2024 Award Recipients

Ashley Boucher

Ashley Boucher

Bachelor of Social Work

From North Bay, Ontario, Ashley Boucher has discovered the power of hard work, determination, and integrity in achieving her goals authentically. As part of her Bachelor of Social Work Professional Years, Ashley undertook a placement with Rare Dementia Support Canada (RDS Canada), where she demonstrated exceptional interpersonal and communication skills. Working with individuals facing rare or young onset dementia, Ashley's empathetic approach and up-to-date knowledge has made her an invaluable asset to the program.

In her role at RDS Canada, Ashley engages in delivering support services, facilitating educational activities, and contributing to ongoing research projects. She has independently led peer support sessions, addressing tough topics including navigating family celebrations with dementia, showcasing her ability to connect with diverse audiences and provide valuable insights. Her contributions to RDS Canada have been instrumental in raising awareness and supporting individuals and families affected by dementia across the country.

Ashley's professionalism, maturity, and academic excellence have earned her praise from colleagues and supervisors alike. With aspirations to pursue a career in social work, particularly in the realm of supporting older individuals, Ashley is poised to continue making a positive impact in her chosen field.

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

Madison Desmarais

Maddie Desmarais

Bachelor of Physical Health and Education

Maddie Desmarais is a student-athlete in the Bachelor of Physical Health and Education program. She embodies excellence in academics, athletics, and community service. Her dedication to understanding various subjects has been pivotal in her academic journey and her involvement in the Exercise Physiology Lab has provided her with invaluable research experiences, including her current honours thesis titled "Aerobic Fitness and Dietary Nitrate Supplementation: Impact on Cycling Time to Exhaustion." Her research focuses on the dynamics of acute supplementation of dietary intake of beetroot juice and its effects on aerobic performance for trained and untrained individuals.

Balancing the schedule of a full academic course load while managing a busy hockey schedule demonstrates Maddie’s excellent time management skills and resilience. Maddie has also been recognized as an Academic All-Canadian, which honours exceptional student athletes who achieve an academic standing of 80% or higher during the academic year while playing on a university varsity team.

As a volunteer coach for the U15 AA Jr Lakers Girls Hockey team, she mentors young athletes and fosters a supportive environment for their development. Additionally, her role as a respite worker reflects her deep sense of responsibility and empathy towards others, further highlighting her exceptional leadership qualities.

Maddie plans to pursue a career in sports and exercise medicine, combining her academic knowledge with her passion for athletics. She plans to stay involved in hockey by continuing her coaching role.

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

Avery Duguay

Avery Duguay

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Collaborative

Avery Duguay is a student from Thunder Bay, Ontario, pursuing her passion for nursing research with unwavering determination. As a student in the Collaborative Nursing Program, Avery’s journey has been driven by a profound sense of professional purpose and direction within the realm of healthcare.

Avery has been deeply involved in various research endeavours, enriching her student experience while contributing significantly to nursing. She played a key role in supporting a study with Rare Dementia Support Canada (RDS Canada) regarding multi-generational support in young onset dementia. This engagement exemplifies her commitment to advancing healthcare knowledge and practices.

As a research assistant, Avery has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities, exhibiting strong communication skills and a proactive approach to problem-solving. Beyond her academic achievements, Avery is a pillar of support and guidance for her peers, emphasizing the importance of seeking help and fostering a supportive community within Nipissing University. Her advice to future Lakers echoes her compassionate nature and dedication to ensuring the success and well-being of others.

Looking ahead, Avery envisions a career as an inpatient surgical nurse, driven by her passion for hands-on patient care. She intends to pursue graduate studies, further immersing herself in nursing research and contributing to evidence-informed healthcare practices.

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

Ryan Hardy

Ryan Hardy

Bachelor of Education

Ryan Hardy is a student in the Bachelor of Education program who is driven by a passion for inclusive education, particularly in the realm of Deaf education. His journey at Nipissing University has been marked by a series of inspiring accomplishments and contributions.

