During her undergraduate classes in industrial engineering, Hanna Janossy (IndE 1T3 + PEY) discovered that improving a simple process could spur big change. With this in mind, she led 13 student organizations with new ideas, inspiring her peers to make a difference outside the classroom and beyond.
Hanna was just one of 17 engineering students to receive a 2014 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award on April 16. The prestigious award – established in 1994 and named after Gordon Cressy, former U of T vice-president of development and university relations – has been presented to over 3,000 students since its inception.
“We are extremely proud of the engineering students honoured by this year’s Cressy Awards,” said Dean Cristina Amon. “Their passionate dedication to enhancing university life beyond the classroom is an inspiration to all of us.”
Find out more about leadership programs at U of T Engineering at the Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead).
Full list of winners from U of T Engineering:
Afshin Ameri (EngSci 1T4)
Afshin has always been an active member of the university community, most notably as co-president of Students Fighting Cancer (SFC). He organized the first SFC International Food Festival, raising over $4,000 for SickKids Foundation and Movember Canada. Afshin also co-founded the U of T Business Association (UTBA) and served as a panel member of the U of T Tribunal Board.
Zerzar Bukhari (CompE 1T4)
Since his first day at U of T, Zerzar was involved in various business ventures and non-profit organizations. As the president of the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) — one of the largest clubs on campus — he nurtured an executive leadership team that developed programming committed to the welfare of Muslim students.
Maegan Chang (CompE 1T3 + PEY)
As orientation chair for the Engineering Society (EngSoc), Maegan directed a team of more than 50 volunteers and organized F!rosh Week, which hosted more than 1,300 students. She was also co-founder and managing director for the Discovery Series, a networking event for young leaders and professionals, as part of the Nspire Innovation Network.
Andy Chen (MechE 1T3 + PEY)
Andy chaired the 2012 Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC). His passion helped U of T secure the right to host the event, which welcomed over 400 competitors and guests from 16 schools. He also co-founded You’re Next Experience (YouX), an initiative that aims to revolutionize the recruitment space at U of T by providing students with a full-day mentored placement at some of Canada’s top companies.
Freddy Chen (CompE 1T4)
Freddy spent time as the director of the U of T Engineering Kompetition (UTEK) and U of T High School Design Competition (UTHSDC). He was also vice-president of academics for Engineering Society (EngSoc). Through the You’re Next Career Network, Freddy led mentorship events, hosted interview prep sessions and lectured to first-year students about best practices for career preparation.
Hanna Janossy (IndE 1T3 + PEY)
Throughout her undergraduate studies, Hanna held leadership positions at 13 different student organizations, both in Toronto and abroad during academic exchanges to Zurich and Budapest. Her most significant contributions were to Women in Science & Engineering (WISE). As co-president of the WISE U of T Chapter, Hanna hired 20 new student executives and launched five new programs, inspiring and empowering students at U of T and beyond.
Anmol Kaur (CompE 1T4)
Over the last four years, Anmol focused her co-curricular efforts on improving the quality of life for her peers. She founded the Spark Design Club, a monthly workshop series that provides students with an opportunity to apply classroom learning and design concepts to the creation of interactive installations. She launched the You’re Next Startup Career Fair, engaging over 600 students with more than 35 companies, and for two years she supported and mentored students as a don at Innis Residence.
Kazem Kutob (IndE 1T3 + PEY)
Kazem was heavily involved in the Engineering Society (EngSoc). During his time as the finance manager of the Hard Hat Cafe, he founded a reasonably priced, student-run catering service dedicated to providing high-quality food to student clubs. As the founding member and senior vice-president of the You’re Next Career Network, Kazem co-led the largest student-run career development organization at U of T. He also served as the vice-chair of the Industrial Engineering Club (IEClub).
Kevin Lam (EngSci 1T3 + PEY)
Making music accessible to students was a priority for Kevin during his time at U of T Engineering. He was the musical director of the Skule Jazz Combo, Skule Stage Band and the Skule Nite Orchestra. Kevin also designed and maintained websites as a web developer for the Undergraduate Engineering Research Day (UnERD) and University of Toronto Engineering Kompetition (UTEK).
Alberto Picard-Ami (IndE 1T3 + PEY)
As president of Nspire Innovation Network, Alberto launched an entrepreneurial startup weekend that brought together more than 60 students and mentors. As chair of the National Business and Technology Conference (NBTC), he hosted the largest student entrepreneurship conference. He also co-founded the inaugural Simulation Case Competition for the Industrial Engineering Club (IEClub), served as head leader for Orientation Week, and is a mentor for the MIE Mentorship Program and You’re Next Career Network.
Gabriel Stavros (MSE 1T3 + PEY)
During his time as an undergraduate, Gabriel was an engaged student leader, serving as the drum major of the Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad [sic], chairing the Blue & Gold Committee and holding a position as vice-president of student life for the Engineering Society (EngSoc).
Christopher Sun (EngSci 1T3 + PEY)
Christopher supported and represented the student body as chair of the Engineering Science Discipline Club. As captain of the Skule B coed volleyball team, he coached and supported his teammates to a championship victory. As president of the Engineering Photography Club, and as co-director of Skule Nite 1T3, he also promoted the appreciation of arts and music in a science-driven environment.
Fiona Faang-Yu Tran (EngSci 1T3 + PEY)
Fiona co-chaired the NSight Mentorship Program for first-year Engineering Science students, leading a team of 40 mentors while organizing various workshops and social events. While serving as vice-president of the Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) U of T Chapter, she revamped the organization’s online communications and public relations strategy. Fiona also led a team of 40 student journalists as the news editor for the engineering newspaper, The Cannon.
Chirag Variawa (PhD IndE 1T4)
Chirag served on Governing Council for two terms, in addition to serving in a leadership role as the vice-chair of the University Affairs Board (UAB). He has been an active member of the Committee for Honorary Degrees (CHD), Executive Committee of Governing Council, Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) and Academic Appeals Board (AAB), among others. Chirag also served as the graduate student representative on several committees, including those for the president, vice-president of research, and the warden of Hart House.
Amanda Wai (MSE 1T3 + PEY)
Amanda served as president of the U of T Volunteer Consulting Group (VCG), overseeing pro bono consulting advisory to 10 non-profit organizations. She received the Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education Scholarship for her efforts. She was also co-president of the University of Toronto Consulting Association (UTCA), leading an eight-member executive team to organize informational and networking events for more than 1,500 students.
Bo Zhang (ChemE 1T4)
Since honing his skills with the Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead) program, Bo has lead a variety of professional development clubs and organizations, including roles as president of the Engineering Athletics Association (EAA) and chair of the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering (CSChE) U of T Chapter. He also established the Engineering Basketball League.
Victor Zhang (ElecE 1T4)
Victor served as Electrical Engineering class representative, helped to organize the Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC) and successfully ran the U of T Bookstore. As president of the You’re Next Career Network, he helped strengthen relationships with existing industry partners, while fostering new ones with Google, Tesla and Facebook.