Fifth annual Robert Tiffin Leadership Awards recognizes ten students

Robert Tiffin Leadership Awards
Robert Tiffin Leadership Awards

Ten more names will be added to the awards display wall in the Vari Hall Rotunda in celebration of the fifth annual Robert J. Tiffin Student Leadership Award.

This year’s award winners, along with Robert J. Tiffin and President-designate and Vice-President Academic and Provost Rhonda Lenton

The York University students receiving the award were honoured at the reception for their outstanding achievements in leadership, dedication, integrity and enthusiasm. The students received a certificate at the reception and will have the award noted on their transcripts.

The award was created to recognize current undergraduate and graduate students whose leadership has contributed to the growth, development and vitality of York University.

Students were selected on the basis of their leadership and/or involvement, as well as outstanding academic achievement.

This year’s recipients are:

School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design 
• Katrissa Singer, a fourth-year student completing a specialized honours bachelor of fine arts degree, majoring in visual arts

Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS)
• Alamgir Khandwala, a fourth-year student completing a specialized honours bachelor of administrative studies degree, majoring in accounting

• Munisha Basiram, a fourth-year student completing a specialized honours bachelor of public administration degree, with a focus on management

Glendon College and the Faculty of Education
• Liam Bekirsky, a third-year student at Glendon College completing a bilingual honours bachelor of arts degree, majoring in French studies. Bekirsky is also completing his bachelor of education degree with a focus on French as a second language and history

Faculty of Health
• Hammad Saif, a third-year student completing a specialized honours bachelor of science degree, majoring in kinesiology and health science

• Maseh Hadaf, a third-year student completing a specialized honours, bachelor of science degree, majoring in global health policy, management and systems

Faculty of Science
• Olga Andriyevska, a fourth-year student completing an honours bachelor of science degree, majoring in physics and astronomy

Faculty of Graduate Studies
• Yvonne Simpson, a fifth-year student completing a PhD in critical disability studies

Faculty of Education
• Melinda Phuong, a second-year student completing her master of education degree

• Michael Kenny, a third-year student in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, completing a PhD in education

Robert Tiffin, the award’s namesake, served as York University’s vice president, Students, for nine years before retiring in 2012. Tiffin was in attendance to hand out the awards to each of the winners and described the reception as “truly one of the biggest events of the year for me”.

This is the fifth year for the award, and Tiffin noted that he is honoured to have his name associated with the recipients.

“I am always impressed by the diversity of ways in which leadership occurs here at York and this was truly evident as I went through looking at the nomination packages,” he said. “There were several key themes I found that really embody the York Education – and this is mobilizing new ways of thinking, preparing engaged global citizens and building stronger communities.”

Through his strong leadership, dedication, integrity and fairness, Tiffin transformed his operation into one of the most professional student service organizations in the country while serving one of Canada’s largest student populations. During his term as Vice-President, Students, he undertook the strategic expansion of student services and the development of strategic programs such as Research At York (RAY) and Leadershape, which focus on enhancing the student educational and co-curricular experience.

Since retiring from York University Robert has continued a private consulting practice engaging with colleges, universities, government agencies and the private sector.  He has continued his commitment to enhancing post-secondary educational opportunities for student with disabilities by serving as a member of the Gordon Foundation.

Rhonda Lenton, President-designate, vice-president academic and provost, also shared a few words with recipients.

“This is one of the very important awards we have at York University,” she said. “The students in the room today … you are active, engaged members of the University and you are ambassadors for us.”

The celebration was hosted by the Office of Vice-Provost, Students.