York undergraduate students recognized for achievements in emergency management

Image announcing Awards
Awards card

Disaster & Emergency Management (DEM) undergraduate students Mahmood Khan and Tiana Putric were recently recognized for their academic achievements in the 2019-20 academic year with awards from the Ontario Association of Emergency Managers (OAEM).

Khan and Putric are among few other undergraduate students to receive these honours. Khan received the Brian Hook Memorial Award and Putric was recognized with the A. Normand Academic Award.

Mahmood Khan
DEM undergraduate student Mahmood Khan received the Brian Hook Memorial Award

The Brian Hook Memorial Award is awarded to a student for making significant contributions to the field of emergency management while maintaining a high level of academic excellence. Over the last year, Khan has been researching security practices for religious communities.

His project, under the working title “Consideration of the threats of Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism: Commonalties in developing community resiliency to religious hate crimes in Toronto,” is co-authored by Professors Jack Rozdilsky and Aaida Mamuji, and recent DEM graduates Younus Imam and Rebecca Gutman. The focus of the publication is to establish safety practices which may be adopted by Muslim and Jewish communities to protect them from hate crimes and mass shootings.

“My passion for this field grew exponentially after learning about the importance of advocating for disaster management practices that are inclusive, accessible and culturally sensitive,” said Khan.

The A. Normand Academic Award recognizes essays on topics highlighting emergency management and business continuity. Putric was awarded for her essay titled “Business Discontinuity: Why Business Continuity Plans Fall Short in the Face of Pandemics.” Having been taught by Professor Alain Normand, a faculty member at York, the award was even more meaningful for her.

Tiana Putric
Tiana Putric was recognized with the A. Normand Academic Award

“I am incredibly humbled and honoured to receive the A. Normand Academic Award. A tremendous thank you to Professor Normand for his incredible generosity and for his commitment and dedication to supporting students in the field of disaster and emergency management,” said Putric in her virtual acceptance speech. “I had the privilege of studying under Professor Normand and he is a truly inspiring lecturer who brings the real world into his lecture halls. To Professor Normand, thank you for sharing your expertise, thank you for your support, and thank you for your interactive teaching style.”

To confer these awards, the Disaster and Emergency Management Conference (DEMCON) organized a virtual ceremony this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Khan and Putric both highlighted the immeasurable impact that disaster management practitioners achieve by not only preparing for emergency scenarios, but by being able to positively influence people’s lives.

“York DEM students have consistently been recipients of external emergency management awards, and I’m so proud of our two undergraduate students who are 2020 OAEM award recipients. This speaks to the quality of our program, our instructors, and our students,” said Mamuji, associate professor of fundamentals of emergency management. “In York’s DEM program, we pride ourselves on equipping our students to tackle our ever-changing and complex world, and all of our professors strive to graduate students that are determined to make a positive and sustainable impact through the profession.”