The following individuals are the winners of the CCSL Outstanding Contribution Award for 2022.
Amine Ben Arous has had an active role in student life as VP Finance of the Mathematics, Actuarial, and Statistics Student Association (MASSA), President of MASSA, and currently as ASFA Finance Coordinator. In these roles, Amine has shown great talent when it comes to organizing student finances.
Along with the whole MASSA team, he organized crash courses for entry-level core math courses to help prepare students for their final examinations. During the pandemic, Amine organized a launch of two separate grant initiatives totaling $4,500 to support students in financial distress. He also invited recruiters from five different companies in the insurance sector to have thirty-minute practice interview sessions with the students to prepare them for an interview. As President of MASSA, Amine organized an annual Wine and Cheese event that promoted Concordia's image at large. This event was an enormous engineering feat, given the context of the pandemic. It provided more than 300 students and 25 of Canada's most prominent companies an opportunity to network.
As Finance Coordinator of ASFA, Amine has helped to re-establish ASFA's financial creditability, while building up the organization. Amine recently hosted a Budgeting 101 workshop by RBC that hosted 200 students throughout the Arts and Science Faculty. Amine also presented an Excel for Beginners workshop. Through his dedication and determination, Amine has excelled in assessing student needs and working with them to find solutions.
Aaliyah Crawford has had extensive involvement in the clubs and organizations of the Fine Arts department. She is dedicated to improving the accessibility of governance roles within the university by creating more equitable processes and reducing barriers for underrepresented communities.
Aaliyah sat on the Fine Arts Reading Room board, where she participated in the review of the bylaws and the jurying of events and grants. As an executive of the Queer Print Club for two years, Aaliyah helped produce and host events that aimed to create space for queer students in the arts. She was also Assistant Creative Director and later Co-Editor-in-Chief of Yiara Magazine, where she helped to expand the scope of the magazine to promote more intersectional and inclusive feminism. As an executive of the Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA), she was involved in rewriting the bylaws of the organization, restructuring policies, and creating committees for students to learn specific skills while on the board. Aaliyah began her second term as General Coordinator by creating The Framework Project, which outlines how organizations such as FASA and its affiliates can properly manage and support their governing documents. Next, she will participate in the Steering Committee for the Faculty of Fine Art’s Strategic Plan consultations.
Aaliyah’s passion for institutional memory, accessibility, and equity will leave a lasting impact on the health of student clubs and organizations.
Eduardo Malorni has been a vital part of the Concordia Student Union (CSU) for the past three years, first as Student Life Coordinator and this year as General Coordinator. He is a key ally to students across the university, striving to build a culture of solidarity at Concordia. Eduardo also sits on the board of the Hive Café, where he remains to this day as a cornerstone director, and other boards within the fee-levy community, where he has provided invaluable support and guidance during the past few years.
Eduardo joined the board of the Concordia Food Coalition (CFC) in 2021 and helped facilitate an organizational restructuring that put the CFC back on its feet. Eduardo skillfully coordinated his work and positions within the CSU, the Hive Café and the CFC towards transforming the food system on campus into one that is both sustainable and empowering to the student body.
Eduardo continues to play an important role in network building, guiding the Hive to reach as many students as possible through the exploration of a Hive-Library delivery service. Eduardo is an empathetic leader, a steadfast organizer and a principled activist. He is patient, meticulous, and above all else, genuine. Eduardo’s unwavering integrity has made him a unique force at Concordia through numerous impactful initiatives.
As an undergraduate research assistant, Donya Meshgin developed a prototype application for helping patients with multiple sclerosis to help with anxiety and pain of the injection process. This work led to a conference presentation at “Augmented Environments for Computer Assisted Interventions” and publication in a special issue for the conference. It garnered much interest and media coverage. Owing to this excellent work, Donya made the Concordia Newsmaker of the month. Due to her academic success, she became a teaching assistant, a programmer on duty, a grader, and a research assistant.
Donya also plays an active role in student organizations and governance. She is currently the Chairperson of the Engineering and Computer Science Association (ECA). From 2017 to 2018, she was the Director of Policy and Advocacy for Engineers Without Borders. From 2018 until 2019, she held the position of Vice President of Corporate Relations at Engineers Without Borders, where she collaborated with organizations, formed sponsorships and helped organize events. In addition, Donya participates in STEM outreach initiatives such as GirlSET, Concordia’s all-girls engineering and technology summer camp. Donya was also a mentor in the Women in Engineering (WIE) Mentorship program, where she was paired with a CEGEP student who aspires to pursue her studies in engineering and offered guidance and advice. Donya consistently goes above and beyond to improve the student experience at Concordia.
