Celebrating Hannah Sennik's Top 50 National Changemaker Award

Monday, February 28, 2022
Hannah Sennik sitting and smiling with a GreenHouse banner in the background

Hannah Sennik (BASc ’19), a St. Paul’s GreenHouse alumnus has been recognized as one of Canada’s top 50 Changemakers in the 2022 Globe and Mail’s Report on Business. 

Hannah attended the University of Waterloo (UW) as she worked to complete her degree in Systems Design Engineering. In the year after her graduation, Hannah attended John Hopkins University to complete her Masters in Bioengineering Innovation and Design and focused on developing a low-cost monitoring solution for neonatal health. In addition to her studies, Hannah has donated thousands of hours to volunteering, held positions at Apple, Intellijoint Surgical Inc., and SickKids Foundation and successfully incorporated the company she began as a part of her fourth-year capstone project, Rekammend. 

Rekammend was conceptualized and founded by a team of four Systems Design Engineering students as part of their fourth-year capstone design project. The Rekammend team worked closely with individuals with aphasia and their care circle to develop a deeper understanding of their needs. Keeping these needs top of mind, they successfully created the app řeka which helps individuals increase their social health, comfort, and participation in daily activities.   

Hannah and her co-founders first joined GreenHouse’s Workplace Innovation Program as a way to incorporate social impact into their project. Fortunately, GreenHouse was able to connect Hannah’s team with KidsAbility, a local child development centre that was looking to improve the ability of non-communicative children to engage in spontaneous play. Through GreenHouse, Hannah and her team received innovation training, mentorship and access to funding that allowed them to conceptualize and develop řeka.

The řeka app allows users who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury to regain their voices using predictive text, AI, and GPS technologies. The word-retrieval app enables communication that is six times faster than it would be with traditional word-finding tools and equips users with aphasia to engage in meaningful conversations. řeka not only serves to break down barriers to social connection for those with speech and language disorders, but it serves as an inspiring example for other talented young engineering professionals to make a difference in their communities. Hannah not only views Rekammend as a company creating a product but also as a company that inspires change through community-based education and awareness.

Hannah wears many hats and is not afraid to try new things. She actively volunteers, mentors UW students, employs co-op students and offers internships at Rekammend, among many other things. And though saying she is busy would be a vast understatement, Hannah brings energy and positivity to every interaction she has. It is very clear that the work she is doing is work she cares for deeply. 

The impact that GreenHouse alumnus Hannah Sennik has made and her impactful work with Rekammend started at GreenHouse with her experience in the Workplace Innovation Program. Learn more about GreenHouse and how the Workplace Innovation Program can help your capstone project make social impact.  

Congratulations, Hannah!