2022 Student Leadership Awards winners announced

Last night, the Student Leadership Awards ceremony honoured this year’s winners and nominees. The awards are given to students, faculty and staff who have shown themselves to be leaders through their outstanding contributions to the College. 100+ guests attended to show their support.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees of the 2022 Student Leadership Awards.

Student Leader Award of Distinction

Jaden Haywood, Bachelor of Business Administration, Management – WINNER

“Jaden has been volunteering at Douglas since her first semester. She’s held every leadership role the Future Students’ Office offers, starting out as a Student Ambassador volunteer and most recently joining our professional staff team.

“If you’ve joined or considered joining the Douglas student community in the past three years, then you’ve probably been part of an experience that Jaden helped create. She’s connected with hundreds of prospective students and worked behind the scenes to design, rethink, facilitate and deliver our trademark events and services.

“We’re incredibly lucky to have her on our team and so grateful for her dedication.”

— John Kinsley and Eric Glanville, Future Students’ Office

Aly Hillaby, Bachelor of Social Work – WINNER

“Aly has dedicated her efforts to so many areas of Douglas: She supports the Bachelor of Social Work program, works as a student assistant with Indigenous Student Services and serves as the Indigenous Student Representative with the Douglas Students’ Union.

“Between peer support, organizing cultural events, hosting workshops, and promoting diversity and inclusion within the school, Aly works every day to support the wellbeing of her fellow staff and students. She’s been the driving force behind many initiatives, including last year’s Orange Ribbon tribute in honour of the 215 children found at the Kamloops Residential School.

“Caring, attentive and strong, Aly motivates others to strive for greatness. She is a leader.”

— Emilyanna Peters, Bachelor of Social Work

Mehre Dlir, Bachelor of Business Administration – WINNER

“As the Douglas Students’ Union’s External Relations Director, Mehre has been a standout advocate for students, a leading voice against the barriers they face. She was an integral part of equipping all washrooms at Douglas College with free menstrual products while breaking down stigmas around menstruation. She also sits on the Open Education working group and is passionate about making textbooks free and accessible to students at Douglas.

“I look forward to working with Mehre through another term as Director of External Relations, and I have no doubt she will be a formidable leader in the Douglas College community.”

– Genessa Ewart-Yan, Organizer Campaigns, Douglas Students’ Union

NOMINEES for Student Leader Award of Distinction

Congratulations to all the students who were nominated for the Student Leader Award of Distinction.

  • Amrita Ramkumar
  • Axel Bernoe
  • Bikrum Hothi
  • Daniela Castillo Sanchez
  • Doyinsola Agbaje
  • Halie Hunter
  • Kristen Apodaca
  • Maya Moalla
  • Myat Noe Pwint

Up and Coming Leader of the Year Award

Myungsan Yun, General Studies – WINNER

“During his time at Douglas, Myungsan has been a member of the Student Wellness Awareness Network, a Student Representative for the Douglas Students’ Union and an active member of the Douglas community. He is ambitious, kindhearted and hardworking – you can see the genuine care and compassion in his eyes whenever he meets another student. Above all, he always invites and encourages people to become part of the communities he’s in.

“Myungsan plans to graduate from Douglas and continue to SFU to become a software engineer. I believe he is destined to become an amazing leader, someone who will do great things.”

– Vitaliy Vekslyer, Computer Science Student Assistant and Senior VP, DSU Debate Club

Hannah Lohnes, Diploma in Early Childhood Education – WINNER

“I met Hannah at the Fall 2020 online version of EDGE. She was an enthusiastic participant, and everyone commented what a pleasure it was to spend time with her. Starting as a student that semester had its challenges, and Hannah met them with the willingness to create community and have a great college experience.”

“Today, Hannah is an integral member of our team in Student Life, one we know we can rely on. The past two years have been full of change and have required all of us to be adaptive and remain positive. Students like Hannah have not only made our work possible but have helped keep it fun!”

— Erica McKeddie, Student Life Coordinator

Taranjeet Parmar, Associate of Arts in Psychology – WINNER

“Throughout her time as a student assistant, Taranjeet has had a commendable work ethic and a remarkably positive attitude. Since September 2020, she has volunteered with the Student Wellness Awareness Network, helped plan New Student Orientation and led our Kickstart program. She has stood out in her role for her kind, inquisitive nature and her passion for helping students.

“Transitioning back to in-person school and events last Fall was daunting, but Taranjeet met the challenges with a positive attitude, helping students get excited for the new semester and feel a sense of community.

“She throws herself into her work at Douglas College with heart; you can tell that she genuinely loves what she does.”

— Megha Gupta, Student Life Coordinator

Akshara Sharma, Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Finance – WINNER

“Akshara has held many positions at the College, working with the Future Students Office, Douglas College International, the Career Centre and Centre for Educational and Information Technology.

“She joined the Student Ambassador program last Summer, during which she volunteered at many events, such as information sessions. She was also a vital part of the calling campaign to reach students who had been accepted to Douglas but hadn’t yet registered. Having a student be the voice of the College for this program is wonderful because it creates a connection before they even arrive. Her supervisors regularly received unsolicited praise commending Akshara’s professionalism and follow-through.

“She is a hardworking, top-performing volunteer. She deserves recognition.”

– Breanna Fraser-Hevlin, Wellness Coordinator, Student Affairs and Services; Lucia Correa Meyer Green, Promotions Coordinator, Business Development; and Anderson Lu, Finance Instructor

NOMINEES for Up and Coming Leader of the Year Award

Congratulations to all the students who were nominated for the Up and Coming Leader of the Year Award.

  • Heewon La
  • Ivanna Smetanska
  • Karan Gill
  • Luna Wagner

Outstanding Contribution to Student Engagement by College Faculty Member Award

Sean Velasco, Athletics Communications Coordinator – WINNER

“Over the past two years, Sean has been instrumental in Athletics and Recreation’s ability to transition how we engage students at Douglas College. He has worked on mental health initiatives like the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, and he spearheaded new physical wellness initiatives for the pandemic by transitioning in-person fitness programming onto online platforms.

“Sean fully demonstrated his ability to create community through the Virtual Fitness Challenge. Over 150+ students, employees and faculty across took part by showing off their physical activity online.

“Within Athletics, the pandemic’s impact on student-athletes who had lost their seasons was devastating. Sean took the initiative to transition the traditional 300-person awards banquet into a livestreamed event. The Royals Virtual Athletics Banquet provided opportunities for students to be involved as live MCs to present and honour their peers.

“Sean is a magnificent colleague, co-worker, person and friend for all of us; his award is well-deserved.”

– Sarah Dench, Vice-President, Student Affairs


Learn more about each of the Student Leadership Awards here. Read about last year’s Student Leadership Awards winners here.

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