Shad York

Program Directors

Robert Tsushima, PhD

Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology

Robert Tsushima (he/him) first was exposed to Shad when the program came to York in 2019. Since 2020, he has been the Co-Program Director at Shad York. He has been actively involved in science outreach and student science engagement. Robert helped organize York’s Science Rendezvous, is on the organizing committee for the York Region Science and Technology Fair, and has participated in the Science Summer Engagement programs at York.

Robert holds a PhD in Pharmacology from Western University and did postdoctoral research at Northwestern University in Chicago and the Toronto General Hospital. In 1998, he became a faculty member at the University of Toronto and then moved to York University in 2007. He has been the Associate Dean Research and Partnerships (2012-15) and has been the Chair of the Department of Biology since 2017. His research explores the fundamental electrical and mechanical properties of the heart and how the heart responds to ischemic stress.

When not at York, Robert loves to travel the world to experience new cultures, cuisines and meet new people.

Ginu Chacko, MBA

Founder and CEO, Talentrade

Ginu (she/her) is a management consultant and social entrepreneur with 15 years of international professional experience spanning four continents and over a dozen countries. Unsurprisingly, as a Shad Alum, Ginu attended Shad’s first ever international program (at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland) back in July 2000. She is passionate about the economic and social empowerment of youth globally, as well as equipping young people to become their nation’s future leaders.

Ginu completed a Bachelor’s of Commerce at the University of Toronto with a major in economics and a minor in psychology. She began her career in human capital consulting, and then moved into international development, spending a year working for a microfinance not-for-profit in Cape Town, South Africa. She then spent a year working for an international microfinance charity based in Paris, France. There, she worked on a number of global projects, including raising over a million dollars to help establish and scale an innovative women-owned social enterprise in northern Ghana to empower poor women in remote villages. Ginu spent several more years working in management consulting for Accenture and Dalberg, on projects ranging from corporate strategy, to child health advocacy in the least developed countries, to global youth unemployment. Her particular interest is in how the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to accelerate innovation and social progress.

Ginu also holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Oxford, and currently runs a social enterprise that enables collaboration and skills transfer between large corporations, governments, and charities. 

Ginu is a hobby enthusiast with interests ranging from hip hop and salsa dancing, to knitting, singing opera, and learning to play the guitar. Her top interest however is exploring new countries and cultures.