2019 SAMRU Award Winners

Congratulations, 2019 SAMRU Award Winners!

Inspiring Culture Award

Victoria Abena Frimpong

Victoria is a Sunday school aid at Beddington Church, is the President of the African Caribbean Student Affiliation (ACSA), Vice-President of the Marketing Society, Head Volunteer Coordinator for PARK (Promoting Artists Redefining Kulture) Fashion company, and was previously a marketing intern for Garmin Canada, all while remaining on the Dean’s Honour Roll. She hopes to move to Los Angeles and pursue a career in marketing.

Beyond Disabilities Award

Rachel Krisa

Rachel is a third year student in the Bachelor of Health and Physical Education majoring in Physical Literacy, with a future aspiration of becoming an Occupational Therapist. Her love and passion for helping others is demonstrated in her roles as the executive Activities Coordinator with the MRU Best Buddies Club and as a therapy assistant working with children with Cerebral Palsy.

Gender and Sexual Diversity Award

Orry Roth

Orry believes that showing a range of representation is as important for minority groups as visibility. Over the past year, Orry and his partner have directly supported efforts bringing alternative queer-friendly spaces to Calgary. This included recruiting for the Unison Festival, an international queer choir event that took place at the Bella Concert Hall in 2018, and rebooting Beers for Queers, an event that provides a space for those who are just getting into drag.

Deanna Cardinal Memorial Award

Angie Deranger

“Glu’nitdá (hello). Si Angie Deranger Holéyá. I am Dene su’line from Northern Alberta.”

Angie comes from a strong line of Dene women who in many ways have taught her how to work hard, be independent and to never give up. She is a mother of seven beautiful children who are her inspiration and motivation. She became a mother at a very young age. Being an intergenerational survivor, She has overcome many obstacles trying to achieve her education. She never saw it as the end, just that it wasn’t yet time, and now is the time for her to achieve her education and her career.

Excellence in Community Service Club Award

Muslim Student Affiliation

The Muslim Student Affiliation’s mission is to provide Islamic faith based practices to students that identify as Muslim and to provide services for individuals that are exploring the faith. Their biggest achievement as a club was the completion of Ablution stations. With the first application being sent in ten years ago, it was a grand achievement to have it finally completed this year.

Excellence in Membership Service Club Award

MRU Surf Club

The MRU Surf Club was originally formed with the intention of safely introducing members to the sport of river surfing. In just a few weeks of operation, the founders discovered that the club was becoming a place for like-minded people to create strong bonds and connections. The club earns a great reputation through their annual Tofino Surf Trip. The majority of members come on this week-long trip without knowing anyone else, and leave with 18 new best friends.

Teaching Excellence Awards

Diana Sole Kahler B.Sc., M. Math

Although she started her working life as an engineer, Diana feels lucky to have discovered that teaching is her true vocation and passion.  Central to her teaching philosophy is a desire to reconstruct mathematics as a social activity, where the struggles and joys of the discipline are shared in a caring and supportive learning community.

Mary-Lee Mulholland

Dr. Mulholland is a professor in the Anthropology department at MRU. Dr. Mulholland goes above and beyond on a daily basis for her current and past students while remaining active in her own research. From informing students of important resources to fostering meaningful discussion in class to organizing diversity events, Dr. Mulholland brings the classroom to life and contributes to meaningful community-building on campus.

Champion Award

Renae Watchman Ph. D.

Dr. Watchman is an associate professor in the Department of English, Languages, and Cultures and cross-appointed with Indigenous Studies. She is also co-director of the Office of Academic Indigenization. She teaches North American Indigenous Literatures, Indigenous Film and Indigenous Studies courses and field schools. The courses she teaches emphasize community-service learning as land-based learning in Indigenous communities.

Open Education Champion Award

Erik G. Christiansen BA, MLIS

Erik Christiansen is a librarian at Mount Royal University. He is an active member of the open education and scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) communities, and he and his research collaborators have presented at conferences locally and internationally. He has also published in the field of library web usability.

