Throughout her time at Concordia, Erica Chelini has devoted herself to the mission of increasing accessibility and inclusion in tech through her volunteering initiatives. Alongside her internship at CEED Concordia, she has been an active volunteer building workshops designed to teach practical technical skills and to discuss the sustainability aspects of our software use. Erica has also volunteered as a Sustainability Ambassador with Concordia’s Office of Sustainability and is involved in several initiatives in the wider community. She has been volunteering with a speech-language pathologist to help increase literacy and language skills for young children in Kanehsatà:ke, Quebec, as well as volunteering for Let’s Talk Science, where she helps lead activities in schools to encourage students’ interests in STEM. Erica’s contributions to accessibility in tech have greatly impacted both the Concordia and larger Montreal communities.
2021 Volunteer Award Winners
The LIVE Centre celebrates the selfless efforts of members of the Concordia community who volunteer their time to improve the world around them.
Congratulations to this year's winners!
Antonia Macris is a Graduate student pursuing her third degree at Concordia, who has demonstrated an exceptional level of involvement in volunteer activities within and outside the Concordia community. Antonia has been involved with various sustainability efforts at Concordia, volunteering as the Outreach Coordinator for the Geography, Planning and Environment department’s Climate Emergency Committee in 2019, helping them engage with diverse student associations across the province. Antonia has also been an active communications volunteer for the Graduate Symposium in the Department of Education (GSDE) in 2021, as well as volunteering as a Sustainability Ambassador with Concordia’s Office of Sustainability the same year. In the wider community, Antonia has volunteered as a profile editor for the 2021 Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Conference being hosted by Concordia’s Department of Education, and has been an elected participant for Daughters of the Vote, a Canadian Parliament Program. Antonia’s passion for the Concordia community has made a lasting impact through her volunteer contributions.
Tiffany Mataraxia is a graduate student in the department of Education at Concordia. Since March of 2019, Tiffany has been an active volunteer at Concordia’s Student Parent Centre (CUSP), providing crucial support to our student parents and their children. In the wake of campus closures in 2020, Tiffany was able to quickly adapt her volunteer programming to the online context, helping children to cope with the isolation of quarantine. Her Storytime program has helped encourage children to build good reading habits, as well as giving their parents much needed childcare support. Tiffany’s time at CUSP has involved proposing new ideas, holding new programs, and adapting to the needs of the participants. Alongside her activities at CUSP, she has also volunteered as the co-chair for the Graduate Symposium in the Department of Education (GSDE) and taken part in the Departments of Education Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Association (DOEIGSA) as a student representative. Her contributions to Concordia have made a very positive impact on our community.
During the 2020-2021 campus shutdown, Julieta Pardo began volunteering virtually at Concordia’s Student Parents Centre (CUSP). Julieta was interested in helping combat the difficulties Concordia students were facing from social isolation, and she began doing so as a virtual babysitter and tutor at CUSP. She quickly became a crucial member of CUSP’s volunteer team, organising an online book club for CUSP’s older children, and going above and beyond to engage them in interesting activities. She was able to continue her volunteer activities throughout the summer, providing important support to our student parents and their children. Julieta’s creativity, enthusiasm and passion for literacy have made a huge impact in the lives of Concordia’s student parents and their children.
Kaniza Salam is an undergraduate student in Honours Psychology at Concordia who has dedicated herself to volunteering within the field of mental health. Since 2020, Kaniza has been a core member of the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC), a student-run committee focused on mental health advocacy for youth across Canada. Through this initiative, she helped organise the month-long mental health fundraiser, Project Blue, and has led online workout classes during Joyful Movement Week to fundraise for mental health resources. As a member of the NYAC research committee, Kaniza helps conduct important mental health research. She created Glo Fitness, a NYAC-led initiative intended to provide free online workout classes for students, focused on the mindfulness movement. Kaniza is also a long-time volunteer listener at Tel-Aide, an anonymous helpline service for people who struggle with their mental health, and has volunteered for the Stress, Neurodevelopment and Emotions Laboratory for two years. Her commitment to creating accessible mental health resources has made a mark on the Montreal mental health community.
Women in STEM at Concordia (WSTEMC)
Women in STEM at Concordia is a student-led club, which focuses on encouraging female-identifying people in STEM fields to achieve great things and go beyond the field, by offering services, workshops and events which support students seeking to enrich their academic experience. Despite a difficult inaugural year, the WSTEMC volunteer team launched an event series entitled “Making it Big in STEM” which provided students with information and support tailored to a range of different STEM majors as well as Concordia’s first ever Women in Tech Week. WTSEMC’s mission has involved opening their events to the wider community, allowing CEGEP students and other community members to benefit from their programming. With a focus on promoting the importance of volunteering, e-certificates were created to publicly recognize students who make the time to contribute to their communities.
Since 2020, they have been able to fulfill their mission entirely online. Their efforts in increasing representation and accessibility in Concordia’s STEM fields have made a great impact on the field and its female-identifying students.