Five Bloomberg Nursing students received Cressy Awards at the well-attended ceremony at Varsity Centre on March 27, presented by U of T President David Naylor and namesake Gordon Cressy. The honour is in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the university through extracurricular involvement.
Laura Istanboulian volunteered her expertise to help our NP students in British Columbia and Newfoundland enhance their advanced history taking and physical examination skills. Her participation was instrumental to the success of the Virtual Interactive Teaching and Learning project. In addition, she’s travelled to Chiapas, Mexico to work with the villagers and human rights fighters, giving presentations and lobbying the Canadian government upon her return.
Sheri Price built collaborative stakeholder relations through her volunteer efforts with various academic boards and associations, including curriculum committees, graduate student seminars and the Nursing Health Services Cluster Unit (U of T). In relation to nursing recruitment, transition and retention, she’s also advocated for increased support and resources for new nurses.
Undergraduate Recipients (Class of 2012)
Sarah Gardhouse founded the Nursing Mentorship Program, which is an online mentoring discussion forum that matched 85 second-year student-mentors with incoming undergraduate students so they could have consistent peer support. As the second-year representative for the Nursing Undergraduate Society (NUS), she’s played a key role in strengthening student-faculty interactions, and she’s been active in planning and coordinating activities for the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association (CNSA) Regional Conference.
Zamin Ladha is the outgoing president of NUS. In this role, he organized many social, academic and professional development events, including a résumé writing workshop. He successfully advocated for policy change to provide affordable tuberculosis testing for all U of T students who require it. He also obtained donations for the Ronald McDonald House – Toronto during the CNSA conference and volunteered for a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder support group for adolescents.
Lara Schiller spearheaded U of T’s participation in the CNSA Regional Conference, organizing the winning bid and coordinating the event in her role as director. The three-day session was attended by 300 students from across Ontario. She also served on the NUS executive and was student representative on Sunnybrook Hospital’s Education Board.
These award-winners clearly illustrate that the student experience at the University of Toronto is more than classes and books. Campus life offers the opportunity for engagement with your faculty and student peers, in the wider community and in the world at large. The Cressy Awards recognize graduating students for outstanding contributions to improving the world around them and inspiring others to do the same.
The Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards were established in 1994 by the University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA) and the Division of University Advancement in order to recognize graduating students who have made outstanding extra-curricular contributions to their college, faculty or school, or to the university as a whole. There have been more than 2,600 recipients to date and many of the recipients go on to make a difference as alumni.
In naming the awards after Gordon Cressy, former vice-president of development and university relations from 1987 to 1993, the UTAA recognized his commitment to higher education and his leadership in fundraising and community service. In his closing speech, Cressy had three key messages for recipients:
- “Positive energy is contagious,”
- “Build and sustain relationships,” and
- “Have grand dreams.”