyle Weltman about the slave trade and Gregory by Jason Yeh and Kalvin Wu, an interactive

yerson’s Tri-Mentoring Program celebrated its 10th anniversary last October at the Delta Chelsea hotel. Over the course of the last decade, Tri-Mentoring has provided over 14,000 students with support in achieving both academic and career-related success. Through the program, students are paired with a “mentor” from a higher grade. So far, the program consists of 900 mentors and 800 mentees, and is still recruiting. The Tri-mentoring Program aims to create an accepting, culturally diverse atmosphere where students can interact with one another. - Megan Jones

Buildings Opening Image Arts


fter a number of set-backs and delays, Ryerson’s new IMA building officially opened on March 21, 2012. Aside from classes, lounges and studio space, the building includes the Ryerson Image Centre, which houses the Black Star photography collection. Starbucks and

Tim Horton’s will soon face another competitor, as a Balzac’s Café is set to open there as well. The IMA building is one of the first completed steps in Ryerson’s plans to expand their facilities over the coming years, but students have already expressed mixed opinions about their satisfaction with the new facility. Still, the outside kind of looks like the dance floor from Saturday Night Fever. And that is pretty awesome. - Megan Jones

Hollywood The Real Don Draper

the return of AMC’s hit teleWith vision series Mad Men earlier this spring - after an 18 month hiatus - it was only natural for hidden secrets to surface in the weeks leading up to the much anticipated season five premiere. The best kept secret, especially in the Ryerson community, came to light days before the season premiere where coverage of “the real Don Draper” from season one’s “Nixon vs. Kennedy” episode revealed that the character was played by Troy Ruptash, a graduate from Ryerson’s Theatre School in 1986. Ruptash has also appeared on episodes of Prison Break, CSI: New York, Desperate Housewives, Supernatural, Without a Trace, Boston Public, and The West Wing. Ruptash now resides in Los Angeles. - Trung Ho



heir breakout season could not have come at a better time. In a fitting swan-song for Kerr Hall

RYERSON FOLIO / Summer 2012


Gym, the Ryerson men’s basketball team beat the Ottawa Gee-Gees 7471 in arguably the greatest game ever played on the historic court. The victory sent the Rams to the OUA Final Four for the first time in a decade. They followed that performance up with a shocking upset of then No. 2 seed Lakehead in front of busloads of screaming Ryerson fans. An embarrassing loss to the Carleton Ravens in the OUA Finals could not dampen spirits as the Rams still locked up a spot in Halifax for the CIS Final 8, Canada’s National Basketball tournament. Their Cinderella season came to a close with a dramatic 9083 overtime loss to Acadia in the CIS Final 8 consolation game. - Chris Babic

In The Classroom Big Name Lecturers

about rebellion. Under his direction, TIFF has grown to become internationally renowned for its cultural and audience-inclusive film festival, bringing many top industry people to Toronto. He saw the ability to be competitive with other major cities by bringing greater emphasis to Canadian cinema, and a focus on globalization. This, as well as making the festival about the public rather than about awards was highly innovative and unique, he tells Ryerson students. Handling hopes to never let the public get pushed out by film industry executives. “You need people to buy into the passion and original dream.” Handling represented the last of Ryerson’s Real World Speaker Series this winter semester which was a part of one of Ryerson’s Law lectures. Prior speakers included: Paul Godfrey, President and CEO of Postmedia Network Inc., Ken Taylor, Former Ambassador to Iran, and Brian Burke, President and General Manager of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. - Megan Matsuda

White Ribbon What Makes A Man

T Brian Burke


iers Handling, the Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival and an avid film critic, believes that films need to raise questions or issues in interesting ways. The first movie that ever spoke to him was “Weekend” by Jean-Luc Godard. “[Godard] broke every single rule of filmmaking, and I responded to the rebellion,” Handling says to the audience of the Ted Rogers School of Management’s Real World Speaker Series. Handling would know much


he second annual Ryerson White Ribbon Conference, What Makes a Man, took place on February 11, 2012 at Ryerson University. Speakers discussed how their lives have been affected by gender pressures. Presenters included Shihan of Def Jam Poetry, and Heather Jarvis, the founder of SlutWalk. Jim Stockdale, a firefighter captain, also shared his experiences of witnessing discrimination against women and what he did about it. Each presenter gave a similar message, that a conversation needs to be started about these topics, even if it isn’t comfortable. What Makes a Man served as an “un-conference” as it encouraged casual discussions of how manhood, masculinity and gender are created and enforced in society. - Debbie Hernandez

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SO FAR, SO LONDON Moving abroad: The highs and lows of making it on your own in London, England. BY DANIELLE MEDER, FASHION DESIGN ‘06


o it has been seventeen months in London. Seventeen months of novelty, bureaucracy, existential crises, loneliness, rejection, vacation, wondering, wandering, cash flow issues, random encounters, queues, new friends, risky behaviour, confined spaces, grandeur, wrong turns and righteous reinvention. How do you prepare for the unknown? I don’t think you can. I’m not a planner by nature. I’ve found my independent, creative career and my greatest pleasures in an intuitive way; feeling my way along without a map, moving toward the good, and discarding the bad as I go. I am a freelance fashion writer, and because my industry is fashion, I wanted to see if I could handle the competition of a fashion capital. When I moved to London, it was my first time in Europe and all I had were the general ideas you get from a decent education and a heavy media diet. I had only a handful of acquaintances there. I didn’t even buy a map of the city until I landed. That was 17 months ago. People ask me if I love London and I joke that London is like a beautiful, high maintenance girlfriend who I’m waiting to break up with. After a while you stop asking why when you have to open your wallet, and just give a bitter laugh as you hand all your pounds over. Yet, when you tell your friends you live in London, they’re impressed and envious. At the same time, London is the world’s most sprawling casino. When you’re winning at London, you feel brilliant. When you’re losing at London, you feel like an abject

failure. London deals out euphoria and downright hostility, but without much in between. It is not a city you can cruise along comfortably in. Especially if the nature of your occupation is inconsistent. There have been so many moments when I’ve grit my teeth and tolerated difficult situations because I didn’t want to lose at London. The

first six months here were brutal defined by isolation, obscurity and squalor. I had been used to having a large downtown studio, fairly steady work, lots of friends and a busy social life in Toronto. In London, I was lonely. Since I didn’t go to school or have a proper job in London, I didn’t have any of the conventional opportunities to meet people or make friends. My living circumstances were drastically reduced to a tiny room in a shared former council flat.

My flatmates were nice, but we didn’t have enough in common to become close. I had lost the portion of my income that was location-based, and I was burning through my modest savings at an alarming speed.


s a freelancer, your working life is unpredictable. You have to roll with the uncertainty, holding a kind of irrational faith that everything will turn out okay. That’s easier to do when you’ve got family and friends around you to bulwark your ego against the inevitable dry spells. It’s much more difficult when you’re on your own. A couple months after my move, I had two months in a row where I earned... nothing. “Zero months” have happened before - but two in a row, compounded on top of my situation at the time, made for a high-anxiety freelancing first. Did I respond by hunkering down and hustling? At first, no. I spiralled a bit, making some self-destructive, emotional choices and spending money I couldn’t afford to spend, impulsively going to Paris for Fashion Week - on credit. I was 28 going on 19. I’m lucky that I’m lucky. I had a happy childhood and am blessed to possess a resilient sense of self-confidence. Existential crises are a recurring theme for the self-employed creative - I call them “freelancer’s vacations”. Still, no matter how bad they are, they always feel possible to overcome. At the time, I was filling in a diary for a side project. As I was reading over my entries, I realized how repetitive my concerns were lonely, money, lonely, money, lonely, money, and so on. Having isolated

RYERSON FOLIO / summer 2012


these two problems, it was clear that I had to come up with some kind of solution. It was time to get clever and grow up a bit. I wrote down lists. Updated my long-disused CV and hit the pavement looking for part-time jobs. Drew up airy-fairy woo-woo vision quest diagrams. Because my storefront to the world is my website, it was a major priority. Sorting out my blog, my business and my brain were all tied together. I stripped the site down to essential elements and for the first time as a blogger, made conscious strategic decisions about what was important. This was about formalizing the transformation of my life and livelihood from cityspecific to international. The need to clarify my purpose was long-overdue and the deadbeat downtime was the perfect opportunity to do it. In the absence of family or relationships, I poured myself into my work. It did seem at the time like I wasn’t doing enough - a lot of what I was spending energy on was mental work - attitude adjustment, refocusing. The line between polishing and procrastination is a fine one that I’m well aware of. The proof would be in the results, if there were any. Turned out, I had managed to stay on the right side of the invisible line. The changes I had made to the blog had re-ignited my passion for it. Inspiration was fired up, and the responses were very positive. The patron saint of casual workers, San Precario, must have been on my side too because my inbox once again had a steady trickle of inquiries, and then in due course, deadlines. The time and energy I had poured into my business began to deliver returns, and when I did get offered part-time work, I felt optimistic enough to turn it down. Heartened, I decided to take a financial risk and rent a desk in a shared office, just a five minute walk from my flat. Up until that point, I had felt that I needed to keep my overhead minimal and was work7

ing from a small school desk beside my single bed. As a workspace, a bedroom is confining physically and psychologically. The desk-share was expensive but worth it I wanted people in my life who would notice when I wasn’t around. It was a great decision - as soon as I had done it I wondered why I hadn’t done it earlier. My desk-mates were all around my age, and even though we all had different businesses in different industries, we shared a lot of the same challenges. Being able to share space and experiences was expansive and positive. The effects on my emotional well-being were remarkable. Plus, when you love going to your office, you spend a lot of time there, work harder, and that brings rewards in turn.


