2020 Award Recipients

A message from Dave Marshall

Photo of student leader Ysabel Castle

Ysabel Castle

Master of Environmental Science

Before starting her Master's program, Ysabel completed her undergraduate degree in Environmental Geography here at Nipissing University. She received the J.W. Trusler Proficiency Award and the Canadian Association of Geographers Undergraduate Scholarship upon graduation. In her final year of undergraduate study, she was also awarded a Higher Education GIS Scholarship from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI Canada).  

Ysabel is currently a full-time graduate student and lab instructor. Backed by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Ysabel is working on a research project collaborating with the North Bay Police Services. The project examines how environmental variables, like temperature and light conditions, may influence the distribution and occurrence of various types of crimes in North Bay. Ysabel has already presented the preliminary results of this research at the Canadian Association of Geographers - Ontario Division's annual conference and through a poster presentation at Nipissing University's Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Day.  

As a summer research assistant, Ysabel contributed to investigations involving the mapping of tropical forested wetland losses in the Niger Delta, and wetland changes along the Northern Coast of Australia. She also contributed to a joint project mapping historical land-use change for the Dokis First Nation. While completing a literature review for the project, Ysabel discovered several important historical documents that have changed our current perspective on the cause of some of the earliest changes to the reserve.  

Ysabel has also volunteered her time as a Library Assistant for the North Bay Regional Health Centre, a Scout Leader for youth aged 11 to 17, for Nipissing University's Open House, and for the Geography Department's GIS Day.  

After graduation, Ysabel hopes to continue in her lab instructor role at Nipissing University and dedicate her time to giving back to the city of North Bay. She also plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Geography. 

Photo of Student Leader Connor Monk

Connor Monk

Bachelor of Science in Nursing through the Scholar-Practitioner Program

Since his first year, Connor has worked as a research assistant supporting two major projects in the Nursing department. The first project focuses on researching students' awareness of, and competency with incorporating, the best practice guidelines set by the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO).  As part of this project, Connor has been responsible for data collection and organization as well as sharing the RNAO's set of recommendations with his peers. Connor is passionate about communicating the profound impact that an evidence-based approach has on practice, patient outcomes, and quality of care. 

The second project focuses on studying practice readiness of new nursing graduates to identify and analyze burnout, factors such as compassion satisfaction, patient load, self-efficacy, and participants' feelings of practice readiness. Through this project, Connor has shown leadership and initiative in delegating tasks and keeping the research team informed. He has coordinated meetings with co-investigators and maintained sole responsibility for communication with participants. His leadership has resulted in being invited to co-present a poster at the International Nurse Education Today and Nurse Education in Practice conference in Sitges, Spain alongside Dr. Louela Manankil-Rankin. The presentation will focus on the results of a School of Nursing study on practice readiness across all programs. Connor is also scheduled to present about the variables that affect practice readiness at the 2020 Undergraduate Research Conference.  

In addition to these roles, Connor is also volunteered as a student member of the University Health Network's (UHN) Clinical Learner Leadership Advisory Committee which provides students with the opportunity to share their perspective on educational and organizational planning while simultaneously strengthening their leadership skills. Committee members make recommendations to improve learners' experiences, participate in strategic planning and design sessions, contribute to organization-wide events, participate in committees, add their perspective in focus groups, and participate in leadership initiatives across various UHN campuses.  

After graduation, Connor plans to continue strengthening his clinical skills by collaborating with other health care professionals in a hospital setting. He also plans to pursue Master's program.

Kimberly Montgomery 2020 DMLA

Kimberly Montgomery

Bachelor of Science Honours Specialization in Environment & Physical Geography

Kimberly has supported the Department of Geography's research first during her undergraduate thesis and then as a Research Assistant supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's Undergraduate Student Research Award. As part of this research work, Kim generated a model of high-frequency chloride concentration in streamflow as a part of a study on how road salt and dust suppressant are transported from the surrounding watershed to streams and lakes in Canadian Shield watersheds. This research, jointly conducted with researchers at Queen's University, is funded by a 'Best in Science' Grant from the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.  

Kim's contribution to this research is novel in that it examines a large dataset (monitored by the Ontario Ministry since the 1970s) to determine the human impact on streams over time. The high-frequency model used in this study is often applied in urban settings, but its application in a more rural, Northeastern Ontario context is novel. Given the significant environmental concern that road salt application poses to our lakes and freshwater ecosystems, Kim's research has a truly local impact.  

In 2019, Kim has also demonstrated her academic leadership through presentations at the Undergraduate Research Conference, and at the Canadian Geophysical Union Eastern Student Meeting at Ryerson University. She also contributed to two poster presentations for International Conferences, one for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics in Montreal and the other for the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting in San Francisco.  

