2018 Award Recipients

Nipissing University celebrates 25 student leaders on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at the annual Dave Marshall Leadership Awards in the Nipissing University Theatre (F213) at 1:30 p.m. All members of the Nipissing University community are invited to attend and join in on the celebration.

Congratulations to the 2018 Dave Marshall Leadership Award recipients:

Academic Recipients

Campus Recipients

Community Recipients


Kyla Cangiano DMLA

Kyla Cangiano

Kyla is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Specialization in Anthropology.

Kyla is an exceptional student, researcher, presenter, and research assistant. She has presented research at both national and international academic conferences, including the 2017 Undergraduate Research Conference, the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, and the Canadian Anthropology Society Conference, and has recently had an abstract of her thesis accepted to be presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology/Canadian Anthropology Society, an international conference to be held in Cuba this spring.

Kyla shows exceptional skill as a researcher; she keeps detailed and insightful field notes, is able to build rapport with participants in both field and interview contexts, has navigated the ethics review processes, and has demonstrated the ability to make the leap from observation to interpretation in her writing.

Kyla is inquisitive, steadfast, reliable, and thoughtful in her work; her passion for Anthropology is contagious. When not engaged in research, she is actively seeking out new opportunities for learning, whether through department speaker series’ events or her own additional reading. As co-president of the Sociology and Anthropology Society, Kyla has brought awareness of Anthropology as a discipline, to the broader campus community. There is no doubt that Kyla has contributed significantly to the quality of the Anthropology Program at Nipissing University. The university community recognizes Kyla with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Jylelle Carpenter-Boesch DMLA

Jylelle Carpenter-Boesch

Jylelle will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Honours Specialization in English Studies with a major in Gender Equality and Social Justice this spring.

Jylelle’s area of research is socio-legal studies pertaining to the issues of sexual violence; and, relations between Indigenous and settler Canadians. Her research papers on these important social justice issues have garnered her top grades in the GESJ program. She presented her paper regarding the need for settler accountability for violence against Indigenous women and girls, to the 2017 NU Student Research Conference. Jylelle has deepened her understanding of the social and legal dimensions to sexual violence against Indigenous women, through her employment as research assistant on Dr. Nagy’s SSHRC-funded human-trafficking project. Jylelle will pursue a career in law, and has been accepted to several law schools, including Osgoode Law (York University).

Jylelle’s academic accomplishments include numerous awards: NU President’s Scholarship (2015, 2017); NU Chancellor’s Award 2014; CIS Academic All-Canadian (2015, 2016). A true “public-spirited” leader, Jylelle balances her commitment to academics, with her commitment to community involvement. She was a member of the NU varsity women’s hockey team for two years; played a key role in the GESJ Student Collective mental health awareness campaign for male students; and, volunteered for NU’s Shakespeare After School community program. During the summer, Jylelle leads athletic summer camps for disadvantaged children in her home town. The university community recognizes Jylelle with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Morgan Lafontaine DMLA

Morgan Lafontaine

Morgan consistently scores at the top of her class and shows great dedication to her work. Throughout her time at Nipissing, Morgan has been a Peer Tutor, Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Biology Society executive, and Biology Society President. Through her various roles with the Nipissing University Biology Society, Morgan has planned trips, fundraisers, and workshops for the benefit of others, and has been a role model for her peers.

As a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Nosko’s Biology Field Camp, Morgan spent the summers of 2016 and 2017, collecting important data for Parks Canada. In this role, Morgan demonstrated dedication, organization and reliability under pressure. She was able to simultaneously support the course, and collect data for her own thesis project examining the health of forest ecosystems in Gros Morne National Park. The findings of Morgan’s research will help Parks Canada biologists make important decisions about managing moose and Balsam Fir forests. Morgan is an ambassador and a trailblazer for the university; because of the success of her research, and the diligence she exhibited in ensuring the project’s completion, Parks Canada will continue to support Nipissing University students into the future.