hus, the second chapter of my life in London had begun. I had finally developed a level of so-

RYERSON FOLIO / Summer 2012

cial momentum which meant that meeting new people stopped feeling like hard work and started to become spontaneous. Real friendships were forming naturally, in their due course. I had acquired several new clients, some prestigious, and some recurring, and I paid off my credit card debt and started saving again. The blog was on fire - I was writing what I still consider to be some of my best posts, ever, and was beginning to reach a new international audience. Six months later, my visitor statistics had doubled. A happy life has a good balance of novelty and routine and as the first year in London came to a close I was beginning to achieve that balance. I was feeling short bursts and then extended periods, of contentment. Having overcome my discomfort, I was open to really absorbing my environment. The cultural and historical texture of this city has in-

formed the way I perceive my subject and the social emphasis on taste and education has helped me practice my craft at a higher level. Before I moved, I had thought that moving to a fashion capital would be good for my business - that maybe I would make some new contacts. What I discovered was that for me, London was more about personal growth, indirectly allowing me to completely unchain my career from the city I live in.


ow, people ask me if I’ll stay in London. I guess I could figure out a way to extend my visa if I really wanted to, but to be honest, I don’t feel strongly enough about the city to make the effort. As much as I enjoy living in a vibrant, major international city, I’m not convinced that the sacrifices I make to be here are worth it for the long term. The nature of being self-employed in a non-locationspecific business means that I could live anywhere in the world. I miss being near my family, and there’s no reason why I can’t be. Also, living in an expensive city with high overhead is a liability. Living in a smaller, cheaper city would be like giving myself a raise. At the cusp of the age of 30 , I’m ready to improve my quality of life and save for my future. If I can create a good life for myself in London, I’m betting making the switch to a new city with a lower cost of living will be a cinch. Looking towards a final seven months in London, I’m conscious of not taking the city for granted, and I’m enjoying it more than ever. London taught me that risky moves are worth it.

TRUNG HO Business Management ‘12 Editor-in-Chief Editors CHRIS BABIC, Journalism ‘14 NADYA DOMINGO, Journalism ‘15 MEGAN JONES, Journalism ‘14 ELAYNE TEIXEIRA-MILLAR, Journalism ‘14 Photography BRIAN BATISTA BETTENCOURT, Journalism ‘14 JOSEPH HAMMOND, Photography ‘15 SHANENE LAU, Photography ‘14 SAVANNAH ONOFREY, Photography ‘15 Art Design STEFFANIE NGUYEN, Graphic Communications Management ‘13 Illustration SUSANA GÓMEZ BÁEZ, Journalism ‘15 Alumni Contributors DANIELLE MEDER, Fashion Design ‘06 PETER NOWAK, Journalism ‘97 Contributors LINDSAY FITZGERALD, ARIELLA FREID, DEBBIE HERNANDEZ, TAMARA JONES, ERICA LENTI, PETER LOZINSKI, MEGAN MATSUDA, TANYA MOK, SINEAD MULHERN, JESSICA MURRAY, JOY PARKINSON, KELCEY WRIGHT Business CODY BROUWERS, Business Management ‘14 MICHAEL LABRADOR, Business Management ‘14 A special thanks to: Amy Casey, Chris Gruggen, Parker Kay, Alannah O’Neill, Kareem Rahaman, Alan Shepard, Glen Weppler

Danielle Meder is a professional fashion illustrator and a trend theorist, currently based in London, UK. Meder graduated from Ryerson University in 2006 from the Fashion Design program. Meder can be contacted through finalfashion@gmail.com or finalfashion.ca.

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A MISUNDERSTOOD ART Giving dance a closer look. By Jessica Murray


he small Ryerson theatre is engulfed in darkness, as the dancers get ready to begin this year’s EnChoreo production – a show to highlight the younger dance students who did not perform in the annual production Choreographic Works. It’s a hot night, a record temperature for this time of year. The smell of sweat permeates the air, but the dancers seem to keep their cool. Suddenly a spotlight appears, revealing a young woman in a white dress. The music commences as she begins her dance – poised, focused, fearless. As she dances, her fluid movements are cast around her in shadows. This is how people experience the power of dance – all without even leaving their seat. It’s in these moments that the audience loses all sense of themselves while they watch the dancer take every coordinated step and every intentional breath. The audience forgets the heat of the theatre, the woman shifting in her seat beside theirs, and all sense of time is lost as eyes watch the dancer, entranced. At the end of her performance, the audience erupts in applause, the spotlight shuts off and again people are left in darkness. As the applause dies down, bodies relax, and heartbeats continue to keep time with the music just played. You don’t have to be a dancer to appreciate the art form. Sadly, some people will immediately say, “I don’t get this” about a dance and brush it aside forever without giving it a second chance. It is this kind of thinking that makes dancing arguably the most misunderstood art. Dance has been classified as a form of entertainment, a sport, and an art – but with its diverse nature, should dance be considered its own entity?

Photographs by Joseph Hammond


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Dance is currently defined as rhythmic movement, but every dancer has their own relationship with dance. Karen Duplisea, the co-director of the Ryerson dance program, says that she can dance her emotions better than she could ever say them. “Dance is my primary way of communicating who I am to the world,” says Duplisea. “I can honestly say that in no other way that I communicate, whether it’s writing or speaking, the honesty that I can portray. Perhaps because I have the license to act, or be what the audience might consider a character, it gives me the opportunity to actually be all the things that I really am but might not show on a daily basis.” The incredible capability dance has to communicate on another level has prompted not just Duplisea, but many other dancers to express themselves through dance. Whether it’s birth, death, happiness, sorrow or fear, everyone has experienced a time in their lives where words did not articulate their emotions. Dance is just one of mediums of self-expression that speaks for people when there are no words that can show others how we are feeling. It’s not to say that every time you are sad you are supposed to dance in front of your friends to show them that you’re upset, but rather that dance can be used therapeutically to harness feelings and release them through dancing or watching someone else dance. Ariella Freid, a Ryerson performance dance student, is in her fourth year of the program but has been dancing since age five. As a dancer, Freid believes that some individuals avoid dance because they feel it is irrelevant to their life. “It’s important that people realize that art is a natural expression of life and not that its an abstraction of life,” says Freid. “At the end of the day it is an expression of what we feel and what we experience in our everyday life. We’ve all gone through

most of the same things. I would imagine that all art comes from a place of universal experience.” The physical and emotional benefits of the self-expression that dance provides is unquestionable, however one major virtue of dance that is overlooked is courage. Dancers have the courage to perform in front of strangers, to be confident in their body, and become completely emotionally vulnerable. The fearlessness that dancers exhibit can be appreciated by anyone as they teach humans to lead with their hearts and keep moving with self-assurance in the direction of their aspirations and dreams. After teaching at Ryerson for 21 years in addition to teaching master classes across Canada, Duplisea’s teaching experience has shown her how what one learns as a dancer is relevant in and out of the studio. “A dancer learns self-discipline, a dancer learns to cultivate and maintain a very strong work ethic, a dancer learns how to be a team player but then they also have the courage and the know-how to go out there and be a soloist. Companies will hire dancers because they know they have these kinds of skills,” says Duplisea. “Any of the skills that [dancers] learn while they’re here [at Ryerson] and probably in any training facility are not just about dance, they’re about life skills.”

Regardless if you have been instructed in dance or not, the biggest misunderstanding about dance is that you need to know about it to appreciate it – when the truth is anything but. For those who are unfamiliar with dance, Freid suggests one simple action – watch dancing. Then watch some more. And if you don’t like either of those performances, the young dancer encourages that you seek out more. “It’s really hard to challenge yourself to go out and see something new,” says Freid. “People think that it’s something that it’s not and people think that it’s so specialized and if you don’t like it you’re never going to like it. I want people to step outside of their comfort zones because they may just feel something or stumble upon something they like. If you don’t see something you like the first time, go see something else. There’s so much to see.” Whether it’s a hip-hop battle, a televised dance competition, or even a production like Ryerson’s EnChoreo, dance’s presence in our society is endless with a multitude of styles and genres that could entice even the greatest skeptic. If you simply allow it to, understanding dance can be as easy as sitting back in your seat and watching for when that first spotlight shines on the stage and the dance begins.

