2023 Award Recipients

DMLA 2023 presentation
Andrea Ammerlaan

Andrea Ammerlaan

Honours Bachelor of Science in Mathematics

Andrea came to Nipissing University from Kenilworth, Ontario, and is actively engaged in advanced mathematics research that includes working on a project funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

During the summer of 2022, Andrea was a recipient of an NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award and worked as a research assistant on a project in topology.

After finishing her summer research position, Andrea volunteered to present  at a research seminar to explain the work she had been involved with while setting an excellent example for other senior undergraduate students who would present their own talks later in the term on their own honours research project courses.

Andrea is recognized by her peers as an exceptionally talented student, and one they look to for help and inspiration. She takes her work seriously and elevates those around her by setting a positive example for her peers and by working with them on coursework and studying.

After graduation, Andrea plans to pursue her Bachelor of Education degree, and hopes to teach high school math. 

Nipissing University recognizes Andrea with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Ashlyn Fairbanks

Ashlyn Fairbanks

Bachelor of Science in Nursing within the Collaborative Nursing Program

Hailing from Markdale, Ontario, Ashlyn has been significantly involved in two major research projects, including a systematic review exploring the experiences of ageing for people living with multi-morbidity, and an externally funded research study examining social connections and isolation for people affected by dementia.

Ashlyn demonstrates strong skills in systematic review methodology and has quickly adapted to new novel data collection methods, such as the use of eco-mapping with people impacted by dementia and their experiences of social isolation and loneliness.

While seeing strangers as well as loved one’s experiences, so many challenges in the health care system is what motivates Ashlyn to go beyond what is expected of them in nursing. They aspire to ensure all their clients feel supported and their needs met to enable them to achieve optimal wellbeing.

Ashlyn's performance in relation to research and academia has surpassed the expectations of an undergraduate student and she continuously demonstrates critical capacity at a graduate level.

After graduation, Ashlyn plans to become a registered nurse and hopes to work in hospice care or in community health for harm reduction and mental health services. Ashlyn also hopes to continue pursuing academics through research and graduate level education.

Nipissing University recognizes Ashlyn with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category. 

Hayden Lloyd

Hayden Lloyd

Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, within the Collaborative Nursing Program

Venturing to North Bay from his hometown of Barrie, Ontario, Hayden has shown impressive leadership in academics by submitting well-developed and well-written work. He demonstrates a strong aptitude for critical and abstract thinking. 

Hayden is committed to matters of social responsibility. Beyond his efforts to support his fellow students and activities on campus, he has made a major commitment by joining a committee pursuing the registration of stem cell donors. To bring attention to this cause and to recruit potential donors, he has engaged the Nursing Society and his athletics colleagues to spearhead a "Swab In" event in March that will enable students from both Nipissing University and Canadore College to register on-campus as potential donors. 

Hayden is the Year 2 representative with the Nursing Society and has been a proud member of the Nipissing University Varsity Soccer team for two years. 

Hayden has received awards before coming to Nipissing including a Citizen of Distinction as a Personal Support Worker in his hometown in 2020.

After completing his degree, he will be applying to medical school and will continue to help others. He hopes to settle down in Northern Ontario.

Nipissing University recognizes Hayden with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Jacqueline Girard

Jacqueline Girard

Master of Arts in History

Setting her sights on Nipissing from Bowmanville, Ontario, Jacqueline has demonstrated her outstanding leadership capabilities by serving as the Undergraduate Student Representative to the History Department, as a committee member on the 2020 provincial IQAP review, and as the President of the History Society.

Jacqueline is the recipient of three Nipissing President's Scholarships. In 2020, the History Department awarded her with an A (Vern) McKinnon Memorial Award for academic excellence in the discipline of history. 

Jacqueline’s proposed master’s research is both original and important. Through a case study of the experiences of unwed mothers at a Quebec hospital between 1940-1970, Jacqueline’s graduate work will center these women's stories to explore important questions about motherhood and agency in twentieth century Quebec. 

