The University of Toronto Scarborough Letter Awards were established in the fall of 2000 by the Office of Student Experience & Wellbeing, 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 2022.
Throughout his degree, Adam was committed to ensuring that UTSC was a safe and welcoming place for all. His most notable contributions are within the residence community, where he worked for two years as a Residence Advisor and Residence Engagement Facilitator. He was also active with the Emergency Medical Response Group, and volunteered with Frontier College. Adam is passionate about research and was able to get involved in the Mandrak Lab at UTSC. He hopes to apply the skills he learned there to his future career.
Adrienna will be graduating in November 2022 with a double major in Human Biology and Neuroscience. She held various leadership roles including President for UTSC's Medical Education Initiative Organization, Program Coordinator for BrainWaves, and Vice-President for Neuroaxis. Adrienna contributed her efforts towards the First-Year Experience Program as First-Year Peer Advisor and Program Assistant, and volunteered as a Nutritional Health Peer Educator at the Health & Wellness Centre. Her passion for student life, healthcare, and education allowed her to diversify her skills and experiences in various portfolios. In the future, Adrienna hopes to continue her academic journey and wishes to pursue a career in practicing medicine.
Through passion, kindness and hard-work, Angela has spent her undergraduate years committed to fostering development and positivity throughout campus and her communities. Angela has consistently strived for student growth and success through the coordination of strategic domestic and international partnerships. As co-president of UTSC Project START and as the champion of the Flattening the Falsehoods research project she strives to spread awareness both on and off campus. As the previous recipient of the Student Engagement Award, Angela has funded Flattening the Falsehoods to help contribute to the rebuilding of healthy, resilient and equitable communities as part of a post-COVID-19 recovery strategy. This research has been presented internationally highlighting Scarborough student excellency at the Canadian Conference on Global Health.
Arya is a dedicated creative who strives to make those around her feel belonged in a community. A large portion of her work focuses on community bonding, resource building, and mental health advocacy. In her time at UTSC, she has created various kinds of coping technique videos as the Marketing Director of Psychological Health Society fleshed out a full-scale resource document covering all health concerns with her team as the Finance & Safety Coordinator of the Women & Trans Centre, and facilitated conversations while liaising student mental health concerns to the UTSC/UofT administration as a Co-Chair on the UTC Mental Health Advisory Committee. Arya is always committed to helping others grow and advocate for themselves. She will be graduating in Fall of 2022 with a degree in Neuroscience and Mental Health Studies.
Throughout her time at UTSC, Ayuni has strived to make a positive impact on the UTSC community. By becoming the President of UTSC Parks Canada Club, she was not only able facilitate and encourage student engagement with local green-spaces in and around campus, but also develop an interactive tree walk in UTSC’s very own Highland Creek Trail. She has also held several other student group executive positions over the years, such as Research Director with Medical Education Initiative Organization (MEIO), and Mooting and Mock Trial Director with the Law Society of UTSC (LSOU). By engaging in and leading student-lead projects over the years, she has come to appreciate the diversity and love that comes with the UTSC community and student body.
Betel strived to learn from and give back to different groups and entities at UTSC. She is currently a Research Assistant in the Department of Global Development Studies. She is also the President of the African Students’ Association, where she has introduced new initiatives such as career and alumni panels and workshops. In the past, she volunteered as an academic mentor for Black middle schoolers in the IMANI program and as an elected voting member in the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee. She has also served as the Director of Publications and Editor-in-Chief at the Political Science Students’ Association, where she helped students publish their academic work in the in-house academic journal ResPublica. Through her different engagements on campus, she made a long-lasting positive impact on students of Black/African descent and the Political Science Department.
Throughout my time at UTSC, I've had the pleasure of working to promote initiatives supporting student wellness, equity, and community support. I'm most proud of my work with the Office of Student Experience and Wellbeing to develop and implement the Community Mentorship Program, an initiative aimed at supporting students from under-represented communities across campus. An avid hiker and cyclist, I’ve been happy to share my passion for the lush green spaces near campus as Vice President of the Parks Canada Club UTSC, as well as through my own undergraduate research projects. I’m excited to see what the future holds after graduation!
