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Awards of Excellence 2013 Recipients


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.



Faculty Award
Professor Suzanne Akbari, Centre for Medieval Studies

Northrop Frye Award (Individual)
Professor Greg Evans, Department of Chemical Engineering

Northrop Frye Award (Departmental)
399 Research Excursions, Faculty of Arts and Science

Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award
Professor J. David Hulchanski, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

Vivek Goel Faculty Citizenship Award
Professor Derek Allen, Department of Philosophy and Trinity College

Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize
Professor Brenda Cossman, Faculty of Law and the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies

Joan E. Foley Quality of Student Experience Award
Professor Salvatore Bancheri, Department of Language Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga
Dr. Carl-Georg Bank, Department of Earth Science

Chancellor’s Award – Emerging Leader
César Mejia, Office of the Registrar, University of Toronto Mississauga

Chancellor’s Award – Influential Leader
Louis Charpentier, Office of the Governing Council
Sally Garner, Planning and Budget

Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award 
Eugenia Duodu, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto Mississauga

UTAA Graduate Scholars
Ian Garner, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Stephen McCarthy, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology
Tina Jiwon Park, Department of History

John H. Moss Scholarship 
Samra Zafar (Younus), Financial Economics, University of Toronto Mississauga

UTAA Scholars
Julia Boyd, Victoria College,
Joanne Cave, Woodsworth College
Laura Correa Ochoa, St. Michael’s College
Symon Foren, Woodsworth College
Jiarui Zhao, Victoria College


2013 Award Winners

Faculty Award

Professor Suzanne Conklin Akbari

An internationally recognized scholar whose work spans centuries and cultures, Professor Suzanne Akbari is a leading figure in the study of medieval literature and in particular the literary implications of the interaction of Islam with other religions and cultures. Her 2009 book Idols in the East: European Representations of Islam and the Orient, 1100–1450 has been received as a superb study of pre-modern intercultural dynamics with striking relevance to Western perceptions of Islam today.

Professor Akbari’s previous work on medieval optics and the relation of language and vision resulted in Seeing Through the Veil: Optical Theory and Medieval Allegory. This book also demonstrated the wide outlook of the author by moving beyond the elements of the subject to encompass the basic structure of metaphorical representation in pre-modern discourse. Professor Akbari has also written about the body in medieval thought, linking medieval studies to a central artery of contemporary literary theory, as well as pre-modern travel literature and cartography.

Her acclaimed research and remarkable productivity have led to prestigious editorial assignments, including work on the Norton Anthology of World Literature. Professor Akbari was co-editor of Marco Polo and the Encounter of East and West and is the editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook to Chaucer. A monograph in preparation is Small Change: Metaphor and Metamorphosis in Chaucer and Christine de Pizan.

Despite her research accomplishments and extensive publication commitments, Professor Akbari has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the University of Toronto through her departmental and interdepartmental work. She launched the foundation year undergraduate course in Literary Tradition, English 150: spanning Homer to Goethe, this course reflects the history of Mediterranean influence on English literature. 

Her effectiveness as a lecturer has been recognized by rave notices in student course evaluations as well as the Faculty of Arts & Science Outstanding Teaching Award and Dean’s Excellence Awards (six citations). From 2003 to 2008 Professor Akbari was PhD coordinator for the Centre for Medieval Studies and as of July 1, 2013 she will serve as the Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies.


Northrop Frye Award (Individual)

Professor Greg Evans

Professor Greg Evans has been a leader in innovative curriculum development at the University, integrating teaching and research and leading research institutes to provide unique learning opportunities for students.

In 2003, Professor Evans led the development of the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR), an interdisciplinary centre for the study of air quality, and in 2008 he and Professor Jon Abbatt co-founded the Canadian Aerosol Research Network (CARN), with major research facilities in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, to mobilize Canada’s emerging expertise in aerosols science. Many of the 178 undergraduates and 52 graduate students whose research he has supervised have had the opportunity to use SOCAAR and CARN facilities and to work with his research partners from industry and government as well as the university sector.