Ryan’s dedication to his area of study was ignited during a pivotal moment in his academic career when he embarked on an Action Research Plan (ARP) during practicum, focusing on Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. While brainstorming innovative ways to engage students through music, Ryan recognized the limitations posed by auditory-based approaches for his students. Undeterred, he pivoted, conceiving the idea of employing visual stimulation as a substitute for traditional auditory music—a groundbreaking approach that showcases his creativity and commitment to inclusivity. His philosophy of visual music has not only enhanced classroom engagement but has also inspired fellow teachers, demonstrating the transformative potential of inclusive education practices.

Despite facing challenges associated with his deafness, Ryan has fearlessly embraced musical performance opportunities, showcasing the resilience of the human spirit. Through his adept use of visual cues and vibrations, he has proven that music transcends the confines of auditory perception.

Embracing the notion of starting afresh, he has cultivated confidence in his abilities and embraced new challenges with courage—a lesson he eagerly imparts to future Lakers. Looking ahead, Ryan is poised to embark on a career in Deaf education, where he aspires to serve as a role model and advocate for his students.

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

Kyra O'Hagan

Kyra O’Hagan

Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biology

Kyra O’Hagan is a remarkable individual whose journey has been marked by academic excellence and exemplary leadership. Inspired by her mentors, role models, and passionate professors, Kyra has always strived to go above and beyond.

As a student in the biology program, Kyra's exceptional abilities shine through her thesis project, which surpasses typical undergraduate expectations. Her dedication, research skills, and academic writing skills position her as a potential contributor to peer-reviewed journals. This stems from her findings which will address a controversial theoretical issue in evolutionary biology and may change the theoretical lens from which we view sexual selection of certain attractive facial features. 

She also sets an example for her peers by tackling challenges head-on, meeting deadlines, and offering support to fellow students in the lab. Her bright personality, thoughtfulness, and genuine care for others make her a standout leader.

Kyra has learned the importance of collaboration and community engagement and actively volunteers and initiates various projects, recognizing the value of working alongside others and making a positive impact on the local community. 

For future Lakers, Kyra advises taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by a smaller university, emphasizing the richness of experiences available in such a setting.

Kyra's aspirations lie in the fields of healthcare and public health, where she hopes to work with diverse communities across Northern Ontario, leveraging her skills and knowledge to create meaningful change.

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

Kyle Pawson

Kyle Pawson

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Kyle Pawson is an engaged and passionate student in the biology program at Nipissing. From North Bay, Ontario, his motivation to excel in his field stems from his genuine love for learning and his desire to apply new knowledge to future research endeavours. 

His dedication to research is evident through his exemplary performance within his undergraduate research projects. He received an Undergraduate Student Research Award through Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), where his ability to rapidly grasp concepts, both technical and practical, allowed for insightful discussions on how recovery from wildfire impacts mercury cycling and export in peatlands and small catchments. It is felt that Kyle’s current and proposed research is crucial to protecting our shared water resources in an era of climate change, particularly in industrially impacted landscapes. He also serves as a teaching assistant, sharing his knowledge and positively impacting the academic experiences of his peers.

Described as tenacious, thoughtful, and innately talented, Kyle's contributions to scientific research and academia are exemplary. His ability to distill complex concepts into understandable terms and his knack for interdisciplinary connections showcase his potential as a future leader in biogeochemistry and ecohydrology. Kyle's future aspirations include pursuing a Master of Environmental Science at Nipissing University.

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

Breanna Pett-Moore

Breanna Pett-Moore

Bachelor of Arts in Gender Equality and Social Justice

Coming to Nipissing University from Toronto, Ontario, Breanna Pett-Moore is a student whose passion for gender equality and social justice drives their academic pursuits. Currently pursuing an Honours Specialization in Gender Equality and Social Justice with a minor in History, Breanna’s commitment to their studies is evident in their exceptional academic achievements.

In their research project entitled “Small Cities as Queer Hubs,” Breanna uses interdisciplinary research methodologies from the critical fields of Queer studies, Indigenous studies, and critical geography studies to explore the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people living in small rural communities such as North Bay. Breanna’s research is the first to bring a critical “Queer place-based” research methodology to their interviews with non-Indigenous LGBTQ+ people. 

