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Who we are

The Information and Client Services department is made up of individuals with unique skills and experience that together form one amazing team.

We are good at what we do because, at one point in our lives, we were all in your shoes. We had to navigate our way through post-secondary education in an ever-changing world. 

Our combined experiences can help connect you with the right person; so you get the right information, at the right time!

Meet our frontline co-ordinators

  • Sarah Desjardins

    Sarah grew up in Oshawa and completed her Honours Bachelor of Science with a major in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph. After graduation, she worked as a Research Technician in a high throughput molecular biology laboratory at The Hospital for Sick Children. She then went on to work at St. Michael’s Hospital, first in a dietetic research lab looking at the effect of B vitamins on ischemia, then in an orthopedic research lab studying the effect of stem cells on bone and tendon healing. The most enjoyable part of this work was being able to assist the various post-secondary students who came through the labs, which is why she was thrilled to recently accept a new position at our university assisting students coming into the Office of the Registrar.

    Sarah considers her greatest career achievement the scientific papers she has assisted with, as well as being a co-author on a recent book chapter providing practical tips for researchers wanting to write compelling grant applications. In her personal life, one of her greatest recent achievements was successfully training for and completing a full Tough Mudder obstacle race. She currently lives in Courtice with her husband, two children, a guinea pig, an axolotl, and a hamster whose sole purpose in life is to escape her cage.

  • Honoline Francis

    Honoline had been living in Malawi as a refugee for 12 years when she was awarded a scholarship to study Kinesiology at Ontario Tech University. As only the second person and first female World University Services of Canada (WUSC) student to study at the university, this was a huge achievement and honour for her.

    Growing up receiving help from various organizations such as UNHCR and PLAN Malawi, Honoline understood the power one person could have on effecting change in the community, and on a global scale. This knowledge motivated her to become the university’s WUSC President, as well as the Vice President of the African Student Association (ASA). During her presidency, Honoline worked to increase awareness of WUSC, as well as restructure the organization.

    In 2015, she began working at the Office of the Registrar as part of the University Works program. During her time, Honoline has provided customer service in the areas of registration, admissions, student assistance and financial aid, records, and the University Works program. She recently received a promotion, becoming an Information and Client Services Co-ordinator II. It's an opportunity Honoline wholeheartedly embraces as it enables her to give back to the university while assisting students in their academic endeavors.

    When not at work Honoline can be found listening to soul/R&B music, reading biographies, sightseeing, and travelling.

  • Janine Haynes

    Always a disciplined child, Janine found solace through physical activity. Her pursuits led her to study performance arts at Ryerson University, where she graduated from the theatre program. Following graduation, Janine spent more than a decade travelling the world working with various companies as a performance dance artist. It was during her travels that Janine uncovered her love for the cultures and languages of the countries she visited. Through these experiences, she began to value the ability to communicate easily in foreign countries without the need of a translator.

    After retiring from the field of dance, Janine received her English teaching certification, moved to Europe, and taught students from the ages of 5 to 80. Once she moved back to Canada, Janine put her belief that everyone should be able to afford a post-secondary education, and her passion for meeting new people, to use when she gained employment at Ontario Tech University. She started working as a Financial Aid Assistant for Student Awards and Financial Aid, transitioned into the role of Student Awards Administrator, and finally to her current position as an Information and Client Services Co-ordinator II.

    While work does keep her on her toes, Janine still enjoys travelling, practicing and teaching yoga. She continues to perform with a Toronto-based Latin dance company.

  • Maria-Jose Martinez

    Maria has always had a passion for helping others. With that intention in mind, she received her Advanced Diploma in Business Administration-Human Resources from Humber College, and upon graduating, worked as an Enrolment Advisor at the college for three years. Maria then transitioned to a position at Ontario Tech University as a Records Assistant, where she assisted with the preliminary stages of digitalizing the student records database.

    A year later, Maria received a promotion which enabled her to put her passion for helping others to further use working on the front line for what was then called the Registration front line. Maria’s exemplary skillset gained her another promotion when the Office of the Registrar amalgamated their services, leading to her current role as an Information and Client Services Co-ordinator II. Currently, her portfolio includes—but is not limited to—registration and convocation inquiries, as well as working on the creation of a standardized exam deferral process.

    When not working, Maria likes to spend time with family and friends, and enjoys playing softball, boxing, golfing, and travelling to new and exciting countries.