Kim is resilient, courageous, and professional. She has shown excellent independent work and is continually developing her technical skills in data analysis, data management, programming and communicating her research in various forms.  

After graduation, Kim intends to pursue graduate studies.

Photo of student leader Brittney Robinson

Brittney Robinson

Master of Science in Kinesiology

Brittney has demonstrated academic leadership through her research work and mentorship within Dr. Carré's Social Neuro Endocrinology Lab.

While working on her undergraduate thesis project, Brittney demonstrated excellent critical thinking skills and strong motivation to conduct research. She presented her work on the effects of testosterone on mating psychology at the regional Undergraduate Research Conference, and the International Society for Behavioural Neuroendocrinology conference. In her Master's program, Brittney is currently conducting a research project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Graduate Scholarship examining the effect of testosterone on physiological and behavioural processes among hypogonadal type 2 diabetic men.

In addition to this, Brittney is also a second author on two research papers submitted to peer-reviewed academic journals. The first paper is based on her undergraduate thesis research showing that testosterone rapidly modulates men's mating psychology. For this work, she was responsible for subject recruitment, data collection, analysis, and critical edits to the manuscript. The second paper is an invited review paper of single-dose testosterone administration research in humans. For this paper, Brittney was responsible for performing a comprehensive literature review, creating a table detailing her findings, and formatting the paper.

Brittney has emerged as a leader in the lab, training undergraduate students on proper data collection and recruitment methods and serving as an excellent role model for young trainees in the lab. She is motivated, driven, and always striving for perfection.

After graduation, Brittney plans to apply to medical school with future aspirations to become a pediatrician or child psychiatrist. She also hopes to delve into research in the medical field.

Photo of student leader Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith

Bachelor of Science in Nursing through the Collaborative Nursing Program

Lauren has demonstrated academic leadership as a Nursing Best Practice Champion, Peer Tutor, Peer Mentor, Secretary for the Nipissing University Nursing Society, Open House Representative, Undergraduate Research Conference Presenter, and Nursing Games Team Member.  

Lauren is a champion for nursing research, taking on a leadership role as a Best Practice Guideline Champion for a project sponsored by the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario. In this role, Lauren acts as a voice for the implementation of evidence-based practice guidelines in the nursing curriculum and provides direction, guidance, and support to the student body with regards to the project.   

Lauren has sought out opportunities to develop her leadership and collaborate with others throughout her education. She collaborated with peers for the 2019 Nursing Games resulting in a Team Simulation Award. She participates in the Health Care Leadership Program at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, further developing her leadership skills through supporting the implementation of a physician peer-support program. She was named a HERlead fellow in 2014 and has been building on her leadership since that time.  

In 2018, Lauren was named as one of the Undergraduate Research Conference award recipients for her panel discussion entitled "34 Hours in the ER" examining the death of Brian Sinclair and the systemic racism affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada. Building on her cultural competency, Lauren took part in an Indigenous Inter-professional Cultural Safety Training where she learned about Indigenous approaches to health and wellness and participated in a culturally-based simulation that focused on identifying and addressing common barriers experienced by Indigenous people navigating the health care system. Lauren incorporates this learning and continues to build on her best practice competency incorporation during her Clinical Externship with the Mississauga Hospital Emergency Department. 

Lauren is collaborative, insightful, and highly knowledgeable. After graduation, she hopes to work in the emergency department at the North Bay Regional Health Centre as a Registered Nurse.

Photo student leader of Grace Tiersma

Grace Tiersma

Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice following the Criminology Stream

Grace's academic leadership is evident through her work as a research assistant for Nipissing University's Institute of Applied Social Research. Under the supervision of Dr. Gregory Brown, Dr. Jane Barker and Dr. Chris Greco, she has supported four Correctional Service Canada funded projects through conducting interviews with 28 federally sentenced persons in parole offices in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta, and British Columbia; transcribing the interviews; developing the coding matrices using NVivo data analysis software; coding the interview transcripts; and assisting in data analysis once coded. Her work is high quality, organized, and insightful earning her a place as a co-author on the reports.

Currently, Grace is researching the mental health needs of older offenders, a topic that is of contemporary importance and reflective of a trajectory towards a successful career as a leader in research. She takes an active, energetic approach to her role as a research assistant and has demonstrated-ability to engage with research participants from diverse backgrounds. She received the President's Scholarship in 2016, the Carl Sanders's Scholarship in 2017 and the Nipissing University Alumni Association Criminal Justice Award in 2019. She was also invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (Matthew DeCourcey) and our local Member of Parliament (Anthony Rota's) as a representative of the students in 2019.

