Graduate Student Mentor Bios

    Connect with OCAD U's Graduate Mentors. Each of our programs has a mentor, who you can learn more about in the text below. Find your program and get guidance from a student or recent alumni:
    Once you've read about our mentors, head to our booking page to find a date and time that works for you!

    Graduate Mentor Katie PrettiGraduate Mentor Kashfia Arif

    Katie Pretti

    Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories (CADN)

    Kashfia Arif

    Criticism and Curatorial Practice (CRCP)

    Luz Paczka Giorgi

    Design for Health (DHEA)

    Katie Bond Pretti (she/her) is a second-year student in the CADN program and a practicing visual artist. Having created and exhibited for 19 years, in 13 cities, over 3 continents, she still considers the land presently called Toronto home.  

    CADN at OCAD U may be a small department, but we tackle big ideas and ask even bigger questions. From our varied backgrounds and different areas of research, we are connected through critical issues and contextualized by contemporary concepts. And, with Toronto as a backdrop, we’re perfectly positioned to participate in history in the making. 

    You can chat with Katie about:
    • CADN program questions
    • Best places to get inspired in the city
    • On and off campus creative opportunities
    Kashfia Arif (she/her) is a cultural scholar, writer, editor and curator. She has an interdisciplinary background, having completed her MA in Critical Media and Cultural Studies from SOAS, UK.

    Currently pursuing her MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice (CRCP) from OCAD University, Kashfia works remotely with Bangladeshi artist collective, Brihatta Art Foundation as their Editor. At present, Kashfia is a Teaching Assistant on campus as well as the Student Representative for the CRCP Committee.

    You can chat with her about:
    • Courses and planning
    • Navigating the TTC
    • Student housing
    • Finding coffee places and art galleries


    Luz (she/her) is a Latina health designer and student at the Design for Health (DHEA) graduate program. Luz came to OCAD U with several years of working experience in healthcare but no design background. Nevertheless, her creativity has been able to flourish thanks to the support of the OCAD U faculty and community. She is currently focusing her work in the program on the intersection of environmental sustainability, nature connection and mental health.

    Reach out to Luz if you have questions about:

    • DHEA-related questions
    • Field placements
    • Living in Toronto as an international student
    • TTC
    • Biking around the city
    • Meeting more Latinx people
    • Volunteering experiences
    Graduate Mentor Unnikrishnan KalidasGraduate Mentor Orus Mateo Castaño-Suárez Graduate Mentor Nidhi Paul

    Unnikrishnan Kalidas

    Digital Futures (DF Grad)

    Orus Mateo Castaño-Suárez

    Interdisciplinary Masters of Arts, Design, Media (IAMD)

    Nidhi Paul

    Inclusive Design (INCD)

    My name is Unnikrishnan Kalidas (he/him): I am an Architect, Spatial Experience Designer and Musician. I am from Kerala, India and am currently pursuing my Masters in Design in Digital Futures at OCAD university. I have multiple fields of interest and I have constantly attempted to find the sweet spot between art and technology through out my four years or architecture practice in Dubai, U.A.E and India.

    Chat with me about:
    • Using the various studio facilities at OCAD
    • Housing options for students
    • Anything to do with tech architecture and music
    • Spotting doggos and dog parks around the city
    Orus Mateo Castaño-Suárez is an artist and designer who believes that interdisciplinarity is key to innovations in climate resilience. They design software solutions that leverage the psychology of the visuospatial and digital humanities information science technologies. They are also passionate about the uses and abuses of power in spiritual communities as they will address in their upcoming lecture at Harvard Divinity School. You can find them at

    Chat with them about:
    • IAMD program and course questions
    • Student experience
    Hi! I’m Nidhi. I’m from India and I have a background in Industrial Design. My interests within design are in UI/UX, Inclusivity in Education, EdTech & Online Education systems. I enjoy exploring Toronto, trying out new cuisines and food and phone photography 😊

    Reach out to me to talk more about:
    • Inclusive Design program questions
    • Campus life
    • Toronto food
    • Exploring Toronto
    Graduate Mentor Rhea Nambiar

    Rhea Nambiar

    Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI – Full-Time)

    Rhea Nambiar (she/her) is currently a second-year graduate student at SFI program. She joined the program as a UX designer and hopes to complete it as a strategic thinker and foresight enthusiast. Her interest lies in arranging picnics, trying new cuisines, and playing ukulele.

    You can chat with her about: 

    • SFI program questions
    • Living in Downtown Toronto (TTC, life hacks, and Asian food)
    • Campus Life
    • Making new friends



    Head back to our Booking page or click below to choose a date/time in the calendar below that works best for you with one of our SGS Student Mentors.

    Please don't book multiple appointments with the same person on the same day. We welcome follow-up appointments, but please schedule these after your initial appointment. If you need to reschedule, please reach out to us at We can't wait to chat with you!
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