Bold. Inspired. Visionary. It takes a true leader to inspire positive change in the world, and these are just some of the traits that define the successful York University alumni, driven to make a meaningful difference in their communities.
At home and abroad, graduates of York University are not only entering the workforce prepared to put their education into practice, but to enact positive, real-world change. From business leaders championing diversity and equity, to social impact researchers and environmental champions, York alumni across all sectors are 13.5% more likely than graduates of other GTA universities to volunteer in their communities. York’s unique pairing of research and learning excellence with a deep commitment to inclusion, community engagement, and social and economic justice truly helps to develop a community of changemakers.
York University comes back this year with its second edition of Top 30 alumni Under 30 – to recognize and honour the inspiring and diverse alumni who are exemplary leaders in creating positive change, at home and abroad.
We are proud to celebrate and introduce our community to our five Glendon recipients for 2022.
Anna-Kay Russell du Toit (iBA ’15, Environmental and Health Studies) is a Community builder
Anna-Kay is a public policy professional and community builder on a mission to bridge the gap between policy, equity, and sustainability, to ensure Canada’s future is liveable and socially-just for all.
As the co-founder of the Canadian Black Policy Network, and manager of public affairs for WoodGreen Community Services, Anna-Kay has worked to engage historically underrepresented communities in the public policy process to improve socioeconomic and sustainable outcomes for all Canadians.
As the director of strategy and governance for Leading Change, Anna-Kay helped to shape the growth and future direction of a nation-wide movement of young leaders and sustainability professionals accelerating action on issues that are critical to attaining a sustainable, prosperous, and socially just future within a generation.
Anna-Kay was named a Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leader in 2020 by Corporate Knights, and a COP26 Canadian Climate Champion in 2021 by the Canada Climate Law Initiative and British High Commission in Ottawa.
Fatou Jammeh (iBA ’15, International Studies) is a Human rights and EDI advocate
Fatou is a consultant at the UN World Food Programme in Nairobi. Having lived and worked in Canada, Tanzania, France, Gambia she is fluent in English, French and Mandinka.
Over the past six years, Fatou has worked in various capacities for organizations including Doctors without Borders (MSF) Canada, Africans Rising, UNICEF Canada, The MATCH Fund, and the Women’s Legal Aid Centre, supporting the fund development of nearly $5 million.
In 2020, Fatou co-founded The Bridge Gambia – Diaspora Platform, where she is fostering connectivity through informed and thought-provoking conversations.
Fatou is actively involved in initiatives supporting the development of African and Caribbean diaspora professionals including Afropolitan Canada where she is leading the Women of Diversity Summit and Awards.
Fatou is currently pursuing her MSc in Public Policy and Management at SOAS University of London.
Suzanna Alsayed (BA ’16, BA ’17, Political Science/International Studies) is a Tech entrepreneur
Suzanna has over eight years of experience as an emergency management and security specialist in Toronto where she facilitates multi-disciplinary projects involving internal and external stakeholders.
In 2019, Suzanna founded Hilt International Security, her first venture, a holistic security firm with the goal to work with different international platforms to protect people and assets worldwide. In mid-2020, she founded Evolutz Inc., an independent global brand, design, copy, and website development agency.
In 2020 she was named #2 for the IFSEC Global Top Influencers in Security & Fire in the “Commercial Security Association Figures/Academics/Thought Leaders” category.
Suzanna is one of the Top 25 Influencers within the security industry, as determined by the International Security Journal.
She was selected as Security Systems News Top 40 under 40, and most recently awarded the “2021 Emerging Leader award’’ by Canadian Security magazine.
Karissa Barbro (BA ’14, International Studies and History) is a Humanitarian
Karissa recently returned from a Canadian Armed Forces deployment with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). During the deployment, she worked as a Canadian peacekeeper and United Nations staff officer responsible for logistics, administration, and procurement.
When not working with the Canadian Armed Forces, her primary career is working as a supply specialist with Public Services and Procurement Canada. Since 2016, Karissa has volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross in emergency and disaster management, having deployed multiple times for provincial emergencies.
While at York’s Glendon College, Karissa spent two years as the chair of the Peer Review Board, and as a university tribunal student volunteer.
She also held several positions with the International Studies Students Association, including vice-president, and later co president.
Karissa is faithfully devoted to serving others and is steadfast in pursuing humanitarian causes not only in her local community and remote communities across Canada, but also in communities abroad.
Emily Wright (BA ’17, Mathematics) is an Indigenous advocate and researcher
Emily is an Anishnaabe kwe from Wasauksing First Nation with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from York University’s Glendon campus.
She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario where she works with the City of Toronto on Indigenous engagement. As an Indigenous youth research associate, she helps aid the policy, planning, finance, and administration division on meaningful engagement with Treaty partners and the urban Indigenous population.
Relationship building is an important aspect of her position which involves developing an understanding of the needs, interests, and supports the Indigenous population in Toronto is requesting.
She is currently working on an Indigenous engagement tool to help support City employees include Indigenous engagement and perspectives in their City of Toronto projects. By assisting the advancement of Truth and Reconciliation in Toronto, Emily is navigating the meaningful steps needed to support Indigenous peoples living in the city.