2017 Award winners

The following individuals are the winners of the CCSL Outstanding Contribution Award for 2017.

Staff and Faculty: Kathryn Rawlings, Julie Blumer, Michael Rembacz, Christine Mota

Students: Roxane Halary, Benoit Chaussé, Monica Dantas, Anastasia Llewellyn, Paras Grover, Julia Sutera Sardo, 

Kathryn Rawlings

20170328 Student Engagement & Community Awards winners - Kathryn Rawlings

Kathryn Rawlings is the Undergraduate Program Assistant for the Department of Political Science, however to her colleagues and the students who cross her path, she is so much more. The daily student traffic in Kathryn’s office is a testament to her centrality in the undergraduate program’s operation. Kathryn’s door is always open and she has proven to be the person to go to in order to figure out how to get things done at the university. Kathryn is known for helping students in distress and ensuring that they get the best possible outcome for their given situation. She has been unfailingly generous with her time and knowledgeable and wise in her advice.

Kathryn’s colleagues describe her as an extremely dedicated, outstandingly effective, and simply indispensible member of Concordia’s staff. Kathryn has given many years of unassuming service that goes well beyond her job description, working tirelessly and patiently without any expectation of reward.

Julie Blumer

20170328 Student Engagement & Community Awards winners - Julie Blumer

Julie Blumer has made a significant impact on a countless number of students as the Graduate Program Assistant in the Department of Political Science. Over the years, she has been fundamental to the success of graduate students in the department. Julie has an immeasurable expertise both on a technical and practical level, from helping students in the computer lab, to more complex issues with respect to the requirements of the program. It is her patience for listening to each person’s complaints, her compassion and above all, her willingness to immediately address whatever situation crosses her desk that truly makes Julie stand out.

Students say that Julie is the “program mom”, who does not hesitate to take all the graduate students under her wing, guiding them through the program. Julie has an open-door policy and is always available to students, willing to interrupt whatever she is working on to listen to concerns and help solve problems of those who drop by. It would be hard to find a student from the department who has not been touched in some way or another by Julie’s kindness, dedication and guidance.

Michael Rembacz

20170328 Student Engagement & Community Awards winners - Michael Rembacz

Michael Rembacz is an exemplary contributor to the engineering student community. Shortly after graduation, Michael joined the Concordia University Professional Staff team and currently holds the title of Manufacturing & Machining Instructor. He is a phenomenal asset to the Engineering Design & Manufacturing Labs in the basement of the Hall building.

Students benefit from Michael’s commitment to enriching student life at the university, saying he dedicates a great deal of his personal time and energy supervising co-curricular engineering projects. Michael sacrifices countless lunch hours, evenings and weekends for meetings with students, test monitoring, answering design questions, giving explanations and reviewing project decisions. He has been monumental in the continued functioning and success of engineering prototype projects for societies such as Concordia SAE, Space Concordia, Concrete Toboggan, and UAV, to name a few. Michael is described as a mentor, with an unwavering commitment to help students become better engineers. This has made their undergraduate experience in mechanical engineering exceptionally fulfilling, educational, and most of all, so much fun.

Christine Mota

Chris Mota

Christine Mota’s dedication to Concordia is rooted in a love of the university that spans 40 years. It began when she herself was a student at Concordia and continued when she transitioned from alumna to employee. Christine has been working tirelessly for the university for more than two decades and currently serves proudly as university spokesperson and director of media relations. Christine takes her role very much to heart in this high-pressure, demanding position.

As the only person who speaks for the university as a whole, Christine believes firmly in always treating the media with fairness and honesty while putting the university’s best foot forward. That fairness is something Christine has long extended toward students, having become an ardent advocate for the Concordia student media, a point of view derived from first-hand experience as a reporter for the student newspaper during her own student days. She is a champion for the student media, always encouraging an environment of mutual respect and professionalism. Christine routinely goes above and beyond in her efforts to ensure that the great work done at Concordia is well represented in the media. In doing so, Christine facilitates opportunities for students, staff and faculty to take pride in, and speak about, their work and accomplishments to the greater Montreal community and beyond.

Roxane Halary

20170328 Student Engagement & Community Awards winners 070 - Roxane Halary

Roxane Halary’s contributions to student life at Concordia can largely be seen through her relentless activity within the Faculty of Fine Arts (FoFA). She has not only inspired others to get more involved at the university, but has also amazed faculty members and members of the community at large. Roxane’s impact has touched many student groups including Art Matters, VAV Gallery, IMCA Collective, Café X and the People’s Potato. She also participates in the FoFA visioning sessions and Idea Labs, lending her voice to help shape the future of the faculty. Roxane is described as an outstanding student who has contributed for many years to the life and energy of the Faculty of Fine Arts.

