June 5, 2017

Winners of the 2017 President's Award announced

Exceptional graduating students recognized for their academic achievements, leadership and contributions to the community
With President Cannon, the University of Calgary’s 2017 President’s Award for Excellence in Student Leadership winners are Taylor Woo, Dirk Chisholm and Nilufer Hasanova.

With President Cannon, the President’s Award winners are Taylor Woo, Dirk Chisholm, Nilufer Hasanova

Justina Contenti, University of Calgary

The University of Calgary has announced the recipients of the President’s Award for Excellence in Student Leadership for June 2017. The award was established in 2008 to recognize exceptional students who have a record of academic achievement, who consistently demonstrate leadership and make significant contributions to our community.

  • Dirk Chisholm, Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) in Exercise and Health Physiology (with Distinction)

With his leadership and motivation to provide emergency medical support to students and the campus community, Dirk Chisholm co-founded the university’s volunteer Student Medical Response (SMR) team, the first group of its kind in Western Canada. The SMR recently participated in the first provincial St. John Ambulance First Aid Competition and won three awards. Chisholm has strengthened campus partnerships as SMR’s director of operations. Using his licensed emergency responder and kinesiology background, Chisholm is an undergraduate researcher and research assistant in the Department or Paediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine and Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology. He volunteers as a primary care paramedic with Canada Task Force 2 (disaster response team), the McMahon Stadium medical response team and the Kidney Foundation of Canada, and has been recognized for his contributions to St. John Ambulance during the southern Alberta floods.

  • Nilufer Hasanova, Bachelor of Nursing (with Distinction)

Combining her passions for improving children’s health and the quality of students’ experiences, Nilufer Hasanova has impacted communities both locally and abroad. Earning a Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship, Hasanova participated in a three-month maternal health internship in hospitals and villages in and near Kampala, Uganda in partnership with the Aga Khan University. On campus, she has supported student success through a number of contributions including as the Faculty of Nursing representative for the Students’ Union, a community adviser for students in residence, mentor through the Emerging Leaders Program and senior tour guide for Campus Tours. Hasanova volunteers with the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, Kids Cancer Care and Flying Doctors of Canada, and has founded her own non-profit organization Hope for Home, providing financial support to orphanages in developing countries.

Samantha Hossack is one of four students who will be presented with the award during the June convocation ceremonies.

Samantha Hossack is the fourth student who will be presented with the award during June convocation.

Justina Contenti, University of Calgary

  • Samantha Hossack, Master of Strategic Studies

Samantha Hossack is dedicated to improving student experiences and has just completed her term as President of the Graduate Students’ Association, as well as contributing to  a variety of university committees including the Board of Governors, General Faculties Council and Faculty of Graduate Studies Council, as a student member. Representing her fellow students in the local, provincial and national communities, Hossack has met with the minister of advanced education advocating on behalf of graduate students in Alberta. Hossack has published research papers in the Royal Canadian Military Institute’s magazine and the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, as well as articles for the NATO Council of Canada. She volunteers with the Forum for Young Albertans and the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society, and is an improv performer at the Loose Moose Theatre Company.

  • Taylor Woo, Master of Science in Biological Sciences (Host-Pathogen Interactions)

By building connections and a sense of community in the Faculty of Science, Taylor Woo has demonstrated his commitment to collaboration and encouraging the development of others. As the Faculty of Science representative for the Students’ Union, he has supported student initiatives such as the Dean’s List Reception, the Science Students’ Society and the creation of Science Collaborative Workspace, which is a new central meeting space for undergraduate science students to share ideas. He has contributed to a number of university organizations, including the Faculty of Science Advisory Decanal Search Committee, the Biological Sciences Graduate Students’ Association and the Graduate College. Woo volunteers with the Bethany Care Society, Movember and with Beakerhead, including at the Petri Dish Picasso event, where participants paint using genetically modified bacteria.

To learn more about this award, visit the President’s Award for Excellence website.