Morgan is a caring, compassionate, and very personable individual. Given her leadership skills and academic and personal strengths, Morgan will undoubtedly excel in her future in the health sciences field. The university community recognizes Morgan with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Rebekah Linden-Smith DMLA

Rebekah Lindensmith

Rebekah is in the Scholar Practitioner Program, working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

Rebekah is an exceptional student, research assistant, and significant contributor to the field of Nursing. During her practicum at Healthy Babies Healthy Children at Toronto Public Health, she identified a knowledge gap concerning support for mothers with postpartum depression, which led her to research and write a literature review entitled “Improving maternal-infant relationships in mothers with postpartum mood disorders”, which has been accepted for publication by the American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing.

In the academic community, Rebekah is a club founder, establishing the Research and Nursing Theory (RANT) club for students in the Scholar Practitioner Program (SPP). The club engages in collective research, which is to be presented at the upcoming Undergraduate Research Conference this March and Rebekah is leading a group of students as first author of a paper focusing on utilizing narrative inquire methodology to link practice experiences to different nursing theories.

Rebekah is a curious, insightful, technologically competent, courageous, and knowledgeable individual embodying the core principles of the SPP. After graduation, she plans to pursue nursing research and obtain a Master’s Degree to participate in evidence-based practice. The university community recognizes Rebekah with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Paula Peter DMLA

Paula Peter

Paula is working toward Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours Specialization in Gender Equality and Social Justice.

Paula is personally committed to transformative social justice activism through research. Academically, she has quietly distinguished herself as a student whose commitment to excellence in her studies is equally matched to her commitment to connecting her intellectual work to real-world issues. Paula excels at wrestling with difficult theory, and with felicity, deploys a diversity of approaches to her research.

Paula’s Honours thesis entitled “Humans vs. Animals: A Critical Analysis of White Veganism”, is a critical consideration of the inherently racialized nature of ‘mainstream’ veganism through an analysis of a popular online vegan website. Put simply, Paula’s work is revealing the mainstream vegan movement risks structurally excluding a range of people from different class and race backgrounds, and thus, has the potential to reproduce the very systems of power that place animals beneath people in a hierarchy of value in the first place. This research is timely, original, and poised to create positive change.

Paula plans to further her research on the intersection of critical animal studies and social justice studies with Brock University in the Social Justice and Equity Studies Masters Program. There is no doubt she will excel and substantially contribute to this new and emerging area of her field. The university community recognizes Paula with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Jessie Trainor DMLA

Jessie Trainor

Jessie is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours in Criminal Justice, Criminology stream.

Jessie is a high academic achiever balancing multiple commitments - her studies, her volunteer positions, and her part-time Academic Success Program Assistant position in Student Development and Services. Jessie has maintained top marks throughout her time at Nipissing, earning the President’s Scholarship every year for the last four years. In her Academic Success Program Assistant role, Jessie uses her academic strengths to support her peers with achieving their own academic goals.

Jessie’s volunteer positions comprise a variety of roles for both on campus groups and off campus community organizations, including Amelia Rising | Sexual Assault Centre of Nipissing, Canadian Mental Health Association: Centre of Friends, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Criminal Justice Honours Society, and others.

Jessie actively seeks out opportunities to become involved in and to grow as a person. She is continually striving to create a positive environment for those around her. Jessie’s exceptional work ethic and drive to be her best person is an inspiration.The university community recognizes Jessie with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Chad Tremblay DMLA

Chad Tremblay

Chad is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

Chad excels academically while working as a Pharmacy Technician at a local pharmacy, volunteering as a researcher in the Human Evolution Laboratory, and being involved on campus as a second year representative for the Nipissing University Nursing Society.

In the classroom, Chad solidifies his knowledge gained at work by asking pertinent questions often addressing content well above the course requirements, and by doing so, has provided his classmates the opportunity to enhance their understanding of medications and pharmacology for Nurses.

While volunteering in the Human Evolution Laboratory, Chad has gone above and beyond, dedicating himself to learning complex procedures usually reserved for graduate students. He is developing strong wet lab skills for complex biological assays, such as white blood cell counting, and has obtained significant training and certification in the requisite health and safety procedures required to perform such work, including blood-born pathogen training, biological safety cabinet and autoclave training, and Public Health Agency of Canada Training. Chad’s drive to assist with complex research sets a good example to others about what it takes to make important research achievements. In the summer of 2018, Chad will be assisting with various manuscript preparations and conference presentations as a co-author.