Esma has significantly contributed to our campus through the different elected and hired positions she took. She was part of over 13 associations. Esma represented UTSC in competitions, helped students, and created future student leaders. She played an active role in the Athletics Department throughout her four years through roles such as a women's fitness ambassador, a program monitor, a multisports intramurals athlete, the social media coordinator of MoveU, and the elected women's rep. in the SCAA. Besides, Esma MCed the first virtual FROSH of UTSC and coordinated the first hybrid FROSH of UTSC. Esma also initiated the annual mooting competition hosted by UTSC through her role in the LSOU and the virtual group studying culture at UTSC amidst COVID-19 through her role in StudyHub, the club she founded. Finally, Esma also led to the introduction of the Annual Leadership Award given by the Department of Political Science through her role as the elected poli-sci director at SCSU.
Honma's academic journey at UTSC is a beacon for those who first struggle to find their feet but discover their own path and happiness through the privilege of service. By leading as the Co-President of the Black students in Business club, Honma and his team spearheaded initiatives to advance the educational and career aspirations of Black students in Ontario. In 2021, Honma organized an academic art program to teach UTSC members about the influence of African histories and cultural identities shaping the identity of black youths. Honma envisioned a career in cultural entrepreneurship and started Reve Morel to extend his dream of capturing hidden narratives within the African community.
My heavy involvement in extracurriculars at UTSC provided me with opportunities to demonstrate my passion for helping others. Actively taking part in the UTSC Student Housing and Student Mental Health Advisory Committees, the Health and Wellness Centre (HWC), UTSC Good2Talk, and Students of Sociology (SOS) gave me the chance to represent my peers as I advocate for student mental health and future change on campus. These experiences allowed me to incorporate my interdisciplinary lens through developing The UVoice Project with UTSC alumni and collaborating with the HWC and SOS, to help foster student connections during and post-COVID.
I have aimed to create a meaningful impact through my leadership experiences as outreach coordinator at UTSC Catholic Chaplaincy, Let’s Talk Science, Tour Guide and EPSA. I have worked as Program Assistant for the Multi-Faith Engagement Program. I have received UofT Student Engagement Award to help Sri Lanka to spread knowledge about COVID-19 vaccines by collaboratively working with the scientist in Sri Lanka and Sick Kids. I have worked with Public Health Agency of Canada in “Ask the Experts” COVID-19 vaccination advertisement to encourage the population to get vaccinated. Outside of school, I volunteer at Baycrest Health Sciences Hospital and with a foundation in Sri Lanka to teach English to Underprivileged children.
Hey Siri, play "I Was Here" by Beyonce. This song's lyrics embody Jerusha's long-held desire to make a positive difference in her community. As part of the ISC, she initiated UTSC's first Day of the Dead celebration and revitalized the Language Sharing Sessions. She has also served as secretary for the Maternal Natal Health Initiative, copy-editor for the Varsity newspaper, volunteer at the campus food centre, webmaster for KEL's Open Praxis Forum, volunteer tutor with Frontier College, student ambassador and campus tour guide. This fall, Jerusha will begin her master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology at UofT.
Joey devoted much of her time in university contributing to student growth and success. As an enthusiastic and passionate student leader, she took on various leadership roles at the Women In Business Association and MESA. During her co-presidency at MESA, she spearheaded several new initiatives including a mentorship group for first year students transitioning to university, a platform to highlight the diverse culture of the management community, and an exclusive management club’s monthly newsletter. Joey also collaborated closely with faculty and department staff to collect, analyze, and implement student feedback regarding the management academic curriculum, resources, and extra-curricular opportunities.
My name is Palak Sharma. I am graduating from the University of Toronto with double majors in Psychology and Women & Gender studies. I would like to extend a big thank you to my nominators and the UTSC community to consider me for this award. It is a pleasure to learn from my journey at UTSC and give back to it.
Among Parsa's many involvements in undergrad, she served on the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee, University of Toronto Tribunal and was president of the Women In Business Association and Bangladeshi Student Association. Additionally, she was involved in teaching and research assistant functions on and off campus. Outside school, she was a member of the Canadian Women Economists Committee and worked at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Recently, she was awarded the 2021-2022 Bank of Canada Master’s Scholarship for Women in Economics and Finance. Parsa values good leadership and intends to channel this energy into any career she embarks on.
