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YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award Recipients

The Yeates School of Graduate Studies (YSGS) Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award recognizes faculty excellence in the complex process of mentoring graduate students to prepare them for productive careers. There are a total of seven awards: one to be allocated to a faculty member in each of Ryerson’s Faculties and one for a faculty member associated with an interdisciplinary program. Note: a faculty member that works with an interdisciplinary program or another graduate program outside of their Faculty may be considered for both their home Faculty YSGS award and any other appropriate award within the YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Awards.

Award recipient(s) will receive a certificate of recognition and a monetary award of $2,000 as a one-time payment (subject to applicable deductions).

Key criteria: Graduate student mentorship

2021 recipients

Mehrunnisa Ali

Immigration and Settlement Studies, YSGS Interdisciplinary

Dr. Mehrunnisa Ali’s contribution to interdisciplinary education is best reflected in her philosophy towards graduate teaching and education: “like holding [students’] hands as they leap from being consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge.” Dr. Ali was a key faculty member involved in the launch of the Immigration and Settlement Studies MA program, in which she regularly teaches and has supervised 12 major research papers to date. In addition, Dr. Ali supervised four doctoral dissertations in Policy Studies and regularly co-publishes with her graduate students.

Nina-Marie Lister

Urban Development, Faculty of Community Services

An interdisciplinary and experiential learning leader, Nina-Marie Lister’s research, teaching and practice are impactful, collaborative and often community-based. Her work is uniquely positioned at the intersection of science and design, in the interstitial space between planning, landscape, ecology and urbanism. Prof. Lister founded and directs the Ecological Design Lab, whose mission is to connect people to nature in cities, and through learning by doing. Her students’ work is profiled in the lab as research assistants and co-authors in publications, impactful studio projects, and graduate research.

Katy McCormick

Documentary Media, Faculty of Communication & Design

Prof. Katy McCormick’s contributions, active engagement and collegial leadership have significantly impacted the development of graduate programming and students’ learning experiences. Her teaching supports the whole student, mentoring each person where they are. As a supervisor, mentor, professor and former graduate program director, Prof. McCormick demonstrates outstanding contributions to graduate education by combining professional experience with empathy, generosity, advocacy, passion and an abiding commitment to providing students with critical tools and constructive dialogue in the pursuit of learning and excellence. She ceaselessly advocates for graduate students, expanding their access to resources, equipment, graduate assistantships and funding, while nurturing students’ participation in the learning journey.

Ali Miri

Computer Science, Faculty of Science

Dr. Miri is a dedicated and compassionate mentor who works to create personalized study and research plans for his students that build on their interests, strengths and goals. A firm believer in equity, diversity and inclusion, his students come from different ethnicities, cultures, and genders from around the world. Dr. Miri leverages his extensive network of collaborators, professional engagements and projects to provide his students with opportunities to improve their research and networking skills. To date, he has supervised close to 90 students, has served on over 100 additional advisory committees and has co-authored over 230 manuscripts with his students.

Donna Smith

MBA Program, Ted Rogers School of Management

As graduate program director of the Ted Rogers MBA program, Dr. Donna Smith brought the new curriculum to life by advocating for the incorporation of mental health and well-being prior to COVID-19. Her genuine belief in this theme throughout the MBA culture, course design and content empowered students during COVID-19. Through her teaching and supervision, Dr. Smith combines the best of sound research and inspiring professional mentorship.

Past recipients

  • Miranda Campbell
    School of Creative Industries, Faculty of Communication and Design
  • Seung Hwan (Mark) Lee
    School of Retail Management, Ted Rogers School of Management
  • Mehrab Mehrvar
    Department of Chemical Engineering, YSGS Interdisciplinary
  • Maurice Roche
    Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts
  • Alireza Sadeghian
    Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science
  • Sharareh Taghipour
    Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science
  • Anthony Bonato
    Mathematics, Faculty of Science
  • Marta Braun
    Film and Photographic Preservation and Collections Management, Faculty of Communication and Design
  • Suzanne Fredericks
    Nursing, Faculty of Community Services
  • Claire Oswald
    Environmental Applied Science and Management, Interdisciplinary
  • Julia Spaniol
    Psychology, Faculty of Arts
  • Hong Yu
    Master’s of Business Administration, Ted Rogers School of Management
  • Alagan Anpalagan
    Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Programs, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Rachel Berman
    Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies, School of Early Childhood Studies
  • James Gräfe
    Biomedical Physics Graduate Programs, Department of Physics
  • Karen Milligan
    Psychology Graduate Programs, Department of Psychology
  • Paul Moore
    Communication and Culture Graduate Programs, Department of Sociology
  • James Tiessen
    MBA Programs, Health Services Management
  • Matthew Tiessen
    Masters of Professional Communication Program, School of Professional Communications
  • Deborah Fels
    Master of Business Administration Program, School of Information Technology Management
  • Wendy Freeman
    Master of Professional Communication Program, School of Professional Communication
  • Mehrab Mehrvar
    Environmental Applied Science and Management Graduate Program, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Ali Miri
    Computer Science Graduate Program, Department of Computer Science
  • Candice Monson
    Psychology Graduate Program, Department of Psychology
  • Pamela Robinson
    Urban Development, School of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Krishnan Venkatakrishnan
    Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Graduate Program, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering