Congratulations 2015 E-Awards Winners!
Inspiring Culture Award
Originally from South Africa, Nqobile Nhlapho grew up with a passion for cultural diversity. Having learned four languages, she has channelled that personal love of learning into a role as a dedicated volunteer both on and off campus, always seeking to create opportunities to help others learn, grow and recognize the humanity in all of us. She has volunteered her time teaching language skills both on and off campus, to better assist those new to Canada. Nqobile hopes to further expand her philanthropic efforts in the future into the field of Human Rights Law.
Deanna Cardinal Memorial Award
Through her work with Enactus Mount Royal, Sarah has proven dedicated to empowering her fellow students through the development of community outreach programming. She has worked closely with the EmpowerU project and she is currently the project co-lead of the Aboriginal Community Empowerment program, helping to develop a class to teach employment skills and financial literacy to Aboriginal students.
An avid volunteer at SAMRU’s Native Student Centre, Alannah is passionate about engaging with her peers and building relationships, helping Aboriginal students to rediscover and strengthen their ties to the Aboriginal community. Alannah firmly believes in the importance giving back, and demonstrates this in her volunteer work with the center, providing support for events such as the Elder Series and pow-wows while creating connections and sharing Aboriginal heritage and traditions.
Beyond Disabilities Award
Enthusiastic, understanding and compassionate, Riley Valde has demonstrated through her outreach work with youth and children that those living with disabilities need not be excluded from participation in social activities. Recognizing that not all barriers to inclusion are physical or architectural in nature, she advocates for greater awareness of accessibility issues as well as a better understanding of the obstacles faced everyday by people living with disabilities. Riley has contributed both in her volunteer role and in her everyday life, where she encourages others to reach out and engage to better understand those who live with disabilities.
Gender and Sexual Diversity Award
Spiritriver Striped Wolf
As a dedicated volunteer, Spiritriver Striped Wolf has furthered the awareness of sexual and gender identity issues by demonstrating openness and a willingness to learn from others. Spirit’s compassion and empathy for those in the LGBT community have contributed enormously to the Pride Center’s status as a safer space for learning and personal growth. Using personal growth and training gained as a Pride Center Volunteer and Stepping Up Volunteer, Spirit advocates within the Aboriginal community for better understanding of gender and sexual diversity issues. As a part of the Stepping Up program, Spirit also advocates for the prevention of dating violence.
Excellence in Community Service Club Award
Beginning out of a desire to contribute to campus spirit, AgenC Events has developed a solid track record for producing engaging and entertaining events, and fostered a culture of collaboration with other SAMRU Clubs. While providing members and collaborators with opportunities for event planning and promotion experience, AgenC has also contributed to the greater local community. They were able to raise $1500 for Inn From The Cold, a non-profit organization battling homelessness in Calgary. Through its continued evolution, AgenC has grown to reflect MRU’s spirit of learning, growth and fun.
Excellence in Membership Service Club Award
Joli Fou Geological Society
As a SAMRU Club dedicated to providing a place for Geology students to socialize and access development opportunities, the Joli Fou Geological Society has consistently provided a high level of value to its membership. Joli Fou has brought in several speakers from the geology industry as well as organizing field trips for members to gain experience beyond the classroom. Joli Fou provided its members access to specialized computer courses through the club, in order to provide an edge in the employment sector. Members have also been registered in significant numbers to attend conferences such as the Geoskills Conference as well as the Alberta Students Energy Conference.
Vice President Student Affairs and Campus Life
We thank you for over 20 years of outstanding service to the students at Mount Royal University
As founder of the Secular Humanists Society, Jason Droboth exemplifies citizenship through active engagement with his community and providing avenues for the free exchange of ideas. Under Jason’s stewardship, a number of events have been held which encourage the free exchange and discussion of ideas. Examples include a guest speaker event hosting ex-Westboro Baptist Church member Nate Phelps and a Perspectives Panel bringing together speakers of 3 different faiths to discuss philosophy, religion and life. The “Pint with a Prof” program brought professors and students together outside the classroom in order to create opportunities for discussions as equals. Jason’s work as a founding member of AgenC Events further demonstrate his enrichment of campus life through a series of fun student-led events.