Chad is dependable and hardworking. His peers speak highly of him as a student and as a person. He is energetic, kindhearted, and always has a smile for everyone. The university community recognizes Chad with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Cory Tremblay DMLA

Cory Tremblay

Cory is working toward a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education degree.

Cory has been a student representative for the Faculty of Education at Senate, Vice President of the Nipissing University Physical Health and Education Student Council, Secretary for the Nipissing University Biology Society, a Research Assistant, a Researcher, and a Peer Tutor.

Cory has proven himself to be a very capable researcher, demonstrating excellence when working with confidential data, showing respect and compassion for research participants, and problem solving in a dynamic work environment, and is an integral member of the research team within the Department of Physical and Health Education. He has been involved in data collection for several research projects conducted in the Biomechanics Laboratory while also completing an undergraduate research project examining neuromuscular response to combined environmental stressors. Cory’s experience in the lab has helped him expand his skillset by learning advanced neuromuscular assessment techniques.

Cory’s exceptional interpersonal and leadership skills will contribute to his future successes in the broader field of health sciences.

The university community recognizes Cory with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.


Madison Aucoin DMLA

Madison Aucoin

Madison is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours in English Studies, and History.

Madison has been actively involved in the Nipissing University campus community as a Residents’ Council Executive, Residence Office Assistant, Guest Services Representative, English Club volunteer, and Residence Don.

As a Residents’ Council Executive, Madison was nominated by her peers to take on the responsibility of advocating for their interests, decision making on their behalf, and planning social programming. In this role, Madison worked alongside Residence Life Management Staff to provide input on important department policy updates and other key decisions. In these conversations, Madison demonstrated her capacity for putting community development first.

As a Residence Don, Madison excelled in each facet of her role. She learned and practiced skills in the areas of higher education, teamwork, communication, event assistance, marketing, mental health awareness, and pro-social behaviour. She aided in creating a positive community environment for students and supported them in their transition to university life. She demonstrated excellence in her ability to make referrals to appropriate campus resources, assess situations, ensure the health and security of residents, and follow departmental policies.

Madison is honest, determined, adaptable, enthusiastic, and helpful. There is no doubt the campus community has been strengthened thanks to her involvement.

The university community recognizes Madison with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Joseph Bishop DMLA

Joseph Bishop

Joseph is in the Concurrent Bachelor of Education Degree Program – Junior/Intermediate Division.

Joseph is a hardworking, diligent, and dedicated, teacher candidate who is committed to enhancing learning opportunities for students of all ages.

While on practicum with the Grand Erie District School Board, Joseph co-initiated a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) club for students. This club was an instantaneous success and offered enriching and innovative hands on problem solving activities for students.

With a STEM club field trip in mind, Joseph collaborated with 12 other teacher candidates to plan and present an Innovation Fair at Nipissing University’s Brantford Campus. The fair was inspired by Alexander Graham Bell and Brantford’s history as the telephone city. It featured interactive activities that taught participants about Canadian inventors and how technology has evolved over time. Attendees included teachers, staff, students, superintendents, and the Director of the school board. The fair brought positive press to the university and was highlighted in the Brantford Expositor. The field trip was the catalyst for many more workshops and an eventual presentation to the Governor General of Canada on April 25, 2017.

Joseph seizes every opportunity to make a positive impact on our campus, and works collaboratively with others to achieve common goals. His role in the STEM Club and Innovation Fair helped showcase the quality work of students in the Bachelor of Education Program.

The university community recognizes Joseph with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Samantha Brand DMLA

Samantha Brand

Samantha is in the Concurrent Bachelor of Education Degree Program, and is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours in History, and Geography, and a Bachelor of Education degree – Intermediate/Senior division.

