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Celebration of Distinguished Services

Celebration of Distinguished Services ceremony

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2020 Distinguished Service Awards. Due to our current circumstances, we were unable to host our annual in-person ceremony this past summer. We look forward to gathering as a community when we are able to do so safely.

To all honourees, on behalf of the entire UTSC community, please accept our best wishes, gratitude and appreciation for the excellence and leadership which you demonstrate every day.


Principal's Awards

The Accomplished Service Excellence Award recognizes employees in managerial roles who have demonstrated exceptional leadership competencies, resulting in continuing high quality outcomes in their areas of responsibility that make a measurable, demonstrable impact beyond their particular units. 


Tina DoyleTina Doyle
Director, AccessAbility Services

Tina has done exceptional work as an advocate for creating an accessible learning environment through inclusive design with an equity mind-set. Tina’s commitment to disability is unwavering, she is a core collaborator with campus partners in several initiatives in relation to accessibility and learning supports to improve and enhance student experiences. During Tina’s 21 years here at UTSC, her contributions are not limited to just our campus. Tina engages at a tri-campus level with her leadership on accessibility initiatives, and beyond the U of T community as a recognized leader in Ontario on disability issues. Congratulations Tina!


An emerging leader demonstrates capacity and core competencies that mobilizes their team to embrace a shared vision and to enhance quality of services they provide in support of the University’s mission and UTSC’s strategic plan of inclusive excellence. The individual’s actions should make a measurable, demonstrable impact within UTSC and/or the broader University community.


Adon IraniAdon Irani
Manager, Educational Innovation & Academic Initiatives Centre for Teaching and Learning

A key contributor in remote teaching and learning across the campus, Adon has provided guidance and commitment to supporting faculty and students through the implementation of innovative technological solutions at the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Adon continues to look for growth and partnership strategies to further his department’s mission through special projects and initiatives with units across the University to remove silos and facilitate progress. Beyond Adon’s role, he is a leader who has built strong relationships with his CTL colleagues and inspired them to think broadly and collaboratively. Congratulations Adon!


Jennifer DaviesJennifer Davies
Manager, Career Development, Academic Advising & Career Centre

Jennifer’s extraordinary work and dedication to championing equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives for racialized students are one of the few contributions that highlight her role as an emerging leader. Partnering together with academic areas and external agencies, Jen has developed and supported study programming, such as ACCESS, to help students explore career planning and development. Beyond Jen’s role she is actively engaged in the Rose Patten Mentorship Program to develop herself, and she is known for developing her team capacity in the online environment and for inspiring her team. Congratulations Jen!

The Inclusive Excellence Service Award, previously known as the Leadership in Service Excellence Award, recognizes staff members who have demonstrated consistent commitment to supporting the vision and values of the campus through their individual dedication to duty and the quality of service that they provide to the UTSC community, thereby enabling faculty, staff and/or students to experience an excellent, inclusive, healthy working and learning environment.


Denise LopesDenise Lopes
Records & Convocation Assistant, Convocation, Records and Examinations

As a member of the UTSC community for over 17 years now, Denise has motivated and inspired others through her dedication to voicing systems change with an eye for equity and efficiency. Denise plays an integral role in the Convocation & Student Records team with her commitment for student success. Additionally, Denise has been a tremendous source of support and strength to colleagues across the campus as a founding member of Connections & Conversations, a tri-campus affinity group for racialized and Indigenous U of T employees and their supporters. Congratulations Denise!


Manjot Bining
Student Experience Coordinator, Department of Management

During Manjot’s time in the Department of Management, her work has touched a broad spectrum of equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, such as her involvement with mental health, racialized communities, and women in leadership. Manjot is often the first supporter and ambassador for students’ ideas and campaigns and has continuously strived to enrich the experiences for over 2400 students in the Management program. Her work has succeeded in placing UTSC as a positive partner beyond the university community. Congratulations Manjot!

The D.R. Campbell Merit Award was established by the Students’ Council in order to provide recognition for individuals who make a significant contribution to the improvement of the quality of life at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC).


Aaheli MukherjeeAaheli Mukherjee
Transitional Year Programme Administrator, Academic Advising & Career Centre

Aaheli's involvement in a breadth of initiatives on campus set her apart. Through her involvement in a variety of student clubs and work with student services she has been able to positively impact a significant portion of the student population. Aaheli's work on converting the Get Started program to an online format is a demonstration of the wide reach of her work. Aaheli's contributions are highly collaborative and inclusive; she is involved in raising mental health awareness on campus; she supports international students, students registered with Accessability as well as students living in residence all while maintaining a strong academic average. Congratulations Aaheli!