Grant Lahring has made active volunteer contributions both on campus as well as toward the surrounding community. He has contributed as a member of the Marketing Society, Enactus, and co-founder of the MRU Ski-Club. Off campus he donates his time to organizations such as Brown Bagging 4 Kids and the Calgary Drop-In Center. His dedication to community participation is evident in innovative ideas such as the Beard Shave Bonanza, which not only “shaved two gnarly beards”, but also raised money to ensure that over 6000 school children who could not afford a school lunch did not go hungry.
Through mentorship and philanthropy, Victoria Stosky is proof that active citizenship can take place anywhere from local neighbourhoods to communities around the world. In high school she founded a Free the Children youth group called “Tumaini”, which means “hope” in Swahili. Under her leadership, the group was able to raise funds to travel to Kenya to help build a schoolhouse and provide clean drinking water. Victoria’s involvement in her community continued with her enrollment at MRU. She serves as a member of Enactus, and continues to provide mentorship in order to further inspire positive change in the world.
Committed Learning Award
Overcoming substantial adversity, Anna Johnson stands as a testament to the idea that through hard work and perseverance one can aspire to create a better future. Through struggles and setbacks, Anna has worked hard to pursue her goals of higher education in hopes that one day her story may inspire others. She constructs positive change through active community involvement.
Experiential Studies Award
As a student teacher, Sabrina Lohmann has found her firsthand experiences teaching young children to be a truly transformative experience. Through the Calgary Reads early literacy program, Sabrina was able to implement “Wee-Read”, a project dedicated to providing specialized reading sessions for two kindergarten-aged children in need of support. The program allowed Sabrina to see the powerful effect an attentive teacher can have guiding young minds and in turn provided her with opportunities to learn different methods of teaching.
The world is a classroom, as Alexandra Preddy discovered upon accepting an educational trip to Honduras. While unsure of what to expect, in a place known as “murder capital of the world”, she came away with a new understanding for those who struggle through poverty and violence. She also developed a greater understanding of Hondurans as people than she would have learned from a textbook. Alexandra has taken this inspiration and paid it forward, becoming an active volunteer in her own community, volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club and Enactus. Her firsthand learning experience has inspired her to pursue sociology, so she may better know the vast diversity of peoples and cultures this world has to offer.
Part Time Studies Award
As a part-time Health Studies student, Shaylin Sampson shows that one does not have to pursue a full-time program in order to build a better career. As a mother of four and experienced midwife, Shaylin decided to further her education in the area to better address a need she observed for the service. While balancing work, family, and part time schooling is not always easy, Shaylin shows that opportunities exist for all schedules and stands as an example of success among part time students.
Outstanding Councillor of the Year award 2015
As a student council representative our Outstanding Councillor of the Year Award winner, DeAnna Kweens, enjoys engaging directly with SAMRU members. Whether it’s organizing and promoting SAMRU’s AGM, or doling out bowls of piping hot comfort during SAMRU’s “PJs and Soup Day”, she has risen to the challenge of directly engaging and supporting students. Taking full advantage of her Governorship, she has leapt at opportunities to try new things and take on new challenges and has made an impact on the lives of countless students.
Outstanding Student of the Year Award
This year’s recipient of the Outstanding Student of the Year Award, Kristin Milloy baffles her admirers with her apparent ability to create a day that has more hours than normal. A science student with a double major in Health Studies and Cellular Molecular Biology, she maintains an exemplary academic record while engaging in an extensive list of volunteer opportunities and being an active member on several high level committees, helping to shape University policies through the perspective of a student. Her work in the Mount Royal University Strategic Plan Steering Committee will see a long legacy, as it will guide MRU through the year 2025. Kristin spends most of her free time volunteering both locally and abroad. To illustrate her wide reaching impacts, in fall 2014 she organized a group of science students to take part in the Beakerhead Science and Arts festival, and in the summer of 2014 she travelled to Sri Lanka in order to volunteer for various hospital and outreach programs.
