Posts Tagged: leadership

Serving their community: EngSci students win University of Toronto Student Leadership Awards

UTSLA 2021 winners

Year 4 EngSci students Katie Allison and Kevin Zhang were recognized for their commitment to their community and to student organizations.  (photos courtesy of Katie Allison and Kevin Zhang)

 

Two EngSci students are among this year’s recipients of the prestigious University of Toronto Student Leadership Award (UTSLA).  The awards recognize graduating students who have shown outstanding leadership, made sustained or high-impact volunteer contributions, and provided exemplary volunteer service to the University of Toronto.

Katie Allison (Year 4) created improvements to student resources and club operations that will have an impact for years to come.  She served in several leadership roles in the Engineering Society (EngSoc), including as Design Team Association Director, At-Large Representative on the Board of Directors, and Vice-Chair Operations for Orientation.  Working with the Faculty, she prepared advanced safety training and a shared workspace in the Myhal Centre for the Engineering Society’s design teams.  It will be used to create innovative projects and teach students valuable skills. She also started a discussion group to address student safety through better prevention of and response to incidents of sexual violence.

Allison also served as Director of Operations for EngSci’s annual Engineering Science Education Conference (ESEC).  She recruited and trained dozens of volunteers and organized logistics for this important event serving 500 first and second year EngSci students.  She also served as volunteer first responder and was previously recognized with a Certificate of Meritorious Service for her work in the line of duty as part of U of T’s Emergency First Responders (UTEFR).

As chair of IEEE’s U of T chapter, Kevin Zhang (Year 4) believed strongly that financial barriers should not prevent students from accessing skill improvement workshops and career development opportunities.  He helped quadruple support from industry partners and the university, allowing hundreds of students to attend over a dozen technical and professional development events for free.

Zhang also led the Developer Student Club (DSC), which provided free workshops to students about cloud technologies.  He spoke at the DSC leads conference in San Fransisco to share this U of T success story with hundreds of student leaders.

Zhang also served as EngSoc’s Gradball Director and EngSci Club’s Dinner Dance Director, bringing his creative talents and organizational skills to these popular annual social events for hundreds of engineering students.

The UTSLA continues U of T’s long-standing tradition of recognizing outstanding student leadership, service, and commitment to the university. This tradition began with the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award, which was established in 1994 by the UTAA in honour of Mr. Gordon Cressy, former Vice-President, Development and University Relations.

The awards will be presented to the winners later in the spring.

For a full list of all recipients and to learn more about the awards, visit the UTSLA webpage.


EngSci’s 2020 Student Award Winners

June 1, 2020

Graduating EngSci students Ben Mucsi, Lia Codrington, Rosemary Jose, and Victoria Cheng are this year’s award recipients in recognition of their service to their communities.

 

Four outstanding graduating students are the recipients of EngSci’s 2020 student awards in recognition of the significant impact of their volunteer work within and outside of the university community. Students were nominated by their peers.

The Spirit of EngSci Award and the Engineers for the World (E4TW) Award are presented to graduating students for exemplary non-academic contributions within the University or the community-at-large, respectively.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ben, Lia, Rosemary and Victoria as this year’s winners of the Spirit of EngSci Award and Engineers for the World (E4TW) Award,” says Professor Will Cluett, EngSci Interim Chair.  “These are the Division’s most prestigious, non-academic awards made to graduating EngSci students who have made outstanding contributions to their communities both inside the University and beyond.”

Spirit of EngSci Award

Victoria Cheng (1T9 PEY) has worked tirelessly to promote diversity at Canadian universities and to provide students of all types with opportunities for growth. Through her extensive involvement in Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and as Chair of its flagship WISE National Conference, she greatly increased student engagement by expanding the diversity of speakers, and launched several initiatives such as the Stories of WISE blog. As an executive for NSpire she organized networking nights for professionals and students from five universities across Ontario. She is passionate about exposing engineering students to global issues, and led the expansion of Global Engineering Week to the University of British Columbia. Outside of her leadership involvement, Victoria has also been an informal mentor to many. “Victoria’s ambition to support and create opportunities for others is exceptional,” says nominator Bohan Zhang (1T9 PEY). “Her advice and guidance have helped me secure internships abroad, which has drastically improved my career path.”