Jacqueline draws inspiration, strength, and wisdom from her own family, and finds happiness in the academic community, whether that be in attending History Seminar Series, History Society events, or the Undergraduate Research Conference. Her future endeavours include presenting at the Three Minute Thesis Competition and the Graduate Research Conference. 

Jacqueline hopes to work abroad as a tour guide and gather enriching life experiences before continuing further with her education. She aspires to pursue a Ph.D. before becoming a professor.

Nipissing University recognizes Jacqueline with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Jaden Gilbert

Jaden Gilbert

Bachelor of Physical and Health Education Degree

A North Bay, Ontario, local, Jaden has shown tremendous academic success through her course work.

In the summer of 2022, Jaden was an exceptional research assistant as she assisted with a project that evaluated the effectiveness of equine-assisted learning on improving various psychological outcomes in survivors of sexual violence. Not only was Jaden instrumental in the success of this study, but she also helped contribute to a positive environment, which proved to be helpful to the participants of the study.

In addition to excelling in her academics, she has also volunteered to coach two high school basketball teams. For both teams, in different situations, Jaden has acted in different coaching capacities from head coach to co-coach, to more supportive coaching roles, and to acting as a trainer. She has successfully collaborated with different teachers and coaches and shown that she brings multiple high-level skills to the teams.

After graduation, Jaden plans to return to Nipissing University and pursue a Master of Science in Kinesiology, focusing on either chronic disease management in younger populations, or coaching and social identity in youth sport. She aspires to continue to empower and provide opportunities for young female athletes, through mentorship and representation as a community youth basketball coach.

Nipissing University recognizes Jaden for a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Megan Pulford

Megan Pulford

Master of Science degree in Mathematics

From Guelph, Ontario, Megan is a creative and original thinker who has intelligence, great curiosity, and plenty of common sense.

While studying for her bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Megan took all the physics courses for a minor in Physics, along with two senior research courses in the field of computational nanophotonics. During her undergraduate research project, she was able to develop new numerical computation techniques, and her research resulted in a project that was published in the International Journal of Thermal Sciences.

During her master program, she took an advanced numerical methods and graduate seminar course to further her knowledge in this field.

For the first time in the history of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, Megan was selected to move forward with her Mitacs Research Training Award application during the fall 2020, an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to undertake a 12-16-week paid internship. Her involvement allowed her to present a poster at the Photonics North 2022 conference, where she met more people in the field.

Megan hopes to continue in her field of research, write more papers and present at more conferences, and pursue a PhD. She also plans to write more papers and present at more conferences.

Nipissing University recognizes Megan with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Page Chartrand

Page Chartrand

Honours Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Gender Equality & Social Justice, and Indigenous Studies

Page comes to Nipissing University from Sudbury, Ontario, as a transfer student, and her approach to her education centers around the importance of community relation-building and community-based education.

Page is currently the student representative on the Nipissing University Indigenous Council on Education (NUICE). She is also a Wiidooktaadwin Indigenous student mentor, mentoring both university and high-school students, and creating a safe space for students within the university.

Last year, Page also worked with the Indigenous Liaison Unit for the Greater Sudbury Police Service, where she created and conducted community-based programming and consulted on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Page sees herself as coming into a space as whatever version of herself is required at that time. She lives her life the best way she knows how. She has always loved academia, and since entering university, she’s had the opportunity to dive into the topics that she loves.

Page is also a gifted artist. For her course work, she created several impressive paintings, which she then used in an outdoor dance performance that she filmed and narrated.

Page’s Honours research project uses Indigenous storytelling and community-based research methodology to explore Anishinaabe Elders’ and Knowledge Keepers’ understandings of gender identity and sexual orientation. While much research focuses on Indigenous youth’s understanding of queerness, Page’s research is amongst the first to explore Indigenous Elders’ understandings of queerness. As such, Page’s research will make an original and important contribution to both Indigenous Studies and Queer Indigenous Studies scholarship.