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FIVE WORLDS Ryerson is building a reputation for producing career-ready grads. But some students go beyond expectations to achieve exceptional successes in their fields –before they even graduate.







fter years in front of cameras and behind them, award-winning fourth-year film student Stephen Dunn knows exactly what to do before his moments in the spotlight. He likes to find a quiet corner and stand on his head. Not for long, just a couple of minutes – enough to get the blood rushing into his brain, a process he finds “relaxing”. Then he’s calm, focused, and ready to step on stage. For the 22-year-old St. John’s native, the past four years of university seem to have been a series of dreamscome-true. Dunn’s film career first took off in his first year at Ryerson with his 2008 project, The Hall, and the cameras haven’t stopped rolling. The movie – which was shot in two days with seven friends – earned international recognition, screening in Boston, the Filmapalooza festival in Miami, and the Cannes International Film Festival in France. It won multiple awards, even earning Dunn honourable mention in film critic Roger Ebert’s blog. One year later, he became the youngest aspiring filmmaker to participate in the Toronto International


Film Festival Talent Lab. It was during the TIFF Lab that Dunn directed Swallowed, a $500-budget movie about a woman mourning the death of her husband, who was swallowed by a whale. “Every project I come up with, there’s always a strong sense of vulnerability, imagination, and the psychological,” says Dunn, who cites unconventional directors like Daren Aronofsky as his inspirations. “There’s no particular themes but stylistically my characters are very imaginative.” Now in his fourth year at Ryerson, Dunn has made yet another huge accomplishment by recruiting fellow Newfoundlander and Canadian icon, Gordon Pinsent, to act in his current and final thesis project, titled Life Doesn’t Frighten Me. Pinsent, 82, will play the role of an eccentric grandfather in the film, and spoke extensively with Dunn during rehearsal on the dynamics between young and old. Many of the long talks between the two were later incorporated into the script. “It’s hard for a young person to understand what it’s like to be old,”

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says Dunn. “It was such an honour to be able to work with him – he gave me so much as an actor.” Impressed by Dunn’s 2009 film “Swallowed”, Pinsent agreed to take on the project, free-of-charge, sending his confirmation via e-mail and in the form of a poem. “It was hysterical,” says Dunn. Despite all the good times on set with the quirky Canadian icon, and his own illustrious university film career, the director says the story for Life Doesn’t Frighten Me – about a little girl who thinks she’s dying – is inspired by the hard times in life, not the easy ones. “University has been amazing but it’s also been a hurdle,” he says. “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me is about not being afraid to graduate, not being afraid to be an adult, not being afraid about how I’m going to support myself.” “You can’t be afraid to fail because you’ll never succeed if you don’t try.” Still in the process of shooting, the movie will be completed in late April and will show at Ryerson University’s Film Festival in early June. “I feel very inspired,” he says. “A mix of terrified and confident.”

Photograph by Joseph Hammond






ourteen years ago, seven yearold Jahmal Jones sat in his Mississauga home, eyes glued to the TV watching Michael Jordan play, never before stepping foot on a hardwood court. “Watching Jordan even just in the warm-ups looked fun to me,” says Jones. That was all the inspiration that the now 21-year-old All-Star needed. About a decade after first picking up a basketball and beginning his competitive basketball career, Jones has accomplished more than most players will in a lifetime. Graduating from high school with honors and being ranked Hoopsters 10th best point guard in the entire country was just the beginning of Jones’ successes on and off the court. Jones had a booming first year at Ryerson University sweeping Rookie of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year after an overly impressive rookie season. After averaging 17.2 points a game, leading all CIS rookies, Jones earned a spot on the CIS All-Rook-

ie team and was the only first-year player to be named an OUA first team all-star. “Jones is an incredible PG, with an outstanding basketball IQ,” says first-year teammate, Gavin Berry. “He understands and sees the game better than any player I know. He’s a second coach out on the floor really.” Jones’s lightening quick speed and ability to make decisions with the basketball is what has made him such a phenomenon. “It’s the only sport where I can express myself through my speed and knowledge. As a point-guard, I control most things on the floor. I make a lot of decisions that other players can’t make,” he says. It was that decision-making that made Canada Basketball’s decision easy. In the summer after his first year, Jones was selected to represent Canada in Shenzhen, China at the Canadian Pan-American games, where he brought home a silver medal. “Being part of the FISU (International University Sports Federation)

team made me want to be a better leader [at Ryerson],” says Jones. “It changed my approach to the game. It gave me a more competitive edge and I always wanted to bring my best effort; both for my team and my country.” And Jones did just that; his second year at Ryerson was no less impressive, finishing top in the OUA in four categories- including minutes played and steals per game- Jones was once again named an OUA first team all-star. “Jones is one of the most talented basketball players in the OUA and has worked for it day in and day out. I have never played with anyone that works as hard as he does,” says Berry. With goals of playing professional basketball after university, a business degree in his back pocket, and experiences that have helped grow the Ryerson student-athlete, he is determined to make his goals nothing less than a reality. “I can’t put in all this time for nothing,” says Jones.

Photograph by Joseph Hammond 17

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n the summer of 2009, Ryerson badminton coach Rob Fullerton received an email. Parvinder Sachdeva, finished with high-school, was inquiring about tryouts instead of dwelling in post-prom depression. Fullerton invited him to practice with the team that summer. Fall rolled around. Sachdeva made the team but was benched all season. “That’s ok. That’s a good experience. I learned a lot.” Now in third-year, he just competed in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA’s) competition for badminton in March and came fourth: the best result the team has seen in years. Sachdeva is double majoring in Economics and Management Science, and Finance. Making the badminton team was just his first accomplishment at Ryerson. He has started three businesses, been chosen by The Next 36 as one of Canada’s most innovative students, written for the Commerce Times and currently has two business projects in the works. He usually spends the hours between 7 am to 12 pm on campus. He almost always forgoes breakfast. In December 2010 Sachdeva was chosen to be one of The Next 36, a program dedicated to finding the most innovative students across the

nation and launching their careers. The program consists of two parts: an education in entrepreneurship and a summer long collaborative assignment spent in of U of T dorms where students develop their own businesses. The $25,000 tuition is covered by sponsors. Sachdeva and a group of like-minded innovation wizards set up Posterboard, a mobile app where users submit photos of events which media companies then bid on to use in their coverage. Sachdeva has also made a name for himself on campus. During his time at Ryerson, he started to recognize a disconnect between faculties. He also noticed that the campus was saturated with creativity. TEDxRyersonU, modelled after the well-known TED Talks, was his invention and a campus forum for bridging the gaps at Ryerson while drawing attention to underground ideas. Speakers at Ryerson’s talks include journalist Tony Burman, former Al Jazeera managing director and CBC News Editor, and Ryerson grad Andrea Belvedere who was voted as one of the top 100 most powerful women by Women’s Executive Network. He sources his parents as a major inspiration for his work. Growing up in India, his family started off poor.

His dad had a degree in mechanical engineering and his mother was a teacher. Though he remembers a time when they struggled financially, his parents’ hard work pulled them up into an upper-middle class status. Then they came to Canada where his parents’ degrees weren’t accepted. They fell back to the struggle of working odd jobs. Sachdeva says it only feels right to give back to them, and push himself to do better. His next goal is The Rhodes Scholarship. Eight lucky Canadians win this scholarship each year, and only 84 are handed out worldwide. The prestigious scholarship sends students to Oxford University, where Sachdeva wants to study Financial Economics. No Ryerson student has ever won this scholarship he says. “I should have started now,” he says of the application process. “I’m just a little lazy right now.” Just a little lazy? This coming from the fulltime undergrad who says he has trained himself to sleep less for the sake of his seventeen-hour days at Ryerson and whose involvement with the school started with an email the summer before he even got here.

Photograph by Joseph Hammond 19

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eagan Johnston fanatically opens cabinets, picking up bits of linens, and wooden sticks. She has lost the collar she just made. The collar belongs to a one-piece men’s jumpsuit she has designed: a button up shirt sewn onto trousers. “No one would wear it, I’ll probably just wear it around the house,” she says. It was this creativity, along with her unconventional approach to fashion, that won the 21-year-old Ryerson student $5,000 in a Danier Leather competition this year. A soon-to-be intern with Danier this coming summer, Johnston’s leather jacket design, “Ace of Spades,” will be on sale come fall. Johnston has worked hard for this success. Twelve-hour days in Ryerson’s fashion design lab are frequent. She’s enrolled in seven courses this semester, and usually sees her family only via Skype. “You need to really love it,” she said, “It is not glamorous.”

Johnston channels this lack of glamour in her designs. She doesn’t follow fashion trends strictly, and looks instead to produce honest or authentic designs. Often, she turns to people-watching for inspiration. Later that afternoon, Johnston walks through Dundas Square and sits down, off to the side. Out of all the people in the square, she looks straight at a man in his 40s wearing brown slippers and cargo shorts with white ankle socks pulled up to midcalf. “That inspires me,” she says. She explains she prefers those considered unfashionable. “What they put on is what they’ve got,” Johnston says. “I guess it’s more honest. What they put together says more about them.” Johnston considers herself a “conceptual” designer, and says she’s inspired by ideas, as well as by characters, like the city workers on their lunch break passing by.

