2022 IMI Awards
On July 21, 2022, IMI proudly welcomed students, staff, and faculty to UTM's Blind Duck Pub to celebrate the seventh annual IMI Awards. This was the first time we celebrated our award winners in person since 2019.
We would like to thank all of our nominators & judges, and wish a heartfelt congratulations to all of our 2022 recipients!
- IMI Faculty Award: Gabriel Eidelman
- IMI Research Award: Tara Vinodrai
- IMI Staff Award: Nazeem Shamsuddin
- IMI Team Collaboration Award: Alyssa Madrasto, Nazeem Shamsuddin, Martina Simmonds
- IMI Alumni Award: Daniel Tourangeau
- IMIvator Award
- Kaitlyn D’Lima
- Lara Brooks, Angelica Chow, Alannah Hoops, Allan Huang, Elyse Muir, & Xi Shao
- IMI Social Leadership Award: Jananee Savuntharanathan
IMI Faculty Award
This faculty member will have significantly enhanced the overall support, learning and/or engagement of students and/or faculty within the Institute for Management & Innovation. This may be at an undergraduate or graduate level.
2022 Recipient: Gabriel Eidelman
Professor Eidelman has been an integral part of the MUI program from the launch of the program. His efforts, expertise and passion has not only raised brand awareness of the program, it has uplifted the student experience and has also contributed to the overall goals of the Institute as a whole.
First, Gabe has spearheaded the Urban Leadership Exchange, a program which partnered with the IMIx Executive Programs. This certificate program not only extended the brand of the MUI program, even before the program launch, it also was one of the first certificates which established the IMIx brand. Professor Eidelman worked diligently to develop, execute and market the ULX program to various stakeholders in the GTA and beyond which ultimately led to successful connections and partnerships for the program, institute and university as a whole. This was a key success in the launch of the MUI program.
Additionally, Professor Eidelman has demonstrated the value of industry partnership. In his courses, he has perfectly blended industry speakers and expertise within his academic programming. This has allowed students to situate their learnings in an academic context while also allowing them to transfer these learnings to a practical framework. This has given the MUI students an opportunity to showcase their learnings in a very pragmatic way. For example, Professor Eidelman partnered with City of Toronto Counselor Wong-Tam on a jurisdictional scan where students were ultimately able to present to City of Toronto stakeholders and their findings were showcased on the City of Toronto Website- what an accomplishment! Furthermore, this opportunity gave students and excellent example to speak to when interviewing for their internship and was ultimately a very impressive feat for them individually and for the program itself.
One of the MUI’s biggest selling points is the Case Competition which is led by Professor Eidelman. For the past two years, Professor Eidelman has managed his relationship with the Toronto Regional Board of Trade whereby there present a very relevant case where students are able to not only showcase their learnings but are also able to contribute to real-life and sustainable improvements to our cities. In their first year, our students presented findings on how to revitalize our downtown core given the current pandemic to the leadership team. Our Toronto Regional Board of Trade members were so impressed that they partnered once again with us again on the revitalization of the Toronto Pearson Airport District. Thanks to his coaching, our partners have acknowledged the value our students bring to their presentations and findings.
Professor Eidelman has gone above and beyond for the MUI program. We have been so lucky to have him as part of the team and look forward to future growth with what he brings.
IMI Research Award
This faculty member will have been recognized for a significant research/scholarly contribution to their discipline. This contribution could be but is not limited to an original published work or key research contributions deemed innovative in nature.
2022 Recipient: Tara Vinodrai
Tara is an outstanding scholar and has had an exceptional research year. Despite the adverse impact of the pandemic on most of our research progress, Tara has overcomed significant challenges to demonstrated remarkable research leadership in terms of her scholarly accomplishments as well as mentoring of young scholars. First, she received the Award for Planning Excellence Merit from the Canadian Institute for Planners for Canadian Cities in Transition (Oxford University Press, 2020 for advancing knowledge and scholarship on planning, cities and urban studies in Canada. She published 5 journal articles, 2 book chapters, 2 peer-reviewed research/policy reports (1 published, 1 accepted), 1 other research report. She has been exemplary in knowledge mobilization and engagement, presenting on multiple conferences, invited panels, and invited public presentations to practitioners, government, agencies, civic organizations, and the general public. Tara is also one of IMI’s most active and successful faculty in seeking internal and external grants and currently holds several significant internal and tri-council awards.