Page hopes to eventually pursue higher education, including a master's degree and a PhD. 

Nipissing University recognizes Page with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.

Reid Lafleur

Reid Lafleur

Honours Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Gender Equality and Social Justice

From Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Reid is an insightful, critical thinker beyond his years and an intellectually generous person in the classroom. 

He often supports the learning of other students by helping them to understand difficult theory. When given the opportunity in research-based assessments, the questions he poses and the topics that he selects are always innovative, critically relevant, and typically oriented towards new ways of understanding the complexity of social justice issues. Reid’s excellence is further demonstrated in the way he is drawn to the most challenging concepts in any reading, and this comes through in all his assignments.

Reid was involved in shaping a new Gender Equality & Social Justice course, Pets, which was offered for the first time this year. He was instrumental in promoting the idea that the concentration of courses on animal justice in Gender Equality & Social Justice could be extended to the animals with whom we are the most familiar yet probably think about the least – pets. 

Reid has also engaged in community service learning via the Pen Pal initiative through the North Bay Palliative Care Network. He received the President's Scholarship in 2019 and 2020, and re-qualified in 2022-23.

After graduation, Reid wants to pursue further education that allows him to work alongside people, potentially in counselling or otherwise.

Nipissing University recognizes Reid with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Academic Category.


Claudia Schlosser

Claudia Schlosser

Bachelor of Education

Throughout Claudia’s time at Nipissing University, she has been involved on campus in several ways. She has participated as an Orientation Leader, a Student Recruitment Ambassador, an Open House Volunteer, Peer Tutor, Peer Note Taker, and Relay for Life Participant. She has represented Nipissing in the North Bay Santa Claus Parade, and has taken on various leadership roles, such as an executive member of both the Nipissing University Physical Health and Education Society, and the Education Society. Claudia is also the Junior/Intermediate Representative on the Teacher Candidate Advisory Council.

Claudia was the President of the Education Society last year, and this year, has taken on the role of Treasurer. This has given her the opportunity to meet and work alongside several amazing Education students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she hosted and planned virtual events to bring as many of these students together as possible.

In addition to her involvements at Nipissing University, she is also one of the community coaches at St. Joseph Scollard Hall Catholic Secondary School here in North Bay. She also coaches track and field and cross country, and helps facilitate elementary and secondary school meets for these sports in the community.

Claudia encourages future Lakers to get involved on campus or in the community as a great way to meet other students, to meet other people in their program, to collaborate, and most importantly, to have fun!

Claudia plans to move to Melbourne, Australia to teach abroad for a year. Upon returning to Ontario, she hopes to pursue a career in Education as an elementary schoolteacher. She also plans to continue volunteering in the community by coaching track & field, cross country, and hockey.

Nipissing University recognizes Claudia with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Dawson Thompson

Dawson Thompson

Honours Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Sociology and Indigenous Studies,  Concurrent Bachelor of Education

Hailing from Katrine, Ontario, Dawson came to Nipissing as a transfer student. His exemplary leadership skills have benefitted Nipissing University’s students, faculty, and staff in countless ways.

Dawson sits as the Student Representative on the Academic Regulation and Curriculum Committee and has also been extensively involved with the International Student Support department. His leadership experience includes serving as Executive of Mentorship Planning for the International Student Mentorship Program. This includes planning international orientation, hosting international student social events, developing and delivering mentorship development training, and re-introducing community-based programs to advance student transition success. Dawson focuses on cultural diversity and has attended numerous training sessions geared towards equity and academic learning strategies.

Students feel comfortable reaching out to Dawson to seek support and ask questions. These one-on-one conversations have impacted his standpoint on the true importance of listening to understand, rather than listening to respond. Dawson believes that community should encompass opportunity for all, understanding for each, and a willingness to both learn and arguably more importantly, to unlearn as needed.

