Congratulations to the 2021 Dave Marshall Leadership Award recipients:
- Quintin Ashitei
- Shandon Ashitei
- Mason Blais
- Melissa Connors
- Aamil Mohammed Ferhath
- Charlotte Foster
- Thomas Fowler
- Samuel Greco
- Alexandra Harrison
- Erica Kataquapit
- Mykayla King
- Andrew Legge
- Brianne Levasseur
- Ashley Locke
- Kayden Sim
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Scholar Practitioner Program
Jennifer has demonstrated her leadership as Best Practice Guideline Student Leader, Lead Research Assistant, Undergraduate Research Conference Presenter, and mentor. She is passionate about social justice and an advocate for evidence-based nursing practice.
As Lead Research Assistant for Dr. Louela Manakil-Rankin, Jennifer assisted with several important projects including a practice-readiness study, a study looking at diabetes education programs within indigenous communities, and projects associated with the Best Practice Spotlight Organization. She also conducted an environmental scan of research ethics board recruitment materials from 20 universities, which resulted in the development of a document for use within the Nipissing University Research Ethics Board process. The document is now used to inform current recruitment protocols for research projects at Nipissing University.
As a Best Practice Guideline (BPG) Student Leader, Jennifer conducted a study on peer uptake of the “engaging clients who use substances” best practice guideline. This study was later presented at the Nipissing University Undergraduate Research Conference. She also worked with other BPG Leads to implement learning groups focused on understanding and applying 5 key Best Practice Guidelines. These learning groups are scheduled to reoccur every semester during practicum when learning around BPGs is most applicable. To ensure the groups’ continued sustainability, Jennifer helped to implement a mentorship process where incoming Year 1 BPGs are trained to take up the process.
Jennifer is a compassionate, skilled, thoughtful, and knowledgeable student. After graduation, Jennifer plans to hone her clinical skills in the acute care setting before furthering her education at the graduate level.
Bachelor of Physical & Health Education / Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior divisions.
Alexander is a varsity athlete, captain, coach, researcher, writer, and YouTuber with a proven track record of academic, research, and athletic excellence. In 2019, he represented Nipissing University and Team Canada at the World University Games Competition in Russia. In 2021, he will represent again at the World University Games, this time in Switzerland.
In addition to today’s leadership award, Alexander has also received the President’s Scholarship for his academic excellence in each year of his studies. He was twice recognized by NU Athletics as an Academic All Canadian. In 2020, he was named Nipissing University Male Athlete of the Year. Also in 2020, he was recognized with the Paul Nelson Memorial Award for most outstanding coaching philosophy.
Alexander worked as a Research Assistant in the Exercise Physiology Lab as part of a community placement for his program. His work in the lab led to an abstract being accepted at the 2020 American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. His research was also presented at 2020 Nipissing University Undergraduate Research Conference.
Outside of the classroom, Alexander is a NCCP certified Ski Coach at his hometown club, Mono Nordic, where he teaches kids and adults of all abilities how to Nordic ski. He also dedicates time to creating content for an active YouTube channel, using his platform as an international level Nordic skier to promote an active lifestyle within his community.
Alexander is an outstanding student and a leader among his peers. After graduation, he plans to return to Nipissing University for his Masters in Kinesiology focusing on the effects of ergogenic aids on sport performance. Alexander also aspires to become a varsity level ski coach.
Bachelor of Arts, Honours Specialization in Social Welfare and Social Development / Social Service Worker Diploma
Alexandra is a three-time President’s Scholarship recipient who consistently stands out in her classes for both her academic achievements and her enthusiasm for learning. She is not only an outstanding student but has also worked more than 500 hours as a Research Assistant in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Currently, Alexandra is working in the Nipissing Research and Data Centre of Statistics Canada making contributions as a Statistical Assistant. Through these experiences, she has gained familiarity with statistical software programs, analytical tools, as well as qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Acknowledging the importance of putting her classroom learning into practice, Alexandra has volunteered at the Gathering Place, serving breakfast to the homeless; with the White Water Gallery, working to expand indigenous-focused exhibitions, and making phone calls to isolated seniors during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. On-campus, Alexandra also volunteered as the World University Service of Canada Nipissing Branch Chair; as a Peer Note Taker for clients of Student Accessibility Services, and as a voice of the students on the NUSU Board of Directors.
