2016 Award Recipients

Nipissing University celebrates 25 of its student leaders on Wednesday, March 16, at the annual Dave Marshall Leadership Awards, taking place at 1:30 p.m. in the Nipissing University Theatre (room F213).

The Dave Marshall Student Leadership Award recognizes the full-time student who has made an outstanding extra-curricular contribution to their academic program, to the campus, or to the greater community. Each student nominated has demonstrated leadership, initiative, commitment and an ability to motivate and influence others towards the betterment of Nipissing University.

This award is a prestigious, non-monetary award in recognition of the dedication and leadership Dr. Dave Marshall demonstrated during his 18 years of consecutive service as the Dean of Education and President and Vice Chancellor of Nipissing University.

Dr. Marshall’s tenure at Nipissing University is a reflection of his commitment to higher education, a vision for the future and leadership in external community service.  These are the qualities that are embodied in the students recognized for this award.

Congratulations to the 2016 Dave Marshall Leadership Award recipients:

Academic Recipients

Campus Recipients

Community Recipients


Lisa Belanger DMLA 2016

Lisa Belanger

Bachelor of Science, Honours – Biology

Lisa has been involved in multiple research projects where she has worked to: conserve monarch butterfly populations, restore declining oak forests in Ontario, and monitor the health of moose populations and declining forests in western Newfoundland.

Her research in Newfoundland began as a course-related service-learning project, which was elevated to a thesis project in her fourth year and led to a long-term research collaboration among Nipissing University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Parks Canada.

Lisa has been an excellent ambassador for the Biology Department and for Nipissing University.

Andrew Butti DMLA 2016

Andrew Butti

Bachelor of Science, Honours – Biology

Andrew is an outstanding student. He has held the Nipissing University President’s Scholarship in each year of his undergraduate studies, with a 95% overall GPA.

Andrew balances studying, researching, and coordinating events for his fellow students through his roles as volunteer tutor, laboratory teaching assistant, Professional Internship Program Participant, and President of the Biology Society.

Andrew arranged a “Thesis Night” to allow students to learn about developing an honours thesis from faculty and peers. He also set up a partnership with Princeton Review to hold a practice Medical Schools Admission Test in order to help prepare students for the test.

Andrew is a highly intelligent, mature, and generous individual. He has a bright future and will bring great credit to Nipissing.

Paul Gooderham-Belanger DMLA 2016

Paul Gooderham-Belanger

Bachelor of Science, Honours - Mathematics

Paul has been a research assistant in Mathematics for the last three years, and is pursuing honours research this term. He has worked on two projects in advanced mathematics, using his skills in computer science and math to study problems in topology.

Paul has written and developed his own software programs that will benefit future student researchers and consistently aims to achieve something better and more complete than what is asked for.

His abilities in math and computer science are far advanced among his peers, but he remains graciously humble and unassuming, while maintaining high standards for himself.

Gillian McCaskill DMLA 2016

Gillian McCaskill

Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing

Gillian is an active classroom contributor, a leader in group settings, and an exemplary member of the School of Business. She has earned the respect of colleagues and faculty in her roles as: student, teaching assistant, iLead participant, and community volunteer.

Gillian’s volunteer work with the Huntsville Festival of Arts inspired two iLead Field Placements where she contributed sound strategic plans to an organization in need. Her work earned her the honour of becoming the youngest member of the Board of Directors in the history of this organization.

Gillian is a bright, ambitious, intelligent individual who will continue to proudly represent Nipissing University far beyond graduation.

Adam McLandress DMLA 2016

Adam McLandress

Bachelor of Arts, Honours - Psychology

Adam is a committed researcher who has contributed to the success of two major research projects in the lab. He has presented work at the Undergraduate Research Conference twice and has worked to guide, motivate, and train other lab members in his role as a Research Assistant.

Adam is also extensively involved in Nipissing University and North Bay organizations as a: Student Recruitment Tour Guide, Peer Tutor, Psychology Society member, White Ribbon Campaign co-President, and board member of the Fundraising & Community Outreach for Amelia Rising.

Adam demonstrates a belief in a high-level of achievement while creating a positive, supportive, and healthy community.