“I do like people-watching,” she says. “Just by seeing what they wear, you can know something more about them.” Johnston only watches for a few minutes at a time, before getting up and heading back to the lab to continue her work. When she’s in design mode, she “eyeballs” a lot of the time. Back in the lab, she sprawls out the sleeves of the men’s jumpsuit on the drawing table, and starts delicately slashing at it. You’re not supposed to do this either,” she says. “You’re supposed to make a pattern.” When asked to eyeball life after design school, Johnston doesn’t see herself in the mass production fashion industry. “I really want to pump out something that more than 10 per cent of the world can afford,” she said. “I feel like there’s so much more you can do.”

Photograph by Joseph Hammond RYERSON FOLIO / Summer 2012






hen one thinks ‘business person’, the stereotypical image of someone dressed in a grey suit and clutching a A4 briefcase pops in to their mind. With Maya Mboup, all stereotypes disappear. The freshfaced beauty, who opts for fashion favourites over business suits, is anything but square. Mboup, a fourth-year business technology management student at Ryerson University, focuses a big part of her life on her studies and an even bigger part on her work outside of school. Alongside a pride in presentation is her pride in performance. Compared to the résumés of most people her age, Mboup is in a league of her own. Thanks to an extensive knowledge of all things business, she recently finished the term as the President of AIESEC Ryerson, where she played an important role in organizing leadership and internship opportunities for students worldwide. In addition to this, she is the founder of Initiatives A Plus, a non-profit organisation that assists students in making

professional connections through a global mentoring program. Although she admits that such roles involve a lot of work, Mboup credits her teammates as a strong support system. “I work with a great team of people so I never feel alone,” she says. Working in global workforces also helps her to build her involvement in the world-wide community, a good initiative for someone who loves to travel. Thanks to her connections, Mboup no longer needs to look into staying in hotels when travelling abroad. Travel plays a big part in Mboup’s life. So far her favourite trip has been to Japan, both for the cultural aspect, and admittedly for the shopping. Alongside travelling for pleasure, her work has also taken her abroad. In addition to attending the UN-HABITAT World Urban Youth programme in Rio de Janeiro in 2010, she later visited Africa where she spoke to youth about key issues like urban development, technology access, and the importance of education. “In this day and age, people within the developed world take tech-

nology for granted,” she says, “The use of technology within developing countries could assist in bringing communities within countries closer together.” According to Mboup, rural areas would benefit from advancements in technology, as it she believes that money is now only being spent on developing urban areas, which, as a result, is increasing the gap between the two. “Rural areas need to be brought into the picture too, it’s all about being connected.” she says. Although Mboup has participated in a vast number of projects, both locally and globally, she remains modest. She has an engaging yet down-toearth presence and does not enforce but informs you of her views and her future plans. The young woman’s passion and drive is not only engaging, but inspiring. In final words of wisdom, Mboup stresses that young people should not be afraid of taking charge and pushing for what they believe in. “The impact of youth is very important,” she says.

Photograph by Joseph Hammond RYERSON FOLIO / Summer 2012



Taking Flight Ryerson student’s modeling career soars to new heights. By Nadya Domingo

Mikayla Mifsud wearing Matis. Photographed by Joseph Hammond.


uring the fall of 2011, Mikayla Mifsud’s phone rang in the middle of class. The voice on the other end said something that made her so shocked, she ran out of the room. Mifsud, a third-year business management student at Ryerson, had just found out that she had been chosen to model for a Fashion Television


video introduction. But aside from landing what would seem like the dream role, Mifsud continues to garner attention as her portfolio book has become considerably thicker over the months. Not only did she walk six runway shows during Toronto Fashion Week this season, wearing the

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designs of noted Canadian fashion labels such as Cara Cheung, Matis, Triarchy, and VAWK, but since she began modeling in early 2011, magazines such as Lush, ELLE Canada, and Urban Male Magazine (UMM) have all captured Mifsud in fashion spreads and on covers. Mifsud has also been featured in campaigns for Aqua Di Lara and Envie Intimates, and to top off her first year of modelling, Mifsud also landed The Weeknd’s Echoes of Silence album cover in December 2011. As a young girl, Mifsud dreamed of one day becoming a model, but she never thought it would actually happen, let alone in such a short period of time. “I always heard ‘you’re tall, you’re thin, you’re a model,’” said Mifsud. “It always seemed like a dream, like it would never happen.” Mifsud was signed to Ford Models Management in early 2011, but if you were to observe her work during a photoshoot, it would seem like she has been practicing her poses and movements for years. What is brilliant about the 20year old is that she knows what it is like to model for Fashion Week with midterms on her mind. There are some days when she rushes to three casting calls a day, on top of fittings and attending classes. She says that if there was one thing she could invent, it would be a teleportation device if it meant being able to be in class and at casting calls at the same time. Garments provided by Lucian Matis. Matis is a Toronto based fashion designer who graduated from Ryerson’s Fashion Design program in 2003. He can be contacted through www.lucianmatis.com. Photographer, Joseph Hammond Photo Assistant, Savannah Onofrey

Styling, Elayne Millar Garments, Lucian Matis F/W 2012 Makeup, Christina Ciddio Model, Mikayla Mifsud

MATIS FALL/WINTER 2012 THIS PAGE: ‘Bunny ear’ headband in feathers, feather dress with black crochet collar and black mesh leggings; LUCIAN MATIS. OPPOSITE PAGE: Black lace fingerless biker gloves, black lace gown with nude underlay, plunging neckline and thighhigh slit; LUCIAN MATIS.




MATIS FALL/WINTER 2012 Black lace top with black panel front and peplum-waist. black lace pencil skirt with black mesh leggings.


MATIS FALL/WINTER 2012 THIS PAGE: Handwoven black lace fingerless biker gloves.



RUNWAY GIANTS Ryerson alumni take Toronto Fashion Week by storm.

TORONTO FASHION WEEK is one of Canada’s biggest fashion events. Canadian designers from all over the country gather under the big white fashion tents at David Pecault Square and send their designs down the runway for the entire fashion world to see. This season, Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week showcased the work of some of Canada’s top designers such as Lucian Matis, Sunny Fong for VAWK, Cara Cheung, David Dixon, and Arthur Mendonça - all of whom learned the tricks of the trade in the very same classrooms some of us sit in every day. For those who are unfamiliar with work of these talented fashion alumni from the Ryerson School of Fashion, here are reviews of the Fall/Winter 2012 collections everyone is talking about.

Fashion Editor: Elayne Millar

Vawk (Sunny Fong)

Lucian Matis

Runway Images: Dress to KILL Magazine Lucian Matis Runway Image: Jenna Marie Wakani


Monday - Lucian Matis

Wednesday - Vawk

Toronto Fashion Week started off with a bang of glamour and luxury on Monday March 12 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel where Lucian Matis showed his F/W 2012 Collection. Matis showed his dark, elegant yet edgy collection of evening wear in one of the hotel’s ornate Victorian ballrooms. The collection, which consisted mostly of black gowns, featured dense handwoven lace, feathers, sheer mesh and nude underlay. Entitled Nature’s Art in Symmetry, the designer’s romantic designs were inspired by the beauty of nature. The dense lace effect, which appeared on full-length gowns and as detailing on almost every piece, was Matis’ hommage to the beauty and symmetry of butterfly wings. The highlight of the show was a floor-length lace gown with a plunging neckline and a dramatic thigh-high slit that evoked the very essence of ‘40s glamour and haute couture. There were also a number of sheerer garments that gave the collection an edgier aspect which mixed well with the elegance of the lace. Matis also showed a lot of dark green feathers. His collection included a full feathered dress with wing-like sleeves and ball gown with a black bustier top and full feather-covered skirt, both of which were impressive but rather costume. Overall, the Lucian Matis show was romantic, elegant and edgy and had the opulence of a show that could have taken place during Paris Haute Couture Week.

The Vawk F/W 2012 collection, entitled Sci-fi Samurai, was made up of Japanese-style structured blazers and dresses with kimono sleeves and straight samurai-esque lapels. These traditional designs, when mixed with fur trimmed leather biker jackets and gloves, wide copper leather belts, and copper sequins, gave the line a sci-fi biker chick feel. Having sleek japanese tailoring and biker pieces in the same collection was like a clash of two rather badass worlds. The collection was edgy - like a leather donned biker - but sophisticated and serious - like a samurai. The incorporation of copper sequins and wide copper leather belts gave the show the sci-fi aspect it was going for. Also, the leather caps the models were wearing echoed Sci-fi films like Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. VAWK designer Sunny Fong also showed a very Girl With the Dragon Tattoo-inspired silk black cutout dress with leather koi fish tattoo detailing - a perfect marriage of both themes. The tattoo detail was also incorporated in other looks like the samurai blazer, and tattoo sleeve gown.