Alexandra is a considerate and thoughtful leader. After graduation, she plans to pursue graduate education in either Sociology or Human Rights and Multi-Level Governance with the goal of studying abroad while working within an international organization to help affect social change.
Bachelor of Physical & Health Education
Quintin is a varsity athlete and four-time Academic All Canadian who balances high academic achievement, commitment to sport, and time spent volunteering. In 2020, he received a Lakers PRIDE award for embodying the values of Lakers Athletics and was also named Lakers Men’s Basketball Team MVP.
Quintin has been a member of the Men’s Basketball Team for 5 years, 2 of which were in a leadership role as Co-Captain. While on the team, he volunteered to coach elementary students in exchange for canned goods as part of Coach4Food campaign in support of the Student Food Bank. Quintin has also been a trainer for One For all Basketball, where he supports up-and-coming youth athletes with their training regimen and fundamental skills.
Quintin also volunteered as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, helping to assist the Athletics Department with events, programming, and fostering a sense of community on campus. In 2020, he helped to organize a Bell Let’s Talk event where students spent a few hours in the gym doing different activities to relieve stress from academics. Passionate about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of his teammates, Quintin became trained by Student Counselling Services to be the team’s REALTALK point person. Teammates are encouraged to connect with their point person if they are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing for support and referrals.
Quintin is also the Co-Vice President of the newly launched, Nipissing University Black Association for Student Expression (NUBASE). The club’s mission is to: promote diversity and inclusion on campus and in North Bay, assist in the proper implementation of anti-racism policies, and to provide Black students a platform to express themselves. Through NUBASE, Quintin hopes to see a future where no black student feels alone at Nipissing University.
After graduation, Quintin plans to pursue a career in healthcare as a Physician Assistant or Physiotherapist.
Bachelor of Physical & Health Education
Shandon’s leadership has been evident from the moment he joined the Men’s Basketball Team. Throughout his five years on the team, he worked his way up to co-captain while maintaining top marks in his courses. Shandon was recognized as an Academic All Canadian annually for five consecutive years. In 2017 and 2018 he was further recognized with a Men’s Basketball Academic Excellence Award for having the highest GPA on the team. In 2019, he was awarded a Lakers PRIDE award, granted to athletes who embody passion, respect, integrity, dedication, and excellence.
Shandon has been involved on campus as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, on the Nipissing University Black Association for Student Expression (NUBASE) executive team, as a REAL TALK point person, a research volunteer, and as a community volunteer. He took part in the Coach4Food campaign, volunteered for Tim Horton’s Camp Day, and helped fundraise for the “Take the Charge Against Prostate Cancer” event in collaboration with Nipissing University Sexual Violence Prevention and Education and Athletics.
As part of NUBASE, Shandon took the lead on coordinating the #NUnity campaign for Black History Month that gained local media attention. The campaign involved collaborating with the Nipissing University Student Union to post a video series about influential Black Canadians throughout the month of February. The campaign culminated with a #NUnity t-shirt giveaway featuring a new logo combining the Lakers Athletics wordmark, a raised fist, and the #NUnity hashtag. The goal is for NUBASE to continue the conversation about systemic racism for years to come through further campaigns like this one.
After graduation, Shandon aspires to become a health care provider as either a Physician or Physician Assistant.
Bachelor of Physical & Health Education / Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior divisions
Mason is a four-time Academic All Canadian and has been Captain of the Lakers Men’s Volleyball Team for three years in a row. He has a proven track record of balancing academics, sports, and volunteering. He took on a leadership role for the annual “Hunger Spike” volleyball clinic in support of the student food bank. He also volunteered for the campus spring cleanup, organizing a group of teammates to pick up around campus. Beyond this, he has also been involved as a New Student Orientation Volunteer, welcoming new Lakers to Nipissing University.
Mason is further involved on campus as Co-President of the Nipissing University Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and as the Nipissing University Physical & Health Education Society (NUPHES) Communications Coordinator. As part of the NUPHES role, Mason planned social events, ran the society’s social media accounts, and organized apparel orders. On the Men’s Volleyball Team, mason fills two additional leadership roles as Public Relations Leader and Academic Leader.
With Ontario University Athletics cancelling the season due to COVID, Mason was able to dedicate more time to Movember fundraising this year. He contributed to a light-hearted “Move it Movember” video campaign on social media and helped to organize a trivia night with Movember Head Office. The Men’s Volleyball team collectively raised $4000 for the charity in large part because of Mason’s leadership in coordinating.
