MEET THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS: 2023 - 2025
The following seven individuals were elected by OPIRG York members at a Special General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, February 15, 2023. Their term is from 2023 – 2025. There are currently no vacancies on the board.
Maria Amuchastegui (she/her)
Maria a PhD student in Science and Technology Studies (STS). She has extensive experience serving on the boards of nonprofits. She is a former board member of Amnesty International Canada (English-speaking) where she helped to lead Amnesty’s work on business and human rights. She is the former president of the board of the Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples, a United Way social services agency. She was the treasurer, and one of the original members, of Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW). She was also involved in the Latin American Coalition against Racism (LACAR), an activist group that was formed to combat police racism against Latin American immigrants. Most recently, She was the PhD representative on the STS Grad Program Executive Committee.
Randa Toma (she/her)
Randa Toma is a recent graduate of York University and has been regularly involved with campus advocacy associations including the Chaldean Canadian Student Association, Active Minds, and Able York. As a Chaldean Canadian woman, she stands in solidarity with all students of marginalized identities and backgrounds. She is especially passionate about devising ways to make our cities, communities, and social institutions more accessible for individuals who experience physical and social barriers.
Kaitlyn Cernanec (she/her)
Kaitlyn is a passionate and ambitious change-maker, fuelled by human-centred thinking and restorative justice. OPIRG is her gateway to pursue initiatives alongside other York students regarding inequities in the local community and beyond.
Kaitlyn’s educational background includes two years of Social Work (HBSW) and now, an honours degree in Anthropology, a unique combination of experience highlighting a consideration of all human conditions and perspectives.
Lauren Champagne (they/them)
Lauren is a 3rd year Math for Education student here at York, hoping to teach high school math and science when they graduate. They are most involved in food and housing justice, decolonization work, fat liberation, and 2SLGBTQ+ rights. Lauren ran a school lunch program as a high school student where they were responsible for finances, communication between groups of volunteers, and running volunteer meetings. They also have experience as a summer camp director where they was responsible for finances, administrative tasks, and running staff meetings.
Negus Taylor (he/they)
Negus returns to the OPIRG board member from several years ago! He is graduating from Psychology in April 2023 and starting a second degree within the summer. He hopes to pursue the new data science degree York is offering. Previously on campus, Negus helped to run York’s Undergraduate Philosophy Club for many years.
Ateeq Shahid (he/him)
Ateeq is passionate about giving back to the community, sports and working with diverse people to make a change!
Yaroslava Avila Montenegro (she/her)
Yaroslava Avila Montenegro, MA OCELT, is a Mapuche organizational specialist, with a background in Non-Profit governance and Labour organizing. Born and raised in Tkaronto—Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississauga of the New Credit territory—she is the daughter of Mapuche refugees from Wallmapu (aka Chile), organizing on topics of indigenous rights, economic and social justice. Her previous work includes working with Greenpeace Canada, the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), and representing Teaching Assistants as an elected official in various locales of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Currently, Yaroslava is the Director of Operations at Indigenous Climate Action and also a Doctoral researcher in the Department of Politics at York University, focusing on state securitization and criminalization of social and Indigenous liberation movements in Turtle Island and Abya Yala.