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Awards of Excellence 2008 Recipients

U OF T’S MOST DISTINGUISHED AWARDS PROGRAM

The Awards of Excellence celebrate members of the University of Toronto community who, through their individual efforts and accomplishments, have contributed to the University’s vision of becoming a leader among the world’s best public teaching and research universities. Those honoured through the program have stepped up to the challenge of making rich and meaningful contributions to the University, the community, and to the world.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THIS YEAR'S AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE RECIPIENTS!

 

Faculty Award 
Professor Martin Osborne, Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Science

Northrop Frye Award
Professor Paul Stevens, Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Science

Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award 
Professor Meric Gertler, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts and Science
Professor David Wolfe Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts and Science

Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize 
Professor David Clandfield, Department of French, New College

Joan E. Foley Quality of Student Experience Award
Professor Greg Evans, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering

Chancellor’s Award
Ms. Mary-Ellen Yeomans, Joseph L Rotman School of Management

Chancellor’s Award  
Mr. André Tremblay, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto

Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award 
Cynthia Blackstock
Faculty of Social Work

Finalists:
Flor Y. Garcia Becerra, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Jordan L. Poppenk, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Science
Todd Reichert, Institute for Aerospace Studies, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Kerry Kuluski, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine

John H. Moss Scholarship  
Jemy Mary Joseph, Departments of Biology and Neuroscience, University of Toronto at Scarborough

Finalists:
Oliver Archer-Antonsen, Departments of Economics and Political Science, Victoria College
Ashley Atkins, Department of Philosophy, Victoria College
Amanda Montague, Departments of English and Equity Studies, Victoria College
Alina Smirnova, Departments of Health Studies and Physiology, University College

Jon S. Dellandrea Scholarship for International Students 
Amelie Lesser, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Mohammed Sabri, Department of Human Biology, New College
Jennifer Zhu, Department of Management Co-op, University of Toronto at Scarborough

Finalists:
Iva Halacheva, Department of Mathematics, Trinity College
Beisi Li, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, New College
Sameer Masood, Department of Human Biology, New College
Yinsey Wang, Departments of Asia-Pacific Studies and Economics, University College

 

2008 Awards of Excellence

Faculty Award

Professor Martin J. Osborne

An exemplary colleague, teacher and scholar in the areas of microeconomic theory, political economy and game theory, Martin Osborne is known for his substantial impact on the discipline. He has excelled as an academic leader, an innovator, an advisor and role model for students and colleagues alike. 

During his career, Martin has made fundamental contributions to game theory, has written a number of important papers that use game theory to enhance our understanding of economic and political institutions, has, through a number of books, largely determined how game theory is taught to graduate and undergraduate students throughout the world, and has co-founded a new open access journal, Theoretical Economics, that has quickly become a prestigious venue for theoretical work in economics.  As an educator, Martin encourages students to think beyond the classroom, challenging and inspiring them to achieve greater heights, an approach that has earned him the respect and admiration of his students.

In addition to his teaching and research, Martin has played many important administrative roles in the Department of Economics. He was elected Fellow of the Econometric Society in 2003.

 

Northrop Frye Award

Professor Paul Stevens

Professor Paul Stevens of the Department of English is one of the world’s leading authorities on John Milton, a distinction acknowledged with his appointment as a Canada Research Chair in English Literature in 2004.  An exemplary teacher, scholar and innovator he has expanded the understanding of social dimensions of seventeenth century literature, particularly in the areas of Renaissance ideas of empire and nationalism. As an educator, Paul’s passion, humour and enthusiastic approach to teaching has had a tremendous impact on his students. His creative approach to linking teaching and research at the graduate level includes the “Canada Milton Seminar.” This symposium attended by faculty from across North America and Britain provides graduate students with the opportunity to interact with important members of the field.  His graduate pedagogy and professional skills courses are highly regarded by students and colleagues alike.

The recipient of numerous awards, including a two-time recipient of the Dean’s Award of Excellence, Paul currently serves as the President of the Milton Society of America and is the  2007-08 Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.

