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Dr. Deep Saini, Vice-President, University of Toronto, shares life lessons

Dr Hargurdeep Saini began his academic career in Canada in 1982 when he joined the university of Alberta as a post-doctoral fellow, moving his family here from Australia.
“My wife wasn’t too keen to leave Australia – we were really happy there – but I call it one of the best decisions of my life!”

As vice-resident of the university of Toronto, Dr Hargurdeep Saini participates in the strategic management of the university’s three campuses. He is also the principal of the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus – the first Indo-Canadian to lead a major campus.

The notable scientist was dean of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo and is the past president of the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists and the Federation of Canadian Plant Science Societies.

In Dr Saini students see a role model. They see that race and ethnicity are no barrier if you have merit. 

“I come from a very modest background. My grandfather was a subsistence-level farmer in Punjab. My dad got an education only because a farsighted teacher persuaded my grandfather to send at least one of his sons to school. My father did exceedingly well at school under that teacher’s mentorship. That teacher transformed my father’s life, in turn transforming ours.

“I tell my students not to be afraid to learn outside the classroom,” he says. “There’s a difference between instruction and education. Education is a synthesis of all your experiences.” 

Posted: Sep 5, 2013

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