Samantha has been a volunteer and student leader in the Enji Giidoyang for four years. She has volunteered with Wiidooktaadwin Mentorship Initiatives, the Peer 2 Peer Mentorship Program, Biidaaban Community Service Learning, Aasagaawitaadwin Indigenous Youth Leadership Conference, Debwendizon Indigenous Youth Education Gathering, Welcome to Community, Wampum Belt Beading Sessions, National Aboriginal Day, numerous speaker series events, and other special events through the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

Samantha has also worked with the Circle of Caring Program offered through Biidaaban Community Service Learning in local North Bay elementary schools, to co-create resources for an anti-bullying initiative. The initiative involved inviting local volunteers – members of the North Bay Police Services and North Bay Fire & Emergency Services - to read to Indigenous students at the primary level. Samantha’s role in facilitating this project helped to raise awareness of the barriers facing Indigenous students and communities, and helped to contribute to the program’s goals of building kindness, inclusiveness, identity, and culture in schools.

Samantha is a loyal, reliable, compassionate, and honest person. She has volunteered her time for countless campus and community programs, asking little in return.

The university community recognizes Samantha with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Samantha Brand DMLA

Nicolai MacKenzie

Nicolai is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honours Specialization in Environment and Physical Geography.

Nicolai has been involved on campus as the President of the Geography Club, a Townhouse Residence Complex Don, and as the Athletics and Wellness Executive for Residents’ Council. He consistently seeks out opportunities to get others involved in sports, Residence Life events, or workshops offered by Student Development and Services. He has recruited students to participate in intramural softball, has went out of his way to help one student find an affordable way to participate in basketball, and can often be found encouraging others to come out to support the Lakers at a variety of different events. As President of the Geography Club, Nicolai takes time to spread knowledge about the subject to any student interested through events, booths, and office hours.

Everything Nicolai says and does promote community building. As a Residence Don, Nicolai often collaborates on meaningful community building programs with Residents’ Council and other Residence Life team members. He chooses his words carefully and always uses inclusive language. Nicolai has taken the information he attained through participation in the Safe Talk, Consent +, Bringing in the Bystander, and Gender 101 workshops, and has implemented it into his day-to-day interactions.

Nicolai is a genuine and caring person who brings a positive and calm atmosphere wherever he goes.

The university community recognizes Nicolai with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Eric Marrast DMLA

Eric Marrast

Eric is working toward a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Marketing stream.

Eric has made Nipissing University’s campus community a more positive, welcoming and engaging environment for all students. His ongoing efforts have spanned several years and impacted countless students. He diligently works to improve the lives of others, rarely asking for recognition. His service has been amply demonstrated though his varied volunteer roles in a number of campus groups, organizations, departments, and clubs, including Residents’ Council, Community Action Committee, Living Learning Community Leaders Engaged in Active Development (L.E.A.D), Nipissing University Business, Nipissing University Alumni, Residence Life, Nipissing University Student Union, and Relay for Life.

Eric is an extremely considerate, compassionate, and hardworking individual, who has devoted a significant amount of his time and energy to volunteering. His wonderful attitude and constant positivity, help to encourage those around him to flourish into leaders.

The university community recognizes Eric with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Lauren McLaren DMLA

Lauren McLaren

Lauren is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honours Specialization in Biology.

Lauren is well respected by her peers and professors, and has played a significant role in promoting both the Chemistry and Biology departments, as well as Nipissing University as a whole.

She served for three years as a Biology Society Executive, volunteering much of her time and taking lead in organizing events such as: The Biology Christmas Party, Octoberfest, Biology/Chemistry Thesis Night, Annual Charles Darwin’s Birthday Presentation, “Where Will Your Biology Degree Take You” presentations, and fundraisers to support the North Bay and NUSU Food Banks. Currently, Lauren is the incoming President of the Biology Society.

Lauren’s service to the university and the community is diverse. She has volunteered at Nipissing Open House, at the 2017 Ontario Universities’ Fair, as a Research Assistant in the Neuroscience Lab, and has donated more than 250 hours as a Diagnostic Imaging Volunteer at the North Bay Regional Health Centre. Lauren has also worked as a Marketing Assistant at the University, a Coordinator for the Leave the Pack behind Program to help students with smoking cessation, and a Peer Tutor.

