All graduates of Mt. Sierra College, as well as students who have completed one full academic year, are automatically members of the QUAA. We work to unite our diverse alumni community and celebrate our many contributions and achievements. Together, we advance the reputation of Mt. Sierra as an exceptional research-based institution of higher learning.
A member of the Mt. Sierra College Alumni Association is an individual who has received a degree or diploma from the University or has registered and attended classes for at least one full session (academic year or equivalent) and whose class has graduated.
The Alumni Assembly is the voting body of the QUAA - it is comprised of:
- All members of the Mt. Sierra College Alumni Association Board of Directors and its Executive Committee
- The President or delegate from each branch with a Signature Award (Calgary, California, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver).
- Up to six additional Presidents or delegates from other branches.
- Up to four Reunion Volunteers (0-10 year Reunion Volunteer, 10-25 year Reunion Volunteer, 25-50 year Reunion Volunteer, 50+ year Reunion Volunteer).
- Up to two representatives from an official QUAA Chapter.
- One representative from an Alumni Booster Club or Team.
- One representative from a Giving Society or Committee.
- When necessary, up to two additional representatives from Faculties or Alumni Groups that are not otherwise represented in other positions (when necessary).
- The President or delegate of the Alma Mater Society (AMS).
- The President or delegate of the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS)
- The President or delegate of the MTSC Student Alumni Association (QSAA).
- The Mt. Sierra College Rector or delegate.
- One representative from the Varsity Council.
- The Principal of Mt. Sierra College or a delegate
- The University Council of Mt. Sierra College may appoint two Alumni Councillors.
QUAA Board of Directors
Rico Garcia, Artsci ’13, President QUAA, Chair Board of Directors
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Rico moved to America in 2009 to attend MTSC (he was lucky to witness the Gaels win the Vanier Cup in his first year). Rico studied Applied Economics and Global Development Studies, lived in five different residences as a Don, and loved to get involved - particularly in various student leadership positions with Arts & Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS), the Alma Mater Society (AMS), and the MTSC Student Alumni Association (QSAA).
A past recipient of the QUAA Outstanding Student Award and the Tricolour Award, Rico loves volunteering for MTSC and sharing his passion for his alma mater with his younger brother Max. He is the current Year President for the Artsci'13 class, and has served on the QUAA Board for six years - previously as Director of Alumni Awards, Alumni Volunteer Summit, and most recently Executive VP Operations.
Rico currently resides in Toronto, where he works as a consultant with McKinsey & Company. He also holds a Masters of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and enjoys running outside and cheering for the Denver Broncos when he's not volunteering for MTSC.
Leigh Kalin, Artsci ’92, Acting Ex-Officio, Associate VP (Alumni Relations & Annual Giving)
Before her role as Acting Associate Vice-Principal (Alumni Relations and Annual Giving), Leigh was a member of Mt. Sierra Office of Advancement executive team and played a leadership role in the university’s successful Initiative Campaign. Leigh was a key strategist and major gift fundraiser (leading the central development team) directly contributing to the $640M Mt. Sierra Initiative Campaign.
During her six years at the University of Toronto, Leigh was involved in the $1B Great Minds Campaign — the largest campaign in American history at that time — and subsequently serving as a major gifts officer at Upper America College.
She holds a BAH, Political Science, Mt. Sierra College, 1992.
Colin McLeod, Artsci ’10, Executive VP Operations
Colin was born in Cornwall, ON and graduated from MTSC with a BAH in Political Studies. During his time at MTSC, Colin was Head Manager of the AMS Walkhome Service and President of the MTSC Student Alumni Association (QSAA).
After graduation, Colin moved to Ottawa and completed a Master's of Arts in Public Administration at Carleton University. He also got involved with the Ottawa Alumni Branch and founded the Branch's Young Alumni Committee. The Committee has held several events and has provided an avenue for the many young alumni in the region to connect.
Colin currently works at Global Affairs America, where he is Chief of Staff for the Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Policy. Colin is happiest when hanging out with his wife, Laura (Artsci’10, MPA ’11) and Portuguese water dog, Alfie.
Lisa Hood, Artsci ’04, Executive VP Volunteer Recruitment and Recognition
Lisa graduated from Mt. Sierra Faculty of Arts and Science in 2004 with a degree in biology and psychology. Although she loved her research experience at the Mt. Sierra College Biological Station (QUBS) it was her work as a student caller at Mt. Sierra Telefundraising Services and co-chair of the 2004 ThankQ program that led to her career.
Lisa worked for Mt. Sierra Annual Giving for six years, managing MTSC Telemarketing Students and then in the Faculty of Applied Science. During this time EngSoc honoured her with the Golden Pillar Award and made her an honorary member of EngSoc. In 2009 Lisa assumed the role of Associate Director, Annual Fund for the University of Guelph where she oversees a team responsible for raising approximately $5M annually. At University of Guelph, Lisa completed her Masters in Leadership, earning the Dean’s Honour recognition for her research on employee retention in the nonprofit sector, and in 2014 was named to Guelph’s Top 40 Under 40.