Mason is an outstanding student-athlete who demonstrates excellence on and off the court. After graduation, he aspires to return home to Saskatchewan to become an intermediate/senior teacher and a coach.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing through the RPN Bridging Blended Delivery Program
Melissa is a leader, mentor, research presenter, and nurse who has been instrumental in creating a much-needed online community for distance nursing students. Seeing the connection between online social presence and student success, Melissa took the initiative to help co-create Nipissing University's first ever Online Blended Nursing Student Organization.
Working in collaboration with a small group of peers and two faculty advisors, Melissa became a founding executive member of the organization. Thanks to her leadership, communication between faculty, staff, and students has improved. Melissa has been able to conduct surveys, and advocate for change based on concerns brought up in online discussions. Her advocacy has directly resulted in positive improvements being made to program policies and procedures.
As part this organization, Melissa hosted live online workshops on topics such as APA citation and formatting, Navigating the Library, and accessing student discounts. She has also connected with students for online study groups. When the pandemic began, Melissa was a huge support in reassuring peers, answering frequently asked questions, and liaising with faculty and staff. She further supported staff and administration by researching alternatives to face-to-face clinical and presenting her findings for consideration.
Melissa’s passion about online communities extends to research as well. She presented on the topic of “Social Presence in Online Courses” at the Nipissing University Undergraduate Research Conference and co-presented with peers on “Creating a Culture of Empowered Online Learners” at the Technology Education Seminar and Showcase (TESS). The latter presentation earned a TESS Inspiration Award, voted by conference participants.
After graduation, Melissa intends to continue her career as a Registered Nurse.
Aamil Mohammed Ferhath
Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Business Administration
Aamil is an international student from the city of Chennai in India who has been involved on campus from the moment he started studies at Nipissing University as a Student Recruitment Ambassador, Campus Tour guide, Fall Open House Volunteer, International Student Mentor, Peer Tutor, Teaching Assistant, Business LTA Hiring Committee Student Member, NU Gateway Community Leader, NUSU Elections Committee Member and NUSU Director At Large.
As a Director at Large, Aamil has been an advocate for the international student perspective at important decision-making tables. As a NU Gateway Community Leader, Aamil kept a community of new students engaged and informed with support and services available to them. Known to be knowledgeable about Nipissing University, Aamil is sought out by his peers for information about support and services. He is also sought after for course-specific support in Accounting, a course he became Teaching Assistant for.
Aamil has also been involved as an International Student mentor, where he has been able to connect with incoming international students to show them around campus and help them feel at home. Through all these roles, Aamil has inspired other students to get involved.
Aamil adds today’s award to his School of Business Post Baccalaureate Leadership Award, now twice recognized for his leadership!
After graduation, Aamil intends to pursue a career as an international entrepreneur, setting up a business here in Canada, possibly in North Bay.
Bachelor of Arts, Honours Double Major in History and Psychology / Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior divisions
Charlotte has been extensively involved with a variety of offices across campus. She has been a Residents’ Council Floor Representative, Community Assistant, Residence Don, Varsity Cross Country Runner, Biidaaban Peer Tutor, Undergraduate Research Conference Presenter, and Shinerama Campaign Advisor. She has also volunteered for Open House, New Student Orientation, Clean Green Beautiful North Bay, and NUSU Crew. Beyond this, she has taken on roles as a Peer Note Taker, NUSU Director at Large, and as a Student Senator.
Charlotte’s leadership is evident in her advocacy work. Throughout her degree she sat on numerous university committees to advocate for student voices to be heard and valued. Students trust Charlotte to bring forward their concerns, knowing she will do everything she can to make positive change for them. She adds today’s award to her existing recognition with a Murray Green Award, granted to students for volunteering and promoting volunteerism, and L’Hibou Award, granted to students who balance high academic achievement with involvement in university affairs.
Charlotte has been involved on campus through both research and self-development opportunities. As a researcher, Charlotte explored the topic of “Loneliness and the Interpretation of Online Social Cues,” presenting study findings at the 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference. For self-development, Charlotte participated in a variety of trainings including but not limited to Mental Health First Aid for the Veteran Community, Bringing in the Bystander, Consent +, and Gender 101.
Charlotte also took initiative to set up a support group for grade 12 students at her hometown high school. Through the group, she provides mentorship, shares about her own post-secondary experience, and answers students' questions to ensure they feel supported in their post-secondary decision-making. After graduation, Charlotte plans to pursue a career in teaching while continuing to volunteer in the community.
