World's Challenge ChallengeWestern University

Challenge Chat Speakers

Serena Tejpar

Serena TejparSerena is currently a Master of Science in Global Health candidate (specialization in globalization and equity) at McMaster University.

She also holds a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (Honours with Distinction) from Western, where she worked with the Centre for Education Research and Innovation to redefine post-operative patient experience and improve patient care.

Serena has been commended for her “commitment to improving the Canadian health care system and addressing inequities in health care systems worldwide” following her experience as a trauma patient after a near-fatal motor vehicle collision in 2015.

Serena was recently recognized for her resilience and commitment to giving back to the community when she was named the Young Woman of Excellence at the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario’s Women of Excellence Awards Gala.

Shyra Barberstock

Shyra BarberstockAs President and Chief Executive Officer of Okwaho Equal Source, Shyra plays a pivotal role as ambassador and external relations specialist for her company. Okwaho Equal Source is a global leader and change agent in Indigenous-inspired social innovation, social enterprise, social finance, and social procurement models in Canada and Australia. Its mission is to fuel social, economic, and environmental impact via the Indigenous empowerment and inclusion of diverse entrepreneurs and Indigenous-owned enterprises.

An academic at heart, Shyra holds a BA from Western and is currently pursuing her PhD in Geography and Planning at Queen’s University, with a research focus on Indigenous social innovation and community building.

With a wealth of knowledge in Indigenous economic development and entrepreneurship, Shyra plays an integral role in Indigenous corporate leadership, education, research, and Indigenous relations consulting for Okwaho Equal Source. Shyra is Anishinaabe and a proud member of Kebaowek First Nation in Kipawa, Quebec.

Kevin Vuong

Kevin VuongKevin started his career on Bay Street as an Associate at TD Securities Global Leadership Rotational Program. A former banker, he is now a Lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, teaching professional masters students in the Translational Research Program.

Off campus, he leads a social innovation and strategy consulting practice in addition to serving as a military officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, first as a Naval Intelligence Officer and currently as a Public Affairs Officer on the Executive Team at Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship YORK.

Kevin is active in the community and with his alma mater, chairing the Mencius Foundation, serving on the board of directors for community agencies, as well as Western University’s Council of Presidents. For his service and impact, Kevin has been named one of Canada’s Top 30 Under 30, Her Majesty The Queen’s Young Leader for Canada, and a Fellow of The Aspen Institute, The Royal Society of Arts, and The Royal Commonwealth Society.