Past Award Recipients

During the 2019-2020 academic year, we continue to have many outstanding students who have received the Student Leadership Awards. They have made a significant contribution to the UTM community and have hade a positive impact on the quality of student experience, while enhancing their leadership skills as student leaders. 

We are so proud of these students' accomplishments, so let us take a look at their stories! 


2020 UTSLA Award Recipients


Aimee Jeanne Beley Padillo

Honours Bachelor of Science - Major in Psychology, Double Minor in Biology and Linguistics Studies

Aimee was the Senior Student Ambassador, Communications for Student Recruitment and Admission, a digital content creator, who strived to promote the academic excellence and community UTM has to offer through her online campaigns. Aligned with the goal of showcasing UTM to a global audience, she created a series called #MyUTM to highlight the opportunities available at U of T through the unique stories of current students and alumni.


Alexa Moschella

Honours Bachelor of Science -  Double Major in Biology for Health Sciences and Psychology, Minor in Chemistry

Alexa has not only strived for academic excellence, but has also championed and supported the in well-being of UTM students and the broader community. She has worked for UTM Residence as the Life Science Living Learning Community Peer Academic Leader and supported equity and inclusion initiatives as a member of the Equity Outreach Network and the Tri-Campus Mental Health Task Force. She also advocated for a culture of consent on campus as the Programming and Events Assistant at the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre, supported students academically through her roles as a PSY100 lab assistant, and a facilitated study group leader. Alexa is most proud to see that her efforts have allowed her community of residence students to be persistently united as one, despite the competitive nature of the academic programs in which they are enrolled.


Alexandria Jamieson

Honours Bachelor of Arts- Double Major in Sociology and Criminology & Socio-legal Studies

Alex held many leadership positions during her undergraduate career at UTM such as being a co-chair to inclusive and equity-focused committees, including Diversity Task Force. She also organized inclusive events for the UTM community such as the Positive Space Gala. Additionally, she was a planning committee member and activities & contests coordinator for the Canadian Conference of Student Leadership (CCSL) of which was hosted by U of T that showcased student leaders across Canada. Alex made significant contributions to the residence community by serving as the Student Engagement Assistant, Residence Don and Residence Community Assistant.


Anjalika Balasuriya

Honours Bachelor of Science - Forensic Biology Specialist

Anjalika has made significant contributions to the Forensic Science Program through her volunteer work with the Outreach Program and numerous leadership positions within the IVNVI Forensics Society, including her roles as Second-Year Representative, Treasurer and President. She was also actively involved with the department of Student Housing and Residence Life in numerous paid and volunteer positions.


Dariya Darvin

Honours Bachelor of Science - Major in Mathematics, Double Minor in Geographical Information Systems and Biology

Since her first year at UTM, Dariya has been highly involved on campus and has held various positions at UTM International Education Centre, Office of Student Transition, UTMSU, Centre for Student Engagement, Health and Counselling Centre and the RGASC. She is currently working as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences. She always shares her personal experiences with her peers and guides them in finding opportunities to get involved and enrich their own experiences at UTM. Overall, she not only participates extensively within UTM, but also encourages others to do so through her work as a strong student leader.


Grace Chan

Honours Bachelor of Science – Specialist in Forensic Anthropology

Grace was a Peer Academic Leader and Community Assistant with Student Housing and Residence Life, assisting in the continued development of residence's academic transition program. Additionally, Grace served as a peer mentor with Accessibility Services, Chair of Year Representatives on the IVNVI Forensics Society and a workshop facilitator for the Forensics Outreach Program.


Habon Ali

An outstanding student leader! Bio coming soon.


Hifsa Noor

Honours Bachelor of Science - Biotechnology Specialist and Chemistry Minor

Hifsa has taken on a number of leadership roles during her undergraduate career, including administrative executive and president of the Because I am a Girl Club, Senior Library Ambassador, Food Center Volunteer, Vice President of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Peer Academic Leader for the Biology Living Learning Community. In these roles, she has tried to make our UTM community more aware of gender inequalities and create an environment that is fun, welcoming and promotes learning beyond the classroom.  