Breanna’s impact extends beyond the classroom. They embody compassion and responsibility, volunteering their time to various community organizations such as the Oasis Community Center Foodbank and serving as a mentor to new students at Nipissing University. Their dedication to creating safer spaces and advocating for social justice reflects their character and leadership abilities.

Looking towards the future, Breanna aspires to become an elementary school teacher, where they aim to create inclusive and equitable learning environments. With their background in Gender Equality and Social Justice, Breanna is poised to integrate principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion into their teaching practices, ensuring that all students feel accepted and understood.

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

Nebyu Woldeyohanes

Nebyu Woldeyohanes

Bachelor of Environmental and Physical Geography

Nebyu Woldeyohanes's journey in Canada began in Ottawa, Ontario, where his passion for natural science and geography took root. He has completed a Bachelor of Environmental and Physical Geography degree with a minor in Environmental Science. He pursued further education by completing two certificates in Environmental Resource Management and Geomatics.

Nebyu is currently working to complete this Master of Environmental Science and is in the process of defending his thesis research. His curiosity about the profound impact of human activities on the natural environment sparked his dedication to finding solutions for environmental challenges, such as water pollution, which he delves into through his research. His involvement in research projects utilizing advanced technology like remote sensing and GIS has garnered recognition and awards, showcasing his innovative thinking and commitment to environmental science. 

Engaging in research projects, participating in the Geography Club, and assuming leadership roles have allowed him to apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations, develop essential skills, and build meaningful connections with peers and faculty. His commitment to community building was further reflected in his involvement in Nipissing's International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP), where he assisted international students in their transition to Nipissing.

His advice to future Lakers emphasizes the importance of meeting new people, learning from diverse perspectives, and experiencing different cultures, reflecting his global outlook and thirst for knowledge.

Nebyu aspires to further his educational achievements by obtaining a doctorate and ultimately teaching Geoscience in higher education.

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


Elsa Allen

Elsa Allen

Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies

Elsa Allen is a passionate member of the Nipissing University community, particularly within the Enji-giigdoyang, Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Her journey at Nipissing has been marked by active involvement in various extracurricular activities, reflecting her commitment to personal growth and community engagement.

Elsa’s university experience has profoundly influenced her contributions to the campus community. Majoring in Indigenous Studies and working toward her Bachelor of Education degree has fuelled her passion for learning about her culture and sharing that knowledge with others.

As a Biidaaban Youth Group leader and Biidaaban Academic Support person, Elsa plays a pivotal role in nurturing Indigenous youth within North Bay. Her involvement extends beyond academic support to encompass cultural teachings, crafts, and creating a safe space for learning. Through these efforts, she fosters connections within the community while making a meaningful impact on the lives of Indigenous youth.

Motivated by the encouragement and support she has received from influential individuals at Nipissing, Elsa is committed to making a difference on campus. For future Lakers, Elsa advocates for stepping out of one's comfort zone and seizing the numerous opportunities available on campus. 

Beyond her university experience, Elsa's aspirations extend to becoming a high school teacher, with a focus on serving Indigenous communities. She hopes to continue to share her knowledge and provide opportunities for others to learn and grow.

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

Anna Brownlee portrait

Anna Brownlee

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geography

Anna Brownlee is a dedicated and involved student in the Environmental Geography program. Throughout her undergraduate years, she has been actively engaged in various extracurricular activities, leaving a significant impact on campus life.

From North Bay, Ontario, Anna’s journey at Nipissing University began with her involvement in the Geography Club, where she served as a member, 3rd year representative, and eventually as the Vice President. Her time in the club allowed her to create lasting memories for students and faculty members through organizing events such as hikes, trivia nights, movie screenings, and the Pangea Cup soccer tournament. Anna has played a pivotal role in revitalizing the club, fostering a sense of community among its members and contributing to the enrichment of student life.

In addition to her commitment to the Geography Club, Anna volunteered on the Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU) board of directors for three years. As the Director-at-Large, she actively participated in the Campaigns and Green Initiatives committees and the Green Initiatives working group, advocating for environmentally conscious change on campus. 

