Celebrating Greatness at the 2018 Student Life Awards

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On March 21, Student Life celebrated the achievements of outstanding U of G students, staff and faculty with the 2018 Student Life Awards.

The awards honour groups and individuals who improve life at U of G. Congratulations to this year’s winners:

  • Christopher Greyson-Gaito – André Auger Citizenship Award
  • HIST *3450, Child Care and Learning Centre, Engineers for a Sustainable World – Be the Change Award
  • Jenny Trinh – Brian D. Sullivan Student Leadership Award
  • Julia Kilgour – Diversity and Inclusion Award
  • Dan and Mary Lou Smoke – Emilie Hayes Award for Community Partnership
  • Ella Harvey – Erin Angus Graduate Student Engagement Award
  • Justin Medeiros – Roberta Mason Rookie Award
  • Marinette Fargo, Heather Marin and Randy Oldham – Bruno Mancini Accessibility Award 
  • Kristine Keon – Kishaadigeh Award
  • Mimi Nguyen – R.P. Gilmor Student Life Award (Student)
  • Brenda Whiteside – R.P. Gilmor Student Life Award (Staff)

Full descriptions of the awards and winners follow. Learn more about the Student Life awards and how you can nominate someone who makes a difference.

André Auger Citizenship Award – Christopher Greyson-Gaito

Integrative biology student Chris Greyson was selected as this year’s winner for his deep involvement in department events.

Chris created a discussion group to foster broad academic conversation among diverse faculty, staff and students that led to a number of unique and inspiring collaborations.

Chris has also shown a commitment to mental health initiatives, building relationships across and beyond the University, and supporting community fundraisers for a number of causes.

The André Auger Citizenship Award celebrates undergraduate and graduate students who have consistently demonstrated a sense of personal responsibility and commitment toward community.

Be the Change – HIST *3450, Child Care and Learning Centre, Engineers for a Sustainable World

Three groups received the Be the Change award this year.

The I Stand #InUnity project developed by students in HIST *3450 brought together more than 200 people for an interactive art project. Participants used coloured umbrellas to create a medicine wheel representing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada. Photos of the project are part of an exhibit at the Guelph Civic Museum.

The Child Care and Learning Centre partnered with the Undergraduate Academic Information Centre to wish our students luck and show them support during exam season. Children from the daycare centre decorated 1,000 “cards of caring” that included a list of academic and wellness supports, and then hand-delivered the cards across campus. The project helped the preschoolers develop their art and social skills. It benefited our students by putting smiles on their faces.

Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) connects students with others to develop local sustainability projects that improve life. Their work focuses on creating positive environmental and social change through technology. In September 2017, ESW helped develop a hydroponic garden at the Central Student Association Food Bank scheduled to start growing this month.

Be the Change recognizes individuals and groups on campus that are effecting positive change in our world.

Brian D. Sullivan Student Leadership Award – Jenny Trinh

As a highly active student representative on University governing bodies, Jenny Trinh empowers her fellow students by encouraging their involvement and representing their voices in a positive and constructive way.

She is known to be highly trustworthy, ethical and fair. Learning beyond the classroom is important to Jenny and has had a significant influence on her experience at U of G.

The Brian D. Sullivan Student Leadership Award is presented to a graduating student who has made significant contributions to student leadership through their involvement as an elected or appointed student representative at the University of Guelph.

Diversity and Inclusion Award – Julia Kilgour

A PhD candidate in the Department of Integrative Biology, Julia Kilgour is respected for both her scientific research and her promotion of diversity, tolerance and inclusion on campus.

Julia has served in leadership roles for many on-campus inclusion groups and ensured representation for marginalized students in her work with the University’s Strategic Renewal Advisory Committee.

Her passion for social justice, diversity and inclusion  is evident in everything Julia does. Through her leadership, she encourages us all to make our campus more inclusive.

The Diversity and Inclusion Award recognizes those who support the University’s mission to create and maintain an inclusive environment for our increasingly diverse population.

Emilie Hayes Award for Community Partnership – Dan and Mary Lou Smoke

Every month, Don and Mary Lou Smoke visit campus to provide spiritual and personal support for Indigenous students. These community elders are deeply respected for their eagerness to share knowledge with others.

Their connections with students and others outside the University build a larger sense of community. They openly share personal stories, anecdotes, knowledge and healing strategies, and truly love hearing others’ stories.