Tara’s breadth of supervision of 3 PhD, 3 Masters (2 ongoing, 1 completed), 1 postdoctoral fellow, 5 research assistants (1 doctoral, 4 Masters), and success in supervision, including two students receiving SSHRC funding this year (1 PhD 1 Masters) is to be commended. She also served on 6 PhD committees (1 completed) and 1 Masters. Her course in the MUI, 1010 Introduction to the Management of Urban Innovation is very well received along with the thought and professional leadership she brings to the MUI.
IMI Staff Award
This staff member will have significantly enhanced the overall support, learning and/or engagement of students, staff and/or faculty within the Institute for Management & Innovation.
2022 Recipient: Nazeem Shamsuddin
I would like to nominate Nazeem Shamsuddin for the IMI Staff Award for the exemplary leadership and extraordinary commitment he has shown since the time he joined IMI. Nazeem has successfully transitioned from the role of Internal Relations Manager and, more recently, as External Relations Manager to Senior Research Associate (SRA) and has had an enormous yet quiet impact in his role by leading a reinvigoration of the students, faculty, and staff and overall strategic initiatives of the Institute. Within a short period after joining the MBiotech department, Nazeem was able to deliver on new collaborative breakthroughs, especially in the inaugural year of the Digital Health Program that positioned him as a strategic leader and a trusted resource for staff, students, and external stakeholders.
I have been a colleague of Nazeem for the last few years and have had the pleasure of witnessing his tremendous commitment to the promotion and support of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in various areas, including but not limited to meaningful partnerships, scholarships and mentorship initiatives. He is a tireless advocate for students, faculty, and staff and I have watched him work countless overtime hours trying to bring both the Biopharmaceuticals (BioPh) and Digital Health Technologies (DHT) streams within the MBiotech program to competitive standards.
Specific work that Nazeem has done to contribute to the progression of IMI was the integration and implantation of IMI Connect, in coordination with me and the leadership team at IMI. Nazeem s insights tremendously helped standardize the IMI Connect system protocols and improved the workflow and placement processes. Nazeem brings positive high energy and a personal touch to everything he does at the workplace which thoroughly impressed me. He strives to integrate both an understanding of the big picture strategy and goals for the department and students, serving as a true inspiration.
Nazeem also continues to take an active role in the success of all students he oversees. He has touched and enriched the lives of many students and clearly exemplifies the virtue of student advising by providing unsolicited and appreciated mentoring to students. Despite many challenges of the Covid 19 pandemic, Nazeem demonstrated exemplary work by managing the entire work-study portion of both Biopharma and DHT streams of the MBiotech Program without any disruptions.
Whether working with internal or external groups, Nazeem looks to find the best outcome for all involved and truly exemplifies the core values of IMI and the University overall. I strongly believe Nazeem has made a difference at MBiotech, exemplified the mission of IMI, and has positively impacted the lives of many students. Because of his efforts, I and the rest of his colleagues have all seen exceptional results and he truly deserves to be a recipient of this year s IMI Staff Award.
IMI Team Collaboration Award
This team of two or more members can include any balance of faculty and staff (up to four (4) members). They will have collaboratively introduced and implemented a new program, product, or initiative that has significantly enhanced the overall support, learning and/or engagement of students, staff and/or faculty within the Institute for Management & Innovation.
2022 Recipients: Alyssa Madrasto, Nazeem Shamsuddin, Martina Simmonds (IMI Connect)
It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of support for the nomination of Nazeem Shamsuddin, Alyssa Madrasto and Martina Simmonds, for the IMI Team Collaboration Award. Nazeem, Alyssa and Martina were instrumental in the establishment and implementation of the IM Connect system and played a pivotal role in its integration and expansion. While I acknowledge the contributions from other staff members within IMI, I strongly believe Nazeem, Alyssa and Martina were the core operational team that pulled it all together to the next level. For the past eight years we have been utilizing the IMI Connect Platform. This platform has allowed us the opportunity to aggregate our employer/student data and streamline our existing workflow. From the very beginning of the planning process, Alyssa played an integral role in not only presenting the software to all stakeholders, but also by facilitating the IMI Connect User Guide for both students and staff. With this documentation, Martina Simmonds was able to consult with Alyssa and establish/align program protocols that were used for staff training. Protocols such as Job Posting, Application Submissions, Interview Timelines and Appointment Structures, were all established to aid our internal workflow and provide a seamlines user engagement for our students.
