Award Winners - Convocation June 2021

Friday, June 18, 2021

Renison University College is pleased to announce our June 2021 Convocation Award Winners. These awards help to highlight some of our wonderful students and teachers, who have left a lasting impression on Renison through their academic achievement and contribution to our community. Congratulations to our award winners!


Janessa Mostert, winner of the board of governor's award for academic achievement

Janessa Mostert

winner of the Board of Governors Medal for Academic Achievement

Janessa is graduating with a Social Development Studies degree, with a specialization in Social Work and a Minor in Cultural Identities. During her university career, Janessa also received the Renison President’s Scholarship for Excellence and the Reverend Gerald T. Churchill Memorial Entrance Scholarship. In addition to her studies, Janessa actively volunteered, giving her time to House of Friendship, Christian Horizons, and Laurentian Hills Christian School. In September, Janessa will begin pursuing her Bachelor of Social Work through Renison’s School of Social Work, and plans to pursue a Master of Social Work degree in the future.

 

Kare Short, winner of the president's special award for academic achievement.

Kate Short

winner of the President’s Special Award for Academic Achievement

Kate is graduating with an Honours Social Development Studies degree, with a double major in Fine Art Studio Practice. She specialized in Social Work, and Social Policy and Social Action. Kate began her studies at Renison after completing high school in Kitchener at Eastwood Collegiate. Throughout her university career, she has received a number of awards, including the Yuen-Mei Cheung Chan Scholarship, and the Renison President's Scholarship for Excellence. Kate has also received awards for her work in Fine Arts, including the Elizabeth Edwards Memorial Award,  the Grand Prize for The Once Unknown Online Juried Photography Exhibition, and the Nancy Lou Patterson Award. Kate also spent time volunteering during her university career, as a program development volunteer with Bridges to Belonging, a notetaker for her ASL course, a side walker at Pride Stables, and as an assistant facilitator for the youth program at the Volunteer Action Centre. Kate will begin her Master of Social Work degree at Wilfrid Laurier University this Fall.

 

Lavorn Hunt, winnrer of the president's merit award for outstanding contribution to life at Renison.

Lavorn Hunt

winner of the President’s Merit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Life at Renison

Lavorn is graduating with an Honours Social Development Studies degree. She came to Renison with a Marketing diploma and Social Service Worker diploma and used her skills from both programs to complete her SDS degree while working in the music and fashion industries, as well as in higher education. In addition to her studies and work, Lavorn has volunteered with Distress Centre Durham for several years, and gave time to Homebound Wellness throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She will begin pursuing her Bachelor of Social Work degree at Renison in fall of 2021, and plans to pursue a Master of Social Work degree and establish a private practice.

 

Alicia Sumner, winner of the president's merit award for outstanding contribution to life at Renison.

Alicia Sumner

winner of the President’s Merit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Life at Renison

Alicia is graduating with an Honours Social Development Studies degree with a double major in Psychology and Minor in Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies. In SDS, she specialized in both Individual Well-Being and Development, and Education. In addition to her newly completed degree, Alicia holds an Honours diploma in Interior Decorating from Westervelt College in London Ontario. Throughout her time at Renison, she has provided support for fellow students as part of the SDS Buddies Program, and also works as a Peer Support for Adopt 4 Life. Alicia plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and become a Psychotherapist specializing in post-adoptive families. 

 
 

Leanna Durdle, winner of the SDS book prize for academic achievement.

Leanna Durdle

winner of the Social Development Studies Book Prize for Academic Achievement

Leanna is graduating with an Honours Social Development Studies degree, with a Minor in English Language and Literature. Starting her academic career early at 17, Leanna (She/Her) studied theology for two years before taking a break to consider her options, ultimately ending up teaching ESL in the Thai public school system from 2017 to 2020. During her time in Southeast Asia, she decided to return to post-secondary and found herself studying Honours Social Development Studies online. She quickly fell in love with the field and academics overall, coming to pursue both a minor in English, concentrating primarily on Rhetoric, and a specialization in Education. She also completed an Honours thesis with research exploring the experiences of rural and international students at a culturally diverse university in terms of cosmopolitan identity development. Accepted to York University's Master of Arts in Communication and Culture in September, Leanna hopes to continue exploring her diverse interests in the social sciences and humanities with the hope of one day moving abroad once again and pursuing a career in international post-secondary and public education. 

 
 

Sarah Greiger, winner of the Marguerite DuBois prize for Applied Language Studies.

Sarah Geiger

winner of the Marguerite DuBois Prize for Applied Language Studies

Sarah is graduating with a degree in Environment, Resources, and Sustainability, with a Minor in Applied Language Studies. In addition to this award, she has received both the University of Waterloo President’s Scholarship, and the Faculty of Environment Engrance Scholarship. During her time at Waterloo, Sarah has volunteered her time with Renison’s Conversation Partner Program, as a Connect Group Leader and Worship Leader at her Church, C3K; and as a Discipleship Group Leader with P2C Waterloo. Additionally she was also Co-President of the Unaccompanied Minors A Capella Group! This summer, Sarah plans to work at the House of Friendship as a Garden Leader, coordinating community garden programs for various neighbourhoods in the Waterloo Region. She will also continue to work as a Barista in her local coffee shop, before deciding what’s next!
 
 

Sarah Griffith, winner of the department convocation award for Social Development Studies at University of Waterloo.

Sarah Griffith

winner of the Department Convocation Award for Social Development Studies at University of Waterloo

Sarah is graduating with an honours degree in Social Development Studies with an Education specialization and minor in Psychology. In addition to this award, Sarah was the recipient of the Renison President’s Scholarship in her first year, and has received continuing scholarships each year since. She has volunteered for Strong Start’s Early Literacy Intervention Program, Frontier College's Number Ninjas Program, the Sensory Saturday's program at the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum, and as a classroom volunteer at a few schools within the Waterloo Region District School Board. During her time at Renison, she was also a Teaching Assistant for multiple semesters. In the fall, Sarah will begin pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree, specializing in primary/junior, at the University of Western in London.
 
 

J.C. Blokhuis, winner of the Renison University College teaching excellence award.

J. C. Blokhuis

winner of the Renison University College Teaching Excellence Award

J.C. Blokhuis is Associate Professor, Social Development Studies and Acting Associate Dean at Renison. J.C. connects well with students, and the human element of his courses is apparent, even in a remote learning environment. Student letters received in support of his nomination also demonstrate J.C.’s lasting influence and positive academic impact.

For J.C.’s fill profile, please visit https://uwaterloo.ca/social-development-studies/people-profiles/jc-blokhuis

 
 

Edwin Ng, winner of the Renison University College teaching excellence award.

Edwin Ng 

winner of the Renison University College Teaching Excellence Award

Edwin Ng is Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Renison. His compassionate and sensitive responses to students are well-known, and he was able to adapt well to the online environment of the pandemic. Student letters received in support of Edwin’s nomination spoke highly of his ability to see students as humans first, and cited many positive personal experiences.

For Edwin’s full profile, please visit https://uwaterloo.ca/school-of-social-work/people-profiles/edwin-ng
 
 
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