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2019-20 Ryerson Gold Medal recipients

The Ryerson University Gold Medal is the University's highest honour, awarded to students with outstanding academic achievement combined with outstanding involvement with the University, their profession, and/or the community.

Faculty of Arts

Dr. Jenny Jing Wen Liu accepts the Ryerson University Gold Medal from President Mohamed Lachemi

Dr. Jenny Jing Wen Liu, Psychology PhD

Dr. Liu’s outstanding achievements are demonstrated through her dissertation work, her resilience model and measurement innovations, and her collaborative research endeavours. Dr. Liu’s leadership and mentorship qualities are further highlighted through her research and community engagements. Dr. Liu has positively impacted and promoted Ryerson’s innovations in professional interdisciplinary communities nationally and internationally, through representation at the Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery Conference, presentations at numerous international conferences, and prestigious awards such as the American Psychological Association’s Dissertation Award, and the Global Alliance of Chronic Disease China-Canada Team Grant.

Meet Dr. Jenny Jing Wen Liu

Faculty of Communication & Design

Kira Brown accepts the Ryerson University Gold Medal from President Mohamed Lachemi

Kira Brown, Film+Photography Preservation and Collections Management MA

As student representative of the F+PPCM Graduate Council, Kira Brown represented film students to faculty, the university and to professionals in their field. As the elected representative for the Ryerson student chapter of AMIA, the Association of Moving Image Archivists, she garnered international attention for her program and the university. As a volunteer for ImagineNATIVE, the world’s largest Indigenous-directed presenter of Indigenous screen content, Brown supported the profile activities of First Nations peoples in Toronto. Her research on virtual-reality preservation for Indigenous art has put her at the forefront of this groundbreaking preservation effort in Canada.

Meet Kira Brown

Faculty of Community Services

Maria Krisel Abulencia accepts the Ryerson University Gold Medal from President Mohamed Lachemi

Maria Krisel Abulencia, Nursing MN

Maria Krisel Abulencia is an emerging researcher, scholar, nurse leader and mentor. Her critical scholarship on the structural drivers of acculturation and enculturation in the Canadian context has positively influenced the practices of other researchers and health promoters working with racialized, immigrant and refugee communities. Her demonstrated commitment in advancing social justice and health equity through inclusive practice, community-engaged strategies, shared leadership and capacity building has won her tremendous respect at Ryerson and beyond.

Meet Maria Krisel Abulencia 

Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science

Dr. Sylvie Antoun accepts the Ryerson University Gold Medal from President Mohamed Lachemi

Dr. Sylvie Antoun, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering PhD

Dr. Antoun undertook her PhD studies in the field of molecular dynamics with applications in the development of oil reservoirs and nanoparticles suspensions in aqueous solution. Her scientific contributions have been published in high-impact journals. The complexity of her research topic, however, has not stopped her from volunteering for the betterment of the Ryerson and FEAS communities. She has made impactful contributions to the cross-country and track and field varsity teams, been an academic mentor for first-year student-athletes and tutored at the Athletic Department. Dr. Antoun embodies the high-achieving student that gives back to her community any chance she gets.

Meet Dr. Sylvie Antoun

Faculty of Science

Dr. Victoria Emily Barbosa Hipolito accepts the Ryerson University Gold Medal from President Mohamed Lachemi

Dr. Victoria Emily Barbosa Hipolito, Molecular Science PhD

Dr. Barbosa Hipolito has been an active member of department and program councils, committees and the graduate course union. She founded a career-oriented student society and organized networking and career-building events. She has been very active in Science Outreach, with organizations including Soapbox Science, Women In Science at Ryerson, Visions of Science Network and others. She has been a leader in her research activities as well, having served as a mentor and manager. She has published eight peer-reviewed articles, and co-authored 19 conference presentations. All the while, Dr. Hipolito has maintained a perfect 4.33 grade point average.

For her outstanding achievements, Dr. Hipolito also received the Governor General Gold Medal.

Meet Dr. Victoria Emily Barbosa Hipolito


Interdisciplinary programs

Meera Govindasamy accepts the Ryerson University Gold Medal from President Mohamed Lachemi

Meera Govindasamy, Communication and Culture MA

Meera Govindasamy’s Master’s Thesis, "Public Legal Education Podcasting for Newcomers in Ontario: Affective Interventions in Participatory Action Research" modelled best practices in participatory research. She showed diligence, collegiality and creativity in her work with vulnerable immigrant communities. Her podcasts are available through the website to CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario) and are in use by community groups across Canada. This is an extraordinary achievement of research creation and knowledge mobilization. In addition, she has made several outstanding contributions to Ryerson and the larger community, which include graduate student leadership, participation in The Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought, and the founding of a weekly writing group for queer, black, Indigenous and POC undergraduate students at Ryerson.

Meet Meera Govindasamy

Ted Rogers School of Management

Christina Ma accepts the Ryerson University Gold Medal from President Mohamed Lachemi

Christina Ma, Ted Rogers MBA in Management of Technology and Innovation (MBA-MTI)

Within Ryerson, Christina Ma was a leader for women’s advancement. As president of the Women in Leadership Association (WiLA), she organized a business case competition to create ideas for a Toronto-based woman entrepreneur whose post-natal clothing business was facing serious competition from copycat firms. To educate and motivate her classmates, both male and female, she invited several high profile women executives to share their experiences on several occasions. She also organized events to raise funding for several scholarships for incoming graduate students in TRSM. She was actively involved in community service beyond Ryerson as well. She voluntarily served as business development advisor for a Toronto technology startup. She accelerated the firm’s development by establishing and forging relationships with prospective clients and creating business cases for new revenue streams.

Meet Christina Ma