2022 Award Recipients

Dave Marshall Leadership Award winners 2022

Congratulations to the 2022 Dave Marshall Leadership Award recipients:

Dave Marshall Leadership Awards Ceremony 2022

Rebecca Johnson portrait

Rebecca Johnson

Bachelor of Arts with an Honours Double Major in Anthropology and Psychology

Rebecca’s academic leadership and contribution to the quality of learning and research has been extraordinary. During her time at Nipissing University, Rebecca has served as a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant within the department of Sociology and Anthropology, Residence and Academic Don, and is a multiple recipient of the President’s Scholarship Award.

Working under the supervision of Dr. Carly Dokis as a Research Assistant in the department of Sociology and Anthropology, Rebecca is currently assisting with a project conducted in partnership with Dokis First Nation to create digital life stories from recorded interviews with Elders. Rebecca has also conducted innovative research exploring the political ecology of dreaming and intersections between sleep inequity, neoliberalism, colonialism, and other axes of oppression such as gender, class, and racism.

While Rebecca demonstrates exceptional scholarly potential, she is also a contentious and engaged member of the Nipissing University community. She regularly attends departmental lectures and speaker series events and has served as a Peer Note taker for upper- and lower-year undergraduate students. Rebecca has frequently volunteered to enhance the wellbeing of campus and has served as a mentor and advocate for other students. In each role she takes on, Rebecca has shown sensibility, reliability, and empathy.

Following graduation, Rebecca plans to continue her education in Anthropology and Political Economy, specializing in climate change while attending Carleton University.

Nipissing University recognizes Rebecca with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic category.

Maxime Lamarche portrait

Maxime Lamarche

Bachelor of Arts with an Honours Specialization in English Studies and a Concurrent Bachelor of Education in the Primary and Junior divisions

Maxime is a highly ambitious and dedicated student who continually takes initiative and has set herself apart academically in her courses.  

Striving for excellence, Maxime is always asking how she and her classmates can achieve their highest potential. She brings creativity and originality to the classroom, frequently making innovative connections among ideas and introducing new approaches to the tasks at hand. Maxime fosters inclusivity by drawing positively on the contributions of others and taking course discussions to levels of increasing complexity. She is always able to respond to her classmates’ posts and ideas in thoughtful ways that elevates the discussion and encourages others to participate. Maxime’s involvement has allowed her to build a meaningful rapport with her peers, classmates, professors, and community members. She is an enthusiastic student who embodies the idea that knowledge is collaborative and inclusive.  

Maxime’s academic involvement throughout her academic journey at Nipissing University has equipped her to learn about and participate in unique volunteer opportunities. She has coordinated creative writing clubs at the public library and is a literacy tutor for local elementary schools. These opportunities have made Maxime’s student experience meaningful and memorable.  

During her time at Nipissing University, Maxime became a confident academic student leader. Her experiences have taught her how to embrace failure, learn from mistakes and grow in the face of adversity.  

After graduation, Maxime plans to extend her learning by pursuing graduate studies and earning her teaching degree.

Nipissing University recognizes Maxime with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic category.

Mercedes Parsons portrait

Mercedes Parsons

Honours Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance Stream

Mercedes is an exceptional student leader who has excelled in her area of study. She has been involved in various initiatives on and off campus and always exhibits Lakers values and exceptional leadership abilities wherever she goes.

Working as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Denyse Lafrance-Horning in the School of Business, Mercedes has exceeded all expectations with her prompt and professional approach. She is a solution-oriented student who is able to confidently lead her peers despite facing challenges with virtual group work and research. In her role as a Teaching Assistant, Mercedes has displayed great judgement in assessing students’ work and received peer evaluations that unanimously credited her contributions and leadership through various projects.

Mercedes is currently working in an iLead Field Placement with a local business where she is conducting a series of research projects gathering insights to guide the development of marketing recommendations. What makes this project particularly unique is that Mercedes will also have the power to implement its recommendations on behalf of the customer, which illustrates the scope of the extended responsibility she has earned.

Beyond the classroom, Mercedes is a leader that supports her peers. She is the President of the Nipissing University Business Community (NUBC), a student Senator, and Director-at-Large for NUSU. In each of these roles, Mercedes greatly contributes to the learning experience of students. Within the School of Business, Mercedes serves as a mentor to her peers and has spearheaded several important extracurricular events, such as the annual Welcome Back Huddle in the fall, and various faculty and networking events.

Mercedes is passionately committed to achieving a career as a corporate lawyer and is currently preparing to write the LSAT in anticipation of attending law school.

Nipissing University recognizes Mercedes with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic category.