Despite her extensive involvement in extracurricular activities, Anna has maintained academic excellence, receiving the President’s Scholarship throughout all four years of her undergraduate studies. 

Anna encourages future Lakers to be proactive in shaping campus life and to use their voices to drive positive change. After graduating, Anna plans to pursue a Master of Science in Geography, focusing on climate change research in the Canadian High Arctic, with the goal of eventually working for Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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

Aurora Buckley

Aurora Buckley

Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare and Social Development

Aurora Buckley is a dedicated and driven student in the Bachelor of Social Welfare and Social Development program. From North Bay, Ontario, Aurora juggles her studies while parenting two young children. 

Despite her busy schedule as an honour roll student and parent, Aurora has devoted herself to enhancing the support and inclusivity of Nipissing University’s campus environment. 

Aurora's involvement includes initiating conversations with administrators and key decision-makers to address the unique needs of parenting students. Through her efforts, tangible changes have been implemented, such as the installation of changing tables in the washrooms around campus. 

Aurora's impact extends beyond infrastructure improvements; she is also establishing a club for students in the Social Welfare and Social Development program, providing a platform for addressing pertinent issues and fostering a sense of community among students. Aurora is working toward another project that would see at least one study station installed on campus, which has a toddler play area attached. While these initiatives are mostly directed to support parents on campus, creating environments where children are visibly welcome makes campus culture more inclusive. 

Beyond her academic accomplishments, Aurora aspires to pursue a career in government public service or policy, where she can continue advocating for marginalized communities while supporting her family. Her university experience has profoundly influenced her research interests, fuelling her ambition to pursue a master's degree. 

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

Aster Constapel

Aster Constapel

Bachelor of Social Work

From North Dundas, Ontario, Aster Constapel is a hard-working student in the Bachelor of Social Work program at Nipissing University. Their commitment to fostering a sense of community on campus and improving campus culture has had a measurable, positive impact on the safety and wellness of students, as well as interactions with various groups within the community.

Since 2021, Aster has been actively involved in The Equity Centre as the 2QT Pride Coordinator, spearheading events and campaigns that support and advocate for 2S-LGBTQIA+ identified students on campus. Additionally, their student placement within the Recruitment Office has allowed them to present an abstract at the Ontario University Registrars’ Conference, showcasing their work in promoting equity within the campus community.

Aster's leadership is also evident through their contributions to the Recruitment Office, where they provided valuable input on making Nipissing University's presence at events more accessible and inclusive. Their observations and recommendations have led to actionable plans for improving processes, such as leading with pronouns and considering sensory needs. 

Motivated by their own experiences as a student in need of support, Aster is driven to make others' university experiences as fulfilling as possible. Their outgoing and kind personality fosters genuine connections and support among peers. Aster’s leadership and guidance contribute to a safer, more inclusive campus environment, leaving a lasting impact on both students and staff alike.

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

Jada de Jeu

Jada de Jeu

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Jada de Jeu is an accomplished fourth-year Bachelor of Fine Arts student from Waterloo, Ontario, and is also pursuing their Bachelor of Education degree. 

One of Jada's most impactful involvements has been their role as Co-President of the Nipissing University Fine Arts Society. Through this student-led organization, Jada initiated the revival of a sense of community among art enthusiasts on campus. Under their leadership, the society organized art exhibitions, sales, networking events, and social gatherings, providing inclusive opportunities for students to interact, learn, and evolve together. By reviving the Fine Arts Society and actively participating in the operations of the Reflection Gallery at the NUSU Student Centre, Jada has created opportunities for students to showcase their talents and engage with art in meaningful ways.

Jada's dedication to the arts extends to her participation in campus-wide initiatives. They were one of the select few students involved in a collaborative site-specific sculpture project for the Ice Follies Exhibition of Contemporary and Community-Engaged Art. 

Upon graduating, Jada plans to continue their education at the Nipissing Schulich School of Education with the goal of completing a teaching degree. Their dedication to fostering a sense of community and promoting artistic expression will continue to positively impact their future endeavours.