With the onset of various iteration of the software, Martina was also able to establish, Customized Student Surveys, the implementation of our ""Have You Been Placed"" button and a Customized Tax Credit Letter, a feature that was later adopted by the software vendor to aid other universities/colleges. Nazeem was then able to consult with Martina and integrate the existing protocols and customize the platform even further by identifying gaps in the system. Nazeem initiated a series of discussions between the team and the Orbis group that significantly improved the operational oversight, efficiency and resulted in significant time savings. Through a collaborative effort, the team seamlessly and proactively streamlined systems and protocols in response to the need of the departments and provided a much-needed value add to all our employers, staff and stakeholders. Not only did the team develop a transparent and rigorous process for streamlining co-op placement process, but they also built commitment and buy-in from the internal and external stakeholders to adopt and adhere to the new process and protocols. Despite the overwhelming amount of their work duties, the team's willingness to assist others in navigating the system is unequaled.
Facilitating this type of collective efforts pushes not only IMI, but all of U of T forward in their experiential learning, Big Data, and innovation initiatives. Awarding of Nazeem, Alyssa and Martina with the IMI Team Collaboration Award would be an incredible way to thank them all for what they have done as a team and continue to do in their respective roles at the Institute for Management & Innovation.
IMI Alumni Award
The IMI Alumni Award recognizes and celebrates the professional achievements made by IMI graduates. The panel will be looking for an alumna/alumnus who may have made a significant contribution to their field, acted as a prominent voice within their discipline, and/or demonstrated their commitment to making the world a better place through innovative ideas and solutions. They may also be a recent graduate with outstanding achievements in a short time who have shown themselves to be a trailblazer in their chosen field.
- The nominated alumna/alumnus must have graduated at least two (2) years prior to the nomination.
- The nomination should be for achievements related to their field of study at IMI.
- Alumni are not eligible to nominate themselves for the award.
2022 Recipient: Daniel Tourangeau (MFAcc Class of 2018)
Daniel exemplifies excellence - his recent case was featured on a Netflix documentary "Trust No One" and was part of the team that investigated Bridging Finance - The Ontario Securities Commission alleges that individuals behind Bridging Finance Inc., a Toronto-based investment management firm with $2 billion in assets under management, committed fraud, misappropriated funds, made misleading or untrue statements and misled investigators.
Daniel is also an instructor for the MFAcc Program, he is a regular supporter of MFAcc Events - Capstone, Meet the Expert, Information Sessions etc. He ranks as one of the most effective instructors in the program on the evaluations.
This award is given to a current IMI graduate student who has used a multi-disciplinary approach in the conceptualization and/or creation of a new product, service, project, event, group or program that demonstrates innovative idea(s), enhances the student experience, and may have a long-lasting impact on students and/or community.
* Student(s) can be nominated for both the IMIvator and Social Leadership Awards.
Kaitlyn D’Lima (MScSM Class of 2023)
Lara Brooks, Angelica Chow, Alannah Hoops, Allan Huang, Elyse Muir, & Xi Shao (MScSM Class of 2023)
Primary nomination for Kaitlyn:
I nominate Kaitlyn D'Lima for the IMIvator Award. When I think of Kaitlyn, I think of a person who is resourceful, inquisitive, determined, and inspirational. This past year, Kaitlyn united a multidisciplinary team consisting of students from the Master of Science in Sustainability Management, Master of Urban Innovation, and Bachelor of Arts in Architecture programs. The team competed in Rain It In, a student competition where the task was to propose an innovative solution to a real-world problem of flooding in a local community. Despite being faced with a challenge completely new to her, Kaitlyn was determined to learn from her peers, seek out mentors, and create a stormwater management solution that was both practical and effective. Her passion and dedication shone through every step of the journey as she led her team to creating an innovative solution to pitch to the judges. She never lost sight of the project's goal to contribute to a sustainable future for the community. Her efforts paid off as the team placed first in the case competition, and there is no doubt that the team s success is owed greatly to Kaitlyn's leadership. With plans to bring the solution to life, the community will continue to benefit from Kaitlyn's future contributions. It is with great admiration and pride that I nominate Kaitlyn for the IMIvator Award.