Professor Evans received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1988 and joined the Department of Chemistry and Applied Chemistry in 1990. He was vice dean, undergraduate of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (2005-07) and is currently cross-appointed to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He received the Joan E. Foley Quality of Student Experience Award in 2008, the Bill Burgess Teacher of the Year Award (Chemical Engineering) in 2009, the Ontario Professional Engineers Award Engineering Medal (Research and Development) in 2009, the 2010 Outstanding Teaching Award from the American Society for Engineering Education (St. Lawrence Section) and the 2010 Engineers Canada Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education.

While serving as vice dean, undergraduate, Professor Evans help to create the Undergraduate Engineering Research Day, a symposium and competition for undergraduate engineering students. He is also the co-leader with Prof. Doug Reeve of Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow, the Faculty’s leadership education program. Currently, Professor Evans is leading an initiative to create a PhD program in Engineering Education and supporting a parallel effort to create a PhD program in Occupational and Environmental Health at the Dalla Lana School.


Northrop Frye Award (Divisional/Departmental)

399 Research Excursions, Faculty of Arts & Science

The 399 Research Excursions program provides third-year students with a unique and exciting opportunity to become part of the University of Toronto’s research mission.  Research Excursions students join a faculty member’s team on an off-campus project during which they learn by doing.  In the process, they develop understanding of particular disciplinary approaches and acquire invaluable critical thinking skills.   

The program began in 2000 when Professors Yannick Portebois and Dorothy Speirs of the Department of French took five undergraduates to France to conduct original archival research on 19th-century writer Emile Zola.  Since then, Research Excursions have enabled more than 230 students to conduct investigations in labs and libraries, in fields and jungles, and in locations around the world including Chile, Indonesia, Peru and South Africa.  Research Excursions cover the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

Students who participate in the 399 Research Excursions program receive academic credit for their participation and are invited to present their findings at the Faculty of Arts and Science annual Undergraduate Research Fair.


Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award  

Professor J. David Hulchanski

Professor David Hulchanski is a Canadian pioneer in community urban studies. His research on housing, neighbourhood and community planning issues, homelessness, human rights and discrimination has earned him accolades and honours from within and beyond academia. Professor Hulchanski’s ground-breaking 2010 report “The Three Cities in Toronto” has become a rallying cry for academics, policy experts and community groups who care about the urban landscape and the people who live within it. Sought after by local and national media, Hulchanski has been profiled more than 250 times, in print, radio and television.   

Since arriving in Toronto in the early 1990s, Hulchanski has actively engaged in the public life of this city and this University.  He joined the Faculty of Social Work as a full professor in 1991 and in 1997 was appointed to the Dr. Chow Yei Ching Chair in Housing.  In the past three decades, Hulchanski has been a key contributor to numerous projects, organizations and committees in Canada and internationally. In 1994, he was invited to participate in the planning group for the Ontario Metropolis Project – part of an international initiative designed to provide researchers with opportunities to plan and coordinate studies related to how immigration affects the world’s cities. The following year, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Ontario Housing Corporation by then premier Bob Rae.

In 2000, Now Magazine named Professor Hulchanski as one of the top ten social activists of the year for his work on homelessness in Toronto. As a member of the Board of Directors for the charity Raising the Roof and as one of the co-founders of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, his research underpinned the “1 percent solution” campaign to end homelessness.  In the past decade, Hulchanski has served as the director of the Centre for Urban and Community Studies and the associate director for research for U of T’s Cities Centre.

During his more than 20 years as a faculty member at U of T, Professor Hulchanski has brought about important changes and established enduring partnerships within the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and other University divisions. As a teacher and mentor, Professor Hulchanski has supervised dozens of doctoral and masters students, helping to secure the future of community urban studies in Canada. Hulchanski has also fostered crucial relationships and partnerships between the University and the public and private sectors. His commitment to civic life and contributions to discussions on housing, inequity and income polarization have helped to shape public policy decisions made by the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada.


Vivek Goel Faculty Citizenship Award

Professor Derek Allen

Professor Derek Allen, who served for 16 years as Trinity College’s Dean of Arts, embodies the ideal of an academic leader. He devoted all of his energies to building a rich undergraduate experience within Trinity and the larger Arts & Science community.