Janina Malapitan

Honours Bachelor of Arts – Major in Communications, Culture, Information and Technology, Minors in Professional Writing and Communication and Cinema Studies

Janina is a strong leader on campus, filling the role of Orientation Team Lead at the Centre for Student Engagement (CSE) for the past three years. In this role she has helped plan and execute an engaging, interactive and informative Orientation Week year after year. Outside of her role at CSE, she was also a LAUNCH leader, acting as an upper-year mentor to support the transition of first-year students into university. She has also contributed to the academic community within the Cinema program, co-founding the Cinema Studies Association.


Joanna Matthews

Honours Bachelor of Science - Major in Psychology, Double Minor in Biology and Sociology 

Joanna contributed to increased mental health awareness and interculturalism at UTM through her roles as a Mental Health & Events Programming Assistant and Intercultural Programming Assistant respectively. She volunteered and advocated for campus inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities through Community on Campus. Joanna made significant contributions to the residence community serving as Peer Academic Leader, Living Learning Community Leader and as a Residence Don.


Katherine Pak

An outstanding student leader! Bio coming soon. 


Mitchel Selby

Master of Science in Sustainability Management (MScSM)

Mitchel was highly involved with campus life during his two years in the MScSM program. He took a leadership role in organizing the Let’s Talk Sustainability Conference for grade 7 and 8 students, and helped organize the inaugural STTPA Conference connecting sustainability leaders from around the world. Mitchel organized workshops for his peers to practice applying class concepts, guest lectured to undergraduate students, and supported the MScSM program director on sustainability curriculum initiatives.


Nikki Sigurdson

An outstanding student leader! Bio coming soon.


Raheleh Saryazdi

PhD Candidate, Psychology -  Cognition, Perception, and Cognitive Neuroscience

Raheleh has been involved in several initiatives with the goal of enhancing the graduate student experience. She is most proud of her contribution to the Psychology Peer Mentorship program, which has made a significant impact in establishing a peer support system for graduate students across the three campuses and affiliated hospitals. Raheleh is also passionate about science outreach and sparking interest in young scientists



Rishabh Nanda

Master of Science in Sustainability Management

Being a sustainability professional, Rishabh is very much interested in creating a positive impact on the environment and people around him. He held many leadership roles during his master’s such as Graduate Wellness Coordinator, Peer Mentor, Speaker at Let’s Talk Science, Sustainability Week Coordinator and Director of Alumni Relations and Outreach at MScSM Program Student Executive Council (MSEC). Additionally, he assisted in organizing various events at the campus such as STTPA conference and Exam Jam and implemented “peers’ achievement” project through his program’s social media. Rishabh was also awarded UTGSU’s Graduate Community Development Fund (GCDF) Award.


Rylan Urban

Master of Science in Sustainability Management

Rylan created UTM's first annual Sustainability Week, which engaged over 1,000 students in more than 40 events and activities held on UTM campus. During his degree, he also facilitated several sustainability-related workshops for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students — as well as at multiple academic conferences. Rylan was elected class president for the MScSM class of 2020.


Sabrina Rodgers

Outstanding student leader, bio coming soon!


Zeynab Asadi Lari

Honours Bachelor of Science

Zeynab was an active member of her community, with a strong admiration for medicine, public and global health, STEM education, mental health advocacy and humanitarianism. She served as the mental health network co-ordinator for the Youth Mental Health Association, a youth member at Young Canadians Roundtable on Health and executive board member at the Iran University of Medical Sciences Medical Student Association for Cancer Research. She previously interned with the Worth Health Organization. She was a “fierce advocate” for mental health, reducing stigma, public health and global health. She was the founder and president of the U of T Mississauga branch of STEM Fellowship, a student-run, non-profit organization that strives to engage future STEM leaders and innovators in data science and scientific communication.


