Bridging the local and the global
Meet the 2019 recipients of the Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship
Every year, University of Manitoba students who demonstrate exceptional commitment and leadership skills – and whose actions help to bridge the local and the global – are awarded the Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship. The prize is named for Nahlah Ayed [BSc(Hons)/92, MA/02, LLD(Honorary)/08] a CBC foreign correspondent, alumna and honorary degree recipient.
This year, two students studying in the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at St. Paul’s College were awarded the prize. Visionary leaders Peter Genger and Ashley Hayward may focus their research on different topics but strive toward the same overarching goal: to make the world a better place.
“Both Peter and Ashley have made remarkable contributions to both local and global communities, and we are honoured to recognize them for their commitment, leadership and passion,” says Susie Taylor, director of the U of M’s International Centre. “They truly exemplify the spirit of the Nahlah Ayed Prize.”
Genger’s motto is ‘there is joy in serving’ – and he certainly fulfills that motto every day.
Genger, a PhD candidate in Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS), holds extensive experience in facilitating dialogue and peace education. With a master’s of education in inter-religious dialogue from Boston College and a master’s from the Joint M.A. Program in PACS, he continues to promote peaceful, responsible citizenship through his research.
In Nigeria, he worked on community-building and conflict resolution initiatives within local communities, among other peacemaking activities. Locally, he has coordinated inter-faith dialogue and peacemaking workshops for various groups in Winnipeg, including children’s camps, youth groups and community gatherings.
On campus, he demonstrates his leadership skills across many initiatives, and is currently the U of M Graduate Students’ Association’s volunteer representative on the Faculty of Arts Research Committee.
“I never thought that my little pieces of leadership service would gain a rewarding recognition as noble as the Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship. I sincerely appreciate the award,” says Genger. “This award has made me to realize that there is no service that is too little or too much to give. The most important thing is for one to keep serving with sincere concern for humanity. After all, there is joy in true leadership and service.”
Ashley Hayward will soon graduate from the Joint M.A. Program in PACS, and shows no signs of slowing down. The Métis student is deeply committed to social justice and human rights, and will continue to explore research in those areas when she begins her PhD in September 2019.
In addition to her role as research coordinator with Kishaadigeh (‘She Who Guards the Lodge’), a Network Environments for Indigenous Health Research-funded project, Hayward has spent time in Botswana as part of her master’s, exploring community groups’ approaches to addressing human rights issues. Her multi-faceted research benefits Indigenous communities in Canada, and creates space for future Indigenous researchers around the globe.
Hayward is also an active member of the university community, participating in several boards and committees and the Indigenous Circle of Empowerment program.
“As an Indigenous woman, I believe this award is about recognizing the people who have come before me to pave the way. I work with researchers at both the U of M and the University of Winnipeg who have strong relationships within the community, and I am privileged to learn alongside them,” says Hayward.
“This award is not about an individual accomplishment, but rather, about honouring groups of people working together to make a difference,” she continues. “I believe we each have a role to play and am encouraged to see such a commitment to change. I am humbled by this award and would like to thank those who took the time to nominate me.”
Nominations for the 2020 Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship will open in December 2019. The International Centre offers this annual prize to encourage U of M students to participate in activities that celebrate diversity, curiosity, respect, mutual understanding, and will expand their horizons and develop global skill sets.
For more information about the Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship, visit the International Centre website.
Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.