Being Dean of Arts was only the crowning moment of many years of dedicated administration. Professor Allen was also Trinity’s Co-ordinator of Student Counselling Services for 16 years, starting in 1979, as well as the Director of the College’s highly successful Ethics, Society, and Law program for its first eight years, starting in 1987.

For two years, he chaired a team that facilitated the implementation of a new system of governance for the college, new undergraduate admissions criteria, a new fellowship policy and a new set of college courses that served to strengthen the academic links of Trinity students with the college.

Professor Allen’s academic and administrative supporters have all stressed one fundamental fact: his respect for the views of students, and how they have in turn demonstrated their respect and affection for him, a man who has quite literally changed the course of the College.

At the departmental level, Professor Allen was Undergraduate Co-ordinator of the Department of Philosophy for three years as well as Chair of the Teaching Committee for five years beginning in 1990.

At the Faculty level, he served on the Writing Committee for 10 years and as Principal of Principals for four years. His talents have been recognized by his continuing membership in various curriculum-renewal and related committees and by his writing the Arts & Science response to the Provostial Green Papers on the University of Toronto’s academic plan for  2004-10. He has served as Chair of the Council of the Faculty of Arts & Science for the past three years.

At the University level, Professor Allen was tireless in helping to establish the Centre for Ethics, and at the national and international level has been President of the Association of Informal Logic and Critical Thinking since 2007.

Professor Allen has been a beacon of good teaching for the department and faculty.  He was awarded one of the first Outstanding Teaching Awards in Arts & Science in 1993, and in the same year he won an Ontario Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.


Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize

Professor Brenda Cossman 

Professor Cossman exemplifies the engaged scholar. A supporter of human rights and inclusion in Canada and beyond, she has taught at the Canadian Human Rights Foundation’s Human Rights Summer School and written reports for the Law Commission of Canada, the federal Department of Justice, the Ontario Law Reform Commission and the Ministry of Community and Social Services of Ontario. At U of T, she is an advocate for female students and sexual minorities at the Faculty of Law, where she has chaired committees on the Status of Women and Gender Issues.

Professor Cossman (LL.B 1986) received her LL.M from Harvard University in 1988 and joined the University’s Faculty of Law in 1999. Prior to accepting her U of T appointment, she taught at Osgoode Hall Law School. She was appointed director of the Bonham Centre at University College in 2009, received the David W. Mundell Medal for distinguished contributions to letters and law in 2009 and was named to the Royal Society of Canada in 2012.

In response to her leadership the Bonham Centre has grown, increasing graduate enrolment and undergraduate offerings, and has diversified its activities to become more inclusive of women, bisexuals and others beyond traditional sexual categories. As a result, the centre’s standing in the wider community has been further enhanced.

Professor Cossman’s scholarly work addresses three areas of human rights: the legal status of family relationships and the rights of children; the legal regulation of consensual sexual relationships; and comparative studies of women’s rights and freedom of religion in India. She is the author of Sexual Citizens: The Legal and Cultural Regulation of Sex and Belonging, published by Stanford University Press in 2007, Censorship and the Arts in Canada: Law, Controversy, Debate, Facts (Ontario Association of Art Galleries, 1995) and the co-author of other volumes on secularism, feminists and the law in India, and pornography and the law. Two of her co-authored books, written with Ratna Kapur, Global Professor of Law at Jindal Global Law School in India, are essential reading for legal comparativists in India, North America and the United Kingdom. She has also written many articles, book chapters, reports, monographs, briefs and conference papers, and has given dozens of lectures and presentations and participated in many panel discussions.

As one of the world’s leading scholars of the rights of sexual minorities and children, Professor Cossman is a powerful advocate for change internationally, nationally, locally and at the University itself. She is a public intellectual who calls on citizens to broaden their conceptions of equity and recognize the human experience in all its diversity.


Joan E. Foley Quality of Student Experience Award

Professor Salvatore Bancheri 

Professor Salvatore Bancheri has made a remarkable contribution to the quality of the student experience in the classroom and beyond. Over his long career he has fostered a more cohesive and engaged student body in the Department of Italian Studies, the Department of Language Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga and across the University. 