Alessandra La Posta has been the Communications Officer of TRAC, the Teaching and Research Assistant union at Concordia, since 2021. In this role she has dedicated herself to assisting students to succeed in their academic pursuits, contributing to ongoing research in her field and fighting for safer working conditions within the university. By managing all of TRAC’s social media accounts, she has been instrumental in communicating regularly with members about their campaigns, upcoming events, general assemblies and important information about members’ rights. With the help of members of the Executive Committee, Alessandra has hosted leadership and skills-building workshops. She was central to coordinating TRAC’s return-to-campus protest and N95 mask distribution effort, in which over 1000 masks were provided free of charge to the students and staff.
As a Lead Teaching Assistant at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute (SDBI), Alessandra has provided technical assistance to students and professors by hosting weekly office hours to facilitate online learning throughout the pandemic. As a Research Assistant for Dr. Chedly Belkhodja, Alessandra has been conducting a literature review on the new Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project, which will be presented at an upcoming conference. She has also contributed to teaching the members how to best conduct their work through TA and RA training workshops, as well as having taken on the responsibility of designing newsletters. Alessandra has put an enormous amount of effort into developing and informing the Concordia community while also improving student life overall.
Sonia Di Maulo has been Part-Time Faculty at Concordia since 2011 and now teaches in the Education, Applied Human Sciences, and Engineering and Computer Science departments. Sonia created, developed, and secured funding for “Take the Leap!” program in 2019. This is an award-winning program that grounds emerging leaders in purpose and prosperity, enabling participants to find clarity in ambiguity while gaining tools and skills to design a life to be lived with purpose.
As part of the Educational Technology program from 2012-2017, Sonia supported and guided groups of graduate students in Educational Technology to complete a 3-month intensive Case Study Competition. As a result of Sonia’s leadership and tutelage, Concordia teams won competitions in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. She developed the idea and ran every aspect of the Case Study Competition. Sonia was also a vital member of the Concordia University Alumni Association (CUAA) from 2015 to 2020. During that time, she took an active role as VP Strategic Initiatives from 2017-2019, where she implemented a video-based onboarding program for new Board Members. Sonia has also volunteered her time to mentor and support any student who needed help and she has spoken at many Concordia-led events. She continues to support the CUAA with their annual Board Retreat meetings.
The combination of her ongoing work as a consultant, along with the above example of working with, and for, the community, demonstrates Sonia’s commitment and skill to not just graduate teaching, but changing people’s lives.
Masoumeh Zaare has worked for many years as a teaching assistant and marker in technical writing, creativity, innovation, critical thinking, communication techniques, technology and society courses offered through the Centre for Engineering in Society, often taking on multiple sections each term. ln this regard, she has provided the University an exceptional service and has gone well beyond expected responsibilities to improve the experience of students in these classes. She has involved herself in a variety of student activities, from being a research leader, an exam supervisor, and assistant roles in departments across several faculties. With years of experience, Masoumeh has developed considerable expertise in teaching. She does an excellent job at stimulating discussion in tutorials through an innovative blend of presentation and thought-provoking discussion.
At a critical moment during the pandemic, Masoumeh was able to draw on her extensive experience as a TA and her knowledge of EdTech from her studies and recommended online tools and formats that worked extremely well in the transition to online learning. Students have described Masoumeh as warm, passionate, enthusiastic and meticulous. She brings humour, warmth and energy to teaching in every class, which, in turn, creates an environment in which students feel highly engaged and safe. She is also very willing to help students beyond the confines of tutorial. Masoumeh is a valuable member of the Concordia community that continues to look for ways to improve student life and add value to their journey through academia.
As part of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Ying Li has demonstrated tremendous commitment to making online examinations the best they can be for all involved. Online exams became a reality overnight when the pandemic hit and the entire community of students, faculty and staff were impacted by it. Ying worked diligently consulting and partnering with over 150 instructors directly and indirectly to help determine the best approach for their online exam. She prepared a wide range of resources to help instructors and students know what to expect in online exams. Ying supported instructors with grading requirements and workflows in online exams such that they received timely and useful help. One area that Ying flagged as particularly important from the outset was to ensure that students have constant and immediate support during their online exams. Her objective was to mitigate student anxiety and be 100% responsive to their needs if they faced stress and uncertainty with problematic internet connection and platform malfunctions.
Through Ying’s leadership, diligence and appreciation for the fine details, the Concordia Online Exams team has been able to build solid protocols and create a training program for all new members of the team to guarantee quality and consistency in the exam delivery and with student support. Online exams at Concordia would not have reached where they are at today without Ying.
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