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Arthur Mendonça

David Dixon

Cara Cheung

Wednesday - Cara Cheung

Thursday - David Dixon

Friday - Arthur Mendonça

Cara Cheung brought a vibrant and youthful collection to the studio runway on day 3 of Toronto Fashion Week. The fall/winter 2012 line of super short, sparkling, body-hugging dresses were inspired by what Cheung referred to as a “clash between technology and nature.” The majority of the pieces were slightly futuristic with touches of geometric and architectural details like metallic embroidery, bedazzled crystal bodices, peplum waists, and wide pointed shoulders. Some of the structured, almost robotic, silhouettes were mixed with exotic prints in flowing chiffon, giving the line the technology-vs-nature aspect the designer was going for. There was a lot of stamped croc-skin leather in both black and metallic silver, as well as black patent leather, which gave the line a sexy dominatrix-esque edge. While the dark colour scheme was rather technologyinfluenced, pops of neon yellow and navy blue reminded the audience of the show’s call to nature and the label’s youthful vibrancy.

The David Dixon F/W 2012 runway show was like a night at the theatre. The show, entitled “The Birds”, opened with a montage from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960s horror film of the same name. David Dixon’s feathered feminine collection took to the runway on day four of Toronto Fashion Week and was very much ‘60s inspired. The collection consisted of elegant, form-fitting silhouettes in the shape of knee-length pencil skirts in black and white houndstooth, black petal chiffon, black feathers, and black sequins. There were also a lot of peplum-waisted silhouettes, mostly shown on white silk pencil dresses. Dixon also did the boxy ‘60s jacket in white wool over cigarette pants and pencil skirts. Since the show was called Birds, it did include a number of feathered garments. Dixon used a lot of dark feathers this season on long evening gowns, skirts, jackets, cocktail dresses and even showed a full feathered coat. There was also a hint of shiny teal in the collection to channel the shine

The Arthur Mendonça F/W 2012 collection took to the runway on the final day of Fashion Week. With a line inspired by the 1960s housewife and Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, Mendonça showed highly tailored garments pumped with sexy appeal and bright colours. The show opened with a shiny fuchsia patent leather rain jacket, which was highly feminine in colour but rather masculine in tailoring. The collection consisted of several menswear-inspired looks in a variety of pinks and neutrals. Mendonça paid homage to Kubrick by sending models down the runway in bowler hats and double-breasted trench coats. The designer also channeled the film’s sex appeal with bondagelike dresses with leather bodices, latex gloves, and lace stockings. The 1960s housewife aspect came through in the form of a fuchsia paisley print sheath dress, white silk pleated A-line dress, knee-length pencil dresses, and a wool draped dress in sea blue with a matching fur sash. In contrast with the edgier black and brown leather garments, Mendonça made sure to incorporate several bright colours into the line, such as an array of bright lace overlays in purple, pink, and yellow and a few vibrant blouses in neon and metallic baby blue.

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Mass Exodus Photographs by Brian Batista Bettencourt


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he Ryerson School of Fashion is home to the largest student-run fashion show in North America. Mass Exodus, which presents the final collections of fourth-year Fashion Design students, has been one of Ryerson`s largest events for over 20 years as thousands of spectators make their way into the Ryerson Theatre each spring to observe some of Canada’s most talented upcoming fashion professionals. Mass Exodus is a collaboration between fourth-year design students, third-year Fashion Communications students, fourth-year Retail Management students, and Production students from the Ryerson Theatre School (RTS), in which all of the work is implemented into the courses of the respective programs. The planning and execution was months in the making as Fashion Communication students and Retail Management students began planning LUCID in September 2011, while a team of 32 students in Productions from RTS first met in December of 2011 to began planning the construction of the physical set for the show as well as being responsible for all technical aspects. Although the incredible works of the Fashion Design students take the spotlight each year, what goes on behind-the-scenes has always been a bit of a mystery to spectators. Ryerson Folio photographer Brian Batista Bettencourt followed the Mass Exodus team during the winter semester to capture what went into the making of the runway show, from the planning taking months ahead to all of the action backstage on the day of. – Trung Ho

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On the Ropes Where has boxing gone? BY CHRIS BABIC


umza Hussain stands off to one side of the sweaty combatant’s room in the Ajax Community Centre, methodically wrapping well-worn yellow tape around his hands and wrists. He is quiet, pensive as he prepares to enter the boxing ring which dominates the small gym. Hussain does not look like a typical boxer. He is in his first year studying business management at Ryerson University. His lanky six-foot tall frame supports 130 pounds of muscle, and his hands move in rapid, striking jabs as he spars with his coach, Thomas Francis, in a testosterone-fuelled love affair with a sport that is decidedly receiving less and less love these days. Hussain is the rare adolescent who chose to study the “sweet science” of boxing over the mixed martial arts (MMA) wave sweeping across North America, beguiling many video-game hardened, Red Bull fuelled, voyeuristic teens these days. According to Hussain, boxing is suffering from a lack of heavyweight star-power. “People who didn’t care about boxing still cared about Muhammad Ali and wanted him to win,” he muses after his sparring session. They watched his fights because they didn’t want him to lose his platform for speaking out against controversial issues such as the Vietnam War, and because mainstream America could relate to Ali’s own struggle to find himself in his sport and his working class roots.

“Heavyweight champion of the world” used to mean something. It inspired young children to jog up their city hall stairs with Rocky highlights playing in their heads, and it was a poignant statement of athletic supremacy. The days of heavyweights like Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson being worldwide names have long since been marginalized with the introduction of new regulations, countless weight classes and numerous championship titles. Nevermind losing household names in the ring, gone too are the days when boxing writers and announcers were legends in their own right. Gone are the images of the colourful Bert Sugar, who wrote over 80 books on boxing history, appeared in movies, and was instantly recognizable ringside with his trademark brown fedora and a thick cigar hanging out of his mouth. Boxing culture has lost its place in so-

ciety and along the way its fights have lost their character too. Over and over boxing fails to capitalize on the buzz generated by its showcase fights, like the über-hyped Floyd Mayweather Jr. – Oscar de la Hoya megafight in May of 2007. The mostwatched bout in history was followed by snoozers like Jermain Taylor’s sorry win over Cory Spinks later that month. Enamored with the heydays of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson, boxing is on an eternal search for its next savior. Kelly Pavlik was supposed to be that man, but in the five years since his much talked about victory over Taylor he has fallen into the depths of boxing purgatory, ever on the cusp of stardom but never actually there. The numbers say Mayweather may well be the greatest pound-for-pound fighter ever, but his gregarious lifestyle is unpalatable to the casual fan, and while his fights continue to draw large numbers, his is a story that fails to captivate the world at large – he is no Ali. Then there is Manny Pacquiao, the fast southpaw from the Philippines who is Mayweather’s only peer at the top of the boxing pyramid. The world continues to wait for a Mayweather – Pacquiao super-fight, the likes of which Hussain says might be enough to make boxing big news again. “It’ll be the biggest sporting event of the decade.” Yet egos and bloodtests stand in the way of the only fight sure to pull in the casual fan – and it is killing boxing. While

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both fighters continue to line up lesser opponents, worldwide sentiment among casual observers seems to be, ‘if it ain’t Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, I’m not interested.’ In a world which increasingly deplores the subtlety and patience required of the so-called sweet science, boxing is boring to todays coveted 18 - 34 year-old ratings demographic. Boxing does not allow opponents to change tactics by wrestling, clutching, and delivering those YouTube sensation roundhouse kicks. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) by comparison is flashy, with its frenetic light shows, loud, aggressive psych-up music, and a gritty pageantry not associated with the tradition-rich, gentlemanly, up-right and uptight boxing world. Boxing, it seems, is on a quest to recapture the storied past, while UFC is capitalizing on the changing culture of voyeurism and violence. The mixed part of UFC’s mixed martial arts (MMA) is its main draw. Why should fans of combat sports be left to argue over who would win in a hypothetical fight between Joe Frazier and Bruce Lee? MMA would see former boxers, linebackers, wrestlers and jujitsu masters duke it out in an all-or-nothing, two men enter, one man leaves octagon – and the idea took off. Boxing fans have New York entrepreneur Bob Meyrowitz (UFC’s creator) and former boxing trainer Dana White (UFC’s savior and genius) to thank in part for their own sport’s decline. But mostly boxing has its own stewards to blame. Blame Don King; blame Bob Arum – boxing promoters who purged the sport of its lifeblood, with steep pay-perview prices, corruption allegations and scandal after scandal inflicting serious damage on its relevance in the world today. Blame the stream of links to organized crime – think the late Arturo Gatti – and blame fighters who increasingly polarized the sport from its working class roots 39

and left fans disillusioned and disconnected. What is a sport to do when it seems at every turn its integrity, not to mention its safety and sanity are questioned? For one thing, it needs to go back to its roots. Hussain believes boxing stands a fighting chance of surviving relative obscurity to re-emerge, with a renaissance of classic heavyweight contenders, a shrinking of weight classes and championship bouts and a transparent scoring system free of corruption. “It starts with a Pacquiao versus Mayweather fight, but that interest needs to be drawn on by boxing

promoters.” That means they need to market aggressively; much like the UFC does now, and questions of safety must be addressed so that a new stream of amateur fighters can fill the ranks. Most importantly, boxing needs its stories back. From 1980 to 1997 there were a respectable 45 Sports Illustrated covers featuring boxing stories. From 1998 to 2010 there was one solitary cover featuring a boxing story. This is perhaps the greatest statement that boxing has lost the ability to influence popular culture. Boxing is broken, yes, but some of its most celebrated heroes entered the sport broken and battered by society and they emerged champions. Where would Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti be without boxing? It raised