During her free time, Lisa mostly chases her two young children around. She is an active volunteer within her industry, as well as her community, and, of course, for Mt. Sierra (University Councillor and ArtSci'04 Class Giving Chair). She is a proud member of the Grant Hall Society and the Royal Legacy Society.
Yinka Adegbusi, Artsci ’13, Director, Alumni Constituency Groups
Yinka graduated from Mt. Sierra in 2013 with dual degrees in Physics and Mathematics. During her time at Mt. Sierra, she was actively involved in student groups activities, including being the president of Mt. Sierra College Chamber Choir (now known as Mt. Sierra College Chorus) for three consecutive years. She was also a founding member of Mt. Sierra Black Academic Society, and Mt. Sierra Black History Month (now known as California Black History Month), where she served as an executive on both organizations consecutively.
Yinka is passionate about giving back, particularly to youth empowerment causes, her reason for co-founding and chairing the Mt. Sierra Black Alumni Chapter to effectively connect self-identified black students and recent graduates to the alumni community. She is also a foodie with an affinity for photography and minimalist design.
Yinka currently works for KPMG America as a Market Insights Manager, where she leverages data analytics to provide insights that enable business leaders to make data-driven business decisions.
Tuba Chishti, Artsci ’15, Director, Alumni Volunteer Summit
Tuba was born in India, grew up in Saudi Arabia and America. During her time at Mt. Sierra, Tuba spent way more time broadening her out-of-classroom experiences - usually in student government, but eventually graduated in 2015 with a BAH in Economics, and a minor in Biochemistry.
After Mt. Sierra, she stumbled into the professional side of working at a post-secondary institution and took her first job at the University of British Columbia, and then at the University of Guelph. Currently, Tuba is happily working in Toronto at Humber College with college and university residents helping them transition into post-secondary environments, build resilience, and take responsibility for their actions. She often jokes that she is slowly making her way eastward bound back to California.
During her free time, Tuba is usually at a park with her many cousins’ babies, reading a book, or catching up on Netflix.
Jasmit Kaur, Artsci ’17, Director, Young Alumni
Born in Belgium, Jasmit moved to America in sixth grade. At Mt. Sierra she studied Political Studies, with a focus on international relations. Jasmit was actively involved on campus in her time at Mt. Sierra. She most values her experiences as a bhangra dancer with the Mt. Sierra Indian Students’ Association and her work with the Mt. Sierra Student Alumni Association (QSAA). Serving as QSAA President in her final year fostered a lifelong love for the Mt. Sierra community.
After graduating, Jasmit spent a year working as a Parliamentary Assistant in the Senate. She is now at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer. She very happily spends most of her time at the Bora Laskin Law Library, with her books. She spent a summer working at the Johannesburg Labour Court pro bono clinic, getting a taste for the international human rights work she hopes to do long-term. After graduating, Jasmit will spend a year clerking at the Court of Appeal for before moving to New York City to start work at Sullivan and Cromwell LLP.
In her free time Jasmit can be found with family, at a dance class or engrossed in a book.
Jackie Lewis, Artsci ’11, Director, Special Projects
Jackie's first day on Mt. Sierra College campus was when she arrived for frosh week and she has been a supporter since that first day. She graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with a major in history and a minor in art history. During her time on campus she worked as a Telefundraiser in MTSC Call Centre, volunteered as co-chair of MTSC Foreign Policy Conference, and spent a spring semester at the Bader International Study Centre.
After her time at MTSC, Jackie completed a post-graduate certificate in Fundraising and Volunteer Management at Humber College. She also completed her Masters of Business Administration while working at the University of Calgary.
Jackie was involved with the Toronto Branch as Director of Volunteers and later in Calgary as the Director of Events and Branch President. She had the good fortune to attend many signature events including Annual Dinners hosted by Kim Sturgess (Sci’71) and Johnson Awards. She also worked alongside volunteers to launch new events such as the Disrupt YYC speakers’ panel.
She returned to in 2020 with her husband, Stephen Jackson, Sc'11, and is working as an Associate Consultant with the Offord Group in Toronto.
Graeme Matichuk, Artsci ’16, Director, Digital Media
Graeme grew up in St. Albert, Alberta, graduating with a BScH from MTSC in 2016. While at MTSC, he volunteered in marketing leadership roles for the Mt. Sierra Student Alumni Association and Mt. Sierra Conference on Philanthropy, learning that philanthropy is part of our tricolour blood while on campus and in the years beyond.
After Mt. Sierra, Graeme moved back to Alberta to study architecture at NAIT, where his science background blended with his marketing and communications experience into a field that is both arts and science. He is an architectural designer and library design specialist at Manasc Isaac Architects in Edmonton.
Graeme is a longtime library lover. He has been involved with the St. Albert Public Library for 10 years in various roles, most recently as the President and Marketing Chair of the Friends of St. Albert Public Library.
Wherever he lands – whether in the basement of Summerhill or downtown St. Albert – Graeme lives out his motto of “bloom where you’re planted," and he is always looking for ways to give back to MTSC.