 

Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award

Professor Meric Gertler & Professor David Wolfe

Respected scholars and teachers, Meric Gertler and David Wolfe have designed and built a powerful research program centred on the core concept of regional innovation. Their ongoing research examines one of the most fundamental questions of our age: What practices and policies generate and sustain economic prosperity in a globalized world?  Their work embodies scholarly, excellence, engaged teaching and a manifold impact on public policy.

As an economic geographer, Meric, by the early 1990’s had built a substantial reputation by arguing that regional clusters of knowledge rich, technologically advanced firms are central to post-Fordist economic growth.  As a political scientist, David was sensitive to the importance of public policies in fostering growth, a sensitivity that was heightened during a three-year secondment (1990-1993) to the Ontario Cabinet Office.  Through their ongoing collaboration the Innovation Systems Research Network (ISRN), a national network of scholars and practitioners dedicated to understanding the dynamics of economic growth was established. Their research recognizes that innovative regional clusters of stakeholders work best and are most creative when stakeholders meet face-to-face on a regular basis to brainstorm, develop and implement innovative regional strategies. While the importance of innovation is now widely accepted, precisely what constitutes innovation and how it to measure it remains at a much more formative stage. Meric and David have been instrumental in assisting national institutions develop precise measures of innovation.

Meric and David  have fostered the creation of innovative institutions on the ground, they have developed empirical measures of innovation that are now being used to evaluate success in innovation, and they have manifestly influenced public debate at the local, national and international levels.

Thanks to Meric and David the University of Toronto is now recognized as one of the global hubs of innovative research.

 

Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize

Professor David Clandfield

Outstanding teacher, mentor and leader, David Clandfield brings an innovative, far-reaching and multi-faceted approach to social justice in education. In a 40-year career, including ten years as principal of New College, David is known for his commitment to equity and diversity.

As Principal at New College he championed many initiatives promoting access to postsecondary education by under-represented groups, including support for the Transitional Year Program, mentorship programs, tutoring programs at Flemington Public School, and access to public space for equity-seeking student groups and activities.  David also played an active role in the development of new programs and courses in Equity Studies, Disabilities Studies and the Romani diaspora, and in the expansion of Women's Studies, African Studies, Caribbean Studies and South Asian Studies programs. New College was home to U of T's Food and Clothing bank, annual international anti-racism conferences, a coffee-snack bar run by people with developmental disabilities, and an interim Multi-Faith Centre.

In appreciation of his commitment to diversity and improved student life, David received awards from the former Students' Administrative Council, the Arts and Science Student's Union, the Muslim Students Association, and the Black Students' Association.  At the end of his term as Principal, his friends and colleagues set up the David Clandfield Scholarship for International Students, awarded annually to a New College international student.

A tireless advocate of human rights, David has helped forge alliances between the university and local community groups by offering support to local community-based programs in Toronto as well as for AIDS awareness programs in Africa. David's scholarly publications cover a wide range of equity and diversity issues. He has written extensively on education, equity and public policy for the former Toronto Board of Education and several Ontario governments, as well as for national and international educational organizations.

 

Joan E. Foley Quality of Student Experience Award

Professor Greg J. Evans

Throughout his terms as the Chair, First Year and Vice Dean Undergraduate, Greg Evans has made the student experience a priority in both the classroom and in co-curricular and extra-curricular engagement.  His approachability, dedication and compassion for students have set him apart.

Greg has led subcommittees on student experience, outreach and communication as part of the Faculty’s planning exercise and established breadth and flexibility in course curriculum with the introduction of self-directed minors at the undergraduate level.  Greg has worked closely on a number of programs aimed at enhancing the student experience including the F!ROSH Friday seminar series and Undergraduate Engineering Research Day (UnERD), as well as overseeing the consolidation of the Engineering Student Recruitment and Outreach Office.

More recently Greg has worked to create a Faculty wide student leadership development program.  He continues to work closely with the Engineering Society and the many engineering student organizations and clubs, supporting their growth and development. Few professors can equal his dedication to the student experience which has earned him the distinction of being a “Professor for the students.”

 

Chancellor’s Award

André Tremblay

Respected by faculty, staff and students for his enthusiasm, ever positive support, and professional dedication, it is Andre Tremblay’s high caliber of work and initiative that have set him apart.  Since joining the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning in 2000 he has assumed a leadership role in areas of graduate studies, student governance, research goals, and community building events. 

