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Past Bryden Alumni Award Recipients

For 20 years, the Bryden Alumni Awards have celebrated York alumni who have gone above and beyond to help improve others’ lives.  This series of awards is presented each year to grads who have attained extraordinary achievements and made remarkable contributions to York and to their communities.

2022 Bryden Awards Recipients


Larissa Crawford - BA 18
Founder, Future Ancestors Services Inc. 

Larissa Crawford proudly passes on Métis and Jamaican ancestry to her daughter, Zyra, and is a published Indigenous, anti-racism, and climate justice researcher and policy advisor with over 14 years of experience. Larissa is the Founder of Future Ancestors Services, a youth-led professional services social enterprise that operates at the intersection of climate and racial justice.   

Since the launch of Future Ancestors Services in April 2020, the organization has mobilized +$95K in donations and gifted services for anti-racist and climate justice initiatives. Larissa and her team seek to increase their clients' capacity to honour people and Planet through their minds, work, and spaces, and do so while leveraging decolonized and Indigenized approaches to 'doing business.' Among their +300 diverse clients are small youth-led collectives and non-profits; Canada's most influential law firms and publishing houses; and the highest offices of Canadian government.  

Larissa graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Communication Studies in June 2018, Summa Cum Laude, with 2-year-old Zyra on her hip and the Robert Tiffin Leadership Award. After experiences such as starting a library in Accra, Ghana, studying international law and volunteering in Istanbul, Turkey, and representing her university at several global United Nations events, Larissa redirected her efforts to home. She led several anti-racism and Indigenous research initiatives at the university, and shortly after brought this experience to Ontario’s Ministry of Energy and Ontario’s Anti-Racism Directorate as a policy advisor; the 2018 G7 as an expert advisor and youth delegate; and many of her related volunteer roles. Larissa's experience has led to her specializations in raced-based data collection, Indigenous and anti-racism research, accessibility, restorative circle keeping, restorative practice and conflict resolution, climate justice, and public policy.  

Through programs such as the CohortX Climate Justice, the Action Canada, and the Youth Climate Lab FutureXChange fellowships, the Raven Trust Capital Fireweed Fellowship, and the Students on Ice Arctic Policy Cohort, Larissa continues her learning of Northern Indigenous climate knowledge, climate policy, anti-racism opportunities in environmentalism, and doing business with traditional and decolonized approaches.   

In 2022 Larissa was honoured in Complex Canada’s 20 Creators Who Will Shape the Next 20 Years of The Culture, and in 2020-21 in Women of Influence’s Top 25 list; in Refinery Canada’s 29 Powerhouses; as York University’s Top 30 Under 30 Alumni; in HuffPost’s 26 Indigenous Influencers to Follow; and with the Pollution Probe Equity in Sustainability Award. She supports international brands such as Merrell, Nike, and The Body Shop, in better serving and representing her communities. 


The Honourable Michael H. Tulloch - BA ’89, LLB ’89
Ontario Court of Appeal Justice 

Justice Tulloch was born in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada when he was nine years of age. He earned two degrees at York University and was called to the bar in 1991. He has the distinction of having been the first Black judge to be appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal – and to any appellate court in Canada. He was a Crown attorney (in Peel and Toronto), a private defense lawyer and a special prosecuting agent with the Federal Department of Justice. During this time, he also participated in a number of commissions including the Ontario Government Review on Civilian Oversight on Policing, the Review of the Ontario Legal Aid Plan, and the Criminal Code Review conducted by the Federal Attorney General and the Minister of Justice.


Gregory Sam Sorbara - BA ’78, LLB ’81, LLD ’13
Chancellor, York University; Principal, Sorbara Group of Companies; Owner, The Royal Hotel, Picton

Gregory Sorbara is a Principal of Sorbara Group of Companies, Ontario-based land development and property management business specializing in commercial, industrial and residential developments across the Greater Toronto Area.     

Mr. Sorbara is completing his second term as York University's 13th Chancellor, a role he has held since June 2014. His departure coincides with the recent opening of The Royal, a boutique hotel located on Main Street Picton that he and his family lovingly restored and reimagined while honouring its strong 100-year history in the community.  

His passion for enhancing the lives of Ontarians is evident in his 21 -year public service career (between 1985 and 2012), where he held numerous cabinet positions in the Ontario Legislature, including Minister of Finance, Minister of Colleges and Universities, Minister of Labour & Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, and as the Member representing Vaughan   

Mr. Sorbara has worked with the interests of the Greater Toronto Area at heart and has contributed substantially to its infrastructure and financial growth. He has championed postsecondary education as a catalyst for social and economic growth and a driver of community building. His landmark second budget as Minister of Finance in 2005 featured the bold plan to invest significantly in increasing accessibility for low-income students while funding more enrollments and expanded faculty, graduate scholarships and research. He also brought forward many positive reforms to the provinces taxation system, including the Business Education Tax reduction and equalization, eliminating GTA pooling, welfare rate increases, 25% increase of senior property tax credit, Property Tax Reform, harmonizing corporate tax collection with the federal government and eliminating the capital tax.  

He currently serves on the Boards of the Ontario Arts Foundation, Festival Players, The Prince Edward Affordable Housing Corporation and Chair Emeritus of Mackenzie Health Foundation Campaign Cabinet.   

He and his wife, Kate, spread their time between their home in Toronto and their active farm in Prince Edward County. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren. 


Dr. Eileen de Villa - MBA ’03
Medical Officer of Health, City of Toronto 

Dr. Eileen de Villa is the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto. Dr. de Villa leads Toronto Public Health, Canada’s largest local public health agency, which provides public health programs and services to the nearly 3 million residents of Toronto. Prior to joining Toronto Public Health, Dr. de Villa served as the Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel serving 1.4 million residents. 

Dr. de Villa received her degrees as Doctor of Medicine and Master of Health Science (MHSc) (Health Promotion) from the University of Toronto and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University. Dr. de Villa is also an Adjunct Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Health at the University of Toronto. 

Dr. de Villa has authored, published and presented research on issues including public health considerations for city planning and emergency preparedness, communicable and infectious disease control, and public health policy development. 

Dr. de Villa has been recognized for her leadership and achievements with Faculty Educator awards from the University of Toronto – Public Health and Preventative Medicine Residency Program, the Naimark Award, from the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement and, in 2021, the award for Communicator of the Year by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC, Toronto Chapter). 

In her capacity of Medical Officer of Health, Dr. de Villa has led the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto since the city saw its first case of COVID-19 on January 25, 2020. In addition to providing leadership to the largest immunization campaign in the history of Toronto, throughout the COVID-19 response, Dr. de Villa has advised political partners including Mayor John Tory on measures the municipal government could take, such as declaring a state of emergency, and introducing local by-laws on physical distancing and mask wearing to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. In her ongoing efforts to lead Toronto through the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. de Villa has worked tirelessly to ensure Torontonians have the tools and information they need to keep themselves and those around them safe, while also maintaining critical public health services.  

Dr. de Villa continues to play a key advisory role in the City and Province's COVID-19 response and recovery, remaining vigilant of COVID-19 trends and providing updates and reassurance to the public regularly. 

2021 Bryden Awards Recipients

Weyni Mengesha


Weyni Mengesha - BFA ’05
Artistic Director, Soulpepper Theatre Company

Weyni Mengesha is a Canadian film and stage director known for her ground-breaking work and community engagement. Since graduating in 2005 with a BFA from York University, she has directed plays that have gone on to break box office records, tour nationally and internationally, and have been developed into television shows playing on CBC, Global, and Netflix. She made her U.S debut in 2016 at Theatre @ Boston Court directing Bars and Measures which received three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award nominations and an NAACP nomination for her direction. Mengesha went on to make her New York debut with Martin Zimmerman’s Seven Spots from the Sun at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, along with the off-Broadway debut of the critically acclaimed Kim’s Convenience. In 2019, she became artistic director of Soulpepper Theatre Company in Toronto, a celebrated artist-driven company that offers year-round programming and training for artists from across the country. She is also cultivating a television and film career with numerous award-winning short films and episodic TV shows under her belt and a feature in development.

Mengesha is also a committed educator, mentor of new talent, and producer of youth arts initiatives. She was the co-director of the acclaimed A.M.Y. Project (artists mentoring youth) from its inaugural showcase in 2005 until 2011 and continues to be a member of their advisory board. In 2004, she co-founded Sound the Horn and was artistic director of the organization for seven years providing a training and performance platform to hundreds of young artists from Ethiopian and Eritrean communities across North America. She continues to be a guest teacher for artistic training programs across Canada, including the National Theatre School of Canada, Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and The Soulpepper Academy. In 2018 Mengesha was named one of The 50 most influential Torontonians by Toronto Life magazine.

