Students, staff, faculty, and community members joined in celebrating graduating international students for their outstanding accomplishments, energy, and volunteerism of Trent's international community on April 7 at the annual Trent International Program (TIP) and Trent International Student Association (TISA) gala.
The event, emceed by graduating student Isioma Mafiana (Nigeria), included a toast to the graduates from Jessica Rogers ’12 (St. Maarten) and the presentation of several awards to Trent students and members of the international community for their significant contributions and dedication this year.
Dr. Neil Emery, vice-president, Research and International at Trent University, and Dr. Mike Allcott, director of TIP, presented Adrianna Sierra and Mauricio Interiano with the prestigious Jack Matthews Award, named in honour of the founding director of the TIP. This top award is given to graduating students in recognition of their outstanding commitment and contributions to internationalization, both locally and globally. Ms. Sierra and Mr. Interiano, both from Honduras, have distinguished themselves both academically and as campus leaders throughout their years at Trent. In his remarks, Professor Allcott cited their commitment to serving others as well as their “courage in speaking truth to power as the foundation of their leadership and global citizenship.”
Boykin Smith (Bahamas), Eugenia Ochoa (El Salvador), and Ngina Kibathi (Kenya) were jointly named recipients of the David Morrison award. The award, named for a past TIP director is presented to graduating students in recognition of substantial involvement academically and socially at Trent University and TIP.
Pauline Marcelo (Phillipines), who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in January, concluded the evening as valedictorian and inspired her fellow graduates to recognize their significant accomplishments, “Tonight, we join a long tradition as TIP graduates - the values of TIP, of diversity and inclusivity, and the challenges you pursued in showing that there are voices and ideas not yet heard, will remain with you and will set you apart as a thinker and as a doer.”
Other awards presented at this year’s event included:
- The Leonard Conolly Award, which recognizes outstanding commitment and contribution to the support of refugee students, was presented to Aaditya Thakar (India/Canada) and Emmanuel Gasore (Rwanda/Malawi/Canada) for extensive work with World University Services Canada (WUSC). Her commitment to student involvement, and dedication to development education, equality and inclusion was celebrated as Betelhem Wondimu (Ethiopia/Canada) was awarded the Karanja Njoroge Service Award.
- The Hulcoop Prize, named in honor of the late Barbara Hulcoop, who opened her home and heart to international students, was awarded to Joshua Low Yee Aung (Malaysia) who has become actively involved in many groups on campus during his first year as part of the international student community. Ms. Hulcoop’s daughter, Lesley Hulcoop, son, Darren Hulcoop, and granddaughter, Mikayla Hulcoop, presented the award and offered a moving tribute to their late mother from international students of past generations.
- The Exchange Award was presented to Daniel Morrison (UK), an exchange student from Lancaster University, who has actively invested himself in the Trent and Peterborough communities.
- Mikeela Skellekie (Anguilla) received the Continuing International Student Award in recognition of her commitment to equity, accessibility and rights of International students on campus.
- The ESL Award, presented to someone in ESL who has made a positive contribution to the ESL program, TIP, the Trent community, and/or wider community, went to Giselle Salluzzo (Venezuela).
- The Robert Campbell Friends of TIP Award, which recognizes a member of the faculty, staff, or wider Peterborough community for enriching the international programming of the University and/or the experience of Trent's international students, was jointly presented to Professor Baris Karaagac of the International Development program, and to Melanie Sedge, the Head of Champlain College.
The Trent International Student Association presented awards to their members in recognition of the embodiment of their founding values: breaking barriers, connecting cultures and bridging boundaries. The Trent South East Asian Organization, Organization for Hispanic and Latino Awareness, and volunteer Angelica Coculla (Italy) all received recognition for their dedication and work.
Professor Emery and Prof. Allcott presented each graduating international student with the golden TIP maple leaf pin in recognition of their accomplishments and contributions to the Trent international community.