Skip to main content

Recipients

Awards are presented annually at Alumni Day. 

Congratulations to the 2019 Alumni Association Award winners! 

Achievement Award 

Bahar KarimiBahar (Karbalaei) Karimi 
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Class of 2013

Bio coming soon! 


Up and Coming Award 

Marco De CiantisMarco De Ciantis 
Master of Health Sciences 
Class of 2017

Bio coming soon! 


Philanthropic Award

Robina BrahRobina Brah 
Bachelor of Arts 
Class of 2017

Bio coming soon!

Congratulations to our past winners!

  • 2018
    Achievement Award

    Jessica DeeDr. Jessica Dee
    Bachelor of Health Sciences
    Class of 2011 

    Jessica grew up in the small town of Orono and has always been motivated by a sincere desire to help people in need. In 2007 Jessica began her undergraduate studies at Ontario Tech University. She knew she wanted to help people, but like most students, she was yet to completely decide what path would merge her altruistic predisposition with a meaningful career. She entered into the Health Sciences faculty and dove head first into student life, regularly attending school events and becoming a regular fixture at on-campus events and student-led activities.  

    Following her undergraduate studies, Jessica went on to pursue a Chiropractic degree at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. Jessica’s determination and dedication to her chiropractic studies mirrored that of her time at Ontario Tech University. She worked tirelessly, and in 2016 graduated with her Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Since graduation, she has continued to strive for success as she builds her practice at Clarington Total Wellness and provides the highest quality care for her patients.  


    Up and Coming Award

    Chantelle WhiddenChantelle Whidden
    Bachelor of Commerce, Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Management
    Class of 2013

    Chantelle Whidden has accomplished much since graduating with the highest distinction from Ontario Tech University in 2013 with a BComm majoring in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Management. Chantelle wrote and passed the NKE, designating her as a Certified HR Professional (CHRP). She then participated in the inaugural year of RBC's elite Career Launch Program with 100 participants across Canada being selected from a pool of 5000 applicants. After completing the program, in 2015 Chantelle was hired as an HR Administrator at Hannam Fertility Centre (HFC), one of the most innovative and leading fertility centres in Canada. She progressively was promoted through the organization first to HR Generalist, then HR Manager and most recently, in late 2017, to HR Business Partner. 

    Chantelle is always continuing her education as an HR and business professional through conferences, workshops and certificate programs. In May of 2018, she successfully obtained her Certified HR Leader (CHRL) designation and in 2017 she obtained a Coaching for Performance and Mentorship Certificate through MDC at Ontario Tech University. In 2017, Chantelle was accepted into the Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resources Advanced Standing program at the University of Toronto. The program was projected to take four years part-time while continuing full-time employment; however, Chantelle obtained special permission to double her course load and is graduating in June 2019. 

  • 2017
    Achievement Award

    Samantha HazellSamantha Hazell
    Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), Electrical Engineering
    Class of 2011

    Samantha Hazell has worked hard to establish her career since graduating from the university in 2011.  As a student, Samantha was a part of the EcoCAR Electrical/Controls Team where she assisted in converting a two-mode hybrid vehicle into a full-function electric vehicle (FFEV). Her work on this team provided her with the technical knowledge needed to hit the ground running when she began her career at General Motors as a Hybrid Controls Strategist for the Chevrolet Volt thermal battery diagnostic system.

    Following her time at General Motors, and recovery from a severe accident, Samantha moved to Toyota Motors Manufacturing Canada where she is currently the youngest and first female engineer working as a Business Planning Specialist. She built her career quickly at Toyota, also holding positions as Production Control Project Manager, and Program Manager in Supplier Engineering and Development.

    In addition to maintaining a busy career, Samantha is also pursuing her MBA in Strategic Management with a research focus on operational analytics. In the future, she plans to pursue a master’s and PhD in engineering, with a focus on sustainable vehicle technologies.


    Up and Coming Award

    Vahid AnwariVahid Anwari
    Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) 
    Class of 2016

    Vahid Anwari has achieved a great deal since his graduation in 2016. After completing his four-year degree in only three years, he accepted a full-time position at the University Health Network. This position has provided him with the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary research involving the detection of foreign bodies after surgery with the Joint Department of Medical Imaging.

    Vahid’s excellent work ethic and leadership helped his research team receive the University Health Network Collaborative Academic Practice Grant of $5,000, with additional matching funds of the same amount from Carestream Health, to help fund their research. Vahid has shared his team's research findings at the 2017 Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists Annual General Conference in Ottawa, ON.  He has also been invited to present his research findings at the Radiological Society of North America Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.