André has been instrumental in facilitating many of the graduate studies goals within the Department Academic Plan, most notably the merger of six semi-autonomous mini programs into the new Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development Program.  His innovation is reflected in the regular “Doc Talk” and “MA” sessions that are informal support forums for graduate students within the program. 

André’s dedication to the OISE community extends far beyond that of his own department. He was instrumental in OISE/UT centennial celebration in 2006-07, giving generously of his own time and talents to numerous activities and events including the production of a promotional piece “Inspiring Education,” a documentary on the history of education at the University of Toronto and offering assistance in English-French translation to a number of programs and departments.

Mary-Ellen Yeomans

Her nominators cite Mary-Ellen Yeomans as a dedicated, effective and innovative administrator, whose imaginative leadership has been instrumental in the success of the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management.

Mary-Ellen began her career at U of T as the Assistant to the Vice-Principal and Registrar at Woodsworth College in 1980.  She has held positions in the Office of Research and the Faculty of Law, including the title of Assistant Dean Administration and Development.  In 1992 she was seconded from the Faculty of Law, to the position of Director of the Rethinking Administration Program. Mary-Ellen accepted the post of Assistant Dean, Administration and CAO at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management in 1993. Over the past 15 years the scope of her responsibilities have expanded significantly as the size and reputation of the school has grown, most importantly for planning the resources necessary for growth and managing the strategic economics of the school. In 2008 the Dean changed her title to Chief Operating Officer to more accurately reflect the breadth of her current role.

Throughout her career, Mary-Ellen has strived to continuously improve all aspects of administration with innovative solutions and maximum efficiency, while providing superior service to faculty and students. She fosters the same attitude in her staff, encouraging them to be proactive within their own areas of responsibility.

 

Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award

Scholar:

Cynthia Blackstock

Doctoral student Cindy Blackstock, a member of the Gitksan Nation, has seamlessly combined a career as one of Canada’s best known experts on Aboriginal child welfare with an outstanding record of scholarship.

Her academic and professional work is centred on managing the relationship between child protection and First Nations using concepts of reconciliation.  As the Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Cindy has pioneered several major initiatives, aimed at increasing the profile of the inequalities faced by Aboriginal children and advocating for societal change. She is rapidly completing her doctoral work while spearheading an international movement for reconciliation in Indigenous child welfare, by leading a subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues). 

Cindy has also established herself as a leader within the Faculty of Social Work.  She willingly gives presentations to graduate students and circulates information on Aboriginal social justice issues, enhancing their understanding of Aboriginal culture, traditions and history and building a network of Aboriginal scholarship. 

The recipient of the 2007 Canadian Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Cindy has received numerous awards and is a member of numerous boards and an active participant in many provincial and national research projects.

 

Finalists:

Flor Y. Garcia Becerra

As a third year doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Science, Flor Garcia Becerra is focused on how biotechnology can be applied to convert wastes into valuable materials.  Her goal is to utilize wastewater sludge as a means to reduce the economic and environmental impacts of wastewater on sludge disposal.  Her work in the area has received tremendous praise and has been submitted for publication.

Flor is the President of the Water Environment Association of Ontario, University of Toronto Student Chapter, and she has severed as the business manager of the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association.  She is the recipient of a prestigious CONTACyT scholarship for the masters and doctoral degrees from the Mexican Government.  In 2007 Flor volunteered as team leader of the Mexican Scoping Study on behalf of the not-for-profit, non-governmental organization Water for People which investigated the sustainability and compatibility of a capital-building model for the development of water and sanitation projects in marginalized periurban and rural communities in Mexico.

In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Flor has an artistic side, too.  She enjoys ballroom and Latin dance and is an avid amateur photographer.

Kerry Kuluski

An outstanding sprinter, veteran and captain of the Varsity Track and Field team, Kerry Kuluski is a recipient of the Leon Blossom Wigdor Award for Students in Aging, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Doctoral Research Award and other awards and fellowships.

Kerry is noted for an active mind and abundant energy. Athletics is an important part of her life.  She believes that track is a productive outlet from the stresses of academia and life itself.  She has learned the importance of time management, hard work and persistence. In addition to athletics, Kerry plays an administrative role as the secretary of the Graduate Student Union, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and a member of the Council of Athletics and Recreation and Budget Committee, in the Department of Physical Education and Health.