Professor Bancheri is the Emilio Goggio Chair of Italian Studies, chair and graduate chair of the Unversity’s Department of Italian Studies and director of the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies. From 1989 to 1999 he was the coordinator of Italian language courses in the Department of Italian Studies at U of T Mississauga. He received his PhD in Italian from the University in 1985. In addition to many other roles, he has served as associate chair, Department of Italian Studies at UTM, a post he held from 2001 to 2003.

Professor Bancheri is commended by his students for an open-door policy that encourages them to meet with him in groups and as individuals. He has worked to help the undergraduate and graduate student unions in Italian Studies enhance their conferences and other academic actvities and has played an important role in organizing Italian weeks, the Italian High School contest and a variety of other cultural, social and academic activities, such as film nights, concerts and lecture series.

Notably, Professor Bancheri was instrumental in establishing Maschere Duemondi (Two-Worlds Players), the UTM theatrical company. Directed by Professwor Bancheri and Guido Pugliese, Maschere Duemondi has been staging plays in Italian by U of T student actors for the University and wider community since 1986. An academic innovation unique to Italian at UTM, the plays are a way of teaching language and an integral element of a course in theatre studies that has been named one of the 25 Best World Language Courses by the AP World Languages Best Practices Study.

Professor Bancheri has also improved the quality of students’ academic experience by initiating a number of new courses that promote language practice and experiential learning. He has enriched teaching through technology by developing new computer software and by delivering a series of lectures to teachers on the use of educational technology. In all cases, the students of the University of Toronto have been the ultimate beneficiaries of his work, commitment, vision and leadership.


Joan E. Foley Quality of Student Experience Award

Dr. Carl-Georg (Charly) Bank

Dr. Charly Bank is the associate chair of undergraduate studies in the Department of Earth Sciences where was hired as a lecturer in 2005 and promoted to senior lecturer in 2009. Since his arrival, the department has more than tripled the enrolment in its undergraduate programs, thanks in large part to his efforts. He offers students an intellectually rewarding co-curricular learning experience beyond the classroom, involving them in the life of the city and ensuring that they are valued members of the University community.

Dr. Bank received his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2002 and taught at UBC and at colleges in B.C. and Colorado before joining the Department of Geology (now Earth Sciences) at U of T. He studies near-surface geophysics related to environmental and archeological questions, pedagogy in the earth sciences and earthquake seismology. Dr. Bank was recognized with the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Faculty of Arts and Science in 2011.

Dr. Bank has made a notable contribution to the quality of the student experience through the Research Opportunity and the Independent Experiential Study programs, both of which he has overseen. Through these initiatives he has involved students in research projects related to geophysical investigation using ground-penetrating radar and other technologies to image a glacier in Maine, TTC subway tunnels, and archeological sites in British Columbia, Greece and Turkey. This work provides opportunities for authentic research by undergraduates and has resulted in the presentation of 18 abstracts at scientific conferences in Canada and abroad.

Dr. Bank excels at bringing the earth sciences to the community and he involves undergraduates in the process, regularly recruiting them to carry out programs in Toronto’s elementary schools where they show rock and mineral samples and fossils. His undergraduates also take part in a series of professional development workshops for teachers and outreach efforts with First Nations communities. These initiatives provide     U of T students with opportunities for community involvement beyond the classroom.

A devoted mentor, Dr Bank’s interactions with his students often continue throughout their undergraduate years. Well-known for his approachability and willingness to listen and take an interest in each individual’s academic development, he also makes time for students seeking coaching and counselling. Through the courses he teaches and his focus on experiential learning, he has established himself as a leader in pedagogy and the enhancement of the student experience at the University of Toronto.


Chancellor’s Award – Emerging Leader

César Mejia 

César Mejia has played a transformative role in improving processes in the Office of the Registrar at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He has helped lead major changes to several of the Office’s business processes, consistently improving services for faculty, staff and students.

One of the most significant of these projects saw Mr. Mejia lead the design, development, implementation and ongoing monitoring of an electronic marks reporting system for the University of Toronto at Mississauga.

Mr. Mejia joined UTM in August 2003 as a member of Computing Services IT team. During his first few years in the job, he delivered software that streamlined online systems and services. Some of these applications include the Online Course Calendar (used by UTM for almost 10 years), UTM Submit (still used by UTM students to submit assignments), ORBS (Online booking system used by faculty and staff to book any room on campus).