Lauren has a strong work ethic and brings a high degree of professionalism, diplomacy, and empathy to her work with others in and out of the classroom. She is a high academic achiever, earning the President’s Scholarship each year of her studies.

The university community recognizes Lauren with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Daniel Miller DMLA

Daniel Miller

Daniel is working toward a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Marketing stream.

Daniel has committed himself to positive and substantive opportunities to inspire his fellow student athletes and the student body at large to become more engaged on campus and in the community.

Daniel has volunteered for the North Bay Youth Volleyball Club as both an Assistant Coach for the U17 Boys team, and as a member of the Board of Directors. He has been a Student Mentor for the annual Enterprise Olympics, and is committed to involving himself in further mentorship opportunities at Nipissing University through the International Student Mentorship Program, the Athletics Disciplinary Board, and through working as a Peer Educator.

Daniel organized an initiative for youth patients spending their Christmas holiday at the North Bay Regional Health Centre. For the youth patients, he organized the distribution of both gifts and tickets to Lakers games, which led to the patients and their family members being invited to watch a Lakers Hockey game in the VIP box at Memorial Gardens.

Daniel is a humble and positive individual who displays the natural qualities of a leader on a daily basis. He is a two-time Academic All-Canadian, and uses his role as Captain of the Lakers Men’s Volleyball team to encourage and motivate his teammates to enhance their academic and personal skills and help others.

The university community recognizes Daniel with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Shannon Mortson DMLA

Shannon Mortson

Shannon is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours in Criminal Justice, Policing stream.

Shannon has been involved with the Criminal Justice Student Association, as both President and Vice President, Alpha Phi Sigma, the Criminal Justice Honour Society, and Residence Life as a Don.

As an executive member of the Criminal Justice Student Association, Shannon helped organize events to enhance the Criminal Justice student experience. She invited guest speakers from various areas of the criminal justice system and planned social events to help students connect with one another and find their place in the greater Nipissing community. In her role as a Residence Don, Shannon is often sought out by her peers for guidance and support because she is known for her genuine interest in developing meaningful connections and strong supportive relationships with her fellow students.

Shannon is hardworking, respectful, and professional. She is kind, supportive of others, and is always willing to help those in need. Shannon is an excellent role model for her peers, and has demonstrated it is possible to maintain high academic standards while actively participating in a variety of events on campus.

The university community recognizes Shannon with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Destiny Murtaugh DMLA

Destiny Murtaugh

Destiny is in the Concurrent Bachelor of Education Degree Program, and is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours Specialization in English Studies, and a Bachelor of Education degree – Junior/Intermediate division.

Over the past four years, Destiny has contributed to the overall campus culture through her participation in a variety of organizations and clubs. She has been a Frosh Leader, member of Jack.Org, Nipissing University Student Alumni volunteer, Open House Volunteer, First Year English Representative, General Council Social Chair, and Vice President Social for the Townhouse Residence Complex. She has also been a student member of the Arts and Science Curriculum Review Committee, Director-at-Large with the Nipissing University Student Union, an English tutor for the English Club, and the Philanthropy Chair for Alpha Gamma Phi, volunteering countless hours with the sorority fundraising for charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society and the North Bay Humane Society.

During her time as VP Social, Destiny organized a program called Agents of Kindness that encouraged students to complete small acts of kindness for their neighbours. She extended this initiative on campus and engaged in random acts of kindness for others at Nipissing.

Destiny is dedicated to campus life and will go out of her way to help others. She has a huge heart and loves to get involved in any way she can.

The university community recognizes Destiny with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Abby Thompson DMLA

Abbey Thompson

Abbey is working toward a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Marketing stream.

Abbey is a kind and empathetic person, whose enthusiasm for Nipissing University shines through all she does at work, in her academics, and in her various volunteer roles.

On campus, Abbey donates her spare time to help out wherever she can. As a Peer Educator with Student Development and Services, she supports students in their transition to Nipissing through events like New Student Orientation and Laker Orientation. Identified as a positive role model for Nipissing, Abbey was invited to represent the School of Business at the Ontario Universities’ Fair this past fall. Abbey also showed her enthusiasm for Nipissing locally through a poster presentation, which featured the “NU Mona Lisa” print, and examined high renaissance genre’s use in advertising. The presentation was deemed passionate, resourceful, and thorough by attendees.

