Faculty of Science hosts annual celebration of student and faculty member achievements

Some 350 students, family members, faculty and staff attended the annual Honours and Awards Ceremony hosted by the Faculty of Science. The ceremony, held on Jan. 17, was a celebration of the outstanding accomplishments of professors and undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculty. The event featured a keynote address by BBC Environment Correspondent Matt McGrath, who is the York Science Communicator in Residence in the Faculty of Science.

Graduate and undergraduate students attended the awards ceremony

Graduate and undergraduate students attended the awards ceremony

“Students lead busy lives, and yet they accomplish great things, including high academic achievement. Faculty members, administrators, and parents and other loved ones also lead busy lives, so it is great to be able to host an event that celebrates the successes of our students, and to share that success with others in the community,” said Associate Dean of Students Alex Mills.

Alex Mills speaks to the students, their families and faculty

Associate Dean of Students Alex Mills speaks to the students, their families and faculty

The ceremony opened with remarks from Mills and Dean of Science Ray Jayawardhana.

Awards were then presented to faculty members and graduate students who were adjudicated as winners for the Excellence in Teaching and Research Award categories:

  • Professor James Elwick in the Department of Science & Technology Studies received the Excellence in Teaching Award (Junior Tenure Stream Faculty) for his “creative engagement” in teaching. His efforts and gifts yield great payoffs for York students: he teaches “in such a way as to make students fall in love with the topics, just as he loves those topics.”
  • Professor Daniela Monaldi in the Department of Science & Technology Studies received the Excellence in Teaching Award (Non Tenure Stream Faculty) for her versatility and capabilities as a professor. She manages to teach such a challenging and interdisciplinary array of courses in a manner that enriches and delights her students.
  • Graduate students Harjot Singh Deol and Mohamed Salem in the Department of Biology received the Richard Jarrell Award of Excellence for Teaching Assistants.
  • Professor Derek Wilson in the Department of Chemistry received the Early Career Research Award for establishing a thriving research program focused on the relationship between the conformational motions of proteins in solution and their biological activity at York University.
  • Professor Gary Sweeney in the Department of Biology received the Established Research Award for his innovative research program in the molecular and cellular aspects of diabetes. He has been highly successful in attracting continued research funding for his projects and provides strong leadership to a large cohort of students and post-doctoral visitors.
  • Professor Arturo Orellana in the Department of Chemistry received the Excellence in Graduate Mentorship Award for his outstanding commitment to education and training, which will significantly contribute to the next generation of scientist.

Finally, the students in attendance were invited to receive certificates congratulating them for the awards and honours they received in the last year. Among them were the recipients of the Carswell Scholarships, which are awarded to incoming PhD students enrolled in the Faculty of Science who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement. Students Dova Brenman, Kerene Brown, Matthew Burns, John Campbell, Michael Engstrom, Nguyen Le, Amanda Liczner, Pourya Memarpanahi, Angie Raad and Richard Thai received awards.

Richard Jarrell Excellence in Teaching: Teaching Assistant Award recipients Harjot Singh Deol (left) and Mohamed Salem (centre). Associate Dean of Students Alex Mills is at the podium.

In the undergraduate student award category, recipients for awards such as the Gillian E. Wu Award in Biochemistry and the Ruth Hill Memorial Scholarship Fund were recognized. The Gillian E. Wu Award in Biochemistry is given to top performing female Science students entering their fourth year of study in biochemistry; the recipients were Yi Wen and Yanrui Zhu. The Ruth Hill Memorial Scholarship Fund is awarded to the top three students majoring in different science disciplines in the Faculty of Science. The Ruth Hill Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1973 to honour the late professor of biology.The recipients were Danica Chaharlangi, Anthony Atallah and Neil McCall.

For a complete list of awards and recipients, see the Faculty of Science website.

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