In her doctoral research she plans to study seniors on long-term care facility waiting lists in Northern Ontario in an effort to understand the extent to which their needs may be met in a community setting.  She plans to continue to work towards improving access to health and social care for seniors and their family caregivers in rural and remote areas.

Jordan L. Poppenk

Jordan Poppenk is in his third year of a PhD program with a certificate in Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology.  His research specifically explores the behavioural and brain mechanisms that direct attention to novel features of the environment, an area of concentration that may improve understanding the conditions under which novel or misleading details are successfully rejected in eyewitness testimony.  In support of his research Jordan has acquired skills in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a brain imaging technique and will soon investigate the manner in which various patient groups experience deficits in this faculty.

A Massey College Junior Fellow, Jordon works tirelessly on environmental issues and is the producer and host of The Green Majority, a weekly radio program at CIUT Community Radio.  An avid cyclist, dancer, squash player and tenor in the Massey College Choir, Jordan was also the chair and moderator for the Massey College Walter Gordon Symposium on Public Policy, Harnessing the Green Wave: Taking Action in an Era of Eco-Consciousness.

Todd Reichert

Todd Reichert is an outstanding student who has excelled in his academic pursuits while demonstrating notable extra-curricular leadership. His PhD research is focused in the area of flapping wing propulsion, trying to understand the intricate wing motions, advanced biological structures and complex aerodynamics that make birds, bats, and insects such effective flyers.

An intramural athlete and past president of the University of Toronto Engineering Society, Todd has worked tirelessly to improve the student experience. While president of the Engineering Society he assisted in incorporating self-directed Arts and Science minors into the undergraduate program, benefiting from the program himself when he completed a minor in Cinema Studies. He also worked with the Da Vinci Engineering Enrichment Program, designing and delivering an educational course to high school students.  Todd is the co-founder a student group called the Human-Powered Vehicle Design Team to promote hands-on experience with advanced materials, lightweight structures and low-power consumption, sustainable design, an area which is closely linked to his research and teaching goals. 

 

John H. Moss Scholarship

Scholar:

Jemy Mary Joseph

Completing a double major in neuroscience and biology, Jemy Joseph has been the recipient of University Health Network Academic Achievement, the Canada Millennium Excellence Award and other scholarships.

Jemy is an outstanding contributor to student life at University of Toronto Scarborough and a respected member of her academic community. The former Vice-President Academics and Vice-Chair of the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, has advocated for many concerns, including those arising from individual courses and programs. She is also Academic Programmer for Student Housing and Residence Life. In this role, she facilitates programs to help residence students improve academically. In addition, Jemy is the Vice-President Academics of the Biology Students’ Association, serving as the official link between biological science students and the department. 

With plans to pursue her MD and PhD, Jemy is aspiring to a career as a clinical scientist, combining three areas which she is most passionate about – medicine, teaching and research.

 

Finalists:

Oliver Archer Anderson

Oliver Archer-Antonsen is an outstanding young man, a leader and a brilliant student. He has demonstrated his commitment to residence life at Victoria College by taking on the roles of Treasurer of Residence Council and President of Floor Council. As a residence Don and now Senior Don, Oliver works with students and other dons to help build a strong residence community. He has been a leader in balancing international awareness with civic responsibility, informing students of their civic obligation to vote in the 2007 provincial election, and spearheading residence participation in numerous charitable and educational community activities such as the United Way CN Tower Stair Climb, the Terry Fox Run, local food drives and the maroon-and-orange ribbon campaign in solidarity with Virginia Tech students in April 2007.

The political science and economics specialist has also served on the Finance and Nominations committees with Vic’s Board of Regents. Oliver was recently involved in the negotiations concerning the expansion of Victoria College’s student centre, Wymilwood.  In recognition of his commitment to enhancing the student experience Oliver was the recipient of a 2008 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award.

Ashley Atkins

As a high school student in 2000, Ashley Atkins went to Managua, Nicaragua and realized that her passion for learning and equity could be combined in ways that contributed to the well-being of others.  The following year she traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico where she worked in an orphanage with the developmentally disabled.  It was here that she was introduced to the teachings of Jean Vanier, an Aristotle scholar and founder of the first L’Arche community.