    Philanthropic Award

    Benjamin EarleBenjamin Earle
    Master of Arts, Criminology
    Class of 2016

    Benjamin Earle has set himself apart as a leader in the community services sector of Durham Region. He is currently the Executive Director of Feed the Need in Durham and a Research Consultant for the Durham Workforce Authority.

    As Executive Director for Feed the Need Durham, Benjamin has increased the organization’s network of emergency food providers to 60 organizations that now serve 6,500 low-income individuals each month.  Before taking on this role, Benjamin worked at the Community Development Council Durham over a 10-year span, taking on a variety of different roles. He has also held Director and Executive Director positions with key community programs such as the Welcome Centre Immigrant Services Durham, Housing Help Durham, and the LGTBQ Community Help Line and Resource Centre. 

  • 2016
    Achievement Award

    Ali HossAli Hoss
    PhD, Mechanical Engineering
    Class of 2013

    Ali Hoss has worked hard to establish his career since graduating from the university in 2013 with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, focusing on Energy Systems. He has contributed to a number of scientific publications and has presented at many international conferences. He has worked on a number of industrial projects throughout his career including providing energy management consultation to the Independent Energy Systems Operator, helped develop a renewable-based microgrid combined heat and power system for a community on the west side of London, Ontario in collaboration with London Hydro. Currently, Ali is working on the SaveONEnergy project, the largest energy conservation project in the province, with a government incentive of $30 million. He also works with the university to hire co-op students, helping them get hands-on experience in the energy efficiency industry.


    Up and Coming Award  

    Keegan GuidolinKeegan Guidolin
    Bachelor of Science
    Class of 2013

    Keegan Guidolin has achieved a lot in the three years since he graduated. He currently attends the University of Western Ontario as a Senior Medical Student. He sat on the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry admissions committee for the past three years, acted as the Editor of Health Promotion for Western’s Ontario Medical Journal and worked as a peer reviewer for the Clinical Respirology Journal. His own research focuses on developing new methods of treating breast cancer and how breast cancer therapies are chosen for patients.


    Philanthropic Award

    Negin VatandoostNegin Vatandoost
    Master of Arts, Criminology
    Class of 2012

    Negin Vatandoost arrived in Canada in 2010 and was the only international student to receive her degree in 2012. She currently works for The Learning Partnership, a non-profit dedicated to advancing and promoting public education. Since graduating, she has worked with many non-profit organizations including the Community Development Council of Durham, the Women’s Multicultural Resource and Counseling Centre of Durham, Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children, and the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. Recently Negin started a sponsorship group for a Syrian family of refugees and successfully raised more than the required funds to bring them to Canada. She has devoted her personal time and resources to promoting equity and social justice and is an advocate for all, including those who are vulnerable.

  • 2015
    Up and Coming Award

    Lorenzo EscobalLorenzo Escobal 
    Bachelor of Commerce
    Class of 2014

    Lorenzo is a successful serial entrepreneur. He was only a first-year student when he founded his first business, Inception Automotive Detailing in 2011. Today it's an award-winning business that provides mobile auto detailing services in the Greater Toronto Area. “My company is one of the top-ranked in Google search listings in the GTA,” said Lorenzo, “and has earned a respected online reputation with a high number of favourable reviews.”

    In 2014 Lorenzo co-founded and became Director of Marketing of Medpro 3D Inc., a medical rapid-prototyping company that works with medical professionals, transforming medical scans such as MRI and CT to create accurate, life-scale 3D tangible models.

    When Lorenzo started university he wasn't sure what he wanted to study. At the end of his second year, when he had to select a major, he chose marketing because he had the highest grades in that subject. By the end of the third year, "I loved every aspect of marketing and understood how very important it is for any business."

    An active networker, Lorenzo is a member of and volunteer with the Mississauga Board of Trade, serving on the Ambassador and NGen committees. He also seeks media appearances and has been interviewed on CBC Radio One, among other media. “I want to inspire high school, college and university students to start their own businesses," said Lorenzo. Consequently, he has addressed students at Ontario Tech University, the University of Toronto and several high schools.

    Here's some of the advice this entrepreneur offers students. "Having failures in life gives you the opportunity to learn from them and to develop yourself. Surround yourself with people who are more successful than you; you can learn a lot from them. Attend as many networking events you can and connect with people – your network becomes your net worth. Rather than following the money, let the money follow you. Always do your best in what you do.  Give back more than you receive – what goes around, comes around."

     

  • 2014
    Up and Coming Award

    Halil HamutHalil (Sadi) Hamut 
    PhD, Mechanical Engineering 
    Class of 2013

    After receiving his PhD from our university, Sadi returned to Turkey because he wants to positively impact both his community and the world. "With the technical background I have obtained from Ontario Tech University along with my thirst for innovation and a better tomorrow, I want to help create better standards of living for people today and a more sustainable future for the next generations."