2020 Principal's Involvement Award Recipients 

Adam Snyder

Honours Bachelor of Sciences - Double Major in Paleontology and Earth Sciences

Adam has been involved across the UTM campus during his degree. Across three years in residence, he has worked as a residence don and later community assistant for Oscar Peterson Hall and McLuhan Court. During this time, he became involved in the Colman Cup Committee, SHAC and New Building team. In his final year, he was elected president of the J. Tuzo Wilson Geology Club, helping to create the first Geology event between all three University of Toronto campuses. 

Ajandan Nandakumar 

Honours Bachelor of Science - Major in Biology for Health Science, Double Minor in Chemistry and Psychology 

Ajandan is the Founder and President of UTM's Tamil Students’ Association, a club created to serve as an outlet for promoting Tamil language and culture. As a longstanding volunteer of UTM’s Accessibility Services, he took on many initiatives and made numerous contributions as a Peer Mentor, Support Assistant, Volunteer Note Taker and a Special Projects Assistant to provide leadership, guidance, and support to students. Additionally, he also led weekly sessions as a Facilitated Study Group Leader to assist students in developing note taking, problem solving and critical thinking skills to improve academically. 

Anna Nicolaou 

Honours Bachelor of Science - Major in Mathematics, Double minor in Statistics and Linguistics

Anna held many leadership roles during her undergraduate career such as a Hack Labs Coordinator, UTM SEC Financial Coordinator and LAUNCH leader. She also contributed by volunteering with the Health and Counselling Centre, the Sexual Education Centre, and the Mathematical and Computational Sciences Society. She will be graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in 2021.

Angela Clarkson 

Honours Bachelor of Arts- Double Major in Art & Art History and Sociology

Throughout her undergraduate career, Angela has held several leadership roles on campus — one of which was being an executive at UTM’s Sexual Education Centre as Office Manager, where she prioritized inclusive materials and educational resources. She is also one of five founders of the Tiny Fist Gallery, a space established to offer students in the Art and Art History program an opportunity to showcase and curate their art. Angela is very proud to have been a Career Assistant at UTM’s Career Centre, where she was a part of the launch team for the Centre’s LiveChat.

Ben-chanowk Jamir

Honours Bachelor of Science - Specialist in Forensic Anthropology

Ben-chanowk held many leadership roles during his undergraduate career at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He significantly impacted the UTM residence community as a three-time Residence Don and was an active member of residence programs; co-chairing the Colman Cup Committee, and the International Student Support Initiative. In his final year, Ben was an upper-year representative for the IVNVI Forensic Society. He was also an active contributor to the Athletics department, working as a Varsity Game Crew Staff and even the Master of Ceremonies for UTM Varsity home games.

Bipasha Gandhi 

Bachelor of Commerce - Accounting Specialist and Economics Major

Bipasha has been an excellent and valuable member of the UTM community. She has been tremendously involved through leadership positions with the UTM Student Union, Department of Management, Centre for Student Engagement and Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre. She left her mark on UTM through cofounding the largest business society on campus (IBA), her business vlog (Limelight) and her numerous wins on the UTM Case Competition Team (IMIC). Bipasha always says, “The path to success lies in recognizing, accepting and pushing through the uncomfortableness of new experiences.

Cathy Tran 

Honours Bachelor of Science- Forensic Anthropology Specialist

Cathy has been involved on campus in various capacities, including as the UTM Vietnamese Student Association Co-President, IVNVI Forensics Society Secretary, Facilitated Study Group Leader and Student Recruitment Ambassador. She has always been dedicated to enhancing student life, contributing to student involvement and leadership through her various roles with the Centre for Student Engagement as a Peer Leadership Coach, Leadership & Learning Team Lead, and currently, as the Student Organizations, Interfaith & Outreach Team Lead.

Cesar A. Lozano

Bachelor of Commerce - Specialist in Marketing, Major in Economics

Cesar set out to empower fellow students as a Residence Don and Campus Council Undergraduate Representative. He co-founded the Latin American Students' Association to facilitate exchanges with Hispanic culture and designed events to teach professional skills as the Marketing Director for IMI Business Association. He is an advocate for servant leadership and is pursuing a career in behavioral marketing.