Christina Reid portrait

Christina Reid

Dual Degree: Bachelor of Arts with an Honours Specialization in Sociology and a Bachelor of Commerce

Christina is a four-time President’s Scholarship recipient who consistently stands out in her classes for both her academic achievements and her enthusiasm for learning. She is an outstanding student who has dedicated more than 500 hours as a Research Assistant for Dr. Amir Erfani in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Working on research alongside Dr. Erfani has inspired Christina to strive for excellence. The supportive and welcoming atmosphere empowered her to venture into a variety of new and exciting tasks and experiences. She has increased awareness and interest in the Sociology Programs through presentations at the Nipissing University Undergraduate Research Conference and successfully created a podcast to showcasing the Sociology Program. Christina is a dynamic thinker and researcher who is dependable and efficient. She is always willing to take on challenging projects producing timely research and does so with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.

Various awards have been granted to Christina to recognize her academic and community contributions. In addition to receiving the President’s Scholarship multiple times, Christina has also been the recipient of the Nipissing University Alumni Association Sociology Award, Canadian Women’s Federation Award, the David Hall Award and the Lawlor Award for her dedication and passion for Sociology.

Christina’s multi-faceted personality allows her to achieve a balance between her contributions to research and to her community. Outside of the classroom, she has worked in Residence Life as an Office Assistant, is an active member of the Athletics and Wellness committee, member of Alpha Gamma Phi, and coaches power skating with Lights Out Skating Academy.

After graduation, Christina plans to continue her studies while working in the field of data analytics. She also hopes to remain involved with Nipissing University.

Nipissing University recognizes Christina with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic category.

Nicolas Vlahos portrait

Nicolas Vlahos

Bachelor of Science with an Honours Specialization in Biology

Nicolas is a four-time Academic All-Canadian and varsity athlete who's academic and campus leadership cannot be overlooked. Nicolas is a Research Assistant, executive member of the Nipissing University Chemistry Society, RealTalk point person, volunteer, and Lakers Men’s Hockey Team member. He has been the recipient of the Faculty Association Academic Achievement Award and was named Student Athlete of the Year in the Central Canada Hockey League.

By serving as a peer tutor in numerous subjects, Nicolas has contributed to students’ understanding of and interest in Biology and Chemistry. He also provides tutoring services for local secondary school students studying chemistry and statistics. Nicolas volunteered as a student researcher in various laboratories and is now employed as a Research Assistant working with Dr. Tony Parkes where he continues to devise novel alternate approaches for solving advanced problems.

Nicolas has shown what it means to be a student leader by creating a positive academic environment for his classmates overcoming the challenges of a virtual setting. He has done this by consistently leading laboratory and tutorial discussions in his courses which has received high praise for his efforts and ability to convey problem-solving techniques. From his varied experiences, Nicolas has learned that great leadership involves empathy, communication, the ability to lead by example, and selflessness.

After graduation, Nicolas plans to further his studies in medicine with the goal of becoming a vascular surgeon and conducting scientific research that contributes to the field of medicine.

Nipissing University recognizes Nicolas with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic category.

Jiaxuan (Amelia) Wan portrait

Jiaxuan (Amelia) Wan

Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the Scholar Practitioner Program

Amelia is an exceptional student who exhibits her leadership as Best Practice Guideline Student Leader, Research Assistant, Student Council member, and mentor. She has a passion for helping others and is an advocate for evidence-based nursing practice.

Amelia demonstrates outstanding leadership through organizing educational and reflective sessions for Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) as BPG Student Lead for the Scholar Practitioner Program. In this role, she has increased the awareness of evidence-based practices in fellow students by gathering resources to support their competence in practice. She has a great capacity to create and facilitate change, and has done so in her BPG study group over each semester. She uses the Plan-Do-Study-Act research cycle to examine the effect of her educational sessions and modifies the format each semester to meet the participants’ learning goals and needs.

Amelia is also the student engagement coordinator on the student council, where she is always seeking new ways to engage students in events that improve their understanding of and interest in nursing. She developed a peer mentorship program where she paired first year students with second year students to facilitate a smooth transition into the nursing program. Amelia is a compassionate student leader who has gone above and beyond to inspire and connect students.

After graduation Amelia plans to work with patients directly as a bedside nurse before continuing her education at a masters-level program.

Nipissing University recognizes Amelia with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic category.


Elisa Butoyi portrait

Elisa Butoyi

Master of Environmental Science

Elisa is a dedicated and passionate student leader who has been actively involved across Nipissing University’s campus. He has supported campus life through the International Initiatives office as a student office assistant, international student mentor, and World University Services of Canada Nipissing University Committee President. Outside of his dedication to the international student experience, Elisa has worked as an Orientation Assistant, and held various Residence Life roles including Summer On-Call Staff, Resident’s Council Vice-President Finance and Residence On-Call Don.