Grace balances her academic achievement and research work with her involvement on campus as Social Media Coordinator and Event Promoter for Alpha Phi Sigma's Mu Kappa Chapter and Vice President of the International Student Mentorship Program. She pursues every opportunity she can to grow her skills through certificate workshops and volunteer opportunities.

Grace is conscientious and community-minded. After graduation, she intends to pursue a Master's program to continue her research into older offenders. In the future, Grace aspires to work for Correctional Services Canada as a rehabilitation officer.

Photo of student leader Sydney Wiggins

Sydnee Wiggins

Bachelor of Arts with an Honours Specialization in Gender Equality and Social Justice

For the past two years, Sydnee has been a research assistant for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded Northeastern Ontario Research Alliance on Human Trafficking project. This research is being conducted in partnership with Nipissing University, Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre, the Union of Ontario Indians, and the AIDS Committee of North Bay and area. It maps patterns of exploitation and community resilience concerning sex trafficking in northeastern Ontario. As Research Assistant, Sydnee analyzes workshop discussions, surveys and interviews, and assists in writing research papers.

Syndee is one of Gender Equality and Social Justice's most academically outstanding students. Her capacity for critical thinking, high-quality research, and originality of thought have been consistently demonstrated through her course contributions and research projects. Her honours major research paper on neoliberal governmentality and female entrepreneurship was outstanding. She has a strong analytical ability to decipher, explain and interrogate difficult theory from interdisciplinary gender studies scholarship. During class discussion, Sydnee's willingness to break the ice inspires reticent students to contribute their thoughts and enhances everyone's learning experience.

Outside of the classroom, Sydnee has volunteered her time to support faculty with the organization of International Women's Week, sexual assault survivors as an Amelia Rising crisis line volunteer, and local families as a respite worker for Community Living North Bay.

Sydnee's compassion for systemically disadvantaged people and her deep sense of social responsibility for systemic injustices will continue to motivate her to use her education to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

After graduation, Sydnee intends to pursue a post-grad in Human Resource at Canadore College to become a Diversity and Equity Officer.

Photo of student leader Nathan Young

Nathan Young

Bachelor of Science Honours Specialization in Computer Science

As part of Dr. Zhu's Software Engineering course, supported by an NSERC Undergraduate Research Student Award, Nathan filled the role of team lead over an experiential learning project which tasked students with creating an app for a local cab company, 5-0.  

Using his extensive knowledge in computer programming, Nathan was able to apply an E-CARGO model to aid in the development of a scheduling service platform for the North Bay company. Additionally, Nathan was responsible for communicating with the clients to ensure the app's design suited the needs of drivers, dispatchers, and end-users alike while keeping in mind local taxi bylaws and the importance of the app's ease of use. Once launched, the app will allow the company to streamline its workflow. 

As the team lead for this truly interdisciplinary experiential learning project, Nathan supported his peers as they applied their software engineering skills to the real world. The company's recognition in the human capital of students and the potential of a homegrown app has brought positive press to Nipissing University and its Computer Science Department.  

As a student volunteer for the Math Drop-In Center, Nathan has supported his peers one on one and in groups, helping them to improve their math and computer science skills. Additionally within this center, he has been the go-to student for physics support. Nathan uses his excellent communication skills to encourage students he supports to approach problems in new ways.  

Nathan is attentive, highly motivated and hardworking. In the future, he hopes to work in North Bay on meaningful enterprise software for large well-respected companies.


Photo of student leader Emerson Bach

Emerson Bach

Bachelor of Science with an Honours Specialization in Biology and a Concurrent Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior divisions

As Captain of the women's Nordic Ski Team, Emerson is a leader and a mentor for other athletes. She looks out for rookie athletes and supports them in their adjustment to campus athletics alike. She fosters a sense of community among the team by regularly hosting social events to build a close-knit family-like atmosphere among teammates.

Emerson is actively and meaningfully engaged on campus through her adherence to the team's rigorous training schedule. She is present and engaged in all training sessions, setting a high professional standard for the team. She always has a smile on her face even when training entails roller-skiing outdoors for 3 hours straight on a cold rainy weekend morning.

Emerson has been a source of support for the Nordic Ski Team through what has been an emotionally challenging season. Her positive attitude, kindness, and empathy helped the team to cope with the tragic loss of a fellow teammate earlier this year. During this difficult time, Emerson kept open communication with teammates and coaches with regards to how everyone was coping. Emerson's leadership is evident through the way she has supported us all through this difficult time.

Emerson s an outstanding student who demonstrates significant success in her academic studies. Her grades are consistently at the top of her cohort and she has been recognized as an Academic All-Canadian through the duration of her studies at Nipissing.

In the future, Emerson plans to pursue a Master's degree in Biology while continuing her involvement with Nordic Skiing. Long term, Emerson is looking forward to a career in Education.