Protichi has been one of the Co-Presidents of the Molecular Biology and Immunology Student Association (MIMSA) since 2021, having had previously contributed to the student group since 2019. Along with her peers, she has strived to enhance and grow this fairly new group on campus through the development of events and programs to benefit biological science students keen on pursuing research and academia, post-undergraduate studies. These events and programs included journal clubs to assist younger students in successfully reading and interpreting articles and a mentorship program to connect senior UTSC students with graduate student mentors, in order to provide them with the essential guidance and support to pursue graduate studies.
Throughout my academic career, my passion for mentoring pushed me towards supporting my fellow students through leading FSGs and Lab skills seminars. As the president of Symbiosis: UTSC Biology Journal, a group dedicated to improving scientific literacy on campus, I orchestrated events to foster scientific communication. Further, using my dedication for health promotion, I assisted in executing blood drives and information sessions as apart of the Blood and Stem Cell Teams on campus. Witnessing the impact of COVID-19, I co-launched “COVID-19 Global Vloggers” funded by the UofT Global engagement award, to support my fellow colleagues in navigating through COVID-19 policies.
Shahroze has been a part of the UTSC campus community since his second year. He has held positions in many campus groups including the Biology Students' Association, the Psychology and Neuroscience Students' Association, the Chemistry Society at UTSC, SCINAPSE UTSC, and Global Brigades UTSC. He has been central to many academic initiatives at UTSC, including the introduction and implementation of the first ever PNDA Research Case Competition, and introduction the Graduate Affairs initiative at BioSA. Throughout his undergrad, he has given back to the UTSC community through demonstrable leadership and he hopes to continue to take that forward into the future. Shahroze is graduating with a Honors Bachelor of Science with a double major in Human Biology and Psychology.
Writing is an important skill; it helps us assess arguments, approach problems from new angles, and ask better questions. Thus, when Syed was voted in as an executive of the Association for Philosophy Students, he spearheaded the initiative to establish a philosophy-specific writing clinic that provides students with resources to develop their writing skills. The clinic has been open for just over a year and has already garnered popularity amongst students and praise by the faculty and administration of the philosophy department. As he graduates, Syed hopes that the clinic continues to contribute to ongoing attempts at fostering critical thinking.
Throughout undergrad, Tanzeel Sultan has consistently strived to step outside of the purely academic umbrella and instead promote student leadership and success throughout the UTSC community. As his journey comes to an end, he is remembered most notably for his roles on the Health Occupational Students of America and the non-profit organization Yayra-Si Youth Foundation, in which he has held multiple leadership positions as Vice President Training and President for both. His contributions have prioritized empowering the student community by diversifying their perspectives in healthcare and equitable service. Though he departs from UTSC, he is hopeful that his impact will remain as an inspiration towards aspiring student leaders.
Tianna Tabobondung is a First Nations student from Wasauksing first nation. In Tianna’s first year on campus, she created the indigenous student association with her fellow students to help indigenous students find community on campus. She participated in various events and later became the indigenous work-study student with the department of student experience and wellbeing. Her goal was to create a welcoming environment for students on campus, and through her various work studies and events on campus, she succeeded in her goal. Tianna will continue her education career, by doing her master’s in education in the coming year.
Over her undergraduate experience, Tolu has become a true Jack of all trades. She has helped to foster a sense of community among Black and African students through the African Impact Initiative student club. In her first year, she helped to recruit students to AII's events as the First-Year Rep, and now in her final year, she occupies the role of President. Tolu has also represented the UTSC Co-op program in different domains; for example, her work term at the Hospital for Sick Children was highlighted in the Toronto Star newspaper! She is also a co-host of the BrainCore Podcast, a platform determined to make psychology and neuroscience information more accessible and understandable to students. Tolu will be graduating from the Specialist Co-op Program in Psychology with a minor in Biomedical Ethics.
Zeel aimed to help students find a community on campus throughout her university career. In her work-study role with the International Student Center, she created intercultural events such as 'Real Talk' and 'What's Cooking.' As an executive of the International Development Conference team for over three years, she developed workshops and panels that helped students develop technical skills. As an HR Alliance and PR Association vice-president, she helped run events that enabled students to foster connections with employers and fellow students amidst the pandemic. Zeel was committed to helping students learn and improve as a teaching assistant.