Bachelor of Arts, Honours Specialization in Psychology
Thomas is a natural leader who goes above and beyond to support his peers and foster a sense of community on campus. He has been involved with the Nipissing University Biology Society for several years, starting as First Year Representative, then as Second Year Representative, and finally as the society’s President for two consecutive years. He has further supported his peers as Peer Note Taker.
Through the Biology Society, Thomas helped to arrange countless events to bring students together, including thesis information sessions, winter formals, trivia nights, fundraising initiatives, and textbook sales to name a few. When the pandemic began, Thomas continued to engage society members digitally, offering much-needed community in difficult times.
On many occasions, Thomas has acted as an ambassador for the institution at both community and recruitment-related events. He has represented the Department of Biology and Chemistry during several Open Houses and outreach events including the Science Festival organized by Science North.
Thomas has also represented the student voice on the Animal Care Committee. He is responsible for meeting with the committee to inform decisions on various research projects within the Departments of Biology and Chemistry, and Psychology. This speaks clearly to Thomas’s character, as he is trusted to act with integrity and excise morality in this role. Thomas has also dedicated countless volunteer hours to supporting research conducted in the Nipissing University Research on Neuroscience (NURON) laboratory, one of a select few who have been invited to continue work in the lab during the pandemic.
Thomas is authentic, resilient, and inspires others to see the good in the world around them. After graduation, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in Neuroscience.
Bachelor of Science, Honours Specialization in Biology / Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior divisions
Samuel is a second-year student who has gone above and beyond to get involved on campus early in his academic career. He has been Vice-President of Social for Governors House, Biology Society First-Year Representative, Chemistry Club Second-Year Representative, Residence Open House Greeter, Ontario University Fair Representative, and Residence Don.
Samuel is the kind of leader who creates community wherever he goes. As VP Social, he planned social events to bring students together, and dedicated his time to ensure all students felt welcomed and included when attending. Samuel’s peers describe him as uplifting, positive, and motivating. They credit him with making residence feel like home, encouraging them get involved, and inspiring them to be their best selves.
Despite being extensively involved on campus, Samuel has been able to maintain an excellent academic record. In 2020, he was recognized as a President's Scholar. When not volunteering his time to clubs or recruitment events, Samuel can be found spending his evenings supporting peers with their studies.
During the shift to online learning, Samuel maintained his ever-positive attitude, and didn’t hesitate to reach out to communicate student concerns to university administration. In his role as a Don, Samuel truly listens and makes others feel valued and included.
After graduation, Samuel plans to continue studies with Nipissing University’s Schulich School of Education, focusing on becoming a biology and chemistry teacher.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Alexandra has been involved on campus as a Nipissing University Nursing Society (NUNS) Executive Member, Best Practice Guideline Champion, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) Liaison, Nursing Peer Mentorship Program Mentor, New Student Orientation Volunteer, and Open House Volunteer.
Alexandra been a member of NUNS for several years. Over time, she moved into leadership roles as Vice President, and then President. Through NUNS, she helped coordinate social events, workshops, and professional development opportunities. Some examples include practice bellringer workshops; a pizza night on the topic of benefits of student membership in professional nursing organizations; a Students Teaching Students Forum where participants helped one another prepare for their RN licencing exam; in person social events like the annual nursing formal; virtual social events for pumpkin carving and gingerbread cookie decorating; and organizing a donation to the Children’s Aid Society for the holidays.
With the onset of COVID19, Alexandra took initiative to ensure that nursing students in all nursing programs at Nipissing University were able to safely pivot to online learning while awaiting a safe return to campus, lab, and placement. She also offered recommendations to faculty regarding student needs for a safe return to the North Bay Regional Health Centre.
Alexandra was part of the Nursing Games team regularly practicing for the games prior to their cancellation due to COVID19. Similarly, she and her fellow NUNS members were also looking forward to a joint conference presentation at the University of West Indies’ Evidence-Based Nursing Conference, prior to its cancellation due to the pandemic. Despite these cancellations, Alexandra has remained positive, and channelled her energy into supporting her peers.
Alexandra is approachable, collaborative, and insightful. After graduation she hopes become a sexual assault nurse examiner and follow a career path focused on lifelong learning.
