Outstanding Students Recognized for Community Work

by NationTalk on April 24, 20071062 Views

Media Release
Date: April 23, 2007

Eight University of Victoria students who excel both in and out of the classroom are recipients of this year’s Blue and Gold awards. The students were honoured for their remarkable volunteer contributions to the university and/or the Greater Victoria community while maintaining at least a B average.

Three students, Matthew Cooper, Amanda Laliberte and Philippe Lucas, received $2,500 awards while five students, Brian Buchan, Catherine Etmanski, Ian Hussey, Kevin Lee and Jonathan Morris, received $1,000 awards.The $2,500 winners:
Matthew Cooper, a fourth-year chemistry student, is a teaching assistant with University 101, working with adult learners excluded from normal routes to higher education. He also volunteers in the emergency room at the Royal Jubilee Hospital ensuring patients are comfortable and the room runs efficiently. Throughout his studies he has as occupied student leadership in roles such as an elected student representative to the UVic senate and a director-at-large for the UVic student society.

Amanda Laliberte, a third-year visual arts student, played a key role in organizing a Metis youth group for the Metis Nation of Greater Victoria. The youth group plans a variety of events from drumming workshops to Aboriginal history classes. Laliberte also donates many hours of her time to the Native Students Union at UVic where her duties involve bridging communication between Indigenous students and faculty, and planning social events.

Philippe Lucas, a master’s student in the study for policy and practice, is vice-chair of the City of Victoria Downtown Advisory Committee, and sits on the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia Advisory Board. He is involved with several community-based groups focused on social justice issues, namely the Vancouver Island Compassion Society and the Committee to End Homelessness in Victoria. He is a founding member of the Voices of Substance Abuse, a local drug policy reform organization.

The $1,000 winners:
Brian Buchan, a second-year biopsychology student, gives of his time outside the classroom with the Anti-DOTE Girls’ and Women’s Network, the Student Ambassador Association, the Psychology Organization of Students Course Union and Nelson Food Cupboard. He has also occupied important volunteer roles with the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health and the After School Klub (ASK).

Catherine Etmanski, a PhD student in the Department of Educational Learning Psychology, is passionate about organizing inclusive events to create a better world. She is founder of the Social Justice Film and Speaker Series, and co-founder of Victoria ‘Make Poverty History’ Coalition. She has been a key volunteer with the Victoria Days of Peace, UVic’s Office of International Affairs, the Association of Graduate Education Students and the Graduate Student Society.

Ian Hussey, a master’s of sociology student, has invested countless hours working with people on campus and around the world to empower farmers, traders and consumers. He is executive director of the Canadian Students Fair Trade Network, and Canadian representative on the United Students for Fair Trade’s Advisory Council. He is finance director for UVic’s Graduate Students’ Society and graduate student representative on UVic’s Research Advisory Committee.

Kevin Lee is a fourth-year biochemistry student who gives a great deal of his time to community service and student affairs. He volunteers at the Royal Jubliee Hospital, at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria and Canadian Blood Services and with many student organizations on campus. He also spent a summer volunteering at a hospital in Uganda, collecting HIV/AIDS data and assisting doctors on home visits to rural communities.

Jonathan Morris, fourth-year student in child and youth care, has devoted more than 1,000 hours of volunteer service with the NEED youth crisis information line providing on-call volunteer support. He is director at large on the UVic Students’ Society, student senator for the university senate, and representative on UVic’s Mental Health Task Force, and UVic’s Suicide Prevention Interest Group.

The Blue and Gold Awards receive financial support from CIBC.


Media Contacts:
Christine Roulston (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6248 or cmr@uvic.ca

Media Advisory:
Brian Buchan lives in South Slocan. Matthew Cooper, Catherine Etmanski, Amanda Laliberte, Jonathan Morris and Philippe Lucas live in Victoria. Ian Hussey lives in Saanich. Kevin Lee lives in Abbotsford.

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