The following individuals are the winners of the CCSL Outstanding Contribution Award for 2023.
Emem Etti is currently completing a BFA in Film Production at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema while standing as the current Student Life Coordinator for the Fine Arts Students Alliance (FASA). They are dedicated to creating a vibrant, engaging and accessible community for all students at the university.
Emem has worked tirelessly to advocate for the entire student population by empowering the community at Concordia and greater Montreal. Emem has been instrumental in ensuring FASA’s support and organization of Black History Month activities, in the development of a Sustainability & Anti-Oppression Coordinator position at FASA, and in supporting and advocating for BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ members. Leading this year’s “FASA Fest” orientation week, which involved community-building events across campus, Emem helped bring energy to new students through movie nights, art exhibits and tea parties. Emem also helped create the Black History Semester, which involves workshops, guest lectures and mixers of which Emem was a key facilitator. Through this level of community engagement, they have centered and promoted the voices of Queer and BIPOC artists, students and businesses in every project.
Emem’s valuable experience in galleries and as an artist in residence has allowed them to develop their creative practice alongside their community engagement work. This balance of creation and advocacy ensures that Emem’s peers are met with a nuanced, holistic understanding and a confident approach.
Abigail Koff is a third-year undergraduate student studying Political Science and Religions and Cultures and someone who is driven to make her time at Concordia an opportunity to learn and grow beyond the classroom.
Abbie quickly found an engaged community through the Homeroom program, joining as a student participant and later being recruited as a Student Facilitator. In this role, Abbie is a mentor, a guide and a friend to the students who attend her weekly sessions. Her commitment to making her time at Concordia an opportunity to not only expand her education beyond the classroom but to share her knowledge and experience with new students is what makes her an exceptional leader. She is a team member who is always the first to offer her support and time for events and activities organized for students. From games nights to study halls, volunteering days and afternoons at Stingers games, Abbie is an expert in student life.
Abbie is a student dedicated to improving and supporting student life at Concordia; she has gone above and beyond to continue that goal. She always has a smile or a story to share and without a doubt has made a significant impact on student life at Concordia through the many, many ways she is involved.
Ghislaine Comeau is enhancing student life through her constant contributions to student governance, department committees, and her academic work as a Ph.D. student in English Literature.
Ghislaine has given vast amounts of her time and energy to her department and fellow students. As an undergraduate executive of the Concordia Association of Students of English, she volunteered to review essays for student conferences and sat as an undergraduate representative on both the Department Curriculum Committee and the Curriculum Reform Committee. She continues to sit on these committees as a graduate student, offering her invaluable experience in the department and making suggestions for its improvement. She has also initiated extra-departmental projects to facilitate student engagement, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Concerned that graduate students were missing crucial personal interactions, she organized a graduate and faculty social meet-and-greet so that graduate students and professors could meet in person, in a socially-distanced, outside environment—and they happily did. She has since become President of the Student Association of Graduate English (SAGE) and is currently its representative at the English department’s monthly meetings.
After a year into her SSHRC-funded MA fellowship, Ghislaine has been fast-tracked into the SSHRC-funded Ph.D. program, researching direct references and allusions to “Saracens” in early English literature.
Louis-Joseph Gagnon demonstrates exceptional leadership, dedication, and passion in his efforts to enhance the student experience at the Department of Theological Studies.
Louis-Joseph has been a driving force behind numerous initiatives in our department. As a student representative in the department, he brought to their attention the challenges faced by graduate students when beginning the program, which resulted in the creation of three workshops that will be available starting in September of 2023. Furthermore, Louis-Joseph has spearheaded the continuation and revamping of the student journal Bishop Street. This bilingual and peer-reviewed journal publishes original articles from undergraduate and graduate students. Louis-Joseph brought together a committee to review and edit articles for the journal as well as spearhead the work required to publish the journal; from finding funding to its publication in print and digitally. Currently, he is working on conducting a survey to gauge the needs of graduate students at the department regarding methodology and developing targeted training to aid students in their thesis projects.
Faculty members and students greatly respect and appreciate his involvement in the department. His leadership, dedication, and positive impact on the lives of students make him a true role model for his community.
Dr. Jordan LeBel is a professor in the Department of Marketing and has been with Concordia University since 2000. He has established himself as not only a distinguished researcher in his field of study but a steady support for students throughout their academic careers and beyond.
Dr. LeBel holds a genuine investment in the success of all students he encounters and is ready to help students academically and professionally. He logistically supports student-led startup businesses by reviewing marketing plans and providing feedback and further pushes that support by acting as a liaison with industry contacts to help students have connections and resources once they leave the university. As one example, Dr. LeBel initiated a LinkedIn group for current and past students to network within the industry. His passion, motivation and desire for student success contribute to student life in a thoughtful and dedicated manner that has lasting effects on students that cross his path.
His level of kindness and devotion highlights him in the department. His selflessness, expertise, and unwavering support have been instrumental in the overall growth of many students.
Dr. Stephen Yeager currently sits as the Chair of the English Department. He has continuously gone above and beyond the classroom setting to support and guide students in their academic careers while ensuring that students receive the best possible professional opportunities such as teaching contracts and invaluable experiences presenting at international conferences in the student fields.
Dr. Yeager is dedicated to the enrichment of student life for students in the English department by being active in the outreach and growth of the Student Association for Graduates in English, which goes beyond his role as Chair. In the classroom, he challenges traditional pedagogy by encouraging students to bring their knowledge to the curriculum to effectively engage with the course material, taking full advantage of students’ pre-existing enthusiasm to supply energetic discourse in the classroom.
Dr. Yeager is a pillar of support for the students and colleagues in the department. A generous professor, supervisor and department Chair, many feel lucky to encounter him in their academic and professional careers due to his positivity and sense of connectedness with the department.
Tony Patricio has worked with the Studio Arts Department for twenty-five years as Department Administrator. Highly regarded amongst his colleagues and the students he supports, he receives the Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to advocacy, communications and compassion within the Fine Arts community.
As manager of the technicians, his team has contributed to building top-quality art-making facilities in the department, across a range of areas, allowing the students to have a strong foundation for their art-making programs. Those around him over the years have found a steadying influence from Tony’s insight into considering the following: how to renew, how to build, and how to come together. This focal point for conversations has given stability and allowed students to flourish. His knowledge has been passed on to various chairs and directors of the department as their terms rotated, which established Tony as the key contact for new members. His ability to foreground equity, and navigate the structures and regulations of the university, while still meeting student needs is a remarkable skillset, and one the Department highly respects and directly benefits from.
Tony’s close colleagues underline their gratitude and esteem for him and wish him a restful and fulfilling retirement.
Emilie Martel has been part of the Concordia community for fifteen years, and in that time, has made invaluable contributions to the quality of students, staff, and faculty’s experience at the university. Currently the Program Coordinator for the Department of Economics’ co-op programs, Emilie goes above and beyond her role for the department and its students.
As a voluntary member of the Navigator program, Emilie supports newly admitted students by acting as a solid resource for the students she mentors, and for the other Navigators. She enriches her knowledge of the Concordia community by making herself available for the Spotlight Series and ensures that information she comes across is transferred to her team. As a member of the Shuffle advisor committee, she encourages her team and those around her to participate in the annual fundraiser which raises money for providing financial aid and enhances university programs and services to help students succeed.
Emilie is praised for her unparalleled volunteerism, her unflagging work ethic, and her commitment to the needs and success of the university’s students. She exemplifies the spirit of service as a staff member and commits her time and energy without hesitation to the success and well-being of Concordia’s students and the department she serves.
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