As an international degree seeking student, Elisa approached his arrival to Nipissing University’s campus as a great opportunity and immediately immersed himself in campus and student life. Elisa has shown genuine enjoyment in learning about the Laker community, North Bay, and Canada, and has gone on to share this enthusiasm with numerous student peers, both domestic and international over his academic years.

Extensively involved with the Office of International Initiatives, Elisa has represented Nipissing’s international students on various panels, including roundtables for the introduction of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot in North Bay. For his contributions in discussing why immigration matters to the north, he received personal recognition by Member of Parliament, Anthony Rota.

Elisa has noted that his first-year experience at Nipissing University was one of his best experiences, and cites Residence Dons, mentors and university staff as playing a huge part in this. Elisa is motivated to be involved in campus life as he actively strives to provide the same level of support to others and be a part of another student’s journey. He aims to create a welcoming and supportive environment to all Nipissing University students.

Elisa is an exemplary student leader and an incredible asset to the Nipissing University community. After graduation, Elisa hopes to work within the field of Environmental Health on topics that relate to environmental contaminants exposure in vulnerable and marginalized communities.

Nipissing University recognizes Elisa with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Tyrell Chambers portrait

Tyrell Chambers

Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate and Senior divisions

Tyrell is a Bachelor of Education student, Academic All-Canadian, co-captain of the Lakers Men’s Soccer Team, Lakers PRIDE award recipient, member of the Athletic Advisory Committee, and Executive Director of the Mentorship Program for the Nipissing University Black Associate for Student Expression (NUBASE).

Tyrell is an advocate and a student-athlete whose passion for creating a sense of community has guided him towards participating in many important initiatives on campus. In his role as the Director of the Mentorship Program in NUBASE, Tyrell has had the opportunity to speak to a variety of audiences about issues surrounding race and inclusion. For him, this experience has been extremely rewarding, and the support and motivation from his peers to drive and enact change has pushed him to take on new challenges outside of his comfort zone. Using his platform to advocate for marginalized communities, Tyrell strives to create a safe space for black students to express themselves and celebrate their culture.

His work and dedication have helped many students find their purpose at Nipissing. Tyrell has been a positive influence in the Lakers community and has demonstrated the importance of fostering a sense of community that is inclusive, equitable, and diverse.

After graduation, Tyrell plans to travel and teach while experiencing and embracing the many cultures of the world. He would also like to continue to develop his tutoring business to help students reach their full potential.

Nipissing University recognizes Tyrell with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Emily Dawson portrait

Emily Dawson

Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior divisions

Emily is an exceptional student leader who has been extensively involved during her time at Nipissing University. She has been a Research Assistant in the Social Neuroendocrinology Lab, International Student Mentor, Second Year Representative for the Psychology Society, Peer Note Taker, Open-House Volunteer, and has been actively involved in Residence Life throughout her time as a Nipissing University student.

Emily has an exceptional ability to make people feel valued, comfortable, and like their voice is being heard. Committed to improving life on campus, particularly within residence, Emily has been an incredible support to Residence Life. Her leadership and commitment have enabled her to engage and connect with students and provide programming and resources to support their needs and improve their experience. Experience in a variety of positions within Residence Life has had a positive impact on Emily, and has allowed her to have a positive impact on the campus community in return. Emily credits her experiences within Residence Life for having taught her practical life skills, increasing her self-confidence, and connecting her with life-long friends along the way.

As an Academic Don, Emily has provided drop-in hours and programming as a way to offer support to many first-year students. She has organized a variety of events to promote resources on campus while empowering students to take a lead in their own learning. Emily has collaborated with various departments across campus and is always willing to help those in need.

Emily is approachable, collaborative, and compassionate. After graduation, Emily plans to either pursue a career in teaching while continuing her volunteer in the community.

Nipissing University recognizes Emily with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Taijon Eccleston-Graham DMLA 2022 portrait

Taijon Eccleston-Graham

Honours Bachelor of Business Administration

Taijon is a forward on the men’s basketball team and a natural leader who goes above and beyond to create and contribute to an inclusive campus environment. In 2021, Taijon received the Lakers Pride Award granted to athletes who embody passion, respect, integrity, dedication, and excellence. Also in 2021, he received the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s Students Who Make a Difference Award for his contribution to making the community more inclusive.

As a student athlete, Taijon recognizes the potential reach of his voice, and he encourages and demonstrates to other student athletes the importance of using their platform to advocate for marginalized communities. In 2021, Taijon took the lead on producing, directing and editing a Bell Let’s Talk video campaign where various student athletes discussed ways to maintain positive mental health during the pandemic.