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

Kennedy Joyce

Kennedy Joyce

Bachelor of Social Work

Hailing from Kingston, Ontario, Kennedy Joyce is a distinguished member of the Nipissing University community, showcasing excellence both on and off the basketball court. Throughout her tenure at Nipissing, Kennedy has been an integral part of the Lakers’ Women’s Basketball team, demonstrating her dedication and leadership skills. 

Kennedy’s academic skills are evident through her numerous achievements within the Bachelor of Social Work program, including being a three-time Presidential Scholarship recipient and a two-time Academic All-Canadian.

Beyond her achievements in sports and academics, Kennedy has actively contributed to campus life through her involvement in various extracurricular activities. Notably, she has served as the head of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), where she played a pivotal role in fostering a supportive community among student-athletes. Under her leadership, the committee has organized events such as the Student Athlete Welcome BBQ and facilitated discussions to enhance the student athlete experience.

Kennedy has also been involved in initiatives supporting the broader community. From organizing fundraisers to participating in research projects addressing gender-based violence, Kennedy demonstrates her commitment to social change and community engagement.

Kennedy’s resilience and leadership shine through adversity, as evidenced by her comeback from a season-ending ACL injury. Her dedication to rehabilitation and support for fellow athletes facing similar challenges highlight her exemplary character and leadership abilities.

With aspirations to pursue a career in social work or law, Kennedy aims to continue making a positive impact on marginalized populations. 

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

Riley McEntee

Riley McEntee

Double Major in Philosophy and Political Science

Working on his Honours Double Major in Philosophy and Political Science, Riley McEntee is a dedicated individual whose contributions to Nipissing University will leave a lasting impact on campus life. Holding the position of Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU) President from May 2022 to April 2024, Riley's leadership has been instrumental in spearheading positive change and fostering a supportive environment for students.

Riley's engagement in extracurricular activities goes beyond his role as NUSU President. Previously serving as a NUSU Director-at-Large, Riley has been actively involved in various on-campus groups, including Nipissing University Black Association for Student Expression (NUBASE) and the Equity Centre. He has also volunteered extensively with the Recruitment Office and served as a registered note taker with Student Accessibility Services, a peer tutor within Student Learning & Transitions, as well as a peer supporter within Student Counselling Services.

During his time as NUSU President, Riley championed initiatives focused on food rescue and sustainability. He created the Food Rescue Fridge, a food sustainability initiative open to both Canadore and Nipissing students. This initiative helped to create new community connections with local businesses, several of which have or are currently supporting the Food Rescue Fridge and NUSU Food Bank. Partners include Fresh Italian Eats, Cobs Bread, Good Glaze, The Culture Club, Sobeys, Orchards, and the shared cafeteria.

Riley plans to attend law school in Toronto, aspiring to work in human rights, treaty rights, and labour advocacy. His long-term goals include pursuing graduate studies in Philosophy with a focus on labour and law, reflecting his deep commitment to social justice and academic excellence.

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

Taylor Mitchener

Taylor Mitchener

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geography

From London, Ontario, Taylor Mitchener has been an integral part of campus life throughout her undergraduate years, demonstrating exceptional leadership and commitment to both academic and extracurricular pursuits.

As a student in the Environmental Geography program and as a dedicated member of the Women’s Varsity Soccer team, Taylor excelled not only on the field but also in the classroom, consistently achieving Academic All-Canadian status. 

Taylor's involvement has extended beyond sports and academics as she was actively engaged in various initiatives aimed at promoting mental health awareness, including Bell Let’s Talk campaigns, demonstrating her commitment to the holistic well-being of the campus community.

Taylor's most impactful experience was her leadership role in the Geography Club. Over the years, she transformed the club, increasing participation from a mere four members to over 80 people. Under her guidance, the club became a vibrant and inclusive community, providing students with a welcoming space for academic support, socializing, and engagement in departmental activities.