In the community, Abbey has been an active volunteer for FIRST Robotics, Anthony Rota’s Nipissing-Timiskaming Constituency Youth Council, and Worthy Devotion Day (a self-esteem and self-care day for girls which she founded) at Chippewa Secondary School.

Abbey is an outstanding role model for youth, her peers, and girls in grades 7 – 10 respectively; there is no doubt that Abbey will continue to make a positive impact on the lives of others for years to come.

The university community recognizes Abbey with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Michael Wabegijig

Michael is working toward a Bachelor of Education degree – Intermediate/Senior Division.

Mike is a positive role model to both his peers and the community as a student, father, husband, teacher, and ambassador for both the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, and Nipissing University. His support in the planning and facilitation of the Reach Ahead Credit pilot program offered on campus this past July in partnership with the Near North District School Board, was integral to its success.

Mike has volunteered his time as a member of the planning committee for the annual Welcome Pow Wow, has helped plan activities for National Aboriginal Day celebrations, and has supported various events hosted by the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

Mike is both a lifelong learner and a teacher. He is a humble storyteller and collector of knowledge who exhibits a quiet strength. Due to these qualities, he was invited to participate in the Nbisiing Anishinaabeg Educators Working Group. Additionally, he was invited to speak on behalf of the Indigenous students on campus, with a Senior Policy Analyst and Special Advisor on Aboriginal Issues, to the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. In both of these roles, Mike did an exceptional job.

Mike is a kind, logical, rational, and critical thinker, whom his peers often come to for sound advice. His leadership within the Nipissing University community cannot be understated.

The university community recognizes Mike with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Madison Alyvis-Watson portrait

Alyxis Watson

Alyxis is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours in Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Studies stream.

Alyxis has served the campus community as both a Residence Don and as a Community Advisor. Through these roles, she has worked to improve life on campus, by ensuring students feel safe and comfortable in their environment.

Alyxis has maintained a stellar academic record while combining a demanding work schedule and a full academic workload. Alyxis is a creative thinker who engages with critical concepts at a level well beyond her peers. She goes beyond the obvious to find interconnections between theoretical perspectives and lived experiences. Alyxis is a confident and self-assured student, who shows promise of scholarly excellence, and will undoubtedly, make a significant future contribution at the graduate level. She is committed to the pursuit of knowledge, and devoted to community services, with particular focus on the


Elizabeth Campbell DMLA

Elizabeth Campbell

Elizabeth is working toward a Bachelor of Education degree, in Physical and Health Education, Junior/Intermediate division.

Elizabeth has devoted herself to supporting and empowering younger students in care with current, or former crown ward status. As a former Crown Ward, Elizabeth has lived experience to share with other Crown Ward students and students in care. She has contributed her energy and educational expertise to developing workshops and events for high school students in the region as part of the Crown Ward Mentorship Program to help students reach their educational potential. Elizabeth has gone above and beyond in her role as a mentor, and volunteers her time working with several local community organizations and committees, including the Crown Ward Education Championship Table, and the Youth Advisory Group with the Children’s Aid Society.

Elizabeth hopes to become a teacher to inspire students to value education, and an adult her family can be proud of. She is a resilient and impeccable role model to all students and continues to be a valuable asset to our community. There is no doubt these qualities and achievements have been thoroughly demonstrated.

The university community recognizes Elizabeth with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community Category.

Samantha Defranco DMLA

Samantha DeFranco

Samantha is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours in English Studies and Gender Equality and Social Justice.

Samantha has combined her academics and her passion for volunteerism and social justice by lending her skills and abilities to the Amelia Rising Centre as a Crisis Line and Centre Volunteer. For over two and a half years, she has provided support to those reaching out in times of distress and crisis in our local community through her work with the 24-hour Crisis Line. She has also participated in, and contributed to, public engagement and education for various events, namely Sexual Assault the Roadshow.