Read more about Victoria.

His classmates joke that Ben Mucsi (1T9 PEY) chose energy as his major for a reason—he never seems to run out of it! He has been a supportive presence for Skulemates since first becoming an NSight mentor, helping first year students adjust to university life. During his time in EngSci, he served as Vice President of Finance and Interim Chair of the EngSci Club. As 2019 Orientation Chair he coordinated the largest engineering Orientation Week to date, with a focus on inclusion. An accomplished Varsity Athlete on the fencing team, Ben served as External Director, Tournaments Director, and Vice President Administration of the Engineering Athletic Association. He was also the sponsorship lead for Blue Sky Solar Racing, helping to raise significant amounts of monetary and material donations. “Every day that I’ve known him, Ben has shown me how leadership means working in service of others,” says nominator Khadija Rana (Year 4).

Read more about Ben.

Engineers for the World (E4TW) Award

As a Junior Fellow with Engineers Without Borders (EWB), Lia Codrington (1T9PEY) spent a summer helping students tackle health care and food security problems in Ghana more efficiently. Her deep interest in improving the relationships between engineers and indigenous peoples led her to establish EWB’s Indigenous Reconciliation Portfolio, educating students on how to collaborate with and support Indigenous peoples. She contributed to a design project developing compost and water systems for Cat Lake First Nation’s new greenhouse, used her thesis and capstone projects to work on housing challenges in First Nation communities. In 2019, she traveled to Iqaluit to take part in the Arctic Youth Ambassador Caucus. “Whenever she talks about these projects, I can see her eyes light up,” says nominator Kimberly Lai (1T9 PEY Aerospace). “You can clearly see how dedicated she is to use her engineering skills to help others and do something meaningful.” In addition to her involvement in EWB, Lia was also a Varsity Athlete and was an executive of Blues Engineering for 3 years.

Read more about Lia.

Rosemary Jose (1T9 PEY) is passionate about renewable energy and climate change issues. She has served on the boards of several environmental organizations, including Toronto Green Community and Waterlution, where she co-created the Great Waters Challenge. Through her roles with these and other organizations, she supported local non-profits and businesses towards their goals of improving our environment. “She has had such a positive influence on the people around her,” says nominator Najah Hassan (1T9 PEY). “She has encouraged other students to pursue interests and paths within engineering that were meaningful to them and could add value to the things they saw as important.”

Read more about Rosemary.


Animal rights and climate activists: Meet EngSci’s 2019 Loran Scholars

Oct. 29, 2019

Year 1 EngSci students Abnash Bassi and Shiqi Xu are among just 35 student selected as 2019 Loran Scholars from over 5,000 applicants. (Photos: U of T Engineering and Johnny Guatto)

 

 

This fall, EngSci welcomed two 2019 Loran Scholars as part of the incoming Year 1 class. Abnash Bassi and Shiqi Xu received the prestigious scholarship for their leadership and community involvement in high school.

Bassi and Xu, who both hail from British Columbia, are dedicated advocates for environmental and sustainability issues. Bassi focused on climate action and sustainable energy through work at her school, with charitable organizations, and with her local B.C. Member of Parliament. Xu spearheaded initiatives on animal rights and plant-based foods at her school, working with food service providers and the school board to devise menu options and new policy for animal dissections in the classroom.

“The Division’s motto is Engineers for the World (E4TW) and both Bassi and Xu have clearly demonstrated the character, service and leadership found in Loran Scholars and valued in our EngSci community,” says Interim Chair of Engineering Science, Professor Will Cluett.

Both students are continuing their commitment to their community through student clubs and organizations.

Learn more about Bassi and Xu’s path to becoming Loran Scholars.

Want to get involved in student clubs yourself?
Check out U of T Engineering’s student clubs and design teams.


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