Ban Righ Centre

Ban Righ Centre

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Student Spotlights

We love hearing from former students of the Ban Righ Centre and seeing where they've gone. Check out some of our student spotlights to learn about the successful women we have helped out!


[photo of Gayathri]

Gayathri Tilak Singh

Senior Engineer Microelectronics and member of CTO Office at CMC Microsystems, Kingston, ON

2008 was a year of big changes for me. I got married, left my dream job at Intel in India as a microelectronics engineer, moved to Canada and started life as an international graduate student pursing a PhD degree in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Queen’s University.

Although the International Centre helped me adapt to the new environment, it was at the Ban Righ Centre where I felt belonged and supported.When I graduated in 2015, my son was 4 and ready to start school. We decided to settle in Kingston and call it home.

After a brief internship at Sustainable Kingston, I joined CMC Microsystems as a Senior Microelectronics engineer in 2016. I am now part of the CTO office here and enjoy facilitating access to training and research resources to grad students across Canada; gratefully paying forward the support I received from the BRC and the wonderful people at Queen’s.


[photo of Maria]

Maria Aurora Nunez, Human Rights Lawyer, Policy Advisor, York University

After studying at Queen’s Law, I worked at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Presently, I am Associate Editor of the Health Law in Canada Journal and work in the Community Safety Department at York University.

It is rewarding to know that I help to keep students, staff, faculty and visitors safe and ensure that university policies comply with human rights duties. The Ban Righ Centre is an inspiring environment where I always felt supported. I respect that the BRC is inclusive and encourages anyone to stop by.

By itself, a house doesn’t make a home. However, the BRC staff make that house feel like a cozy and caring home to whomever is lucky enough to visit, whether it be for soup, a chat or a study space. Thank you BRC!

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Dr. Sana Tibi, Assistant Professor, Florida State University

After completing my Ph.D. at Queen’s University in 2016, I began working at Florida State University as an assistant professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. My research focus is on Arabic Literacy building on my previous Ph.D. in Communication Science & Disorders (CSD) from the University of Florida.

So far, I have received three grants that allowed me to pursue my research on the cognitive processes of reading among Arabic-speaking children. I teach undergraduate courses in CSD and graduate courses in reading development and disorders. I continue to publish my research in top-tier journals, and present at national and international conferences. My most recent work is a collaboration with a professor from IT. We are investigating the impact of a socially interactive video game on the reading-related skills and vocabulary of learners of English as a second language.

In Canada, I continue to collaborate on projects related to the Syrian Refugees-literacy cluster- with a team of Canadian researchers. I attend meetings at OISE where I assist with developing and refining Arabic literacy tools.

Sara (Gittens) Forte, Employment Lawyer/Founder of Forte Law

It has been almost 16 years since I graduated from Queen’s Law and returned to the West Coast. As a mother of three, my legal degree has allowed me to have a career that has flexed and changed with my family and life.

Most recently, in 2016, I opened my own law firm in Surrey BC, 2 KM from my home. The firm has grown from a solo practice to a team of five, and was recognized as New Business of the Year for 2017 by the Surrey Board of Trade.

The financial and personal support I received at the Ban Righ Centre during law school enabled me to complete my law degree and I am forever appreciative.

Valeria Li, Senior Risk Analyst, Brookfield Renewable

I came to Canada at the age of 21 after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia. Although I was thrilled to start my Master's degree at Queen's, it was difficult to study at a postgraduate level in a foreign language, to adapt to a different culture, and to build a support network from scratch.

I became a regular visitor to the Ban Righ Centre when I was already working on my Ph.D. and had a child. At the Centre, I met women of different ages, backgrounds, and academic interests. Despite the differences, our experiences and stories were similar in one way or another.

I will always be grateful to the Ban Righ Centre for the friendships I made here and for the emotional and financial support that helped me to complete my studies. Currently, I live in Ottawa with my husband and seven-year-old daughter and work as a Senior Risk Analyst at a renewable energy company.