Ryerson SA Staff Spotlight – Estefania Toledo
Position: Administrative Coordinator
Department: Student Learning Support
What’s the first thing you do when you come into the office?
I walk in with a positive attitude and smile on my face. It’s not easy when the commute has been long or it’s cold outside, but starting the day with the right attitude makes a huge difference.
What’s the biggest issue for Ryerson students right now?
Stress. Finding a job after graduation is the hot topic for post-secondary students across Canada.
In your view what makes Ryerson unique?
Ryerson is student-focused and student-centred. It’s not just a phrase; it’s actually the philosophy that is carried in the work of Ryerson staff and behind the decisions to support programs and services. There is a strong sense of community, many opportunities to get involved, and for students, staff and faculty to make a difference.
What made you to decide to work in Student Affairs? If you hadn’t chosen SA, what would you be doing right now?
Ryerson is the only post-secondary institution that I can see myself working at; I feel we share the same philosophy: students come first. I’m really happy to be given an opportunity to be here and be part of Student Affairs. I love working with students, and Ryerson is very student-focused, student-centred, and progressive. So much change is happening and it feels really nice to be part of it. If I wasn’t here, I would be very far away from Canada, avoiding winter all together. I was planning on taking some time off to travel around Asia, specially India and Bali.
What is the number one challenge you face in your work?
Student Learning Support offers amazing programming to students but is limited to how many students it can help by how many tutors it can hire. Budgets are the biggest challenge. In the last SLS student satisfaction survey, 95 % of students said they would return to use our services. This is really good, but it also means that our services are high in demand. The most difficult part has been telling a student that there are no more appointments available and they have to wait to see a tutor. It really pains me to tell them that since by the time they come to us for help, they really need it. Students want increased hours and more appointment times with tutors.
What’s your favourite book?
Anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A hundred years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera are two of my favorites – but you have to read them in Spanish, a lot of the meaning gets lost in translation.
What are you doing when you aren’t working?
I’m a dog person, I love hanging out with Doyle and Lucy, my two boxers.
What’s your favourite spot on campus?
Gould and Victoria in the Fall. There is so much activity and energy; I love just taking a pause to take in the moment.
What is something you are doing to increase the impact of Student Affairs at Ryerson?
I’m really excited to be part of Student Learning Support during its big transition phase. In a couple of months, 6 of the 7 SLS units are moving to the new Student Learning Centre. There is going to be one place on campus where students can come for academic support. We can now triage students and make better referrals, increasing student usage of SLS programming. At the moment, students registered with the Access Centre might not necessarily be aware of the programming at the Math Centre or Writing Centre, and vice versa. The new building will make it easier to facilitate learning outside the classroom, while making the Student Affairs identity stronger. I’m lucky to be part of this project and working with our Director, Christina Halliday, in bringing this vision to life.
When I started working in Student Affairs I wish I had known _______?
How amazing and awesome my co-workers are! I’m surrounded by brilliant and shinning individuals who are passionate about the student experience and developing students into great members of our communities. Geez, had I know this earlier, I totally would have applied years ago.