UNB Associated Alumni look to recognize graduating student leaders for 2018

Last year's graduating student leaders pose for a group photo prior to the beginning of the event

The UNB Associated Alumni is once again looking for nominations for the graduating student leader awards.

Set for Wednesday, March 28th the awards aim to recognize students who have made outstanding voluntary extracurricular contributions to their academic program/department, or to UNB Saint John as a whole.

“For the Associated Alumni, student engagement is very important,” says Mary Duffley, Alumni program manager for the Saint John campus.

“It is these grad leaders who are our more engaged alumni. Their affinity to UNB stems from being more involved in student-led activities, makes for a more positive student experience that translates into more involved alumni.

The application asks for nomination details outlining the student’s involvement within UNB. A student can either nominate themselves, or they can be nominated, but must consent to the nomination before the form is handed in.

“If I look back at those who we have recognized in the early days to what they are doing now, there are many who are leaders in their particular field of work,” says Duffley.

“Last year’s speaker, John Gonzales, pursued physiotherapy after UNB and is now the owner of two clinics and a CrossFit gym.

Duffley believes that success such as Gonzales’ will be something that many of the graduating leaders will experience.

“It is a young program so many of our grad leaders are just starting their professional life but I am confident we will see many success stories in the years ahead.

Awards to be handed out March 28th

Students who meet the criteria and are selected for the award will be invited to attend a dinner where they will receive their award. The will also be able to bring a guest whom they’ve identified as a mentor.

“The grad leaders are asked to identify someone who influenced them at UNB, for example a faculty, staff or coach, who contributed to their success,” says Duffley.

“That mentor attends the dinner and is also recognized alongside the grad leader.

This year’s event will also feature former graduating student leader, Christos Papadopoulos, as the guest speaker.

“I could not be more proud to be asked to congratulate the leaders of the Class of 2018,” says Papadopolous.

“Personally, it is truly humbling, but it is important to note that this event is to celebrate the leaders of this year’s class, their accomplishments, and emphasize the importance of their future contributions to our community.

Papadopolous graduated from UNB Saint John in 2009 with a bachelor of science degree and is now a practicing orthodontist in Moncton, NB.

“It’s difficult to put into words the impact that UNB Saint John had on my development as a person. The skills, lessons and experiences I gained…helped cultivate my approach to goal-setting, problem solving and my desire to give back to my community.

Leaders have been recognized since 2005

“We started the awards in 2005 to recognize student leadership on campus, no other program then or now that recognizes the contributions of students engaged on campus,” says Duffley.

“I am proud that it has grown into a more robust program since we started in 2005. It was a lunch, now it is a dinner with guest speaker, and we introduced ‘mentors’ to the program a few years ago.

Anyone looking to nominate a student, or students who are looking to complete the form, can find it here. The selection criteria is also available online here.

Deadline for nominations is March 2nd.

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