Celebration of Learning Recipients 2018

2018 COL Award Winners Spectator Ad

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Accessibility Leadership Award

Natasha Mando

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Natasha is a goal oriented student who has been successful in her studies in the Practical Nursing Program. As a student with a hearing impairment who relies on sign language to communicate, this year’s award recipient researched and adapted equipment necessary for nursing assessments to make sure it would work with her impairment. She is a proactive student who demonstrates leadership qualities in her determination and drive to be successful in her program and is an inspiration to others. 

Alumni Outstanding Student Leader Award

Maria VanAken

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Maria is a student leader in their graduating year who is highly engaged at the College and works to make meaningful connections between past and current Mohawk students. This year’s award recipient is in her graduating year of the Business Administration Accounting program and is dedicated to making meaningful relationships with Mohawk faculty, student, and alumni. She is a hard worker and a role model among her peers who has spent a number of hours working over 25 events to connect current and past Mohawk student.

Applied Research Award of Excellence

Ryan Stewart

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Ryan is a student who used his electrical background to play a vital role in major upgrades to the electrical service in the server room at the MEDIC lab including upgrades to the uninterruptable power supplies, the electrical distribution in the server racks, and consultation on the electrical service upgrades. His contribution was well respected by the MEDIC team to which he is a tremendous asset. He is a continuous learner who consistently demonstrates his love for of learning by learning new skills and technologies to work on projects that have a real world impact.

Co-Curricular Volunteer Award & Presidents Award of Student Excellence

Holly Scime

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Holly is a student that is devoted to taking part in the Mohawk community through a variety of volunteer activities. This year’s award recipient is deserving of this award not only for the 430 + hours on her Co-Curricular Record to date but for the quality of her contribution. She is well-known around the college for her positive attitude, work ethic, and interpersonal skills. This student defies expectations and goes above and beyond to serve Mohawk and the surrounding community.  

Indigenous Leadership Award

Marley Bob

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Marley is an Indigenous student who demonstrates leadership, humility, and lifting up of others and who is highly engaged within the College and community. This year’s recipient is an excellent student whose comments and opinions help other students understand cultural diversity in society. She exhibits pride in her Indigenous identity and is a role model to her faculty and peers.

International Student Leader Award

Pramit Mehta

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Pramit is an International student who is highly engaged at the College and in the community. This year’s recipient has demonstrated role modelling, leadership qualities and a commitment to collaboration from day one. Within his first semester at Mohawk College, this year’s International Student Leader Award recipient contributed over 110 hours of service to the college and the Hamilton community, recorded 5 approved positions on his co-curricular record, and co-founded Mohawk’s Laughing Yoga Club who brought laughter yoga to Hamilton’s downtown core on Christmas day. This student is a pleasure to work with and has made a name for himself as a reliable volunteer with a strong work ethic. His positive energy is integral to student engagement, and he continues to impress with his enthusiasm and commitment.

Learning Support Centre Leader of Distinction Award

Jessica Trushinski

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On the Dean’s List for three consecutive semesters, Jessica is a PASS Team Lead who leads her team with energy and care. Described as dedicated, reliable, supportive creative, and organized, this student goes above and beyond to find new ways to engage her fellow students in Learning Support Centre activities and to encourage PASS leaders to be the best they can be.

Learning Support Centre Leader of Distinction Award

Nicole Lafreniere

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Nicole is a student who works as a Writing Centre Peer Tutor and who volunteers with Mohawk during startup. She is an effective communicator and collaborator who uses her skills to facilitate weekly Conversation Club meetings for ESL students, working hard to create activities that engaged students in a wide variety of conversation topics. Able to think on her feet and adapt activities based on skill level, this student is a role model for her fellow tutors.

Learning Support Centre Leader of Distinction Award

Gwyneth Erhardt

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Gwyneth is a hardworking student who is dedicated to her role as a tutor. This student cares deeply about helping others succeed both in and outside of the classroom, and goes above and beyond in her willingness to help her fellow students.

MoSpirit Award

Maggie Martin

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Maggie is a student whose passion and enthusiasm motivates other students to get involved. This year’s recipient always jumps at the opportunity to positively represent Mohawk. She is a peer tutor and an active member of MoCrew who will be returning to the Mohawk Student Leadership Academy as a group leader this spring. Charismatic and passionate, this student’s positive attitude elevates any initiative she is a part of.