In October 2005, Mr. Mejia joined the Office of the Registrar as the Manager of a small IT Team. He has since been delivering software solutions that allowed UTM to become virtually paperless. Some of the most significant projects he has lead include: several online forms that allow students to request services, pay fees online and receive responses without the need to visit the Office of the Registrar; an electronic Attendance System for term tests, final exams and events; a UTM-specific mobile application that allow students to use their smartphones to check the timetable, exam schedules, shuttle bus schedule, important dates and more.

In August 2011, Mr. Mejia took on a much more expanded role in the Office of the Registrar, managing records, registration, graduation, scheduling and examinations as well as heading the IT team. E-Marks is the most recent project developed by Mr. Mejia and his IT Team. The IT team was involved in rewriting the entire system and modifying it to take into account business practices across the entire University. In the 18 months that E-Marks has been in operation, it has garnered tremendous praise. E-Marks is now in place at the University of Toronto Scarborough, the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and the Faculty of Arts & Science. One of the most innovative features of E-Marks is its ability to allow the submission and approval of marks by faculty and chairs from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Along with the important work he performs in his job, Mr. Mejia finds time to volunteer on campus, teaching conversational Spanish to senior faculty members (some of them, conducting research in South America) and serving as a photographer for many on-campus recruitment events.


Chancellor’s Award – Influential Leader

Louis Charpentier 

As Secretary of the Governing Council, Louis Charpentier is an unsung hero who has helped guide the University through many challenges and times of change. He will again play a key leadership role during the transition to a new president and provost and as a new Governing Council chair and vice-chair assume office.

Mr. Charpentier has been with the University since 1979 and secretary to the Governing Council since 1999. One of his most significant contributions came after President David Naylor initiated the 2030 visioning exercise in 2007, which included a task force on governance. Mr. Charpentier played a critical role in three distinct areas: assessing non-elected governors; streamlining of governance and governance materials; and tri-campus governance.

The 2030 visioning exercise with respect to governance was largely co-ordinated by the secretariat under Mr. Charpentier’s leadership. His exemplary support for the University’s administration was particularly impressive with regard to the tri-campus governance issues. He consulted with officials on all three campuses and various stakeholder groups in countless meetings, holding firm on principles whilst maintaining the flexibility required to ensure concrete and productive outcomes.

Another example of Mr. Charpentier’s enormous value to the University was in his role in the launch of the Pension Committee in 2011. This committee was a hybrid of experienced Governors and faculty, staff and union representatives, most of whom had no prior experience in governance in the university setting. Committee meetings were effectively managed by a careful and deliberate process of collaboration between Mr. Charpentier, as secretary of the committee, and the chair.

Chancellor’s Award – Influential Leader

Sally Garner 

Sally Garner’s legacy at the University of Toronto is assured with the highly successful implementation of a new budget model that has gained national recognition and is being adopted by other universities across the country. In fact, five years after it was implemented, the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) invited her team to a national conference to report on the new model and the room was filled beyond capacity.

Ms. Garner has demonstrated leadership that has brought deep and sustained value to U of T since becoming executive director, Planning and Budget in 2008 and her influence extends well beyond U of T.

Ms. Garner is often the first person that other Canadian universities, such as Queen’s, York and McMaster call to seek advice and insight when they begin to consider budget models similar to the U of T model. Consistent with this national influence, the IPAC Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Award selected the U of T budget model as one of three national winners, from among 100 nominations.

A recent example of her integrity and professionalism in striving to continually improve operations at U of T was her effort to upgrade the job descriptions for the Chief Administrative Officers in the academic divisions. She worked closely with Human Resources and divisional representatives in addressing the importance of ensuring that senior administrators in these key roles were equipped with the appropriate set of skills to manage within the business environment created by the university’s new budget model. This institutional review has already had a positive influence across the University.

In addition to her critical role in the creation and implementation of the budget model, her impact and influence are felt in countless of ways across the institution. For example, she was instrumental in assisting Vice-Provost Jill Matus work through some of the complex financial arrangements that resulted from the 2007 reorganization of Student Life and Student Affairs.