Each year, the Patrick Phillips Award for Staff Service is awarded to a deserving staff member in recognition of selfless duty and dedicated service to the University of Toronto Scarborough. The Award is given annually on the advice of a Selection Committee made up of various campus constituencies including faculty, staff and students.


Doug LauzonDoug Lauzon
Assistant Director, Engineering and Physical Plant, Facilities Management

Doug goes above and beyond each day, often working long hours and even while on vacation to ensure campus operations are smooth. His readiness and efficacy in responding to challenges facing the campus is clear (for example, resolving the loss of cooling capacity during a heat wave in Toronto). His colleagues appreciate his quiet leadership, his high level of professionalism and courteous manner. Doug is a team player; he seems to regularly deal with issues that are not his direct responsibility but he is always willing to step in and offer his expertise. Doug is forward thinking to avoid issues down the line and is very skilled at problem solving. Congratulation Doug!


Research Awards

This award recognizes and encourages the research activities and achievements of tenured professorial faculty members within two years post-tenure granted at UTSC.


Nicole KlenkNicole Klenk
Associate Professor, Physical and Environmental Sciences/Political Science

Prof. Klenk is an environmental governance scholar with a research program focused on the relationship between science, society, and policy-making. She has made significant scholarly contributions to vital and complex issues facing the forest sector of Canada; community-led climate change adaptation; participatory landscape-scale model of natural resource management involving Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders; carbon neutrality expressed through urban buildings and energy systems.


This award recognizes outstanding and innovative world class researchers whose accomplishments have made a major impact in their fields.


Marc CadotteMarc Cadotte
Professor, Biological Sciences

Prof. Cadotte’s research focuses on basic questions about species coexistence, evolution, and how multi-species interactions shape ecological communities. He is a highly recognizable researcher in the field who has made substantial contributions to understanding the role of evolutionary history. He has significantly advanced our understanding of the maintenance of biodiversity and strengthened our ability to measure ecosystem functioning and predict biological invasion.


This award is the premier UTSC research award for all tenured faculty who have compiled a distinguished record of nationally and internationally recognized, impactful research and scholarly activity, achieving pre-eminence in their field.


Ken HowardKen Howard
Professor, Physical and Environmental Sciences

Professor Howard is a leading hydrogeologist and has an impressive and distinguished internationally recognized scholarly record which spans over 45 years. In addition to this sustained and impactful research enterprise, he has demonstrated unsurpassed leadership through professional activities to society. Groundwater is fundamental to life on this planet and his achievements have positively impacted the university and the broader global community.


This award recognizes and encourages the outstanding research activities and achievements of early career faculty at the University of Toronto Scarborough.


David NieborgDavid Nieborg
Faculty, Arts, Culture and Media

Dr. Nieborg is a leading voice in the emerging field of “platform studies”. He investigates the cultural and economic power of media platforms owned by companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple to name a few. This original work requires significant interdisciplinary and international collaboration, which is a hallmark of his scholarship. His first book will be published by the end of 2020.


Emine ElciogluEmine Elcioglu
Faculty, Sociology

Prof. Fidan-Elcioglu is a powerful new ethnographic voice contributing to scholarship on immigration politics. Her research takes on charged social questions and speaks to broader public debates around immigration and politics. She is a highly productive scholar, publishing in the highest ranked academic presses and journals in sociology, she recently published a book Divided by the Wall: Progressive and Conservative Immigration Politics at the U.S. - Mexico Border (2020, University of California Press).


Hilary BrownHilary Brown
Faculty, Health and Society

Dr. Brown’s impactful research program examines health across the reproductive life course, with a focus on women with disabilities. Excellence in her ongoing research activities is reflected through the significant community engagement in her work, its clinical impact, and the attention it has garnered internationally, from experts in her field and the media. Dr. Brown is currently a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Disability & Reproductive Health (2019-2024).

This prize is supported by the Library and the VPRI office to recognize the research and creative activities of undergraduates and their overall contribution to UTSC, and illustrate the role of the library in the research process.


Ali JaveedAli Javeed

Ali Javeed is an undergraduate researcher, and independent photojournalist based in Scarborough. His research explores the fundamental needs to do good and feel good, and how they may be harnessed to better understand conflict, promote social action, and bring people together. Outside of the lab, he explores these concepts through his camera lens in political actions across the city. Ali is also the recipient of the University of Toronto Excellence Award, and a finalist at the 2020 Undergraduate Research Forum.


