Alumni

At a glance

Since PLLC was established in 2015:

  • almost 200

    Certificates awarded in addition to alumni's primary degrees

  • 12 faculties

    represented by our alumni from across ualberta

  • Over 35

    graduate student teaching fellows supported our alumni

“PLLC prepared me for a career that relies on teamwork, creativity and compassion to enhance the quality of life for amputees. PLLC is structured to give students an experience that is nearly seamless to the real world workforce and industry.”

– PLLC alumni feedback

According to a recent alumni survey:

  • 80% of alumni who are not engaged in further study are currently employed
  • More than one third of alumni are currently enrolled in further education, including graduate studies, medicine, and law
  • 76% of alumni volunteer, lending their expertise to boards, councils and committees
  • Over 90% of alumni who are in the workforce believe the PLLC Certificate Program helped
    prepare them for the transition from school to work
  • 98% of respondents would recommend the PLLC certificate program to others

Congratulations to the 38 UAlberta graduates receiving our Certificate in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies in addition to their primary degrees this June 2020! We celebrate them and send best wishes through this video created by PLLC scholars, faculty and a Mentor Team member. This year marks the graduation of many of our 2018-20 cohort, who created the mental health videos in the #UAlbertaCares campaign. We're proud of their growth and look forward to seeing what they accomplish after graduation.

Celebrate #UAlberta20 and learn more about the talented graduates (like Molly, Sheldon and Radha) on the University of Alberta Convocation homepage.

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Featured Alumni

Simran speaks to a crowd of schoolchildren seated before her

Simran Gulati, PLLC alumni and Faculty of Science graduate

In 2020, the inaugural Founding Principal Convocation Scholarship was awarded to Simran Gulati. Simran's performance throughout the Certificate in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies was impressive, demonstrating a deepened self-awareness, compassion and appreciation for complexity. Simran showed strong leadership and effective followership while working with her colleagues to execute class projects. Her commitment to understanding others’ perspectives was cultivated throughout her coursework and her Stretch Experience, working with the Rotary Club to provide workshops on menstrual health to people in rural India.
Simran completed the certificate having developed as an inclusive and compassionate leader.


yasmin posing in a university hallway

Yasmin Rafiei, PLLC alumni and Faculty of Science graduate

It was Yasmin’s own journey applying to medical school that got her thinking about the barriers some applicants face.

“The majority of my friends applying for medical school had never worked a service job,” says Yasmin, a Rhodes Scholar that's currently a MD student at Stanford University. “They weren’t necessarily stressed about some of the financial barriers to applying.”

Yasmin began researching the demographics of healthcare professionals, realizing that people from Indigenous communities and low socioeconomic backgrounds were critically underrepresented. She resolved to design a program that would open doors to healthcare professions for students from such backgrounds, creating Venture Healthcare as her Stretch Experience with PLLC.

Yasmin has seen Venture Healthcare pay off for countless participants who have been accepted into medical school, dentistry, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy programs. Recently, she received a message from one such participant.

“She said Venture Healthcare expanded her scope of what was possible,” says Yasmin. “Before she came to the internship, she’d never considered herself as being the kind of person who’d go to one of these medical programs. The premise of this initiative was to give people information – but in the process of that we were, at every point, validating that they were worthy of being in those roles.”

Read the full story in the 2019-20 PLLC Annual Report. 


mason speaks at the front of the classroom to a group of people

Mason Schindle, PLLC alumni and Faculty of Science graduate

Mason Schindle was recognized by the University of Alberta Students’ Union with both the Centenary Award for Outstanding Community Leadership and the Student Group of the Year Award for his work on The FentaNIL Project. His Stretch Experience was also dedicated to addressing the opioid crisis, particularly in rural, underserved areas in Alberta, where he distributed over 100 naloxone kids and trained more than 100 people. Read about the project in his own words on the PLLC Stretch Blog.


Tharsini posing in front of the This is Public Health display
Tharsini Sivananthajothy, PLLC alumni and School of Public Health graduate

Tharsini is a passionate public health researcher and an advocate for creating healthy public policy rooted in social justice and equity. She joined the City of Toronto's Urban Fellows program which provides new professionals with an intensive, yet innovative introduction to the world of public service. Tharsini entered PLLC as graduate student pursuing her MSc in Public Health. These different yet complementary disciplines were significant in pushing Tharsini towards the world of research, policy development and public service. Tharsini pursued a stretch experience at the City of Edmonton's End Poverty Edmonton department as a social policy analyst. Through this opportunity, Tharsini developed an implementation strategy for five priority areas, and facilitated stakeholder engagement processes. This hands-on experience in the real policy world along with her graduate training in research, were instrumental in defining her career path.

Read about other award-winning PLLC alumni on our Awards page