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Viceregal recognition for 4 community-minded Concordians

The Lieutenant Governor of Quebec honours students for their social contributions
June 7, 2017
By Cecilia Keating

Anastasia Llewellyn: “It's a great feeling to have your hard work acknowledged.” Anastasia Llewellyn: “It's a great feeling to have your hard work acknowledged.”

Anna Timm-Bottos, Buruç Asrin, Anastasia Llewellyn and Keroles Riad have ample reason to feel proud these days.

On April 30, the Honourable J. Michel Doyon awarded these four Concordia students with the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec Bronze Youth Medals in recognition of their volunteer work and significant contributions to society.

The medals are one of three categories of awards given out by the Lieutenant Governor to citizens of Quebec who have had a positive influence on their community and demonstrated an exceptional capacity to go above and beyond for the benefit of others.

The students’ achievements include spearheading inter-university conferences and events, galvanizing composting on campus and finding innovative ways to reduce Concordia’s material waste.

Andrew Woodall, dean of students, oversees the students’ nominations for the award. He points out that it’s one of the few opportunities for province-wide recognition of youth engagement.

"It’s nice to be at the table and to have our students in among the other award-winning university, high school and CEGEP students," he says. "It's great to see the diversity of young people out there and the wonderful things they're doing. "

From left: Keroles Riad and Anna Timm-Bottos From left: Keroles Riad and Anna Timm-Bottos

‘Incredible people in our community’

Timm-Bottos is the heart and brains behind Concordia’s recently launched Centre for Creative Reuse. She says it was wonderful to be recognized among people doing great work in Quebec.

“The other winners from Concordia are incredible, active people in our community,” she adds. “They made a good selection.”

The Centre for Creative Reuse collects and diverts usable materials from the university’s waste stream and makes them available for students and the Concordia community for free.

“It’s really important to start changing the way we see materials, and to think about new ways we can do more with what we already have. There is so much waste in the world,” Timm-Bottos says.

So far, two tonnes of material have been diverted and there have been more than 200 checkouts of materials to new projects around campus.

A master’s student in art education, Timm-Bottos is graduating this spring with an MFA. Her research focuses on creative reuse centres across Canada.

Humble hackathoner

Buruç Asrin is also graduating this spring, with a bachelor’s degree in software engineering. He was awarded for his tireless work co-founding and organizing ConUHacks via the society he also set up, Hack Concordia.

First held in 2016, this year’s event was attended by more than 400 North American university students, putting Concordia at the forefront of a growing international student hackathon movement. 

From left: the Honourable J. Michel Doyon with Buruç Asrin From left: the Honourable J. Michel Doyon with Buruç Asrin

The friendly competition highlights the competence of Concordia’s students while giving all the participants an opportunity to interact with an impressive array of industry mentors.

“You get a lot of out of hackathon, from building something that’s concrete in a 24-hour period, to working with a team of people that you have just met, to the industry tutelage that you get from the mentors at the event, to being able to expand your network,” Asrin says.

He adds that the Lieutenant Governor’s ceremony was quite special to be a part of, replete with bagpipes. "It was very humbling to receive this award."

‘I’m a big believer in the importance of getting involved’

Master’s student Anastasia Llewellyn was rewarded for her sustained involvement in the academic community over the years, exemplified by her role as head of the Concordia University Graduate Students Association in Translation.

In particular, she was lauded for being a driving force behind the 16th edition of Voyages in Translation Studies, which takes place at Concordia annually. The first-ever graduate student conference in the field of translation studies, it's now known worldwide. 

“I’m a big believer in the importance of getting involved in one's community,” Llewellyn explains. “I do this work because it matters, not for recognition. But it's a great feeling to have your hard work acknowledged.”

Compost champion

Finally, PhD candidate Keroles Riad was awarded for fronting a university-wide campaign to increase the visibility of composting facilities on campus. Waste Not, Want Not relies on staff, students and community members to promote and educate the broader Concordia community.

Riad’s efforts were bolstered by a significant investment he secured from the university administration into on-site composting and campus compost bins.

“Half of what Concordia sends to landfill every year is compostable,” he explains.

Alongside Timm-Bottos’ initiative, Riad’s campaign benefitted from winning last year’s Big Hairy Ideas Competition run by the Concordia Council on Student Life.

“I’ve been involved at Concordia for quite a while, so it’s really nice to be recognized,” Riad says.

Want to give back to your campus community? Sign up today to join Concordia's Sustainability Ambassador Program.

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