Photo of student leader Taylor Blacker

Taylor Blacker

Bachelor of Arts with a Specialization in Psychology

Taylor has been involved on campus as a NUSU Crew Member, Frosh Leader, New Student Orientation Volunteer, Fall Open House Volunteer, Peer Tutor, Peer Note Taker, and Psychology Society Representative.

Taylor has dedicated her time to Nipissing University throughout her four years of study. As a NUSU Crew Member, she volunteered to support Homecoming, student BBQs, the Santa Claus Parade, the NUSU Community Fun Fair and more. As Frosh Leader, Taylor took it upon herself to continually check in with her team even after Frosh week ended. She connected students to support services on campus and checked in to ensure students were accessing the supports they needed.

Taylor is always ready to lend a helping hand to her peers and those in need. Whenever an opportunity arises to volunteer, Taylor is one of the first to sign up, no matter how busy she is with her course work. She is an advocate for Nipissing, committed and dedicated to the community's wellbeing. In addition to the roles already mentioned, Taylor also helped to organize the "Let's Talk About Concussions" event with Dr. Tator that took place this past Fall.

Taylor is dependable, honest, and caring. She is the kind of leader who takes action to support others and volunteers her time in service of the community, without the need for recognition.

After graduation, Taylor plans to travel to volunteer overseas. Long-term, Taylor plans to apply to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine to pursue a career in medicine.

Philip Commonda

Bachelor of Science with a Specialization in Environmental Biology & Technology

Philip transferred to Nipissing University after completing the Environmental Technician Program at Canadore College. In the short time he has been here, he has taken initiative to get involved with a variety of Enji giigdoyang events and initiatives. He has taken on the role of Peer2Peer mentor, Wiidokdaadwin Volunteer, Welcome Powwow Volunteer, and was also hired to fill the role of Student Assistant for the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

In each of these roles, Philip has proven to be a reliable support person who takes initiative to identify where help is needed, action on implementing solutions, and ensures that events run smoothly. He is a positive presence within the Enji giigdoyang student lounge and a great role model for his peers. He contributes to creating a sense of community in the lounge by being present, involved, and respectful of Elders.

Philip demonstrated his leadership at the Peer2Peer "Meet the Mentor" event by welcoming everyone, introducing himself, and encouraging other peer mentors to do the same. As a mentor, Philip makes meets with students weekly to answer questions and provide support. He also provides tours and attends events with his mentees.

Philip is generous with his time and always looking for opportunities to help out. As Wiidootaadwin Volunteer he eagerly went to local high schools to lead activities and Indigenous teachings for students in the community. When the annual Christmas office decorating contest came around, Philip volunteered his free time to hand paint a mural for the office. He also took the lead on holiday activities and games for students in the lounge.

Philip has a way of making everyone feel welcomed and included. It is remarkable how much of an impact he has had on the campus community in a short time.

After graduation, Philip plans to pursue work in forest management either in Ottawa or his hometown, Maniwaki.

Photo of student leader Christina Critelli

Christina Critelli

Bachelor of Science in Nursing through the Scholar-Practitioner Program

Christina has demonstrated her campus leadership through her support of Nipissing University's aim to become a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO). To become a BPSO, the university has two years to implement the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario's Best Practice Guidelines (BPGs) into the curriculum. Christina in one of a group of students dedicated to making this happen.

Building on the work of previous guideline champions, Christina spearheaded peer engagement through her cohort's Facebook group, the creation of an Instagram page, and the creation of best practice guideline kiosks focusing on particular guideline areas.

In addition to this, Christina also coordinated a global networking initiative among best practice guideline leads at other institutions including Ryerson, Conestoga, and the University of Calgary based in Qatar. As part of this initiative, students agreed to meet online for lunch & learns regarding how to effectively integrate the Best Practice Guidelines. As the main facilitator of these online meetings, Christina coordinated schedules and facilitated online discussions.

Christina has also helped to engage first-year nursing students in becoming BPG champions themselves, motivating five new students to get involved. Survey evidence shows that the engagement interventions Christina implemented have increased students' familiarity with Best Practice Guidelines.

Christina is a natural leader who continues to demonstrate a diligent work ethic and strong communication skills. In addition to her engagement with the BPSO, she also works two part-time jobs, is a research assistant, and competes as part of the women's soccer team.

After graduation, Christina plans to pursue a Master's degree and hopes to gain further clinical and research experience to eventually become a Nurse who works on oncology clinical trials.

Photo of student leader Mandi Genah

Mandi Genah

Honours Bachelor of Science with a Specialization in Biology and a Concurrent Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior Divisions

Mandi has been involved on campus throughout her degree as a Biology Society Executive Member, Ontario Universities Fair Representative, Open House Volunteer, Biology Society President, Peer Mentor, First Generation Program Facilitator, Academic Success Program Assistant and as a Representative for Nipissing University on the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario.