Dr. Pamela Ohashi


Dr. Pamela OhashiBSc Hons 82
Director, Tumor Immunotherapy Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Dr. Pamela Ohashi is the director of the Tumor Immunotherapy Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and received a bachelor of science in biology from York University. She studied at the University of Toronto with Dr. Tak Mak and completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Zurich with Nobel Prize winner Dr. Rolf Zinkernagel and Dr. Hans Hengartner. Dr. Ohashi’s research interests involve understanding T-cell tolerance as well as strategies to promote tissue-specific immune responses and translating these findings into clinical trials. Her research has proven many basic principles in T-cell tolerance and identified novel concepts in immune regulation. One of her greatest achievements in the field of immunological science is her contribution to the establishment of an immunotherapy program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. This involved leading clinical, academic, and industrial players in the field, linking research in genomics and bioinformatics with basic and translational science and clinical trials of novel anti-cancer immunotherapeutics.

Dr. Earle Nestmann


Dr. Earle NestmannMSc 71, PhD 74
President, Health Science Consultants Inc.

Dr. Earle Nestmann, the president at Health Science Consultants Inc., received both an MSc and PhD in biology at York. While a student at Ohio’s Marietta College, he received the William Bay Irvine Medal for most outstanding student in the 1968 graduating class. After his studies at York, he served in the biology department as assistant professor from 1974 to 1977, and later as a member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association from 2006 to 2014 and the Board of Governors from 2013 to 2020.   

Dr. Nestmann has published more than 100 articles in scientific literature and was co-editor of the proceedings of an international conference on chemical mutagenesis and of a laboratory manual on recombinant DNA technology. He has served on several editorial boards for scientific journals and was president of the Genetics Society of Canada. He was a research scientist at Health Canada and pesticide regulatory manager for a multi-national company before becoming a principal of an international consulting firm. Dr. Nestmann continues to consult part-time as president of Health Science Consultants Inc., serving on international expert panels as well as writing reports, scientific opinions, and manuscripts for publication. Together with his wife Berna, Dr. Nestmann has provided exemplary philanthropic support for York science students and faculty for over 15 years, including Dean’s Undergraduate Research Awards and Science Exploration Camps for elementary and secondary school-aged children. The Earle Nestmann Scholarship was established in 2008 for master’s or doctoral students studying molecular biology or genetics.   

Christopher House, C.M.


Christopher House, C.M. BFA 79
Choreographer, performer, director and teacher

Christopher House received a BFA in dance from York University and was a performer and choreographer with Toronto Dance Theatre for 42 years, including 26 as the company’s artistic director. He completed a political science degree from the University of Ottawa before beginning dance training in Toronto, Ottawa, and New York. House created more than 60 works for the theatre, diversified the company’s repertoire, and developed many programs that reflect his commitment to ongoing education including the long-running Studio Series for young people and, along with Ame Henderson, the biennial Emerging Voices Project for young creators.     

He has collaborated with many leading companies including the National Ballet of Canada and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, as well as artists Kimsooja, Jordan Tannahill, The Hidden Cameras and Cirque du Soleil, and is an associate dance artist at the National Arts Centre. His works have been performed in 19 countries worldwide, and in 2018, his retrospective program House Mix toured to 15 cities in Canada and two in Colombia. His accolades include three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Dance, the Silver Ticket Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, and an honorary doctorate from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2017.  He is currently at work on a new solo performance work that will premiere in January 2022.    

2019 Bryden Awards Recipients


Kimberly Badal - BSc ’12
Co-Founder, Caribbean Cancer Research Initiative

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Kimberly Badal (BSc ’12) is a cancer researcher and advocate working in the Caribbean region. In August 2016, Kimberly founded the Caribbean Cancer Research Initiative (CCRI), a non-profit organization focused on evidence-based solutions for cancer prevention and management. She believes that radical improvement will come when we allow the patient experience to shape the research agenda and measures of success. CCRI is currently working on their flagship project, which is the introduction of cancer patient navigation to the Caribbean. They are also setting up genetic testing and counselling services for patients at high risk for cancer and other illnesses.

Kimberly completed a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at York University, Toronto in 2012 and a Master of Science in Biomedical Science at St. Radboud University, The Netherlands. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of the West Indies.


Suzanne Katsi’tsiarihshion Brant - MES ’05
President, First Nations Technical Institute

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Suzanne Katsi’tsiarihshion Brant (MES ’05) provides leadership and innovation in Indigenous post-secondary education at the First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI). Suzanne holds a master’s degree from York University in Environmental Studies with a focus on Indigenous post-secondary programming and a degree in Integrated Medicine. Suzanne is a current and founding board member of Honouring Indigenous Peoples. She is a past board member of: Aboriginal Institutes Consortium (Vice-Chair), St. Lawrence College Board of Governors, Prevent Cancer Now (national board), Tyendinaga Head Start program, founding board member of CKWE Tyendinaga radio, Great Lakes United (international). She is also a committee member of: Remedial Action Plan/Bay of Quinte, Environmental Advisory committee/ Mohawks of Bay of Quinte, Health Advisory committee/Mohawks of Bay of Quinte, Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force.

Suzanne has a strong commitment to Haudenosaunee language, culture and traditions. She is an accomplished visual artist and photographer who has exhibited her work at the Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford and Gallery 121, Belleville. She is a seasoned gardener and grower, specializing in Haudenosaunee traditional food systems and medicine plants. Suzanne has four incredible children and two beautiful granddaughters.


Robert Krembil - MBA ’71, LLD ’00
President & CEO, Chiefswood Holdings Ltd.

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Robert Krembil, CM, CFA (MBA '71, LLD '00), is the President of Chiefswood Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries. He is the Chairman of the Krembil Foundation, a Director and founding partner of EdgePoint Investment Group, and a member of the Dean's Advisory Council of Schulich School of Business.

Krembil studied at the Schulich School of Business; the University of Saskatchewan (BA '63) and The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts. He received a Doctors of Laws (honoris causa) from York in 2000. In 2005 he became a Member of the Order of Canada.

Through the Krembil Foundation, Robert began investing in student scholarships at Schulich in 2001. Since then, more than 106 Krembil Scholars have benefited from his visionary support that now totals more than $7.4 million. With an initial $2 million pledge in 2001, the Robert Krembil Scholarship of Merit was established to cover full tuition costs in addition to a living subsidy for MBA students. Likewise, the Robert Krembil Entrance Award, the Robert Krembil MBA Award and the Robert Krembil PhD Award funded tuition costs in a significant way. In 2002, he committed $2 million to the Schulich Executive Education Centre.

Robert has over 50 years' experience as an investment analyst and portfolio manager. Prior to July 2000, he was Chairman and CEO of Trimark Financial Corporation, which he co-founded in 1981.


Eva Marszewski - BA 70, LLB 73
Founder & Director, Peacebuilders International (Canada)

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Eva Marszewski, O.Ont, LSM (BA '70, LLB '73) is passionate about restorative justice and creating more just and peaceful communities that support youth to succeed. She started running restorative justice programs for youth in Toronto in 2002. She is a former Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where she taught “Law and Social Change: Restorative Justice.” Eva was one of the founders of the SPIDR youth initiative and YouCAN!. She was a member of the Board of Directors of SPIDR (now ACR), and the Executive of the Ontario Bar Association, ADR Section. Eva is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Smart Justice Network.

For her pioneering work in adapting Peacebuilding Circles to Toronto’s diverse communities, Eva was awarded the prestigious Law Society Medal from the Law Society of Upper Canada, the YMCA Peace Medallion in 2006, the Canadian Congress on Criminal Justices’ Crime Prevention Award in 2007, and the Dianne Martin Medal for Social Justice Through Law in 2009. Eva became a Fellow of the Ashoka Foundation in 2010 and was the first recipient of the Roy McMurtry Community Service Award in 2013. Eva was awarded the 2015 Order of Ontario, which is the province’s highest official honour recognizing her high level of individual excellence and achievement in restorative justice. In 2019, Eva’s career contributions were recognized by the Ontario Bar Association with an Award for Distinguished Service.

2018 Bryden Awards Recipients

Jamil Jivani


Jamil Jivani - BA 10
Lawyer, Law Professor and Author

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Jamil Jivani is a Canadian lawyer, activist, professor and author. He is focused on creating economic opportunities for families, empowering youth and improving public safety.

Jamil has held research and teaching appointments at Osgoode Hall Law School and Yale Law School. Jamil was also the director of law and policy at Our Ohio Renewal, a nonprofit organization founded at Ohio State University to develop solutions to the issues raised in J.D. Vance's bestselling memoir "Hillbilly Elegy." He previously practiced law at the international business law firm Torys LLP.

Jamil's community leadership has included founding the Citizen Empowerment Project and serving as Vice Chair of the Children's Aid Society of Toronto. He has also volunteered with youth organizations in Kenya, Egypt and Belgium.