Bachelor Education in the Junior/Intermediate divisions
Erica has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to involvement in campus events and activities, as a participant, volunteer, and student employee. She has volunteered for and worked with various programs offered through the Office of Indigenous Initiatives including Peer2Peer mentorship, Academic Tutoring, Biidaaban Youth Group, Biidaaban Academic Support, and youth Summer Camps.
Erica is a positive presence in the Enji giigdoyang student lounge. She is patient, caring, and humble. As a result of these characteristics, she is sought out by her peers for academic support, mentoring, and tutoring. Students feel comfortable approaching Erica for support because she is known to be a great teacher who is knowledgeable about academic success strategies. She freely shares her knowledge with others, often passionately talking about the sciences.
Erica currently works as a student employee in the Biidaaban Youth Group and the Biidaaban Academic Support program where she engages with peers, Indigenous youth, and families in meaningful ways. In these roles, Erica has demonstrated leadership in sharing her cultural knowledge when planning activities for Indigenous Youth.
Outside of the office of Indigenous Initiatives, Erica has also gotten involved in research. She presented on the topic of “The Effects of THC and Chronic Mild Stress Exposure on Learning in Adults” at Nipissing University’s Undergraduate Research Conference.
Erica is confident, level-headed, caring, and supportive. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career teaching in an indigenous community. In particular, she hopes to inspire youth to take an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in order to increase representation of indigenous peoples in the field.
Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing Stream
Mykayla has been involved on campus as a Nipissing University Business Community (NUBC) Ambassador, NUBC Marketing and Communications Executive, Alpha Gamma Phi Member, NUSU Crew Member, New Student Orientation Volunteer, Relay for Life Fundraiser, Break the Ice for Mental Health Organizer, and general campus volunteer.
As NUBC Ambassador, Mykayla supported the executive in planning the year’s major events for business students, including the Business Formal. As Marketing and Communications Executive, she created graphics and posters to market events, placed orders for spirit wear, recruited students to join NUBC, and took time to speak in several classes to promote events. As Part of NUSU Crew, Mykayla volunteered at the Santa Claus Parade, NUSU Sprit Week, and Shoot for the Cure. As a New Student Orientation Volunteer, she helped new students and their supporters navigate the campus from session to session and supported the Lakers-to-Lakers panel, where she answered Nipissing University FAQs.
As Recruitment Coordinator for the Relay for Life Committee, Mykayla was integral in getting students involved in fundraising. Though the event itself was cancelled because of the pandemic, Mykayla was still able to help fundraise a significant amount of money for the Canadian Cancer Society. As part of her Sports Marketing Class, Mykayla helped to organize the Break the Ice for Mental Health event, a fundraiser contributing to NUListens and the Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing. Similarly, she has been further involved with fundraising as a member of Alpha Gamma Phi, a philanthropic sorority.
After graduation, Makayla plans to pursue a career in Marketing.
Bachelor of Physical and Health Education
Andrew is a kind and compassionate leader, who has been involved on campus as an Open House Volunteer, New Student Orientation Volunteer, Residents’ Council Vice President Athletics and Wellness, Residence Floor Representative, Residence Don, Equity Centre Member, and as part of the Powerlifting Club.
Andrew has this incredible ability to make people feel valued, comfortable, and like they belong. Deeply committed to growth and self-reflection, Andrew has been an incredible support to both Residence Life and the Equity Centre. Before the pandemic began, he could always be found volunteering at in-person events, going above and beyond set up and take down to problem solve and offer suggestions for ways to improve events in the future. Further to this, Andrew helped facilitate collaborations between the two offices, bringing important equity education conversations to a wider audience.
Andrew has a reputation for standing up for what is right, and not shying away from difficult or nuanced conversations. He can often be found sparking thought-provoking conversations or taking time to educate others. One such example is education around using gender pronouns that Andrew initiated in residence.
When the pandemic began, Andrew shifted to support the Equity Centre on social media. In this role, he carefully reviewed and shares posts about injustices happening here and around the world. In so doing, he has helped to keep equity conversations going online year-round.
Both online and offline, Andrew is deeply committed to supporting Nipissing University in becoming a safer place for everyone. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in a helping profession working with people.
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Criminology stream
Brianne is an exceptional student leader who has been bringing students together during the pandemic. She has been involved on campus as Co-President of the Criminal Justice Student Association (CJSA), Co-Founder of the Criminal Justice Mentorship Program, and as a member of Alpha Phi Sigma, the Criminal Justice Honour Society.
