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“This evening is all about those who make things better,” said a beaming Dean of Students Elizabeth Morey from the podium at the Montefiore Club April 8. The atmosphere at the annual Concordia Council on Student Life (CCSL) Awards ceremony is always ebullient. This year was no different.
The event honours Concordia students, staff and faculty who have made an exceptional contribution to student life or services.
This year, eight CCSL awards were given out.
The evening began with Chemistry and Biochemistry Technical Supervisor Miriam Posner receiving the Lina Lipscombe CCSL staff award to for her 30 years of service to the university as a student, staff and volunteer.
Posner, who called recently retired Lipscombe “not only a close friend, but a role model,” said of the award: “It’s more than special, it’s priceless.”
The second CCSL staff award was given to Rich SwamiNathan, who came Concordia from Western University to establish the Alternative Spring Break (see Journal, March 4, 2010).
CCSL awards were also given to four faculty and staff members; Journalism Professor Brian Gabrial, Exercise Lab Instructor Christina Grace, Religion Professor Carly Daniel-Hughes and Theology Professor Andre Gagné.
Gagné, who was celebrated for the attentive mentoring of his students, credited the award to the guidance he received as a PhD student in Biblical Studies at UdeM and Université de Louvain in Belgium years ago. “You can never give what you haven’t received,” he said.
Two students also received CCSL Awards; former VP Services Loyola and CSU President-elect Prince Ralph Osei, and Cinema Politica co-organizer Svetla Turnin.
“To come from Africa to walk down the halls of Concordia is an honour in itself,” said Osei. “I have to give back to my community.”
This also marked the first year of the Concordia University Volunteer Initiative (CUVI) awards. Handed out to students, staff and faculty who have made an exceptional contribution to the community outside of the university, 11 CUVI awards were distributed.
Among student winners were Ashley Alton, Farah Haddad, Julian Egery, Thomas Prince, Eileen Wong and Ruby Jean Van Vliet Hagman.
Counselling and Development Strategic Learning Supervisor Anna Marczewska, and Institute for Community Development Director Lance Evoy (who will be retiring May 31) were among award winners for staff.
School of Community and Public Affairs Principal Eric Shragge took home a volunteer honour.
As well, CUVI awards were given to groups Art of Living Concordia and the Interfaith Ambassador Program leadership team.
Spirit of Giving Award
A new addition this year, President Judith Woodsworth announced the Spirit of Giving Award. The inaugural award was given to the many students, staff and faculty who contributed to the effort to help Haiti following the Jan. 12 earthquake – a combined effort involving more than 60 people who raised more than $20 000 and numerous boxes of clothing and food.
Accepting the award, President of the Haitian Students Association Randolph Pierre expressed his appreciation to Morey and the Dean of Students office for their exceptional support during the time following the devastation of his home country.