The Library is pleased to spotlight one of the inaugural Sharon Lamont Student Award winners, Jahanvi Desai. The award was created last year upon the retirement of longtime library employee Sharon Lamont to support students who have previously worked at the Library and have, through extracurricular involvement, supported equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Jahanvi is a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a major in Environment and Business, with a minor in International Development. While Jahanvi has been active in pursing her career goals of exploring how a business mindset can help solve environmental problems through her co-op placements, it was Jahanvi’s time at the Library that gave her a feeling of home.
As an international student looking for community, the Library has always been a place to connect with others for Jahanvi, whether that was studying in her favourite spot in the third-floor study lounge of Dana Porter or working as a library ambassador, helping to organize events and social media content that bring students together.
Jahanvi has sought ways to share the sense of belonging libraries and literacy have contributed to her life through her volunteer work, such as leading reading circles for Frontier College and creating a safe and welcoming space at the YMCA, tutoring newcomers to Canada.
Receiving the Sharon Lamont Student Award gives Jahanvi some financial peace of mind as she continues her studies and volunteer work. And the particular focus of the award, acknowledging her volunteer work around equity, diversity and inclusion was important to her; “EDI work is often volunteer based, so to receive acknowledgement and financial support for work I'm so passionate about is really special.”