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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

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 will 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 accept a position at Ontario Tech assisting students coming into the Office of the Registrar.

    Outside of work, Sarah keeps busy with her husband, two children, and an adorable boston terrier puppy.

  • Diana Gutierrez

    Diana is a proud Ontario Tech alumna. She moved to Canada when she was only 17 and since then it has been a period of growth and new experiences—new culture, new friends, new life! This uniquely helps her identify not only with international students but also students living away from home.

    Diana started her professional journey in 2013 working for various departments within the Office of the Registrar and currently working as a Client Services Administrative Co-ordinator, which allows her to connect with students and parents by assisting them in the enrolment process.

    Her interests are in student outreach, leadership programs and intercultural communication. She thoroughly enjoys fostering  intellectual growth and creating a community within the student body. Her hobbies are traveling, crafting, hiking, and water sports such as wakeboarding.

  • 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.

  • 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 University in the Office of the Registrar's Information and Client Services team as an administrator, before transitioning to a frontline representative.  Recently, she has moved into a new role as a Campus ID Co-ordinator, 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, and 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 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 Ontario Tech community. 

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

Meet our administrative co-ordinators

  • Diana Salim

    Having a passion for customer service, Diana completed the Hotel and Operations Management program at George Brown College. She likes to travel and learn about other cultures, and had the opportunity to explore different tourism trends in Europe as part of a study abroad program. She also completed an internship in South Korea.

    Diana began working in post-secondary education in 2015, and had positions at George Brown College and Durham College prior to coming to Ontario Tech. Diana is eager to assist students through their academic journey with Ontario Tech.

    In her free time, Diana enjoys learning languages, travelling, and watching movies.

  • 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 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.

  • Mhairy McLachlan – Manager, Information and Client Services

    Mhairy worked in the entertainment, technology, and telecommunications fields before joining Ontario Tech University. Her passion for helping others is what led her to the institution—first as Manager of Communications in the Office of the Registrar, then as the Manager of Information and Client Services.

    As a long-time mentor and advocate for young adults, at-risk youth, and young professionals, Mhairy strives to impart students with the knowledge, tools, and support to succeed both in school, and in life.

    When she is not working, Mhairy can most often be found working out, making plans to travel the world with family and friends, and researching home renovation ideas.