Pillar Welcomes 8 Summer Staff Members

Pillar is fortunate to welcome eight talented summer staff into the fold. We're grateful to have such a dynamic group representing a variety of educational backgrounds ranging from political science to business, nonprofit management, leadership studies and more. We welcome their fresh ideas and perspectives to our team and look forward to seeing their contributions over the summer. Get to know a bit about each of our summer staff below. 

Julia Harke

I am a soon-to-be fourth year Political Science and History student at Brescia University College. I will be working at Pillar this summer as a CityStudio London Evaluation and Research Assistant. I love to travel, meet new people, add more plants to my collection, read and drink tea! As for my aspirations, I hope to someday work as a policy analyst.

Julia will be supporting CityStudio London as an Evaluator.

Ashley Kwok

I am currently a GTA-based student in Western Continuing Studies' Not-for-Profit Management program. Until April, I was also working part-time for a company that provides mental health services across Canada. I completed my undergrad at Western, studying International Relations. I'm excited to be joining Pillar because I believe that work should be meaningful, and I think that I have found a great fit here. Along these lines, my ultimate career goal is to simply conduct purposeful and worthwhile work, wherever that may be. Other than that, my greatest aspiration is to travel to all 7 continents (3/7 so far) - and maybe even space.

Fun fact about me: I have three cats, but I love all pets!

Ashley will be supporting Impact Consulting as a Research Support Officer.

Roman Nikolaevitch Mechkov

I am completing my practicum placement in the Not-For-Profit Management program at Western Continuing Studies. I finished my undergraduate degree last year at Western with a double degree in accounting and political science. Beyond academics, I love to play tennis however that has been somewhat difficult as of late given the pandemic. In my spare time I like to watch a lot of movies, I love film, and fun fact, build LEGO sets or any 3D models. Building these sets and models are extremely rewarding once the entire construction is complete but can be a massive time sink if I’m not paying attention. With regards to a great aspiration, I really simply want to help as many people as I can throughout my career. It isn’t exactly one specific great aspiration but rather I aspire to be the best person I can be and to help those who need it most.

Roman will be supporting Innovation Works as a Research Assistant.

Panashe Nyaude

I am a 3rd-year international student from Zimbabwe. I am currently doing a double major in Management & Organizational Studies and Health Science. Some of my hobbies include listening to music, cooking, photography, watching basketball and I am a big fan of Grey’s Anatomy.

Panashe will be supporting our Learning and Development team.


Sanchi Shah

I just completed my second year in the Economics program at Huron University College. I am really passionate about meeting new people and sharing cultures in a safe space together. Building a community is something that drew me to come to Canada from India and I am now more than ready to contribute and become a part of the wonderful community at Pillar. I am hoping to learn from and collaborate with my colleagues and superiors on various projects. I think two very interesting facts about me would be that I have had my hair coloured all shades of purple and I can cook the most delicious butter chicken ever. I think one of my greatest aspiration is to help, support and contribute to the growing BIPOC population in Canada. I want to learn and acquire the skills I need to do so and pair them with the academic concepts I learn to create a space for the safe flourishing of BIPOC organizations and communities here and I am hopeful being a part of this amazing team is my first step towards achieving this ambition.

Sanchi will be supporting VERGE Capital as a Social Finance Analyst.

Stacey Siddon

I am entering my fourth year in a double major program with Leadership Studies and Kinesiology at Brescia University College. I am a certified yoga teacher and an aspiring physiotherapist. In my spare time, I can be found immersing myself in nature, enjoying some music, or hanging out with my daughter.

Stacey will be supporting the New Horizons Project for as a Project Manager.


Zoe Sun

I am a second-year student at Ivey Business School. I am a lover of all things arts & music, and I am extremely passionate about environmental sustainability! Born and raised in Toronto, I am particularly passionate about urban ecology, intersectional environmentalism, and redefining the stereotypical ‘city consumer’ lifestyle. I live by a short and sweet life philosophy: put people and the environment at the heart of everything I do. In the future, I hope to bring conversations about sustainability and EDI into traditional industries as I progress in my career. Finally, a fun fact about me is that I know all of the countries of the world by heart!

Zoe will be supporting VERGE Capital as a Social Finance Analyst.

Sama Thiab

I am currently completing my bachelor’s degree in the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences at Western University (hopefully graduating this summer!). I enjoy research and making new discoveries, but in my free time I also like to play some guitar and watch videos on American Sign Language. This year I had the pleasure of working with CityStudio London on localizing goals for the City of London’s Strategic Plan to each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs), as part of a community engaged learning project I was enrolled in. I have previously worked on so many UN initiatives, so I really enjoyed tying in the UN’s objectives with the goals of my own city and its sustainability. I think the project my team and I worked on had so much potential and I am excited to continue working with Pillar and CityStudio on producing more of these impactful outcomes.

Sama will be supporting CityStudio London as a Research Assistant.

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