Check out Kaitlyn's Rain It In experience:
Primary nomination for Lara Brooks, Angelica Chow, Alannah Hoops, Allan Huang, Elyse Muir, & Xi Shao:
I am nominating the aforementioned individuals, in addition to their team, Alannah Hoops, Allan Huang and Angelica Chow, for the IMIvator Award. This multidisciplinary group of MSc Sustainability Management students combined their academic backgrounds in engineering, finance, human geography, and biology to address the global issue of fast fashion. This team recognized that consumers are unsure of where to find sustainable clothes due to a lack of information and greenwashing. This lack of knowledge fuels uncertainty and perpetuates a cycle of fast fashion consumption. As a result, the team developed the novel sustainable fashion marketplace, Lente, which aggregates sustainable-certified brands and their clothes for consumers to browse and shop. Here, the Lente team ensures that consumers have a platform to access slow fashion brands.
I first became aware of this sustainable marketplace as the team placed as a finalist in the Adam's Sustainability Innovation Prize Competition. This competition offers funding to accelerate U of T's sustainable services and products. Subsequently, the team pitched their service to the class through a video that elicited great support: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqln628V0L4
From discussions with the team, I know that they have been feverously working on their marketplace. Specifically, they re pitching their prototype to U of T incubators and meeting with investors to acquire additional funding. Due to their ability to harness their multidisciplinary backgrounds in developing a promising, innovative, sustainable service, I firmly believe that their efforts should be recognized and are thus well deserving of this award!
IMI Social Leadership Award
This award is given to a current IMI graduate student who has led an initiative or conceptualized a product or service that focused directly on social responsibility, community well-being, and/or sustainable future. The contribution may focus on the well-being of IMI, UTM, the local community, or the broader community at large.
* Student(s) can be nominated for both the IMIvator and Social Leadership Awards.
2022 Recipient: Jananee Savuntharanathan, (MUI Class of 2023)
I am proud to be nominating Jananee Savuntharanathan, for this award. If there was a perfect student profile for this award, Jan would be it.
To start, Jananee has had a passion for the betterment of city in which she resides. Starting off as a Market researcher for the City of Mississauga, she sparked her interest working with the community, specifically youth in creating a Youth Friendly App, a project which led to the City of Mississauga reaching Platinum Youth-Friendly status.
This was only the spark for Jananee who from 2011-2017 was extensively involved with the Mississauga Youth Action Committee. Over the years there, she has collaborated with over 30 community and volunteer stakeholders to provide opportunities for all youth in Mississauga. As part of this role, she collaborated directly with the Mayor to address and target youth unemployment and led the project on the Youth Employment Expo. Ultimately, she was the head of the Mayor's Advisory Committee and has been recognized multiple times through various awards for the amazing and meaningful work to better our City.
Now, while earning her Master in Urban Innovation, Jananee is part of the Club and District Leadership for the Rotary International Mississauga division. Her positions include Co-Chair Diversity, Past President and Youth Awards Chair Lead. This is all volunteer-based. Jan s efforts in her role at the Rotary Club have immeasurably assisted the community at-large and thus she has been a fantastic ambassador of the MUI program and represents exactly what the program hopes to achieve.
Finally, while continuing to do such fantastic community work, Jan has been an exemplary student. From her work with Councillor Wong Tam at the City of Toronto, her internship with the City of Hamilton in Economic Development, her case competition with the Toronto Regional Board of Trade and all the extra-curricular work that she so readily adds to her plate- her focus is always on the learning and the betterment of her community.
Passion is very hard to define and is such a loosely termed word until you see students the linked of Jananee who give their best and demonstrate exactly what that means. In this case, for Jananee it is a passion for social leadership.