Jamil's work in disadvantaged neighborhoods in North America and Europe has led him to appear on numerous national and international television and radio programs. His writing has been published by The UK Guardian, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and Australia’s Quillette magazine.

A graduate of Humber College, York University and Yale Law School, Jamil was named the 2015 young lawyer of the year by the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and received the International Development and Relief Foundation’s 2017 youth leadership award.

Jamil’s first book "Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity" was published by HarperCollins in April 2018 and listed for the Toronto Book Awards.

Pernille Ironside


Pernille Ironside - JD 99
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

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Pernille Ironside has spent nearly two decades advocating for the rights of children in need, working in conflict and disaster zones with the United Nations. She has been involved in the delivery of humanitarian assistance and protection that has benefited millions of vulnerable children and their families. This has included the negotiated release and reintegration of thousands of ‘child soldiers’ from armed forces/groups, in contexts as diverse as Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (Goma), Iraq, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, State of Palestine (Gaza) and Yemen.

Ironside has consistently challenged herself to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. Much of her career has been as a child protection specialist on the front lines, protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse – whether in eastern Congo during one of the worst humanitarian crises at the time, in Yemen prior to the current conflict, or in the Philippines (Tacloban) in the aftermath of super-typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) as part of an immediate response team. At UNICEF Headquarters in New York, she advised senior leaders and front line workers in 20 countries affected by armed conflict and/or natural disaster.

While UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office in the Gaza Strip, she and her team were awarded an internal UNICEF staff team award for their humanitarian action during the 51-day conflict in 2014. More recently, she was UNICEF’s Chief of Field Operations in Iraq (Baghdad), where she led efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to vulnerable children and their families across Iraq, particularly in relation to the Anbar and Mosul crises.

Since January 2017,  Ironside has been serving as UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Nigeria (Abuja), which is amongst UNICEF’s largest development and humanitarian programs. She has led the preparation of a strategic new five-year partnership for UNICEF in Nigeria, aimed at helping Africa’s most populous country to accelerate results for children in the most deprived areas, and thus progress towards achieving the key Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. She also chaired the development of a new inter-agency UN Strategic Development Partnership Framework (2018-2021) for the broader United Nations with the Government of Nigeria.

In addition to her work with UNICEF,  Ironside has held positions with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in Goma, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

She has received numerous commendations, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), and was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 (2007) by Caldwell Partners for outstanding achievement. A licensed lawyer, Ironside holds Canadian degrees in Commerce (UofA) and Law (York U), and a Masters in Law (Columbia U). Pernille was born and raised in Edmonton and is mother to a son born earlier this year.

Paul Sanberg


Paul Sanberg - BSc 76
Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Knowledge Enterprise, University of South Florida; President, National Academy of Inventors

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Paul Sanberg is Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Knowledge Enterprise; Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, Engineering, and Business; and Executive Director, Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida, and President of the National Academy of Inventors. His work has been instrumental in understanding and developing new pharmaceutical and cellular therapeutics for stroke, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s disease and Tourette syndrome. He trained at York University, University of British Columbia, The Australian National University, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; and held faculty appointments at the University of Cincinnati and Brown University, among others.

His research involves discovering innovative ways to repair the damaged brain, and he helped lead the team that demonstrated the use of umbilical cord blood derived cells for neurological disease. He is an inventor on 160 worldwide patents, and author of more than 660 articles and 14 books, with more than 32,000 citations. He has served on numerous scientific advisory boards, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health. He has industry experience as a founder or director of a number of companies involved in cell therapy for degenerative disorders. He has served on editorial boards for more than 30 scientific journals, is co-editor-in-chief of Technology and Innovation: Journal of the National Academy of Inventors, and has served as president of a number of professional societies, including the American Society for Neural Transplantation and Repair, Cell Transplant Society, and International Behavioral Neuroscience Society.

He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering; National Academy of Inventors, Royal Societies of Chemistry, Public Health, and Medicine. His many awards include: Fulbright Specialist to Australia, Sigma Xi’s John P. McGovern Science & Society Award; Florida Academy of Sciences Medalist, Florida Inventors Hall of Fame inductee, and inaugural AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador. He also serves on the nomination evaluation committee of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation; Smithsonian Innovation Festival selection committee; and APLU Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity.

Cheryl & Rob McEwen


Cheryl & Rob McEwen - CM, MBA 78, LLD 05
Entrepreneurs & Philanthropists; Chairman & Chief Owner, McEwen Mining Inc. (Rob)

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Cheryl and Rob McEwen, have donated in excess of $60 million to encourage excellence & innovation in healthcare and education. Their donations have led to the establishment of the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Toronto General Hospital; McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University; the McEwen Leadership Program at St. Andrew’s College; and the Lakefield College Gym & Entrepreneurial scholarship. In addition, significant donations were made to the Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital & Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre.

In 2017, the McEwens made a $8-million donation to the Schulich School Business – one of the largest gifts ever received by the school. Schulich and York University named the Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building in honour of their long-term support of the school. With this donation, the McEwens have donated more than $10 million to Schulich and York University.

Rob McEwen is Chairman and Chief Owner of McEwen Mining Inc. with the goal of entering the S&P 500. Founder & former Chairman & CEO of Goldcorp Inc., one of the world’s largest gold producers. In 1990, Rob jumped from the investment industry into the mining industry where he consolidated five companies to create Goldcorp Inc. During his last thirteen years as Goldcorp's CEO, the company’s market capitalization grew from $50 million to over $8 billion and its share price grew at a compound annual rate of 31%. He is a recipient of the Order of Canada: Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee Award; Honorary Doctor of Laws; 2001 PDAC Developer of the Year Award; 2017 inducted into The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. He sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board, Schulich School of Business; X Prize Foundation: Vision Circle and Board of Trustees; CEO & WPO.

Cheryl McEwen is a volunteer, philanthropist and entrepreneur. She is the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for her contributions to advance research in regenerative medicine and stem cells. She is the vice-chair of Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation Board, serving on the board since 2005, which raises money for research, education and enhanced patient care. She is also an entrepreneur, having worked for 25 years within the fashion industry, and is the founder of Make My Day Foods Inc., creators of The Veggie Puck®, a raw, organic mix of five super vegetables, mulched and compressed and frozen into puck-shaped portions. Cheryl is a firm believer in the ability of nutrition to prevent disease and support overall mental and physical well-being. As Co-Chair of the Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival in Toronto, Cheryl has helped raise over $26 million to support medical research and patient care. In addition, Cheryl was a significant advocate to bring the David Bowie exhibit to the AGO. That exhibit brought the AGO to new audiences and broke attendance records. Cheryl continues to pursue personal education having completed, Level 1 Sommelier and Level 2 Snowboard Instructor Certification.

2017 Bryden Award Recipients

Abdullah Merei


Abdullah Merei - BASC 09, MBA 15
Senior Director - Compression Systems, Evertz Microsystems Ltd.

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Currently serving as a Senior Director in the R&D department at Evertz Microsystems Ltd., Merei is leading the design, development, marketing and full deployment of industry-changing products and solutions for major broadcasting/media networks around the world, proving he is one to watch both now and in the future.

A passionate lover of technology from a young age, Merei achieved his first two tech milestones in 1994 at the age of eight when he completed his first computer programming course and introduced his country, Jordan, to the Internet via a televised demonstration. In 2004, Merei moved to Canada to attend York University where he earned his degree in Computer Engineering in 2009, graduating first in his class with distinction, and his MBA at the Schulich School of Business in 2015. His long list of accomplishments include: receiving the Allen Berg Award in 2007 and 2008, and being awarded a gold medal from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. Merei was also the recipient of the inaugural Alumnus of the Year at the annual Lassonde Awards in 2015.

In 2011, Merei created the Merei Family Scholarships making him the youngest of Lassonde’s major donors. Most recently, Merei has provided seed funding to establish the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology (BEST) early stage venture program. He has also connected Evertz with the Lassonde Co-Op Program to give undergraduates the chance to gain experiential education experiences through work placements.

In his spare time, Merei seizes the opportunity to remain active and engaged. He is a mentor and role model to a number of Lassonde undergraduate students and is leading the start-up of the Lassonde Alumni Network. He also volunteers by mentoring start-ups in the technology industry.

Rudy Buttignol


Rudy Buttignol - CM, BFA 82
President & CEO, Knowledge Network

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Rudy Buttignol is the President and CEO of British Columbia’s public broadcaster, Knowledge Network, and President of the BBC Kids channel. He moderates financing forums at IDFA and Asian Side of the Doc, and is a Director on the boards of several arts organizations. Buttignol is a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Toronto’s York University and has completed Executive programs at Stanford and Harvard.

From 1993 to 2006, Buttignol was TVO’s Creative Head of Network Programming, Head of Independent Production, and Commissioning Editor. Notable commissions include The Corporation, Manufactured Landscapes, and Emmy/Grammy Award winning Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach.