As the Outreach Coordinator of Art Matters in 2015-2016, Roxane was the catalyst for an increase in the diversity and accessibility of the festival. She continues to have a commitment to the festival as an engine of Fine Arts student life. Roxane consistently seeks to improve the festival’s structure, facilitating collaboration and networking opportunities for the current executive team. Roxane approaches every initiative she has with both an eye for accessibility and inclusivity, as well as artistic excellence and legitimacy.


Benoit Chaussé

20170328 Student Engagement & Community Awards winners - Benoit

Benoit Chaussé consistently puts students and faculty first in every aspect of his work, brainstorming with students about their technical needs, answering questions and helping with difficult shoots. As a technician in the Intermedia Program and ARTX Area and the IMCA Depot Coordinator, he can often be found well after his scheduled work hours. Benoit works out complex time schedules with instructors and students, works one on one with students for editing and post-production support, and he offers technical support for shoots. Benoit genuinely wants to see students achieve the best possible results and will do everything in his power to help them do so.

Benoit is described as having a calm and reflective nature, and his positive attitude and expertise have allowed students to maximize their own university experience. He will generously give his own time helping students set up their installations to ensure the best documentation for portfolios. The students who know him agree that Benoit offers not only a wealth of information and skill, but also an incredible amount of patience, an awesome outlook and a generosity of spirit.

Monica Dantas

20170328 Student Engagement & Community Awards winners - Monica Dantas

Monica Dantas is dedicated to improving and enriching the student experience at Concordia University. As one of the founders of the Graduate Individualized Student Association (GISA), Monica served as communication officer, working to help students in the individualized program (INDI) develop their network with other students in the program and giving them access to a variety of student activities. Monica never hesitated to go beyond the responsibilities of her role, organizing activities such as a volunteer event at the NDG food depot and being present at all GISA events to ensure they ran smoothly.

Monica has been a central part of the “Waste Not, Want Not” compost campaign, with the goal of establishing a complete compost cycle at Concordia. Despite Monica’s extreme workload doing her graduate degree, being a part of GISA’s executive team, managing the Season Jars project and being a student parent, she enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the campaign. Monica is described as a force of nature, driven by passion and a sense of social responsibility. Because of this, Monica has made Concordia a better place for everyone around her.

Anastasia Llewellyn

20170328 Student Engagement & Community Awards winners - Anastasia Llewellyn

Anastasia Llewellyn is constantly trying to improve student life at the departmental and wider university level. She has been actively involved in the department of Translation Studies, organizing events such as orientation sessions that provide students with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the program’s demands and requirements. Anastasia has been a member of the Graduate Student Association in Translation (GSAT) executive team, and was elected as President for the 2016-2017 academic year. Anastasia is known by her peers as a successful leader, keeping students informed of important issues in the department. Her leadership skills are recognized by the fact that Anastasia was selected to teach a course at the university, an honour given to only a few graduate students.

Volunteering within her community is very important to Anastasia, whether through translating the website of a fibre arts festival, or being on the executive council of the Saint-Lambert Youth Committee, for which she won the Volunteer of the Year Award in the City of Saint-Lambert in 2008. Anastasia strongly believes in working to make one’s corner of the world a better place and that if we each do our part, we can make a difference.

Paras Grover

20170328 Student Engagement & Community Awards winners Paras Grover

Paras Grover, or more affectionately know to his peers as Grover, gives so much of himself to help others. Paras is involved in many important student initiatives at Concordia, such as being a member of the World University Services of Canada (WUSC) Concordia, a non-profit organization in international development, dedicated to creating a more sustainable and equitable world. Paras is also the director of the People’s Potato at Concordia, volunteering regularly in their kitchen and is a regular and committed volunteer at the Multi-faith and Spirituality Centre (MFSC).

Despite being relatively new to Canada himself, Paras is always looking for ways to make newly arrived students feel more at home and helping them navigate the city and life at the university. Paras is described as having a heart of gold and a desire to help others. He is resourceful and always finds opportunities to keep learning. In his time at the MFSC, Paras has welcomed many new students to the university and has created and nurtured a support system for them. He is truly a role model for us all.

Julia Sutera Sardo

Julia Sutera Sardo is known as an intelligent, committed and hardworking individual, combining energy and enthusiasm with effective self-discipline. Julia has always been an exceptional student, achieving a GPA of over 4.0 in all semesters at Concordia University and being named an Arts & Science Scholar in her first year. Julia’s most impressive work can be seen on and off campus, with her contributions revolving mainly around instilling a culture change within the community.

As the Vice-President of Internal Affairs and Administration at the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA), Julia has worked hard toward the reduction of forms of oppression on campus. She has addressed issues of sexual assault, racism and safer spaces by mobilizing students and improving student space on campus. Julia has also been involved in developing academic and governance-related policies at the university. She is a board member on the Concordia Women and Leadership Advisory Council, which is mandated to bring together women from the greater Concordia community to champion key initiatives that advance women’s leadership and to help them reach their full potential at Concordia. In all she does, it is clear that Julia is dedicated to enriching her peers’ experience through all avenues of student life to make it as rewarding as possible.

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