Dhaval Parchani 

Bachelor of Commerce, Specialist in Finance and Major in Economics

Dhaval is a well-rounded intellectual who strives to make everyone around him better. He was an Advisor to the Department of Management and a Facilitated Study Group Leader. Dhaval had a positive influence on the student community through his involvement with UTM Rotaract, where he spearheaded multiple professional development programs and community service initiatives. He also showcased his entrepreneurial spirit by establishing Enactus UTM.

Ingrid Andrea Ortiz 

Honours Bachelor of Arts- Major in Political Science, Double Minor in Statistics and Philosophy

Andrea was a Cross Country varsity athlete for three years and was part of the first UTM women's team to qualify to Nationals. She also held various leadership roles throughout her undergraduate career as a Peer Mentor, Secretary of the Catholic Club, and as a Student Staff in Residence. Her most important contributions to the residence community occurred in her role as Residence Services Community Assistant. She supervised a team of 14 student staff and managed certain administrative processes, while focusing on better supporting students and their experience.

Jashandeep Nijjar

Honours Bachelor of Science - Specialist in Biology

Jashandeep, an active advocate for women’s equality, is the founder and president of Boss Women UTM, a club focused on empowering women and raising awareness on important issues through education. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she took on numerous leadership roles as part of UTM’s Accessibility Services as a Peer Mentor and as a Volunteer Note Taker. She was also actively involved as a Facilitated Study Group Leader at the RGASC to assist students in building good study habits and as an Associate to Volunteer Management at the UTMSU improve campus life. 

Mariam Girgis

Bachelor of Commerce - Accounting Specialist and Economics Major

Mariam has made the most of her Undergraduate career by taking up many leadership roles in a variety of organizations. She has contributed to her school and community by becoming a Peer Mentor for incoming student-athletes, as well as a President for the CPA club, and the Vice-President of Finance on the Athletic Council. She is most proud of the opportunity to pay-it-forward and mentor new students in the Commerce program. On top of her extensive involvement on campus, Mariam has maintained a stellar GPA and several scholarships. She is currently interning at KPMG and is looking forward to graduating in 2021 and working towards her CPA designation.

Kyle Thomas

Honours Bachelor of Arts - Specialist in Digital Enterprise Management

Apart from academic excellence, Kyle has been involved in numerous UofT initiatives and leadership roles such as serving as the sole student representative on the Principal's Advisory Committee to hire our most recent principal and VP of U of T, Public Relations Officer of the Catholic Students Club, worked with UTM's registrar office to implement a Black Students Ambassador program; a mentorship program to encourage black high school students to pursue higher education, served on the Centre for Student Engagement student discussion panels for prospective high school students. Additionally, Kyle has made significant contributions on residence serving two years as a Residence Don and his most recent role as a Summer Residence Don.

Melissa Caroline Ramsammy

Honours Bachelor of Arts – Double Majors in Philosophy and Professional Writing & Communications

Melissa (Mel) Ramsammy contributed to the UTM community through various peer-focused roles, serving as a Teaching Assistant, Note-Taker, Student Affairs Committee Member and more. Entering her fourth year at the UTM Career Centre, Mel leads the Career Assistant program to help both students and student staff members develop the skills to achieve their career goals. Mel is published in UTM’s The Medium and UTM’s The Slate, and represented U of T through an Outbound Exchange semester at the University of Sydney.

Photo of Misha Ali

Honours Bachelor of Science: Double Major in Computer Science and Statistics

Misha has demonstrated outstanding commitment, responsibility, empathy and personal growth through her involvement in numerous initiatives, which include leadership roles with the Office of Student Transition as an academic Coaching mentor, with the Centre of Student Engagement as a Community Engagement program Assistant, as well as the Muslim Student Association as a Community Service Director. She has held over 10 Teaching Assistant positions where she provided support to students who struggled with programming concepts and statistical methodologies. In her final year, Misha co-founded the Developer Student Club (DSC) at UTM, which is an initiative that is powered by Google Developers that helps students grow their knowledge in a peer-to-peer learning environment and build technological solutions for local businesses and their community.