Dawson encourages future Lakers to allow themselves the time to have a feel for the campus space. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a couple of months to get into a routine and to find your way.

Dawson plans to pursue graduate studies for a Master in Sociology, and hopes to work closely with Nipissing University, eventually teaching at the university level.

Nipissing University recognizes Dawson with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Demi Mathias

Demi Mathias - Dave Marshall Award Winner 2023

Bachelor of Education

From Bear Island, Lake Temagami, Ontario, Demi has always demonstrated an ability to motivate and empower others to get actively and meaningfully involved on campus through her formal role as a Peer2Peer mentor in the Enji giigdoyang, Office of Indigenous Initiatives. She has also volunteered at powwows, round dances, and other cultural events hosted by Nipissing.

Demi’s ability to foster a sense of community on campus is demonstrated through her participation in mentorship programming both on campus and in the local community. She has participated in the Wiidooktaadwin Indigenous Mentorship Initiative (WIMI) program over the past two years and engages with youth and peers to deliver Indigenous content in a way that is knowledgeable, meaningful, and positive. Her determination, adaptability, and dedication to community and her peers was demonstrated by her involvement in the WIMI program during the pandemic.

Demi has a deep connection to community and to the spirit of the birch bark canoe, Wiigwaas Jiimaan. Her experience with the canoe built in her home community brought much strength for herself and her community and was the focus of her master's degree which she completed at Trent University prior to attending Nipissing.

Her advice to future Lakers is to get involved in the community and spend the time to get to know other students and peers, because they will make friendships that last and support each other through their educational career.

Demi has plans to teach, either within a First Nations community or in a city.

Nipissing University recognizes Demi with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Hailey Dattrino

Hailey Dattrino

Honours Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing

Hailey joined Nipissing University from her hometown of Alliston, Ontario. She has dedicated a large portion of her time at Nipissing giving back to the campus community by promoting a positive, welcoming environment.

She served as an Executive Member of Nipissing’s sorority and has used her position to create a meaningful impact in the North Bay community at large. Through her charity work, she has planned multiple fundraisers in North Bay that have benefitted local organizations, including Zumba nights to benefit the North Bay Humane Society, and charity auctions with items donated from local businesses in North Bay, and students to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

As a two-time Residence Don, Hailey was responsible for overseeing over 40 first year students each year, creating an inclusive and welcoming environment in which they could learn and grow.

Hailey volunteered to be President of the Nipissing University Business Community (NUBC), which hosts events, job fairs and an end of year formal for its students. She also serves as the Co-Director of Marketing for the NUBC. 

Hailey’s volunteer work with the Recruitment Office involves giving tours of the campus during regular weekday visits and open house days, as well as being a representative for the school at the Ontario Universities Fair.

Hailey has plans to obtain her Chartered Professional Accountant Designation and her Master of Business Administration. 

Nipissing University recognizes Hailey with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Haley Gignac

Haley Gignac

Bachelor of Science in Nursing within the Collaborative Nursing Program

From North Bay, Ontario, Haley is enthusiastic and a driving force for the nursing community, both on and off campus. 

Haley was the Nipissing University Nursing Society’s (NUNS) President from 2021-2022 and the first NUNS President in two years to organize the on-campus pinning ceremony following disruptions due to the pandemic. Haley was a lead organizer in several on-campus and off-campus fundraising activities, such as the Ice Bucket Challenge for Sick Kids, the Children’s Aid Society Family Donation Drive, and the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal. She was instrumental in supporting participation and engagement for the online Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) student body, whose support needs are often neglected since these students are at a distance.

Haley contributed to a talk with Dr. Charles Anyinam (Teaching Chair for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) and Nipissing University’s Black Association for Student Expression (NUBASE), to discuss the importance and the need for more awareness and action in relation to anti-Black racism within Health Care, and how to address this within the nursing curricula.