Angela Zavaleta BernuyAngela Zavaleta Bernuy
Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Angela’s research focus is in human-computer interaction (HCI) and computer science education. Her current project focuses on interventions to help students with planning ahead and time management, in order to motivate them to stay on track when learning online and mitigate procrastination. Angela has presented a previous paper at one of the most prestigious international conferences on computer science education in the world.


Sylvie StojanovskiSylvie Stojanovski
Arts, Culture and Media

Sylvie Stojanovski is a Scarborough-based, emerging multidisciplinary artist, creative facilitator, and project manager, with a passion for community art-making. She believes that art has the power to heal, connect people across differences and create social change. Her personal creative body of work is largely pattern-based, and created through an intuitive process of mark-making. Sylvie has worked with a wide range of community arts organizations, including: ARTSIDEOUT, Scarborough Arts, and VIBE Arts.

This prize is supported by the Library and the VPRI office to recognize the research and creative activities of undergraduates and their overall contribution to UTSC, and illustrate the role of the library in the research process.


Natashya FalconeNatashya Falcone
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences
Doctoral Level

Natashya Falcone is a PhD candidate in Professor Kraatz’ group working on developing novel biomaterials for various biomedical and environmental engineering applications. Specifically, she synthesized peptide conjugates that form tuneable hydrogel materials and explores their applicability as an enzyme entrapment matrix, as an extracellular matrix mimic for tissue regeneration, and as a delivery vehicle for the controlled release of antimicrobial agents.


Yi-Ting Jeff ChenYi-Ting Jeff Chen
Department of Cell and Systems Biology
Master's Level

Yi-Ting Jeff Chen is a Master of Science student in Professor Eliana Gonzales-Vigil’s research group. Plant surface waxes are hydrophobic compounds which protect plants from a variety of environmental stressors including drought, disease, and herbivory. Jeff’s research is focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of how enzymes synthesize these compounds, in addition to studying how wax biosynthetic enzymes from plants can be co-opted for the biotechnological production of useful chemicals in microalgae.

Teaching Awards

The University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) Teaching Award was established by UTSC Council, the UTSC Alumni Association, and the UTSC Scarborough College Students' Union (SCSU) to recognize excellence in teaching.


Ahmed AllahwalaAhmed Allahwala
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Human Geography

Ahmed Allahwala is an outstanding educator who has made significant contributions to teaching and learning at UTSC and beyond. His courses have explicit learning outcomes, include effective learning activities and assessments, and provide a supportive learning environment and top-notch experiences for students. Allahwala has engaged in curriculum reviews and development in his roles as Dean’s Special Advisor on Experiential Learning, Associate Chair of Human Geography and Program Supervisor of City Studies. He has contributed to community engaged learning through many partnerships and has been a regular presenter and participant in CTL programming.

Click here to read The Centre for Teaching and Learning's profile of Ahmed Allahwala.

This award is intended for UTSC Assistant Professors (Teaching stream, Tenure stream and contractually limited term appointments) and part time Lecturers who already have taught at least two years at the time of their nomination for the award.


Heidi DaxbergerHeidi Daxberger
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream,
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences

Heidi Daxberger has offered students many experiential education opportunities and has been the recipient of many teaching grants. Her teaching philosophy is founded upon the following pillars: engagement and interaction through technology; excitement and motivation to learn; approachability and accessibility; the interface of research and teaching; and the interconnection of transferable skills and teaching. Her teaching record amply demonstrates her aptitude to enhance student learning through the development of mentoring programs. She has integrated virtual field trips and online 3D visualization tools of geologic sites and Google maps to provide students hands-on learning virtually in light of the COVID situation and cancellation of labs and field trips.


Jason BrownJason Brown
Lecturer, Teaching Stream, Department of Biological Sciences

Jason Brown is a transformational educator and pedagogue who encourages his students to learn to their maximum potential. His assessments and creative assignments foster critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills. He has made numerous contributions to the mentoring of junior faculty, orienting them with educational technology and promoting evidence-based teaching practices.


Suzanne Sicchia
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Interdisciplinary Centre for Health & Society
(promoted to Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, July 2020)

Suzanne Sicchia is an exemplary teacher and educator who provides rich experiential learning and hands-on opportunities for students. She displays a deep commitment to a reflexive, empathetic and critical teaching practice. She is a mentor to colleagues, fostering success and growth of other educators in the university. Her courses are built on explicit learning outcomes and effective learning activities and assessments. Especially notable are 1) Case Study competitions from flipped classrooms, and 2) grant-funded community-engaged learning initiatives. Her teaching philosophy is focused on the use of participatory course planning and instructional scaffolding to address barriers to learning and create more equitable classrooms.

