QTBIPOC & International Student Admissions Peer Support Pilot Program

QTBIPOC and International Students are encouraged to reach out to one of our QTBIPOC and/or International Student Mentors to learn more about our programs, and about student life in Graduate Geography and Planning. Please see mentor bios and contact information following the program description.

Program Description 

Graduate Geography and Planning is piloting a QTBIPOC & International Student Admissions Peer Support initiative. The intention of this work is to build more equitable and supportive application processes for QTBIPOC and international applicants to graduate programs in the Department of Geography & Planning. Data gathered as part of this initiative will support the longer-term development of knowledge, resources, and infrastructure to support a larger and permanent outreach and mentoring initiative.


picture of AmritaAmrita Kumar-Ratta 

Graduate Geographer (she/her)


Amrita Kumar-Ratta is a PhD Candidate in Human Geography at the University of Toronto. She is also pursuing collaborative specializations in South Asian Studies and in Global Health. Her research explores the feminist political geographies of reproductive control and justice in 'Punjabi Canada', and incorporates a range of creative methodologies, including arts-based storytelling techniques. In addition to being a graduate researcher, Amrita is also an arts educator, equity & inclusion strategist and community facilitator. Her work is focused around themes of intersectional feminism and gender equity; migration, mobility, and the diasporic experience; and sustainable community development. She is the Founder & Creator of Shades of Brown Girl, a global storytelling platform, and is an active member of numerous planning committees, advisory groups, and community initiatives in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. 

picture of Irenius on the beach leaning on a pipeIrenius Konkor

Graduate Geographer (he/him)


Irenius Konkor is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Human Geography Program. He has a longstanding interest in health research and obtained a Master of Science degree in Health Geography from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. His research interests include Transport and Health, HIV/AIDS among Minority Populations, Chronic Disease and Access to Healthcare in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). His current research focuses on the confluence of chronic and infectious diseases in LMICs. In his Ph.D. research he seeks to understand the intersection of gender, urban neighborhood disparities and the double burden of chronic and infectious diseases in LMICs. The overarching goal of his Ph.D. research is to contribute to health policy in LMICs where policy on the double burden of disease is relatively nascent.

picture of Thomas holding a canvas bag, with a wall of graffiti in the backgroundThomas Elias Siddall 

Graduate Geographer (they/them)


Thomas Elias Siddall is an MA Human Geography student researching how contemporary art's circulation of affects in 'post-Cold War' China and Taiwan re-code various social worlds as contemporary, while generating a queer refuse whose cross-strait organizing unsettles the teleological assumptions of the Cold War's end. They serve as the Graduate Geography and Planning Student Society’s Vice President, External & Equity.



portrait of SnehaSneha Mandhan 

Graduate Planner (she/her)


Sneha Mandhan is a PhD Candidate in planning, a course instructor at the Daniels Faculty, and works with several city-building organizations, including the Department of Words and Deeds, Monumental Projects, and the People Design Co-operative. Through her PhD, she aims to study the cultural use of space among immigrant communities of South Asian origin in the Greater Toronto Area, including connecting their experiences translocally to their families 'back home'. Her goal is to develop creative research methodologies, storytelling techniques, and design practices that are geared towards making immigrants feel at home in North American cities. She is a graduate of the Master in City Planning course at MIT and has a professional undergraduate degree in architecture from the National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, India.

picture of Alexandra standing in front of a field of yellow flowersAlexandra Lambropoulos

Graduate Planner (she/her)


Alexandra Lambropoulos is in her first year pursuing a Masters of Science in Planning (MSc Pl). She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in Human Geography (major), Urban Studies (major) and GIS (minor). Alexandra is interested in researching urban planning strategies and policies that develop strong communities and solutions for the cities of tomorrow, especially where they intersect with the arts, community economic development, resilience, and technology. She is also very interested in urban planning in African cities, which she explores through her monthly podcast Urban Limitrophe.


Notice of Collection

Our peer support initiative is part of a program wide quality improvement and mentoring development initiative. Student mentors may take notes during your conversations. None of this recorded information will include elements that would enable anyone to specifically identify you in the data. These notes could include information about the questions you’ve asked, concerns you might have, the program you are interested in, the date and method of contact, keywords used to summarize your correspondence, and a general description of the location (globally) where you have contacted us from. Our mentors will also record information about the programs, subdisciplines, or concentrations in geography or planning that you have expressed some interest in. It is our aim to better serve students interested in our programs, we thank you for reaching out and for sharing your time with us. 

If you have any questions about this data collection initiative and how your information might be used, please contact Jessica Finlayson (Graduate Administrator Geography) at jessica.finlayson@geog.utoronto or Parveen Mali (Program Administrator Planning) at planning.geoplan@utoronto.ca