Haley hopes to apply to the Red Cross Foundation for a nursing position within their medical relief team. She hopes  to travel and provide medical support to those in need around the world and would like to be a part of humanitarian groups that work to give back to communities and support those who have been affected by natural disasters and are living in vulnerable regions.

Nipissing University recognizes Haley with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category

Lucia Gutierrez Lecuona portrait

Lucia Gutierrez Lecuona

Lucia is a very active second-degree accelerated nursing student from the Scholar Practitioner Program in Toronto, Ontario. From year one, Lucia had shown interest in improving the program’s student learning experience. Lucia volunteered to be a Best Practice Spotlight Organization Lead in charge of composing student learning sessions about implementing Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) into their nursing practice.

As a BPG co-lead, Lucia took on a leadership and educational role to encourage the uptake and application of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario’s Best Practice Guidelines. She wanted to be a BPG lead in building community within her cohort, and she intended to create a space where everyone could learn from one another.

Throughout her journey as a BPG lead, she discovered a passion for teaching through discussion, reflection, and storytelling. In her sessions, she encouraged her peers to participate in the teaching process by sharing experiences and facilitating some of the sessions. She noticed that more students felt comfortable sharing their experiences each time and were excited to participate in upcoming sessions.

Lucia’s advice to future Lakers is to go for it! If an opportunity to get involved comes up, and you find it interesting or have a passion for it, give it a try.

She hopes to work in the emergency department and later, remote nursing in First Nations communities. Eventually, she’d like to continue her studies to become a nurse practitioner or to achieve  a master's degree in education.

Nipissing University recognizes Lucia with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Maxwell Smith - DMLA 2023

Maxwell Smith

Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, and Bachelor of Education 

From London, Ontario, Maxwell (Max) Smith has been extensively involved in the Nipissing University campus community.

Actively involved in Residence Life, Max volunteered with the Resident's Council in his first year as a Floor Representative before working as a Residence Don and a Living Learning Community Don. He is currently the Community Assistant in Nipissing’s largest residence building. He has also worked as a Peer Tutor, a Peer Note-Taker, and a volunteer Campus Tour Guide.

This year, he was a member of the Varsity Rowing Team, and has participated in numerous intramurals, fundraisers, and Student Union-led activities to stay engaged with the community.

While under pandemic restrictions, Max ran events that helped maintain physical, social, and mental health for himself and members of the campus.

While working as the Living Learning Community Don, Max helped organize an awareness week for epilepsy. He hosted a panel for people with epilepsy to share their stories and educate students on epilepsy safety procedures.

Max encourages new Lakers to seek out involvement opportunities through the different university Instagram channels and to sign up for different out-reach initiatives being run by the university. You will never regret saying yes to helping at Nipissing!

Max plans to pursue his Master of Science in Kinesiology.

Nipissing University recognizes Max with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Natalie Iafrate

Natalie Iafrate

Honours Bachelor of Science with a specialization in Biology.

Natalie has been involved in the Nipissing University campus throughout her undergraduate. Over the last four years, she held several positions, including Biology Society President, research assistant, tutor, note taker, residence floor representative, teachers’ assistant, and proctor, while also maintaining an impressive school average. Natalie was selected in the fall of 2022 to go to Prince Edward Island to conduct research alongside her professor and another undergraduate student. In first year, Natalie was also involved in Residence Life.

Being the Biology Society’s Outgoing President has allowed Natalie to greatly influence the direction of the Biology Society. This year, she helped organize traditional events such as trivia nights, thesis night, study sessions, and Oktoberfest - all of which had great turnouts by students and professors. The Biology Society also collaborated with the Geography Club and the Math/Computer Science Club to host a STEM Formal, that was attended by over 160 students and community members.

Natalie’s desire to make friends motivates her to get involved within the Nipissing University campus. From sitting with peers in class, to learning from technicians in the labs, working toward common goals has helped her develop many friendships.

Natalie would like to encourage future Lakers to follow their interests and to partake in things that make them happy, as well as to never be afraid to put themselves out there to achieve their goals once they discover them.

