Taking Root

A special section profiling alumni and faculty who have brought their talents to Canada, enriching their new country and communities in the process.

The people profiled in this special section graciously shared their journeys to Canada. Not surprisingly, they all have a connection to Smith School of Business, but that’s where the similarity ends. Their stories document the challenges they overcame and the pride they feel in having put down roots in this welcoming country.


Comrade Pazderka

Few know their teacher and colleague, Prof. Bo Pazderka, was a former Marxist-trained economist, Czech Army veteran, and convicted-in-absentia defector-turned-refugee in a previous life.

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The Kindness of Strangers

Prof. Salman Mufti believes compassion led Canadian public-sector officials to take a chance on a young aspiring immigrant. After 38 years of public service of his own, it seems Salman was a good bet.

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First Impressions

PhD candidate Tashfeen Hussain, MSc’12, arrived in Canada in 2011 from Bangladesh to pursue his postgraduate studies at Smith School of Business. He recalls a few of his first impressions of his new home.

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From One Kingston to Another

Prof. Yolande Chan had her pick of countries that would have welcomed her as an immigrant. Canada and Smith have been the beneficiaries of this accomplished professor’s decision to settle here.

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Paying it Forward

Dunstan Peter, EMBA’15, left Sri Lanka as a teen and moved to Canada, where he has built a group of successful businesses. It’s no coincidence that many members of his workforce are fellow newcomers.

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Flight to Freedom

Mariam, BCom’07, Humaira, BCom’09, and Trina Ghiacy, BCom’13, fled war-torn Afghanistan with their parents in the ‘90s. A safe landing in Canada opened up avenues of opportunity that they’ve embraced fully.

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Different Paths – Same Destination

Ivayla Dingilova and Ivana Corovic, both BCom’09, hit it off when they met as Commerce Frosh. Their chance first encounter would lead to a strong friendship between these successful professionals.

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