Ten York University students were honoured with the Robert J. Tiffin Student Leadership Award, recognizing their leadership at York University and their contributions to the growth, development and vitality of the York community.
“Campus life and creating connections are a huge part of university life and each and everyone of these individuals have demonstrated dedication and leadership towards helping their peers enjoy their post-secondary experience,” says Yvette Munro, assistant vice-provost, student success. “We’re thrilled to celebrate these award recipients who have paved the way towards an improved student experience for our York community.”
Now in its 10th year, the award was created in honour of Robert J. Tiffin, who served as York University’s vice-president, students from 2005-12. Award recipients were nominated by any member of the University community who demonstrated leadership and valuable contributions to the York community.
“I’m always impressed by the diversity of ways in which student leadership occurs at York,” says Tiffin. “Through their active engagement with their educational experiences, in and outside of the classroom, these recipients have not only enhanced the student experience of their fellow students but also enhanced opportunities for future York students to be engaged.
“They are global citizens who understand the importance of creating a network between individuals and their community.”
Robert J. Tiffin Student Leadership Award winners
Thapar has contributed towards promoting greater equity and empowerment among the student community through several positions across campus. Through her work with Student Accessibility Services, the Centre for Sexual Violence, Response, Support and Education (The Centre) and Women’s Mental Health Talks, a York-affiliated mental health organization, she has helped create more welcoming spaces for students as she pursues two degrees at York, in law and society, and education.
Nguyen has demonstrated proactive leadership in improving student life. As she pursues a bachelor of science, Nguyen advocates for undergraduate students within her role as the only first-year executive on the elected Science Student Caucus and the FSc Academic Policy and Planning Standing Committee. She also supports involvement in clubs through her leadership positions with the York Pre-Medical Association and the Women Empowerment Club.
During her time at York, Aujla has encouraged first-year students to get involved through the New College Peer Mentorship Program. While pursuing a commerce degree, she is helping students across the University through her roles with the Society in Support of Red Cross at York, RedPack at York and Student Accessibility Services.
Gurnoor Kaur Brar
Brar’s passion for helping fellow students is exemplified by taking on many positions helping her peers, including being a peer mentor, peer tutor, student science ambassador and peer tutor coordinator. She has been involved at York since her undergraduate years and continues to support the community as a graduate student member of the York University Tribunal at the Office of Student Community Relations, while pursuing a graduate degree in biology. She has also received the Norman Bethune College Outstanding Contribution to College Life Award and the Peter Moens/AGSBS Graduate Award in Biology.
Jade Crimson Rose Da Costa
Da Costa has empowered students by securing countless spaces and resources for the diverse student body. With experience in York’s Falling In Love with Research project, and as the founder and editor-in-chief of New Sociology: Journal of Critical Praxis (York’s first sociology graduate journal), Da Costa continues to set an example for creating positive change in the York community, while pursuing a PhD in sociology.
Rahimpoor-Marnani contributed to the consultation process on York’s Anti-Black Racism Framework. While working towards her kinesiology and health science degree, she has developed initiatives directed at addressing student demands and enhancing the quality of student life through her roles as a peer mentor, a Faculty of Health student senator and a co-founder and executive member of the School of Kinesiology and Health Science Alumni Network.
Ronnie Roy O’Connor
O’Connor has been a well-known face among the Calumet College community since his first year at York. O’Connor is the current president of the Calumet College Council and has supported the Calumet study body through social and academic events over the years. He helped deliver York’s first hybrid, in-person/virtual orientation week for incoming students affiliated with the college and created the Calumet College Council Student Life Award.
Tracey, a recent graduate of the political sciences program, has been a keen advocate for enhancing campus life and improving accessibilty through her leadership roles with the Glendon College Student Union and the United Caribbean Islands Club, as well as the Glendon Virtual Network. At the student union, she played a role in supporting greater use of inclusive language, financial assistance and improving connections across the University.
During his time at York, Teong has advocated for equitable opportunities and practices across York’s three campuses, which included spearheading the University’s first official multi-campus working group. During his role as president of the Glendon College Student Union, Teong played a crucial role in Glendon’s inaugural Self-Care Week to support mental health among the student body. He has also helped foster meaningful dialogue with students in the review of campus security, while pursuing his psychology degree.
Mawani helped create spaces for students to support one another, academically and personally within her role in the Faculty of Education Students’ Association. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped to provide opportunities to help students build a sense a community, belonging and inclusion, as well as advocated for student concerns at Faculty Council and other sub-committees, while pursuing a degree in education.
To learn more about the Robert J. Tiffin Student Leadership Award, visit the Vice-Provost Students website.