As President of the Biology Society, Mandi works hard to promote events and opportunities for students. She fosters positivity and goes out of her way to ensure all students feel welcome when they attend events. Recently, Mandi revitalized the annual Biology Society formal event. In addition to this, she spearheaded events such as the annual textbook exchange, Bio Octoberfest, Biology New Year's Party, Biology/Chemistry Thesis Nights, Charles Darwin's Birthday Presentation, Where Will Your Biology Degree Take You Presentations, a Zero Waste Presentation, and numerous fundraisers.

As an Academic Success Program Assistant, Mandi supports students one on one and through group learning opportunities with academic skill development and goal setting. She is sought out by her peers for academic support and referrals to on-campus services.

Mandi is also an accomplished academic and researcher who has held numerous awards including a Schulich Scholarship, two Carl Sanders Scholarships, a Talon Research Assistantship, and a Tembec Citizenship Award.

Mandi is honest, wise, and compassionate. She is a positive role model for her fellow students, and especially for women in Science.

After graduation, Mandi plans to travel and teach aboard before returning to Ontario to pursue a position as a secondary school teacher. She also intends to pursue a Master's degree.

Daniel Goulard 2020 DMLA

Daniel Goulard

Bachelor of Arts with a Specialization in Political Science

Daniel has been involved on campus as a Residence Don, Frosh Leader, NUSU Director-at-Large, NUSU Crew member, previous NUSU President, three-time Masters of Ceremonies for Nipissing's Relay for Life, three-time Masters of Ceremonies for Nipissing's Nursing Formal, and Residence General Council member for two years.

From the time Daniel started at Nipissing University, he immediately wanted to get involved and began volunteering as much as he could. He has always been a positive influence on those around him, and constantly encourages students to get involved. As a Frosh Leader and NUSU Director-at-Large, Dan has shown consistency, passion and engagement. He often goes out of his way to ensure students are okay and often checks in with them. Dan is a great example of a student leader, especially to incoming students. He exudes positivity and Lakers Spirit./p>

Since day one Dan has been a tremendous help to not only NUSU but multiple groups on campus. He is always willing to assist anyone who needs help. Dan's love for Nipissing is so genuine. In the time that he has been a student at Nipissing, he has spread joy, offered help wherever he could, and demonstrated dedication to Nipissing University.

After graduation, Daniel hopes to pursue employment with Nipissing University so that he can contribute to providing students with the same amazing experience that he had while studying at Nipissing University while simultaneously giving back to the place that gave so much to him.

Photo of student leader Aidan Haghgoo

Aidan Haghgoo

Bachelor of Physical and Health Education

As Executive Director of The Equity Centre, Aidan is always looking for ways that Nipissing University can become a more accepting and supportive learning environment for students. Aidan and the Equity Centre Executive team work to provide education and resources to the campus and community, advocate on behalf of students, and promote allyship on campus. This is accomplished in part by facilitating a safer space on campus, and by providing the campus community with educational opportunities. Aidan has been integral in developing a supportive atmosphere among students who access the Equity Centre and attend Equity Centre events.

In addition to their role as Executive Director, Aidan is also the executive director of two of the Equity Centre's subgroups: Students of Colour United (SOCU) and AccessNU. Through these subgroups, Aidan has helped to create space for self-identified students of colour and students with disabilities. Through SOCU, Aidan organized a donation drive in support of refugee families in need during the holiday season. The drive was quite successful, and donations were shipped down to Matthew House Refugee Centre of Windsor. As part of AccessNU, Aidan hosted monthly ASL Coffee Houses to teach folks how to communicate in sign language thereby helping deaf and hard of hearing students feel more welcome on our campus.

Aidan also created and facilitated multiple training sessions for Nipissing University faculty, staff and students. These training sessions were attended by faculty within the Nipissing University Faculty Association, Coaches and staff within the Athletic Centre, Frosh Leaders within NUSU, and focused on topics such as gender, sexuality, students with disabilities, students of colour, and ways to be inclusive of all students. The training contributed to increasing overall inclusivity on campus and equipped participants with the skills needed to work with students from a variety of communities.

In addition to the above, Aidan maintains a fulltime course load and works two jobs. They also volunteer within the Exercise Physiology lab, helping graduate students with their thesis work.  

After graduation, Aidan intends to pursue a Master's of Kinesiology with the ultimate goal of becoming an Athletic Therapist.

photo of student leader Brody Laberge

Brody Laberge

Bachelor of Science in Nursing as part of the Collaborative Nursing Program

Brody has demonstrated his campus leadership through his involvement as Residence Floor Representative, Open House Volunteer, New Student Orientation Volunteer, Best Practice Guideline Champion, Frosh Coordinator, Nipissing University Nursing Society Class Representative, Nursing Games Participant, Nursing Peer Mentorship Program Coordinator and Undergraduate Research Conference Participant.