From 1975 to 1993, Buttignol was an independent writer, director and producer of children’s series and documentaries. International honors include the inaugural Doc Mogul Award from the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival and nine Canadian Academy Awards.

In 2015, Buttignol was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, “for his contributions as a champion of Canadian documentary filmmaking and for his transformative leadership at the Knowledge Network.”

In 2017, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Thompson Rivers University.

Colleen Johnston


Colleen Johnston - BBA 82
Special Advisor to the CEO, TD Bank Group

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Colleen Johnston is currently Special Advisor to the CEO, TD Bank Group. Prior to this, she was Group Head Direct Channels, Technology, Marketing and Corporate & Public Affairs. Colleen spent over 10 years as TD’s Group Head Finance, Sourcing and Corporate Communications and Chief Financial Officer.

Johnston began her career in 1982 with Price Waterhouse. She spent 15 years with Scotiabank in various senior positions, including CFO of Scotia Capital. Johnston graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Business Administration, received her Chartered Accountant designation in 1984 and in 2006 was elected a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA), the highest designation conferred by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, recognizing her outstanding career achievements and dedication to community activities.

Johnston was recognized by Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women three years in a row and inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame in 2007. Additional honours include: “Best Chief Financial Officer” in 2009 by Canadian Business magazine, and in 2011, for the third year in a row, one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker. In 2012, Johnston was recognized as Canada’s CFO of the Year.

Johnston is Vice Chair of the newly integrated health network that includes St. Michael’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Providence Healthcare, a member on the Shaw Festival Board of Governors and the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Schulich School of Business. At TD, she is actively involved in promoting diversity in the workplace as a founding member of the bank’s Women in Leadership Committee.

Born in Vancouver, Johnston currently resides in Toronto with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys travelling, reading and an active lifestyle.

J. Mark Lievonen


J. Mark Lievonen - CM BBA 79, MBA 87
Former President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited

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J. Mark Lievonen is the former President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, the Canadian vaccine division of Sanofi, which he joined in 1983. Under his leadership, he guided the company through several significant milestones and initiatives – notably spearheading a cancer vaccine program in 1997 and supporting the key launch of a five-component pertussis vaccine which is still widely used today.

Lievonen has served many industry organizations throughout his career. Currently, he is a Director of Oncolytics Biotech Inc., Quest PharmaTech Inc., the Gairdner Foundation and the Public Policy Forum. He has also been Chair of numerous organizations and the Vice-Chair of Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He was also a founding member and the Vice-Chair of YORKbiotech.

Lievonen is a passionate advocate for public health access, education, and giving back to the community. His roles in this capacity include serving as former Chair of the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, serving on the York University Board of Governors and as a Director of the York University Development Corporation. He is also the founder of the Sanofi Biogenius Canada, a program that has fostered young scientists for more than 20 years.

Among the honours Lievonen has received are the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medallions and Lifetime Achievement Awards from Life Sciences Ontario and the Pharmaceutical Sciences Group. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2015, named a Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Mérite by the government of France in 2007, and was inducted into Canadian Healthcare Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013.

Lievonen holds a BBA in accounting, an MBA in finance and marketing from the Schulich School of Business and in 2015 received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University. He is a Chartered Accountant and was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 2007.

2016 Bryden Awards Recipients

Cheyanne Ratnam


Cheyanne Ratnam - BSW 12, MSW 14
Founder & Project Manager, What’s The Map: Mobilizing Newcomer Homeless Youth Primary Investigator/Researcher, Child Welfare Permanency and Family Project

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Using her extensive knowledge of and experience in the child-welfare system, and her keen interest in human rights issues pertaining to young people from within these systems, Cheyanne Ratnam is making a big name for herself.

Ratnam is harnessing/channeling her own experiences with child sexual abuse, child welfare, homelessness, and mental health stigmas - using resilience and passion to give back to her inter-connected communities in a profound way.
Ratnam currently serves as project manager and founder for the ‘What's The Map?!: Newcomer Youth Leading The Call to Action - Designing a Support System That Works' initiative, and as the founder and primary investigator of the Child Welfare Permanency and Family Project (Study) with a provincial scope. In these roles, she works to affect the educational and successful outcomes of young people and tackle issues such as: the social determinants of health, poverty and equity; permanency and family conceptualization and construction; community engagement, development and mobilization; and, immigration.

In addition, Ratnam has lent her considerable talent to a number of other community organizations. She is the President of Youth In Care Ontario, Ontario’s Representative and the chair of the Education and Research Committee for Youth In Care Canada, and an ambassador and public speaker for the Children's Aid Foundation. Ratnam was also involved in the Hidden in Our Midst Newcomer Homeless Youth Study and has served with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, and the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.

Ratnam has a social service worker diploma from Centennial College, and both a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work degrees form York University.

Jennifer Keesmaat, MES ‘99


Jennifer Keesmaat - MES 99
Chief Planner & Executive Director, City of Toronto

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As chief planner for the City of Toronto, Jennifer Keesmaat is committed to creating places where people flourish. Keesmaat is an advocate for density and walkability, mid-rise development, transportation and waterfront, and has engineered master plans for major cities across the country, including Vancouver, Saskatoon, London and Halifax.

Keesmaat’s planning practice is characterized by an emphasis on collaborations across sectors, and broad engagement with municipal staff, councils, developers, business leaders, NGO's and residents associations. She is the leading voice on city planning in Canada, contributing to major publications such as The Globe & Mail and hosting publicly broadcasted roundtable discussions on Rogers TV.

Keesmaat has been repeatedly recognized by the Canadian Institute of Planners, OPPI, the Design Exchange, + EDRA for her innovative work in Canadian municipalities. Most recently, she was named as one of the most influential people in Toronto by Toronto Life magazine and one of the most powerful people in Canada by Macleans Magazine.

In 2012, Keesmaat debuted her first TED talk, ‘Walk to School’, and in 2013, she delivered her second, ‘Own Your City’. She is also the founder of Project Walk, which premiered its first short film in 2011, as an official selection at the TIFF. Keesmaat is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and has a MES from York University.

Dr. Catherine Zahn


Dr. Catherine Zahn - BSc 74
President & CEO, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

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Catherine Zahn is a champion for the integration of psychiatry and neuroscience, and is working to steer mental health care into the mainstream of healthcare. In 2009, she was appointed president and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s leading mental health hospital and largest academic health science centre focused on mental illness. For 12 years prior, she held senior executive positions at the University Health Network (UHN).

At CAMH, Zahn has led the transformation of the campus into a modern and respectful hospital facility and has contributed to its reputation for diversity employment, admired corporate culture and healthcare workplace quality.
Zahn has made numerous contributions to health care in Ontario through her leadership in hospital integration, technology assessment, chronic disease management, stroke care coordination, health innovation and mental health care system improvement. She often speaks publicly on mental health issues and makes extensive use of social media to raise awareness and promote equitable health care access.

Zahn is a professor at U of T’s Faculty of Medicine and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She received a BSc from York University, and an MD and MSc in Health Administration from the University of Toronto. Recent honours include the Order of Canada and recognition as one of Canada’s 25 most influential women by Women of Influence Inc.

Bill Graham


Bill Graham - MBA 86
Chair of the National Board, Canadian Automobile Association Executive-in-Residence, Schulich School of Business, York University

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Bill Graham is a renowned business leader with more than 40 years’ experience across the automotive, technological, investment and financial services industries. He currently serves as Chair of the national board of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), representing their more than 6.2 million members across Canada.

Graham also has a long history of supporting education and future generations of business leaders at York University’s Schulich School of Business. He serves as an executive-in-residence for the International MBA Program, is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and is the president of the Schulich Global Alumni Network. Graham also served on the board of the York University Alumni Association.

Previously, Graham was the founding President and CEO of Proponix Inc. (now part of CGI), a global technology and process outsourcing company, a role he entered after a significant career at Citibank N.A., where he served in various senior executive positions in Canada and Asia.

Graham holds an MBA (with distinction) in international finance and business from the Schulich School of Business and a BSc in mechanical engineering from Queen's University.

2015 Bryden Awards Recipients

Michael Prosserman


Michael Prosserman - BAS 08
UNITY Charity Founder & Executive Director

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By the time Michael Prosserman, aka “Bboy Piecez”, was three years old, he was already standing on his head while watching Saturday morning cartoons. By high school, he was accepted into Cirque Du Soleil, featured in the major motion pictureHoney and travelled the world as one of Canada’s top break-dancers, winning more than 22 international competitions. Prosserman accomplished all this while overcoming a chronic neck condition and taking care of his mother suffering with a serious mental illness.

Prosserman is the founder and executive director of UNITY Charity, an organization spawned out of his own personal story of expressing stress. Today, UNITY reaches over 60,000 youth each year across Canada, empowering them to become positive and influential leaders in priority communities using hip-hop as a vehicle for change. He currently runs and participates in a number of keynotes and workshops, having shared his story with more than 100 audiences of all ages in places like Canada, Italy, Asia, the Arctic and beyond.