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a generation of children who really believed that it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it’s getting up that counts. Ali’s character and witty remarks are a large part of his legend and help extend it far beyond the ring. He is the one who “done wrestled with an alligator… tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail.” He embodied an entire generation when he said “I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be who I wanna be and think what I wanna think.” Boxing gave us the “Four Kings”: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Duran; arguably the best to emerge from the electric super-fight years at the height of the sport in the 1980’s. In hockey, if a team is down two goals, they need three goals to win. In boxing, if a fighter lost nine rounds, he needs but one knock-out punch to win. It is a sport requiring constant training of the body and mind, because in boxing, a fighter only takes away exactly what he put in – a valuable life lesson. Hussain was drawn to boxing three years ago in part because of his father’s love of Ali, and the exhilaration of spiritually finding himself in the ring. “It’s lonely in the ring. It’s just you. In the ring people are exposed. You can tell who wants it more. You can tell who is determined, and who is having second thoughts.” It also began for Hussain with images of Rocky Balboa jogging up those iconic steps, and dreams of one day being crowned “heavyweight champion of the world!” Boxing is on the ropes, the storied culture that pervaded the sport in the ‘70s and ‘80s is shamefully missing in today’s culture. Boxing needs its stories back, its characters, and its mainstream coverage. But most of all, boxing needs those dreamers once again. Files from Peter Lozinski Photo by Brian Batista Bettencourt


SEX, BOMBS AND BURGERS How war, porn and fast food have shaped modern technology. BY PETER NOWAK, Journalism ‘97


he inspiration for this book came from the unlikeliest of sources: Paris Hilton. I wish it was some deeper or more sophisticated source, like the many scientific journals I’ve read, a PBS documentary I’d seen or even Wired magazine, but nope. My muse, I’m ashamed to admit, was a hotel heiress with no discernible talents. It was 2004, at the very beginning of the young blonde’s meteoric rise to celebrity. The internet was aflutter with a video of Hilton, then twentythree, having sex with her boyfriend, fellow socialite Rick Salomon. There was, as is usually the case with celebrity sex tapes, a debate over whether the video had been purposely leaked to raise Hilton’s public profile. Regardless, it certainly succeeded in getting attention. The video intrigued me, not because of the sex or the celebrity-to-be, but because a good portion of it was green. The naked flesh on display was not a rosy pink, but rather monochromatic hues of emerald. This was, I realized, because the video had been shot in the dark using the camera’s nightvision mode. While most viewers marvelled at Paris’s, er, skills, I was interested in the technology being used behind the scenes. Welcome to the life of a nerd. As a technology journalist, I’m used to wondering what’s under the hood, so to speak, and thinking about such cultural events in ways the nontechnically minded, thankfully, never consider. When CNN trotted out the world’s first televised “holograms”

during the 2008 American presidential election and compared them to R2-D2’s projection of Princess Leia in the first Star Wars movie, alarm bells rang and led me to discover that they were in fact “tomograms”— three-dimensional images beamed

onto the viewer’s screen and not into the thin air of CNN’s studio. Similarly, most people enjoy Lego toys for their simplicity. Me? I couldn’t help but wonder how designers decided on the optimum number, shape and variety of pieces in each set. So I called them to find out. It turns out that there are a lucky group of Lego employees who test-build sets, using three-dimensional modelling software to create new pieces as they are needed. The software also prices the sets based on the number of parts, so

designers can add or subtract pieces to get the kit to their target cost. Such are my nerdy preoccupations; these are the stories I write in my daily life as a journalist. I knew I had seen Paris Hilton’s night-vision technology before. The notion nagged at me for days before it finally hit: the first Gulf War, also known as Operation Desert Storm. More than a decade earlier, a coalition of countries led by the United States had gone to war to liberate Kuwait from a brash takeover by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. I was too young for the televised reports of the Vietnam War so Desert Storm was the first big military action I had seen, played out on CNN as it was. The images that defined the war for me were the nighttime bombing raids— the barrage of anti-aircraft fire arcing upward, followed by huge explosions on the ground. Like the sex video, the most memorable images of Iraq’s defeat were, for me, bathed in green. It got me wondering what other consumer technologies are derived from the military. The more I delved into it, the more I found that just about everything is. From plastic bags and hairspray to vitamins and Google Earth, military money has funded the development of most of the modern items we use today. I also found many other links between war and the technology used in pornography, which is basically what Paris’s video was. The porn industry has been quick to adopt every communications medium developed by

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the military, from smaller film cameras to magnetic recording (which led to VCRs) to lasers (which led to DVDs) to the internet. Porn companies jumped on these technologies well before other commercial industries, thereby providing the money needed to develop them further. The technological savvy of these two industries should come as no surprise. Lust and the need to fight or compete are two of the most primitive and powerful human instincts. They are our basest needs, a duo of forces that drive many of our key actions. Despite centuries of trying to deny, avoid, cure or otherwise suppress these forces, we have so far failed to find any course of action other than satiating them. As a result, catering to these needs has become big business. And big business needs technology to stay current and competitive. Of course, there is another powerful urge that drives us: the rumbling in our bellies. At about the same time as Paris was getting famous, I was just starting to read the labels on grocery store shelves. Like anyone entering that phase of life where the metabolism starts to slow down—the tardy thirties, as I like to think of them— I was actually starting to care about what I ate and therefore becoming concerned about the amount of glucose, fructose, phosphoric acid, sodium hydrogen carbonate and other assorted chemicals I was putting into my body. If you’ve ever read those labels and come across ingredients you can’t pronounce, you’ve probably realized—as I did—just how much technology goes into our food. As eye-opening as this was, though, it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Our need for food is the most elemental instinct of them all, trumping all others, because without food we simply can’t survive. It’s understandable then that throughout history, we’ve used every resource at our disposal to ensure we have enough food on hand. Food 41

has always been linked to power, and thereby to conflict. Historically, he who has had the most food has typically had the most power. And the best way to create lots of food is through technology. Ultimately, the more technology you have, the more food you have and the more powerful you are. This doesn’t just apply at a macro level, either—in any society, a wealthy individual is a well-fed individual. Our war-, sex- and food-related instincts go well beyond technology—they influenced human evolution itself. A recently unearthed hominid skeleton—4.4 million years old, the oldest discovered thus far— has presented evidence that war, sex and food were the three factors that led to humans getting up off all fours to become bipedal. Researchers at Kent State University in Ohio believe that early human males competed for female attentions by fighting it out. As with most apes, the ones who ended up with a mate were always the strongest and fiercest. Lesser males, however, also succeeded in getting female attention, but they used a different tactic—they brought them gifts. At the dawn of humanity, there was of course only one gift that mattered: food. Researchers have postulated that these lesser males had to learn how to walk on two feet in order to free up their hands so that they could carry this food to the females. Millions of years later, little has changed. People still fight for food and sex, and we still use food (and other gifts) to try to get sex. These hard-wired, intersecting instincts have, over time, become our obsessions. Open any newspaper or watch any television broadcast and you’ll see the proof. Endless broadcast hours and column inches are given over to the latest updates on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, the ongoing obesity epidemic or the latest diet craze, and the sex lives of celebrities or politicians caught in

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prostitution scandals. War, food and sex are everywhere because we demand them. We feel compelled to fight each other, to compete and amass more than our neighbours have, whether through physical combat, political battle, verbal sparring or even just sports. War is an integral part of the human experience. Lust, meanwhile, leads people to do stupid, stupid things, from risking unwanted pregnancy and diseases by having unprotected sex to courting identity theft by giving their credit card numbers to shady websites or provoking the loss of their families and relationships by conducting poorly concealed affairs. Mythology is rife with conflicts fought over sexual jealousy, such as the Trojan War, which started when the King of Troy’s son stole the King of Sparta’s daughter, while even Adam disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit in hopes that Eve would get it on. The need for food is just as basic. Wars still start over the land that produces food, while in the most extreme cases, a lack of food even drives man to eat fellow man. Huge industries have developed around each need; war, sex and food are not only humanity’s oldest businesses, they are some of the biggest as well. But the question does arise: with three such basic instincts, why the need to tinker? If our needs are so elemental, why does meeting them require such ongoing innovation? The reasons, it turns out, are many. Peter Nowak, a graduate from Ryerson’s Journalism program in 1997, is an awardwinning journalist, best-selling author and syndicated blogger. His next book, Humans 3.0, is scheduled for publication in the United States by Lyons Press in fall 2013/spring 2014. Nowak can be contacted through wordsbynowak@gmail.com or wordsbynowak.com.


By Erica Lenti

The Ryerson community generally know little about the university’s administration members. Erica Lenti breaks down what each member does, and the surprising ways in which they do it. SHELDON LEVY

PRESIDENT Levy oversees all executive operations, focusing on the Ryerson reputation, developing policies and advocating for resources.


heldon Levy’s second home is the open road.