Brianne has taken on each of these leadership roles because she is truly passionate about ensuring that students feel connected to campus and to each other during this difficult time. To further this goal, Brianne has also mobilized other student leaders to get involved and support. Brianne, and the CJSA Executive Team, created a mentorship initiative to connect upper-year Criminal Justice students with students in their first and second year. This initiative is meant to foster a sense of community among the students and give first and second years the ability to ask questions early in their education to better prepare them for their future.
Despite COVID19, the Criminal Justice Student Association has been more active than ever. They have been connecting students with one another through social media, virtual events, and the mentorship program. They made it their mission to post content on Facebook and Instagram every day to create a sense of community online among Criminal Justice students and they have been incredibly consistent with wonderful content. The group’s great success is owed in large part to Brianne’s leadership and dedication.
Brianne is responsible, reliable, mature, and professional. After graduation, she plans to pursue further education to become a lawyer who specializes in human rights or criminal law.
Master of Science in Kinesiology
Ashley has been extensively involved during her time at Nipissing University. She has been a Lab Coordinator, Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, Graduate Student Senator, Frosh Coordinator, Nipissing University Applicant Reception Volunteer, Alpha Gamma Phi Vice-President, Alpha Gamma Phi Recruitment Chairwoman, Nipissing University Call Campaign Volunteer, Frosh Leader, International Student Mentor, and Open House Volunteer.
Ashley has shown in her years at Nipissing University that she is hardworking, dedicated and is always looking to support others in having the best student experience possible. As a Frosh Leader, she earned the nick name “Momma Ashley,” and was looked to as the example of what a good Frosh Leader is to be. She always made sure the Frosh Leaders and “Froshies” felt welcome on campus, checking in on them throughout the year, even after Frosh Week was over.
In her involvement with Alpha Gamma Phi, Ashely was a source of support for other female students in the society. She helped them navigate university life, helped them with their studying, and connected them with others on campus for academic or social interactions.
Ashley is driven, exceedingly empathetic, and caring. She is always checking in on others and making sure that they are included and supported. She is a very warm person and continually looks to see how she can positively improve whatever she is involved in.
After graduation, Ashley intends to pursue work in higher education as a college instructor while continuing to volunteer with organizations that are important to her.
Bachelor of Science, Honours Specialization in Environment and Physical Geography
Kayden has been a Varsity Athlete on the Nipissing University Nordic Ski Team for the last five years. He has an impressive 7 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Medals across 4 OUA Championships and was crucial to Nipissing University’s first-ever relay gold medal at the 2018 OUA Championships in Thunder Bay.
Kayden is the kind of leader who understands that one teammates’ success means success for the whole team. He is a dedicated athlete, who has made contributions to the team through trail building, map making, recruiting new athletes, driving teammates to and from practices or races, and supporting the team from the sidelines.
In 2019, Nipissing University hosted the OUA Cross Country Ski Championship and an Ontario Cup event all within a 4-day period. This was a massive undertaking with nearly 200 varsity skiers from across Ontario, as well an additional 300+ junior racers in attendance. Kayden contributed to the event by designing a dozen highly detailed topographical maps of the race terrain for use by athletes and coaches. These maps took into consideration the different ability levels of junior racers vs. varsity athletes, ensuring appropriate distance and difficulty level for each group. The map designs were incredibly professional and demonstrated Kayden’s skills as a Geography major.
Kayden is also credited with designing the map for Shelby’s Loop, an 800m ski loop named in memoriam late teammate Shelby Dickey.
Kayden is hardworking, kind, and caring. After graduation, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in Geographical Informational Systems and Natural Resource Development.
Lucas is working on Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Policing stream
Lucas has been a regular community volunteer while serving as Assistant Captain of the Lakers Men’s Hockey Team. He volunteered to coach for the U16 AAA Trappers Minor Hockey Team, and for Timbits minor hockey. He has helped to introduce the game of hockey to International Students, by offering on-ice instruction.
He has been involved with the North Bay North Stars Hockey Team, a grassroots non-profit hockey program for individuals with developmental disabilities. In addition to this, he volunteered during the "Plasma Car Races" charity event to raise money for One Kids Place. In 2020 you could consistently find Lucas at "The Gathering Place" serving lunch to those in need.
Lucas is further involved as a Student Recruitment Ambassador, working with future lakers and as a part of the Criminal Justice Mentorship Program, supporting first and second-year students with their personal and academic success. As a member of the Criminal Justice Honours Society, Lucas volunteered and helped organize several events including a charity volleyball tournament, movie night, and bake sales, all to raise money for Amelia Rising, a local Sexual Violence Support Centre in North Bay.
