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Alumni Achievement Award recipients announced

Outstanding Ryersonians embody university’s enterprising spirit
March 07, 2019
From top left: Maayan Ziv, Emily Mills, Whitney Rockley; from bottom left: Jeremy Podeswa and Abdullah Snobar

Alumni Achievement Award recipients, from top left: Maayan Ziv, Emily Mills, Whitney Rockley; bottom, from left: Jeremy Podeswa; and Abdullah Snobar.

Bringing creativity, social activism, and entrepreneurship to today’s challenges, the recipients of this year’s Alumni Achievement Awards embody Ryerson’s enterprising spirit.

The recipients will be honoured at the Alumni Achievement Awards on May 4 as part of Alumni Weekend. The celebration is open to all alumni and will feature a remarkable breadth and depth of accomplishment.

The 2019 recipients of the Alumni Award of Distinction are:

Emily Mills, Journalism ’05
Named to the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women list in 2018 and a CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow in 2017, Mills is an alumna on the rise. Mills is the founder of How She Hustles, external link, a network that connects diverse women through events. The events, which are often sold out, attract as many as 400 guests as diverse as CEOs and Olympians. Her digital photo series, HERstory in Black, external link, featuring 150 inspiring Black women, earned the attention of the prime minister on social media, national media coverage, and was the subject of a one-hour TV documentary.

Jeremy Podeswa, Image Arts ’84
Jeremy Podeswa has been making moves as a director over the last two decades with directing credits in a number of hit television shows ranging from Six Feet Under and Dexter to True Blood, Homeland and most recently The Handmaid’s Tale. He is the winner of two Genie Awards and the 1999 TIFF Best Canadian Film for The Five Senses. He has received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for episodes of Game of Thrones.

Whitney Rockley, Business ’92
Changing the face of what a venture capitalist looks like, Rockley is the co-founder of McRock Capital and the former chair of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. Rockley is a leader in the venture capital realm and sits on the boards of a number of tech companies, and chairs the Canadian Venture Capital Association.

Maayan Ziv, Radio and Television Arts '12, Digital Media (master’s) ’15
Maayan is an activist, photographer and entrepreneur. The creator of AccessNow, external link, an app that uses crowdsourcing to determine the accessibility status of landmarks, businesses and more, Ziv has used her experience living with Muscular Dystrophy to create a more accessible world for people with disabilities. She is the recipient of the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility and a Queen’s Jubilee Medal in recognition of her work to increase awareness for disabilities in the arts. She was also named one of Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards by the Women's Executive Network (WXN) and IABC/Toronto's Communicator of the Year.

The Isadore Sharp Outstanding Recent Graduate for 2019 is:

Abdullah Snobar, BComm ’09, MBA ’18
As the executive director, Snobar has led Ryerson University’s DMZ to be ranked the number one university-based incubator in North America and third in the world by UBI Global. Snobar participates in numerous industry, community and cultural boards including the Toronto Core Leadership Table and the CivicAction's DiverseCity 2016 Mentors committee. Abdullah is a former president of the Ryerson Commerce Society and has received a Dennis Mock Student Leadership Award.

Join us on May 4 as we celebrate these outstanding Ryersonians and their contributions during a reception at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Register today for this free event happening on Alumni Weekend.

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