The University of Toronto Scarborough Letter Awards were established in the fall of 2000 by the Office of Student Affairs & Services with the support of the Council on Student Services. The awards aim to recognize graduating students for significant contributions to campus life. The awards are an opportunity to publicly acknowledge students who have made a lasting impact on the student experience at U of T Scarborough.
Any member of the U of T Scarborough community (students, staff or faculty) is welcome to submit nominations for the award. Nominees must be current full-time or part-time students who are eligible and intend to graduate in June or November of 2018.
Letter Awards Recipients
Congratulations to this year's recipients!
Alexa has been a part of the Minds Matter Magazine team since 2015 and currently serves as their Editor-in-Chief. She is the creator of the Story Circles curriculum and program which guides non-journalism students through the processes of journalistic writing. Her academic work at Centennial College has also earned her recognition and accolades.
Banusha has been an engaged and active part of the UTSC community for the duration of her undergraduate career. She has worked with Student Life as both a Peer Academic Coach and Student Coordinator of Indigenous Programming. She has also served on the executive of multiple campus groups including Oxfam Canada at UTSC and University of Toronto International Health Program.
Serving as the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union’s (SCSU) Vice President of Academics and University Affairs, Christina has been key to such as achievements as extending the credit/no-credit deadline for students and establishing a wellness group for racialized students through the Health & Wellness Centre.
Dominic was instrumental to bringing together the “Future Black Physicians” campus group at UTSC which was awarded SCSU’s Best New Club award, profiled by UTSC Communications, and was part of a tri-campus Black Mental Health Art Project. Dominic has volunteered with ARTSIDEOUT, Caribbean Connections, worked with Student Life, and currently serves as the student representative on the Campus Affairs Committee.
Efosa has been involved in multiple initiatives across campus, including the Residence Life Planning Committee, the Management Diversity Planning Team, the African Students’ Association, working with the TCard+ office, and being a member of the UTSC division 1 soccer team. Most notably, he founded the non-profit: The African Impact Initiative which connects African students with professional development and mentorship opportunities.
Faria has been a thoroughly well rounded leader in the UTSC community from her work as a Lead Mentor and Peer Academic Coach in the First Year Experience Program to Alternative Reading Week Project Leader to Study Abroad Assistant to volunteering with the North American Indigenous Games. Each step of the way, Faria has encouraged other students to become engaged; there are many of them who cite Faria as a mentor and role model to make the most of their undergraduate experience.
Edyl Graciel Ballesteros
Graciel has had a significant impact on improving campus life through the Department of Athletics & Recreation. In her role as MoveU student coordinator, she established 3 first-year representative positions to increase student engagement with athletics. She did the same for representation on the Scarborough Athletics Association, and also assisted in getting designated study spaces at TPASC in order to “bridge the gap between physical activity and academics”. Finally, she spearheaded UTSC’s first 30-day step challenge, “Step it Up UTSC!” which had over 300 participants.
Jamila’s engagement on campus has always created space for even more students to become engaged in a variety of ways. She currently is an executive member works as a Study Abroad Assistant with the International Student Centre. Previously she’s been an International Student Representative with Admissions and Recruitment and a mentor in both the First Year Experience Program and Community Engagement Program with Student Life.
During her time at UTSC, Kaelan has become an integral part of the theatre department. She has done everything from lighting and sound, set building, acting, stage management, and even directing. Beyond her contributions to pulling together shows, she regularly tours the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre to students, teaches basics of the space, and supports the staff in ensuring things run smoothly.
Kiana has been extensively involved with the UTSC Sustainability Office as a volunteer, then as a Community Peer Educator and Team Lead where she has fostered collaborations with multiple group across campus such a Culinaria and the Farmer’s Market. She’s also an IC Rooftop Coordinator, coordinating various education and outreach initiatives to promote the garden. Kiana has also taken sustainability to other roles, such as when she was Logistics Coordinator for the International Development Conference which was one of UTSC’s first zero-waste events.
Mauriene Jean Tolentino
Mauriene has been involved in a breadth of health education-related initiatives on campus including the Meducate (an undergraduate journal of health), BioSauce (a branch of the Biology Students Associate that creates educational biology & health videos), and the planning committee of the International Health Film Series & Expo. She has also been engaged for multiple years with ARTSIDEOUT where she has fostered interdisciplinary connections between art and health promotion.
Melissa has fostered inclusion and welcoming at UTSC through many roles from her time as an orientation leader and mentor where she supported first-year students with their transition to university. She has continued to volunteer with both the Chemistry and Health Studies departments to build community there, has been the Vice-President of External Affairs & Finance for the Greek Students’ Association, and currently works at the International Student Centre as the Health Plan and Front Desk Assistant.
Myriam has brought multiple initiatives to UTSC in order to bring even more students into the athletics programming on campus. These initiatives include: Athletics & Recreations’ Learn to Run program which educates students and staff on the basics of running technique & healthy nutrition and the Scarborough Campus Athletics’ Association (SCAA) “Step it Up UTSC!” challenge. All of Myriam’s work has culminated in her being elected the Women’s Representative for the SCAA this past year where she’s used her platform to advocate for an increase of women’s participation in sport and physical activity on campus.
During her time at UTSC, Nikita has helped establish two peer mentorship programs: one with the English Language Development Centre and another with the UTSC Toastmaster’s student group. She has also been a student voice on multiple committees including the Academic Board & Committee on Academic Programs & Policies at U of T Governing Council, UTSC Campus Affairs Committee, UTSC Council on Student Services, and chairing the UTSC Health & Wellness Advisory Committee.
Olivia’s work with Math and Stats Learning Centre (MSLC) within the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has had significant impact on ensuring her peers can be successful during their time at UTSC. As an ambassador for the Centre, she has not only connected many students with the centre but also was part of establishing the MSLC’s annual magazine. During her time as a peer mentor to introductory biology students she was a devoted volunteer developing materials to break down complex concepts and being an anchor to the writing support programming offered by CTL.
Sobiga has made the most of her time with the Biology Students’ Association (BIOSA), developing several events and programs with far-reaching impact for upwards of 2000 students affiliated with the Department of Biological Sciences at UTSC. Collaborating with on-campus offices, she has helped establish both academic support initiatives, such as formal lab report writing seminars and introductory biology review sessions, as well as professional development opportunities such as the Alumni Network and Student-Professor Networking Nights.
In her multiple roles across campus, Suvetha has focused on providing peer support to ensure other students can also thrive while at UTSC. She has volunteered as a Peer Support Facilitator at the Women & Trans Centre and been the External Director at the Co-op Students’ Association. She also works as the student coordinator for the Health & Wellness Centre’s peer-programming teams.
Victoria’s work with the Centre for Teaching & Learning’s Writing Centre has been marked by her passion and commitment to advocating for students in their learning. She has “been a leader in making The Writing Centre a more student-friendly space and significantly enhancing support for students”. Her work as has had such impact that she was able to present on it last year at the Canadian Writing Centre Association’s national conference.