For the past two years, Taijon has co-hosted the Lakers LockerRoom podcast, creating a platform for thought-provoking conversations about sports issues and issues faced in today’s society. Taijon is the co-founder and president of the Nipissing University Black Association for Student Expression (NUBASE), whose 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, Taijon has had a positive impact on campus by organizing educational events, including the first annual Shoot for Change Anti-Racism Basketball Game initiative, which took place last week and raised over $16,800. The proceeds from the game will be used to establish the Nipissing University BIPOC Bursary.

After graduation, Taijon plans to continue growing his freelance videography business, taking on larger projects. He also plans to re-apply for the Wayne & Theresa Embry Fellowship with the Toronto Raptors. Through this fellowship, he hopes to kickstart his career in the sports business.

Nipissing University recognizes Taijon with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Nicholas Hoey portrait

Nicholas Hoey

Bachelor of Physical and Health Education and a Concurrent Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate and Senior divisions

During his time at Nipissing University, Nicholas has effectively balanced athletics, academics, and volunteering while fully immersing himself into campus life. He has personally committed to being an active and engaged member of the athletics department, having accumulated over 350 hours of support in his various roles over his four years at Nipissing University.

Nicholas was a varsity athlete on the Lakers Rowing Team for two years and was recognized in 2020 as an Academic All-Canadian athlete. He also received the Lakers PRIDE award, granted to athletes who embody passion, respect, integrity, dedication, and excellence. During the time Nicholas spent on the rowing team, his empathetic and caring nature also led him to be designated as the team’s REAL TALK Point Person, providing mental health support to his teammates during stressful times.

In his final year at Nipissing, Nicholas began volunteering in the Athletic Therapy Clinic and took on an employment position as a Student Athletic Trainer. His empathetic approach, effective judgement and decision making enabled him to be a valued member of the Athletic Therapy Clinic. Nicholas’ work and volunteering within athletic therapy have been one of the most impactful experiences during his time as a Nipissing University student. In his role of supporting the process of athletes’ return to sport, Nicholas felt like he was helping to contribute to the success of the Lakers teams.

Nicholas is a respectful, personable, and motivated student-leader who demonstrates key characteristics of dedication and sportsmanship that inspires others to get involved to create a strong, welcoming, and inclusive campus community.

After graduation, Nicholas aspires to become a physiotherapist.

Nipissing University recognizes Nicholas with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Kristen Jackson portrait

Kristen Jackson

Bachelor of Science with an Honours Specialization in Biology

Kristen has demonstrated her campus leadership through her roles in the Biology Society, on the Animal Care Committee, and as a Teaching Assistant for various biology and environmental science courses. Despite a rigorous academic schedule, Kristen has devoted countless hours to enhance the quality of student life at Nipissing University.

Kristen has been an active and integral member of the Biology Society since her first year at Nipissing University. She has taken on various leadership roles including First Year Representative, Treasurer, Incoming President, and is currently the Outgoing President. During her four years serving as an executive in the Biology Society, Kristen has attended and organized regular meetings to plan events, advocate for students, and liaise with faculty, peers, NUSU, and community organizations. The passion that Kristen brings to her roles with the Biology Society is contagious and often inspires other students to share new perspectives and ideas.

Kristen is an outstanding student motivator who is able to support and empower her peers to get involved on campus. In January of this year, Kristen organized a campus nature walk open to all students. In planning this event, Kristen secured the participation of biology instructors to accompany students in the field to provide knowledge and skills that are relevant to the courses within the biology program. Attracting more than 40 participants across campus, this event enabled students to embrace the benefits of nature and feel connected after a time of prolonged restrictions.

Kristen has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to make a significant and positive difference in the lives of her fellow peers.

After graduation, Kristen plans to pursue a career in education.

Nipissing University recognizes Kristen with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Kiara Jefferies DMLA 2022 portrait

Kiara Jefferies

Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate and Senior division

Kiara is a dedicated student leader who has been active on and off campus since she began at Nipissing University. Starting out as a member of NUSU Crew in 2017, Kiara then shifted to working at the Athletic Centre as the Game Day Staff Student Lead with the personal goal of making campus an inclusive place for all students on game days.

While balancing academics, working in athletics, and volunteering as a community coach and board member, Kiara still finds time to volunteer on campus. Since 2018 she has been an executive member for the Relay for Life Committee, an executive for NUPHES Council and this year she took on an executive role in the Education Society.

Giving back to the campus and community has always been one of Kiara’s main goals and getting involved has provided her with numerous networking opportunities and has helped her create valuable and long-lasting friendships. Kiara works hard to get other students involved on campus, actively recruiting student volunteers and spreading awareness about various campus initiatives and events.

Kiara is an exceptional student leader who has been bringing students together during the pandemic. Kiara is positive, kind, and intelligent and displays dedication and commitment in every endeavour she takes on. After graduation, Kiara plans to continue her involvement in the sports world on campus and in the community while she works towards a degree in education.

Nipissing University recognizes Kiara with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Madalyn Murray DMLA 2022 portrait

Madalyn Murray

Bachelor of Arts with an Honours Double Major in English Studies and Gender Equality and Social Justice

Madalyn is working on a Bachelor of Arts with an Honours Double Major in English Studies and Gender Equality and Social Justice

Madalyn has demonstrated her leadership on campus through her roles in Residence Life, the Equity Centre, as a student senator for Arts and Science, Peer Note Taker, and as a representative on the Action Against Gender Based Violence Committee. In each of these roles, Madalyn has been an active contributor to, and promoter of Nipissing University student life.

In Residence Life, Madalyn took on a variety of leadership roles to help support Nipissing students. She held such executive roles as Vice President of Athletics and Wellness, and President of Residence Council where she led a team of committed Lakers to coordinate and execute programming for the benefit of the campus community. Madalyn values the time she spent in Residence Life and has enjoyed supporting her peers throughout their student experiences.

Outside of Residence, Madalyn has devoted much of her time as a member of the Equity Centre and is currently working as their Campaigns Coordinator. In this role, Madalyn has had a positive and important impact on campus. She strives to contribute to an equitable and welcoming community for all Lakers, and has done so by conducting and planning training for members of the Equity Centre to ensure that all corners of the Nipissing University community can feel safe, comfortable and heard.

Madalyn is an outstanding volunteer and leader within the Lakers community. She is caring, supportive, and an advocate for students.

Following graduation, Madalyn hopes to gain employment in the publication or research fields with the goal of becoming a published novelist.

Nipissing University recognizes Madalyn with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Emily Otowadjiwan portrait

Emily Otowadjiwan

Bachelor of Arts Double Major in Indigenous Studies and Political Science

Emily is a committed leader who has had great positive impacts on the students and initiatives she has been involved with. While attending Nipissing, Emily has taken on a variety of roles. She has worked as an assistant and Peer Tutor-Mentor with the Summer Indigenous Institute, New Student Orientation Assistant, Peer Tutor and Peer2Peer Mentor in the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Peer Note-Taker, and Events Coordinator for 2QT Pride, and has also participated in a number of training sessions and workshops.

In each role she has taken on, Emily has expanded her understanding of and experience supporting students through advocacy. Emily is committed to improving the quality of life for all students and works to support her fellow peers by offering academic and personal support and resources. Emily has greatly contributed to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for students at Nipissing University and has improved campus culture for many.

During her position as a Peer Tutor-Mentor with the Summer Indigenous Institute, Emily took on a leadership role guiding her fellow student-employees, leading with experience, and encouraging them when needed. Emily has led a number of workshops focused on various topics from academics, to goal setting, to beading.

Emily has gone above and beyond in her contributions to the Biidaaban Youth Group. She has been involved in the planning process by sharing her knowledge of Indigenous culture and creating a number of lesson plans for upcoming programming.

Emily’s calm demeanour is welcoming to new students in the Office of Indigenous Initiative lounge and she is always willing to help out in a kind, thoughtful, and empathetic way. After graduation, Emily will attend law school at the University of Toronto where she plans to specialize in constitutional law and human rights.

Nipissing University recognizes Emily with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Sarah Pecoskie-Schweir DMLA 2022 portrait

Sarah Pecoskie-Schweir

Bachelor of Arts with an Honours Specialization in History and a Concurrent Bachelor of Education in the Junior and Intermediate divisions

Sarah is a passionate student leader who seeks to create meaningful change on campus. Throughout her time at Nipissing University, Sarah has been an advocate for students and has been involved on campus in a number of ways.

During her first year, she was the Chair of Athletics and Wellness at Chancellor’s House Residence where she immediately wanted to participate in creating opportunities for students to come together on campus. Throughout the rest of her time at Nipissing, Sarah has participated as an Orientation Leader, NUSU Director at Large, NUSU Vice President of Advocacy and Awareness, Education and Professional Studies Student Senator, and has collaborated with the Teaching Hub in a number of events.

Early in her role as an Orientation Leader, Sarah discovered her love and passion for advocacy. She strives to make Nipissing University the best it can be to ensure a positive experience for future students. Sarah’s welcoming personality helps foster a sense of belonging on campus and allows the students she is in contact with to feel heard and supported.

As NUSU’s Vice President for Advocacy and Awareness, Sarah has led countless campaigns to help support students during the pandemic. She has represented students on many committees and has acted as a voice for student needs.

After graduation, Sarah plans to continue her volunteer work as she pursues a career in education.

Nipissing University recognizes Sarah with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Sara Tetrault DMLA 2022 portrait

Sara Tetrault

Bachelor of Arts with an Honours in Criminal Justice

Sara is an exemplary student leader who has a passion for creating inclusive student environments and building a sense of community on campus. During her time at Nipissing University, Sara has been extensively involved with a variety of offices and initiatives. She has held multiple student positions in residence and has been involved in Nipissing initiatives including Lakers Orientation Shine Day, Fall Open House, Orientation Lakers 2 Lakers Panels, and represented NU in the North Bay Santa Clause Parade. Sara has performed at NU coffee houses, volunteered at various wellness events, and is most recently encouraging engagement with her program as the Co-President of the Criminal Justice Student Association, and the Vice-President of the Criminal Justice Academic Honour Society - Alpha Phi Sigma: Mu Kappa.

Being able to help students find their place at Nipissing University has been a strong motivating factor for Sara’s involvement on campus. She has been instrumental in fostering a sense of community on campus in her roles as Living and Learning Community Don and as an Orientation Student Assistant for two years running. Sara loves connecting with students, staff, faculty, and administration, and strives to do whatever she can to have a positive impact on those around her.

Sara is a mentor and leader for both new and returning students and knows first-hand that getting involved on campus can enhance the student experience at Nipissing. She has actively sought out opportunities for self-development and participated in Speak About It, Allyship as a Laker, PEERS (Peer Educators Effectively Referring Students) training for referrals, and various academic skills workshops. She genuinely enjoys representing Nipissing University, sharing her positive experiences with incoming Lakers, and encouraging new students to seek out opportunities to engage with their campus and explore their growth.

After graduating, Sara plans on pursuing graduate studies in 2023, but in the meantime hopes to continue to foster a sense of community and further engage with the Laker community by working at NU, and give back to the school that she loves so much.

Nipissing University recognizes Sara with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Hannah Turcotte DMLA 2022 portrait

Hannah Turcotte

Bachelor of Arts with an Honours Double Major in Gender Equality & Social Justice & Indigenous Studies

Hannah has demonstrated her campus leadership through her involvement with a variety of events and programs within the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. She has been a valued volunteer, mentor to her peers and youth in the community, and has shared her artistic knowledge and abilities with those around her.

Hannah has volunteered her time to be a Peer2Peer Mentor for two years, which involves being available to students for help with academics, advice, or even just being a listening ear. She has also volunteered with the Wiidooktaadwin Mentorship Program to mentor Indigenous students at local secondary schools. Through these roles, Hannah has provided cultural support and programming for students and has helped to create a network of relationships that build a community.

Another way that Hannah has supported student wellness has been through her involvement with Dibaadan in Student Development and Services. In this role, Hannah has assisted with the planning of various events and activities including the Dibaadan Round Dance in 2020.

One of Hannah’s most impactful experiences at Nipissing University was the first time she went to the Office of Indigenous Initiatives to participate in a beading workshop led by visiting Indigenous artist, Brenda Lee. In the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Hannah has learned much about herself, her culture, and her identity. Her involvement has allowed her to reconnect with her heritage, learn traditional techniques, and become part of the community. She has shared the Indigenous art skills that she has learned including beading, drum making, leather moccasins and mitts, raw hide painted earrings, and caribou tufting.

Following graduation, Hannah will continue to work with and uplift Indigenous peoples and communities in a capacity that allows her to practice culture and continue learning from the land.

Nipissing University recognizes Hannah with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Julianna Vieveen DMLA 2022 portrait

Julianna Vieveen

Bachelor of Arts with an Honours Specialization in Child and Family Studies and a Concurrent Bachelor of Education in the Primary/Junior divisions

Julianna is a third-year undergraduate student who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to involvement in campus events and activities. During her time at Nipissing University, Julianna has been a passionate advocate for students struggling with mental health and those with disabilities. Julianna has been involved on campus as a Student Recruitment Volunteer, Frontier College Tutor, Team Lead and Vice President for Cam’s Kids Club, which supports youth struggling with anxiety, and is a member of and American Sign Language Interpreter for the Equity Centre.

Through the Equity Centre, Julianna has been actively involved on campus to provide a positive environment for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. She has organized and hosted several American Sign Language (ASL) classes for both Nipissing University and Canadore College students interested in learning sign language. By bringing in individuals to share deaf culture, Julianna has empowered students through the knowledge of language.

Within her role with Cam’s Kids, Julianna has arranged many events for Nipissing and Canadore students, including a pen-pal program for students looking to meet new people on campus. Julianna has also organized paint nights, virtual self-care bingo sessions, and a candy cane campaign to distribute positive and encouraging messages to students on campus.

