The Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing (COUPN) awarded Leo Macawile the Excellence in Professional Nursing Practice at the Undergraduate Level Award. He is the first York University student to receive the honour.
The award – which recognizes academic success, kind and compassionate care, and positive leadership attributes – is the latest milestone in Macawile’s notable career. In May 2022, Macawile received the York University Deschamps Compassionate Nursing Prize for demonstrating talent in his field through kindness and compassion shown toward patients. Earlier this year, he received two Calumet and Stong College awards, the Olga Cirak Alumni Bursary Award and The Virginia Rock Award, for his exceptional academic ability and outstanding commitment to the school community.
Macawile has also distinguished himself as the current president of the Nursing Student Association of YorkU (NSAY), a role which he has used to promote the art and science of nursing, but also awareness around those within the field from the Asian diaspora.
In order to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in 2022, Macawile recruited Asian nursing students and professors to showcase, through video, how Canadians of Asian heritage have contributed to nursing.
This past November, Macawile also initiated Filipino Nurses Recognition Month, Canada’s first and largest student-led initiative to recognize the challenges and structural racism that Filipino nurses and nursing students face, which contribute to the underrepresentation of Filipinos in academic and leadership roles. Over 100 diverse students, nurses and professors across Canada engaged in a month-long event of seminars.
Among additional efforts to support nursing students and ensure their success, Macawile also started a program called Walk with Prof. which connects nursing students with faculty outside the classroom in a fun, interactive, collaborative and educational manner that provided mentorship as students asked for advice and guidance.
In its reasoning for honouring Macawile with an award, COUPN wrote, “He collaborates well with others, establishing a sense of connectedness, resourcefulness, purpose and academic culture among his peers. Leo is a strong advocate for others and the overall future of the nursing profession and takes every opportunity to participate in events that celebrate nursing, leadership and community.”