PLAN 675 student profiles

Shireen Aslam

MES, Planning

As a student coming from a background in psychology, I have always had an interest in studying the relationship between motivation and human behaviour. As I have learned more about the problems related to climate change and sustainability, I have grown passionate to understand how we can promote more sustainable behaviour and minimize our impact on the environment.

My current research examines the relationship between climate change risk perceptions amongst local planning officials and the implementation of climate-related policies. I hope to better understand how perceived severity of, and susceptibility to climate change impacts may influence one’s intentions to act and actual behaviour.

As planners, I believe we play a critical role in shaping our cities in the interest of sustainability and that we can shape our communities to promote ideals of water conservation, energy efficiency and alternative transportation. With my strong background in research and increasing fascination for the planning discipline, I hope to pursue a career in this field which will allow me to get at the heart of the human-environment interaction.

Sanathan comes to the University of Waterloo with an interesting background in the technology sector as a product manager. He believes that the principles he leveraged in his previous work can be adopted to planning such as; observation of human behaviour, identifying users’ needs, and business analysis. Sanathan became interested in planning through the elective courses he took during his business undergrad degree at Ryerson.

From a personal observation standpoint, he has noted several negative changes that have occurred in the “older suburb” neighbourhood of Toronto which he grew up in — and would like to research how these can be avoided, or better yet reversed, in future.

Hanan Mohamed

MAES, Planning

Ms. Mohamed is a seasoned planning professional and a candidate for master’s degree in the field of planning at the University of Waterloo. She has a keen interest in building communities through creative development of concept and future scenarios. Mohamed is also interested in policy development/revision, environmental assessment, community engagement, and needs research and analysis. Multiculturalism and New Canadians’ issues are also among the main interests of Ms. Mohamed.

Ms. Mohamed believes in voluntary work and involvement in community affairs. She holds the voluntary position of vice chair at Compass Kitchener, an advisory committee to the Council of City of Kitchener that is involved in the strategic planning of the city and representing Kitchener’s residents.

Ms. Mohamed is also an active member of the Working Action Group, an advisory committee to the Region of Waterloo’s Immigration Partnership.

Caitlin Port

MES, Planning

I am a Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) student in Planning at the University of Waterloo. My research and professional interests include: environmental planning, resource management, and conservation. My thesis project examines the opportunities and challenges of aggregate site rehabilitation in Ontario, using the Region of Waterloo as a case-study. My research on Canadian and Global Suburbanism will focus on developing strategies for reducing the environmental footprint and impact of suburban built form.

Sonya De Vellis

MA, Planning

I am currently pursuing my Master of Arts in Planning with a focus on stakeholder engagement as it relates to populations located near brownfield revitalization sites. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto, where I majored in Environmental Policy and Practice. I have previously worked in administration, finance, and project development for the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. My volunteer work includes campaign research for Environmental Defence Canada, transportation research for the University of Waterloo Sustainability Project and being a member of the executive committee for the Association of Graduate Planners.

Tristan Wilkin

MA, Planning

Tristan Wilkin is a master’s student in Planning at the University of Waterloo. She has a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics from Acadia University and a BES in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of Waterloo. Before returning to school for Planning she worked as a Business Analyst in the insurance industry. She is also a member of the Compass Kitchener Advisory Committee whose mandate is to engage citizens in building a positive community identity. One passion of Tristan’s is visiting and exploring new cities to see what makes them unique and vibrant. Tristan lives in Kitchener with her husband and two kids and spends her free time exploring the parks and trails of her community with her family.