This year’s recipient of the Gold Award, Dexter Bruneau, is proof that a rich, full student experience extends beyond the doors of a classroom. An active executive in four clubs (AgenC, Secular Humanist Society, Chess Club & Jam Club) and a member of many more, Dexter has made it his mission to engage his fellow students and the wider community. Whether he’s helping to throw a Great Gatsby party, fundraising to battle poverty and homelessness, engaging in debate and discourse, or quietly contemplating a chess move, Dexter is constantly seeking out new challenges, new connections and further adding to our vibrant campus.
Silver Award 1
For Cordelia Snowdon, student well-being has been a top priority. Her numerous contributions include her work with the Calgary Distress Center crisis line, the Peer Support Center, Student Outreach and Safewalk, and her work as a member of the Green Team for the Center for Student initiative. As President and founder of the Students Distress Center Club she continues her focus on student mental health. Her work with the SAMRU service centres includes the SOS’ Haunted Hallway, administering emergency student loans, assisting with the student food bank, and her work promoting the Season of Caring’s “Candy Canes for Pocket Change” fundraiser. Cordelia also serves students by advocating for them on numerous academic committees.
Silver Award 2
For Silver Award winner Sam Ulmer-Krol, Mount Royal University has always been a second home. Having spent his years as a youngster in MRU’s Daycare, that’s not much of an exaggeration. Sam exemplifies active participation in campus life through several different means. He is very active in several SAMRU clubs, helping to provide spaces where students can meet and socialize with others sharing their interests and foster a sense of community. Sam’s contributions also stretch into the academic side of campus life as he currently sits on several committees such as the General Faculties Council, VP Academic Advisory Committee and Arts Faculty Council, helping to shape campus life by providing a student’s perspective. He also volunteers his time as a student leader in the annual New Student Orientation program, helping to inform those new to MRU and ease their transition into post-secondary life.
Bronze Award 1
To our Bronze Award winner Zachary Champoux, active citizenship is about ideas and innovation. In his time at MRU he has engaged in numerous campus initiatives aimed at enriching those around him. He spearheaded the creation of an “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party”, bringing together the Tea Society and HRSS clubs and was comfortable taking on leadership roles in several clubs in order to revitalize membership. Zachary was also a key participant in the Create A Better Now, as well as Brain Drain for Social Gain initiatives, taking part in a free exchange of ideas for social betterment.
Bronze Award 2
Wade Lahring’s numerous club and volunteer contributions and academic success have taken his role as mentor beyond the classroom. As an executive member of Enactus he has spearheaded a push to get more members involved through social media. Also, as a member of the MRU Ski Club, he has taken an active role in nurturing leadership qualities in club members and further encouraging them to become leaders.
Bronze Award 3
“Active” is an appropriate descriptor, in many ways, of Cassandra Nysten’s contributions on campus. As a student she combines scholastic, extracurricular and athletic achievements to exemplify the ways a student is able to actively engage the campus and beyond. In addition to her studies as a Health Science major, Cassandra also volunteers in the SOS Centre, notably in the Gym Buddy Program, and has also volunteered for several mental and physical health initiatives for Wellness Services. In addition to her studies and volunteerism she also enjoys playing basketball recreationally.
Teaching Excellence Awards
Dr. Patrick Carmichael
Dr. Patrick Carmichael’s students describe him as enthusiastic, entertaining, and knowledgeable. He is admired by his pupils for both his acumen as a teacher as well as his work as an active archaeologist outside the classroom.
A dedicated instructor, Carol Krol goes above and beyond in service of her students. Her students describe her as warm, engaging, fun and passionate about her teachings. Always willing to devote her time to her students, Carol Krol stands as an example of a tireless educator, always putting her students first.