Jessica Perron DMLA 2016

Jessica Perron

Master of Education

Jessica noticed there was a need for a greater sense of community and belonging among online Master of Education students. In response, she founded the Education Graduate Students group, and began facilitating bi-weekly meetings for students both on and off campus.

Jessica organized the content of meetings, facilitated academic discussion and research collaboration, and ensured that distance students were able to participate in meetings via video conferencing.

Thanks to her initiative and dedication, Masters of Education students now have an active academic support group dedicated to building relationships, and encouraging academic success.

Jasmine Taulu DMLA 2016

Jasmine Taulu

Bachelor of Science, Honours - Environment and Physical Geography

Jasmine has been a volunteer, a research assistant, and now an honours thesis student with Nipissing University’s Integrative Watershed Research Centre.

Jasmine has contributed to several community-based research projects in partnership with the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority.

Her research on the Chippewa Creek watershed has helped us to understand the quality and movement of our local watersheds and how we can manage our watersheds for long term sustainability.

Jasmine has proven to be a leader with a local impact.

Marianne Vander Dussen DMLA 2016

Marianne Vander Dussen

Master of Education

Marianne is an exceptional student, researcher, mentor and leader. She has acted as a volunteer teaching assistant, guest lecturer in multiple classes, and has been a mentor for teacher candidates for the last three years.

Marianne mentors Teacher Candidates who are experiencing difficulties in their practicum placements. The guidance she provides them is exemplary and very much appreciated by those she works with.

Her thesis research entitled “Narrative Pathways to Character, Empathy and Belonging,” is exceptional and has been well received by our Teacher Candidates.

Autumn Varley DMLA 2016

Autumn Varley

Masters of Arts, History program.

Autumn has is engaged in oral history research that promises to reshape our understanding of the relationships between indigenous people and major cultural and political institutions. 

Her study entitled “Selling Ourselves” is a critical look at the experiences of indigenous peoples working as costumed interpreters at the heritage site Ste-Marie-among-the-Hurons.

This research has been presented internationally at a conference in Chile, provincially to the Union of Ontario Indians, and written about locally in the Anishinabek News. 

She is also a leader in the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives: helping other students with their work, suggesting directions for their research, and helping indigenous students navigate academia. In powerful ways, she builds bridges between people.


Jacob Baisley DMLA 2016

Jacob Baisley

Bachelor of Education, Intermediate Senior divisions – Mathematics & Physics

Jacob is in the Bachelor of Education, Intermediate Senior divisions with teaching subjects in Mathematics and Physics.

Jacob has been a Research Assistant, Frosh Leader, Frosh Coordinator, NUSU Crew member, Math Club co-organizer, and Math Circles volunteer.

Jacob is committed to helping students both on campus and in the community. He has led Match Circles, a volunteer program that hosts children from local schools at Nipissing on weekends for math enrichment activities. Here on campus, Jacob has impacted students through introducing important conversations about the topic of consent into Frosh week programming.

In all of his roles, Jacob has demonstrated effective leadership in his ability to talk to anyone with kindness, empathy, and respect.

Yannick Benoit DMLA 2016

Yannick Benoit

Bachelor of Arts – Criminal Justice & Legal Studies

Yannick has contributed to the campus as President of the Criminal Justice Student Association, NUSU Student Council member, and as the Secretary of the Criminal Justice Honours Society: Alpha Phi Sigma.

Yannick has worked to build student-faculty relationships, plan guest speakers, host fundraising events, and promote awareness of important issues like domestic sex trafficking in Canada.

His hardworking, ambitious, and welcoming personality has contributed to his success in all of his roles. His infectious spirit has influenced his peers to get involved.

Madison Byblow DMLA 2016

Madison Byblow

Bachelor of Arts, Honours – English

Madison was a Frosh leader for the 2014/2015 academic year, as well as a member of the Nipissing University Board of Directors before she was elected to her current role as the Vice President External for the student union.

Madison is responsible for leading a number of campaigns on and off campus including: Shinerama, It’s No Secret, Movember, No More Stolen Sisters, No Means No, Shine Gala, and more.

She has raised an incredible amount of money and awareness for these causes and has promoted a strong sense of pride on-campus.

She is dedicated to improving student life and she works hard to ensure that students always feel welcome and respected on campus.

