Program Spotlight! Environmental and Urban Sustainability

What always shocks me about Toronto is how many parks there are. Seriously, there’s at least five I can think of within a five-minute walk. It might not be Muskoka, but 13% of our city’s space belongs to squirrels, pigeons, and all the other small woodland creatures whose poop you’ve stepped in.


But how could you be mad at this face?

Ryerson’s Environmental and Urban Sustainability program is for those that are passionate about keeping up green space as our population density grows. Established in 2012, students graduate with a B.A. and the know-how to keep our city growing. For example, in Toronto, we have 116 new condo buildings being built (more than New York, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary combined!) and the residents are going to need a place to breathe. Meet Makaila Wenezenki. Makaila is the social media director for Environmental and Urban Sustainability Student Association, and she wants to help Ryerson students know about one of our newest programs.


Makaila: Full-time Ryerson student, part-time model?

Hi Makaila! Environmental and Urban Sustainability is a bit of a mouthful. Can you summarize your program in 140 characters or less?

EUS is fundamentally an environmental studies program, however, what makes it unique is its interdisciplinary, multifaceted nature.

What made you want to come to Ryerson for EUS (besides the fact that Ryerson’s the best)?

I chose Ryerson for EUS because of just how interdisciplinary the program is. We get to learn about the environment, and about sustainability, but I have many other avenues available to me that I can explore. Essentially, I get to tailor my education to exactly what I’m interested in within the realm of environmental studies. 

What’s a typical day in the life of an Environmental and Urban Sustainability Student?

It starts with waking up with a smile on your face because of how excited you are to be an EUS student! Then you attend your few mandatory classes, and your wide array of electives. And perhaps, if the Environment and Urban Sustainability Student Association is putting on an event, you’ll attend it! Then you go to bed satisfied, knowing that you spent the day learning about how to make a positive change in the world!

What do you folks do after graduating?

Since the program is only in its third year of existence no one has actually graduated yet, however the options are truly endless. We can go into policy, politics, business/management, consulting, conservation, or even design (just to list a few options). I personally want to work with Canadian Aboriginal groups on sustainability projects after I graduate.
Marching to save the planet (photocred: @eussaryerson on Instagram)

Are you doing anything related to your program outside of school?

I am! I’m the Director of Social Media for the Environment and Urban Sustainability Student Association (EUSSA). As well as this I am an ambassador for an amazing start up company, Ecosia – which is a search engine that uses its’ profits to plant trees.

What advice do you have to first-years coming into your program?

Do not hesitate to get involved. I only truly started to get involved with my program, and with Ryerson in general, this year and my only regret is not starting sooner. Getting involved makes you feel connected, and helps you to make friends and get the most out of your university experience. Also, get the Parisian Mist at Balzac’s on Gould Street … it’s delicious.

Got any links to show off how awesome your program is to those outside of it?

For further evidence of how awesome EUS is, here’s a photo of some EUS students who were a part of RISE 2014’s Spirit Squad preparing to launch off and defend our city against any environmental issues it may face!


EUS – defending our city from one act of ecoterrorism at at time!

Cover photo of Toronto from EUSSA’s Facebook shot by Sammy Tangir