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Awards & Scholarships

2007 Bryden Award Winners

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

The '07 Bryden Alumni Award recipients are:

Pinnacle Achievement Karen Kraft Sloan (MES '90)
Outstanding Contribution Maxwell Gotlieb (BA '72, LLB '75, LLM '97)
Local Hero Charmaine Courtis (BA '72)
Redefine the Possible Paul Alofs' (MBA '83)
The One-to-Watch Jennifer Corriero (BA '03, MES '06)

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.

Karen Kraft Sloan (MES '90) is one of our nation's most passionate environmentalists whose work has shaped nationa policy and inspired Canadians. During her 11 year tenure as a Liberal Member of Parliament she served two terms as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, was Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development for seven years and played an important role in former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's decision to sign the Kyoto Accord. During this time, environmental NGOs across Canada considered her one of "The Three" — a group of three Liberal MPs who championed environmental issues in Canada.

Karen organized the 1999 and 2000 Eco-Summits, events that brought scientists and policy experts together with parliamentarians. She was awarded a Gold Medal in the Sierra Club of Canada 2000 Eco-Olympics and in 2002 she received the Douglas J. Pimlott Award, Canadian Nature Federation's most prestigious award. In 2005 she was appointed Canada's ambassador for the environment by then prime minister Paul Martin, and soon afterward she represented Canada at the United Nations and in other international meetings and negotiating sessions. More recently, she founded the environmental consulting firm EcoNexus, and is the special advisor to the Vice-President Research & Innovation at York University.

She earned an MES from York University in 1990.


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Outstanding Contribution

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

Maxwell Gotlieb (BA '72, LLB '75, LLM '97) is a proud three-time York graduate and highly respected senior lawyer whose financial and volunteer contributions to York go beyond the exceptional.

He is a member of the York University Foundation Board of Directors and exceeded all expectations by co-chairing the 2006 Brazilian Ball Carnival Event with his wife Heather. The Ball generated $2 million in funding for the Accolade Project and immeasurable recognition for the University and for the Faculty of Fine Arts.

He has also made significant academic contributions to York and other institutions. He was a sessional law professor at Osgoode Hall Law School for 11 years, instructed at the Admission Course of Law Society of Upper Canada and taught at Ryerson Polytechnic University. He is a well-known speaker and writer (over 200 articles and speeches), and has chaired numerous panels for professional and industry bodies.

In addition to supporting York, Maxwell sits on the boards of numerous public, private and charitable organizations including the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation and The Baycrest Centre Foundation.

Maxwell is a Partner with Toronto's Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP. He is married to Heather, who is similarly involved in community affairs. Maxwell and Heather have three children.

He earned a BA from York University in 1972, an LLB in 1975 and an LLM in 1997.


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Local Hero

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

Charmaine Courtis (BA Hons '77) is an alumna who has shown remarkable skill and dedication at York University, earning the lasting praise and respect of students, faculty, staff and alumni. She accepted her first staff position at the University in 1972 and became Admissions Assistant in the Schulich School of Business in 1973. In 1974 she was promoted to Admissions Officer and in 1978 she became the Manager, Admissions & Student Programs. She became the Director, Student Affairs in 1989, and was appointed to her current position as Executive Director, Student Services and International Relations in 1999.

Unfettered by convention and traditional expectations, she has shown exceptional leadership in improving the student experience by restructuring financial aid, enhancing the School's diversity and international reach, and going far beyond her official duties. She has also acted as a mentor for several student clubs for women, including the highly successful Women in Leadership organization, and her work has given Schulich one of the highest percentages of female graduate students in Canada.

She has influenced the lives of close to 20,000 Schulich graduates, the majority of whom know her by name and have enormous respect for what she does and what she has accomplished.

She earned a BA from York University in 1972.


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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"

Paul Alofs' (MBA '83) groundbreaking success in business and his leadership in nonprofit organizations embody York's philosophy, "Redefine the Possible." He was named the President of HMV Music Stores in 1989, where he expanded the business from $38 million to $200 million in annual sales. He later left HMV to become the President of BMG Music. In 1997 Paul was appointed the General Manager of North American Disney Stores where he managed 500 stores, led 15,000 employees and realized $1 billion in sales. In 1999, he became President of Strategic Business Units of and helped lead the company through one of the larger IPOs in Internet history.

After leaving, Paul had a "life-altering experience" while taking care of his mother, who passed away from breast cancer in 2002, and he become a key leader in the Canadian nonprofit sector. He is currently President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, and recently served as the Board Chair of Covenant House.

His many awards include Music Industry Executive of the Year, Innovative Retailer of the Year and he was named one of Canada's "Top 40 under 40." He received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Windsor in 2007.

He earned an MBA from York University's Schulich School of Business in 1983.


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The One-to-Watch

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

Jennifer Corriero (BA '03, MES '06) is an innovative leader who has forged her own unique path to success as the co-founder and Executive Director of TakingITGlobal (TIG), one of the world's most successful online international development organizations for youth. TIG has active members in over 200 countries, is available in 12 languages, receives over 1.4 million hits every day and has received many awards around the world.

She has worked as a consultant and advisor on youth strategy for organizations such as Microsoft, VanCity and the Ontario Science Centre, among others. ennifer's many awards include Wired Young Woman of the Year, the World Economic Forum's Global Leader of Tomorrow and Youth Global Leader awards, Converge magazine's Shaper of the Future award, and McGill University's Management Achievement Award.

Jennifer has been a speaker at dozens of events and conferences around the world such as the World Summit on the Information Society (Geneva). She has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on television programs including The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Fast Company magazine, and "ABC News."

She earned a BA from York University in 2003 and an MES in 2006.


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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.