Rhodes Scholar returns to say ‘take the path less travelled’

Above: Undergraduate and graduate scholars in attendance at The Circle of Scholars reception with members of the University administration and guest speaker Irvin Studin (standing left)

York’s top undergraduate and graduate students were feted at The Circle of Scholars reception, an annual event hosted by York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and members of the University administration, as well as the generous supporters of the scholarships.

The students honoured at the March 15 reception, have achieved academic excellence in the 2009-2010 academic year and have been recognized with a multi-year scholarship.

Right: From left, Douglas Peers, dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and associate vice-president graduate; President & Vice Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri; scholarship winner Kristine Fitzgerald; and Patrick Monahan, vice-president academic & provost

Guest speaker Irvin Studin (BBA Spec. Hons. ’99), a York grad and doctoral candidate, challenged the latest group of York scholarship recipients to demonstrate chutzpah in their careers by doing the unexpected, in a speech at the 2010 Circle of Scholars reception.

“Don’t do the predictable thing,” advised the Rhodes Scholar, who graduated from the Schulich School of Business at York University and went on to study at the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford. He is currently pursuing his PhD at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. “You have endless options at your fingertips. You have a lot of time to take chances. Do something risky, do something interesting, take the path less travelled. York will have prepared you very well for that.”

Irvin StudinLeft: Irvin Studin

Founder of the York-based international policy magazine Global Brief, Studin, who is also a Trudeau Scholar, is now a professor and academic director at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy & Governance. His met his wife Alla (BA Hons. ’02) at York during what he said were the “best four years of my life.”

Describing himself as a “Torontonian, bred not born,” Studin said he was the child of immigrants “like many of you” and credited his success to hard work and a little bit of luck. “I’ve never been afraid to take chances and I think York was an environment where one could safely experiment.”

Rob Tiffin Right: Rob Tiffin, vice-president students

Shoukri thanked Studin for his remarks, which, he said, were “clearly coming from the heart. This is a person who embodies everything York stands for: academic excellence…commitment to the public good, commitment to community, to society. He is also a proud graduate of York. You are enjoying a great privilege by studying in one of Canada’s leading institutions,” Shoukri said, “and you should be proud of that too.”

Patrick Monahan, vice-president academic & provost, and Rob Tiffin, vice-president students, joined Douglas Peers, associate vice-president graduate and dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, in congratulating the students, many of whom attended the reception to receive their awards in person.

Honourees in attendance:

Graduate Scholarships

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

  • Kaley Roosen (York’s 200,000th graduate in spring of 2007)

Social Sciences &Humanities Research Council of Canada Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

  • Kristine Fitzgerald
  • Lisa Romano-Dwyer

Undergraduate Scholarships

Alumni Award of Distinction

  • Nicole Lyons
  • Amanda Turner

Chancellor Bennett Undergraduate Scholarship for Liberal Arts

  • Roberto Gatto
  • Stephanie Grammenopoulos
  • Natalya Soloveychik

Chancellor Peter deCarteret Cory Scholarship

  • Tamy Heather Chen

Global Leader of Tomorrow Award

  • Diana-Gabriela Iacobescu

Governor General’s Award of Distinction

  • Telis Carayannakis (Bruce Bryden Entrance Scholarship)
  • Gregory Kay (John S. Proctor Entrance Scholarship)
  • Olga Lesau (Murray Ross Entrance Scholarship)

Harley D. Hallet Renewable Entrance Scholarship

  • Kiel Ardal
  • Joseph Hoffman
  • Alysia Lau
  • Bronwyn Roe

The Honourable William G.C. Howland Award of Excellence

  • Alexandra Kirschbaum

The William & Nona Heaslip Scholarship

  • Gillian Eguaras
  • Heather Cook

York University Scholarship for Africa

  • Adama Cham
  • Yesha Lakhani
  • Shahbaz Mir
  • Taslim Savji

York University Scholarship for the Caribbean

  • Shenique Turner

York University President’s Scholarship

  • Minhoi Cho
  • Andrea Cordoba
  • Deven Dionisi

Yorke Towne Supplies Ltd. Visionary Leadership Scholarship

  • Fatima Khan