Taylor's leadership extended beyond the Geography Club as she volunteered at Nipissing Open Houses, served as an Orientation Leader, and actively supported other student groups on campus. Her dedication to fostering a sense of community was further recognized when she received the Ben Kuyt Community Citizenship Award in 2022 for her consistent commitment to community responsibility. 

Taylor plans to complete a Master of Science and eventually, a PhD.

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

Ishwariya Ramakrishnan

Ishwariya Ramakrishnan

Bachelor of Business Administration

Ishwariya Ramakrishnan is an exceptional individual known for her active involvement and leadership within the Nipissing University community.

During the 2022-2023 academic year, Ishwariya served as an Ambassador for the Nipissing University Business Community (NUBC), where she dedicated herself to fostering inclusivity and collaboration among business students. Her commitment to creating a welcoming environment continued as she participated in various activities, including New Student Orientation and International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP) Training. Additionally, she volunteered with the student recruitment team, showcasing her passion for promoting the University and assisting prospective students.

Presently, Ishwariya is the Director of Marketing for NUBC, where she continues to contribute to the enhancement of student engagement and community spirit within the University.

Throughout her time at Nipissing, Ishwariya's leadership qualities have shone brightly. She consistently goes above and beyond to support her peers, whether it's through organizing events, facilitating study groups, or providing personalized assistance to those in need. 

Looking ahead, Ishwariya plans to continue her journey by working full-time, ideally within the University, leveraging her skills and experiences to contribute positively to the institution. Furthermore, she aspires to launch a vegetarian eatery in North Bay, demonstrating her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to making a difference in her community.

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

Savannah Searle

Savannah Searle

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Education

Savannah Searle is a dedicated and passionate individual within the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Education programs, who has left a significant mark on Nipissing’s campus community. Throughout her time at Nipissing, Savannah has been deeply involved in various extracurricular activities, demonstrating exceptional leadership and commitment. 

One of Savannah's most impactful involvements has been her role in running the Relay for Life program for the Canadian Cancer Society’s North Bay district for the past three years. Despite facing personal challenges, including a diagnosis of brain cancer in her first year, Savannah has been unwavering in her determination to make a difference. Under her leadership, the Relay for Life program has flourished, quadrupling in size and achieving remarkable milestones such as raising $150,000, making it the third-ranked district in Canada. Under her guidance, Relay for Life has become a cornerstone event at Nipissing University, bringing students together in support of a common cause and creating a strong sense of community. 

In addition to her work with Relay for Life, Savannah has served as a director on NUSU's Board of Directors for the 2023/2024 year, advocating for students' interests and striving to improve campus culture. She has also been actively involved in various other initiatives, including representing the Canadian Cancer Society in the North Bay Santa Claus Parade, hosting paint nights and workshops, and assisting with the installation of the Reflection Gallery in the NUSU space. Savannah has also held roles as an Orientation Leader, NUSU Summer Intern, and Student Centre Assistant.  

She plans to complete her education in teaching and return to the Thames Valley District School Board to teach high school level Art and English. Her passion for making a difference and her commitment to creating a safe, inclusive, and vibrant campus environment will undoubtedly continue to inspire others long after her time at Nipissing.  

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

Priya Seeraj-Turingia

Priya Seeraj-Turingia

Bachelor of Arts in English, Bachelor of Education

Priya Seeraj-Turingia is a dedicated and passionate member of the Nipissing University community within the English Studies and Bachelor of Education programs and is known for her unwavering commitment to fostering inclusivity and support among her peers. Currently serving as an Executive of Mentoring for the International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP), Priya guides international students, facilitating their smooth transition into university life. Additionally, as a Residence Don, she plays a vital role in promoting a sense of belonging among residents.

Priya's leadership within the ISMP is particularly noteworthy, as she has significantly expanded the program's reach. By leading training sessions for new mentors and implementing program modifications based on her insights, she has helped double the number of participants.

Priya actively participates in various extracurricular activities, including serving as a member of the Equity Centre & Students of Colour United (SOCU), the Relay for Life Committee, and participating in events such as the Drag Show. Other events include Nipissing University's Open House, Skate with the Lakers, Diwali, Celebrate the Culture Night, and many smaller-scale events within the Mentorship Program.