The Emilie Hayes Award for Community Partnerships is presented to community members or non-profit organizations that have partnered with campus staff or faculty to provide an outstanding learning opportunity for University of Guelph students.

Erin Angus Graduate Student Engagement Award – Ella Harvey

An active member of the Graduate Students’ Association and vice-president external of CUPE 3913, Ella Harvey cares about the students she represents. She is inclusive of people and diverse points of view and strives to ensure that everyone is heard and represented.

Beyond her leadership in the classroom, Ella has fostered learning relationships for students by creating iBUMP, the Integrative Biology Undergraduate Mentorship Program. Ella has been an outstanding representative for U of G at national and international scientific conferences. Over her time as a Gryphon, Ella has been a positive and lasting influence on many students.

The Erin Angus Graduate Student Engagement Award is presented to a graduate student who has made significant contributions to graduate and all student life through their engagement with the campus community.

Roberta Mason Rookie Award – Justin Medeiros

In the last year of his undergrad studies, Justin Medeiros not only stayed on top of his physics workload, but he also became significantly involved with campus life to make a difference in his community.

Over the 2017-18 academic year, Justin joined Frontier College to promote adult literacy, became vice-president (external) of the physics club and joined the executive team of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (CEPSSC).

Justin is respected for his professionalism, willingness to help and dedication to have CEPSSC’s voice heard across campus.

The Roberta Mason Award recognizes a student in any semester who, for the first time, has become actively involved in campus life and has made outstanding contributions to a club or organization at the University of Guelph.

Bruno Mancini Accessibility Award – Marinette Fargo, Heather Martin and Randy Oldham

Marinette Fargo, Heather Martin and Randy Oldham are change leaders within the library. As a team and as individuals, they put forth a dedicated effort to make library resources more accessible. Their leadership on the ARES e-reserve and library web accessibility projects has contributed significantly to making key campus information resources accessible to individuals with perceptual disabilities. They provide their library colleagues with knowledge and tools to help ensure the documents, media and services the library provides are barrier-free.

The Bruno Mancini Accessibility Award honours an individual or group, including students, staff and faculty, who have contributed significantly to promoting and advancing accessibility at the University of Guelph. 

Kishaadigeh Award – Kristine Keon

Well respected and active in a variety of academic leadership and extra-curricular roles across campus, Kristine Keon was nominated by two different groups for the Kishaadigeh Award. Kristine is a research assistant, a student leader, a performer and a peer helper. Her broad involvement across campus speaks to the impact she has had on U of G. Kristine excels academically and is dedicated to connecting and supporting those around her in many different ways. She is a strong role model to many students and is a wonderful addition to the student community on campus and the Aboriginal Resource Centre.

The Kishaadigeh Award is presented to an Aboriginal Student enrolled in an associate diploma, undergraduate or graduate program of study at the University of Guelph or the University of Guelph-Humber who is engaged in co-curricular activities that enrich their educational experience and is achieving well academically.

R.P. Gilmor Student Life Award (student) – Mimi Nguyen

Mimi Nguyen is described as an outstanding, enthusiastic and community-focused leader.

A passionate advocate for mental well-being, Mimi chaired the Mental Well-Being in Residence subcommittee. She led implementation of Rezilience programming for three residence halls and the addition of Wellness Wednesdays and Feel Good Fridays into the residence enrichment curriculum. Through her efforts, Mimi improved life for hundreds of first-year students.

R.P. Gilmor Student Life Award (staff) – Brenda Whiteside

Brenda Whiteside has long been respected for leading with a student-centered approach. She has been an integral part of the Guelph campus for many years and has contributed to the community in many ways.

She is committed to student representation on committees and wants to hear their ideas and opinions. She provides guidance and advice, without judgment or hesitation, and is considered a mentor to both students and colleagues.

The R.P. Gilmor Student Life Awards are presented to an individual student or student group who shares the late Paul Gilmor’s commitment to improving the student experience and has contributed to the betterment of student life at the University of Guelph.

Videos of this year’s winners

Jenny Trinh – Brian D. Sullivan Student Leadership Award

Ella Harvey – Erin Angus Graduate Student Engagement Award

Marinette Fargo, Heather Marin and Randy Oldham – Bruno Mancini Accessibility Award

Mimi Nguyen – R.P. Gilmor Student Life Award (Student)

Brenda Whiteside – R.P. Gilmor Student Life Award (Staff)