Ryerson Role Models

Ryerson is a small and involved community. Part of any good educational experience—here and anywhere—are the great people who surround you throughout, those you met along the way, who have come in at any point in your academic pursuit and provided you with a push, guidance or support. A role model, by definition, is an individual that one may look to as an example, someone they admire and perhaps even hope to emulate someday. They come in the form of a professor, a counselor, an upper-year student or even a classmate. They may not look like a conventional representation but they do exhibit the traits of a role model.

Anne McNeilly

Position: Journalist and Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism

“I just think of the role models in my own life and what a huge influence they had on me. The fact that somebody would suggest that I’m a role model for them is hugely gratifying and flattering. I hope I can live up to it. When I came to Ryerson, I had this notion that I was going to be teaching about interviewing and things I learned in my own career. It’s such a cliché, but students have given me so much more than I feel like I could ever give them. The students are so rewarding, keen to learn and bright,” says McNeilly.

Alexandra Chronopoulos, a second-year journalism student, notes Anne as her role model, having been in her introduction to reporting class last year.

“I was a nervous wreck in first-year reporting. I liked to write and I liked current events but I didn’t think I had it in me to be a reporter. Anne McNeilly was my instructor and in the first class she said something along the lines of ‘you don’t have to be the boldest or the brashest. Even if you’re the quiet, shy one in the back, you’re just as good of a reporter as the rest of them.’ She, herself, was that quiet, shy kid when she started out and this made me feel infinitely better. I don’t usually have role models because I like the idea of charting my own path, but that changed the first day of reporting. From then on, I wasn’t quite so nervous,” says Chronopoulos.

Casey Yuen

Position: Vice president of Finance for the Ryerson Communication and Design Society and a third-year interior design student.


“I find inspiration in everyone, from the people who are so passionate about the things that they do—doesn’t matter if it’s their program or something else outside of their schooling. I just find inspiration in people who are hardworking, who have the drive and passion to so something that sets them apart. It’s kind of like when you’re in the studio, where everyone feeds off of everyone’s emotions and energy. If you surround yourself with people who are that motivated and want to accomplish something, it’ll make you want to be a part of that,” says Yuen.

Angeline Pizolinas, a second-year interior design student, says she sees Casey as her role model.

“She’s always in the studio and really friendly. She gave me some good advice last year on a project I found to be difficult,” says Pizolinas.

Diamond Antwi-Mansah

Position: First-year child and youth care student.


“Being a role model means that I’m inspiring an individual to be the best they can be through my actions. I believe that role models are important because we all need someone to look up to and use as motivation to do good for ourselves,” says Antwi-Mansah.

Blane Tola, a first-year youth and child care student, says her friend and colleague Diamond is someone she looks to for advice and support.

“She inspires me to work harder whenever I feel like giving up. She’s committed in helping others to reach their highest potential and I admire her for that,” says Tola.

Rebeca Ortiz

Position: Film student and Image Arts Union Executive member.


Hanna Jovin, a second-year film student, noted Rebeca as a role model to her and many other students. She plays an integral role in the course union and is an example of a student leader. When she doesn’t have class, she is working in the IMA equipment cage, where she interacts with students from the various image arts programs.