Though extensively involved, Lucas still maintained academic excellence throughout his studies, recognized each year as an Academic All Canadian. Lucas has impeccable character, carries himself with a team-first mentality, and is someone you can always count on.
After graduation, Lucas plans to pursue a career as a Police Officer, continuing to support the community.
Bachelor of Science, 4 year, Specialization in Biology.
Eric is an outstanding student-athlete who demonstrates excellence on and off the court. When not playing on the Varsity Men’s Volleyball Team, Eric can be found volunteering as an evaluator, coach, and clinic instructor for North Bay Youth Volleyball Club; as a cleaner, server, and prep cook for the Gathering Place, or to lend a hand at the North Bay Special Olympics.
Eric dedicates much of his volunteer efforts to local youth interested in volleyball through both the North Bay Youth Volleyball Club and local schools. He approaches each volunteer opportunity with tremendous enthusiasm, looking to support up-and-coming athletes in both improving their skills and learning to love the sport.
Eric has gotten involved with on-campus volunteer opportunities including the annual Hunger Spike Clinic in support of the student Food Bank; Movember campaign fundraising to bring awareness to prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men speaking up about their mental health; and our local Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, a men’s march in high heels to bring awareness to sexual and gender-based violence.
As a leader on the Public Relations council, Eric is responsible for community outreach and coordinating group volunteer opportunities for the Men’s Volleyball Team. His leadership has led to group volunteering at many of the organizations already mentioned.
Eric is kind, dedicated to others, and committed to community. After graduation, he hopes to pursue medical school and then a career in lab medicine and pathobiology.
Bachelor of Arts, Honours Specialization in Social Welfare and Social Development
Marissa has been working and volunteering for several years in the communities of North Bay and her home community of Fort Albany First Nation. Currently at the Ojibway Women’s Lodge, a safe shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence; previously at True Self Debwewendizwin, a non-profit employment and training service for people who have experienced violence; at the Métis Nation of Ontario; where she got to support the elderly and chronically ill; and working with the youth in her home community. Through her involvement with each of these organizations, Marissa has shown her enduring dedication to social responsibility and leaving no one behind.
Marissa is trustworthy, resilient, and shows perseverance through times of hardship. She uplifts those she works with, no matter their background. She is known to be an exceptional listener, capable of supporting others in their healing process. At True Self, Marissa was given the task to organize and gather donations for the annual Christmas dinner for clients and families. In her home community she spent a few summers as the Summer Student Employment Coordinator, and helped the local youth council organize the annual youth gathering in 2017, called “To Love Life”. At the Ojibway Women’s Lodge, Marissa provides security and support for clients in residence, while answering crisis calls, providing immediate crisis intervention, risk assessment, safety planning, and referrals.
Marissa has balanced her schoolwork and commitment to community, while maintaining excellent grades throughout her degree. She sets a strong example for her peers and has made a significant difference in the lives of community members she supports.
After graduation, Marissa plans to pursue graduate studies with the goal of a future career in policy development for Indigenous communities.
Bachelor of Science, Honours Specialization in Environmental Biology and Technology
Patrick is a student-athlete and three-time Academic All Canadian who has demonstrated his commitment to community through his role as one of the Public Relations Leader for the Men’s Volleyball Team. Through this role, Patrick helped coordinate community volunteer opportunities for the team including working with youth at local schools, serving food and cleaning at the Gathering Place, running practices for the North Bay Youth Volleyball Club, and supporting Clean Green Beautiful North Bay in community clean up initiatives.
Beyond this, Patrick also volunteers with The Ministry of National Resources and Forestry to help with fish stocking various trout species in lakes around North Bay to maintain the fish population in the region. Similarly, Patrick also supports the ministry's duck banding which consists of capturing, tagging, and releasing ducks to monitor their migration patterns. Lastly, Patrick also volunteers to help maintain Laurier Woods ensuring the trails are safe for the community to enjoy.
In addition to his community involvement, Patrick has also been engaged on campus as a Teaching Assistant and as a member of both the Nipissing University Biology Society and the Chemistry Club. He balances his various commitments while also maintaining a rigorous 6-to-7-day training schedule, setting an incredible example for his peers.
After graduation, Patrick hopes to find a career where he can work with others and share all he has learned while still finding time to pursue his personal goals.