Outstanding Recreation Participant Award

Andrew Pidsadny

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Andrew has been an active participant in intra and extramural athletics since beginning at Mohawk three years ago. He shows a commitment to sport and to the promotion of intramural initiatives on campus. Outside of Athletics, this student works closely with the Mohawk Student Association and other areas around Mohawk to encourage and enhance student engagement. He is a familiar, welcoming face at MSA and College events.

Outstanding Varsity Athlete Award

Tabitha Fair

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Tabitha is a varsity athlete that has demonstrated a commitment to their sport and community. The recipient of this year’s award is captain of the Women’s Rugby 7s here at Mohawk where she is held in the highest regard by her peers, teammates, professors, and coaches. She is a natural leader who encourages positive thinking and shows a strong commitment to her studies and to volunteerism having recently been awarded the Ray Lewis Award for Community Involvement with Young Athletes.

Sustainability Award

Ryan Black

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Ryan played a key role in the Sustainability office. Showing a commitment to sustainable initiatives on campus, this student used his exemplary graphic design skills to contribute to the design of the Sustainability Office’s outreach materials. This contribution made an important impact on the success of sustainability projects including local food initiatives, waste management, and transportation. This student’s imagination, dedication, and passion for sustainability are outstanding and he is most deserving of this award.

Social Inc. Award, Presented by RBC

Leah Brown


Leah has been an instrumental part of the Social Inc., team both as a volunteer and as a CSEP student. Leah brings values and fundamentals the compliment Social Inc.’s philosophies of inclusion, diversity, and human rights. Leah is welcoming to service users and facilitates activities that bring students together in a collaborative and meaningful way. Her positive attitude and great work ethic are very much appreciated.

Academic Excellence Award, Allied Health

Carmen Chan

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Carmen is an exceptionally motivated and engaged student in the Medical Radiation Sciences program. She is a strong communicator who actively seeks opportunities to learn, share and motivate others. Outside of the classroom, this student volunteered as a McMaster Children & Youth University Team Lead where she worked with a multi-disciplinary team to develop hands-on, inquiry based workshops for youth. She is also active in the MedRadSci Student Society where she organized a trip to a CAMRT conference last spring for herself and her peers. This student exemplifies responsible citizenship through academic engagement and volunteerism for which she has received much recognition from her peers, faculty, and community partners.

Academic Excellence Award, Aviation

Denis Ranque

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Denis is an Aircraft Maintenance student whose quest for knowledge keeps his professors and peers on their toes. He consistently displays high academic achievement while demonstrating an impressive capacity for critical thinking, problem solving and leadership. This year’s recipient is highly engaged in and outside of the classroom who makes himself available to those in need.

Academic Excellence Award, Building & Construction Sciences

Saif Myageri

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Saif is a student in the Civil Engineering Technology program. In his two years at Mohawk this year’s award recipient has placed on the Dean’s Honour List and has logged over 300 hours on his co-curricular record. A highly engaged student in and outside the classroom, this student has acted as a peer tutor, a peer mentor, a Bounce Ahead facilitator, and has participated in community engagement through the local non-profit Hamilton Hive where he has helped to organize and facilitate two successful conferences for local young professionals. As a graduate of the Mohawk Student Leadership Academy and an active MoCrew Leader, this student consistently demonstrates a high capacity for student leadership and peer engagement.

Academic Excellence Award, Business

Ashley Cousins

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Ashley has excelled in the Office Administration Executive program and is a great ambassador for Mohawk College. She is an energetic student who goes out of her way to help fellow students and staff with student engagement and she has made a positive contribution to her program of study in her volunteer efforts for the St. Anne’s Toy Drive and at multiple Day One events. This student is dependable, hardworking, and compassionate and is always willing to take on new challenges.

Business & Media Graduate Studies

Manjit Kaur

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Manjit is an individual who feels it’s important to be engaged in the college community. This year’s recipient is an outstanding student who consistently engages in and outside of the classroom. She is a positive influence to her peers and is a reliable, hardworking volunteer. This year’s recipient is an excellent collaborator and is at the top of her cohort in Global Business Management.

Academic Excellence Award, Community Studies

Jessica Belgrave Sookhoo

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Jessica is an ambitious livelong learner who strives to connect her academic experience in the Brain Disorders Management program to her community. She volunteers with a retirement home and two hospitals and also works with a support group for those with rare neuromuscular conditions. She is an active participant in the classroom and is highly engaged overall.

