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York University Alumni Association announces “Alumni Network of the Year”

York University Alumni Association announces “Alumni Network of the Year”

Led by alumni volunteers, Alumni Networks deliver innovative and meaningful initiatives that enable alumni to connect with one another, fuel student success, and support the York community.

2021 Alumni Network of the Year: York University School of Public Policy & Administration Alumni Network (YUSPAAN)

The York University Alumni Association is delighted to recognize the York University School of Public Policy and Administration Alumni Network (YUSPPAAN) as the inaugural Alumni Network of the Year. This Alumni Network has demonstrated its dedication and commitment to York in the past year -- through engagement, impact and alignment to the University Academic Plan priorities.

“It’s really impressive to see what they, and other networks, managed last year. On behalf of the entire York University Alumni Association, thank you for your hard work and commitment,” says Michelle Dagnino BA ’02, MA ’03, LLB ’06, chair of the Alumni Networks Committee on the York University Alumni Board.

“This award is a testament of the dedication exhibited by current and past executive members, volunteers, and the underlying support of the administration and faculty at the School of Public Policy and Administration,” says Ashley Cabral BA ‘10, MPPAL ’17, chair of YUSPPAAN and manager of outreach and communications, Institute of Public Administration of Canada.

We congratulate the YUSPPAAN 2020/2021 Executive Team:

  • Ashley Cabral BA ‘10, MPPAL ’17, Chair
  • Wazhma Rahimzay BA ‘17, MPPAL ’19, Vice-Chair
  • Apollo Ojara BA ‘15, MPPAL ‘17, Director of Finance 2020
  • Andrew Farah BA ‘15, MPPAL ‘17, Director of Finance 2021
  • Romina Chencheva MPPAL ‘15, Director of Communications
  • Joana Jabson MPPAL ‘20, Director of Events and Programming
  • Alyssa Offenheim BPA ‘19, MPPAL ‘20, Director of Memberships and Partnership
  • Georgette Morris BA ’12, BA ’13, MPPAL ‘16 Podcast Volunteer

Amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, YUSPPAAN led many initiatives to help students succeed. Partnering with the School, student clubs and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, they created alumni videos, launched the podcast “Learning from Leaders”, organized five professional development webinars, and raised money for the COVID-19 student relief fund.   

“YUSPPAAN has always given back to the entire SPPA community […] all I ever hear is how generous they are with their time and resources. This year is no exception with our incredible Chair, Ashley Cabral, whose energy and commitment to the School is boundless. A huge round of applause to the entire YUSPPAAN Association on this well-deserved Award!” says Prof. Naomi Couto, Graduate Program Director (GPD) for the Master in Public Policy, Administration and Law (MPPAL) program.

Prof. Alena Kimakova, director for the School of Public Policy and Administration, attests to the importance of alumni relationships. “We interact with our alumni in some form, essentially, on a daily basis. They are an integral part of our experiential education offerings and the professional development of our students. They help us keep our curriculum up-to-date with the incredibly fast pace of change in the public service, provide lifetime peer-mentoring for alumni and create a sense of community for all of us at the School. We cannot thank our alumni enough for their engagement, and we are thrilled to have this formal recognition for YUSPPAAN by the York U Alumni Association for their truly exceptional dedication.”

For more information about this award and the Alumni Networks program, visit the Alumni & Friends website or contact Joanne Huy, Alumni Engagement Officer at