Natalie Cuei

Honours Bachelor of Science – Specialist in Forensic Anthropology

Natalie is a prominent student leader, who made significant contributions to the development of Interfaith support at UTM as part of her role as the Student Organizations Team Lead, at the Centre for Student Engagement (CSE). To highlight, she created UTM Interfaith Week, the first of its kind on campus to promote discussions based in religious pluralism on-campus. At CSE, she was also previously involved in the planning and execution of Exam Jam as part of her role as the Academic Initiatives Program Assistant. Within her discipline, she also supported many academic strides as an Assistant at Dr. Smith’s Pottery Lab, Research Assistant with Dr. Samson, and acting as a Forensic Outreach Facilitator within her program.

Sara Ahmed

Honours Bachelor of Science - Major in Biology, Double Minor in Math and Education Studies 

Throughout her undergraduate career, Sara held leadership roles with the Centre for Student Engagement as an Academic Success Mentor, Peer Leadership Coach, LAUNCH Leader, Team Lead for the Co-Curricular Record, and most recently, as the Pre-Arrival Support Team Lead, held a mentorship role with the Office of Student Transition as an Academic Coaching Mentor, and worked as a Facilitated Study Group Leader for a first-year biology course. In addition, she volunteered as a Let’s Talk Science Outreach Assistant and as an English tutor with the Helping Hands program. She continued to demonstrate her passion for education through her involvement as an Accountant with The Teacher and Education Studies Association. In her final year, she worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Math department.

Trisha-Ann Vo

Honours Bachelor of Arts - Specialist in Digital Enterprise Management

Trisha-Ann held many leadership roles during her undergraduate careers such as Varsity Women’s Basketball Team Co-Captain, and ICCIT Council Web Director. Trisha has made significant contributions to the athletics department serving as a Sports Program Assistant, Marketing Communications Assistant, and Sports Project Officer. She continues to be a bright, articulate and genuine spirit amongst her peers.


2020 UTM Emerging Leader Award Recipients

Iman Amir

Honours Bachelor of Science- Biology for Health Science Major and Double Minor in Biomedical Communications and Sociology

Iman is most proud of the contributions that she has made to the UTM community. Iman actively participated in many social events such as UTM orientation, FSG sessions and LAUNCH. She was able to build a safe and positive atmosphere for her peers by encouraging them to overlook their insecurities and vulnerabilities and embrace their true selves. She was also able to use her voice in a way to empower her peers to break through their shells.

Thaisa Tylinski Sant’Ana

Honours Bachelor of Science - Biotechnology Specialist

Thaisa is a Life Science student that is passionate about communicating science and getting involved with the international community. She contributed to two of the CSE STEAM days, where she was able to work with youth and help inspire them to pursue studies in STEAM, and she also participated in multiple IEC events, including the Global and Intercultural Fluency Training Series, which allowed her to learn more about diversity and equity. As a member of the LifeSci Living Learning Community, Thaisa engaged with the residence community, fostered bonds with peers and was inspired by her Don and PAL to pursue a role in residence, where she will be working as a Residence Services Assistant next school year.


2020 Laura Krajewski Student Mentorship Recipients 

Minal Ghayur

Bachelors of Commerce- Commerce & Finance Specialist and Economics Major

Minal has an extensive list of UTM volunteer contributions to her credit. She has taken part in a variety of UTM programs, clubs and societies, including leadership and mentorship positions with the Centre for Student Engagement, IMI Business Association and the Department of Management. “Transitions, whether it’s your university career just starting, or any new situation, it can be difficult and discouraging, but it’s important to stay positive and push through,” she says. “When you find the resources that you need to reach your goals or get inspired by someone, you learn as you go and you continue to grow.”