Julianna is able to motivate and empower others to get actively and meaningfully involved on campus. She fosters a sense of community on campus by being inclusive of everyone and making an effort to ensure all feel welcome. As a youth with a physical disability, Julianna is motivated to help others experiencing challenges and difficulties and strives to improve campus culture.

After graduation, Julianna plans to pursue a position as an elementary school teacher.

Nipissing University recognizes Julianna with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.

Allyn Whitehead portrait

Allyn Whitehead

Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate and Senior divisions

Allyn is a highly motivated student leader who has been involved in many departments across campus including Residence Life, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, and various offices within Student Development Services including Sexual Violence Prevention and Education, Student Accessibility Services, and Student Learning and Transitions.

Throughout her years at Nipissing University, she has been actively engaged on campus, working hard to improve the quality of life for all students. In Residence Life, Allyn was able to help others navigate through their post-secondary journeys while enriching her own journey and experience. She took on many important roles including Community Assistant, Living and Learning Community Don, Residence Don, Floor Representative, and more.

Allyn’s varied experiences have opened the doors for her to get involved on campus. Working within Sexual Violence Prevention and Education, she hosted a number of workshops and events focusing on education, advocacy, and harm reduction. Allyn has also supported students through her volunteer role as a Peer Mentor with the Summer Indigenous Institute, where she acted as a referral for students and trained other student-staff looking to join the team. She is a leader across campus who seeks to advocate for students and build a sense of community to ensure that all students have a positive and fulfilling experience at Nipissing.

After graduation, Allyn plans to pursue a career in Education and Student Affairs and continue her commitment to life-long learning and advocacy for others.

Nipissing University recognizes Allyn with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus category.


Randy Beauchamp portrait

Randy Beauchamp

Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate and Senior divisions

Randy is an outstanding student-athlete who has turned obstacles into opportunities. He is a two-time Academic All-Canadian who has demonstrated his community and campus leadership through the various roles he has taken on during his time in North Bay and at Nipissing University.  

On campus, Randy has volunteered with the NUSU Movember campaign, which aims to bring awareness around men’s health issues, the Men’s Volleyball Hunger Strike fundraiser which is an annual volleyball skills and fundamentals clinic for children ages 9-14 in support of the NUSU Food Bank; and has been involved with the Lakers Volleyball Camps, providing opportunities for youth to learn to play and love volleyball.  

Off-campus, Randy is a dedicated community volunteer. He has assisted in serving meals and cleaning at the Gathering Place and has recently led his teammates to the streets of North Bay for the Clean, Green, Beautiful campaign where they cleared garbage and debris from the community. Randy can also be found spending his time with the North Bay Youth Volleyball Club where he assists with coaching and provides advanced training for club members, ages 13 to 18. Of his varied experiences, Randy has found that his involvement with coaching and running youth camps has had a positive impact on his life. He has found great joy in providing local youth with opportunities to be physically active, make new friends, and just have fun.  

Randy is the kind of leader who fosters positivity, promotes community engagement, and unites those around him.

After graduation, Randy plans to pursue a career in Physical & Health Education. He also aspires to create and provide affordable opportunities for youth to get involved in sports through summer camps and after-school programs.

Nipissing University recognizes Randy with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community category.

Deven Doodnath portrait

Deven Doodnath

Bachelor of Education in the Intermediate/Senior divisions 

Deven has demonstrated outstanding community and campus leadership in the roles and initiatives he has undertaken. He is the co-captain for the Nipissing Lakers Men’s Soccer Team, the founder of MENtal Strength, a men’s mental health campaign, the Director of Community Relations for the Nipissing University Black Association for Student Expression (NUBASE), and he is involved with the North Bay Support Group for Black and Brown People.

Deven is a leader who seeks to create understanding through empathy. He is non-judgmental and can have open and meaningful conversations with others, despite possible differences of opinion. Deven has shown outstanding community-building efforts by reaching out to local secondary schools to help students navigate conversations around anti-racism, language, and accountability.

He has fostered a sense of community on campus and has demonstrated peer leadership on the men’s soccer team by his willingness to be the Point Person for REAL TALK, which encourages teammates to discuss their mental health needs. Through his executive role on NUBASE, Deven has helped to create an anti-racism climate at Nipissing.

Deven is a positive, enthusiastic, and committed student who recognizes areas where he can be actively involved in improving the school and community culture. He has demonstrated the ability to collaborate with students, staff, administration, and community members for the development of programs that will improve and impact current and future Nipissing students.

After graduation, Deven plans to continue working towards racial equality and challenging the stigmas surrounding men’s mental health, while pursuing a career in education and soccer coaching.

Nipissing University recognizes Deven with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community category.