As Ryerson’s president, Levy spends a majority of his week in the office, going to meetings and representing the university – he is, after all, the Eggy the Ram of Ryerson’s administration team. So, when he has a (rare) moment or two to spare, Levy likes to leave Ryerson behind – on his motorcycle. A stark contrast from the demanding workload he faces as president, Levy says riding bikes has been his escape for more than 40 years

Photograph provided by the President’s Office.

“It’s the one place that I leave the office and it’s the one place that you’re someone different than who you are each day,” he says. “It’s a sense of freedom and a sense of exploration.”

president and you’re someone else,’” he says. “It’s a society that everyone is the same and no one could care less about your business card.”

While his president-by-day, biker-bynight persona may seem uncanny, Levy says the biking community holds no reservations against him.

Levy always rides alone (he prefers solitude to get away from the constant need for interaction back at the university). He only takes long rides, with his longest amounting to ten days to reach California, trekked on his BMW LT

“When you’re on a bike and you stop at a cafe or something and bikers are there, everyone is equal and there’s no, ‘I’m the

1200. “When I’m on a bike, I never plan anything. It’s the exact opposite of [my job],” he says. “If I’m driving, and it looks like a nice road, I’ll take it. Where it goes, I go.” In the end, though, no matter where his mororcycle takes him, Levy always returns to his office at Ryerson, his first home.

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“This is an office where lots of pretty serious things get talked about,” Shepard says. “If you like it, I think, ‘Oh, this is going to be a good meeting.’”

process of the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) in 2011, she did what most university students would: she pulled an all-nighter with her army of colleagues.

A few sprinkles have since fallen off, but Shepard likes its original condition, and refuses to fix it.

“We were asked to produce something that would take two weeks worth of work,” she says. “I was living here [at school] basically trying to get the stuff together.”

“It’s a fun, kind of pop art thing, and I like ice cream, so it’s great,” he says.


VICE PRESIDENT ACADEMIC AND PROVOST Shepard is responsible for Ryerson’s academic programming and its funding. He’s also the most senior officer second to President Levy.

If all else fails in his meetings, Shepard isn’t afraid to belt out a chorus or two of Adele’s “Someone Like You.” But for now, he says, he’ll to stick to the cone.


lan Shepard has a strategy to charming his colleagues, and it comes in the form of a giant ice cream cone. When Ryerson purchased Sam the Record Man in 2008, Shepard set his sights on the papiermâché cone, originally hung by the store to advertise their adjoining ice cream shop. He wanted it in his office, but former Vice President Administration and Finance Linda Grayson argued against it. Shepard eventually got his way months after the exchange, when the cone was delivered to his 13th floor Jorgenson Hall office – a gift from Grayson. Four years later, Shepard has purchased a custom-made metal stand for the cone, which now sits directly in front of his desk. He calls it the “ice breaker,” because it usually woos his colleagues during business meetings. 43

“It was really one of the most challenging things I’ve had to do at Ryerson.” Given the opportunity, Cukier pulled out all the stops – she bought mounds of junk food (she thought stuffing her colleagues with food would keep them moving), and entertained them with Saturday Night Live parodies of Willow Smith’s “I Whip My Hair Back and Forth” into the wee hours of the morning. “We were sitting in a row in the boardroom in TRSM at four in the morning eating junk food, hysterical,” she recalls. “I remember just killing ourselves laughing.”


VICE PRESIDENT RESEARCH AND INNOVATION Cukier promotes and advances research opportunities for both faculty and students at the university. She also establishes and maintains Ryerson’s international partnerships.


endy Cukier is not unlike her fellow students at Ry-


When faced with a time crunch during the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB ) accreditation

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Cukier is accustomed to late nights like these; after all, she says, 100-hour weeks are not uncommon, and juggling her role as vice president, teaching a graduate course and heading Ryerson’s Diversity Institute can get demanding. But Cukier is hardly sees it as work. “When work is fun, it doesn’t seem like work,” she says. “Everybody should aspire to have a job that’s as much fun as this.” In August 2011, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredited TRSM. Cukier says it’s one of her proudest successes in her 25 years at Ryerson – and she doesn’t seem to mind that it will be forever associated with Jimmy Fallon covers, pizza and late-night shenanigans.

says. When he isn’t playing dress up, Kahan is searching for new and innovative ways to promote Ryerson, from billboards and ad campaigns, to daily university-wide “Ryerson Today” emails.


Kahan keeps the snout atop his shelf, surrounded by other souvenirs from his business trips. It reminds him that his job has its lighter moments – and even branding can be a real ‘ham.’

VICE PRESIDENT UNIVERSITY ADVANCEMENT Kahan is responsible for the alumni relations, resource development and public affairs of the university. dam Kahan isn’t afraid to go the extra mile to advance the Ryerson brand – even if it means (literally) dressing like a pig.

But what began as a routine meeting quickly turned into a circus act when Kahan’s associates showed up wearing pig snouts. Despite the unusual circumstance, Kahan let loose and took advantage of the situation. “I wore one so I could join in on the fun,” he recalls. “It was a good time.” Though he can’t remember the exact significance of the snouts (he speculates it may have been ‘Try to be Zany Day’), Kahan says the meeting was a memorable one. “I brought [the snout] back with me because it was all in good fun,” he

When a historic building on the corner of Yonge and Gould burned down in January 2011, Hanigsberg gladly took the 2:30 a.m. wake-up call that placed her in charge of coordinating the situation. By 6 a.m., Hanigsberg was on campus, assessing damages. “It’s not one of those jobs that you can turn off your mobile phone and not worry about what’s happening on campus,” she says. But Hanigsberg stresses that despite her busy schedule, she always maintains contact with all of her colleagues and students in the community; it’s one of her defining characteristics.


One of Kahan’s most memorable moments in his nine years at Ryerson was his trip to Boulder, Colorado, where he discussed and promoted a collaboration program between the Digital Media Zone and the Digital Media Works.

But it’s a job she’s happy to do.

“One of the things I’m constantly asking myself is, ‘How can I get myself out of this office? How can I be out there?’” she says. Hanigsberg admits even she is baffled by how she manages to juggle JULIA HANIGSBERG VICE PRESIDENT ADMINISTRA- her work and personal life.

TION AND FINANCE Hanigsberg oversees all non-academic operations at Ryerson, including IT, security, campus facilities and financial services.

“It is true that it isn’t easy to find time for everything,” she says. “But my view is that over a life time there will be time to fit in all the pieces.”

Despite her extensive commitment ulia Hanigsberg is busy by nature. to the university, Hanigsberg still manages to spend as much time When students and professors haul with her family as she can. Whether themselves home from long days at it is making it home by 6:30 P.M. for school, she stays seated in her office dinner, waking up at 5 A.M. to walk on the 13th floor of Jorgenson Hall, Golda the family dog, or taking her working feverously to keep the Ryer- daughter to the barn for equestrian son campus in tip-top shape. lessons on weekends, Hanigsberg’s priorties are her family and her Often, that means working late career. nights and early mornings, the kinds of shifts most people dread. “I’m sure some day I’ll get back to seeing all the new movies!” says “It’s a 24/7 kind of job,” she says. Hanigsberg.


RYERSON FOLIO / Summer 2012


Poutine, Pucks, and Parkas: Life on Exchange By Chris Babic Six exchange students talk about their semesters in Canada. THIS WINTER TERM, students from every corner of the globe have found themselves walking Gould Street in parkas some of them never before needed to own. While going on exchange is certainly a not-to-be missed life experience, there are often a few missteps along the way. These six students came to Ryerson with preconceived notions about Canada, and while Toronto can be off-putting to even the hardiest Bramptonian, these exchange students are enjoying experiencing all that the city has to offer. Canada has left them wanting to come back, for the mountains and the falls, and the poutine.

Joy Parkinson BA Journalism Blackpool, England

Tom Johnson, BA Journalism, BA International Relations Adelaide, Australia

Outside of class, where do you spend most of your time here?

Favourite Canadian artist you discovered here?

The workload seems heavier in Canada so I’ve embraced that but combined it with the popular coffee culture so I do a lot of my work in coffee shops.

Avril Lavigne - I had heard of her before, but grew to like her more, also Carly Rae Jepsen.

One thing you really want to do in Canada before you leave? I guess I need to go to the CN Tower and head to Niagara, however on a more obscure personal list, I would like to visit every stop on the subway, and also eat a staple dish in each foreign district.

Food you’ve tried here that you never would have back home? I’m a big fan of Poutine. The concept of brunch also plays a large part in my week.

Do you now know who Brian Burke and Bryan Adams are? I don’t know who Brian Burke is, but unfortunately I do know

who Bryan Adams is. 45

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Top 3 things you like about Toronto? Snow, ice hockey and Golden Griddle.

One thing you really want to do in Canada before you leave? See the Maple Leafs win.

Myth about Canadians you had before coming here that turned out to be false/ true? You do say “eh”, but you don’t keep raccoons as pets.