L’Arche, established to provide live-in support for the developmentally disabled as well as to facilitate the daily practice of an ethics of care, became her home in 2003 when she joined a L’Arche community in Richmond Hill.  Soon after she was granted the sole student internship in a L’Arche community in downtown Toronto, where Ashley lived and worked during her first year at U of T. She has continued to work with disabled adults through various communities of support including NABORS.

A top student in the philosophy program Ashley has been integral to the success of the Socrates Project and the First Year Learning Community.  A peer mentor and president of the Philosophy Course Union (PCU) she has coordinated numbers inter-campus and inter-university events, including a joint event with University of Toronto Mississauga’s Philosophy Club and under her leadership the PCU’s annual symposium on Love in the Tradition of Plato’s Symposium.

Amanda Montague

Amanda Montague, an English and Equity Studies major, is passionate about social justice and realistic about the challenges of change.  Her equity studies have given her an appreciation of the social, political and economical structures in which specific issues must be situated.

Throughout her undergraduate career Amanda has placed a high priority on community involvement. She has maintained a stellar academic record, while being an active member of her residence councils and the Trinity and Victoria College Drama Societies. She has volunteered as a tutor for a high school student with learning disabilities, and traveled to Kenya to work on a community development and school building project.  In an effort to emphasize community activism, Amanda participated in a “performed ethnography’ project with Gendering Adolescent AIDS Prevention (GAAP), using drama techniques to create personae around issues associated with HIV/AIDS, presenting them to high school students and creating opportunity for discussion and education. 

It has been Amanada’s involvement with the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, which provides services to women who are survivors of violence that has inspired her to pursue a law degree in the area of human rights.  Her experiences have taught her that incredibly meaningful work can be done by acquiring the needed skills and applying them to community service.

Alina Smirnova

Witnessing her grandfather suffering from the long-term effects of a man-made nuclear and ecological disaster that occurred in her Russian home town, Alina Smirnova became committed to improving healthcare.

A recipient of the TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Community Leadership, Canada Millennium Scholarship and Canadian Merit Scholarship, Alina has been actively involved in the community since her family moved to Canada in 2000.  She has started a peer-support organization for new residents, volunteered at a hospital, and immersed herself in University life as house president, vice-president and an executive member of the residence council and as a senior don at University College.

In 2006 Alina, served as the communications assistant for the XVI International Aid Conference in Toronto.  Her involvement led her to take on the position of HIV/AIDS Director for the University of Toronto International Health Program.  Alina’s work on these international health projects identified the need for equitable healthcare in AIDS-stricken countries, motivating her to co-develop and research a research project at the University of Zambia.  This summer experience confirmed her aptitude for healthcare research and reaffirmed her passion for serving marginalized communities.

 

Jon S. Dellandrea Award for International Students

Scholars:

Amelie Lesser

In her third year in the Civil Engineering program, Amelie Lesser is an outstanding student from Germany with numerous extracurricular commitments.

From the moment she entered the program Amelie enthusiastically sought out leadership roles.  She was elected first year class rep and became involved with the Civil Club, currently serving as secretary.  She was co-director of stage design for Skule-Nite, the annual engineering musical revue as well as the publicity director for the Engineering Athletics Association. A member of the Varsity Rowing Team, she was awarded the Female of the Year Award by the Engineering Athletics Association and the University T-holders Academic Excellence award while maintain an excellent academic average.

Inheriting her father’s passion for historical architecture, Amelie possesses a deep interest in preserving the historical cities of Europe. A career path she hopes to explore further while pursuing her studies in engineering at U of T.

Mohammed Sabri

As a young child Mohammed Sabri had one goal, to become a successful surgeon. Now in this third year of studies in human biology, his current experiences in neurosurgical research have left him with a profound desire to link clinical experience with laboratory research, and pursue his MD and PhD in neuroscience.

Mohammed has been an enthusiastic student leader and mentor, serving as vice-president of the Human Biology Student Union and past second year representative. His strong communication and teamwork skills led him to take an active role in organizing events and overseeing the tasks of the Junior Executive Committee.  As a member of the Arts & Science Curriculum Committee and Post Advisory Committee he has played a crucial role in shaping programs and courses for future students. 