Ms. Garner also helped reframe the Annual Report on Student Financial Support, a report that forms part of the annual Governance approval of tuition fees and is of keen interest to students and Governors. She also assisted in redesigning the Work Study Program last year after the sudden cancellation of provincial funding for a program that impacts 2000 students across all three campuses.  In addition, in 2012 she worked closely with the vice-provost’s office in leading an enormous project involving the review of over 1000 ancillary fees, to ensure fees are compliant with provincial guidelines and students are appropriately informed of these fees. Ms. Garner is an influential leader by virtue of her most exemplary work ethic and the breadth and impact of her contributions to the U of T over the years. Her professional commitment, competence and expertise are indeed an inspiration to her staff and colleagues throughout the University.


Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award 

Eugenia Duodu 

Eugenia Duodu ranks among the most decorated and notable science graduates at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She graduated with High Distinction and was a recipient of the 2010 Dean’s Honours List award. As a result of her exemplary record in the sciences, she was the recipient of the prestigious Society of Chemical Industry Award for academic merit in chemistry, an award granted to only one graduating chemistry student each year.

Ms. Duodu is an outstanding graduate researcher, formulating her own design concepts, devising her own synthetic routes, successfully trouble-shooting and optimizing her synthesis to yield the target molecules.

She won a Harry Jerome Award last year, which celebrates excellence in the African-Canadian community. This was in recognition of activities including volunteer work with Visions of Science, a program that advances the career aspirations of young African-Canadians and other marginalized youth. As the director of the organization, she coordinates weekend science clubs for students in Grades 4 to 8 in Toronto Community Housing developments, helps them participate in Science Rendezvous which is an annual nationwide science fair, and manages a team of staff and volunteers.

Leadership is a defining element of Ms. Duodu’s character. Earlier this year she helped form Venture, a group that helps guide graduate students into the next phase of their lives. Its first networking evening involved 24 mentors and 80 students.

Ms. Duodu’s contributions go well beyond U of T. She co-founded a global initiative called Creating Global Citizens in 2009. Her involvement ranges from identifying and training youth leaders to facilitating full leadership-training workshops.

She has carefully balanced this outreach with her cancer research and academic responsibilities, travelling to Africa in the summers, most recently to Ghana and Tanzania.

Ms. Duodu is a grant reviewer for ArtReach Toronto, a youth arts funding agency and is a board member of the Toronto Youth Centre and Grassroots Youth Collaborative.

After obtaining her PhD, she hopes to pursue a career dedicated to science education, international advocacy and curriculum development, and making science literacy more accessible.



Ian Garner 

A PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Ian Garner received his MA from U of T and his BA from the University of Bristol. Mr. Garner has taught Russian to English speakers in Toronto and English to Russian speakers in Finland; he has also translated first-hand accounts of the experiences of Ukrainians in the Second World War. His dissertation will explore the writings of Russian soldiers responding to the Afghan war. This respected don at New College studied classical guitar at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.

Stephen McCarthy 

Winner of both the Vanier and the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships, Stephen McCarthy is conducting research in HIV infection as a PhD candidate in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP). He has served as the LMP student union president and appeared as lead researcher in several conference presentations. His other commitments include sexual health advocacy in the LGBT community. As an undergraduate he organized student tutorial teams at Trent University. Mr. McCarthy is also a student ambassador for Boundless: The Campaign for the University of Toronto.

Tina Jiwon Park 

Tina Jiwon Park’s research focuses on bilateral relations between Canada and Korea since the 1880s and explores various aspects of this fruitful relationship, ranging from religious contacts to trade and immigration. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs.  In addition, she tutors undergraduate students at Trinity College in Modern History. She is a Junior Fellow at Massey College and manages the Massey Talks, which showcase the lives of distinguished members of the Massey community. Ms. Park plans a career in international relations upon completing her Ph.D.



Samra Zafar (Younus) 

An immigrant to Canada who completed her high school degree through distance courses, Samra Zafar has maintained a 3.99 GPA at the University of Toronto Mississauga while working to support her two children, serving with distinction as a teaching assistant and participating in both student and community volunteer activities. Some of these activities are related to challenges she faced during her own remarkable struggle to acquire the education she once thought she could only dream of.

