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Meet the 2022 Emerging Leader Award Winners – Graduate Students

June 15, 2022 — 

The Emerging Leader Award was introduced in 2006 to recognize the important work and outstanding contributions that student leaders make at UM and our communities. After 16 years it is a honour to recognize this year’s cohort of student leaders for their commitment to furthering UM’s educational mission by contributing to the social, cultural and economic well-being of communities on or off-campus. These students encourage cross-cultural understanding and demonstrate sustained leadership and initiative. Today we feature one of our outstanding Emerging Leaders: Mehraz Sarker, Second year graduate student in Sociology and Criminology (Faculty of Arts).

Mehraz Sarker’s leadership journey started in 2015, where he gained experience leading a team to build a school and mosque in the small community of Nawapara, Bangladesh. The experience inspired him to get involved with the UM Community Engaged Learning (CEL) program where he  volunteered with community organizations and participated in CEL’s Land and Water Based Education program. 

Throughout his leadership involvement at UM, Sarker noted, “For me, leadership starts with community and change. To practice leadership, engage and share experiences with diverse communities is significant.” 

When asked what inspires him to continue his work Sarker indicated it’s the drive to bring meaningful change to the community. He said, “Leadership is a hard and complex journey, which does not always give you what you want. However, even a small change within the community is a significant source of hope for me, […] throughout my leadership journey, the responsibility to share knowledge, experiences and build capacity with the next generation keeps me moving.”

Upon reflection on how UM has supported his leadership journey, Sarker said, “The University of Manitoba provides extensive scope and opportunities for students to exercise leadership, such as workshops, various engagement programs, volunteer positions and most significantly, a diverse meeting place for various community members.”

Congratulations to all the students who received the award this year and thank you to the selection committee for your work choosing this year’s Emerging Leaders. Learn more about the Emerging Leader Award here.



Rebeka Gauthier

Katherine Chimney

Jaclyn Forbes

Judy Piasta

Justin Rasmussen

Leah Deanne

Lisa Tinley

Matthew Semchyshyn

Sherry Peters

Bailey Hendry


Gillian Laninga, College of Nursing

Randi Roy, Faculty of Science 

Lauren Slegers, I. H. Asper School of Business

Aseespal Sehgal, Faculty of Science

Alex Rana, Faculty of Arts

Fardeen Zareef, Faculty of Arts

Miray Eskandar, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

Shawn Singh, Faculty of Law

Camryn Anderson, Faculty of Arts

Chloe McElheron, Faculty of Science

Michael Badejo, Faculty of Law

Joseph Geodisico, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

Amy Spearman, Faculty of Arts

Juanita Garcia, Faculty of Science

JR Salinas, Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry

Cassadra Lu, I. H. Asper School of Business

Raven Morriseau, Faculty of Arts  

Rebecca Seales, Faculty of Science

Hannah Belec, Faculty of Arts

Neelam Shahzadi, I. H. Asper School of Business

Robin Mann, Faculty of Science

Rohit Gupta, Faculty of Arts

Ameerah Andaya, Faculty of Social Work 

Celeste Petrick, Faculty of Arts

Cleche Kokolo, Faculty of Arts

Esfir Goncharova, I. H. Asper School of Business

Geoffrey Pagcaliwagan, Faculty of Science

Hajrah Ata, Faculty of Science

Kasen Neufeld, Faculty of Social Work

Sophie George, Faculty of Arts

Cindy Atayan, Faculty of Science

Takudzwa Mushosho, Faculty of Arts

Annie Jiang, Faculty of Science

Morgan Traa, School of Art

Olivia Plotnik, Faculty of Arts

Rashi Chhabra, Faculty of Science

Taylor Catcheway, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

Towani Mutale, Faculty of Arts

Megan Crooks, Faculty of Science

Prabhleen Maingi, I. H. Asper School of Business

Zackary Holmberg, Faculty of Science

Doris Goubran, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

Fares Hossain, Faculty of Science

Kevin Wong, I. H. Asper School of Business

Rushie Tyagi, Faculty of Science

Serena Phillips, Faculty of Science

Amirali Paknahad, Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry

Andrea Abellera, Faculty of Science

Arko Dutta, I. H. Asper School of Business

Adam Kowal, Faculty of Law

Faith Olarinde, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management


Bonn Alvarez, College of Nursing

Vimala Bharathi, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

Thilini Dissanayake, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

Graham Taylor, I. H. Asper School of Business

Pamela Ryan, Faculty of Science

Kristine Doell, Faculty of Graduate Studies

Kevin Oliver, Faculty of Graduate Studies

Kayla Kostal, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

Renée Boily, College of Nursing 

Mehraz Sarker, Faculty of Arts


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