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U of T Awards of Excellence: Scarborough students honoured

Annual awards sponsored by alumni association recognize University's outstanding citizens

by Elizabeth Raymer 

The University of Toronto’s top students, along with some of its most outstanding professors and staff, were honoured May 9 at the university’s most distinguished awards ceremony, the Awards of Excellence.

The ceremony and reception at Hart House recognized the winners and finalists for the nine awards, which are supported by the University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA). The awards date back to 1991 and have been expanded in recent years to include a total of six actual awards and three scholarships.

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.

“Your accomplishments are outstanding and the University of Toronto Alumni Association is pleased to have the opportunity to participate and support programs like the Awards of Excellence,” said the Michael Deck, president of the alumni association, who acted as the master of ceremonies.

English professor Edward Chamberlin, retiring arts and science faculty registrar George Altmeyer and graduating student Craig Kielburger gave speeches as representatives of the honourees.

“For me, this award is a reminder that the university is a work in progress,” said Chamberlin, who received the 2006 Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize. “So are human rights – not only because we live in a less than perfect world but also because we are constantly looking for the best way to balance individual and collective rights, human and natural rights and rights with duties. Along with rights, we need to remember those duties.”

Altmeyer, who won the Chancellor’s Award, praised the university as “a very good employer.” The university is a very different place today than when he arrived in 1974 as associate registrar of Woodsworth College, Altmeyer noted. There were 14,000 arts and science students then, compared with the almost 28,000 today, who come from very diverse backgrounds.

Kielburger, founder of the humanitarian organization Free the Children, won a John H. Moss Scholarship, which recognizes graduating students with undergraduate degrees for their academic achievement and extracurricular leadership. Paraphrasing Albert Einstein, Keilburger said that “education is what remains after you’ve forgotten everything you’ve learned at school,” noting that education extends beyond the four walls of the school, as was evident by the extracurricular achievements of the honoured students.

And the University of Toronto not only develops the mind,” Keilburger said. “As I’m reading through the biographies of these extraordinary students here today, I think it also strengthens the body and nurtures the soul and the heart.”

The other faculty winners were Professor Bruce Schneider of the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM), who took the Faculty Award; Diane Horton, a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, who received the Joan E. Foley Quality of Student Experience Award; arts and science professor Mark Cheetham of the Graduate Department of History of Art, who won the Northrop Frye Award; and Professor Kenneth Leithwood of theory and policy studies in education at OISE/UT, who received the Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award.

Krista Lauer, who is graduating from international development studies at the University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC), received the second John H. Moss Scholarship. Christopher Collin, a doctoral candidate in Computer Science & Knowledge Media Design Institute in the Department of Computer Science, won the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award scholarship. Eliza Liyun Jiang Chen of the Faculty of Management at UTSC took the first Jon S. Dellandrea Award for International Students scholarship.

Finalists for the John H. Moss Scholarship were Erin Court, a Trinity College philosophy student; Joanna Langille, a University College philosophy and political science student; Zahra Ziaie Moayyed, an international relations and economics student, also at UC; and David West Read, an English and semiotics student at Victoria College.

The finalists for the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award were doctoral candidates Krista Boa of the Faculty of Information Studies; Katherine Rebecca Larson of the Departments of English and Women’s Studies; and Michael David Rennie of the Department of Zoology at UTM.

Finalists for the Jon S. Dellandrea Award for International Students were twins (and Bulgarian natives) Anna Abu Shahid, an economics student, and Martin Abu Shahid, a biology student, both at Victoria College.

Visit to learn more about the Awards of Excellence winners.


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