Beyond the Headlines is composed of a dedicated team of volunteers from the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. Our volunteers have a wide array of policy interests and skill sets. Each volunteer takes on a diverse array of roles, including: Producer, Technical Producer and Show Host. Feel free to email the team or contact us at

 Senior Producers/Content Editors


Processed with VSCO with a6 presetJulia Chan

Julia was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but grew up in Calgary, Alberta. She obtained a Bachelor of Commerce with a specialization in International Business from the Humber Institute of Technology in June 2016. In addition to pursuing her Master of Public Policy, Julia works as a Health Economics Analyst at Preyra Solutions Group, a Toronto-based health care consultancy. She has a broad range of policy-related interests, including human rights, health, and anti-terrorism policy; however her main area of interest lies in environmental and climate policy. Passionate about the power of public radio and podcasts, Julia is delighted to be a part of the BTH community. In her free time she enjoys playing the tambourine and ordering Uber Eats.

Policy Interests: Environmental and Climate Policy, Health Policy, and Foreign Policy


Processed with VSCO with kk1 presetKayla Ishkanian

Kayla Ishkanian was born and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from McGill University. Coming from the think tank world, Kayla is eager to bring her sass and passion for policy to Beyond the Headlines. As a stand-up comedy enthusiast, Kayla can be found either watching a comedy show or writing jokes, as well as spending her student loans at Sephora.

Policy Interests: Indigenous Affairs, Intergovernmental relations, and Campus Sexual Assault Policy



Processed with VSCO with a6 presetJonah Kotzer

Jonah Kotzer is from Toronto, and holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. Following the completion of his undergraduate degree, he traveled extensively throughout the Pacific and was based out of Hiroshima, Japan and Melbourne, Australia. He has an interest in the relationships between the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments and how those relationships manifest themselves in policy. His interests include, food, live music, local events and general merriment.

Policy Interests: Intergovernmental Relations, Municipal Policy, Labour Policy, and Transport Policy


 Senior Producers


Processed with VSCO with a6 presetPam Abeysekara

Before arriving in Canada at the age of six, Pam Abeysekara lived in both Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Arts & Business, Political Science, and Economics from the University of Waterloo, where her co-operative program allowed her to develop an interest in public policy and its potential to solve an array of issues faced by society. In particular, she’s interested in how public and private interests can intersect to create comprehensive policy solutions.

Policy Interests: Social Policy and Welfare Reform


Processed with VSCO with c1 presetKaterina Kalenteridis

Katerina Kalenteridis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Labour Studies and Anthropology from McMaster University. She enrolled at the School of Public Policy and Governance to pursue her interests in both labour and social policy, and hopes to connect with the policy community through her time at Beyond the Headlines.

Policy Interests: Labour Policy and Social Policy



Processed with VSCO with c1 presetTayyaba Mohsin

Tayyaba Mohsin is originally from Pakistan and currently resides in Toronto. After completing her undergraduate studies in Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences, she worked in public health at Interactive Research and Development on a WHO program called “Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses”. Tayyaba has been a cultural ambassador of Pakistan to the US and Japan during her educational treks. In her free time, she likes travelling, reading and socializing with friends.

Policy Interests: International Development, Public Policy for Children, and Public Health and Education


Processed with VSCO with g3 presetMacrina Smart

Macrina was born and raised in the heart of downtown Toronto, and obtained my Honours Bachelor of Arts in her own back yard – the St. George campus at the University of Toronto. After 4 incredible years of work and exploring Western Europe, Macrina has returned to Toronto to pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree from SPPG. Her free time is almost exclusively devoted to drinking coffee and playing with her puppy.

Policy Interests: Food Security, Financial Literary, and Gender Issues within Public Policy


Junior Producers


FullSizeRender (10)Shirin Bithal


Shirin is from New Delhi, India and is pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy at SPPG. She holds a MSc in International Economics from University of St. Andrews, Scotland and a BA (Honours) Economics from Delhi University, India. Prior to arriving to Canada, she worked as a Consultant for the Federal Government of India on public policy and has also worked on environmental policy (air pollution and public health) for the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), an environmental think tank in New Delhi. For Shirin, communicating with audience has always been a fun part along with creating public awareness and policy advocacy. Apart from work, Shirin loves volunteering for stray and injured dogs and exploring new places to eat and writing about them.

Policy Interests: While having worked on air pollution, public health and governance reforms in India, Shirin is not limited to working on any specific area and would love to learn more on other policy issues, particularly in Canada. 