Natalie aspires to heal and educate people as a physician and contribute to our understanding in regenerative medicine.

Nipissing University recognizes Natalie with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Quinn Erskine

Quinn Erskine

Honours Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Gender Equality and Social Justice.

Joining Nipissing from London, Ontario, Quinn is a dedicated and compassionate social justice educator. They demonstrate a strong commitment to improving campus culture, safety, and the quality of life for students through their volunteer and paid work with The Equity Centre.

Quinn played a leadership role as the volunteer as the Equity Centre’s Communications Coordinator in 2021 to 2022. They designed all the social media posts, created promotional materials, and attended events to promote the Equity Centre and its services for students.

Quinn has been involved in all the Equity Centre’s campaigns over the past two years, including the anti-oppression education workshops for students, faculty, and staff. These workshops address issues such as transphobia, ableism, racism, colonialism, and mental health awareness. He also co-organizes social events that create a sense of belonging amongst LGBTQIA2S+ and other marginalized students, such as PRIDE celebrations, trivia nights, drag shows, speed friending, and coffee hours.

Currently, Quinn is the Administrative Coordinator for the Equity Centre and continues to nurture relations with other organizations on campus for the purpose of building community and collaborating on social justice initiatives.

Quinn encourages all new Lakers to get involved. Campus involvement might look different for everyone, and getting involved is a great way to learn things outside of the classroom and make memories you keep with you for your whole life.

Nipissing University recognizes Quinn with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Rachel Morin

Rachel Morin

Honours Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources and Marketing

Rachel has shown great success in creating a sense of community on campus with both international students and the students within the School of Business.

From North Bay, Ontario, Rachel has taken a leadership role within the International Student Mentorship Program and has provided event and marketing support for the International Student Support office. She has been both a mentor and a friend to many international students – inviting them to her home for the holidays, driving them to fun events, helping them get settled, and encouraging them to get involved in life on campus at Nipissing.

Rachel is currently the Director of Operations and Co-Director of Marketing for the Nipissing University Business Community and has completed a Human Resources Internship with Nipissing’s Recruitment Office. Rachel’s numerous other roles include Tour Guide, Open House Volunteer, Ontario Universities Fair Volunteer, Student Ambassador Leader, Orientation Leader, and Peer Note Sharer.

Rachel’s advice to future Lakers is that involvement causes a ripple effect. You'll get to be yourself around some fantastic people, and you'll gather invaluable insight into who you are and what kind of professional you'd like to be.

After graduation, Rachel would love to work at Nipissing University, and her ultimate dream is to work in human resources or marketing in the video game industry. She is currently working towards her Certified Human Resources Professional designation.

Nipissing University recognizes Rachel with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Shaelyn Francis

Shaelyn Francis

Master of Science in Kinesiology.

From the tiny town of Binbrook, Ontario, comes the incredible Shaelyn, a valuable member of the Nipissing Lakers Women’s Volleyball Program, and Nipissing University community, since her arrival in 2019. Shaelyn emerged as a strong leader right from the beginning of her student-athlete journey and is the Captain of the Varsity Women’s Volleyball team.

She is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, Nipissing Student Services Mental Health Point Person, Nipissing Lakers Disciplinary Panel Member, and also a Board Member for the North Bay Youth Volleyball Club.

Among her awards and achievements, she has received the Carl Sanders Scholarship, an Athletic Scholarship, and was a two-time recipient of the Women’s Volleyball PRIDE Award. She has also earned the Academic All-Canadian Award in all her seasons on the team. Shaelyn is also a researcher in Nipissing’s Neuroendocrinology Lab.

Her advice to future Lakers would be to get involved in as much as you can! It might be scary at first if you aren't used to being involved but Nipissing offers so many amazing opportunities and fosters an environment where everyone is welcome.