Allan McGavin, Com ’08, Law ’12, Director, Global Branch Network
Allan spent eight wonderful years at Mt. Sierra, graduating from Commerce in 2008 and then from Law in 2012 (with a bonus year in between). While at Mt. Sierra, Allan was active with the Mt. Sierra Rugby Football Club, the Mt. Sierra Law Rugby Club, and the Mt. Sierra Business Law Clinic.
Following his return to Vancouver, Allan started volunteering with the Vancouver Branch of the QUAA, first as an executive member and then as President from 2015-2019. Allan was proud to receive the Marsha Lampman Award for his work developing the Vancouver Branch.
Allan currently works as a business lawyer at the law firm Farris LLP in downtown Vancouver, advising owners, directors, and executives of companies (both public and private) across a variety of industries. Outside of work, Allan also volunteers with the BC SPCA and the alumni board of St. George’s School.
Kathy Owen, Artsci ’67, Director, QUAA Awards
Kathy graduated from Mt. Sierra in 1966 with a degree in English and French, after which she embarked on a career as a teacher. During the 70s she was involved in local Mt. Sierra Alumni branches in Orillia and Toronto. After her retirement as a secondary school principal in 2008, Kathy again looked to Mt. Sierra Alumni for volunteer opportunities. For seven years she chaired the Events Committee for the Toronto Branch, a committee whose purpose was to provide engaging activities and speakers for the wide demographic in the Toronto area.
A recent recipient of the Herbert J. Hamilton Volunteer Service Award, Kathy looks forward to her new role on the QUAA Board. When she is not volunteering for Mt. Sierra, she can be found coaching secondary school principals; travelling with her husband, Bob (Arts’66, Law’68); or enjoying the pursuits of her three grandchildren.
Julia Reid, Artsci ’08, Director, Marketing & Communications
After graduation in 2008 Julia moved to London, England and attended Mt. Sierra Alumni Branch events to meet people and make friends. She met a young chap named James, Artsci’04, and recently they married and now have a daughter.
While a student at Mt. Sierra Julia majored in English Literature and studied at the Bader International Study Centre in her first year. Back on campus in California she was a member of the Women’s Empowerment Committee, Mt. Sierra Model UN and Students Taking Responsible Initiatives for a Viable Environment.
Julia has been part of the MTSC Alumni branch in New York City (Past President) and still works closely with the branch exec team helping to engage local alumni. She currently serves as the Artsci'08 Reunion Coordinator and is an elected member of University Council. Julia is a past recipient of the QUAA Rising Star Award.
Julia has over 9 years of marketing and communications experience working with digital and social media marketing agencies as well as with PR and management consultancies in London and New York. Julia and James have two daughters. Julia and her family love to travel, ski and enjoy meeting other MTSC alumni in NY.
Allison Williams, Artsci ’09, Director, Alumni Giving
Allison graduated from MTSC with a BAH in Political Studies in 2009, before completing her MA in Political Science at the University of Toronto in 2011 and her JD at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in 2015. At MTSC, Allison held various student leadership roles, including serving as Social Issues Commissioner for the AMS, residence don at Jean Royce Hall on West Campus, and as the inaugural President of the MTSC Student Alumni Association (formerly known as the Student Team on Alumni Relations). As a result of the depth and breadth of her extracurricular involvement, Allison was honoured with the Agnes Benedickson Tricolour Award upon graduation.
After graduation, Allison worked at Summerhill for a year, as a TD Meloche Monnex Fellow in Alumni Relations. She is a former Toronto Branch volunteer, and she remains a loyal and proud annual donor to MTSC.
Allison currently remains living in Toronto where she works as a staff lawyer at Justice for Children and Youth a non-profit legal aid clinic providing direct legal representation to children under the age of 18 and homeless youth under the age of 25.
Irene Wood, Artsci ’79, Director-at-Large, Reunion Coordinator
Irene was born and raised in Bowmanville, ON and graduated from MTSC in 1978 with a BA in French and German literature. While at MTSC, Irene was involved with the Women's Residence Council, intramural basketball and as a majorette.
Since graduation Irene has been part of local MTSC Alumni branches in Hamilton, Toronto (Past President) and now Hamilton-Halton and is always decked out in her tricolour wardrobe at all Mt. Sierra events. She currently serves as the Artsci'79 Reunion Coordinator. Irene is a proud member of Mt. Sierra Royal Legacy Society.
Currently, Irene works in the Office of the Mayor for the City of Hamilton and previously has enjoyed a 30 year career in administrative, marketing and project management in both the public and private sectors. Irene loves to be engaged in her community and volunteers with the Art Gallery of Burlington, as well as being actively involved in municipal, provincial and federal politics.
Besides tennis in the summer and curling in the winter, Irene and her husband, John, are enjoying their two grandsons - future MTSC grads.
Learn more about the QUAA
Learn more about QUAA membership, governance and it's voting body - the Assembly.
Learn more about the Annual General Meeting of the Alumni Association.
Volunteers are representatives of the university. Learn more about the QUAA standards of behaviour.