Brody also participated in self-development workshops including Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, Bringing in the Bystander, Consent+ and safeTALK. He was able to apply the skills learned in these workshops in his role as Frosh Coordinator, where he was responsible for leading and supporting a group of Frosh Leaders. In this role, Brody demonstrated how dedicated he is to creating a positive student experience. Whenever a Frosh Leader needed support, Brody would step up to provide a helping hand. His initiative and problem solving were crucial in supporting the success of Frosh Week.

Brody has also demonstrated commitment to academics and supporting other students' academic success. He volunteered his time to coordinate the Nipissing University Nursing Society Mentorship program which helps first-year mentees develop personally, academically, and professionally with the support and guidance of an upper-year mentor. He also showcased his research skills at the 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference through his panel discussion entitled "Addressing the horizontal Workplace Violence experienced by Newly Graduated Nurses," chosen as one of the winners that year.

Brody is kind, empathetic and hardworking. His wide range of volunteerism on campus is evidence of how much he cares about Nipissing University and its students.

Brody has accepted an offer of employment within the Emergency Department at the North Bay Regional Health Centre where he will start his Nursing Career.

Photo of student leader Hannah Mackie

Hannah Mackie

Bachelor of Business Administration following the Organizational Studies Stream

Hannah is has been a passionate advocate for students throughout her time at Nipissing. Each year, she has become increasingly more involved and grown from volunteering as a Frosh Leader to filling the role of Vice President of Governance and Legal Affairs, and then NUSU President. In each of these roles, Hannah has kept her commitment to improving student life as her focus.

Hannah has a way of making everyone feel welcome. Whether at Open House, New Student Orientation, Graduate Student Orientation, or the Ontario Universities Fair, Hannah seeks out every opportunity to share her Lakers Pride with others. She is an excellent ambassador for Nipissing University when speaking with prospective students and supporters at events.  In her role as NUSU President, she represents the student voice at events, on the Board of Governors, on the Academic Senate, and various Board subcommittees. Over and above her course work, Hannah dedicates countless hours in service of students in this role.

Hannah has also emerged as a leader in her program. As part of her Sports Marketing class, Hannah was elected Manager of Community Promotions for the 2019 Lakers Break the Ice on Mental Health fundraiser. In this role, she led a fundraising team, coordinated committee meetings, delegated tasks, and secured key sponsors. She took the initiative to design an incremental fundraising campaign and brought positive media attention to the event. Hannah's inclusive and encouraging leadership style inspired the entire class and was critical in helping the group reach its fundraising and awareness goals. The event had approximately 1,000 attendees and raised $9,000 in support of the Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing and NUListens mental health programs.

Hannah is encouraging, helpful, and positive. Her passion for and commitment to Nipissing University is evident in all she does.

After graduation, Hannah plans to pursue a Master's of Education and looks forward to a future career in Human Resources.

Photo of Student Leader Samantha Moore

Samantha Moore

Bachelor of Science in Nursing through the Collaborative Nursing Program

Samantha has been involved on campus as Residence Council Executive, Residence Don, Community Assistant, Open House Volunteer, Alpha Gamma Phi Founding Member and President, Peer Note Taker, and Relay for Life Volunteer. She also participated in numerous self-development workshops including Mental Health First Aid for the Veteran Community, Bringing in the Bystander, Let's Talk About Consent, Gender and Sexuality 101, and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.

In her roles within Residence, Samantha's leadership is evident in the way she supports her peers. She works hard to meet them where they are and encourages them to get involved on campus whether that be through attending events, connecting with support services, or participating in training opportunities. Samantha stays up to date with what's happening on campus so that she can connect students with resources appropriate to them. She has also planned several large scale events including Dining in the Dark, Festive Feast, and Capture the flag.

As a founding member and President of Alpha Gamma Phi, Samantha has been actively and meaningfully engaged in philanthropic initiatives with the sorority. In the three years that she was involved, the sisterhood raised over $6,000 for local charities. Samantha also volunteered her time as part of the Sexual Violence Task Force to help engage student leaders in a conversation about policy and procedure surrounding sexual violence prevention and education on our campus.

Samantha is thoughtful, empathetic, and compassionate. In the future, she plans to pursue a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Certification and become an Emergency Room Nurse.