Samantha has worked on campus as the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Outreach Student Assistant, and as an Events Coordinator volunteer for the Equity Center. These positions have seen Samantha creating a safer campus, with inclusive washroom signage and better policies, and bridge the gap between Nipissing University and the North Bay community by providing collaborative opportunities to create public awareness around the supports available for survivors of sexual violence.

Samantha is a reliable, compassionate, open, and dedicated individual, who speaks publicly of her support for Bill-148, and hopes to continue her social justice and community work by furthering her studies through a Masters of Social Work.

The university community recognizes Samantha with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community Category.

Jessica McCutcheon

Jessica is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

Jessica always makes time for those in need. She is an active volunteer with The Gathering Place, and has filled a variety of roles there, including Server, Cook, Weekend Kitchen Supervisor, and Teaching Kitchen Coordinator & Volunteer, where she has stabilized the organization of the weekend meals. Her positive attitude, willingness to learn, and the empathy she shows to the marginalized in our community, have promoted a feeling of worth among the clients at The Gathering Place, while also inspiring and motivating new volunteers.

Jessica has demonstrated great initiative and leadership by assuming the responsibility of Teaching Kitchens for women and those at-risk. She goes out of her way to ensure The Gathering Place’s clients are comfortable and happy, and shows great compassion toward everyone who walks through the doors. She is a visionary, collaborating with other staff about potential program expansions and ways to encourage self-efficiency among the patrons; all while balancing her demanding Nursing schedule.

Jessica is motivated and adaptable. Her optimism, work ethic, and flexibility encourages others to follow her lead. After graduation, Jessica plans to work as a Registered Nurse in North Bay and continue her volunteer work with the Gathering Place. She would like to develop a health outreach program to make nursing and health care available to those in the community who are less fortunate, homeless, or unable to receive traditional healthcare treatments.

The university community recognizes Jessica with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community Category.

Daniel Scarpino DMLA

Daniel Scarpino

Daniel is working toward a Bachelor of Education degree, Primary/Junior division.

Daniel has volunteered on campus and in the community in a variety of roles. He has been a Biidaaban Community Service Volunteer, St. Vincent Place Luncheon Assistant, Holiday Mass Volunteer at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church, Youth Basketball Camp volunteer for Little NBA & Small Ball, a Parish Usher at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, a Soccer Coach for Sault Amateur Association and Steel City Rapids, and a referee for the Special Olympics Soccer hosted in Sault Ste. Marie.

On campus, Daniel has also served as the Primary/Junior Division representative at the Ontario College of Teachers’ annual review of the Bachelor of Education Program at Nipissing University. He is a role model for his teaching colleagues and a devoted volunteer in his home community, as well as his new home here in North Bay.

Daniel hopes to pursue a career in education, first as a Teacher and later as an Administrator. His passion and commitment to teaching the future generation will undoubtedly bring him success in his future career.

The university community recognizes Daniel with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community Category.

Michelle Schenk DMLA

Michelle Schenk

Michelle is in the Concurrent Bachelor of Education Degree Program, and is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours Specialization in Geography, and a Bachelor of Education degree – Primary/Junior division.

During her tenure as President for the Best Buddies Nipissing Chapter, Michelle led hundreds of students at Nipissing University and Canadore College to become active participants in the Best Buddies program – a program designed to create durable friendships between people with intellectual disabilities and those without. Michelle helped to match supported individuals from Community Living to current postgraduate students and spent many hours arranging a variety of recreational activities and games. These occasions allowed the individuals from Community Living the opportunity to experience University and College and interact meaningfully with people their own age. Michelle organized a website and a Facebook page for Best Buddies to allow all the Buddies to stay in contact and create long-lasting relationships. Many friendships and opportunities were created, which would otherwise not exist without this program.

Michelle is a motivated and caring person who values inclusion. She has mentored Peer Buddies and made sure there was a strong succession of Executive to carry on the valuable chapter. She is passionate, and caring, and has been a positive role model to many. These admirable attributes will serve her well as an educator.

The university community recognizes Michelle with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community Category.