Student Leadership Recognition Award
The Student Leadership Recognition Award, SLRA, formally recognizes students that possess, display, and apply leadership qualities and skills within the classroom, the Saint Mary’s University community and beyond.
Semi-annually, the SLRA recognizes up-to three students from each Faculty (Arts, Graduate Studies, Science, and Sobey School of Business). The award can only be received once in an academic year.
Student Leadership Recognition Award Winners of Winter 2016
Recipients pictured seated (left to right): Mitch Harrison, Wes Wilcox, Brendan Grue, Laura Langille, Meagan MacPherson, Allison Verge, Spencer Wiechert, and Andreas Robinson. Back row: Rachel MacDonald, Barrinique Griffin, Keith Hotchkiss, Donnie Jeffrey, Margaret MacDonald, Kevin Vessey, and Alex Krimer. Not pictured: Yu Ting (Kiera) Chang.
Mitch Harrison is a fourth year Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Management and Marketing. He is currently working for the Sobey Co-operative Management Education (CME) program and serves as a LEAP Peer Mentor where he is able use his university experience to help engage first year students both socially and academically. He is the Co-Founder and Project Manager for FoundatioNS, Saint Mary’s Enactus project that aims to develop leadership skills in youth segments of the community through workshops and speaking events. The project has been able to impact over 200 student leaders, providing them with the tools to act as the foundation towards their leadership development. Through his on-campus involvement, Mitch has been able to develop effective interpersonal skills that he uses to build strong relationships with his peers. Mitch is the incoming Co-President for Enactus Saint Mary’s, and is excited to work with an ambitious team of student leaders to help enable progress in the community through entrepreneurial action.
Wes Wilcox is in his final year of the Honors Program in International Development Studies and Political Science working on a thesis studying Social Media and Political Activism. Through his love of sports and photography Wes has contributed much of his time to the Journal as well as Intramurals to promote athletics and the importance of becoming involved in recreational sport all across campus. Outside of Saint Mary`s, Wes has taken on leadership and philanthropic roles through the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He has also been a proud ambassador for Saint Mary's internationally, representing the school in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The Gambia, as well as just recently returning from the Model United Nations Conference in New York, being named Outstanding Delegate in his committee and helping Saint Mary’s achieve the Distinguished Delegation Award. He looks to continue travelling internationally and work in the public sector in the hopes of making a positive impact in this world.
Brendan Grue is a first year Masters of Applied Science student. He has completed research within the fields of Plant Pathology, Oncology, Nutritional Biochemistry, and Virology. During his undergraduate degree Brendan co-authored two high impact publications and contributed towards the international NGO “Getting to know Cancer”. After his undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Immunology, Brendan took on a research position in Bone Biomechanics working for his current graduate supervisor, Dr. Samuel Veres. Brendan currently volunteers weekly in both the IWK and QEII Emergency Rooms. Also, he volunteers with many other organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Pathways to Education, and Connections Halifax, which provides medical aid for those with low income. Brendan currently serves as the Co-President/Founder of the SMU Applied Science Student Society. He plans to continue graduate studies, ultimately obtaining a PhD in his research towards the development of novel biodegradable orthopedic implants aimed at bone fusion.
Laura Langille is a fifth year student athlete who will be graduating in May with Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree in Psychology. As the captain of the Women’s Varsity Basketball Team, Laura takes great pride in balancing her academics, athletics, and community involvement. For each of her years at Saint Mary`s, Laura has made the Dean’s List and has achieved Academic All-Canadian status. She is a Research Assistant with the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health, and has recently created a peer mentoring program for student athletes called Here for Peers. Laura is passionate about mental well-being and encouraging resiliency in others. She has exhibited this through implementing Student Athlete Resiliency Workshops for both university and high school athletes in the community. During Welcome Week, Laura helped to create and facilitate Safe at SMU workshops regarding sexual consent for first year students. As a past LEAP Peer Mentor, and a current volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House, Laura encourages others to become involved in both their school and local community and give back to programs that have helped them throughout their university career.
