York University Alumni Association announces Alumni Network of the Year

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Led by alumni volunteers, alumni networks deliver innovative and meaningful initiatives that enable alumni to connect with one another, to fuel student success and to support the York community.

2021 Alumni Network of the year: York University School of Public Policy and Administration Alumni Network (YUSPPAAN)

The York University Alumni Association has recognized the York University School of Public Policy and Administration Alumni Network (YUSPPAAN) as the inaugural Alumni Network of the Year. YUSPPAAN has demonstrated its dedication and commitment to York in the past year – through engagement, impact and alignment to the York University Academic Plan 2020-25 priorities.

“It’s really impressive to see what they, and other networks, managed last year,” said Michelle Dagnino (BA ’02, MA ’03, LLB ’06), Chair of the Alumni Networks Committee on the York University Alumni Board. “On behalf of the entire York University Alumni Association, thank you for your hard work and commitment.”

“This award is a testament of the dedication exhibited by current and past executive members, volunteers, and the underlying support of the administration and faculty at the School of Public Policy and Administration,” said Ashley Cabral (BA ‘10, MPPAL ’17), Chair of YUSPPAAN and manager of outreach and communications at the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.

The York University Alumni Associate would like to congratulate the entire YUSPPAAN 2020-21 executive team:

  • Ashley Cabral (BA ‘10, MPPAL ’17), Chair;
  • Wazhma Rahimzay (BA ‘17, MPPAL ’19), vice-chair;
  • Apollo Ojara (BA ‘15, MPPAL ‘17), director of finance in 2020;
  • Andrew Farah (BA ‘15, MPPAL ‘17), director of finance in 2021;
  • Romina Chencheva (MPPAL ‘15), director of communications;
  • Joana Jabson (MPPAL ‘20), director of events and programming;
  • Alyssa Offenheim (BPA ‘19, MPPAL ‘20), director of memberships and partnership; and
  • Georgette Morris (BA ’12, BA ’13, MPPAL ‘16), podcast volunteer.

Amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, YUSPPAAN led many initiatives to help students succeed. Partnering with the school, student clubs and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, they created alumni videos, launched the podcast “Learning from Leaders,” organized five professional development webinars and raised money for the COVID-19 student relief fund.   

“YUSPPAAN has always given back to the entire SPPA community…all I ever hear is how generous they are with their time and resources,” said Professor Naomi Couto, graduate program director for the Master in Public Policy, Administration and Law (MPPAL) program. “This year is no exception, with our incredible Chair, Ashley Cabral, whose energy and commitment to the school is boundless. A huge round of applause to the entire YUSPPAAN Association on this well-deserved award.”

Professor Alena Kimakova, director for the School of Public Policy and Administration, attests to the importance of alumni relationships. “We interact with our alumni in some form, essentially, on a daily basis. They are an integral part of our experiential education offerings and the professional development of our students,” she said. “They help us keep our curriculum up to date with the incredibly fast pace of change in the public service, provide lifetime peer mentoring for alumni and create a sense of community for all of us at the school. We cannot thank our alumni enough for their engagement, and we are thrilled to have this formal recognition for YUSPPAAN by the York U Alumni Association for their truly exceptional dedication.”

For more information about this award and the Alumni Networks program, visit the Alumni & Friends website or contact Joanne Huy, alumni engagement officer, at johuy@yorku.ca.