Her dedication, professionalism, and genuine concern for the well-being of her peers make Priya a respected and admired figure on campus. She hopes to pursue a career in education, eventually going abroad. 

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

Maddie Simons

Maddison Simons

Bachelor of Physical and Health Education

Maddison Simons is a bright and engaged student at Nipissing University, working on her Bachelor of Physical and Health Education degree. Throughout her time at Nipissing, Maddison has been deeply involved in various extracurricular activities that have shaped her university experience. From her role as VP Social at the Nipissing Residence Council to her position as a Residence Don and Corporate Events Student Assistant, Maddison has consistently demonstrated her commitment to campus life. She has also been an active member of the Nipissing Dance Team, showcasing her passion for dance and performance. 

Maddison's most impactful experience has been through her role as the Nipissing University Kinesiology Games Captain, where she played a pivotal part in reviving and leading the team to represent Nipissing University in a nationwide conference. Through her proactive efforts, Maddison significantly increased interest in the team, doubling the number of applications for the following season.

Maddison's motivation for getting involved on campus stems from her desire to meet new people, experience personal growth, and explore new opportunities. She thrives on trying new things and stepping outside of her comfort zone, believing that these experiences are essential for personal development. Maddison sees campus involvement as not only a chance to expand her horizons but also as an opportunity to make meaningful connections and contribute positively to the Nipissing community.

Looking ahead, Maddison plans to explore further education opportunities, including graduate programs in Sports Management and Education. She also hopes to travel and immerse herself in different cultures, believing that these experiences will enrich her perspective and contribute to her personal growth. Ultimately, Maddison aspires to find a career path where she can make a positive impact on the lives of others and inspire them to reach their full potential. 

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


Kennedy Bond

Kennedy Bond

Double Major in Economics and Political Science

Kennedy Bond is a compassionate individual who has continually demonstrated her commitment to serving her community, both locally in North Bay, and across Canada. Kennedy is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in Economics and Political Science. She has been recognized for her academic achievements through scholarships and awards, showcasing her dedication to excellence in all areas of her life.

From an early age, Kennedy has been involved in many clubs and organizations. She has been an active participant in Me to We charities, Toonies for Tummies Youth Advisory, and the EQAO Student Advisory Committee, demonstrating her dedication to making a positive impact in the lives of others. 

One of Kennedy's most impactful experiences has been her work as a math tutor at Mathnasium, where she has helped numerous students overcome learning barriers and develop a deeper understanding of mathematics. 

Kennedy's leadership extends beyond her local community involvement to national platforms, including her participation in the RCMP National Youth Advisory Committee and Plan International's Speaker’s Bureau. Through these roles, Kennedy has contributed her insights and perspectives to discussions on important issues such as policing, cyberbullying, and international relations.

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

Kara den Hoed

Kara den Hoed

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Kara den Hoed is a student-athlete in the Criminal Justice program and has been deeply engaged in her community since attending high school in Fergus, Ontario, where she dedicated her time to mentoring young girls in hockey. Kara is a leader through her roles as an assistant captain on the Women's Lakers hockey team and an assistant coach for the U15 Junior Lakers girls' hockey team. Among her various involvements, Kara's role as an assistant coach stands out as the most impactful experience for her. Witnessing the transformation of the girls she mentors, becoming a trusted figure and witnessing their growth both on and off the ice, has been profoundly rewarding.

Her university experience has seamlessly intertwined with her community work, providing her with opportunities for involvement that complement her academic pursuits. Her passion for volunteering stems from the joy of making a positive impact, evident in the smiles she brings to faces at One Kids Place as well as the rink.

Kara encourages future Lakers to try out community involvement opportunities. She believes that the intrinsic rewards of volunteering far outweigh any hesitation one might have.

Kara’s goal is to join the police force and eventually become part of the Emergency Response Team, all while continuing to coach and share her knowledge with young athletes in her community.