Click here to read The Centre for Teaching and Learning's profile of Suzanne Sicchia.

This award has been established for CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Course Instructors and Unit 3 Sessional Lecturers with experience at UTSC.


Stuart W. LivingstoneStuart W. Livingstone
Lecturer, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences

Stuart Livingstone is a superlative educator who consistently receives rave reviews about his teaching style, his mentoring abilities, and his infectious enthusiasm about his subject area. His teaching philosophy is indicative of a reflective teaching practice, where evaluations are viewed as a means to obtain input from students and then used to improve the course. He encourages active learning and his ability to design and deliver first-rate courses is truly exceptional. His awareness of structural systemic barriers in a STEM disciplines has led him to develop an inclusive teaching statement, which he puts into practice in his classes.


This award has been established for CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Course Instructors and Unit 3 Sessional Lecturers with experience at UTSC.


Igor ShoikhedbrodIgor Shoikhedbrod
Course Instructor, Department of Political Science

Igor Shoikhedbrod is an exceptional instructor who continually seeks to improve his teaching practice. Students describe him as passionate and engaging, rigorous and demanding but also supportive and kind - a difficult balance that he achieves admirably. He is committed to the Socratic method of teaching, one that involves an interactive dialogue between students and teachers, and in which all those involved are engaged in critical reflection on matters of social and political import.


This award has been established for Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) who have taught at UTSC in at least two different terms and have taught in at least one of the terms of the 2019/2020 academic year (Summer 2019, Fall 2019 or Winter 2020 sessions).


Natashya FalconeNatashya Falcone
Graduate TA, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences

Natashya Falcone cares deeply about quality education and she consistently goes above and beyond departmental expectations. She engages with discussion-based tutorials and is always available to assist her students. As a TA, she has already crafted a detailed teaching philosophy. She has also developed many tutorial materials – in particular a Peer Scholar Tip Sheet, which provides online guidance for students.


Nadiya Subdar
Graduate TA, Centre for French and Linguistics (as of July 1, 2020 Department of Language Studies)

Nadiya Subdar consistently seeks new and effective ways to help guide and assess students, making connections between the course material and real-life experiences. She is efficient and responsible, patient, motivated, approachable and enthusiastic. She provides a safe environment for students to express their ideas and opinions. She allows students to make mistakes and take risks during tutorials and provides them with detailed feedback and constructive commentary.


Eliana Vonapartis
Graduate TA, Department of Biological Sciences

Eliana Vonapartis is a supportive and approachable TA who encourages critical thinking and discussion and uses drawings to illustrate key concepts. Although her graduate studies are supported by an NSERC research scholarship, she is also passionate about teaching and she has participated in the TATP Advanced University Teaching Preparation Certificate Program. Students describe her as an excellent teacher and mentor who provides clear and helpful explanations. She has aided in developing new labs and experiments for a lab manual and she taught several sessions of the course to high student praise.


Retirees and Long Service Recipients

Susan Calanza
Department of English
25 years

John Harper
Information & Instructional Technology Services
25 years

Steve Joordens
Department of Psychology
25 years

Urooj Khan
Department of Historical & Cultural Studies 
25 years

Wayne Painter
Facilities Management
25 years

Greg Vanlerberghe
Department of Biological Sciences
25 years

Julian Tanner
Department of Sociology
35 years

Susan Dyson
Financial Services
40 years

John Friedlander
Department of Computer & Mathematical Sciences
40 years

Audrey Glasbergen
Department of Anthropology 
40 years

Lucy Pickering
Department of Biological Sciences 
40 years

Robert Gordon Cooke
Facilities Management - Grounds

John Harper
Information & Instructional Technology Services

Steve Joordens
Department of Psychology

Greg Vanlerberghe
Department of Biological Sciences

Sherylin Biason
Registrar's Office

Michael Murphy Boyer
Information & Instructional Technology Services

Gail Copland
Departments of Anthropology, Sociology, Health and Society

Lioudmila Elias
Food Partnerships

Christine Hansen

Graeme Hirst
Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Joy Jones
Admissions & Student Recruitment

Adriana Koufis
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences

Lesley Lewis
Dean's Office

John Miron
Department of Human Geography

Joanne Pearce
Department of Biological Sciences

John Price
Facilities Management: Power Plant

Dan Riggs
Department of Biological Sciences

Bebi (Janet) Roopnarinesingh
Departments of Anthropology, Sociology, Health and Society

Joanne Solarski
Student Experience and Wellbeing - Health & Wellness