As part of a summer research scholarship program at St. Michael’s Hospital in 2007, he developed an innovative study about cerebral vasopasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is now being considered for publication.

Jennifer Zhu

Jennifer Zhu is a Co-op Management student at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She came to U of T from China knowing she would be able to enhance upon her leadership, communication and analytical skills.  Immediately after arriving on campus Jennifer became involved with the Greenpath Association, a Chinese international students’ association at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and went on to become the association’s vice president.  She is also serves as a mentor, assisting other new Chinese international students with exam preparation.  Jennifer uses this opportunity to share her study and co-op experiences with other international student to better prepare them for future challenges. 

Jennifer has always promoted her Chinese heritage and returns home each summer to teach English as a second language. After graduating Jennifer hopes to pursue a career in finance and accounting, eventually returning to China to share her skills in the business and government sectors.

 

Finalists:

Iva Halacheva

Iva Halacheva can trace her passion for mathematics back to elementary school where she enjoyed discussing equations with classmates and flexing her muscles on the extra credit questions. Now completing her second year in mathematics, she plans to pursue a PhD in mathematics and statistics and their application to finance and economics in areas such as optimization research and financial engineering.

A natural leader, Iva is co-president of the Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference 2008, and a dedicated member of the member of the Department of Mathematics Undergraduate Committee. She has also found time to become actively involved in student life at Trinity College and with the Hart House Debating Club. 

Iva’s artistic flare as a pianist and linguist, fluent in Bulgarian and with a knowledge of German, Hungarian, Russian and French languages, is combined with a love of the outdoors.

Beisi Li

Since her arrival in Canada Beisi (Beth) Li has proven herself as an exceptionally bright student.  In her pursuit of a degree in pharmacy, Beth has been granted several scholarships including the Life Science Summer Studentship Award at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in 2006. She enthusiastically approached her experimental work exploring the role of the dopamine D3 receptor in drug addiction, using the intravenous drug self-administration paradigm. Her research in the area will likely be the basis of a scientific publication in an international peer-reviewed journal.  

In addition to her academic work, Beth has involved herself in a numerous campus and volunteer organizations.  She volunteers at Toronto Western Hospital and was recently involved in a senior’s outreach program providing reassurance and assistance to the elderly in nursing care facilities.

During her free time, Beth also a pianist and singer, is vice president of the University of Toronto Amateur Musician Association.

Sameer Masood

Now in his third year of a Specialist Program in Health and Disease and a minor in Anthropology, Sameer Masood has sought to achieve the best education in his field, which eventually brought him to U of T.  While his intention to study a career in medicine came early on, it was not until he volunteered at his fathers clinic that he realized the excitement and grace the medical profession brought with it. After arriving in Toronto, Sameer volunteered at Mount Sinai Hospital in post-surgical patient care, an area that allowed him to experience the other side of medicine – patience, compassion and commitment.

His strong work ethic, reliable nature and natural leadership abilities have assisted him in his role as a residence don at New College. Actively involved in the life of New College, Sameer is a member of the varsity and intramural table tennis teams, as well as the New College ultimate frisbee, indoor soccer and indoor cricket teams. In 2007 Sameer received the New College Centennial Award for contributions to the extra-curricular life of New College.

Yinsey Ai Ping Wang

Growing up in China, Yinsey Wang’s love of learning was always her focus. Since beginning school, she has excelled in the arts and social sciences.

Yinsey studies Asia-Pacific studies and economics, pursuing a minor in East Asia studies.  Her studies have provided Yinsey with a greater understanding toward political agendas and schools of thought and a desire to pioneer and support different approaches to development in a respectful way that does not undermine the sovereignty of nations. 

Yinsey is treasurer for the East Asian Studies Student Union and has helped in the planning and organization of a variety of events including a seminar on the 17th Chinese Communist Party Congress and an informative exchange seminar “EAST” that promotes study abroad in Asia.  She also volunteers with the University of Toronto International Student Union and the University of Toronto East Asian Film Club. 

Yinsey is also a talented artist doing creative works in both painting and photography.

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