Academic Excellence Award, Construction & Building Systems

Rachelle Garrett

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Rachelle speaks both English and French and comes to Mohawk from a previous career as a flight attendant. While concurrently studying Mechanical Techniques-Cabinetry at Mohawk College and Interior Decorating at Sheridan College this student maintains a high average and is always willing to lend a hand to her peers. She understands the value of collaboration and works to foster a strong team dynamic in the classroom. Outside of Mohawk, this student has a strong sense of volunteerism having volunteered with Parks Canada, Southridge Shelter in St. Catherine’s, Toronto’s Out of the Cold program, and the Boys and Girls Club abroad.

Academic Excellence Award, Continuing Education

Sarah Johnson

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From the beginning, Sarah demonstrated an eagerness to positively engage in College activities. Her participation was instrumental in the development of a 5 part Be Career Ready workshop series where she also acted as a guest speaker. This student has allowed us a look into her professional journey to inspire others and demonstrates to others how to be resilient when faced with a challenge. In recognition of her contribution to the future readiness of Mohawk College’s future grads…

Academic Excellence Award, Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology

Jason Thomas Radigan Laporta

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Jason is a student who demonstrates leadership among his peers. While consistently maintaining high grades, this student participates in a number of college activities and is an excellent ambassador for Mohawk College. He spends time collaborating with his peers to help them achieve their learning potential. He is the manager of the Mohawk College Super Mileage team working to develop an electric car, and he trains as a top runner for the Mohawk Cross Country team. In the community, Jason volunteers for the Stewards of Cootes Watershed.

Academic Excellence Award, English for Academic Purposes 

Yuliia Burakova

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Yuliia is a student who has excelled in the English for Academic Purposes program. She is an excellent student and a pleasure to work with. She is friendly and thoughtful towards faculty and peers.

Academic Excellence Award, Health Studies

Darian Gladstone

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Darian is enrolled in Autism and Behavioral Science where she maintains a high academic average. She is dedicated to her work, having attended a number of extra-curricular lectures at the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre to gain extra relevant information regarding her field. She also volunteers with Autism Speaks Canada. She is a hard-working individual who is passionate about her studies in Autism and Behavioral Science.

Academic Excellence Award, Industrial and Motive Power

Christopher Pyc

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Christopher is a student who goes above and beyond in his program of study to ensure that he performs to the best of his ability. He works hard and is always willing to lend a helping hand. In the community, he is a mentor with the Orchard Park robotics team. He demonstrates a love of learning and a willingness to collaborate with other.

Academic Excellence Award, Liberal Studies 

Rahanaz Chowdhury

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Rahanaz has been an exceptional support to other students in the Career Pathways program supporting their learning along with her own. She is an excellent communicator—working in the community as a translator to accompany community members to legal and medical appointments. This student is a positive up-bear life-long learner, problem solver, and critical thinker and exhibits much strength and resilience. She has learned to navigate societal and institutional barriers through her work with others in the community and can often be found in the Career Pathways lab quietly helping her fellow students succeed. She is an exceptional student and human being.

Academic Excellence Award, Media & Entertainment

Garrett Lajoie


Garrett has been an outstanding student in the music program throughout his time at Mohawk College. He displays a quest for knowledge and inquisitiveness that is infectious. His openness to explore multiple styles of music and consistently challenge himself has frequently resulted in ensembles working on new and innovative approaches to music. Garrett shows initiative in engaging his peers and is a role model for how exploring new things can yield spectacular results. Further, he has shown a commitment to community engagement through his work with the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Art Gallery of Hamilton and through his internship with An Instrument for Every Child where he was noted as being one of the most dedicated and effective employees the organization had ever seen.

Academic Excellence Award, Nursing

Brent Michaluk

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Brent is a student who displays outstanding academic achievement and aptitude. He is consistently well-prepared and demonstrates above average critical thinking skills—especially in the face of given surgical scenarios. He is respectful, compassionate and professional in his interactions with faculty, staff, and in the community where he volunteers with a Hamilton area hospital. He is always willing to help those around him and deserves to be recognized for his hard work and dedication to Practical Nursing.  

Academic Excellence Award, Social Services & Justice Studies

Jennifer Woodfine

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Jennifer is a student who is always willing to lend a helping hand and engage and motivate her peers, and she displays admirable resilience in the face of a challenge. She is a high achieving student who is dedicated to her studies in spite of many competing priorities and excels in her placement work where she works with underprivileged youth.