Recognized with a number of prestigious youth and community awards, Prosserman’s story has been featured in over 50 major media outlets including Maclean’s, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC, City TV news, Global TV news, Much Music and MTV.

Gail McVey


Gail McVey - BA ’85, MA ’89, PhD ’95
Psychologist and Health Systems Research Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children Director, Ontario Community Outreach Program for Eating Disorders Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

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As Canada’s foremost eating disorder prevention researcher, Gail McVey is an internationally recognized expert in prevention science and its application to mental health interventions at all stages of life.

McVey is a psychologist and health systems research scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children, with an appointment as a senior associate scientist with the Research Institute. She is director of the Ontario Community Outreach Program for Eating Disorders, a community-based clinical training program in evidence-based treatment and prevention of eating disorders, where she led the development of a first-of-its-kind provincial network of specialized eating disorder service providers. She also serves as associate professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

McVey has carried out a 17-year program of community-based intervention research and published longitudinal studies on the prevention of eating disorders, linking her findings to public health practice and policy. Her program of research, supported by a Mid-Career Personnel Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and an Ontario Mental Health Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship earned McVey the Paul Christie Memorial Prize in recognition of outstanding research carried out in the field of mental health. Throughout the cycle of intervention research, attention is given to program development, community capacity building and partnership development as well as implementation and knowledge translation planning. McVey’s expertise has allowed her the opportunity to advise provincial resource centres, governments and provincial health authorities across Canada on matters related to mental health promotion and school-based mental health intervention research. McVey also provides expert input to public health practitioners, health educators, service providers, community-based coalitions and government on curriculum, program and policy development related to mental health, body image, eating disorders, healthy eating and healthy living.

McVey is the recipient of the US National Eating Disorders Association’s Lori Irving Award for Excellence in Eating Disorders Prevention and Awareness and has been distinguished as fellow by the International Academy of Eating Disorders in recognition of her distinguished contributions in research-based scholarship, clinical practice and advocacy. McVey’s leadership and expertise in the area of eating disorders has been formally recognized by the Ontario Government – including the Ontario Premier’s Office and the Ontario Ministry of Long Term Care and by her clinician colleagues who work within the provincial network of specialized eating disorder services.

Bruce Lourie


Bruce Lourie - MES ’87
President, Ivey Foundation

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For nearly 20 years, Bruce Lourie has set himself apart as one of Canada’s pioneering leaders in the environmental sector, collaborating with businesses, NGOs and governments to solve issues relating to green energy, conservation, philanthropy and environmental hazards.

Lourie is president of the Ivey Foundation, a private charitable foundation in Canada, and a director of the Independent Electricity System Operator. He is also director of Philanthropic Foundations Canada and Canadians for Clean Prosperity. Lourie founded a number of for-profit and non-profit organizations including The Summerhill Group, the Sustainability Network and the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network.

Committed to connecting environmental issues to human health, Lourie initiated the campaign to shutdown coal-fired power plants in Ontario—the single largest climate action in North America. He also helped convene the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, one of the world’s largest conservation initiatives.

Lourie co-authored two best-selling books, including the internationally acclaimed Slow Death by Rubber Duck, and has been recognized as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of Canada and an honorary director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

Douglas Bergeron


Douglas Bergeron - BA ’83, Hon. LLD 13
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Opus Global

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Doug Bergeron is a 25-year veteran of the financial technology industry, currently serving as founder and CEO of Opus Global and executive chairman of Hiperos.

In 2001, he led the acquisition of VeriFone from Hewlett-Packard in a transaction valued at $50 million. In 2002, Bergeron partnered with GTCR and embarked upon a strategy to aggressively grow VeriFone into a multinational company, operating in more than 100 countries with an enterprise value of more than $5 billion.

Bergeron is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a five-time delegate to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and has been a frequent guest on CNBC and Fox Business.

A longtime supporter of York, Bergeron, along with his wife Sandra, recently made a record-breaking $10-million gift to the University. The donation was the largest ever to the University by an alumnus. In recognition of this exceptional and continued support from the Bergeron family, the recently completed Lassonde School of Engineering’s new home has been named the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence.

In 2013, Bergeron was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws (LLD) from York.

2014 Bryden Awards Recipients

Irvin Studin


Irvin Studin - BBA 99, PhD ’11
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Global Brief; President, Institute for 21st Century Questions

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In fewer than 15 years, Irvin Studin has distinguished himself as an author, lecturer and one of Canada’s foremost experts on foreign policy and national security. He is editor-in-chief and publisher of Global Brief magazine and president of the Institute for 21st Century Questions, a vision and strategy think tank launching this fall.

Between 2009 and 2014, Studin served as program director, Masters of Public Policy program, and as an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance. He is the co-founder of Ukraine’s Higher School of Public Administration and a professor at Russia's Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Studin has worked in the Privy Council Office in Ottawa, and Australia’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra. The first recruit of the Canadian government’s Recruitment of Policy Leaders program, Studin co-authored Canada’s 2004 national security policy and principal-authored Australia’s 2006 policy on national counter-terrorism.

Studin holds degrees from the Schulich School of Business, the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship. His PhD is from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he was a Trudeau Scholar and earned the Governor-General’s Gold Medal. An all-Canadian athlete, Studin was inducted into York University's Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 for his achievements in soccer, including his role as captain of the varsity team during his time at York.

Kofi N. Barnes


Kofi N. Barnes - LLB 91
Judge, Ontario Superior Court of Justice

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First appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2004, and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 2013, the Honourable Mr. Justice Kofi N. Barnes is known as a pioneer and innovator in jurisprudence and champion of social justice. Barnes came to Canada from Ghana and attended Trent University before enrolling at the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.

Admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1993, Barnes is a renowned expert in the area of therapeutic jurisprudence. He is founder of the Metro West Community Restoration Court, Durham Mental Health and Drug Treatment Court and Canada's first Drug Treatment Court. As founding president of the not-for-profit organization Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals and president of the International Association of Drug Treatment Courts, Barnes has provided international training sessions under the sponsorship of the UN and the Organization of American States.

Barnes is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Commemorative medal, Trent University Distinguished Alumni Award and the African-Canadian Achievement Awards for Excellence in Law.

Sonia Cianfarani


Sonia Cianfarani - BA 96
Recruitment Officer, York University

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Sonia Cianfarani has been an integral member of the York University community for more than 16 years. After completing her BA in sociology in 1996, Sonia joined the Admissions Office as a full-time employee, building on her time in that department as a work-study student. Five years later, she transitioned to the Recruitment Office where she took on the important role of student recruitment officer.

Dedicated to her work and passionate about the mission of the University, Sonia provides support to a diverse range of people, including mature, high-school and transfer students, helping them successfully navigate their educational journeys at York. She guides and encourages involvement in customized student support programs such as Fall Campus Day, Spring Open House and fast-track recruitment events. An active member on four college committees, Sonia serves as an invaluable resource for expert and practical advice on improving enrolment and associated programs. She also shares her knowledge and enthusiasm as an annual lead presenter at the Ontario Universities Fair, Canada’s largest high school-targeted event promoting university education.

Samuel Schwartz


Samuel Schwartz - MA ’69, LLB 72
Managing Partner (Toronto Office), Davis LLP

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Over a remarkable 40-year career, Samuel Schwartz’s guiding principle has been a commitment to his community with a focus on giving back in the areas of education, health care and community empowerment.

A tireless York ambassador, Schwartz became a member of the University’s Board of Governors in 2002. During his 12-year board tenure, he served as a member of the Senate and as chair of York’s Academic Resources Committee, directing board oversight in the creation of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, he was named an honorary governor of the board this past June. Schwartz’s other volunteer contributions include Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation board member and Canadian Cancer Society national campaign cabinet member.

A corporate lawyer specializing in financing and intellectual property, Schwartz’s professional career has included building boutique law practices as well as holding senior leadership positions in regional and national law firms. He is currently managing partner at the Toronto office of Davis LLP.

Nigel Lockyer


Nigel Lockyer - BSc 75
Director, Fermilab

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For more than 30 years, Nigel Lockyer has enjoyed a successful career in the field of high-energy particle physics. A graduate of York University’s Physics and Astronomy department, he is widely recognized as one of the world’s preeminent experimental particle physicists.

In 2013, Lockyer began his tenure as director of the internationally renowned Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Prior to this appointment, Lockyer spent more than two decades as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where his research focused on high‐energy particle physics and the application of its technologies to medicine. In 2005, Lockyer became the director of TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for nuclear and particle physics, where his leadership took the lab to the forefront of nuclear physics on an international scale.