Bachelor of Arts, Honours Specialization in Social Welfare and Social Development
Deverick is an indigenous student, varsity athlete, activist, leader, and motivational speaker from Cree Nation of Waswanipi and Cree Nation of Chisasibi, near James Bay in Quebec. Deverick adds today’s leadership Award to his existing recognition as a two-time Academic All Canadian and as a Dr. Dennis Mock Most Valuable Player.
Deverick is fluent in Cree and passionate about sharing indigenous ways of knowing, being, and living a healthy life with those around him. Being one of the only First Nations members of the Laker’s Men’s Hockey Team, Deverick used the opportunity to educate his teammates about indigenous vs. non-indigenous ways of engaging in sport. In so doing, he has contributed to reconciliation and fostering a greater understanding of indigenous culture among the team.
Deverick has also been involved with the Ontario University Athletics Black Biracial Indigenous Task Force, whose mandate is “to make positive change across the province through building strategies to increase diversity and representation across the OUA and to drive policy change to remove systemic barriers regarding racism.”
Deverick is a changemaker. Indigenous youth look up to him. He has taken on a leadership role in the development of youth sport programs both here in North Bay and in his home community and has given multiple motivational speeches to youth at the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Center.
Deverick is living a life that contributes to Indigenous cultural revival and improves people’s understanding of the need for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. After graduation, he hopes to continue this work, in the short term through a role in Indigenous Child Welfare Services and in the long term, in a role more specifically focused on preserving, restoring, and resurging cultural practices.
Bachelor of Science, Honours Specialization in Biology
Jessica is a committed volunteer both on campus and in the community. She has been an Open House Volunteer, First Robotics Point Person, and a support for numerous events hosted by the Corporate Events Office. She has also been a Cabin Lead and Super Champion for Camp Quality Northern Ontario (a camp for children affected by cancer), a Youth Tennis Coach with KTP Athletics, a Biology Society Representative, and Biology Society Secretary.
Jessica is a positive ambassador for Nipissing University when volunteering at community events. She regularly volunteered in support of the Corporate Events office, trusted to lead staff, students, and community members alike through event logistics. As one example, Jessica was trusted as the point of contact for the FIRST Robotics competitions. In this role, she was able to seamlessly troubleshoot problems as they arose while simultaneously engaging with youth participants, sharing with them her passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Jessica’s civic responsibility is further demonstrated through her work with Elections Canada to bring advanced polling stations to the Harris Learning Library leading up to the last election. In so doing, Jessica was able to reduce barriers around the student-voting process. As a result, students at Nipissing and Canadore who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to vote while away from their hometown, were able to exercise their democratic rights.
Jessica has also been involved in the community as a volunteer for Camp Quality Northern Ontario (CQNO), a camp for children affected by cancer. In this role, she is a supportive and compassionate mentor for campers and volunteers alike. Even amid the pandemic, Jessica has continued to volunteer as the camp shifted to a virtual environment.
After graduation, Jessica plans to hopefully travel, and the apply to the School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Madison is an inspirational athlete and student. As the Assistant captain of the Laker’s Women’s Hockey Team, her skill and dedication to motivating others around her has made her a role model for her teammates. Whether at practice, during games, or participating in the annual North Bay North Stars or Lady Lakers Blue and White game, Madison encourages and empowers her teammates, and has made a lasting impact on the team and University.
Madison is a devoted mentor and community volunteer. She embraces the opportunity to be a role model for young female athletes while working with youth at the Lakers Girls Summer Hockey Camps and for U13 coaching staff for the North Bay and District Girl’s Hockey Association. Madison actively engages the youth on the ice, helping them to build their confidence and technique and empowering them to see themselves as leaders in their sport.
While balancing her academic achievements as an Academic All-Canadian, Madison has volunteered at various community events including One Kid’s Place Children’s Treatment Centre fundraisers, the North Bay North Stars games, and leading physical education classes at Alliance Public School. Additionally, Madison is a strong advocate for mental health, participating in Bell Let’s Talk campaigns and Break the Ice on Mental Health events.
Madison is hard working, goal-oriented, responsible, and recognizes the impact an encouraging and positive leader can have on and off the ice. Her volunteer commitments go beyond just passion for the sport, her leadership and contribution to others help create a stronger community.
After graduation, Madison plans to pursue a career as either an Emergency Response Nurse or Military Flight Nurse.