Shaelyn plans to pursue a career in health and wellness and hopes to work with companies’ health departments to build programs and policies to improve health and wellness. She would also like to work Nipissing University in the Athletics Department.

Nipissing University recognizes Shaelyn for a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.

Tanya Matthews

Tanya Matthews

Honours Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Political Science.

Tanya began her studies at Nipissing University in the Indigenous Foundations program, and immediately took the initiative to foster a sense of community on campus. By creating a working group with her classmates, she ensured that her classmates understood questions and assignments and took the time to assist them when they needed it and was informally tutoring her peers. At times, she even cooked for them.

Tanya was an ambassador for Nipissing University when she represented her peers and spoke on behalf of students at the 14th annual Canadore-Nipissing Welcome Powwow on campus in 2019. That same year, Tanya also represented her peers in the Indigenous Foundations Program when she spoke at the Annual Graduate Appreciation Dinner with the Enji Giigdoyang, Office of Indigenous Initiatives (OII).

She was a volunteer mentor with the Peer2Peer mentorship program and shared wellness tips with students on the OII’s social media pages during the pandemic. She supported Indigenous Week in 2021 and shared a closing song at a virtual speaker event. Tanya also shared a closing song at the Annual Graduate Appreciation Dinner in 2022.

Active in her program of study, she became a member of the Political Science Society. She also joined the Nipissing University Peace Research Initiative and took the opportunity to moderate a local political debate. Through her Political Science studies, she has shared her knowledge and experience back in her home community of Apitipi Anicinapek Nation, including organizing a Treaty awareness symposium with local and regional speakers.

Tanya recommends that new Lakers join a club or a society as soon as they can. Every institution is looking to better the environment for all students. It's up to us to share our gifts and bring what we can to those important tables and spaces.

Tanya plans to become a lawyer defending Treaty relationships, rights, and obligations.

Nipissing University recognizes Tanya with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Campus Category.


Ashley Taciuk

Ashley Taciuk

Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Physical and Health Education

Ashley’s love for North Bay, as well as her home community of Oakville, Ontario, is evident in all the different ways she is involved.

Her involvement begins with Women’s Varsity Hockey, including recently being named the Assistant Captain of the team. Through her volunteerism with One Kids Place, the North Bay North Stars, the Run for the Cure, Bell Let’s Talk, the Noah Strong Organization, the Children’s Aid Society, the North Bay Ice Boltz, as well as many other organizations, Ashley has left smiles on the faces of not only the children, but also the employees at these locations. She also volunteers at her previous elementary school, teaching kids with learning disabilities.

Ashley is a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, where she co-coordinated fundraising events for varsity athletes at Nipissing University. While injured and unable to play, Ashley was the colour commentator for Lakers Women’s Hockey games.

Ashley also has an excellent academic record, and she is on track to earn an Academic All-Canadian award for her fourth consecutive year.

After graduation, Ashley plans to become a full-time elementary teacher. She hopes to inspire students and have the same positive impact as her own teachers did.

Nipissing University recognizes Ashley with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community Category.

Kate Mah

Kate Mah

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, within the Collaborative Nursing Program

Kate continually demonstrates her lifelong commitment to civic and social responsibility by generously giving back and volunteering within the Nipissing University community, the North Bay community, and the greater community globally.

Kate has been an active member of the Best Buddies student group at Nipissing University for four years, including her role as Secretary, and her current role as President. Best Buddies is a student-run program that includes developing and promoting monthly events while also establishing and maintaining friendships between students and members of the North Bay community with an intellectual and developmental disability.

Upon acceptance to Nipissing University, Kate was offered the President’s Scholarship and the Carl Sanders Scholarship. In addition, Kate received the University of Toronto’s prestigious National Book Award. She is also the recipient of Rotary’s Paul Harris Award.

During the pandemic, Kate volunteered at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, and was selected for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine studentship program with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.

Her university experience has affected her work within the North Bay community by providing her with the opportunity to see the positive impact that participation and volunteerism have on participants.

