Receiving the prestigious award are Student Senators Issa Abdi Jamaa, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS); Muhammad Shahmir Masood, (LA&PS); and Dael Vasquez, Glendon College.
Three undergraduate student changemakers, who are active participants in governance at York University, are the recipients of the Robert Everett Exceptional Leadership Award in Student Governance.
All of this year’s nominees exhibited incredible dedication to supporting governance at the University. This year’s recipients stood out for their passion, leadership, collegiality and inclusiveness, and their significant and lasting contributions to governance, which perfectly embody the spirt of this award. The University Secretariat and Senate extend congratulations to these exceptional students. Their names will be added to the Student Award plaques in the Vari Hall rotunda.
Issa Abdi Jamaa’s contributions to governance at York have been significant and lasting, including the establishment of the International Students at York University group. Particularly noteworthy to the panel considering the nominations for the award was that Jamaa actively strove to bring all voices and views to the table to foster full deliberations to reach a better decision. Faculty were impressed by Jamaa’s dedication to governance, evidenced by his service for four successive years on the Student Council of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Vanier College Council and Senate, and most recently in the roles of co-Chair of Senate Student Caucus and on the Chancellor Search committee. A student wrote with equal praise of Jamaa’s advocacy for student concerns and the cumulative effect of the many “small things” he has done over the years to improve the governance experience for students at both the Faculty and Senate levels.
The Everett Award is bestowed on students who have demonstrated high distinction in governance during their studies at York. Those who wrote in support of the nomination for Muhammad Shahmir Masood provide clear evidence that he fulfilled this criterion in every respect. Through their words, a clear picture emerges of Masood’s deep commitment to student engagement in governance. His contributions to governance at York have been significant and lasting, including increasing the number of opportunities for student participation in Faculty Council committees within the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Students. Particularly noteworthy to the panel considering nominations was the description of Masood as a “steward” who “functions as the anchor that holds faculty, students, staff together by enabling them to not only meet the challenges they face, but by allowing them collectively to realize their full potential as an engaged team.” Masood’s many roles since 2016 illustrate his sustained dedication to fostering active governance. A student wrote with praise of the valuable mentoring Masood provided to ensure robust and inclusive student governance.
Passion, leadership, collegiality and inclusiveness are the hallmarks of Dael Vasquez’s approach to student governance, which perfectly embody the spirt of this award. Vasquez’s contributions to governance at Glendon, Senate and the University have been significant and lasting. His accomplishments include his work to integrate a stronger focus within the Glendon Faculty Plan on digital literacy skills in the curriculum Glendon Academic Plan, his role in providing the student perspective on the Glendon Research Plan, and his contributions to Glendon’s initiative to establish a Common Core Curriculum. Particularly noteworthy to the panel was Vasquez’s dedication to fostering equity, diversity and inclusion. Faculty members were struck by his dedication to governance, not only by actively serving in Faculty and Senate roles, but also his work to foster active student participation. A student wrote to commend the importance of Vasquez’s work in being an “effective bridge and channel of communication” at Glendon and to Senate.
More about Robert Everett
The award was established in honour of the late Robert Everett, a distinguished senior assistant secretary of the University who made extraordinary contributions supporting University governance for nearly three decades. President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton established the Robert Everett Exceptional Leadership in Student Governance Award in 2018 to recognize and celebrate students and their impact on governance at York University.
To learn more about the Robert Everett Exceptional Leadership Award in Student Governance, visit the Senate of York University award webpage.