Lockyer holds a BSc from York University, a PhD in physics from The Ohio State University, is a fellow of the American Physical Society and received the 2006 Panofsky Prize for his leading research on the bottom quark.

2013 Bryden Awards Recipients

Karen D. Foss


Karen D. Foss - BA ’01
Canadian Foreign Service Officer, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Carolyn Acker


Carolyn Acker - BAS ’87
Founder, Pathways Canada

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Carolyn Acker began her career in the nursing and health-care industry, working her way up the ranks of executive leadership through a combination of education, practical experience and a desire to give back.

In 2001, Acker founded Pathways to Education Canada to help youth in low-income communities graduate from high school and successfully transition into postsecondary education. She used the experience she gained from serving Toronto’s disadvantaged to drive her entrepreneurial spirit. As a result, Pathways is now serving more than 5,000 students and alumni in 13 communities across Canada and helping to successfully decrease high school dropout rates.

Today, Acker is bringing her expertise, passion and decades-long reputation for social improvement to other worthy causes as a management consultant in innovative social impact solutions.

Dave Smith


Dave Smith - BSc ’70, MBA ’72
Director, Management Information, York University (retired)

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Dave Smith has contributed to York’s growing infrastructure for more than 45 years. As a student, he excelled in athletics, competing as a varsity runner and winning five provincial and two national cross-country titles. As an employee, he worked as York’s sports seminars coordinator and later became the University’s director of management information.

As a volunteer at York, Smith shared his passion and competitive spirit with the students. He was the University’s cross-country coach and head coach of the track and field team. He created the York Open, an indoor track meet that has been held for 42 years, and co-directed the annual Corporate Challenge Indoor Track and Field Meet, which raises scholarship funds for York students. In 1980, Smith was one of the first athletes inducted into the York University Sports Hall of Fame. He is retired and living in Aurora with his wife, Donna.

Guy Burry


Guy Burry - BA ’82
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, WhiteHat Inc. Owner, Tenth Power Group

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As York’s ultimate ambassador for the last 30 years, Guy Burry has contributed to the University as a tireless volunteer, a passionate fundraiser and a philanthropist.

A driving force behind the Kenaidan-York University Lions Cup (formerly Chair’s Cup) Golf Tournament since its inception, Burry helped York raise more than $5 million for graduate scholarships. Along with his family, Burry’s prolific support over several decades has impacted students and researchers in dozens of programs and areas across the University. He has made exceptional contributions to the development of York’s vision, bringing with him professional expertise from the financial services, software development, manufacturing and environmentally compatible technology sectors.

From 2004 to 2012, Burry served as Chair of the York University Alumni Association. He currently divides his time among his duties as a member of the York University Board of Governors and several corporate boards.

Janice Fukakusa


Janice Fukakusa - MBA ’79
Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Royal Bank of Canada

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For nearly 30 years, Janice Fukakusa has broken down barriers for women in business by making a name for herself in the financial and non-profit sectors. Today, she is one of only eight executives responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of the Royal Bank of Canada.

As a chartered professional accountant and business valuator, Fukakusa was named a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. She serves on a number of professional and charitable organizations, including Wellspring Cancer Support, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Ryerson University and the Schulich School of Business. In 2007, Fukakusa was inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame. In 2013, she was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker Magazine.

2012 Bryden Awards Recipients

Chris Penrose


Chris Penrose - BA ’04

Nina Arsenault


Nina Arsenault - BFA ’96, MFA ’00
Interdisciplinary Artist

A graduate who has demonstrated leadership and successes that are innovative, unconventional and daring.

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Nina Arsenault is Canada’s most celebrated transsexual. As a multidisciplinary artist, she has honestly and unapologetically documented her physical transformation through live performance, photography, film and print.

She has been at the centre of numerous artistic pieces, including The Silicone Diaries, which revealed her sex work, endless surgeries and redefinition of what a woman can be, and I Was Barbie, her true story about playing the famous doll at a Toronto gala celebrating Barbie’s 50th birthday.

A frequent speaker on gender, sexuality, the fine arts and the rights and dignity of transgender people, Arsenault has been tearing down the walls of our culturally constructed notions of sex and gender through her vulnerable, complex and deeply personal accounts of her own life.

In 2007, she received the Unstoppable Award from Pride Toronto for her transformative contribution to Canadian’s understanding of sex and gender.

Marc Wilchesky


Marc Wilchesky - PhD ’80
Executive Director, Counselling & Disability Services, York University

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Marc Wilchesky is one of Canada’s foremost experts on supporting students who have learning, mental health and physical disabilities. Since joining York in 1985, he has played a pivotal role in the success of thousands of students. His commitment, skills and creativity have helped establish York as the destination of choice for students with disabilities.

Currently the executive director of the Counselling & Disability Services at York, Wilchesky created Ontario’s first university transition program for students with disabilities. He is collaborating with the Ontario Council of Universities to develop an Education Accessibility Resource Kit for all postsecondary faculty.

John S. Hunkin


John S. Hunkin - MBA ’69, LLD ’04
Former Chairman, President and CEO, CIBC

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John Hunkin has played a significant role in shaping today’s York. He is a longtime member of the York University Board of Governors, the Schulich School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council and the York University Foundation Board. He is one of only a few people ever to serve in all three of these capacities.

Hunkin’s exceptional leadership and vision have won him universal respect. With his wife, Susan Crocker, he has contributed generously to student aid, the Faculty of Fine Arts and Schulich School of Business, demonstrating his determination to advance student excellence at York.

In addition to his long-standing commitment to the University, Hunkin’s remarkable involvement with several other organizations have included the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Kathleen Taylor


Kathleen Taylor - JD/MBA ’84
President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

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Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, Kathleen Taylor, president and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, embodies the qualities of a true global leader. Her impressive rise from corporate counsel to head of one of the best-known luxury hospitality companies in the world exemplifies the benefits of her York education.

The first CEO after Four Seasons’ founder, Taylor has restructured the executive leadership team and created the industry’s first executive-level position dedicated entirely to innovation and product development. She is also an active contributor to her community, volunteering for the Toronto United Way and Hospital for Sick Children Foundation.

2011 Bryden Awards Recipients

Irene Sankoff and David Hein


Irene Sankoff / David Hein - BA ’99 / BFA ’97

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Irene Sankoff and David Hein have been a driving force behind the theatre and music scenes in North America. After spending their dues-paying years in Toronto and New York, the husband-and-wife team burst onto the Toronto theatre scene with their extraordinary hit musical My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, which the couple wrote, produced and starred in.

Based on the true story of Hein’s mother, Wedding has seen tremendous success in Toronto and New York and is being licensed across North America.

Eric Robert Walters


Eric Robert Walters - (BA ’79, BSW ’82, MSW 86)

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Eric Walters is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling novels for children and young adults. He began writing to entice his Grade 5 students into becoming more interested in reading and writing. Since then, his novels have won numerous awards and received honours from the Canadian Library Association Book Awards and UNESCO’s international award for Literature in Service of Tolerance.

Walters’ charitable work is equally impressive. He has poured his talent and passion into a wide variety of causes, including boys’ literacy, the Terry Fox Foundation, Uganda Guluwalk, Free the Children and his own project, the Creation of Hope, which he established after witnessing the shocking poverty of children living in the mountains near Nairobi.

Sheila Forshaw


Sheila Forshaw - BSc ’83

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One of the best women’s field hockey players Canada has ever produced, Sheila Forshaw is a fixture in the halls of York’s Tait McKenzie Centre. She is equally well known across the campus as a dedicated participant in numerous committees and activities.

As a decorated student athlete, Forshaw led the Yeowomen to two provincial golds and two national silvers in field hockey. She was twice named York’s female athlete of the year. Returning to campus in 1995 to lead York’s interuniversity athletics program, Forshaw has continued to champion for Canadian athletics through her tireless leadership at Sport York and on national committees.

Gregory Cooper


Gregory Cooper - LLB ’69

Clayton Ruby


Clayton Ruby - BA ’63

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A member of York’s first graduating class, Clayton Ruby’s passion for social justice has made him one of Canada’s leading defence lawyers. His remarkable legal career has often placed him in the public spotlight. He represented both Donald Marshall Jr. and Guy Paul Morin, two of this country’s best-known victims of wrongful conviction. He also negotiated a settlement for the surviving Dionne quintuplets.

Equally passionate as a defender of freedom of expression and environmentalism, Ruby epitomizes York’s ideal of enlightened, active engagement with the world in which we live.

2010 Bryden Awards Recipients

Galit Solomon


Galit Solomon - BA ’00

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Galit Solomon, an award-winning TV reporter, has earned the deep respect of her colleagues and local acclaim early in her career. Off screen, her drive and passion shine equally. She has made a massive impact on the lives of thousands of people in York Region through her volunteer work to raise awareness of sexual violence.

A woman of immense grace, dedication and talent, Solomon continues to make waves through her journalistic achievements and touch hearts through her community activism.

