Heads of Transfer Advising (HOTA)

HOTA is an evolution of the TAG Mentor program. HOTA will advise ONCAT on how to better serve a mature transfer system through building the capacity and efficacy of transfer advising both across the system and at individual intuitions. HOTA will serve as an advisory committee supporting the development of the Certificate in Transfer Advising (CAT) as well as guiding and overseeing TAG (regional and central) related content, activities and deliverables. Members will serve as key communication vehicles within their intuitions to disseminate the pivotal work on transfer research and policy that ONCAT is leading and will contribute their experience and expertise to the development of these resources. 


Heather O'Leary - Co-Chair
Manager, Admissions Pathways
University of Waterloo

Heather O’Leary is the Manager, Admissions Pathways at the University of Waterloo. In this role, Heather is a key advocate and operations leader for pathway and transfer students. She has 15 years’ experience in higher education spanning event management, undergraduate recruitment, admissions and policy development, the past 10 years of which have been focussed on transfer mobility. She has presented at several conferences including the NISTS Conference (National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students), one of the largest transfer conferences in North America. At Waterloo, in addition to streamlining and simplifying the transfer credit process, and spearheading a transfer credit database renewal project that now includes 15000 course equivalency evaluations, she was instrumental in a major change to transfer credit policy that eliminated credit limits on incoming college transfer students, thereby improving credit mobility for all college transfers.

Her passion for equity and inclusion in higher education is what drives her to make institutional and provincial improvements to credit mobility and transfer access across the province. When she’s not advocating for transfer students, she spends time with her family including her husband and their two young boys. She loves spending time in her garden, watching the birds that visit her feeders, and playing golf in summer and hockey in winter. She’ll also dabble at her sewing machine, but if HOTA needs team outfits, look elsewhere.

Victoria Baker - Co-Chair
Manager, Academic Pathways
Seneca College

Victoria Baker is the Manager of Academic Pathways at Seneca and has worked within the post-secondary education sector in Ontario for over 12 years. Her role involves working closely with Academic areas to establish, develop, negotiate and update new and existent articulation agreements with institutions both locally and abroad for inbound and outbound pathway opportunities. Her centralized department also houses a pathways advisement team who provide a range of support services to assist students as they pursue their educational goals both to Seneca, within and beyond. Victoria has presented at provincial, national and international conferences on the topic of pathways, advisement and transfer and has experience with the development of transfer credit policy, process implementation and research.  Victoria has helped to raise Seneca’s profile as a provincial leader in pathways and partnerships and is currently an ONCAT TAG Mentor for any new professionals, working in the field of pathways and transfer.

Judy Tavares

Judy Tavares - Committee Member
Manager, Student Transfer Services
Humber College

­­­­­­Judy Tavares is the Manager, Student Transfer Services in the Office of the Registrar at Humber College where she manages the daily operations for new and current transfer students including recognition of prior learning(RPL/PLAR), transfer credit and diploma to degree pathways.  Judy’s main focus is on creating a seamless transfer experience for Humber students as well as creating a culture that acknowledges and awards credit for previous academic and work/life experiences.  Judy has been very active in fostering a transfer culture at Humber. As the chair of Humber’s PLAR Working group, her focus has been to align Humber’s RPL/PLAR practices with the CAPLA guidelines in order to create a transparent, fair and equitable process for those seeking credit through PLAR.  She is also the current co-chair of Humber’s newly formed SEM Pathways Committee which will include all areas of RPL at the college.  Over the past 20 years, Judy has worked in various student-centered roles such and an Adult ESL instructor and language assessor, a Recruitment Advisor, Admission Officer and Manager of Student Recruitment.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from York University, a TESL Graduate Certificate from George Brown College and a Master’s of Education Degree in Postsecondary Studies from Memorial University.

Scott Walker

Scott Walker - Committee Member
Associate Registrar Admissions & Pathways
Conestoga College

I have over thirteen years of Admissions and Credit Transfer experience in senior college and university positions including three years at Conestoga College, four years at Fanshawe College and six years in Admissions and Recruiting at the Ivey Business School MBA program. During this time in higher education, I joined Cookson Consulting and was a principle on the Heads of Business Transfer Agreement research study. I am also an active auditor for the Ontario College Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS).

Prior to entering higher education administration, I spent over 10 years in Sales and Marketing with Montblanc, an international luxury brand. As Canadian Product Manager, I assisted in Montblanc’s transformation from a Writing Instrument company to a Luxury Good company, supporting retail outlets and leading marketing activities.

To develop and implement recruitment and brand strategies, I have travelled extensively throughout Canadian and international markets including India, China, Singapore, Europe and the United States. I have an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business and Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) and Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from the DeGroote School of Business.

Sharon Estok

Sharon Estok - Committee Member
Senior Manager, Pathways and Partnership
Centennial College


Sharon Estok has close to 30 years of experience in the Ontario College system, having held positions across a broad spectrum of college programming, including Post-secondary, Continuing Education, Apprenticeship, Corporate and Community Training, and Pathways and Partnerships development at Centennial, Seneca and Mohawk Colleges.

As the Senior Manager in the Office of Academic Partnerships and Pathways, Sharon works with Academic Schools, International Education and external institutions at all levels, both within and outside Canada to create collaborative partnership agreements, involving articulation and transfer, degree completion, and both incoming and outgoing pathways for Centennial College students.  She leads a team which also has responsibility for overseeing PLAR and Transfer Credit assessment, and provides policy interpretation and guidance to other departments involved in student pathway promotion, such as Recruitment, Career Services and Pathways Advising. Sharon also manages Centennial’s School, College Work Initiative, involving Ontario Youth Apprenticeships and Dual Credits.

Throughout her career, Sharon has brokered numerous partnership activities with government agencies, school boards, accreditation bodies, non-profit associations and industry and community stakeholders, focusing on adult education, retraining for youth, women, and other groups undergoing employment transition, including work with international professionals through the CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses.

Sharon holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Waterloo, and Master’s Degree from McMaster University, where her studies focused on labour market issues and globalization.

David Adam Baker

David Adam Baker - Committee Member
Business Intelligence Analyst/ Pathways Coordinator 
Fleming College

David spends his days developing articulation agreements and student exchange agreements, doing one-on-one & group advising, hosting the annual pathway fair, leading and implementing PeopleSoft resources to his colleagues. He is a pretty busy dude. And for the past 7 years he has been a major contributor to ONCAT-related projects. And, also, look at this awesome photo. 

Ryan Snowden

Ryan Snowdon - Committee Member
Strategic Enrolment Management Lead
Queen's University

Ryan Snowdon is the Strategic Enrolment Management Lead in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University.  In this role, Ryan guides the faculty in all matters of enrolment and retention including the development of transfer opportunities and pathways.  Ryan has over 10 years of experience working in Undergraduate Admissions at Queen’s where he was integral in developing a First-Generation Pathway while continuing to oversee key initiatives such as the Indigenous Admission Policy and admission to upper year and online programs.  Ryan has presented on transfer options and processes at several conferences and colleges throughout Canada and the United States.

Sheila Lafrance

Sheila Lafrance - Committee Member
Post-Secondary Coordinator
Iohahi:io Akwesasne Education and Training Institute