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Meet the 2022 Emerging Leader Award Winners – Undergraduate

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 an 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:  Gillian Laninga, fifth-year College of Nursing student.

Gillian is a fifth-year College of Nursing student who has served on the Nursing Students’ Association (NSA) council since 2020. She is excited to begin her role as Interprofessional Event Representative and continuing her work promoting mentoring opportunities for first year nursing students, and hosting events such as the virtual career fair. Outside of NSA, she is proud to be a mentor and advocate for nursing students as well as high school students who are aspiring nurses.

Reflecting on her time at UM, Laninga says, “Being a fifth-year student at UM, it has been a passion of mine to put my knowledge and experiences to good use by helping improve the university experience for other UM students. Being able to see the positive outcomes from different projects, events and programs I have been a part of make being a leader at UM so fulfilling to me.”

Laninga had some great things to say about the faculty and staff she has met along her educational journey noting, “I have been very fortunate to have met many encouraging faculty members within the College of Nursing; especially those who have offered me guidance when I needed it the most.” Laninga believes UM provides students with so many diverse opportunities to choose from when getting involved on campus, and she feels fortunate to have made so many supportive friends in the nursing program who have pushed her to be her best self.

Laninga’s advice to UM students is to get involved on campus. Being involved in your university community can help enhance your self-confidence, expand your circle of friends and provides the opportunities to make a difference.  

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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