Photo of student leader Nicole Payne

Nicole Payne

Bachelor of Science with an Honours Specialization in Biology and a Concurrent Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior Divisions

Nicole has demonstrated her campus leadership in her roles as Chemistry Tutorial Assistant, Tutor for the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Student Recruitment Ambassador, Campus Tour Guide, Open House Volunteer, Teacher Candidate Advisory Council Member, Biidaaban Academic Support Program Tutor, Social Media Representative for the Chemistry Club, and Mentor for the International Student Mentorship Program.

Nicole is friendly, approachable, and creates community wherever she goes. As an International Student Mentor, Nicole helps to plan events, attend monthly meetings, and offer support to international students. As Chemistry Club Social Media Representative, Nicole manages the club's social media pages and keeps students informed on upcoming events. In both of these roles, Nicole is always encouraging students to get involved on campus.

As a member of Teacher Candidate Advisory Council Nicole is a voice for educations students and a liaison between the student body and administration, to advocate for the student perspective. To further build community among teacher candidates, Nicole created the Nipissing University Concurrent Education Students 2022 Facebook page where she posts reminders, deadlines, program updates and event notifications.

Nicole is dependable, honest and caring. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career teaching biology, chemistry and math at the intermediate senior level.

Photo of student leader Julianne Sevigny

Julianne Sevigny

Bachelor of Social Work

Julianne has been an advocate for students in the Social Work Program through a number of roles with the Nipissing University Social Work Association (NUSWA). She has also been involved on campus as both a volunteer for the Nipissing University Alumni Association (NUSA), and a varsity athlete on the Ringette Team.

Through NUSWA, Julianne participates in Social Work Department meetings, representing the voice of students in important conversations with faculty and staff. In these meetings, Julianne communicates student concerns, stress levels, and overall satisfaction with the program. When she was made aware that students were struggling with the balance of assignments and workload of the program, she brought the issue to the department meeting to be addressed. As a result, Social Work Faculty have adjusted deadlines to support and continue to engage in discussions about balance and workload with students in the Professional Years. Also at these meetings, Julianne has advocated for the university to make faster progress toward implementing accreditation requirements.

Julianne has further supported her peers as Social Media Director and Event Organizer for NUSWA. In these roles, she plans events to bring social work students together and manages multiple social media accounts where she posts about events, professional development opportunities, volunteering, and self-care. When not volunteering for NUSWA, Julianne can be found supporting the Nipissing University Alumni Association's fundraisers and events, volunteering within the community, or playing Ringette.

Julianne is a kind-hearted, and empathetic leader willing to do what it takes to address injustice wherever she sees it.

After graduation, Julianna plans to pursue a Social Work career in North Bay and hopes to get involved in local politics to create change within the city regarding mental-health and anti-oppressive practice.


Photo of student leader Eric Brownlee

Eric Brownlee

Bachelor of Science with an Honours Specialization in Computer Science

Eric has demonstrated community leadership in his role as a Cub Scout Leader for a group of cubs between the age of 7 and 10. In this role, Eric has displayed a remarkable ability to interact, teach, and motivate the cubs. He seeks out cubs who appear to be struggling with a task to support them until they reach a successful outcome. He is the first to volunteer to teach a new skill to the pack, proving to be a capable and confident scout leader.

Eric shares the scout leader role with 3 other leaders, who he happily collaborates with. Eric knows when to take the lead, and when to assist someone else as they lead. He's always there with a smile ready to lend a helping hand. Recently, Eric took the lead on a Rocket building project. He brought in an expert guest instructor to teach the cubs what it takes to get the rockets to fly and maintain proper trajectory, helped support the rocket building activity, and arranged the rocket launch date for later this spring.

Eric also takes the lead in many of the Scout's outdoor camping and hiking trips. With his vast knowledge of camping and outdoor skills, achieved while obtaining his own Chief Scouting Award, he is able to pass on this knowledge to cubs and other scout leaders. He is also a qualified lifeguard which enables him to oversee all aquatic and water-based skills as the lead scouter in these areas.

In addition to scouts, Eric is a leader within his church community. He is a Youth Delegate on the Board at Trinity United Church, leads retreats for the United Church of Canada, and has attended many youth conferences on Church Leaders.

After graduation, Eric plans to continue is community service work as he pursues a career in Computer Science.

Photo of student leader Jetta Derenoski

Jetta Derenoski

Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice following the Criminal Justice Stream

Jetta's leadership is evident in her roles as Captain of the Women's Hockey Team and a community volunteer. She has volunteered at length with local hockey teams and at local schools. She donates her time to lead practices, motivate players, and encourage children who are just learning to play hockey. As a volunteer at Alliance Public School, Jetta helped support the Grade 5's Floor Hockey unit. She also volunteers within the classroom setting, helping students with their learning.