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

Mallory Dominico

Malory Dominico

Bachelor of Business Administration

Malory Dominico, a student-athlete in the Bachelor of Business Administration program, is deeply ingrained in the North Bay community. Over her 5 years as a member of the Nipissing Lakers Women's Hockey team, Malory has worked tirelessly in the community, helping numerous organizations.

This year, Malory created the Young Leader Legacy (YLL). The YLL was created to help support other young leaders in the North Bay community to reach their sporting goals and be able to participate in the sport they love, even with financial barriers in the way. Malory has teamed up with a local sponsor to donate $100 for every point she achieves in this year’s varsity season. Malory also serves as a member of the Nipissing Lakers Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which aims to enhance the student-athlete experience, create a more engaging and inclusive environment, and create positive relationships among teams and communities.  

Malory is actively involved in supporting the NoahStrong Organization as an Ambassador. She also volunteers with One Kids Place and dedicates her time to dog walking at the North Bay Humane Society. 

Her work with the Junior Lakers and the broader hockey community holds particular significance. She sees herself as a big sister figure to young girls, offering guidance both on and off the ice.  

Looking ahead, Malory aims to continue her hockey career post-graduation, with aspirations of competing in elite leagues and pursuing a career in sports marketing or administration.

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

Tina Hérard portrait

Tina Hérard

Bachelor of Education

From Cache Bay, Ontario, Tina Hérard is a dedicated and passionate individual deeply committed to serving her community and fostering positive change. Currently pursuing her Bachelor of Education degree, her journey of teaching and community involvement began with volunteering for various initiatives aimed at supporting the well-being of others. 

From her early days with the Kipawa Citizens Leisure Association (KCLA) to her current role on the administrative board of Le Portail, Tina consistently seeks out opportunities to make a difference. Le Portail is a non-profit organization located in Rouyn-Noranda that aims to give psychosocial services to families and friends of those suffering from mental illness. Her involvement with Le Portail stands as a testament to her dedication, as she not only volunteers her time but also works tirelessly to promote the organization's mission and expand its reach within the community.

Tina possesses a remarkable ability to motivate and empower others. Her dynamic energy and genuine enthusiasm inspire those around her to step up and contribute their best efforts. Whether it's leading workshops on mental health and well-being or spearheading community events like Project Sunflower and Project Christmas Jar, Tina's leadership leaves a lasting impact on individuals and the community.

Moreover, Tina exemplifies the importance of collaboration and inclusivity in creating meaningful change. She seamlessly integrates into diverse teams, respecting differing perspectives and fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. Her capacity to work collaboratively ensures that initiatives are executed with excellence and effectiveness, leading to tangible results that benefit the community.

Through her contributions to both the education system and community organizations, Tina has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to create positive change. As she continues to pursue her aspirations in education and community engagement, Tina is an inspiration for others.

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

Kaia Quan-Heffron

Kaia Quan-Heffron

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Kaia Quan-Heffron is a highly determined Psychology student whose life has been marked by a profound commitment to community service and advocacy. Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Kaia's journey of community involvement began at a young age and has since flourished into a multifaceted dedication to uplifting others both locally and internationally.

Throughout her life, Kaia has been deeply engaged in volunteer work across various non-profit organizations. Notably, her experiences with "More Than Soup" left an indelible mark on her perspective. More Than Soup is a group of people who deliver soup, snacks and compassion to those in the shelter system or on the streets of Toronto. 

Kaia's commitment to service extended beyond her hometown as she embarked on a transformative volunteering trip to Uganda. There, she worked tirelessly to empower children by facilitating workshops on establishing self-sustainable micro-businesses. Her role as an Assistant Director for Uganda Kids Canada underscores her dedication to bridging cultural gaps and empowering children on a global scale.

Kaia's advocacy extends beyond campus borders, as evidenced by her participation in the Canadian Federation of Students Lobby Days at Queen's Park. There, she tirelessly championed student concerns at the provincial level, advocating for issues ranging from tuition reduction to transportation accessibility. 

Kaia's leadership abilities, characterized by her warmth, empathy, and unwavering dedication, have left an indelible mark on both the Nipissing University and North Bay communities.

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