  • Lisa Hopkins
    Lisa has worked at our university for 10 years. She is passionate about working with our students so much that despite her role changing over the years, her interaction with students has not. Lisa goes above and beyond for students and enjoys making a difference in their university experience. Along with being compassionate and thoughtful, she values that every student's situation and story is different. Ultimately, Lisa is determined to make sure each student receives the support they need to successfully complete their university studies.
  • Victoria Paterson

    Attending university for the first time presents students with such a new and exciting world, yet can often be overwhelming. From trying to locate classes, accessing various services on campus and finding the right person to talk to when in need of assistance. As a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) program Ontario Tech University, Vicky understands.

    Throughout her academic journey, she participated in the University Works program, gaining valuable experience working in the Office of the Registrar as a student employee. While attending university and working on campus, Vicky also earned her certification as a Skate Canada coach, which she now puts to use at her local skating club teaching youth how to skate. 

    Through these life experiences, Vicky developed a passion for helping students access the services and support they need to succeed in university. 

    Following graduation from CDPS, Vicky began her career at Ontario Tech in the Office of the Registrar - Information and Client Services team as an administrator, before transitioning to a frontline representative.  Recently, she has moved into a new role as Campus ID coordinator, aiming to enhance the student journey and ease of access to services for students.

  • Sarah Sidhu

    With diplomas in dental assisting, early childhood education, business administration, as well as one year of nursing experience under her belt, Sarah is a jack of many trades.

    Sarah lived in Saskatchewan and worked as a dental assistant until she had her own children—after which she ran a government-subsidized daycare for eight years. Once her children were older, she decided to return to work as a dental assistant.

    Sarah moved to Ontario 16 years ago for an employment opportunity with the University of Western Ontario, where she worked with the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. In 2012, she joined the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

    During her free time, Sarah loves walking, yoga, meditation, needlework and travel. She also belongs to Twisted Stitchers Guild.

Meet our administrative co-ordinators

  • Crystal Bartholomew

    Crystal grew up in Whitby with her three brothers. As a lover of education, she attended the University of Western Ontario and obtained a BSc in Biology. After taking a year off from school, Crystal enrolled in the Biotechnology Advanced course at Durham College and graduated top of her class. Currently, she is taking the Human Resources Management graduate certificate through Durham College.

    Crystal has been working as an Enrolment Services Assistant, helping students and apprentices since 2017. Before that, she worked at a Super Knitting Inc., a fabric wholesaler; and at Canada Cartage, a trucking company.

    In her spare time, Crystal enjoys doing yoga, gardening and watching live local music. She has one niece, who she loves spending time with, and who helps her explore her creative side by building Lego and making all kinds of fun creations.

  • Natasha Shepherd

    Natasha grew up in Whitby and always knew she wanted to help others. She received her Bachelor of Applied Arts (Honours) degree in Media Studies from the University of Guelph and a diploma in Journalism from Humber College. After finishing school, Natasha was bitten by the travel bug during a trip to England and decided to move abroad. She lived and worked in Manchester, UK while travelling.

    Upon returning to Canada, Natasha worked in the non-profit sector where she further developed her passion for helping others and felt fulfilled by the work she was doing. She started at Ontario Tech University in the Office of the Registrar as an Administrative Assistant, supporting the different departments before moving to her new role as an Information and Client Services Co-ordinator I. She looks forward to being able to engage with and assist students in this new capacity.

    In her free time, Natasha enjoys working out, travelling, watching reality TV shows and reading.

Meet our assistant

  • Marilyn Patricia England

    Born and raised in Toronto, Marilyn spent her youth travelling throughout Canada and the United States with her family. She is married to her husband, John, and they have two daughters and three grandchildren that they take great pride and joy in.

    Marilyn takes great pleasure in working with and teaching people of all ages and finds working at the university to be a perfect fit. Presently, she works as part of the Information Client Services team and her portfolio includes student and employee payments, reconciliations of accounts, as well as many other administrative duties.

    Marilyn has a strong belief in and passion for giving back to her community. When not at work or with her family, she can be found volunteering at the Ajax-Pickering Hospital where she has been a volunteer for over 25 years, the university’s Holiday Food Drive, or organizing one of her many self-driven fundraisers to assist university students.

Meet our management team

  • Susan Allward – Director, Integrated and Financial Services

    Susan has been working in post-secondary education since 1996. She is a passionate advocate for students, within the university and through provincial and federal student aid associations. Having been with the university from its inception, Susan started in Financial Aid, then Student Awards, later moving into management. Currently, her portfolio includes Information and Client Services, Student Awards and Financial Aid, and Student Communications.

    Outside of the office, Susan is kept busy with her husband, three children, three grandchildren and a terrier named Stella.