Annually, Jetta takes a leadership role as a volunteer for the Girls Summer Hockey Camp. For the camp, local girls are invited to participate in a week of training led by the Women's Hockey Team. In addition to this, Jetta has given her time to support the North Bay North Stars hockey program for individuals with developmental disabilities. She has also volunteered for One Kids Place, and at the Downtown Christmas Walk.

Jetta plays hockey with integrity and leads by example. She genuinely cares about the growth and development of young athletes and makes time to listen to them, support them, and encourage them to work hard on and off the ice. Jetta has inspired a younger generation of up and coming women to envision a future for themselves in a male-dominated sport. She has had a significant impact on the lives of young athletes, more than she knows.

After graduation, she plans to pursue a career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Photo of student leader Ava Keis

Ava Keis

Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice following the Criminal Justice Stream

Ava has been extensively involved as a community volunteer for a variety of organizations over the past five years. She has volunteered for One Kids Place, the Nipissing Lakers Girls Hockey Camp, in support of the North Bay North Star’s hockey program for folks with developmental disabilities, as a member of the Alpha Phi Sigma Society, for Bell Let’s Talk Day, Relay for Life, and at local schools supporting the development of young women’s interest in hockey.

Ava has balanced her volunteerism with high academic achievement, receiving recognition as an Academic All Canadian for three consecutive academic years from FW16 – FW19. She also sought out self-development workshops such as “Making Sense of Trauma: Practical Tools for Responding to Children and Youth,” safeTALK, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s Commit to Kids training, and Mental Health First Aid.

When not participating in workshops, athletic training, or volunteerism, Ava can be found encouraging others to come out and volunteer. Her commitment to supporting community organizations has resulted in the Women’s Hockey Team building rapport with the community and contributed to increasing Nipissing University athletes’ recognition as enthusiastic community volunteers.

Ava is an excellent ambassador for Nipissing University. She is kind, generous with her time, and deeply committed to community.

After graduation, Ava hopes to maintain a role with the Nipissing University Women's Varsity Hockey as a coach or trainer. She plans to apply to the Canadian Armed Forces.

Olivia Pitcher

Honours Double Major in English Studies and Religions and Cultures with a Concurrent Bachelor of Education in the Junior/Intermediate Divisions

Olivia has been involved with Frontier College since her first year of university. She has progressively taken on more responsibility and is an amazing champion of Frontier's programs. In addition to managing other tutors, Olivia has recruited, screened and trained new volunteers, led the executive team, represented the organization at community events, and celebrated the successes of many learners and tutors. She never hesitates to offer help whenever and wherever it is needed. Olivia is a conscientious and committed volunteer who leads by example and is, in many ways, the "student ambassador" of our program, leading our executive team in recruitment efforts such as class presentations and residence promotions.

Olivia became a member of Frontier's executive team when she was in her second year, after joining as a one-to-one tutor the previous year.  A quiet but dedicated volunteer tutor, she took her executive responsibilities seriously, communicating regularly with her assigned tutors and ensuring they felt supported at the tutoring location. Since taking on an internship with Frontier College, Olivia has consistently sought new opportunities for personal growth, trying each year to learn something new that will result in new skills and new experiences. From someone whose soft voice could often get lost in a conversation, Olivia has developed into a friendly, confident leader who not only represents the program to the university community but also to the learners she interacts with regularly. Her personal growth and its contribution to the success of Frontier College's programs has been remarkable.

What sets Olivia apart is her ability to be fair with all people—learners and tutors alike. She has such empathy for the challenges of others and will do everything in her power to accommodate the needs of a child or a tutor who has asked for assistance.

Olivia plans to continue volunteering with Frontier College during her final year at Nipissing. After graduation, she plans to apply her experiences to a career as a Teacher.

Photo of student leader Amber St-Jean

Amber St-Jean

Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice following the Criminal Justice Stream

Amber's community leadership is evident through her role as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Bay and District. She has also donated her time as a volunteer for The Warming Centre, as a member of the Criminal Justice Student Association, a Relay for Life Volunteer, and as a member of the Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Society.  

Amber volunteers as a Big Sister weekly while maintaining a course overload and fast-tracking her degree completion. She is enthusiastic, sincere and empathetic in her role, encouraging her little sister to get involved within the community by attending events alongside her. Amber is an excellent role model. She has the right combination of skills to bring the best out of others and support them in being their best self. When mentoring her little sister, she advocates for the importance of education and community involvement. Amber leads by example and sets a high standards for others to follow. She knows when to be a team player and when she needs to step up and take a leadership role. She has been an excellent mentor for her little sister, who tells us she wants to be just like Amber when she grows up.

Amber is an excellent role model and a selfless volunteer. She carries herself with a high level of professionalism and has been an exceptional leader within Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Amber has been accepted to Law School at both Osgoode and Queen’s. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in law to eventually become a criminal prosecutor.