Meagan MacPherson is a fourth year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Criminology and Sociology with a minor in English. Meagan is a dedicated and outgoing individual that has represented Saint Mary’s University as an exchange student at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. This past February Meagan participated in an initiative that teaches peace education and conflict resolution to youth as a member of the Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Society. Each year a group of students create and facilitate workshops with over a thousand local children before fundraising $20,000 and traveling to post-conflict Belfast, to work in Catholic, Protestant, and integrated schools. She is also President of the Saint Mary’s University Children’s Wish Society. Over her Presidential term she has helped grant three children their most heartfelt wish, raised $10,000, and the society became the top fundraising university society for the Nova Scotia chapter. Meagan has also been a positive role model and mentor through programs such as Enactus Options Nova and Big Brothers Big Sisters Halifax. Outside of school Meagan teaches Highland dancing across various age and skill levels, as well as competes as a Scottish tenor drummer with the Halifax Citadel 78th Highlanders Pipe Band. As a result of her leadership and volunteer experiences at Saint Mary’s University, Meagan discovered her passion for working with youth and dreams to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work, so she can continue her work that encourages positive community and academic involvement.
Allison Verge is completing a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in Biology and a minor in Psychology. Being involved within the university community has been a large part of her experience at Saint Mary’s. She has worked for Saint Mary’s in a number of different facets, including lab demonstrating various courses and working in the SNAP tutoring centre. She has volunteered for the Peer One Mentorship program for two years, where she acted as a mentor for incoming students. She currently holds the position of President in the SMU Medical Society, where she organizes academic and social events for members. Outside of school, Allison volunteers at the QEII Veterans Memorial Hospital in the department of Recreational Therapy. After graduation, Allison is hoping to pursue a career in the medical field and to have continued opportunities to further explore leadership roles and give back to her community.
Spencer Wiechert is a second year Bachelor of Commerce student–athlete pursuing a double major in Accounting and Marketing. Spencer balances a full course load at an almost perfect GPA with a demanding Varsity Football schedule as well as an active lifestyle on and off campus. Last summer, he owned a small successful painting franchise developing positive relationships with 14 employees and over 150 clients. Through the school year, he became a Starting Receiver, Peer Tutor, event emcee, Athletic Council Representative, and Co-Chair of the Residence Events Committee. In addition, he was the Coordinator of the on-campus Community Food Room, where he developed a statistical tracking system that secured support with Feed Nova Scotia, helping feed over 650 visitors. Using his own initiative and a passion for video, he has also directed over 75 students under the company name, “Wiechert Films” to produce promotional videos for the Residence Department, Financial Aid & Awards, Sobeys School of Business, and the Varsity Football team. Spencer is grateful for the many opportunities and receptive environment that encourages involvement at Saint Mary’s.
Andreas Robinson is a second year Bachelor of Commerce student, majoring in Entrepreneurship. A member of the Sobey School of Business Commerce Society, and Enactus Saint Mary’s, Andreas is also a facilitator for the Student Athlete Resiliency and Safe at SMU workshops, as well as a Peer Mentor with the Here for Peers program. Andreas has created his own brand – Infinitus – and is currently running two businesses: Infinitus Academy and Infinitus Apparel. With the main goal of empowering youth to embrace their limitless potential, Infinitus Academy has been delivering Leadership and Resiliency workshops, mentoring, and enrichment programs within the Halifax Regional School Board for the last five years. This past year, he launched Infinitus Apparel, whose partnerships already include the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health at Saint Mary’s, the Sobey School of Business Commerce Society, and Football Nova Scotia. A member of the Huskies Football team, Andreas is also the Running Backs Coach for the U-17 Provincial Football Team. He has partnered with Football NS to deliver Speed Training, Leadership and Resiliency Workshops for their Elite Performance Athletes, as well as providing them custom Infinitus Apparel team gear. Andreas lives by the philosophy that leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.
Kiera Chang is a fourth year science student, majoring in Biology and completing a diploma in Forensic Science. Kiera has volunteered with the Peer One Mentorship Program where she helps incoming students adjust to university life. Over the past two years, she has been a Residence Assistant and she will continue as a Senior Residence Assistant in the coming year. In the residence community, she developed her leadership skill and enjoyed helping her peers. Kiera also co-hosted a “Science Night” for residence students to promote an appreciation for Science within the community. Kiera is also the Co-President of Biology Society, in which she engages students by organizing events. Outside of school, she weekly volunteers at QEII as a Meal Assistant to help seniors with their needs. In the future, Kiera hopes to pursue a graduate degree and a career related to wildlife and environment.
|Requirement||Undergraduate Students||Graduate Students|
|Enrollment Status||Completed at least 15 credit hours||Full time status|
- Must currently be volunteering OR must have accumulated over 60 hours of volunteer service in the past 12 months
- Must have assisted or organized at least two (2) significant on-campus events in the past 12 months
Demonstration of Leadership Qualities
Must be actively involved at Saint Mary's University and or the greater community. See examples below:
- An active member of a student-run society
- A teaching assistant, a Residence Assistant or a LEAP Peer Mentor
- An athlete
- An active off-campus volunteer / leader