Following graduation, Kate plans to begin her career in nursing in the critical care setting. She aspires to continue working in the healthcare field by pursuing graduate studies in medicine.

Nipissing University recognizes Kate with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community Category.

Madison Laberge

Madison Laberge

Bachelor of Physical and Health Education

From Val Therese, Ontario, Madison has fully embraced the community and will certainly leave a positive impact with everyone she meets. Madison is described as hard working, honest, goal oriented, responsible, encouraging, and positive.

Through her volunteerism with One Kids Place, the North Bay North Stars, the Run for the Cure, Bell Let’s Talk, the Children’s Aid Society, as well as many other organizations, her personality shines through. She has also dedicated her time volunteering with the MK23 Memorial Tournament, Sudbury’s first all-female summer hockey event in memory of Melisa Kingsley, a Sudbury hockey player who lost her battle with cancer.

Madison’s involvement as Assistant Coach with the North Bay Ice Boltz U18 AA Girls Hockey Team will certainly leave a lasting and positive impression, not only with her fellow coaches, but also with the young female athletes that look up to her.

Madison’s time spent coaching has been valuable for her as she has grown up playing the sport. She loves sharing her experience and knowledge with younger female athletes to assist them with their future endeavours.

Madison will pursue her Bachelor of Education this fall and has plans to become a firefighter.

Nipissing University recognizes Madison with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community Category.

Megan Terriss portrait

Megan Terriss

Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the Scholar Practitioner Program

Megan demonstrates her commitment to civic and social responsibilities by acting on a need she recognized in the community. For Megan, this need surrounds the issue of unhoused individuals within the greater Toronto area. 

In October 2022, Megan started a fundraiser called the 5050 Project for the Nipissing University Scholar Practioner Program's (SPP) Social Justice Committee with the goal of purchasing high-quality winter sleeping bags for unhoused Torontonians. The project received an overwhelming response from the Toronto Community and was covered by BlogTO, CBC’s The National, and Zoomer Radio.

The Mountain Equipment Co-operative (MEC) partnered with Megan and the SPP Social Justice Committee to provide a generous discount and a donation of 21 sleeping bags, which led to the achievement of the committee's desired goal. 

Megan spearheads educational programming as a Best Practice Guideline (BPG) Lead to support Nipissing University's School of Nursing's designation as a Best Practice Spotlight Organization.

Acting as a BPG Leader has given her opportunities to connect with her peers around topics that she cares about, and to learn about the research process while building her presentation skills. 

Megan plans to become an Emergency Nurse and to continue engaging in advocacy and outreach work, lending her skills to her community as a future Registered Nurse. She hopes to be part of a future that includes a national housing strategy and policies that address the social determinants of health for marginalized communities.

Nipissing University recognizes Megan with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community Category.

Simone Branch

Simone Branch

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a focus on policing

Originally from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Simone is an incredible young person who wants to make positive changes in the world around her.

Simone has contributed to many groups both on campus and in the greater North Bay community during her time here. She has been a ringette coach, has volunteered at the North Bay Food Bank, has been the recipient of multiple scholarships, has sat on many committees, and has been an award-winning student-athlete and ambassador of Nipissing University. She has also earned an Academic All-Canadian Award for her exceptional grades.

She has consistently proven her leadership skills and created a sense of community on campus. Through her work as Administrative Director of the Nipissing University Black Association for Student Expression (NUBASE), Simone has tirelessly campaigned for equity and inclusion. The ongoing growth and presence of the BIPOC population in the city inspires her to continue to implement change to inspire future generations.

She has also been involved with Future Black Female, a not-for-profit organization that works to empower black girls and women to take charge of their health and financial well-being, their education and career paths, and participate fully in social, political, and civic arenas.

Simone’s commitment and civic responsibility is well-represented by her deep desire to become a police officer.

Nipissing University recognizes Simone with a Dave Marshall Leadership Award in the Community Category.