The Faculty of Science celebrated its own recently at a special honours and awards ceremony on March 8. The event paid tribute to the outstanding accomplishments of professors and undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculty.
Students who received awards for their academic excellence and extracurricular involvement over the past year were invited to attend along with their families, and faculty members, staff and senior administrators at York University also joined the ceremony. The event featured a keynote address by alumnus Ian Harnarine, who is now a filmmaker and a physics and film professor at New York University.
“Given the often hectic pace experienced by students and other members of the university community, it is particularly gratifying to hold an event like this where we can celebrate the successes of our community, and take time to share those achievements with family, friends, and other loved ones,” said Associate Dean of Students Alex Mills.
The ceremony opened with remarks from Mills and Dean of Science Ray Jayawardhana.
The dean presented Professor Kim Maltman in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics with the Dean’s Special Recognition Award for his leadership in creating background tutorials that prepare incoming science students for the demands of university math. Jayawardhana also congratulated Biology Professor John McDermott for the renewal of his McLaughlin Research Chair.
Awards were then presented to faculty members and graduate students who were adjudicated as winners for the Excellence in Teaching and Research Award categories:
- Lecturer Paula Wilson in the Department of Biology received an Excellence in Teaching Award (Senior Tenure Stream Faculty) for the development of many innovative and thoughtful teaching initiatives, including the Faculty’s Early Alert program that seeks to assist new students who are struggling.
- Graduate students Uzma Nadeem and David Miller in the Department of Biology received the Richard Jarrell Award of Excellence for Teaching Assistants.
- Professor Sapna Sharma in the Department of Biology received the Early Career Research Award for her research on the effects of environmental stressors on ecosystems and improving the use of quantitative approaches used to generate these predictions.
- Professor Ilijas Farah in Department of Mathematics and Statistics received the Established Research Award for his research in logic, operator algebras and their interactions.
- Professor Derek Wilson in the Department of Chemistry received the Excellence in Graduate Mentorship Award for his commitment and enthusiasm in training graduate students.
Finally, the students in attendance were called up to receive certificates congratulating them for the external and internal awards and honours they received in the last year. Among them were winners of the NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Postgraduate Scholarships, which provide financial support to high caliber scholars in the natural sciences or engineering. Doctoral students Alyssa Murdoch, Laura Newburn, Marlee Ng, and Benjamin Voloh, and Master’s students Jessica D’Angelo, Julia Gauberg, Seyed Hassani, Travis Valdez were honoured for receiving the scholarship.
In the undergraduate student award category, recipients for awards such as the York University President’s Scholarship and the Cragg Scholarship for Academic Excellence were recognized. The President’s Scholarship is a renewable entrance scholarship given to students with the highest averages coming out of high school; Nicholas Chrobok and Joel George were recipients. The Cragg Scholarship for Academic Excellence is given in memory of C. Brian Cragg, chemist, professor and first director of the Division of Natural Science, and it is awarded annually to outstanding students who have distinguished themselves academically; Yaakov Green and Shaili Perez were honoured for receiving the award.
For a complete list of awards and recipients, see the Faculty of Science website.