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Awards & Scholarships

2005 Bryden Award Winners

Each year, York celebrates alumni who attained extraordinary achievements and made remarkable contributions to York and to their communities.

The '05 Bryden Alumni Award recipients are:

Pinnacle Achievement Sandie Rinaldo, (BFA Hons.’73)
Outstanding Contribution Helen K. Sinclair (BA '73)
Local Hero Steve Dranitsaris (BA '73)
Redefine the Possible Debra Lynne Brown (BFA Spec. Hons. '78)
The One-to-Watch Farouk Jiwa (MES '03)

The history of the Bryden Awards

Past Recipients


Pinnacle Achievement

A graduate who has achieved true distinction in their field and whose integrity and ability inspires alumni, faculty, staff and students.

Sandie Rinaldo, (BFA Hons.’73) has been anchoring "CTV National News" on weekends since 1985. In 2004, Rinaldo began co-hosting "W-FIVE" with veteran news anchor, Lloyd Robertson. In addition to co-hosting, she has reported on noted "W-FIVE" stories, including the recent Who Killed Theresa? and A Daughter’s Gift.

Sandie, who has hosted several "CTV News" specials, is also the reporter/producer of a segment called A Sandie Rinaldo Success Story seen on "CTV National News" with Lloyd Robertson.

She came to CTV in 1973, one week after graduating from York University where she earned an Honours BA in Fine Arts. In that first year, she jumped from Junior Secretary to Production Secretary to Production Manager before becoming a researcher for "W-FIVE". In 1976 she joined “Canada AM” where she was eventually appointed Reporter-at-Large.

By 1980, Sandie had joined a slowly expanding circle of women in the profession, setting precedents as she went. She was promoted to News Anchor of "Canada AM", becoming the first woman in Canadian history to anchor a daily network newscast.

Sandie has been recognized multiple times for her news coverage by the International Film and TV Festival of New York, the Radio-Television News Directors Association and the Gemini Awards.


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Outstanding Contribution

Dedication to the advancement of the University through exceptional service, commitment, and contributions.

Helen K. Sinclair (BA '73) is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of BankWorks and, a satellite communications company, which runs a network of over 200 interactive virtual classrooms and meeting rooms in 70 hotels and conference centres across Canada.

Previously, Helen was President of the Canadian Bankers Association and held a variety of positions with The Bank of Nova Scotia. In addition to the Board of Governors at York, Helen sits on several other boards, including The Toronto-Dominion Bank and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. She has had extensive involvement in the not-for-profit sector and is Past Chair of the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

She holds an Honours BA in Economics from York (Glendon) and was the 1973 recipient of the Murray Ross Award. She also has an MA (Economics) from the University of Toronto. She is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School and holds an Honorary Doctorate (Civil Law) from Acadia University (1993).


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Local Hero

A York alumnus and employee of the University who has gone beyond the call of duty

Steve Dranitsaris (BA '73) now in his 33rd year as a York employee, is the Senior Executive Officer in the Office of the Vice-President Finance and Administration. His remarkable track record spans 30 years of involvement in the alumni program and includes co-founding the alumni sports program, editing Alumni News, initiating the Alumni Annual Fund program, and founding York’s Sport Hall of Fame.

During his career, Steve has held the positions of Executive Officer of the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Associate and Acting Director of Private Funding, Assistant and Acting Director of Alumni Affairs, University Convocation Officer and Student Liaison Officer of Stong College. He has also been involved in many University committees, task forces, building projects, and student scholarships. For the past 10 years, he has served on the Board of the York University Alumni Association and been alumni representative to the University Senate.

In 1993, Steve received the President’s CPM Award. In 1994, the Master’s Committee Room in Stong College was named in his honour, and in 1996 he received the University’s Health & Safety Award.


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Redefine the Possible

For leadership and successes which are innovative, unconventional and daring, embodying York's trailblazing motto "Redefine the Possible"

Debra Lynne Brown (BFA Spec. Hons. '78) is an internationally renowned choreographer. At the Cirque du Soleil, where she has been the principal choreographer since 1987, her many credits include Alegria, Slatimbanco, Mystère, and La Nouba, among others. She has served as the principal choreographer for The Golden Ass by the Canadian Opera Company, The Ghosts of Versailles by the Metropolitan Opera, and other prominent productions. Her film credits include Catwoman, Barney’s Great Adventure, Journey of Man, and the multi-disciplinary film Satie and Suzanne, which won a 1997 Grammy Award. Debra has worked with Aerosmith, Björk, Celine Dion, and Madonna, choreographing videos, live performances and television specials.

A winner of eight national awards in gymnastics, she has choreographed for individuals and teams across North America, such as the 1984 Olympic gold medalist Lori Fung, and the 2000 Canadian Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team. She also created and produced Apogée, a trampoline-based ballet that has appeared at prestigious events and galas throughout North America and Europe.

Debra earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Special Honours, from York University in 1978, with a major in Dance. She also earned a Bachelor of Physical Health and Education from the University of Western Ontario in 1976.


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The One to Watch

For remarkable professional and community accomplishments early in his or her career.

Farouk Jiwa (MES '03) is currently Senior Manager at CARE Enterprise Partners, a recently established division of CARE Canada that seeks to apply innovative, market-based approaches to poverty reduction in the developing world. He is also the Co-founder and Director of Honey Care Africa, an innovative social enterprise promoting sustainable community-based beekeeping across East Africa.

Farouk is the recipient of a number of prestigious international awards including the Equator Initiative Prize at the World Summit on Sustainable Development for his contribution to poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation, the International Development Marketplace Innovation Award from the World Bank and George Soros Open Societies Institute, and the World Business Award from the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum and the United Nations Development Programme in recognition of his contribution towards the UN Millennium Development Goals. At the 2005 World Economic Forum in Davos, Farouk was also recognised by the Schwab Foundation as among the World's Most Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs.

He holds a Master of Environmental Studies from York University, a Graduate Diploma in Business and Environment from the Schulich School of Business and a BSc (Honours) in Environmental Biology from Queen's University.


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Bryden Awards History

These awards are inspired by Bruce Bryden (BA ’64), who was an exceptionally committed and influential leader at York. He was a member of our first undergrad class and held several prestigious positions, including founding president of the York University Alumni Association and member of the Board of Governors. It is for his vision and exemplary leadership that we named these awards after him.