Hana Zalzal


Hana Zalzal - MBA ’92

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Hana Zalzal knows what it takes to become a major player in one of the most impenetrable markets in the world. She’s been there and done that with her cosmetics company Cargo.

Zalzal’s decision to train in both engineering and business may be the magic ingredients behind her success. Through innovation and true marketing savvy, she transformed the tiny business she started shortly after graduating from the Schulich School of Business into a multimillion-dollar company. Her products have become makeup-bag staples touted by Hollywood royalties.

Harriet Lewis


Harriet Lewis - BA ’69, MA ’71

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Harriet Lewis, the university secretary and general counsel at York, has played a major role in the University’s growth over the years. She has guided nearly every arm of the University. Her legacy resides in the literature prizes she has established, the lasting impact she’s made on successive York University Board of Governors and Senate Chairs, and the hearts of countless students she has inspired as a guest lecturer.

The effects of her mentorship trickle down almost as deeply as her personal devotion to the community. They are evident in the annual reception she hosts for York’s female leaders, the many committees she sits on and the career she has dedicated to her alma mater.

James Love


James Love - LLB ’73, LLM ’86

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The vibrancy and richness of York’s biodiversity and conservation research can be attributed to the multifaceted contributions of one person: James Love.

A highly respected and accomplished lawyer by trade, Love has been a committed, enthusiastic ambassador and volunteer with York for years. He is the top supporter of various York initiatives, including the Wine at the Castle event, an auction that supports Las Nubes, York’s very own rainforest in Costa Rica. He is a member of the York University Foundation Board and Chair of the Fundraising Committee. As a philanthropist, he has persuaded others to make significant donations to York.

Nino Ricci


Nino Ricci - BA ’81

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Nino Ricci’s The Origin of Species, a bestselling novel that won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, began as a master’s thesis at York. Today, the writer’s shelf is lined with literary awards and his name is recognized around the world. Despite his international renown and numerous accolades, Ricci still makes time to reconnect with York.

When he is not writing, Ricci has shared his wisdom as an instructor at many institutions. He even presided over PEN Canada, a decades-old institution championing freedom of expression in writing.

2009 Bryden Awards Recipients

Gretel Reid-Willis


Gretel Reid-Willis - BA/BEd ’01

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Gretel Reid-Willis is an innovative teacher who has energized her colleagues, students and their parents. She works to dispel the intimidating nature of math and explain why it is essential for all of us. She has helped many young students, particularly girls, discover the pleasures and power of math through language, drama, visual arts and real-world investigations.

Reid-Willis makes learning a family affair with innovative outreach programs for parents and students. In 2007, just six years after graduating from York, she was honoured with the Premier’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Literacy and Numeracy.

Paul Jones & Mark Jones


Paul Jones / Mark Jones - BSc Spec. Hons. ’80 / BA ’84

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It’s a long way from York’s basketball team to the NBA, but brothers Paul and Mark Jones have each made their own way to the big game. And their unconventional paths to success have not gone unnoticed.

From studying economics to working as a sports commentator for ESPN and ABC, Mark has turned his experience on the court into his dream job. Not to be outdone, Paul has made his own mark in the world of sports journalism, jumping from a career as a teacher and principal in York Region to reporting for TSN and being the voice of the Raptors on Toronto’s own FAN590.

Robert Drummond


Robert Drummond - BA ’67

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Robert Drummond knows York. He experienced it as one of the first students to walk the halls of Glendon. He helped it flourish as a professor in the Department of Political Science.

Drummond has shaped York both as a union Chair and as Chair of the University Senate. He has led it as an administrator, first as associate dean, then acting dean and finally dean of the former Faculty of Arts. His commitment to students and willingness to act as a York ambassador are just a few of the ways this versatile leader has made his impact.

Marshall Cohen


Marshall Cohen - OC, LLB ’60, LLM ’63, Hon. LLD ’86

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An exemplary leader and volunteer, Marshall Cohen served for 22 years on the York University Board of Governors, providing expertise and guidance to four York presidents. From 2000 to 2009, he took on the key leadership role of board Chair.

Cohen has been a generous supporter of the University, most recently through the newly minted Judith and Marshall Cohen Leadership Award for First Generation Students and the York to the Power of 50 campaign. His enormously successful career in government and private industry, combined with his leadership on many non-profit boards, has demonstrated his commitment to giving back and inspired the whole York community.

Barbara Budd


Barbara Budd - BA ’74

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Barbara Budd is a national treasure. As co-host of As It Happens on CBC Radio One, her charisma and unmistakable voice have entertained and informed listeners here and around the world for more than 15 years.

In addition to her work on the airwaves, Budd has made her mark on the Stratford stage, acting there for five seasons. She has narrated for Discovery and starred alongside Tom Selleck in Three Men and a Baby. Despite a demanding schedule, Budd is a regular face at York events. Over the years, she has inspired hundreds of students to pursue their dreams with her great success, tireless work and can-do attitude.

2008 Bryden Awards Recipients

Frank Cianciulli


Frank Cianciulli - BA ’97

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Frank Cianciulli has been described as a serial entrepreneur, and with good reason. He has founded or co-founded numerous companies, earning himself a place on Canada’s 2007 Top 40 Under 40 list. His organization, Enunciate Conferencing, was deemed by Profit Magazine as one of “Hot 50” Canadian companies in 2004 and 2005. It was also named one of the Top 20 Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada.

Cianciulli was a recipient of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006. He has proven himself to be a tireless innovator with a string of remarkable successes early in his career. He currently sits on the Faculty of Arts Dean’s Advisory Board.

Wendy Craig


Wendy Craig - MA ’89, PhD ’93

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Wendy Craig is a researcher and scholar. She has launched a number of initiatives to translate bullying research into knowledge that can help children around the world.

A psychology professor at Queen’s University and an expert on cyber-bullying for the World Health Organization, Craig co-founded PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network) to stop bullying in Canada. She has drawn international attention to the issue of cyber-bullying by appearing on Canada AM, CTV News, CBC programs, the Oprah Winfrey Show and 20/20.

Paul Axelrod


Paul Axelrod - BA ’72, PhD ’80

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Paul Axelrod’s involvement with York dates back to when he was an active member of the York student community. He wrote for the Excalibur and served as president of the York Federation of Students.

Since graduating from York, Axelrod has taken on many roles at the University over his 40-year career, including political leader, union head, faculty member, senator and dean of York’s Faculty of Education. Under his leadership, the Faculty opened several off-campus teacher-education sites, forged partnerships in Kenya and created a Centre for Research on Education and the Community. Axelrod’s outstanding research into education has earned him a number of prestigious awards and enhanced York’s reputation internationally.

Bill Hatanaka


Bill Hatanaka - BA Hons. ’77

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Bill Hatanaka leads the TD Bank Financial Group integrated wealth management business in North American and the United Kingdom. He is one of York’s most passionate ambassadors and a truly remarkable individual. A former OUA football all-star and CFL Grey Cup champion, he is a mentor to many York students.

Hatanaka joined the York University Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2006. He co-chaired the York to the Power of 50 campaign and played an influential role in TD Bank’s multimillion-dollar support of the University, including the company’s $1-million gift to establish the York University-TD Community Engagement Centre.

2007 Bryden Awards Recipients

Jennifer Corriero


Jennifer Corriero - BA ’03, MES ’06

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Jennifer Corriero 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 more than 200 countries. It is available in 12 languages, receives more than 1.4 million hits every day and has received many awards around the world.

Corriero has worked as a consultant and advisor on youth strategy for organizations such as Microsoft, VanCity and the Ontario Science Centre among others. She 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 received numerous awards for her work and has been featured in the media, including The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Fast Company magazine and ABC News.

Paul Alofs


Paul Alofs - MBA ’83

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Paul Alofs’ life-altering experience came while taking care of his mother, who passed away from breast cancer in 2002. Since then, the former music industry executive has been a key leader in the Canadian non-profit sector.

Currently president and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, Alofs has served as the board Chair of Covenant House. Prior to making his mark in the non-profit sector, Alofs headed up HMV stores, BMG Music, North American Disney stores and the strategic business units of His many awards include Music Industry Executive of the Year, Innovative Retailer of the Year and Canada’s Top 40 under 40.

Charmaine Courtis


Charmaine Courtis - BA Hons. ’77

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As a dedicated York grad, Charmaine Courtis has earned the lasting praise and respect of students, faculty, staff and alumni. Since accepting her first staff position at York in 1972, Courtis has worked her way up to become the executive director of Student Services and International Relations at the Schulich School of Business.

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

Maxwell Gotlieb


Maxwell Gotlieb - BA ’72, LLB ’75, LLM ’97

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Maxwell Gotlieb is a highly respected lawyer with Toronto’s Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP. A member of the York University Foundation Board of Directors, he exceeded all expectations by co-chairing the 2006 Brazilian Ball Carnival Event with his wife, Heather. The event generated $2 million in funding for the Accolade Project and immeasurable recognition for the University and its Faculty of Fine Arts.