    He's now the youngest Chief Researcher in the country's Scientific and Technological Research Council. Working in the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technologies Excellence Center, Sadi is undertaking a project to develop Turkey's first national electric vehicles to reduce the country’s fossil fuel dependency, energy costs and environmental impact. He's also the country delegate for Turkey on the IA-HEV (Implementing Agreement for co-operation on Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technologies and Programmes) executive committee.  Sadi works with the world's experts to "push the envelope" with state-of-the-art electric vehicles.

    As well, he is teaching part-time at Yeditepe University in Istanbul where he is educating Turkey's young generation about renewable energy sources and alternative transportation options. Sadi also helps to organize international conferences and authors' various publications in books and journals on these subjects to make more people become aware of the benefits of sustainable energy options.

    How did an engineer from Turkey come to study at Ontario Tech University? After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and then a Master of Science in Industrial Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, Sadi was drawn to Ontario Tech University because of the level of scientific research being conducted and the quality of the professors leading these studies. "I really enjoyed working with two world-renowned professors in my field as my supervisors." He also found the modest size of the campus made it easier to get to know people from other disciplines and made the university experience more interactive. "I had the chance to work with people from different cultures and diverse backgrounds, take part in the teaching process, attend and organize various conferences/events. This made my transition to being a researcher easier."

    Today, Sadi is searching for solutions to important global issues. He intends to play a more active role in academia by supervising students and managing international research collaborations. With the support of technology, he wants to create new possibilities that benefit the environment, individuals and society.


    Humanitarian Award

    (now known as the Philanthropic Award)

    Mallory RyanMallory Ryan 
    Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)
    Class of 2009

    Mallory likes firsts.

    This proud alumna, occupational therapist, dance teacher and founder of Dance Ability, a program for children with varying abilities came to the Ontario Tech University in 2005 because she wanted to "be part of many firsts."

    Mallory viewed our new university "as a window of opportunities." She met the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at a university fair and was inspired by her energy and enthusiasm. "The fact that a Dean was listening to my goals and understanding the direction I wanted to take meant a lot to me."  

    When she arrived on campus Mallory immediately immersed herself in clubs and events. She became a Tour Guide and a Summer Assistant for her faculty. She also launched the university's first dance team. She also co-founded and organized the university/college dance competition BAM (Bust-A-Move). More than a dozen teams from across Canada participated in the annual competitions. After completing her degree at Ontario Tech University, the athletic department hired Mallory to be the first coach for the new Varsity Ridgeback Dance Team.

    Following graduation, Mallory attended the University of Toronto (UofT) where she received a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree. Today she works as an occupational therapist, primarily with children, in the community.  She's also a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science at UofT.

    On weekends, Mallory instructs classes at Dance Elite, the studio where she started dancing at the age of three. There she and her sister, Jade, launched Dance Ability. This program provides students of all abilities with a safe place to express their creativity and also enables other students and volunteers to enhance their understanding of diversity, equity and inclusivity.

    "Ontario Tech University fostered my development as a leader," Mallory says. "The supportive community was what I needed to build confidence in my ability to create. And my success in creating start-up initiatives at Ontario Tech University gave me the skills and confidence to start my own occupational therapy initiatives."

    The Ontario Tech Alumni Association has recognized Mallory's achievements with its 2014 Humanitarian Award. She will also be sharing her inspiring story during Homecoming as a speaker at Alumni Adventures: Tales from the Other Side. Looking ahead, Mallory hopes to establish more unique occupational therapy initiatives and potentially become more involved in educating future occupational therapists. Looks like her future will include many more firsts.

  • 2013
    Up and Coming Award

    Veronica Cole 
    Bachelor of Information Technology - Game Development and Entrepreneurship Program
    Class of 2012

    Veronica is the CEO and key business developer of Squabble Studios Ltd. Veronica co-founded the startup soon after graduation with four fellow Ontario Tech alumni. Squabble is a game development studio that creates educational and entertaining video games, simulations and training applications.


    Humanitarian Award

    (now known as the Philanthropic Award)

    Jaclyn San Antonio
    Master of Arts, Class of 2011
    Bachelor of Arts, Class of 2007

    Jaclyn received this award in recognition of her commitment to empowering youth. Youthtopia, an event Jaclyn held in the wake of a 2012 Scarborough shooting, brought together youth in that community to believe in their talents, build their confidence and dispel any limiting beliefs about their future. The event was a huge success.


    2013 Winners
    2013 Alumni Award winners Veronica Cole and Jaclyn San Antonio with Council members