Glendon student wins top undergraduate award

Jaclyn Volkhammer graduated this spring in a blaze of glory that couldn’t have surprised anybody who knows her.

In March, the young woman from Richmond Hill, who sailed through York on a President’s Scholarship, won a Governance Award from Glendon Student Services. In April, she shared the  Jaclyn Volkhammer holding flowers on her Graduation dayspotlight on the team from Glendon’s Wood Residence that won the 2011 Res Race to Zero.

But the biggest prize arrived June 18, the day she graduated from Glendon. That day, York presented her with the Murray G. Ross Award for scholarship and outstanding participation in undergraduate student life. The award, named after York’s founding president, is the highest honour given to a graduating undergraduate student at York.

Left: Jaclyn Volkhammer

“It was a great honour that out of everybody who is so active at York, they chose me,” says Volkhammer.

From day one at Glendon, Volkhammer joined clubs and volunteered on committees, immersing herself in the life of the campus that she fell in love with on a high school tour. A consistently stellar student and student leader, she was drawn to causes and activities related to her double major in environmental & health studies and political science. In her first year, she was elected to Glendon’s faculty council and chaired its student caucus in her third and fourth year. She also wrote for Pro Tem, Glendon’s student newspaper.

“I like being involved, I like contributing to York, I like meeting new people, I like learning how the University functions,” says Volkhammer.

The citation for the Murray G. Ross Award said her high academic standing and participation in campus life “earned her the respect of faculty and staff and of her peers.”

Two years ago, Volkhammer was profiled in YorkU magazine with nine others for achieving the highest grade point average in their respective faculties at the end of second year. She said at the time she would do a master’s in public & international affairs at Glendon. She’s sticking to her plan, starting in September, and aiming for a career in public or diplomatic service. “I’ve always thought it was a noble job to serve one’s country,” she said back then and would say now.

In the meantime, Volkhammer is back running a local summer science and history camp – and examining her fall timetable for gaps between classes when she can squeeze in time for more clubs and committees. “I’m always interested in being involved.”