In addition to his financial and volunteer contributions, Gotlieb has made significant academic impacts 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. Aside from York, Gotlieb sits on the boards of numerous public, private and charitable organizations, including the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation and the Baycrest Centre Foundation.

Karen Kraft Sloan


Karen Kraft Sloan - (MES ’90)

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Karen Kraft Sloan is a passionate environmentalist whose work has shaped national policy and inspired many Canadians. During her 11-year tenure as a Liberal member of Parliament, she served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment, co-chaired the parliamentary standing committee on environment and sustainable development, and played an important role in the government’s signing of the Kyoto Accord.

Kraft Sloan organized the 1999 and 2000 Eco-Summits that brought scientists, policy experts and parliamentarians together. She was awarded a gold medal in the Sierra Club of Canada 2000 Eco-Olympics. In 2002, she received the Douglas J. Pimlott Award, Canadian Nature Federation’s most prestigious award. Kraft Sloan was appointed Canada’s ambassador for the environment in 2005. More recently, she founded the environmental consulting firm EcoNexus. She is the special advisor to York’s vice-president of research and innovation.

2006 Bryden Awards Recipients

Andrew Craig


Andrew Craig - BFA '93

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Andrew Craig is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer, director, composer, broadcaster and impresario. He works in multiple musical genres and collaborates with artists in other disciplines. He has collaborated with the likes of Molly Johnson, Ashley MacIsaac, Soulpepper Theatre, Djanet Sears and Wynton Marsalis. Craig served as musical director for a tribute to Quincy Jones and performed twice for Nelson Mandela. He was a nominee for Pianist/Keyboardist of the Year at the 2006 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.

Craig is currently the host of CBC Radio's In Performance. He has served on the Toronto Arts Council and is an advisor to York's Faculty of Fine Arts.

Chandra Siddan


Chandra Siddan - BEd '03

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Chandra Siddan is a filmmaker, videographer and the director of the Regent Park Film Festival, which she founded in 2003 with the support and encouragement of her York professors.

Siddan grew up in Bangalore, India, where she completed an MA in English Literature at Bangalore University as well as an MPhil, which she earned after winning a national-level University Grants Commission fellowship. She also studied media at the New School for Social Research in New York City in the early 1990s, where she made her first short film, Moving.

Siddan's films include the short The Gift, which she directed while living in Germany, and the documentary Williamsburg Experiment, which examines the relationship between art, money and value. Her latest work is the documentary Remembrance of Things Present, which investigates her arranged marriage at the age of 12 and the current context of the status of women in India.

Siddan has also taught at the secondary and postsecondary levels in India and worked as a writer and editor for the New York-based weekly, Asia Observer.

John Lennox


John Lennox - BA '67

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John Lennox first joined York as an employee in 1969 and has since made remarkable contributions to York as a faculty member, scholar, academic administrator, advisor and ambassador for the University.

Lennox began his student life at York in 1963, along with his now wife Jane Rooke. He earned an MA from the Université de Sherbrooke in 1969 and returned soon after to join York's Department of English. He took a leave to earn his PhD at the University of New Brunswick in 1976. He is an accomplished specialist in Canadian literature and in 2000, he was the recipient of the Governor General's International Award for Canadian Studies.

During his career, Lennox has held many positions, including founding director of the Robarts Centre and dean of Graduate Studies. Outside of York, he held presidential positions in prominent organizations such as the International Council for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies. He was also academic convenor for the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, held at York in 2006.

Aidan P. Flatley


Aidan P. Flatley - BA '78

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Aidan Flatley is the president and CEO of Kenaidan Contracting Limited, a general contracting company with offices in Canada, the U.S. and Ireland. The former Chair of Ontario General Contractors co-founded the company with fellow York grad Ken Smith in 1973.

Over the years, Flatley’s companies have been involved with many construction projects at York, including the University's Honour Court, Information Centre and the Schulich School of Business.

While a student at York, Flatley played for the University’s varsity hockey team.

Chantal Hébert


Chantal Hébert - BA '76

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Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer with the Toronto Star and guest columnist for Le Devoir. She is a weekly participant on the political panel At Issue on the CBC's The National, and participates in various other television and radio current affairs programs in French and English.

Hébert has been a journalist since 1975. She started her career in Toronto as a reporter for the regional newsroom of Radio-Canada before moving on to radio at Parliament Hill. She served as bureau chief for Le Devoir and La Presse and her columns have appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post and the London Free Press.

Hébert is a senior fellow of Massey College at the University of Toronto. She is a recipient of two Asia-Pacific media fellowships (Malaysia and Japan), the 2005 APEX Public Service Award and the 2006 Hy Solomon Award for Excellence in Journalism and Public Policy.

2005 Bryden Awards Recipients

Farouk Jiwa


Farouk Jiwa - MES '03

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Farouk Jiwa is currently senior manager at CARE Enterprise Partners, a 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.

Jiwa is the recipient of a number of prestigious international awards including: the Equator Initiative Prize at the World Summit on Sustainable Development; 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. Jiwa was also recognized by the Schwab Foundation at the 2005 World Economic Forum in Davos as among the World's Most Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs.

Jiwa also holds an BSc (Honours) in environmental biology from Queen's University.

Debra Lynne Brown


Debra Lynne Brown - BFA Spec. Hons. '78

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Debra Lynne Brown is an internationally renowned choreographer. Serving as principal choreographer at Cirque du Soleil since 1987, Brown’s many credits include Alegria, Slatimbanco, Mystère, and La Nouba. She also served as principal choreographer for The Golden Ass by the Canadian Opera Company, The Ghosts of Versailles by the Metropolitan Opera and many other prominent productions.

Her film credits include Catwoman, Barney’s Great Adventure, Journey of Man and the multidisciplinary film Satie and Suzanne, which won a 1997 Grammy Award. Brown has also worked with Aerosmith, Björk, Celine Dion, and Madonna, choreographing videos, live performances and television specials.

Brown has won eight national awards in gymnastics, having choreographed for individuals and teams across North America. She also created and produced Apogée, a trampoline-based ballet that has appeared at prestigious events and galas throughout North America and Europe.

Steve Dranitsaris


Steve Dranitsaris - BA '73

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Steve Dranitisaris is the senior executive officer in the office of York’s Vice-President Finance and Administration. His remarkable track record with the University spans 30 years 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, Dranitisaris 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, student liaison officer at Stong College and convocation officer. 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 York University Alumni Association and been alumni representative to the University Senate.

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

Helen K. Sinclair


Helen K. Sinclair - BA '73

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Helen Sinclair is the founder and CEO 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, Sinclair 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, Sinclair sits on the boards of 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.

Sinclair holds an MA in economics from the University of Toronto, an honorary doctorate from Acadia University (1993) and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. She was also the 1973 recipient of York’s Murray Ross Award.

Sandie Rinaldo


Sandie Rinaldo - BFA ’73

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Sandie Rinaldo is a Canadian TV journalist who has anchored the weekend CTV National News since 1985. In 2004, she also began co-hosting W5 with veteran news anchor, Lloyd Robertson.

Rinaldo arrived at CTV in 1973, only one week after graduating from York. In 1976, she joined Canada AM as a reporter-at-large and then became the first woman in Canadian history to anchor a daily network newscast when she was promoted to news anchor in 1980.

Rinaldo 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.

2004 Bryden Awards Recipients

Peter W. Currie


Peter W. Currie - BA ’73, MBA ’78

Janet Green Foster


Janet Green Foster - BA ’69, PhD ’76

Timothy R. Price


Timothy R. Price 

Joseph D. Sorbara


Joseph D. Sorbara - LLB '68

2003 Bryden Awards Recipients

David H. Tsubouchi


David H. Tsubouchi - (BA '72, LLB '75)

John Howard Tory


John Howard Tory - (LLB ’78)

Steve T. Mirkopoulos


Steve T. Mirkopoulos

Ivan Fecan


Ivan Fecan - (BA '01)

2001 Bryden Awards Recipients

Dr. William Dimma


Dr. William Dimma - (C.M., O.ONT., MBA '69, LLD '98)

Ernie Eves


Ernie Eves - Q.C., LLB '70

Dr. Steve MacLean


Dr. Steve MacLean - BSc '77, PhD '83, D.Sc '93

Martin & Joan Goldfarb


Martin & Joan Goldfarb - OC

Carol Anne Letheren


Carol Anne Letheren - MBA '77

2000 Bryden Awards Recipients

Margot Franssen


Margot Franssen - BA '79

Honourable David Collenette


Honourable David Collenette - BA '69

Seymour Schulich


Seymour Schulich - OC

John Bankes


John Bankes - LLB/MBA '77