The following individuals are the winners of the CCSL Outstanding Contribution Award for 2019.
Students: Agunik Mamikonyan, Marguerite Rolland, Duraichelvan Raju Maria Santaguida, Camille Ross-Williams, Jose Garcia Sierra, Meghri Bakarian
Agunik has provided the Concordia community with a longstanding commitment and continuous efforts throughout her academic career to improve student life. In 2016, she was the Vice President of External Affairs & Sustainability for the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA). She worked tirelessly to ensure that numerous student associations had all the resources needed to enrich student lives, and assisted on numerous projects including the accreditation of the Geography, Planning, and Environmental Federation.
Agunik also worked as an organizer for the Panel of Decriminalizing Prostitution in 2015, and was a member and organizer for the Task Force on Racism, Sexism, and Sexual Violence. In addition to her these contributions, Agunik also served as a board member for the Sustainability Action Fund, CEED Concordia, and the Library Services Fund Committee. Agunik’s involvement in enriching student life on campus goes beyond the immediate. Many of the aforementioned projects she contributed to will improve student life for years to come, through improved services and a safer campus.
Marguerite is currently the Advocacy and Executive Coordinator (President) for the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA). Eight months into her role, she identified systemic issues reoccurring within the organization and as a result embarked on an in-depth process to find sustainable ways to improve these problems. In her commitment to improve the transparency and efficacy of ASFA’s council, she was further appointed as a member of the Academic Committee, the Policy Committee, and the Sustainability Committee.
Through her work at the CSU Advocacy Centre, Marguerite has brought professional rigour to the centre, using her experience as a trained paralegal to help dozens of students whom were victims of harassment, sexual assault, and discrimination. She has also helped students struggling with mental health issues, or facing serious financial issues. In 2018, Marguerite helped created the Advocacy Centre sponsored career skills training workshop, and began work alongside another Advocate to develop a jurisprudence bank of Concordia Academic and Rights and Responsibilities cases to help student tribunals navigate academic and Rights and Responsibilities cases. Throughout all the work that has taken on, Marguerite has always made a point of making time to take care of other people and is a natural leader that leads by example and never misses an opportunity to be of service.
Durai is a Ph.D. candidate of Mechanical Engineering at the Gina Cody School for Engineering and Computer Science. Throughout his time at Concordia, he has made significant contributions to graduate student’s lives. In particular, with his work as President of the Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Association (ECSGA) from May 2016-May 2018, and as a member of both the Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Studies Curriculum Committee (ECSGSC), and the Council of the ENCS.
Durai’s extracurricular activities have led to securing funds and in-kind sponsorships for various student activities at GCS such as workshops, networking events, and software training sessions that are crucial for students to secure jobs after graduation. Durai has been instrumental in bringing attention to important academic matters raised by graduate students, helping to enhance the communication between graduate students and the GCS Administration. As described by his peers, Durai’s top characteristics are his “friendliness, selflessness, technical knowledge, industrial experience and eagerness to solve his fellow students’ concerns.”
Maria is a current PhD Psychology Graduate student, and has dedicated the past five years to enhancing the quality of the graduate student experience in the Psychology department. From 2016-2019, she was the President of the Association of Graduate Students in Psychology (AGSP), a position usually only held for one year. Maria has been an exemplary mentor for undergraduate students, graduate students, and teaching assistants in the community. In addition, she has spearheaded initiatives to create a mentorship program within the Psychology graduate student community, which has been immensely successful in supporting incoming students.
Through her work with the AGSP, Maria created an annual wellness series, and developed a graduate student room at Loyola campus which has helped in building social networks and creating a relaxed environment for students. Additionally, Maria developed the Graduate Instructor and Teaching Assistant (GITA) committee, which encourages dialogue between students and the Department to improve working conditions of graduate students operating in teaching roles. Maria has truly sought to support and improve the graduate experience, and the positive impacts she has made will persist long after she has left the program.
Camille’s involvement happens largely with the Political Science Student Association (PSSA), where she has held executive positions. Her involvement began through the “Jeux de la Science Politique”, an inter-university set of politically oriented games. She has participated and organized the games for three years straight, demonstrating her long-lasting commitment to the project.
Camille has also helped to create a new platform and branding for the Journal of Political Affairs, giving students the opportunity of getting their work published and not only grow on an academic level but also a professional one. In addition to these contributions, Camille also works for the Centre for the Study of Politics and Immigration (CSPI) where she helps organize talks for students on various topics and issues we face in the 21st century.
Camille’s passion drives her engagement. She always prioritizes her role as a student organizer and pushes past difficulties with motivation and enthusiasm.
Jose is the Financial and Administrative Coordinator for the Visual Arts Visual Gallery (VAV Gallery). Jose fosters a positive and welcoming atmosphere at the Gallery and encourages artists to showcase their work in new and unconventional ways. His contribution to the Gallery has had an immense impact on the growth of the organization, in which he has expanded the number of exhibiting artists as well as organizing various charity events.
Jose’s contributions in Concordia’s sphere has only increased in the last year, in which he became a member of the 61st Garnet Key Society as the Banquet Chairperson. This role has granted him numerous opportunities and activities to be involved at Concordia and within the large community. Jose is also an active member of The Catholic Student Association, a member of the Fine Arts Faculty Council as the Undergraduate Student Representative, and a member of the Golden Key Society.
From the beginning of her time at Concordia, Meghri resolved to make an exceptional contribution to student life and to other students finding themselves in difficult situations. As a mentor to other young student refugees, she is committed to motivating them and helping them connect with networks at Concordia and within the Montreal community.
Meghri is currently President of the Syrian Students Association (SSA) and Vice-President External Armenian Student Association (CASU). She has also acted as a board member, representing the Gender Advocacy Centre on Community Action Fund (CAF), was Vice-President Events for SSA from 2017-2018, and is involved with several programs in both the Armenian and Syrian communities. Along with her studies, Meghri devotes time to art. She has written poetry for Concordia’s LINK and is a member of The Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS).
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