Question you get asked most here? Can you say “G’day Sheila”?

Roald Regtien BA Journalism Amsterdam, Netherlands

Olof Stalin BA Economics Jonkoping, Sweden

Erick Orlando Salas Gonzalez Venezuela

Alex Neal BA Honors Journalism Newcastle, England

Artist from your home that you want people here to know about?

Favourite Canadian artist you discovered here?

Top 3 things you like about Toronto?

De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig

Death from above 1979 (knew them before though).

Artist from your home that you want people here to know about?

One thing you really want to do in Canada before you leave?

Artist from your home that you want people here to know about?

Find a beaver.


Food you’ve tried here that you never would have back home?

Top 3 things you like about Toronto?


Steamwhistle beer, Podium cigarettes and Brown Bag Sandwiches.

Myth about Canadians you had before coming here that turned out to be false/true? Someone told me that everyone is so enthusiastic about the smallest things. Turned out to be true.

Myth about Canadians you had before coming here that turned out to be false/true? I heard that shorts is an acceptable clothing item, no matter how cold it is, which turned out to be true.

Simon Diaz.

Favourite Canadian artist you discovered here? Wayne Gretzky?

Outside of class, where do you spend most of your time here? Tim Hortons.

Have you become a fan of hockey/lacrosse? Hockey I’ve learned to like..., um, lacrosse?

One thing you really want to do in Canada before you leave? Go to Quebec city.

Pizza Pizza, Toronto FC, Sleeman’s Cream Ale.

Do you now know who Brian Burke and Bryan Adams are? Brian Burke, not a clue, Bryan Adams, what a legend.

How well does your accent play here, and would ours play well in your hometown? The accent draws questions certainly, but not much more - and back home everyone would think your accent was American, and by the time they found out you were Canadian they would be bored.

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PLAYLISTS By Nadya Domingo Melody Lau

Journalism (Fourth Year)

Melody Lau can’t imagine writing anything except music. The freelance journalist started blogging in 2008 on her website, Singing Lamb, and has interviewed bands like Beirut and St. Vincent . The student has seen friends lose interest in music journalism, but Lau says that simply won’t happen to her. “I spend so much of my day immersed in music. It’s the only thing I see myself doing when I graduate.” Lau says she dreams of interviewing Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. “I’ve looked up to her for years now. I’d kill to have a conversation with her.”

MELODY’S PLAYLIST Wasted Days - Cloud Nothings Caught Me Thinkin’ - Bahamas Myth - Beach House Danse Caribe - Andrew Bird Magic Chords - Sharon Van Etten Full Circle - Half Moon Run Dead and Gone - The Black Keys Genesis - Grimes Do My Thing - Estelle feat. Janelle Monae Make Me Proud - Drake feat. Nicki Minaj

Jay Sudhir

Finance Major (Third Year)

Jay Sudhir can talk about hip-hop for hours. The student found his passion for music in elementary school and listens to artists he relates to. “Hip-hop has always been an important part of my life,” Sudhir says. “It gives the guy that doesn’t have a voice a chance to express himself.” Sudhir admires what his three favourite artists - Kanye West, Eminem, and Lupe Fiasco, can articulate through music. “I find that beautiful. I love words. I love people that honestly have something to say, and I’ll listen to them.”

Jenno Almasol

Graphic Communications Management (First Year)


Jenno Almasol calls his bedroom “The Lab”. The student, also known as DJ Jenno, started making mixes in his bedroom to play at parties at the age of 17. “It means something to me,” Almasol says. “The more that people appreciate it, the more motivation I have.”

JAY’S PLAYLIST His Pain II - BJ The Chicago Kid Blessed - Schoolboy Q Look What You’ve Done - Drake Next - The Weeknd Nobody’s Perfect - J. Cole HiiiPower - Kendrick Lamar Perth - Bon Iver DoYaThang - Gorillaz Thinking About You - Frank Ocean Bobbie Miles - Big K.R.I.T. JENNO’S PLAYLIST Lost Ones - Jay-Z Houstatlantavegas - Drake Crossroads - Bone Thugs-n-Harmony Vybz Kartel - summer time

The student says he likes making mixes that will connect the whole crowd. Fusing tracks from oldies, soca, hip-hop, and house, Almasol tries to represent the diversity of Toronto with his music.

Return of the Mack - Mark Morrison

“I don’t really like playing one genre. I try to break barriers of style.”

Through The Wire - Kanye West

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Mr. Fete - Machel Montano End of the Road - Boyz II Men Too Close - Next Hey Ma - Cam’ron

1961 - 2012



itting in a Swiss Chalet in Sudbury, our coach, Charles Kissi, gave us the news that Sandy Pothier had passed away. The menus blurred as tears rushed to my eyes, and the eyes of 13 of my closest friends. After 18 years battling on the court as head coach of the Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team, Sandy Pothier faced a much tougher battle off it. For 22 months she courageously fought, but cancer was one opponent she could not best. Sandy lost the battle to cancer on January 21, 2012. Not only did Sandy bring the program at Ryerson from the bottom to the top, ending her coaching career with the best season that Ryerson’s women’s team has ever recorded, she helped young girls grow into young women. That’s where I come in. I was in the last rookie class that was fortunate enough to be coached by such an amazing and inspiring woman. My father, Rob Wright had been an assistant coach with Sandy for six years. “She was a great mentor. She earned her team’s respect because she would never ask players to do anything she wasn’t willing to do herself,” he says. Sandy was there for me before I had even thought about committing to any school. She put me through workouts, talked to me about school and I was always excited to see her. It wasn’t until my first practice as a Ryerson Ram that I would understand Sandy’s passion for the sport.

I was late getting to practice and the veterans had already begun scrimmaging. As I sat on the sideline lacing up my shoes, Sandy’s yelling made me look up. “Come on, ladies! You need a 45-year-old to show you how to play?”, she shouted, as she took off her track pants to reveal the bright blue shorts underneath. She subbed a player off and began playing with the group of 20-something, high level athletes. Sandy amazed me when she stepped on that court. Her players went through extensive training all year long and still Sandy was outdoing the young women she

was competing against. She was outrunning them, out-muscling them and she was scoring on them at will. This moment would later come to define Sandy; She is the most competitive person that I have ever met, with a feisty and determined character. Her competitive fire was contagious. My first year at Ryerson University,

like any student, was a big change, and Sandy was there for me every single day. I remember sitting in her dark, cramped office and talking to her at least twice a week, she knew how to make everything better. The way she spoke gave me confidence, I can remember thinking, “Wow, this woman really believes in me.” Sandy’s kindness and genuine heart made all her players want to do well, just to make her proud. She was always willing to teach you how to be better, even if it meant, with her help, your skills would overmatch hers. Sandy began her post-secondary basketball career at Dalhousie University, where she made the team as a freshman. After her second year at Dalhousie, Sandy took her talents to the other side of the country to the University of Victoria, where she won her first national championship. Driving through Vancouver with Sandy during a preseason tournament in my first year at Ryerson, she reminisced about the summer after her first year playing in Victoria. She had gone back to her hometown of St.Catherines, Ontario, for the summer, and she would call her teammates everyday to ask them what training they were doing. I remember Sandy saying, “If they said they were going for a five kilometer run, I’d go for a 10 kilometer run.” We all laughed with her about her drive, passion and determination, but truthfully, we were all envious. Sandy did everything to the

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best of her ability. Sandy continued her basketball success playing professionally in Germany before retiring to coach there. When she finally found herself back in Canada, the basketball community embraced her with open arms. Not only did she become the head coach of the Ryerson Rams, but during the summer Sandy worked with the provincial and national team programs. The last year of Sandy’s life was no less adventurous. She was determined, as she was with everything else, to not let cancer stop her. She travelled to Vancouver, Prince Edward Island, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Peru. In Peru, she climbed Machu Picchu, despite her traveling partners advising her against it. Visiting Sandy in the hospital, she told me the story about Machu Picchu. Her friends began to climb the mountain without her because they told her it wasn’t safe for someone in her condition. She stayed at the base looking up in envy. But because Sandy was Sandy, if someone said she couldn’t do it, she would use everything she had in her to prove them wrong. After a while, she thought, “If they can do it, I can do it. I’m not going to let lung cancer stop me,” so she headed up the steep, winding stairs that were barely wide enough to fit a person’s foot. Sandy dug deep and her determination kicked in as she met her friends at the top of the 2,430 meter high mountain. After Sandy’s passing, Ryerson sewed ‘SP’ patches on both the men’s and women’s jerseys to forever remember the significant role Sandy played in the development of the Ryerson Rams athletic programs. Playing with Sandy’s name over our hearts reminds us to play with her passion every time we put on our jerseys. We have vowed to play to make her proud and continue the growth, progression and success that Sandy had worked so hard to accomplish both on and off the court. 49

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Profile for Ryerson Folio

Ryerson Folio Magazine Summer 2012  

Ryerson Folio is a general-interest magazine at Ryerson University.

Ryerson Folio Magazine Summer 2012  

Ryerson Folio is a general-interest magazine at Ryerson University.