Ruth Cortez Alvarez DMLA 2016

Ruth Cortez Alvarez

Concurrent Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education, Primary Junior divisions – Child and Family Studies

Ruth is a Nipissing University Student Union representative at the Muskoka campus, and has been a volunteer with Muskoka Parry Sound Sexual Assault Services for the past two years.

She has coordinated events, rallied community volunteers, and improved awareness about social justice issues like violence against women. Ruth has also raised awareness of the challenges faced by immigrants to Canada.

Ruth is honest, forthright, generous and reliable. She is always there to support her peers in any way she can. It is through these attributes she has gained the trust and respect of many students around her.

Markus Hawco DMLA 2016

Markus Hawco

Bachelor of Business Administration – Economics & Marketing

Markus is an incredibly ambitious young man with a love and enthusiasm for Nipissing University and its student Alumni.

As Nipissing University Student Alumni President, Markus initiated a fundraising campaign to update the Owl’s Nest, increased NUSA’s volunteer presence on campus and in the community, and participated in further philanthropy.

Markus is always looking for new opportunities to enhance student involvement and engagement within the university. His drive has been influential in creating new relationships with community partners.

He has a keen attention to detail that is evident when leading a project or volunteer opportunity. He smart, kind, and treats everyone with respect and integrity.

Nicole Lapp

Concurrent Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Education, Junior Intermediate divisions – Mathematics

Nicole has leadership experience as Match Circles co-Lead and as the Math Club President.

For Math Circles, she worked with students from the community to provide math enrichment opportunities here on campus on weekends.

As President of the Math Club, Nicole brought students from all years of study together for events, and helped to initiate further involvement in the Math Club and Math Circles programs.

Through her efforts, she has helped to establish a model for which both programs can grow and continue to succeed for years to come.

Samantha Lee

Samantha Lee

Bachelor of Arts, Honours – Social Welfare and Social Development

As a member of the Sexual Violence Response Education and Prevention Committee, Samantha helped to develop a new policy to address sexual violence on campus.

Samantha is a student leader with a vision that includes having a safe campus environment free of gender-based violence. She has helped to facilitate Bringing in the Bystander workshops, planned and implemented educational events for students, and organized a bra and feminine hygiene product drive for the women’s shelter.

Samantha does not shy away from difficult conversations. Instead, she thoughtfully and wholeheartedly launches into them, bringing peers along with her. She is trustworthy, empathetic, and wonderful role model for other students.

Brianne Mauro DMLA

Brianne Mauro

Bachelor of Science – Nursing

Brianne has inspired many with her love of dance and passion for leadership through her roles in the Nipissing and Canadore Dance Club, Relay for Life Committee, Nipissing University Student Alumni, and AskME team.

Brianne has been involved on campus and in the community through volunteering at home basketball games, at Homecoming, for the North Bay Christmas Walk, with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and for Jack.org events.

Brianne is an outgoing and responsible leader who encourages others to pursue what they love. She balances a heavy course load while still finding time to volunteer, and plan dance club practices and recitals.

Mark Moore DMLA 2017

Mark Moore

Bachelor of Arts, Honours – Political Science

Mark was a member of the Frosh Week Awareness Team this year, providing First Aid, CPR and awareness to anyone who needed it. Mark has also worked with Student Accessibility Services as a mentor and student worker. In these roles, he has helped to prepare assistive technology and provide alternate format textbooks for students. Mark is also working on preparing a social media strategy for the department.

Mark is compassionate and insightful. His vision is to create a campus that grows more tolerant and accepting by the day.

Mark always goes above and beyond the requirements of his positions and is always there to help others.

Mary White DMLA

Mary White

Bachelor of Arts, Honours – Gender Equality and Social Justice

Mary has enhanced campus culture through her work as a Residence Don. In addition to her roles in mediation, academic and emotional support, and emergency on-call staffing, Mary has also organized an anti-Islamophobia campaign with a fellow student.

As part of the campaign, a student’s hijabs were displayed in the front foyer of residence, and together Mary and her colleague encouraged others to try them on, and ask questions as part of a larger campaign against Islamophobia.

Mary is a very friendly, caring and empathetic person. She strives to find out how her students are doing on a daily basis, and she works for inclusion and acceptance in the residence community.

