Rona Abramovitch doesn’t think of herself as a leader in the traditional sense. As senior advisor to the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic, she may fit an untraditional definition of leadership, but no one who has worked with Rona can deny the value of her voice on campus.
Rona received her doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Minnesota and taught at the Mississauga campus of the University of Toronto (U of T). She then held the role of Status of Women Officer for U of T before becoming director of the Transitional Year Program. In 2006 she left U of T to join Ryerson as an advisor on outreach and access, a role that she fit well. As Rona explained, she is energized by finding ways to create access for youth and adults who might not otherwise see themselves at post-secondary institutions. She founded Ryerson's Spanning the Gaps – Access to Postsecondary Education Program based on the belief that higher education can transform lives.
In 2013, Rona received the Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion award for her work as the founder of Spanning the Gaps and was thrilled when the whole program team was recognized with the 2015 Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion award as well. By providing information, advice and opportunities, Spanning the Gaps strives to put students in the best situation for success in postsecondary studies.
From February 2010 to September 2012, Rona served as the interim senior advisor for equity, diversity and inclusion before the creation of the assistant vice-president/vice-provost, equity, diversity and inclusion position. In her current role, Rona sees herself as a collaborator and connector. She’s often at a table with senior management and colleagues across campus who are working on various initiatives that relate to equity, diversity and inclusion; community and engagement; and outreach and access.