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Majenta Braumberger


Majenta Braumberger is from Toronto, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Microbiology from McGill University. Coming to the School of Public Policy and Governance from the media industry, Majenta is excited to unite her passion for media with her policy interests. Outside of class, you can find her at a stand-up show or eating her way through her never-ending list of Toronto’s best restaurants.

Policy Interests: Health Policy, Women’s Rights



Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 10.39.32 AMKevin Hempstead


Kevin Hempstead is a Toronto local, with a B.A. History and Political Sciences from the University of Toronto, and a M.Sc. Theory and History in International Relations from the London School of Economics. Before joining the School of Public Policy and Governance, Kevin worked in the public and not-for-profit sector, including the British Consulate in Toronto, and for Save the Children International in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His interests focus on the role of government in economic development and innovation, both in the perspective of developed and developing countries.

Policy Interests: International Development, Innovation Policy, Intergovernmental Relations


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Peter Huycke


Peter was born and raised in North Toronto, attended the University of Toronto and loved it so much he decided to come back and pursue his many interests including Canadian federalism, childcare, and transfer payments.  He can be found watching NCAA college football games and searching for academic articles laying out why the NCAA “amateur” student athlete model is a sham.





IMG_3506-2Nuri Kim

Nuri Kim holds Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Sociology and Masters of Arts in Sociology from University of Toronto, St. George. She enrolled at the School of Public Policy and Governance to pursue her interests in economic & institutional development, and international development.






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Amanda Lane


Amanda grew up in Waterloo, Ontario before obtaining her BAH in Global Development Studies and Political Studies at Queen’s University. Driven by issues of equity, Amanda is passionate about Indigenous advocacy, Queer and Trans rights, income inequality, and citizenship. She is excited for the potential of BTH to make policy accessible to all. She is a lover of all things podcast, likes to rhyme off a good joke from time to time, and one day hopes to buy all the good coffee, beer, and cheese she desires.

Policy Interests: Immigration and Citizenship, Northern Affairs, Equity and Human Rights, LGBTQIA advocacy.


Jasper Parades

Jasper Paredes is a GTA native with a BHS in Health Policy from York University. In the past he has worked on delivering programs for youth of various ages, and wants to research and develop policies to help improve the life outcomes of children and young adults. You can catch him reading books in cafes, listening to podcasts, shooting videos, and taking pictures.

Policy Interests: Health Policy, Social Policy, and Economic Policy


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Tomasz Piekarski


Tom Piekarski is from Toronto. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from York University and a Master of Arts from Queen’s University, both in Philosophy. Building on a thesis exploring aesthetic theories of the everyday, he is hoping to chip away at making our urban surroundings functional and beautiful. He spends most of his spare time trying to write/listen to/read about as much music as humanly possible.

Policy Interests: Urban Policy, Northern Development, Indigenous Affairs, Transport Policy, Assisted Dying 



1236512_428709820571120_663032778_nMary Shin


Mary was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies Co-op and Political Science at the University of Toronto. Mary is interested in converging her love of storytelling, art, politics, and people at BTH. While she is interested in a broad range of policies, her primary policy interests revolve around environmental sustainability with specific focuses on climate change, food security, sustainable agriculture, and disaster mitigation strategies. In her spare time, Mary can be spotted befriending strangers’ dogs while hiking, standing on the street, taking the elevator, and backpacking around the world.

Policy Interests: International Development, Social Policy, Foreign Policy, Education Policy

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Dimitri Treheles


Dimitri Treheles finished his Undergraduate Degree at the University of Guelph, completing a double honours major in Criminal Justice and Public Policy. He has recorded and worked on a list of demo radio shows at the University of Guelph’s on campus radio show CFRU 93.3 where he discussed politics and new music, amongst other things. Dimitri has worked at the Office of the Children’s Lawyer – an Agency of the Ministry of the Attorney General- for the past two summers in-between semesters at Guelph, and has acquired a passion for advocating for social and children’s welfare as a result. On his own time, Dimitri plays in a few bands, record some others as well, record podcasts with friends and enjoys cooking!

Policy interests: Social and child welfare policy in Canada, and looking to the South American model of policy formulation and implementation for inspiration! 


Tony Yin

Tony Yin was originally born in Xi’an, China before moving to Canada at the age of 11 and settling in Scarborough. He went to University of Toronto Scarborough Campus where he did a double major in Human Biology and Political Science. He currently holds an Honours Bachelor of Science and attends the School of Public Policy and Governance. Tony is deeply passionate about social policy as well as immigration issues. He wishes to use his time on Beyond The Headlines to reach and connect with both the political community and general public. On his free time, he enjoys finding and trying diverse, cheap cuisines from different cultures.