Sean Winter DMLA

Sean Winter

Bachelor of Physical and Health Education

Sean has been a Nipissing university Student Athletic Centre Intramural Coordinator for the last three years.

In this role, Sean continually ensured proper refereeing, scorekeeping, and registration in order to create a safe, equitable, and inclusive environment for students to participate in.

Sean has improved the platform for intramurals by creating more accountable and standardized processes for employee management as well as improved online functioning for registration and participant notification.

As a result of Sean’s work to improve the effectiveness of the intramural program, there are more intramurals offered, more people participate, and there is a noticeable improved and positive culture at each game.


Nicole Bigelow DMLA

Nicole Bigelow

Concurrent Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education, Intermediate Senior divisions – Geography

Nicole has devoted much time and commitment within the community of North Bay as co-leader for NU Reads program, a free literacy-based program for children aged 4-12 held at the North Bay Public Library.

Nicole planned meaningful literacy learning activities for children in the community, and pairing children with fellow education classmates to create individualized learning opportunities.

Under Nicole’s co-leadership, NU Reads has grown in scope and attendance. Nicole not only modeled strategies for teaching literacy to her fellow colleagues, but also demonstrated a strong understanding of ways to work with children in the junior and intermediate grades.

Nicole’s creative ideas and outgoing nature contributed to the program’s week-to-week success.

Eliza Hawthorne DMLA

Eliza Hawthorne

Concurrent Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education, Junior Intermediate divisions, Joint program with Wilfrid Laurier University

Eliza has five years of experience as a Youth Mentor for Why Not Youth Centres, an organization geared towards supporting at-risk and street youth.

Eliza found simple yet powerful ways to engage and empower youth in her role as a mentor. She supervised placements, and has coordinated numerous events, fundraisers and activities. She has contributed significantly to enhancing the community atmosphere at Why Not Youth Centres.

Eliza has a remarkably positive attitude that impacts every setting she encounters. She has made young people who are rarely positively acknowledged feel loved, celebrated, and cared for. Eliza has had, and will continue to have, a big impact on the lives of many youth.

Megan Hives

Concurrent Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education, Primary Junior divisions – Geography

Megan has devoted much time and commitment within the community of North Bay, both as a volunteer Reading Mentor and co-leader of NU Reads, a free literacy-based program for children aged 4-12 held at the North Bay Public Library.

Megan worked diligently to plan meaningful literacy learning activities for young children in the community, pairing children with fellow education classmates to create individualized learning opportunities.

Under Megan’s co-leadership, NU Reads has to grown in scope and attendance. Megan not only modeled strategies for teaching literacy to her fellow colleagues, but also demonstrated a strong understanding of ways to work with young children.

Megan’s creative ideas and strong organizational skills contributed to the program’s week-to-week success.

Andrew Holland DMLA

Andrew Holland

Bachelor of Science - Nursing

Andrew is an active volunteer with many different community organizations including: The Nipissing Association for Disabled youth, The Gathering Place, and the North Bay Regional Health Centre. Andrew initiated a fundraising project involving Bachelor of Science Nursing students in 2012, for cancer care at the North Bay Regional Health Centre.

Andrew’s vision for his cancer fundraiser was to raise $10,000 before graduating in 2016 to help offset the cost of cancer treating equipment. He demonstrated leadership among fellow nursing students as he rallied them in bake sales, draws, and other fundraising activities, and inspired them to help their hospital.

Through his fundraising efforts, and donations from the community, Andrew was able to meet his $10,000 goal and contribute to the purchase of cancer-treating equipment.

Kerry Lynn Peltier DMLA

Kerry Lynn Peltier

Bachelor of Arts – Social Welfare and Social Development

Kerry Lynn has been a leader and role model for her peers ever since she began in the Aboriginal Advantage Program in 2011.

As part of the Aboriginal Student Council, Kerry helped to promote upcoming cultural events to students such as the Round Dance at Nbisiing Secondary School and the Annual Powwow here at the university.

As a mentor with the Wiidooktaadwin Mentorship Program, Kerry mentored high school students at Widdifield and Chippewa Secondary schools in cultural based projects and leadership activities.

She is a role model for her peers as she talks about her positive life experiences and healthy lifestyle. She empowers others to participate in and celebrate their culture.