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Celebrating collaborative leadership
Jennifer Mactavish Graduate Student Leadership Award recipients recognized for ongoing commitment to graduate student success
May 04, 2021
Award recipients from top left: Charlie Wall-Andrews, Charlotte Ferworn, Katey Park. From bottom left: Amber Grant and Alexandra Gooding.
The Yeates School of Graduate Studies (YSGS) honoured six students with the 2020-21 Jennifer Mactavish Graduate Student Leadership Awards for their commitment to engagement, collaboration and leadership in the Ryerson graduate student community.
Named in honour of Dr. Jennifer Mactavish, the vice-provost and dean who led YSGS from 2011 to 2019, the awards embody her spirit of leadership, collaboration, community engagement and longstanding commitment to supporting graduate student success.
Recipients received certificates, glass trophies and monetary awards of $1,000.
Student Engagement and Experience
Mahsa Aghamiri, Master of Public Policy and Administration
Mahsa Aghamiri served as the director for the Faculty of Arts Ryerson Graduate Students’ Union and worked to create bridges between various graduate programs at Ryerson through cross-disciplinary or interdisciplinary initiatives. Her involvement with the MPPA Alumni Association helped students and alumni establish mentorship relationships to support success in the academic program and beyond. Mahsa’s involvement as a committee member of the MPPA Truth and Reconciliation committee contributed to the advancement of diversity, inclusion and equity in the program and at Ryerson. Mahsa consistently uses her leadership roles on faculty and program committees to advocate on behalf of graduate students and matters pertaining to the student experience. Additionally, Mahsa contributed to the creation of the Ryerson Graduate Students’ Union by helping to develop and implement initiatives to foster graduate student engagement at YSGS and the broader Ryerson community.
Charlotte Ferworn, Biomedical Physics PhD
Charlotte Ferworn’s leadership contributions to graduate student life are numerous. As a member of the Ryerson Graduate Students’ Union Executive, she is set to leave a legacy of creating Ryerson’s first graduate student government. Charlotte is the founder of the Biomedical Physics Graduate Students’ Union, for which she served as the elected president for two consecutive years. She served as an elected graduate student representative on the Graduate Program Council for just as long and was a key member of the 2018 and 2019 GRADShowcase planning committees. Charlotte’s dedication to enhancing student engagement and experience is contagious.
Alexandra Gooding, Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management MA
An academic award winner deeply committed to the well-being of her fellow students, Alexandra Gooding has been a spokesperson for her program, her field and her university. A mentor throughout her two years of study, Alexandra worked both privately and as her program’s student council representative to increase awareness of mental health challenges and solutions. As a liaison between faculty and students, she forged channels for better communication and created innovative ways of welcoming new students and building ties with alumni. Through her SRC activities, she has become a recognized contributor to the decolonization and deracialization of archives.
Photo credit: Laura Ramsey
Amber Grant, Environmental Applied Science and Management PhD
Beyond her numerous academic achievements, which include co-authoring journal publications, presenting at national and international conferences and holding prestigious scholarships, Amber Grant dedicated herself to strengthening the graduate student experience at Ryerson. Amber supported graduate students with their academic writing goals via Graduate Student Support, designed and facilitated professional development workshops for graduate students via the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and worked towards creating Ryerson’s first graduate student government, the Ryerson Graduate Students’ Union. Amber is deeply committed to advancing equity and inclusion at Ryerson, where her passion for justice and fairness has been shaped by critical learning and understanding of anti-oppressive and reflexive practice.
Katey Park, Psychology PhD
Graduate students across North America are reporting worrying levels of stress and mental health vulnerabilities. Katey Park leveraged her knowledge and leadership skills to address this concerning trend. Katey is currently co-leading a project with YSGS to evaluate the mental health and well-being of graduate students, which will provide data-driven recommendations on how to best support students. She also collaborated on several other graduate student initiatives including GRADTalks and Navigating First Year. Katey is actively involved in the Ryerson community in other ways as well, including serving two terms on Senate and on several Senate subcommittees.
SRC Innovation and Impact
Charlie Wall-Andrews, Management PhD
Charlie Wall-Andrews is a Trudeau Scholar, lecturer at the University of Toronto and a researcher at the Diversity Institute under her PhD supervisor Dr. Wendy Cukier. In addition to having over a decade of management experience in the creative industries, she has established innovative programs such as the Creative Entrepreneur Incubator and Equity-X-Production Mentorship Program, which prepares artists to turn their passion and talent into sustainable careers. She is an alumna of the prestigious Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship, which specializes in social-entrepreneurship and cross-cultural leadership.
Photo credit: Manav Matta