Consistent with its name, the series ProFile features faculty and staff at York University. Included in this short Q-and-A are details about working life at York, followed by a few fun and quirky questions.
ProFile: Talisha Ramsaroop
Position at York U and department/faculty: Community projects coordinator at the York University TD Community Engagement Centre.
How long have you been with York University, and what is your role? I have been working in my current position since 2018, so a little over two years. Before that I went to school at York for my undergraduate degree and master’s, and worked part time for the NOISE program out of the Social Work department.
Describe a typical work day at York for you? My workday is a little different than typical work days on campus. Our office isn’t on campus so I start my day at Yorkgate Mall which is right at the Jane and Finch intersection. I will say I save a lot on parking and food. I usually begin my day by debriefing with our team and talking through what we have on the agenda for the day. For me it is very rare to be on campus. Most of my days are spent in the community and at local organizations or at the local high schools (pre-COVID-19). Often, I have workshops/drop-ins in the local high schools, or a community meeting around planning community programming. For days when I’m in the office all day (this is rare) we usually get residents coming through our door to ask questions about pathways to postsecondary and we help direct/connect them. I’m always on the run, underestimating how long it’ll take me to get to Westview or forgetting that I’ll have to walk up Emery’s hill. I work really closely with teachers, school administration and local residents to help think through ways we can do more work together. Our office is always super packed during the community tax clinic we run in March, or when the Women’s Bridging Program runs out of our office.
What do you enjoy most about working at York University? My favourite part of working at the University is being able to build bridges between the University and community. It is incredible to see the amazing things we can do when we work together, share resources and build from our collective experiences. I love being able to connect professors with community residents with lived experiences or bring York students into the local high schools to talk to grade 11s and 12s about their experience.
Where is your favourite place on campus and why? My favourite place on campus is the Jane Finch Social Innovation Hub. It is this cute office nestled in Ross Building and an incredible revamp to the old centre for qualitative research. The Hub has such a special style to it: bright red chairs, art, but most of all I know the conversations that are always happening when you walk in. As someone who has been at York for a long time – I started when I was 16 during the Advanced Credit Experience (ACE) program – the campus has always felt like home. The Hub is a really cool space that feels like a little piece of Jane Finch on campus.
Describe York University using one word: Red.
And now for a little fun…
What is something about you that may surprise other people? I love to sew and have been using my free time in quarantine to do it more.
What is the most used app on your phone? Definitely Instagram.
What is something you always have in your fridge? Pepper sauce. I love spicy food!
What’s the farthest place (from York) you’ve travelled to? The farthest place I’ve travelled to has been Thailand where I visited last year. I was really excited to go back to South East Asia this year but I guess I’ll explore Toronto instead.
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would that person be and why? If I could have dinner with anyone it would probably be my ancestors who came to Guyana (my country of birth). I’ve always wondered how/why our family ended up in Guyana, thousands of miles away from India in the 1800s, and who those people were. I’d love to chat with my great-great-great-grandmother and hear about her experiences and how she ended up in this new land, and more about our family heritage.