Citizenship Awards

ZoE SlusaR

Zoe invests her time and effort into community building throughout MRU, Calgary, and surrounding areas. As the President of Cypher Club, she creates meaningful events for artists to practice skills and showcase music. Zoe volunteers with Esker Gallery, Alberta Media Arts Alliance, and Movement With a Message. She spearheads initiatives around mental health, diversity and inclusion as a Student Success Ambassador and Peer to Peer Mental Health Educator.

Jennifer Limoges

Jennifer is a mentor, student midwife, and mother to a three-year-old daughter who is Jennifer’s inspiration. One day Jennifer hopes her daughter reflects on this time and feels proud of her mother. At MRU, Jennifer is a Senior Learning Peer and mentor with the Harry G. Schaefer Mentorship Program through Student Learning Services, and she participates as a New Student Orientation Leader with the Office of Student Success.

Olubukunmi Sarah Micho

As an aspiring medical doctor in her second year of health sciences, Sarah hopes to use her degree to create links between wellness, sustainable living and public health. Finding balance between being on the Dean’s Honour Roll and helping her community, Sarah volunteers with the Calgary Drop-In Center, helps the elderly at the Glenmore Auxiliary Hospital, and advocates for students on SAMRU’s academic advisory council.

Committed Learner Awards

Breanna Leonard

Breanna overcame many struggles to finish high school with great marks and get accepted into MRU. Since then, she has become involved in her community, volunteering with Alzheimer’s patients at Rockyview. Now she’s a fourth year student with one more to go, and her two amazing little boys give her the strength and motivation to continue.

Andrea Heron

Andrea is a single mother of two beautiful children. She successfully completed the MRU Aboriginal entrance program with a double minor in Indigenous Studies and Women & Gender studies. It is important to her to model to her children her commitment to her education regardless of the obstacles she faces, because she knows that planting these seeds in them will open the doorway for them to follow in her footsteps.

Bronze Awards

Kayla Pearen

Kayla will be graduating from MRU with a Psychology Honours degree in Spring 2019, and thereafter hopes to attain a Masters of Counselling degree and pursue a career in grief counselling. She has volunteered at MRU through the Psychology Student Society, Behavioural Sciences Undergraduate Journal, and Student Learning Services.

Luke Morstad

Luke believes his work in founding and operating the MRU Surf Club has been instrumental in making inland surfing one of Calgary’s fastest growing new sports. Luke also helped cofound Slam Festival, a festival combining surf, skate, music and art communities. Luke’s efforts this past year have opened countless opportunities for club members and the city, and have shaped a sport that has now become a global tourism project.

Angel Red Crow

Angel is from Siksika Nation, a Blackfoot reservation and part of Treaty 7. Her passion is Indigenous health, and every summer she returns to her community to work as a student nurse at Siksika Health Services. She has volunteered for the Otahpiaaki Fashion Show 2018, is a mentor with the BMO Indigenous Peer Mentorship Program, and had the honour of sitting on the youth discussion panel for the Calgary Youth Initiative on Reconciliation.

Silver Awards

Sabahat Paracha

Sabahat (Saba) is the mother of five smart and respectful kids and the grandmother of four cute boys. She is in her second year of the Education program. She is involved in the Education Undergraduate Society as a class representative, is in the LEAP club, and is planning to join the Muslim Student Association in the fall.

Jo Horwood

Jo is the President and founder of the Society of Broadcasting, an educational club on campus that brings together students of the Broadcast Media Studies degree. A highlight of her time as a student leader has been the invitation to speak to incoming students in the 2019 New Student Orientation, as well as being a program leader for the orientation.

Gold Award

Daniel Major

Daniel is in his second year of the Cellular and Molecular Biology major, and is also pursuing a minor in Mathematics. He is on the President’s Honour Roll and the Dean’s Honour Roll. He is passionate about mental health, and is involved in many programs and projects supporting student mental health. He wants to become a medical doctor to provide treatments or a clinical researcher to discover them—ideally, a bit of both.

Outstanding Student of the Year

Toluwanimi Okunola

Toluwanimi is in her final semester at MRU. She has been a Student Leader at New Student Orientation, a Peer Health Educator, and a MAPS (Mentorship: Academic and Personal Success) Mentor to first-year students. Off campus, she has volunteered as an assistant instructor for an English as a Second Language (ESL) course at the New Canadian Friendship Centre and as a Community Food Intern at the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association.