Ms. Zafar entered UTM in 2008 and quickly discovered an aptitude for hard work, moving from Commerce and Management to a rigorous Financial Economics specialist program. Ms. Zafar has achieved A grades in all her courses and in Fall 2012 posted a final mark of 100 in a difficult macroeconomics course with a class average of 66.

Her popularity as a teaching assistant has confirmed her desire to pursue an academic career in economics. Yet Ms. Zafar has found time to volunteer as a mentor in the utmOne First Year Academic Transition Program and UTM AccessAbility. Her collaborative style and attention to detail made her an ideal volunteer on the services desk of the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union. Ms. Zafar also works with the Afghan Women’s Organization to help newcomers to Canada acquire computer literacy and overcome language and cultural barriers.

Ms. Zafar was named to both the Dean’s Honour List and the Economics Honour List in 2011 and 2012. She is a recipient of the Faculty Choice Award (2011) and the Richard Buchanan Award (2012) and has also been named a U of T Scholar (2011). Most recently, she was awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship earlier this year. Ms. Zafar has worked as an economics advisor for the City of Mississauga andestablished and operated a home daycare centre before and during her first two years of study at UTM. She has also worked as a tutor for public school students in mathematics, economics, English and French.

Ms. Zafar has been accepted to the Doctoral Master in Economics at U of T and foresees a career as a researcher and teacher.



Julia Boyd 

Julia Anderson Boyd has achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA and earned numerous academic awards including the Department of English Prize, the John King Scholarship in English Language and Literature and the University of Toronto Scholar In-Course Scholarship. In addition to her stellar academic record, she was an Academic Community Outreach Mentor at Victoria College and a seminar participant in discussions of the future and purpose of a university education. Ms. Boyd’s belief in literature’s ability to educate, transform and unite communities guides her plans to pursue an MA in English following completion of her undergraduate degree.

Joanne Cave 

Joanne Cave’s dedication to social policy and justice for women’s rights was evident from the early age of twelve when she founded Ophelia’s Voice, a non-profit organization which focused on girl’s leadership, empowerment and civic engagement. Since then, she has interned for the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Udaipur, India, served as Co-president of the Women and Gender Studies Student’s Union and acted as an Upper Year Mentor with the Office of Student Life’s First in the Family Program for the past three years. Ms. Cave plans to continue her research on social policies focusing on women, children, youth and marginalized communities in her post-graduate studies as preparation for her future role as a policymaker or non-profit leader.

Symon Foren 

Symon Foren is a polyglot, having studied Aramic, Biblical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew and Middle Egyptian during his time at the University of Toronto. Foren has maintained a 4.0 GPA in his studies, while finding time to contribute to the community around him as a member of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies and a volunteer at the Centre for Jewish Studies. Foren’s dedication has earned top awards, such as the Peter F. Bronfman Woodsworth College Leadership Scholarship and the Abraham Isaac Silver Scholarship in Jewish Studies. Mr. Foren’s goal is to teach and conduct research on civilizations of the Near and Middle East.

Laura Correa Ochoa 

Laura’s academic and personal interests led her to conduct research this past summer on transitional justice and forced displacement in Colombia, for a senior thesis project on political science. During her time at U of T, she has won a number of awards, including the Canadian International Council Book Prize and the Alexander Mackenzie Scholarship. Ms. Correa Ochoa is one of the editors for The Globalist and a lead analyst for the G8 Research Group at the Munk School of Global Affairs. She plans to pursue her interests in land, postcolonialism and transnational histories in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Jiarui Zhao 

Coming from Western China, Jiarui Zhao has not only adapted to life in Canada, but has risen to the top of her class at the University of Toronto. With a near perfect 3.99 GPA, Ms.Zhao made the Dean’s List in 2011 and 2012. While completing her Bachelors of Science with a specialization in Financial Economics, she has been a Peer Mentor, Research Assistant and Team Leader for the departments of Economics. She is also the co-president of the Victoria International Student Association (VISA), and initiated 2012-2013 VISA Mentorship program which helps international students integrate into the community.  Ms. Zhao plans to pursue a law degree after graduating from U of T in order to aid developing countries in their move out of poverty and towards a higher standard of living.