Marilyn Fortin DMLA 2022 portrait

Marilyn Fortin

Honours Bachelor of Physical and Health Education 

Marilyn Fortin is an outstanding student athlete who demonstrates excellence on and off the ice. When not playing on the Lakers Women’s Hockey team, Marilyn can be found volunteering with campus and community organizations and initiatives, including the Lakers Girls Hockey Camps, North Bay North Stars, North Bay Ice Boltz, One Kids Place, North Bay and District Girls Hockey Association, Break the Ice on Mental Health, Noah Strong, and the annual Old-Fashioned Christmas Walk.

Marilyn came to North Bay from Prince Edward Island and has proven to be a tremendous asset to both the Lakers Women’s Hockey Team and the City of North Bay. Marilyn dedicates much of her time to volunteering with local youth who are interested in hockey and is often among the first to volunteer to help with events. One of Marilyn’s most impactful experiences has been her involvement with the North Bay and District Girls Hockey Association where she organized and ran hockey sessions for participants over a 10-week period. Marilyn takes great pride in watching the young players develop their skills and understands the importance of being a positive role model for young female athletes.

Over the last four years, Marilyn has taken on a leadership role in coordinating the annual week-long Girls Only Summer Hockey camps run by the Lakers Women’s Hockey Team. She works hard to ensure that the camp participants leave with smiles on their faces and enthusiasm for the sport. Marilyn strives to give young female players in the area the opportunity to learn and love the game of hockey in a fun environment.

She has also taken the lead on managing the Lakers Women’s Hockey social media platforms and is continuously using those platforms for support many different organizations, charities, and groups in a way that is beneficial to Nipissing and North Bay.

After graduation, Marilyn plans to play hockey in Switzerland with the goal of a future career in coaching hockey.

Nipissing University recognizes Marilyn with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community category.

Katelyn Heppner DMLA 2022 portrait

Katelyn Heppner

Honours Bachelor of Physical and Health Education

Katelyn is a varsity athlete and five-time Academic All-Canadian who balances high academic achievement, commitment to sport, and time spent volunteering. Katelyn came to Nipissing University from Manitoba to pursue her dreams in hockey.

Throughout her time at Nipissing University, Katelyn has been involved and participated with numerous groups and initiatives, including the North Bay and District Girls Hockey Association, North Bay North Stars, North Bay Ice Boltz, One Kids Place, Break the Ice on Mental Health, Lakers Girls Hockey Camp, Run for the Cure, and the annual Old-Fashioned Christmas Walk.

A three-year Alternate Captain and the current Captain of the women’s hockey team, Katelyn has been an exceptional role model for those around her since her arrival on campus. In addition to being an active member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee that helps promote various BIPOC, PRIDE, and NUBASE events and causes, Katelyn is also very active in the female hockey community. She has been involved with the annual Lakers Girls Hockey Camps and participates in the yearly North Star hockey games with players with developmental disabilities. Katelyn enjoys connecting with members of the community and finds great joy in watching local youth learn and love to play hockey.

Katelyn was among the 23 female hockey players from across U-Sports to be selected to participate in the World University Games, which were to be held in Switzerland and were unfortunately cancelled due to the pandemic.

After graduation, Katelyn’s goal is to play hockey professionally in Switzerland before returning to Canada to earn a teaching degree.

Nipissing University recognizes Katelyn with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community category.

Sarah Sobczuk DMLA 2022 portrait

Sarah Sobczuk

Bachelor of Science, Honours Specialization in Biology 

Sarah is a fourth-year student who has gone above and beyond to get involved in her community. She is a passionate volunteer who strives to help those around her in need of support.

During the pandemic, Sarah continued her studies with Nipissing University virtually and began spending more time volunteering in her community. In 2021, Sarah joined the volunteer team as a greeter at the VON Oxford Sakura House residential hospice in Woodstock. In this role, Sarah has been able to connect with and support many patients and their families as they navigate through a difficult time. Sarah has a calming presence and a mature and caring attitude. During her time volunteering at VON Oxford House Sakura residential hospice, Sarah has gained a broad knowledge about many of the roles and services and has learned valuable skills through her interactions with people from all walks of life.

Sarah has also gained valuable knowledge through her volunteerism at Partners for Success, an equine assisted learning institute in her home community. The programs she has assisted with help promote trust, leadership and patience, and her time spent with Partners for Success has taught her about self-regulation and the power of self-confidence.

Sarah has been able to apply much of what she has learned at Nipissing University into the volunteer work she has pursued. The psychology and biology course that she has taken, as well as the various workshops she has attended, have helped her broaden and apply her classroom knowledge directly into her community work.

After graduation, Sarah plans to continue with her education in psychology at a masters-level program. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in psychology, becoming a psychologist with her own practice.

Nipissing University recognizes Sarah with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community category.